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Inside XR (Oct 30th, 2019)

1. Runners and spectators at Sunday's New York City Marathon will be able to use Augmented Reality features to enhance their experience. The official race app for the NYC Marathon was launched this week by The New York Road Runners and Tata Consultancy Services. It includes an interactive spectator guide and the ability for runners to unlock special messages on their race bib from 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan (the unique messages will appear daily from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4). The app is free to download on Apple and Google Play stores, and also lets users access the giant 16' x 39' mural in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which was created by artist, Adam Koon to celebrate the iconic course and the city's five boroughs and has embedded AR tags which bring the artwork through life with fun race facts.  – WABC

2. Dior has created three Snapchat filters to promote its new collection. The lenses feature several ways of interacting with the luxe travel capsule collection of luggage and handbags designed in collaboration with Rimowa. A Face Filter overlays Dior's Oblique motif alongside the brand’s moniker and a cloudy sky, on top of the users’ face, while a World Lens features a DMC DeLorean as crafted by Daniel Arsham — who worked with Dior on its upcoming season –  and allows users to explore the car in order to find the Dior x Rimowa Personal Clutch bag. The third filter uses Marker Tech to let users see how the clutch actually looks in real-life surroundings. The Face Filter and World Lens will be available until next week and geolocated around Dior boutiques in Paris, with plans to extend the experience to Dubai and Miami in December. A world preview of its Marker Tech was previewed at Dior’s Champs-Elysées flagship ahead of the global January 2020 launch, and is accessible by scanning a card via the application.– HYPEBEAST

3. An Australian start-up has created virtual tours for real estate agents by converting floorplans into 3D AR models. RealAR offers potential buyers the chance to look around a range of properties before deciding on whether to proceed with real-world viewings. Writer Logan Nagel argues that although the promise of lighter AR wearables and the immersion levels offered by VR headsets are interesting, the greatest current value for sectors such as PropTech lies in getting as many people as possible to actually use it in a practical and useful way - and that still means via their smartphones or tablet. – PROPMODO  

4. La-Z-Boy is the latest furniture retailer to adopt Augmented Reality preview features. The company partnered with Marxent to add the AR, VR, 3D product spinning and 3D room planners to its stores and e-commerce products. Marxent’s CEO Beck Besecker believes that at some point in the near future, every Google search will be in 3D: "While the home goods market was a good place to start because of the large issue of visualization and fit, eventually the 3D formats will apply to all consumer products," he says, adding that since launching its Augmented Reality services back in 2011 it has helped retailers reduce returns by 25 percent and increase basket sizes by 40 to 50 percent. Customers who shop La-Z-Boy’s e-commerce website will be able to pick chair style, upholstery, and details in real-time, seeing a full 360-degree spin of the customized selection using Marxent’s 3D Cloud platform. Those 3D assets can then be used to plan a room online by placing, moving and turning the furniture to see how it would look. – DAYTON DAILY NEWS

5. What are the key success factors in building location-based AR apps? In this article Sergey Lypchenko provides a useful overview of what location-based Augmented Reality actually is, with several examples of successful applications developed and deployed across areas such as education, healthcare, and tourism. He then goes on to list some of the main tools available to developers who want to dip their toes in. – AR POST

6. We are nearing the tipping point where AR glasses will become a viable consumer proposition. But we're not quite there just yet according to Nandan Nayampally, vice president and general manager of ARM's Immersive Experience Group. In an interview with IEEE Senior Editor Tekla S. Perry about the reasons behind the initial failure of Google Glass, he explained that computational power and other technology has built up rapidly in the past seven years, as have relevant and practical use cases for the technology which makes its successors such as Nreal, HoloLens and Magic Leap much more likely to eventually break into the consumer market. However, he warns, there are still are big challenges on power, energy consumption, thermal, and form factors as well as a continuing need for improved display and battery technology. – IEEE SPECTRUM  

7.  AR liveboards projected live squid raining down on the streets of New York and LA to promote HBO's "Watchmen" show. Outfront Media installed the Augmented Reality panels at bus stops in the two cities, displaying a layer of augmented reality squid falling from the sky overlaid onto real-world environments captured by cameras on location in real-time. The liveboards also featured a countdown timer to the show's launch last week. – NEXT REALITY

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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