Inside XR - October 25th, 2019

Inside XR (Oct 25th, 2019)

Samsung To Make Facebook Glasses Chips / $1 Million AR Monopoly / Ghostbusters and Sony's Immersive Strategy

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1. Apple is rated third largest smart glasses player before even launching a product. Digi-Capital and Augmented World Expo (AWE) surveyed 76  augmented and virtual reality CEOs, C-suite executives, corporate vice presidents, and AWE community members, who placed "potential Apple smart glasses" as the No. 3 brand behind the HoloLens and Magic Leap. Digi-Capital directors Tim Merel and Isabelle Hierholtz identified a range of challenges ahead for consumer smart glasses, including a hero device, battery life, connectivity, app ecosystem, and price, but believe enterprise smart glasses could find millions of users by 2023. The analysis also shows ARKit, ARCore and Unity AR Foundation are the three top mobile AR platforms. Amazon Sumerian landed 20 percent of developer mentions just behind Facebook Spark AR at 23 percent, with ARKit ARPU is over 2x that of Google's ARCore. – ZDNET

2. Samsung Electronics will reportedly manufacture custom chips for Facebook’s AR glasses. David Heaney looks into a translated report by Korean outlet The Electronic Times, which claims that the Samsung manufactured chip will “collect and process various information that comes into Facebook’s AR glasses”. Although the wording of the report is somewhat unclear, it appears to describe a tracking chip that would supplement rather than replace the Qualcomm processing chips used to operate much of Quest’s system, making the tracking function more power-efficient. The report also claims that there is a “high chance” that the AR-focused chip will be manufactured with Samsung’s latest 7nm process, the same used to produce the SoC for the Galaxy Note 10. 7nm is the smallest (and most efficient) node size currently available, – UPLOADVR

3. – FOLLOW FRIDAY – Blender sushi guy

Jimmy Gunawan is an indie artist based in Sydney, Australia, and is known online as Blender Sushi Guy. His YouTube Channel has a wealth of computer graphics, animation, and experimental videos that show off his computer graphics artistic skills with a variety of tools such as Maya, Houdini, and Blender. A self-taught programmer, he has a particular interest and passion in procedural generation of sound, visualization, and interactivity. His Augmented Reality videos on Twitter are a wonder to behold, and well worth a follow @jimmygunawanapp but be warned that his is an extremely busy feed with a lot of excellent retweets of other interesting content as well as his own prolific output. Do be sure to at least check out his awesome crabby video, you can thank me later. 

4.  An Augmented Reality app will let South Korean users interact with live shopping channel programs on their phones. LG TV (a subsidiary of LG telecom) network viewers will be able to point their compatible iOS and Android devices at their TV screens and activate a series of branded augmented reality experiences, complete with 3D models, interactive popups, and various other immersive elements. They can also take digital representations of the products featured and place them in their own real-world environments before purchasing them directly by tapping on the AR model. Additionally, LG Uplus 5G subscribers will also receive 5% off products advertised in augmented reality. The feature was built using Eyecandylab’s SDKis and is currently only available in South Korea to LG TV owners. – VRSCOUT  

5. PTC has acquired Onshape to combine AR data management and collaboration capabilities. Tommy Palladino points to the fact that the proliferation of AR apps is fuelling demand for 3D content, hence PTC's latest move to acquire computer-aided design (CAD) software company Onshape for $470 million. Like PTC's previous acquisition Vuforia, the company will operate as a business unit within PTC, giving it additional footing in the Magic Leap ecosystem, since Jon Hirschtick, the CEO and co-founder of Onshape, has also served as an advisor to Magic Leap and been a long-time friend of Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz. – NEXT REALITY  

6. Six U.S. cities will host Augmented Reality Monopoly games with real prizes totaling $1 Million. Ally Bank is hosting the location-based AR treasure hunt in Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York, and Seattle. The campaign was created in partnership with ad agencies Anomaly and MediaCom and production company m ss ng p eces. and powered by 8th Wall's technology. The experience places giant Monopoly tokens and property spaces around real-world environments and players aged 18+ can use their smartphones during daylight hours to try to win up to $50,000 in cash, a new Jeep Wrangler, and other prizes totaling $1 million as well as helping to raise money for their local Junior Achievement chapter. – CAMPAIGN LIVE

7.  Travis Hoium believes Sony’s Ghostbusters AR experience recently unveiled in Ginza Sony Park in Japan signals the company’s next move into AR. Pointing to the fact that sales figures for the PSVR surpass those of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive combined, Hoium says the company could become a disruptive tech stock once again as AR and VR increasingly converge in headsets that can perform both functions seamlessly depending on content and context.  "Sony's unique position It is also a technology company that consumers trust," he writes, adding that building systems like an AR Ghostbusters experience can give Sony a way to prove the technology's value in a consumer setting before people take the product home for themselves. "What I'm watching for is how users respond to its Ghostbusters content and how that compares with what companies like Apple and Facebook build," he concludes – THE MOTLEY FOOL  

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).

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