2018, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, Companies, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, HTC, Mobile, News, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Lenovo introduces quartet of new AR and VR technologies

Lenovo used this week’s CES in Las Vegas to highlight several aspects of their 2018 product and service lineup in the augmented reality and virtual reality spaces. These announcements spanned both consumer and commercial/industrial applications, and include the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, Mirage Camera, C220 Smart Glasses and NBD AH Cloud 2.0. Lenovo Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera with Daydream Billed as a “new take on VR consumption and creation,” this complementary product duo is targeted primarily at consumer markets. The Mirage Solo stands as the first stand-alone headset offering that is part of Google’s Daydream platform; an ill-fated offering from HTC was announced and

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Enterprise, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Pico Interactive and uSens join hands

Headset manufacturer Pico Interactive, Inc. and HCI system developer uSens., Inc. have established a partnership that will see the Pico Goblin all-in-one VR headset incorporate uSens’ hand-tracking technology. The announcement came at this week’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas. “uSens and Pico already have a long-standing relationship, originating from developing custom business solutions together,” said uSens CTO and co-founder Dr. Yue Fei. “We are excited to formally work together into 2018 to bring our HCI solutions to their user base, as we see all-in-one and mobile headsets as the driving force behind growth in the VR market,” he continued. The partnership will see uSens’ 26DOF

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), energy, Hardware, News, Wearables

CES: HiScene demos communication-focused AR glasses

HiScene, a Chinese provider of AR products and services is demoing it’s recently-launched HiAR augmented reality glasses at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The product, which is intended for fields including aerospace, power, automotive manufacturing and education, previously won an Innovation Award at CES Asia and the Red Dot Design Award 2017. Notably, the company says their product is the first mass-produced binocular AR smart glasses in China. According to HiScene, the glasses improve brightness and heat dissipation compared to earlier models, while also featuring a minimalist user interface that is particularly well-suited to augmented reality. Of further interest is that the glasses integrate

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2018, Android, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile, News, Samsung, Smartphones

CES: uSens strives to bring augmented reality to billions of users

HCI systems manufacturer uSens, Inc. announced the availability of uSensAr, a smartphone augmented reality engine, this week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. uSensAR is designed to run optimally on lower-end Android hardware, including systems with lower-resolution cameras and comparatively underpowered CPUs. “ARcore currently only serves about 30 million Android phones, which is just five percent of the entire Android smartphone ecosystem,” said Dr. Yue Fei, uSens CTO and co-founder. The company indicated their platform could expand the reach of AR technologies to an estimated two billion smartphones. “With the release of uSensAR, we are allowing developers, smartphone manufacturers, and content creators to build those

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2018, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Mobile, News, Wearables, Wearables

CES: Lumus provides sneak peak of its AR pipeline

Lumus, a developer of transparent displays for augmented reality hardware is showcasing its latest technological innovations this week, at CES 2018. The company is demoing both its new Vision optical engine — a solution in the AR visor space — and is also providing a sneak-peak of technologies that will be used to empower a glasses-style AR device. The Vision engine boasts a top-down, 40 degree field of view at 1080 pixel resolution in full colour and daylight viewability, displayed via transparent lenses that do not distort the user’s view of their natural environment. “From ongoing discussions with tier one companies and major ODMs working

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2018, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), News, Smart Home

CES: Coffee machine and AR mirror turn conversational

SoundHound Inc., a developer of AI and conversational intelligence technologies, this week introduced a range of integrations empowered by their Houndify Voice AI platform. Demonstrations of some of those integrations will occur at this week’s CES in Las Vegas. The integrations run a very wide range of IoT categories, including automotive, connected speakers, robotics, appliances, augmented reality experiences, smart home, and wearables, from companies including Hyundai, HUMAX, Mayfield Robotics, AvatarMind Robots, PhotoSpring and Onkyo. “Conversational voice interfaces represent the next shift in how we interact with the devices around us and the user behavior of speaking to things will quickly become an integral part of

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2018, Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Internet, Microsoft, Mobile, Mobile Computing, News, Smartphones, Wearables

CES: Rokid unveils AR glasses prototype

AI and robotics firm Rokid has unveiled a prototype of its planned augmented reality product, Rokid Glass, this week at CES. The company, better known for its home assistant products (that bear similarities in looks and functionality to Amazon’s Alexa Dot and Google’s Home Mini), appears to be making its first foray into the augmented reality space. Reportedly, the glasses will operate as a standalone headset, but also provide functionality to connect to smartphones or other devices via Bluetooth or WiFi to bolster processing power and network range. The glasses run a variant of Android 6.0 — suggesting it may eventually leverage Google’s ARCore to

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Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), News

Amazon patent reflects another push into 1.7 trillion dollar industry

A patent issued on the first business day of the new year may herald a breakthrough in online fashion retailing. US Patent 9,858,719 was Issued on January 2nd to Amazon Services Inc. It suggests the company is developing an augmented reality-type system consisting of a mirror, display and camera combination that allows individuals to virtually preview the look of clothing prior to purchase, and to do so while also virtualizing their locale. The invention, as described, appears to go a long way towards solving the many issues pertaining to look and fit that tend to plague the purchase of fashion items online. Currently, these challenges

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, iOS, Mobile, News, VR World

Augmented Reality FPS WAR of the AI releases on iOS

Trailblazing VR is a startup company focused on pushing forward women in the VR/AR development. Their first game is War of the AI, developed using Apple’s ARKit tools (like the LEGO game we covered a while back) and available for free on iOS. While War of the AI has a somewhat ‘dull’ name, what it does – is quite impressive. War of the AI is a first-person shooter that’s playable in augmented reality, which has been done before (with the help of peripherals, e.g. Father.io), but not quite like this. War of the AI doesn’t require any extra peripherals, and utilizing ARKit’s features, enables a full

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR and AR shipments to grow 517% by 2021

Market intelligence firm IDC sees substantial growth in store for the VR and AR markets, with shipments expected to reach 59.2 million headsets by 2021, up from 9.6 million this year. These projects come in IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker” research report, published last week. The firm notes that low-cost, screenless VR viewers (e.g. headsets that utilize smartphones) have dominated the market to date, but sees this category losing market share going forward, with a shift into tethered and standalone VR/AR solutions. According to their report, screenless viewers will represent less than 15% of the total VR/AR market in 2021, with

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, News

Google dances away from Tango

Google has announced that they are moving on from Tango, their augmented reality platform, in favour of their newer ARCore platform. The announcement came via Twitter last Friday. “We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018,” the Tango team said in a Tweet. “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,” they concluded. Tango’s fate appears to be largely a result of software becoming more capable. While Tango required cameras and IR sensors to locate and orient itself to objects in

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, , Tablets, VR World, Windows

Lens Studio lets anyone create AR effects for Snapchat

Snap, the company behind prominent messaging app Snapchat, has released Lens Studio, a software for producing augmented reality effects for still photos and videos. What used to be an in-house application is now in the hands of all who want to dabble in creating their own AR experiences for use in Snapchat. Lens Studio is Snap’s second app, and it’s available on Mac OS X and Windows. The release of this design platform is actually the most recent in a series of similar stories: Facebook opened its AR platform earlier this week, as well as Amazon earlier this month. With Lens Studio opening up to advertisers

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets

“High-touch” fashion industry sees advent of AR technologies

The traditionally “high-touch” fashion industry is among the latest to embrace augmented reality, with the advent of Code and Craft’s new AR Product Catalog tool. The mobile app, which utilizes Apple’s ARKit technology, allows fashion vendors to showcase their collections in an augmented reality environment. The company says the technology allows them to replace the traditionally expensive sample interaction process with a “life-like 3D online showroom experience.” Women’s apparel brand Maggy London International is the first to pilot the new technology. Notably, the AR experience of the product catalog is also integrated into their ERP system, which allows viewers to access key product information such

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Augmented Reality (AR), , News, , VR World

Facebook’s AR Studio opens for all developers

In April of this year, Facebook opened up the AR Studio platform for in-house development of augmented reality applications. AR Studio boasts many features for developers, including face-tracking, real-time data integration, 3D rendering and more. Yesterday, the company finally opened the studio to all third-party developers who want to utilize it. If you aren’t too deep into the world of development, you may not immediately know why this matters. To put it in simple terms, big tech companies like Facebook opening up their tools to developers worldwide makes development cheaper and easier, especially for independent developers or studios that couldn’t otherwise afford to make these

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Augmented Reality (AR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

AirBNB exploring augmented and virtual reality

In a recent blog post, hospitality service company AirBNB discussed the role of augmented and virtual reality in their business. Citing the expansion of VR and AR technologies, the company sees opportunities to make travel easier and more engaging. On the pre-trip side, AirBNB indicated they are exploring ways to “allow people to connect with their destination, host, and co-travelers.” This could include more immersive location preview technologies, such as 360 degree photos and 3D scans — empowering prospective renters to immersively view properties. Further into the future, the company sees the possibility of weaving together VR experiences to allow customers to “share more than

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Augmented Reality (AR), Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Acer releases first Windows Mixed Reality headset in India

Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer Acer this week introduced their Windows mixed reality headset to consumers in India. The announcement came at the conclusion of the Acer-sponsored Predator League gaming event in Bengaluru. The headset, which boasts a 2880 x 1440p resolution and up to 90 Hz refresh rate, was released in North America in early October. The headset also features a 13-foot cable. Pricing in India is not yet available, although will likely be near US pricing, which is approximately 19,200 Rs. given exchange rates at the time of this article. This is, notably, the first Windows MR headset to be made available in India.

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

VR, MR and AI features to play prominent role at Sundance Film Festival

Next year’s Sundance Film Festival will see a very prominent role for VR, MR and AI-centric productions, based on a media release by the Sundance Institute. More than twenty films, experiences and installations variously utilizing AI, MR, and VR technologies will be part of the upcoming festival, which runs from January 18 to 28, 2018, in Park City, Utah. The productions have been fostered as part of Sundance’s New Frontier initiative. Launched in 2007, it is directed at curating productions “at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology.” This latest production batch follows from an open call for VR work earlier

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Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, VR World

Mapbox Acquires Fitness AR

Mapbox, an open-source location data platform for mobile and web applications, recently acquired Fitness AR. For those who aren’t familiar with Mapbox, you’re probably familiar with the applications that utilize it: Lyft, Snapchat, and other popular apps all use Mapbox’s location services to power their applications. Fitness AR, meanwhile, is an iOS application that utilizes Apple’s ARKit, a framework for the development of augmented reality applications on iOS devices. Even prior to being acquired by Mapbox, Fitness AR made use of Mapbox to display map terrain within its application. This isn’t the only business that Mapbox has acquired in recent memory. In fact, it’s not

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Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Amazon launches Sumerian, a new VR/AR development platform

Amazon is one of the biggest names in tech, and this doesn’t stop with its status as a storefront. Another way Amazon has made its impact known is through its Amazon Web Services, which serve as a backend for applications worldwide. AWS offers server infrastructure and tools well beyond the scope of typical indie developers, and for this reason, it’s a favorite among enterprises and indies alike. So when Amazon makes an announcement in this space, everyone pays attention. Sumerian, software tools debuted by the retail giant, is an extension to the Amazon Web Services platform, and it focuses on the creation of virtual reality,

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Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, News, VR World

Nissan’s new AR experience to leverage the Star Wars universe

Nissan is poised to unveil an augmented reality experience throughout their North American showrooms that intends to educate customers on the automaker’s safety- and driving assistance-related technologies. The Nissan “See the Unseen” experience, which leverages characters from the Star Wars universe including stormtroopers and droids, will be rolled out by early December, preceding the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. “In our collaboration with Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we have brought ‘Retail Theater’ to Nissan showrooms and found exciting ways to engage customers with a new world of technology,” explained Jeremy Tucker, vice president of Marketing for Nissan North America. “While

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