1. AR Headset startup Daqri is reportedly shutting down. Lucas Matney writes that TechCrunch has obtained an email where the company has told its customers that it is pursuing an asset sale shutting down its cloud and smart-glasses platforms by the end of September. According to a 2017 Wall Street Journal report, Daqri has raised $275 million in funding, but it has been struggling to compete with other offerings in that space such as Microsoft's HoloLens and Magic Leap. Daqri's 18,000 square foot Los Angeles headquarters is currently listed as “available” but no representatives from the company responded to TC's comment requests so far. – TECHCRUNCH
2. Next Reality has released its 2019 list of 30 People to Watch in Augmented Reality. This year's NR30 list certainly features a much better gender balance than Forbes' infamous Innovative Leaders ranking, yet with 23 men for only 7 women there is certainly still room for improvement. 19 people featured in the 2018 edition have dropped from this year's list, with some notable companies having gone under. Ultimately, they write in the article introducing the nominees, "augmented reality is still a volatile, experimental field where few use cases have broken through to mainstream success (...) nonetheless, 2019 may very well set the stage for a massive year in 2020." – NEXT REALITY
3. Follow Friday: Luciana Carvalho
Apart from being a fantastic voice for inclusion and diversity in the immersive space as co-founder of advocacy group Unfold UK Luciana Carvalho's feed provides a great feel for the XR industry pulse through her work as Head of Partnerships at creative content studio @REWINDco which delivers immersive experiences for the world’s largest studios, agencies, and brands.
As well as being a Founder, Mentor and Entrepreneur, she's also a TEDx Speaker and chair of the influential @TLA_ARVR, and Chief Evangelist at The Realities Centre, located in Shoreditch, London, which addresses the lack of AR and VR specific co-working spaces with the UK’s capital. So if you're into XR there's no shortage of reasons to hit follow on @lcarvalhose.
4. TIME's latest AR experience shows you the Dying Amazon forest in Augmented Reality. Narrated by none other than legendary scientist Dr Jane Goodall, this poignant experience places the viewer deep in the remotest forests of Brazil and includes a sobering piece on how the Amazon Rainforests ecosystem has reached a point of no return. To create the experience, reporter Matt Sandy went into the jungle with two AR producers to film footage with drone-mounted hi-def cameras which captured 3D scans that could then be displayed in augmented reality. Available on the TIME Immersive app for iOS and Android, the launch of "The Amazon: The Dying Forest" coincides with the special edition of TIME Magazine which focuses on the current ongoing climate crisis using the magazine’s cover as the mechanism to launch the AR experience. – VRSCOUT
5. ShareAR wants to address privacy concerns for users of shared multi-user immersive environments. When AR becomes a multi-user experience, this raises a host of privacy concerns, Dr. Elizabeth Fernandez writes for Forbes. She adds that embedding virtual objects in the real world for others to find is akin to sharing a file online, apart from the fact that users can only see the file/object/data in the location in which that object was placed, and that placement requires the scanning of the user's surrounding environment. The ShareAR app developed by researchers at the University of Washington makes it easier for people to protect themselves against those who might hijack a shared AR experience, or whose AR content may be stolen or vandalized. With a click, users can share objects or make them private.The developers of ShareAR hope that these controls will give everyday users an ability to protect themselves against some of the vulnerabilities of the multi-user AR experience.– FORBES
6. Integrating Augmented Reality into design platforms such as BIM is proving a successful strategy for several construction companies. Chicago-based Pepper Construction, in collaboration with UIC, American Campus Communities, and architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz, created a 3D laser scan of each floor in a new housing and academic facility at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), both before and after the concrete was poured. By pairing the Microsoft HoloLens with BIM software, the team was able to verify specific installation specs throughout the infrastructure with much greater ease, saving days of delays and thousands of dollars in potential fixes. – ARCHINECT
7. Google's latest ARCore update aims to improve its Cloud Anchor and Multiuser AR functionalities. Google’s Cloud Anchors API lets developers create a shared, cross-platform AR experience for Android and iOS, and host these through Google’s Cloud services. Users can then add virtual objects to a scene, and share them with others so they view and interact simultaneously.The changes are meant to bring a more robust 3D feature map to Cloud Anchors and make multi-user experiences faster and more reliable. The company is also rolling out support for its 3D face filter API Augmented Faces, which it introduced on iOS last year. – ROAD TO VR
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: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).