Market Reality: Verizon Buys Jaunt, Zuckerberg Faces Off with Musk for BCI Tech, & Magic Leap Assists with 5G Revolution

Verizon Buys Jaunt, Zuckerberg Faces Off with Musk for BCI Tech, & Magic Leap Assists with 5G Revolution

Augmented reality plays a key role in the evolution of adjacent technologies, such as 5G connectivity and brain-control interfaces (BCI), and the business news of the week serves up proof points for both examples.

On the 5G front, Verizon's acquisition of Jaunt XR adds another AR chess piece to its 5G rollout. Elsewhere, Magic Leap, a company that AT&T has a stake in for its own 5G ambitions, gained a new app that could actually help carriers with 5G deployments.

Regarding BCI, leaked audio of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed more detail about the company's plans for integrating the technology into AR wearables. As it turns out, tech magnate Elon Musk has similar ideas.

In other news, as Microsoft HoloLens 2 nears arrival, the company shared some videos that will help enterprise customers get up to speed for one of its key apps.

Verizon Scoops Up Jaunt XR

It looks like Jaunt's pivot from VR to volumetric captures services for augmented reality experiences has paid off.

That's because Verizon has now acquired the company for an undisclosed amount, per a brief announcement issued by Jaunt on Monday.

Continue reading to learn why Jaunt became an attractive acquisition target for Verizon and how the company's tech will stand as ammunition in the escalating 5G wars...

REALITY BITES: Coincidentally, Apple also made a move to add motion capture technology to its augmented reality capabilities this week by acquiring UK-based iKinema. Motion capture technology is a key to producing more realistic AR experiences, and, considering that ARKit was born out of acquired technology, this could result in some exciting new content offerings from Apple in the near future.

It's Zuckerberg vs. Musk in BCI Battle

The recent Oculus conference in California revealed just a bit more about Facebook's secretive plans to compete in the augmented reality space with its own wearable devices.

But a new report has revealed that the company is thinking even further into the future of AR. Although we know that Facebook has been working on brain interfaces, new statements made within the halls of Facebook's Palo Alto headquarters detail more about what Mark Zuckerberg has planned for when AR interfaces can be controlled by the mind.

Read further to find out what Facebook has in store for mind-controlled AR and how this suddenly pits Zuckerberg against Elon Musk...

REALITY BITES: Facebook has grown its AR team by recruiting talent from competitors like Google. The latest hire comes from an unlikely source, as Sean McCracken, a former a principal mixed reality engineer at enterprise AR software maker Upskill, shared that he will join Facebook as an AR product design prototyper, which sounds like he'll work on one of Facebook's smartglasses projects.

New Magic Leap App Could Help 5G Network Deployments

While Magic Leap World gets its share of fun apps for playing with Porgs, watching TV, and exploring the ocean's depths, developers are making a strong business case for the Magic Leap One as well.

Cue BadVR, a Los Angeles-based startup that was recently highlighted as one of the NR30 Up & Coming AR Founders You Need to Know for 2019. The company's new app called SeeSignal leverages the Magic Leap One's spatial computing capabilities to enable network technicians to view signal strength data for cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth within the physical environment.

Continue reading to learn more about SeeSignal and how it can help carriers with their 5G network deployments...

REALITY BITES: Speaking of Magic Leap, the winners of the AT&T Business Hackathon, which centered on Magic Leap and 5G, were revealed this week. The $5,000 grand prize went to PharmaLeap, an app that helps pharmacists fill out prescriptions for customers via Magic Leap One.

Microsoft Prepares for HoloLens 2 Release with Demo Videos for Guides App

With the imminent arrival of the HoloLens 2 expected any day now, Microsoft is preparing new users to take advantage of its software from day one.

This week, Microsoft uploaded a series of tutorial videos to its YouTube channel for Dynamics 365 Guides, an enterprise AR app that enables companies to author step-by-step AR workflows, or guides, to walk employees through complex tasks and then measure performance to improve processes.

Read further for more details on how Guides benefits business customers and how the app, along with HoloLens 2, could help Microsoft take over the enterprise segment of AR...

REALITY BITES: After acquiring Leap Motion earlier this year, Ultrahaptics has relaunched the combined companies as Ultraleap. The portmanteau interestingly keeps a certain word shared by another prominent AR company, but, then again, Motionhaptics doesn't have quite the same ring. Ultramotion doesn't sound bad, though!

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.

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Cover image via Jaunt/YouTube

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