When filtered through the prism of the top stories of the year, the business of augmented reality 2019 was determined as much by epic failures of AR startups as by the promising developments that propelled the industry forward in 2020.
To the dark side of the spectrum, the failures of Meta Company, ODG and Daqri were boosted earlier in the year by the fraying of Magic Leap's financial base towards the end of the year. In between, Magic Leap accused one of the industry's rising stars, Nreal, of stealing trade secrets.
On the other hand, Microsoft has set a new standard with the introduction of the best AR headset, the HoloLens 2, while Snap Apple launched its precursor of AR smartglasses in Spectacles 3, Apple prepared new AR devices in 2020 and Vuzix unveiled a new fashion-forward design of smartglasses.
Here's a look back at some of the best AR stories that have shaped the industry in the past year.
Exclusive: Meta Company Folds
The last time we heard about Meta, the makers of the Meta 2 augmented reality headset, things looked rather bleak. Now, after several new facts have come to light, we have confirmation about the fate of the invested company: Meta is ready.
As we reported in September 201
Read the exclusive story, first broken by Next Reality, for all the factors that led to the demise of Meta Company …
While the story of the maker of augmented reality headphones Osterhout D esign Group is coming to an end, the epilogue of its demise continues.
After the intellectual property of ODG, including patents and trademarks, was offered for sale via Hilco Bankstream last month, Heritage Global Partners arranged the auction of ODG & # 39; s physical assets.
Keep reading to find out which physical assets are included in the ODG auction …
Vuzix takes style cues from the north with new Smartglasses design
On 24 June, a Vuzix representative shared part of a recent investor presentation with Next Reality . That part of the presentation contains an image of the next, not yet released, version of the company's smartglasses, and it looks pretty damn good.
The smart glasses actually look as normal as you can expect when you consider that they contain components for viewing virtual content. The only significant signs of embedded technology are the slightly thicker than normal arms on the frames (which serve touch interfaces), which is likely to be noticed by everyone except the most studied follower of advanced AR wearables.
Read on to learn more about the new Vuzix smart glass design and how it positions the company in relation to current and future competitors …
Next reality casts a glimpse into the Magic Leap headquarters
The long guarded veil of mystery surrounding Magic Leap became finally lifted for years when the company unveiled its Magic Leap One device.  But even now, while the company brings out new apps and high-profile partnerships, the company itself remains somewhat of a figure. We can now erase at least part of that mystery through images we have obtained from the interior of Magic Leap & # 39; s remote Florida headquarters.
Read on to take a visual tour of the secret lair of Magic Leap and learn more about the approach to space design …
Daqri Shuts Down
While the technology industry is hotstream in the pursuit of mainstream smartglasses for consumers, another early maker of enterprise-focused AR hardware has apparently reached its end.
Following the fate of ODG and Meta Company, hardware maker with augmented reality Daqri apparently has no job and is being closed. Word about the AR insider campfire is that the company is selling its assets after closing its headquarters and eliminating most of its jobs.
Read on for more information on Daqri's downward spiral and its implications for the overall AR industry …
Then We first learned about Nreal, in the spring of 2018, the most interesting thing about the story of the company was the background of the founder. Chi Xu, the CEO and founder of Nreal, previously worked at Magic Leap as a software engineer.
Earlier this year, when we met Xu for the second time in Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress (our first meeting was in Silicon Valley last year), we asked him why he decided to leave Magic Leap. He refused to answer that question.
Now, as Magic Leap has focused his legal arsenal on Xu and his company, it seems that at least some of the unanswered questions about Nreal will be answered in court.
Snap launches Proto-AR Smartglasses with glasses 3
After teasing how smartglasses powered by Snapchat could look like with two product cycles of camera lenses, Snap has now added augmented reality features to its third version of Spectacles.  On August 13, the company revealed Spectacles 3, which includes a pair of temple-mounted cameras that can capture 3D images and video, along with a series of four microphones for capturing audio and LED lights to serve as indicators for u uderway recording.
Read on for more information about Spectacles 3 and how it serves as the basis for the future of Snap in AR smartglasses …
Augmented reality enthusiasts that an expected AR hardware unveiling at Apple & # 39; s annual iPhone launch event may not have to wait much longer.
On October 9, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted a report that Apple & # 39; s 2020 hardware setup will include an iPad Pro with a flight sensor lag and the debut of long-rumored and long-awaited AR company headset.
Read on for more information on the AR devices that Kuo expects to launch Apple in 2020 …
Is the augmented reality magic fading in Plantation, Florida? That is the first question some have asked after an informal revelation during the weekend that Magic Leap, the maker of the Magic Leap One, has transferred a large part of its patent portfolio to JP Morgan Chase as collateral.
In documents filed with the US Patent Office on August 22 and signed on August 20, a huge 1,903 patents from Magic Leap (as well as from Magic Leap holding companies Mentor Acquisitions, LLC and Molecular Imprints Inc.) were all assigned to JPMorgan Chase.
Read on to discover what the collateral agreement means for the future of Magic Leap, then read on to find out more about the departure of the management that followed after the news about the allocation of the patent portfolio broke ..
Every Friday, Next Reality assesses the latest headlines on the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column contains financing announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analyzes and the like. See previous editions of Market Reality for more news that you may have missed.