Snap's new AR glasses | Inside XR - August, 14th 2019

Inside XR (Aug 14th, 2019)

Snap's New AR Glasses / Huawei Cyberverse / Lego Hidden Side

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1. Snap will release a new version of its augmented reality sunglasses in November. The "Spectacles 3" will feature updated design and an additional HD camera to create depth of perception. As Casey Newton points out in this review for The Verge, however, the $380 price tag (over twice as much as last year's model which retailed at $150) is likely to put off a lot of Snap's core userbase of high school students. Spectacles allow you to capture photos and videos by tapping a button on top of the glasses, and the device has 4GB of storage, but Newton notes he abandoned previous generations of the device because the snaps didn't automatically sync to a Snapchat account. It's an issue that hasn't been fixed with this latest iteration, which he calls a "missed opportunity." – THE VERGE


2. At its developer conference last weekend, Huawei laid out what a pervasive AR cloud powered by 5G connectivity could look like. The Chinese company dubbed its vision the "Cyberverse," which would combine mapping real-world environments with persistent AR information and interactive interfaces. Adario Strange writes that as AR hardware continues to shrink into mainstream wearables and becomes integrated into 5G networks, they will effectively be an access point into the way we see the world through AR lenses. – NEXT REALITY


3. Italy's largest furniture makers have opened an AR store in New York. Natuzzi's AR showroom experience will use Microsoft's HoloLens 2 headsets to help customers visualize what various pieces would look like in their own home, playing around with variations such as color schemes, fabrics, and finishings. The technology uses photographs, actual measurements, and CAD files to be able to produce reliable 3D rendered images of the customer's home. The company's creative director Pasquale Junior Natuzzi says it expects to roll out the feature to every branch worldwide by 2020. – SCIENCE TIMES


4. After getting some hands-on time with the Galaxy Note 10 smartphone's S pen, Lauren Goode ponders a future beyond the touchscreen. Vik Parthiban, a computer scientist who has been researching AR and gesture control at MIT’s Media Lab, tells Goode that the promise of new gesture control technology is that you won’t have to touch your phone at all, yet the real use cases may emerge in bigger spaces rather than phone screens, as we intuitively manipulate 3D objects in the air. – WIRED


5. Immersive technologies are being embraced by automotive companies from design to sales and beyond. From virtual test-drives to previewing vehicle customization, augmented and virtual reality applications have long been a feature in car dealerships, but users can also use AR applications to find out where their nearest dealership is, get insurance and financing quotes, and even learn about their car's features after the purchase. – FORBES


6. Lego's "Hidden Side" sets represent a significant leap forward in the company's use of augmented reality. The eight sets in the series were built from the ground up specifically for AR gaming, and work with both iOS and Android. The technology recognizes sets instantly, animates characters, and integrates physical and digital elements seamlessly into the ghost-hunting storyline with compelling and well-thought-out gameplay.  – TOM’S HARDWARE


7. A webinar explores how augmented reality is being used by retailers to engage consumers. Industry leaders from companies such as L'Oreal, Deutsche Telekom and Nivea will join a discussion moderated by Magic Leap Enterprise Strategy Director and XR influencer Cathy Hack to discuss the challenges and potential ROI of deploying an AR strategy in retail. Viewers can get a live recording of the discussion by registering here. – TECH TRENDS


8. Light Field Lab has raised $28 million from Bosch Venture Capital, Samsung, Verizon Ventures, Comcast and others. The California-based company plans use the funds to develop its prototype into a commercial product that can create holographic objects that appear to be three dimensional and float in space without the need for head-mounted gear. The technology works by generating a massive number of viewing angles that correctly change with the point of view and location to mimic the way our eyes perceive light in the real world. – UPLOADVR


9. Apple's AR[T] walks are proving popular in cities like New York and San Francisco, where Kif Leswing joined a tour last weekend. The CNBC journalist says that most sessions through the end of the month are already full on the company's website, but advises it is still worth showing up as if there are open slots the Apple shop staff will still accommodate them. The walks will run at least through the end of 2019.– CNBC


10. Tierman Ray visited Varjo's headquarters in Helsinki to find out how the company plans to bridge the gap between virtual and augmented reality experiences with its upcoming headset. The Finnish start-up caused a stir earlier this year when it released its ultra-high-resolution headset, the Varjo VR-1. Its next-generation HMD, the XR-1, however, has an extra high-resolution camera to capture footage of a users' surroundings and uses smart software to fuse the camera and synthetic imagery, seamlessly blending the two and ultimately creating a much more immersive extended reality (hence the XR in the hardware name) experience. – ZDNET


This newsletter was written and curated by Alice Bonasio, a journalist and consultant obsessed with the immersive technology space, including AR/VR/MR/XR and any other acronyms that fit into the realities spectrum. Over the past 15 years, Alice has advised a wide range of start-ups and corporations on digital transformation and communication strategy and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech Trends. She also regularly contributes to publications such as Quartz, Fast Company, Wired, Playboy, The Next Web, Ars Technica, VRScout and many others. Follow her on Twitter @alicebonasio

 

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).


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