Reality Report: Augmented and Mixed Reality

Reality Report: Augmented and Mixed Reality

In January we enjoyed the splendor of the world’s largest consumer electronics and automotive tech show (CES) in Las Vegas. Now the world is again gearing up for the European answer to the American event with the biggest annual show for wireless and phone manufacturers (Mobile World Congress - MWC). Each year these two events generate huge coverage as their demos, announcements, and trends have a habit of setting the pace for the entire year. This months Reality Report pieces together these two behemoth shows (as well as the insiders happening on the sidelines) to see what we can expect at this years MWC as well as 2019 as a whole.

Investment Deals & Trends

Apple set to supercharge its Augmented Reality Ambitions for iPhones with 3D Cameras

In an effort to secure its position as the leader in the handheld AR scene, Apple plans to launch iPhones with a more-powerful 3D camera as soon as next year. A new laser scanner would replace existing dot-projection technology and enhance Augmented Reality experiences on the iPhone (this will most likely be a "time-of -light" camera like in the 2nd Kinect). More accurate depth perception and placement of objects could be what’s needed to take mass AR adoption. More on Bloomberg...

Scape Raises $8M for a Visual Positioning System

Scape Technologies announced last week that it has raised an $8 million seed investment for a visual positioning system that it says can provide centimeter-accurate location data at city-scale. Such a system could be a key component in enabling a shared, persistent AR metaverse simultaneously accessible by all users. It will be interesting to see how Scape collects the data needed - more Google Street View-style cars? More on Road to VR...

Sandbox VR Raises $68 Million for Location-Based VR Experiences

Hong Kong-based Virtual Reality startup Sandbox VR has raised $68 million in a Series A round of funding from Andreesen Horowitz, Stanford University, TriplePoint Capital, CRCM, Alibaba and Floodgate Adventures. The company plans on using the cash infusion to launch new VR centers in Tokyo and New York. This is a particularly interesting part of the VR market currently. Could the out of home VR market be a lot bigger than the home VR market? We are not surprised to see big investments here. More on Business Insider...

15 million dollars raised for 3-ounce Mixed Reality smart glasses

Chinese mixed reality technology startup Nreal has raised $15 million for its “ready-to-wear” Mixed Reality glasses. Its unique design combines high-quality display with a light weight of only 3 ounces. More on Venture Beat...

Niantic finalizes Series C at $245M

With a final evaluation of nearly 4 billion dollars, Niantic, the company behind Pokemon Go, closed their series C funding round at $245 million. The raise comes just in time for development of their up-and-coming Harry Potter AR project. More on Techcrunch...

Global Virtual Reality (VR) Market Size to Surge to US$ 26.89 Billion by 2022

A recent report by Zion Market Research suggests a tremendous rise in market size of VR. With key players such as Sony (PS VR), Oculus VR, HTC and Samsung all creating devices that appeal to a mass market, these figures are entirely possible. More on Globe News Wire...

 

New Tech, What’s Hot

Rumors of HoloLens 2 launch at MWC

Microsoft put the spotlight on edge computing at CES, but there was no mention of its highly anticipated HoloLens 2. This begs the question: could they be saving it for MWC? There have been plenty of rumors about a release in Q1 2019 and most recently press-only invites have been sent to an event in Barcelona that will take place just before MWC. Could this mysterious event be the moment we have all been waiting for? Could edge computing, cloud interfaces, and Mixed Reality come together in the upcoming announcement?

Leaked emails reveal the importance of AR/VR for Facebook

A new book has revealed leaked emails from Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, from 2015 outlining the importance he sees in AR/VR technology in progressing an innovation push from the technology giant. According to the 2500 word email, Zuckerburg reveals his thoughts on how leading on AR/VR technologies will hold the key to dominate much larger ecosystems. Read more in Techcrunch.

CERN engineers demo light field technology

We all expected light field technology to differentiate the Magic Leap from its competitors. To many, the launch of the Magic Leap One was seen as a direct competitor for the HoloLens with a few more cables. However, the hope of light field technology is not over. A group of CERN engineers may have one of the only working examples of the technology even though it appears to be a long way away from mass-produced HMDs. More on Road to VR...

A new era of aircraft inspection powered by AR company AerinX

Among the most time-consuming tasks of compulsory aircraft inspection before take off is that of inspecting the outer body. Hungarian AR company AerinX plans to both speed up and improve the accuracy of these critical aircraft skin inspections with the use of their smart inspection system. While still in the prototype phase saving airlines millions of dollars and improving accuracy is a big step in the right direction for AR. More on AR Post...

US Air Force looking at AR for maintaining specialized weapons systems

When a pilot pulls the trigger it is expected that a missile will launch. It is the job of countless airmen, to mount and maintain these weapons systems. Last month the US Air Force demonstrated their latest vision of how AR can support Airmen to mount and maintain weaponry quicker and more efficiently.

AR powered solution to online shopping’s biggest problem

E-commerce and tech company Amazon has patented a mirror that dresses you in virtual clothes. The patent provides a ‘blended reality’ view of customers wearing stylish outfits in virtual locations. This technology will allow online shoppers to “try on” clothes before purchasing them, thus reducing the need for online returns. What’s more exciting is the potential for IOT connected homes and machine learning in the wardrobe department. More on Venture Beat...

Software developer Fologram helps turn complex models into brick and mortar constructions

With the help of an Augmented Reality headset such as the Microsoft HoloLens, Australian Startup Fologram helps designers, builders and engineers project their virtual designs into detailed brick-by-brick instructions. More on Fast Company...

Magic Leap One gets prescription inserts

Unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens where you are able to wear the device over prescription glasses, the Magic Leap has no such option, forcing wearers to resort to contact lenses. They are now releasing new prescriptions inserts that solve this problem for Magic Leap owners, but still may be a problem for public usage - at fairs and events. More on the Verge...