Intel cancels its smartglasses

Numerous reports have emerged that Intel is to shut down its New Devices Group, effectively bringing its costly foray into the wearables market to a close for now. The company has made several attempts, and spent several hundred million dollars, trying to break into the wearables market.

All current employees will be relocated to other divisions within the company or laid off, according to the reports.

The New Devices Group’s last major project was the Vaunt smartglasses, which promised to use advanced...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

VR social network vTime raises $7.6 million in series A funding round, aims to introduce AR version

Virtual reality (VR) social network vTime has secured $7.6 million in a series A funding round that will be invested in the R&D of a new augmented reality (AR) version of the app coming towards the end of 2018.

In addition, the funding will be utilised to speed up the worldwide growth of vTime as well as in product development.

Martin Kenwright, CEO of UK-based vTime, commented: "vTime offers users the most immersive and intuitive way to engage with others in VR from wherever they are. The...

By James Bourne, 17 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.

ODG formulates smartglasses for emergency landings in aviation industry

Smartglass manufacturer Osterhout Design Group (ODG) has formulated an all-in-one vision and oxygen solution in the form of a heads-up display (HUD) mask that uses the same AR technology from its smartglasses to help pilots in emergency landings in an unlikely situation where the cockpit is filled with smoke.

ODG has worked with FedEx Express to develop the easy-to-use and reusable prototype mask named SAVED (Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display) for their pilots. The smartglass maker aims to market its...

By James Bourne, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

AR can help Parkinson’s sufferers through ‘freezing’

People who suffer from Parkinson’s disease can feel a lot of social fear or shame with regards to their symptoms. A recent study by Parkinson’s UK found that 40% of sufferers feel the need to try and hid their symptoms in public.

The reasons behind this are not wanting to be embarrass others (63%), the fear of being judged (34%) or thinking that their symptoms are not socially acceptable (32%). The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

Leap Motion unveil $100 AR headset prototype

Leap Motion has jumped into the AR pool with the announcement of a platform and headset called Project North Star. The gesture interface company claims that the device would cost less than $100 if it hit large-scale production.

If this is true, the project would cost signifcnatly less than the HoloLens, currently costing $3,000. The company has so far ruled it out of any serious competition with its larger rivals, however, emphasising that it is not a headset company.

Instead, the company sees Project...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 10 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

US Army reportedly set to test AR system in 2019

The US Army is set to begin testing an AR system called HUD 3.0 sometime in 2019, according to a report in Breaking Defense.

The HUD 3.0 system reportedly consists of a helmet-mounted system that projects a range of different information onto a soldier’s field of view. The concept is based on the heads-up display currently utilised on fighter planes, which was introduced in the late 1970s.

The kind of information that would be shown to soldiers using the system would be their location in relation to the rest...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 04 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

ARKit app downloads hit 13 million in six months, says new analysis

More than 13 million augmented reality (AR) apps have been installed using Apple’s ARKit framework in its first six months according to data from Sensor Tower – with almost half of these coming from gaming.

The figures suggest a steady upward trend since the platform debuted in September last year. Previous analysis from one month after iOS 11 launched saw the number at around three million. Back then, ARKit-only gaming apps represented just over one third (35%) of all installs. Today, the number...

By James Bourne, 03 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, iOS, Platforms.

AR could play a role in helping people understand sign language

Students at New York have developed an app that uses AR and machine learning to translate sign language into spoken words, and vice versa. Unfortunately, many deaf people still feel that they live fairly isolated lives, with things like appointments and going out often massively complicated due to the lack of general knowledge of sign language throughout the hearing population.

The ARSL app uses computer vision models to translate sign language into spoken language and the other way around in real time. The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 28 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

App brings IKEA instructions to AR

In the pantheon of DIY tasks, putting together IKEA furniture is considered to be relatively straight forward. This doesn’t mean, however, that the process is an easy and satisfying one. On the contrary, even relatively simple IKEA projects seem to involve the ‘rage freakout’ stage that seemingly accompanies every DIY task.

While the act of throwing tools across the room because the kit doesn’t include enough screws (although they are actually under your coat) or yelling about how the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

L’Oreal makes big move into AR with ModiFace acquisition

French cosmetic giant L’Oreal has announced that it has bought Canadian AR company ModiFace, signalling its intention to make a significant move into AR in the near future.

ModiFace has developed technology that allows for 3D virtual make-up, colour and skin diagnosis by tracking facial features and colour. The company’s proprietary technology is already utilised by almost all of the major beauty brands, which means this is a big move by the French company.

The company’s 70 employees will...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Magic Leap releases AR SDK

After years of speculation and secrecary, the last few months have seen Magic Leap spring into action. First it unveiled the Magic Leap One headset in December and now the company has opened the headset up to developers with the release of a new SDK.

A blog post on the company website states:

“These tools and resources will be the first opportunity for creators to dive...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Zara introducing AR displays to stores

Fashion chain Zara, which is owned by the world’s biggest clothing retailer Inditex, has announced the introduction of AR displays to some of its stores from April.

The technology will be introduced across 120 of the brand’s flagship stores and will allow consumers to view products and purchase them using their phones.

Customers who download the app can access a range of content by pointing their device at the specialised display surfaces. They will be able to see a virtual representation of a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Bose takes innovative approach to AR with smart glasses prototype

Bose may be primarily known for their audio products like headphones and speakers, but the company is looking to make waves in to the AR market as well.

The company surprised attendees of SXSW with an announcement that it will be launching an AR platform that will be accompanied by smart glasses. Fittingly, Bose AR was described as being the “world’s first audio augmented reality platform”, highlighting the key distinction between the Bose glasses and others emerging into the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices.

Jurassic Park goes full Pokémon Go with AR game

It is safe to say that Pokémon Go was, however briefly, a phenomenon and the closet thing that AR has had to a breakthrough, killer app so far.

But you know what is arguably cooler than rooting out Pokémon in the real world? Dinosaurs, that’s what.

As the Jurassic Park franchise rumbles on with latest instalment Fallen Kingdom, developers Luda have teamed up with Universal to create an AR game for both iOS and Android.  

In terms of mechanics and gameplay, Jurassic World Alive will seem very...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

AR company Upskill adds Accenture and Cisco as high-profile investors

Upskill, a company focused on creating AR platforms that facilitate employee training with smart glasses, has raised a mammoth $17.2 million in its latest round of funding.

The company also added some very high-profile investors to its current roster. Accenture and Cisco Investments now join the links of Boeing HorizonX, GE Ventures and New Enterprise Associates as backers of Upskill. The company raised £11.3 million last year.

The latest round means that the company has now raised an impressive $57.4...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Enterprise.

MWC2018 – Experts think VR/AR will really benefit from 5G

The theme of this year’s MWC in Barcelona may have been sustainability, but it was definitely unofficially 5G. All over the mammoth conference space, there was excited talk of how the emergence of 5G networks would affect everything from IoT to smart glasses.

In a panel on the future of immersive experiences on Monday, HTC Vive’s president of Viveport Rikard Steiber said that 5G will really enable the integration of AI into a range of services. With the spread of intelligent computers, Steiber...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 01 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Developers.

MWC2018 - Deutsche Telecom and ZEISS show how close smart glasses are to the mainstream

At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom and ZEISS unveiled the design of their smart glasses to attendees. The pair also brought in some friends to help show the wide range of applications that this technology is likely to have in the next few years.

Here are the key details from the presentation.

Partnership details

The two companies announced a joint venture, tooz technologies Inc., in order to expand their smart glasses partnership in early 2018. The underlying...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 28 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Samsung to use AR at Mobile World Congress product launch

Samsung is planning to use AR to wow attendees at next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona when it unveils its new smartphones. However, details both of the phones and the promotional tactics planned have been leaked ahead of the event.

The company recently released its Unpacked 2018 app on the Google Play Store. The app is intended to for registered and invited users at events, and also for people that want to view the live stream of the MWC event.

It seems that Samsung didn’t...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Samsung.

MIT and Cornell combine AR with 3D printing

A joint project from MIT and Cornell is looking to change the prototyping game by combining AR with robotic modelling and 3D printing.

The Robotic Modelling Assistant (RoMA) allows users wearing an AR headset and using two handheld controllers to build 3D models with a computer programme. A robotic arm gets to work building a skeletal model using a 3D printer mounted on its hand.

Project leader Huaishu Peng described the benefits of the project as allowing users to “integrate real-world constraints into...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Magic Leap reveals elements of its business plans for the next few years

After seemingly hoovering in investment without giving much away about what it was actually up to for years, the last few months have seen a flood of Magic Leap-related news activity.

Just before Christmas, the company finally unveiled its highly-anticipated AR headset.

Now, CEO Rony Abovitz has revealed a few key aspects of the company’s strategy going forward. The comments were made at the Code Media conference.

So, with Magic...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.