How BP is using mixed reality – and HoloLens in particular – for its upstream operations

If you think of the oil and gas industry, then BP, as one of the seven ‘supermajors’, will feature prominently in many people’s thoughts. The company has many emerging technology initiatives in place, from artificial intelligence to blockchain, yet mixed reality – the co-existence of physical and digital worlds,...

By James Bourne, 05 December 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Enterprise, Hardware, Microsoft, Research.

The New Yorker launches augmented reality cartoon series

The New Yorker has launched an augmented reality-based (AR) series of cartoons in addition to its previous campaigns around the technology.

The offering, called ‘Animate Objects’ and part of the revamped New Yorker Today app, allows users to point their smartphones at various everyday items and see an animation in return from New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck.

The product...

By James Bourne, 26 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Solving the two biggest problems in AR could lead to a $10 billion increase in value by 2026

Augmented reality (AR) can be seen as a major trend – indeed, its potential is set to outstrip that of virtual reality (VR). But a technical challenge lies ahead.

According to a new whitepaper from Adlens, a provider of adaptive focus lens technologies, alongside analyst Greenlight Insights, solving the two key issues plaguing augmented reality could unlock an incremental $10 billion in addressable market value by 2026.

By James Bourne, 09 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Developers, Hardware, Platforms, Regulation, Research.

Facebook to launch Horizon virtual reality ecosystem: Will this fulfil Oculus’ long-awaited promise?

Facebook has been biding its time a full five years after it bought Oculus – but with the launch of virtual reality ecosystem Horizon, it could be the start of a major push for both the company and the technology.

The app is aimed at being a ‘mix of social places where users can mingle and chat, and other areas where they can play games against each other’,

By James Bourne, 30 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Gaming.

WaveOptics closes series C funding round at $39 million after additional investment

Here is proof the virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) market is thriving: WaveOptics, a UK-based designer of optical components for augmented reality devices, has announced an additional $13 million (£10m) in funding to close an oversubscribed series C funding round at $39m.

The company aims to solve three primary problems associated with AR wearables; design, cost, and optical...

By James Bourne, 10 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Developers.

How virtual reality is being used for workplace training – to create greater empathy

VR worlds are arenas which frequently take you away from the mundane and move into the magical. Yet a key long-term use case for virtual reality could be around the mundane – and sometimes uncomfortable – tasks in the workplace.

Retail giant Walmart has long since been an advocate of VR for training its staff. The company utilises Oculus to give employees direction on various scenarios. “We can create scenarios that may...

By James Bourne, 12 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies, Enterprise, Platforms.

Microsoft joins XR Association in ‘significant milestone’

Microsoft has joined the XR Association (XRA), joining Facebook, Google, HTC Vive, Samsung and Sony as members.

The trade association, which represents technology manufacturers across virtual, augmented and mixed reality, ‘further signifies the Association’s broadening scope and representation of the XR industry’, according to the press materials.

This is not overly surprising...

By James Bourne, 22 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands, Ecosystems, Microsoft.

Consumers believe in ‘extended reality’ for future entertainment and retail ecosystem

The majority of consumers in the UK believe in an ‘extended reality’ (XR) future according to new research – although comparatively few have tried it out.

The findings appear in a new study from SYZYGY Extended Realities, which polled more than 1,000 UK citizens on their knowledge and perceptions of virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

Almost three quarters (71%) of...

By James Bourne, 02 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

VR and AR spending to rocket by 2023 fuelled by enterprise use cases, says IDC

The virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets may be under something of a strain right now, but the future looks positive – at least according to the latest IDC analysis.

According to the analyst house, global spending on AR and VR is set to hit $160 billion in 2023 – up significantly from the $16.8bn forecast for this year. IDC expects this figure to come from accelerating demand in the commercial and public...

By James Bourne, 04 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Research.

100 million consumers will shop with AR online and in-store by 2022, says Gartner

An optimistic analysis on the augmented reality (AR) market from Gartner: the analyst house has predicted 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-store by 2022.

The findings appear in the company’s latest report – ‘Include 5G and Next-Generation Wireless in Roadmaps to Elevate In-Store Retail Customer Experience’ – whose title is more of a command than a comment. Gartner argues...

By James Bourne, 01 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey: Rift S is great – but 30% of users won’t be able to use it

The Oculus Rift S is set to be a considerable upgrade on what has come before and aims to give gamers and enthusiasts ‘the most immersive content that VR has to offer’ when it launches later this year.

One enthusiast who probably won’t be shelling out, however, is Palmer Luckey. The Oculus co-founder has argued in a...

By James Bourne, 27 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Ecosystems, Hardware, Platforms.

I’m Fine VR project aims to raise awareness and educate around suicide prevention

VoidVR, an independent virtual reality (VR) development studio, has announced the launch of I’m Fine, a new educational project aimed at suicide awareness.

The project, which will be available for free on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive from July, is aimed at being ‘used as a means of experiencing what sufferers of suicidal thoughts go through in their darkest hours… [to] better understand [them].’

By James Bourne, 25 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems.

Executives see bright future for VR, AR and XR particularly in gaming – but barriers to adoption remain

The vast majority of technology executives surveyed by global law firm Perkins Coie say they expect immersive technologies of virtual, augmented and mixed reality to become as ubiquitous as mobile devices within six years.

The research, conducted alongside the XR Association, noted the state of investment in the space, which surged in late 2018. Q4/2018 saw spike in global venture capital deal value to $1.7 billion in AR and...

By James Bourne, 19 March 2019, 1 comment. Categories: AR, Ecosystems, Gaming, Research.

Man spends entire week in VR headset, notes strength of community despite missing nature

Jak Wilmot, co-founder of Atlanta-based VR agency Disrupt VR, spent an entire week locked into a VR headset – and while he missed the ‘energy’ of the natural world, his conclusion was that virtual reality was “whatever you want it to be.”

The experiment – or publicity stunt, delete as appropriate – came with a couple of caveats. Wilmot could take up to 30 seconds out to switch VR...

By James Bourne, 18 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies, Ecosystems, Research.

Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 at $3500 - but the real power is in the cloud-connected add-ons

MWC19 Microsoft has announced the launch of HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona, with the augmented reality (AR) headset being described by the company as an 'important milestone.'

The headset, which will be available later this year at a price of $3500,  has been launched with focus on three specific areas of improvement; immersion, comfort, and time-to-value. HoloLens 2 has a more than doubled field of view combined with holographic density of 47 pixels per degree of sight, alongside eye-tracking sensors and...

By James Bourne, 24 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Microsoft.

VR in healthcare: Great Ormond Street Hospital launches VR tool, Rescape secures funding

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) has launched a virtual reality tool aimed at highlighting the impact of its fundraising on the hospital.

The tool, which was put together with creative agency Rewind, offers a VR tour which offers users the opportunity to explore the hospital’s facilities and wards. Also included are services such as the chapel, play and sensory rooms, which have all benefited...

By James Bourne, 20 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Healthcare, Platforms.

Google gives sneak peek of Maps-enhancing AR visual positioning system

Of all the exciting, time-saving and useful apps out there today, mapping sits somewhat between a rock and a hard place. The maps themselves are vital, but the direction sometimes isn’t.

If you take a look on any busy high street with people staring at their phones, several will be working out just in which direction they have to go from their map. Increasingly – as this reporter can testify from personal...

By James Bourne, 11 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Applications, AR.

Lyft looks to augmented reality to help drivers find their passengers

It’s an increasingly common sight on pavements and roads; people standing semi-aimlessly, phone in hand, frequently checking the GPS and wondering where their taxi is. Lyft is looking to switch this up with a new system which aims to utilise augmented reality (AR) to give greater insights.

The information, which appears in a patent filed in June

By James Bourne, 18 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.