Thred begins innovative AR trail in Australia

Australian company Thred Ltd will be trailing its flagship AR app, Sweep, at the University of Sydney and UNSW.

The company is one of the first to create a successful combination of location-based messaging and AR experiences. The Sweep app is a geo-locked chat app that allows users in the same area to chat to each other, such as asking people in a bar for drink recommendations or asking to be notified when happy hour is ending.

Users will then be able to access exclusive, location based AR content. The aim...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

Vuzix Blade AR glasses create a buzz at CES

The Vuzix Blade AR glasses look like it could be the breakthrough in the AR devices space that the industry has been looking for since the failure of Google Glass.

Vuzix has been showcasing the Alexa-enabled glasses at CES, and claims that they will be delivering a developer version in the coming months.

Through its partnership with Amazon means that the device is the first pair of AR glasses to be integrated with the ecommerce giant’s voice-based digital assistant. The price is currently set at $1,000...

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

Magic Leap unveils AR system

After years of silence and speculation, not to mention billions of dollars in investment, Magic Leap is set to release its first product in 2018.

The company has released the first images of the hotly anticipated Magic Leap One headset, and announce that it intends to launch the product as a developer kit first. The Creator Edition will be available in early 2018.

The Magic Leap device is an AR headset that makes use of the company’s Digital Lightfield technology, which is claims seamlessly merges...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Google ends Tango AR platform

Google has announced that it is officially calling time on its high-end smartphone AR platform Tango, in order to focus on its mass-market focused younger sibling ARCore.

Support for Tango will officially end on 1 March 2018.

In a tweet on 15 December, the Project Tango account said:

“Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.”

Tango was introduced in 2014, and was an...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

$2.5 billion invested in AR/VR in 2017

2017 has been a bumper year in terms of investment for the AR/VR sector, and the pace of money coming in has picked up substantially in the last quarter.

According to the latest figures in Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report and Deals Database, startup leaders across 27 AR/VR sectors raised $1 billion in capital in Q4 2017. This brings total investment in 2017 to $2.5 billion in 2017, meaning that a whopping two-fifths of the total investment in the sector has come in October and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Research.

Airbnb developing a VR property viewing solution

Airbnb is in the process of developing a VR/AR feature that will let users get a feel for rental properties.

The company wrote in a recent blog post that it wants to add 3D scans and 360 photos to its website, in order to allow people to get a better sense of the actual scale and layout of a property. VR has been on the company’s radar for at least year, with VP of engineering Mike Curtis saying in 2016 that the technology could be used to forge a closer connection between the company and its...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

WayRay uses AR to transform your windscreen

WayRay, a swiss-based tech company, is looking to use AR technology to turn the windscreen of your car into a holographic navigation system that works as part of a connected car system.

The company was founded in 2012 by Vitaly Ponomarev was involved in a traffic accident while he was distracted trying to adjust his GPS system. The subsequent four years of development have led to the company being awarded the grand prize at the Los Angeles Auto Show start-up competition.

The company uses a device named...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Apple pays $30 million for AR startup Vrvana

Rumours are circulating, based on a recent article by Bloomberg, that Apple is really beginning to devote resources towards launching an AR headset in 2020. The company’s latest acquisition, an AR hardware company from Canada, would seem to putting them one step closer to that goal.

Apple have purchased Vrvana for $30 million. The Canadian company already have an AR headset, called Totem, although it is currently unreleased.

Vrvana describe the Totem headset as an ‘extended reality’ device...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 23 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Forrester: AR will begin to eclipse VR in 2018

2018 will see AR begin to overtake VR as a marketing tool, according to influential research firm Forrester.

The company have released their predictions on a range of marketing and technology related topics for 2018. Analyst Thomas Husson thinks that AR’s main strength is that it is a more natural extension to existing mobile behaviors and does not require the use of new and expensive equipment.

These key features offer more marketing use cases and a broader reach to a wider slice of consumers.

VR, on...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

AR surgery company raises £15 million in funding

London-based startup Touch Surgery has raised £15 million ($20 million) in funding for its AR surgery headsets.

The funding came from US venture capital firm 8VC, the company that invested in Oculus VR before it was later acquired by Facebook.

The headset, called Go Surgery, utilises the Microsoft HoloLens to give medical trainees a live video feed of a professional surgeon, which is overlaid with virtual guides and step by step instructions.

The latest round of funding brings Touch Surgery’s...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Microsoft.

Mirra sees itself as the Squarespace of VR

 

One thing that can put people off trying their hand at VR and AR is the mountains of coding that needs to be done. For many people, the technical skills needed to make their ideas a reality is impediment enough.

But what if you could create virtual environments without having to input a single line of code? Well, that is what Mirra is aiming to do.

Availible as a public beta, Mirra is a 3D design tool and platform as a service that wants to help people create and distribute immersive environments in a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Developers, Platforms.

Magic Leap has now raised $1.8 billion – but still hasn’t revealed what it’s working on

Magic Leap, the mysterious still-in-stealth company that is developing an AR headset, has announced that it has raised $502 million in Series D equity funding.

This means that the company, which was founded in 2011, has now secured over a gargantuan $1.8 billion in funding. What makes all of this so interesting is that the company has yet to give any public indication of what it is doing or what the end product might be like.

The latest round of funding was led by the Singapore investment firm Tamesek...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Release of ARKit leading to surge of consumer interest in AR platforms

You can call it the ‘Apple effect’ and it may just be about to launch AR into the mainstream.

Following the launch of the iPhone 8, iOS 11 and the new ARKit platform, it is clear that Apple is predicting big things for AR.

And where Apple goes, hordes of eager consumers tend to follow. When you add this to the fact that Google has also recently released its ARCore platform for Android developers, it is clear that consumers will be seeing a lot more AR in the coming months.

New research also shows...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

The Walking Dead comes to AR

AR is coming to the world of advertising in a big way. As both Google and Apple release their development tool, it is likely that consumers will begin to see a lot more AR marketing campaigns in the near future.

Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t already awesome examples of the medium at work. As fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead get ready for the season eight premiere, they can satiate their hunger with a AR app created by Trigger.

The app, which includes on-pack and in-store branding from...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, AR.

New wave of AR capable smartphones incoming

IFA 2017 in Berlin has seen a range of players in the smartphone market unveil their latest smartphone models. There has been a common theme of amongst these releases: they all feature hardware advancements that will facilitate AR experiences going forward.  

The joint focus on introducing AR imaging capabilities indicates that the big tech players think that AR is going to go fully mainstream within the next year.

Let’s have a look at some of the different devices that were introduced to us at IFA...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Google releases ARCore

Google has announced the release of its new SDK ARCore which was made available for download on 28 August 2017.

ARCore brings AR capabilities to existing and future Android phones. The release marks a subtle shift in the Google’s AR strategy, which formally began with the launch of Project Tango in 2014.

While Tango worked by loading user’s smartphones up with custom sensors, ARCore uses software to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 August 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Android, AR.

AR moves by big players set stage for rapid growth in consumer and enterprise apps

The AR app market for both consumers and enterprises is set for rapid growth as big technology players like Apple begin to make substantial moves, according to The VR Fund.

The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm thinks that Apples’ and Facebooks recent activity is set to fuel a ‘platform war’. The firm has released its industry landscape for Q2 2017, and is predicting overall growth in the industry, as well as increased investment and international impact.

“Over the past...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Mira launches $99 Prism AR headset

Startup Mira is making a bold move into the AR market with its Prism headset. The headset, which is currently open for pre-order at $99, uses the iPhone as its power source.

The small price tag (roughly £75 or AU$125) is well below the $3,000 retail price of the Microsoft HoloLens. This is possible because the headset follows a similar approach to the Google Cardboard, except with the iPhone.

Mira apps run on an iPhone that is placed into the headset and in turn forms part of the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Disney and Lenovo producing AR headset

Lenovo has announced that it is collaborating with Disney on a new AR headset.

The headset will be released in conjunction with the upcoming AR experience Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.

The product puts fans of the all-conquering space opera the opportunity to relive some of their favourite moments from the films from an entirely new perspective.

 Aside from the fact that the project exists, nothing else is known about the new headset, including whether it will be...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Will enterprise rather than consumers drive VR/AR adoption?

The predicted VR boom that was being touted last year has so yet to really materialise in 2017.

Despite heavy investment, truckloads of hype and an ever-growing army of start-ups, consumers haven’t yet really warmed to the technology.

In the B2B and enterprise application space, however, VR/AR looks to be gathering momentum.

Research firm Tractica predicts that enterprise spending will outstrip consumer spending on VR/AR in the next few years.

Tractica estimates a CAGR of 60% for enterprise spending on...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 June 2017, 1 comment. Categories: AR, Enterprise.