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

New real-time 3D lighting technique heralded as “Holy Grail”

A pair of computer scientists from Aalto University in Otaniemi, Finland, will soon present a new approach to computing real-time lighting effects that represents a major improvement in both efficiency and accuracy over existing methods. The new technique was developed by Ari Silvennoinen, a PhD candidate in computer science and Jaakko Lehtinen, an associate professor of computer science and scientist at NVIDIA. They pair will be presenting their research at the ACM’s SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 conference in Bangkok this week. Current lighting approaches in games and VR environments are computationally intensive, particularly if software attempts to perform pixel-by-pixel computation of all light paths in a

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

Mozilla Announces Mixed Reality Development Program

Mozilla unveiled a new development program and team that will build upon their existing work to bring VR and AR technologies to the web. The program will focus on the integration of devices, headsets, frameworks and toolsets to increase flexibility in VR/AR web development. The organization indicated that although they have been working in this space for over a year, this new team was formalized only in recent weeks. In their announcement, the organization pointed out that although there have been substantial developments this year in bringing VR/AR technologies to the web, there are still gaps in terms of cross-platform compatibility. Mozilla indicates their new

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Hardware, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

More hints emerge about Apple’s AR effort

While the web is perennially rife with speculation about Apple’s plans to develop a hardware device in the AR/VR space, a somewhat under-the-radar story out of Taiwan may shed a bit more light on the company’s plans. As reported by the Nikkei Asian Review, one of Apple’s supply chain partners, MacBook and Watch assembler Quanta Computer, hinted during their most recent earnings conference call that they may be playing a significant role in the development of an augmented reality device. Reportedly, such a device built by Quanta would be released no later than 2019. Although Quanta executives did not state for whom they would be

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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, News

MAC Cosmetics embraces augmented reality

On Tuesday, MAC Cosmetics announced the launch of an augmented reality mirror that allows customers to preview how certain MAC shades and looks will appear when applied to their own faces. The mirrors are based on a 3D video makeup rendering technology developed by Canadian firm Modiface. Called “Virtual MAC,” the AR mirrors have been introduced in US standalone MAC locations, setting the stage for a broader global rollout early next year. “The new ModiFace-powered mirrors provide an unprecedented level of realism and fidelity that bring to life our brand’s unique sense of colour and artistry,” said Tim Tareco SVP Global Creative, Visual Merchandising +

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Entertainment, Mobile, News, Smartphones, VR World

Stranger Things Season 2 Gets An AR Snapchat Tie-In

Did you hear? Stranger Things Season 2 is out, and Snapchat has apparently implemented a full AR tie-in for its release. Snapchat has offered various filters for some time now, but with the addition of world lenses (made late last year), the application is now capable of light augmented reality experiences. Most world lenses for Snapchat aren’t very interactive and are just a way to line up a cool Snap or two. The new Stranger Things-themed world lenses, however, allow you to interact with the iconic lights from Joyce Byers’ living room. Tapping different items in the AR recreation of this location from Stranger Things,

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Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Business, News, Smart Home, Smartphones, VR World

“IKEA Place” AR App Now Shows How Your KIVIK looks in the Daylight

Swedish-based furniture manufacturer IKEA is known for not just designing and manufacturing assemble-it-yourself furniture, but for being the pioneer of its kind by letting technology inform its business. According to Wired.com, there is a new app called Ikea Place that’s not just bringing Swedish shelves and tables to life in your living room, but also lets you put your sofa on the street if you feel like doing it. Previously, IKEA already had released a Catalog app with a similar 3D visualization tool, but the user interface was tiny and it required the physical paper catalog for it to work properly. “IKEA Place makes it

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Business, Event, Google, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones

Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X will Boost AR Market

iPhone X

At the very first event in Steve Jobs Theater at its new headquarters, Apple Inc. announced a series of devices, including the new smartwatch “Watch Series 3”, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (realistically, these are iPhone 7S and 7S Plus) refreshments, and the king of the event – a $1000 iPhone X (pronounced ten), with X marking 10th anniversary since iPhone 2G came to market. All three phones are powered by a powerful A11 Bionic SoC processor, bringing a set of next-generation features to all three phones, with Augmented Reality and FaceID perhaps being the most impressive ones. Augmented Reality, in that way, superimposes digital

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Business, Education, Entertainment, Hardware, iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, startups, VR World, Wearables

Mira Launches Prism AR Headset for Apple, Can it Break into Mainstream?

The race to be the key Augmented Reality company is on. While some companies are promising the world, some are working in secret to address as much population as possible, and make the experience interactive and appealing to the masses. Mira, an AR startup from Los Angeles completed its seed round and announced pre-orders for its Prism AR headset for palatable $99. What could make the difference for the Prism AR headset is its software platform: unlike numerous Android-powered devices, Mira is focusing solely on Apple iOS devices, and interactive element between persons wearing Prism AR headset and users that can see the AR content through

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AMD, Apple, BMW, Breaking, Business, Exclusive, , Intel, Microsoft, News, Nvidia

Top 10 Stories to Read on April 20th

Starting today, on April 20th we’re launching a new daily section covering the latest news from the world of technology. Every day we’ll try to bring Top 10 stories for you to read and eny. We hope you’ll enjoy them. Hold on, memory will be cheaper (soon?) http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20170418PD203.html “Major NAND flash suppliers including Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology and Toshiba have rolled out 64-layer 3D NAND flash products, said the sources. SK Hynix has even introduced what the company claims is the industry’s first 72-layer 3D NAND flash chips.” Microsoft explains why the company opted against combining Polaris GPU with RYZEN CPU architecture http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-the-scorpio-engine-in-depth “There are

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