Reality Report: Augmented and Mixed Reality

Reality Report: Augmented and Mixed Reality

While the wait for HoloLens 2 continues with no official release date in sight, Microsoft tries to impress its Inspire audience with their hologram demo. Even putting the definition of ‘hologram’ aside, wasn't it simply a clever merge of existing technology? In other news, Vuzix continues to add nice-to-have tools to its Vuzix Blade while there is still no AR core integration, rumor has it that Apple put its MR-headset plans on hold and Amazon drives forward a new package delivery strategy with Collaborative AR.

 

Investment Deals & Trends

Recent AR/ VR investment trends indicate upcoming deal opportunities. Looking at current AR/VR investment and acquisition trends the industry’s future looks bright. Especially with the prospect of a 12 to 18 months window of opportunity coming up for corporates and VCs to do excellent value deals with AR and VR leaders. More on Venture Beat...

Snap Inc. plans to raise $1 billion for AR features and potential acquisitions. The parent company of the popular but slowly disappearing messaging app Snapchat is looking at raising $1 billion to put towards media content and AR features. Are there new AR features already in the pipeline that could help revive Snapchat’s user growth and continue to make AR accessible to everyone?  More on Euronews...

Microsoft joins forces with Open AI through $1 billion investment. Following its conversion from a nonprofit research lab to a for-profit firm, Open AI now receives a major investment from Microsoft which makes the tech giant the exclusive provider of cloud computing services to Open AI. Both companies have ambitious plans to work on developing new Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) technologies together. We’re curious to see whether they will even get a glimpse of AI’s holy grail within the near future. More on The Verge...

 

New Tech, What’s Hot

Long-anticipated shipping of Microsoft HoloLens 2 expected soon. Have you pre-ordered HoloLens 2 and can’t wait for it to be finally shipped? You’ll be pleased to hear that documents published on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website last Friday hint that the wait for the HoloLens 2 release might soon be over. While the FCC filing doesn’t mention the HoloLens explicitly the graphics submitted along with regulatory information seem unmistakably. Find out more on Next Reality...

AR comes to the rescue for Amazon delivery drivers with advanced guidance. Amazon is working on plans to optimize their package delivery by providing helpful information on routes and areas available to delivery staff. Why not simply use a navigation app, you might ask? The scheme submitted for patenting will make information such as advice where to park or notes on a hidden entrance visible directly in the agent’s field of view via an AR-headset. If it works as planned this could be a great implementation of Collaborative AR. Read more on Geekwire...

Samsung applies for folding AR glasses patent including a frame-activated screen. As Samsung seems to explore practical implementations of an AR foldable headset one feature stands out: The projector turns on and off as the frame’s temples are opened and closed, making the traditional power button redundant. Does this qualify as serious competition for other foldable AR hardware developments underway? Only time will show what the likes of Nreal and Apple might deliver. More on Venture Beat...

Apple submits patent request for expression tracking on upcoming MR-headset. Patent agents seem to face busy times with requests from the AR world. Following Samsung now Apple plans to patent a variety of sensors on their upcoming Mixed Reality headset which indicates the tech giant is planning to include eye, gesture and potentially facial expression tracking functionalities in the device. We’re looking forward to seeing whether Apple took inspiration from Oculus’ HMD face tracking. More on Variety...

Vuzix Blade functionalities continue to expand with DJI Drone companion app, real-time translation tool and Amazon Alexa integration. Vuzix establish their new smart glasses launched in February increasingly as hands-free visual aid by adding further improvements that eliminate the need for devices like smart phones and tablets. After partnering with Verzion and Zoi Meet to offer instant language translation functionalities and announcing the DJI Drone companion app, Vuzix now gives users access to Amazon’s voice assistant technology Alexa. However, the wait for AR Core integration continues. More on VR Scout...

Apple MR-headset put on hold: Consequences and causes of a potential decision. Despite Apple’s patent application for their new MR-headset there is no official release date yet which recently even led to rumors around a complete cancellation of its development plans published on Digitimes. In the AR Insider article “Apple AR Glasses: To Be or Not to Be?” Mike Boland builds on this to identify potential driving factors of such a decision and how it fits into current industry dynamics. More on AR Insider...

Microsoft impresses its Inspire audience with HoloLens hologram. Since the failed HoloLens 2 moon landing demo earlier this year, there is certainly skepticism involved when Microsoft showcases its HoloLens technology live on stage. Executive Julia White however delivered her keynote at Microsoft Inspire in fluent Japanese without even speaking the language - through a life-sized hologram. While Microsoft sells its story as an innovation in presentation technology, it actually looks more like a clever merge of existing technologies. More on Venture Beat...

IVAS technology of Microsoft HoloLens 2 improves military training. The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) empowers soldiers to easily analyze and repeat combat scenarios for increased information retention and fast skill improvement. Excellent in-depth perception and comfortable wear are clear advantages over the Army’s own Heads-up Display 3.0 and promise a successful close for the prototype round by 2020. More on Endgadget...