If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. At Magic Leap, the lemons are the COVID-19 pandemic, and the lemonade is a new solution for virtual gatherings born of social distance.
As reports of Apple’s highly anticipated AR wearable resume (and designers continue to show off their concepts for the device), two Chinese companies, Lenovo and Rokid, unveiled their latest smartglasses offering.
Finally, Snapchat users found not one but two opportunities to insert AR into the splendor of the US presidential inauguration in 2021.
Magic Leap has built its own AR Virtual Meetings app to overcome social distances
The past year has exposed a yawning hole in the corporate world known as virtual meetings. Some existing players like Zoom seized that opportunity, while others, like Skype, seemed stuck on the sidelines, and Google Meet just managed to catch up in time to prevent some of the shift in remote work.
But in the midst of that shift is a question that has come up repeatedly: Where are the augmented reality tools that promised to help us navigate this new distant frontier? While many newcomers and established players have gradually moved to meet our new needs, Magic Leap also appears to be working on its own solution to support the new robust virtual meeting market.
Read on to find out what Magic Leap has been working on to fill the vacuum of virtual meetings …
REALITY BITES: Rio Caraeff, who was chief content officer at Magic Leap for five years until May 2020, is now chief commercial officer for the spatial audio startup Syng. Alessia Laidacker, formerly interaction lab director at Magic Leap, is now AR / XR creative director for creative agency Spatial Activations and co-founder of design agency Mixed Flour.
Lenovo has another chance at Enterprise AR with ThinkReality A3 Smartglasses
About a year and a half after unveiling the HoloLens-like ThinkReality A6, Lenovo is back with its take on business smartglasses, and the results look impressive. But again, looks can be deceiving.
On Sunday, a day prior to the opening of the virtual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo took the packaging of the ThinkReality A3, a sleek pair of smartglasses designed for office and field functions in enterprises and expected to ship to markets in mid-2021. selectable worldwide for an undisclosed price.
Read on to learn more about Lenovo’s next take on AR wearables for enterprise enterprises and how the company wants to differentiate itself from the competition …
REALITY BITES: 3D commerce company Marxent has completed a Series C funding round of an undisclosed amount. With clients such as Lowe’s Home Improvement, Ashley HomeStore, Macy’s and La-Z-Boy, the company will use the capital for international expansion and new product development.
Rokid Vision 2 stands out from Chinese competitors with a distinctive design
Since China’s Nreal unveiled its Light smartglasses at CES two years ago, an army of look-alikes have emerged from the Asian nation.
We can also count Rokid among the companies that are taking a different path. At the recent Rokid Open Day virtual event, held at its Hangzhou headquarters, the company unveiled Rokid Vision 2, which follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with a unique look compared to its competitors.
Read on to learn more about Rokid Vision 2 and how it compares to the Nreal Light …
REALITY BITES: App Annie’s annual State of Mobile report offers some interesting insights related to AR apps. Among the top-scoring apps, TikTok was in second place, while Pokemon GO claimed the same spot in the games. In app rankings of monthly average users, six of the top ten include AR features. Finally, Snapchat was ranked as the best app Gen-Z consumers are most likely to use, with TikTok in third place. A Dark Spot: AR apps were limited to social and retail categories, with the exception of Pokemon GO between games.
Apple prepares AR / VR headset to launch in 2022
The latest whisper of Apple’s plans to launch its highly anticipated (but not yet confirmed) augmented reality device hits several well-known notes, but lands on a different chorus.
Now there are rumors of a hybrid AR / VR headset, previously thought to be dropped in favor of smartglasses with less immersive capabilities, from yet another source.
Keep reading for more breadcrumbs on Apple’s path to launch its first AR device …
Design Concept reinvents Mac OS for Apple AR Smartglasses
Apple’s focus on augmented reality has so far been limited to the iPhone and iPad. But if we can believe some of the most reliable analysts in the business, we’ll likely see some sort of AR or VR wearable from the company later this year.
But what does that look like? Well, designer Dominik Hofacker has a few ideas, and they’re so good they’re worth investigating.
Read on for Hofacker’s take on Mac OS for Apple AR smartglasses …
REALITY BITES: Happy trails to Minecraft Earth, which will close its virtual doors in June. In a blog post, the team cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for shifting resources from the location-based AR game to other areas of need.
President Biden Welcomes Virtual Audience for Inauguration via Snapchat AR Lens
The United States is poised to usher in a new political era this week, but due to recent events in Washington, DC, as well as the ongoing pandemic, the traditional inauguration crowd is absent.
But thanks to the power of Snapchat, you can be there virtually. With a new lens released by President-elect Joe Biden’s team, you can place yourself on the steps of the Capitol to celebrate the inauguration of the new US president.
Read on to experience the Snapchat AR experience for yourself, then read on for a camera effect from the Lens Studio community focused on Senator Bernie Sanders’ viral cameo from the event …
Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines on the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers financing announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.