Inside XR - September 6th, 2019 |

Inside XR (Sep 6th, 2019)

Mixed Reality Healthcare / Google's Immersive Ads Editor / Playing Marvel Superheros with AR

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1. Like most companies in the Mixed Reality space, Magic Leap has come around to the fact that the biggest opportunities in leveraging immersive technologies currently lie with enterprise applications.  The company has just signed an exclusive deal with Brain Lab, which supplies visualization and training software to surgeons. Health Care is one of the most promising industries embracing what XR has to offer, and this ties into the previous experience of Magic Leap's CEO Rony Abovitz, whose first company, Mako Surgical (which built robots that predetermined bone cut specifications for knee and hip replacement surgeries and assisted in surgery) was acquired by Stryker Corporation for $1.65 billion in 2013. Jennifer Esposito, VP of health and fitness at Magic Leap, believes that AR technology could provide doctors with a dashboard-like experience that shows a record of a patient’s physical health as well as related environmental factors—all overlaid on the real world. – FAST COMPANY

2. Big brands like Lego and Walmart are partnering with a small Utah-based company Seek to enhance the AR shopping experience. “We believe that through augmented reality, people can create a better experience upfront, maybe better decisions and therefore avoid all the headaches associated with a bad purchase,” says Seek CEO Jon Cheney, adding that his start-up doesn't just work with large retailers, and is currently being used by animal shelters to let people get a better look at the animals they’re thinking of adopting. – EAST IDAHO NEWS

3. Follow Friday: Alban Denoyel

Alban Denoyel is a Brooklyn-based French entrepreneur, aspiring shoemaker, and Founder/CEO of @Sketchfab, a platform that allows 3D and VR artists to host and showcase their work in an accessible format. His @albn Twitter feed is full of interesting art and animation, and he is also a big believer in dogfooding. A visit to his website uncovers many delightful examples of 3D models and animations hosted on Sketchfab. My personal favorite is a VR sculpture entitled "The Anatomy of a LEGO figure."

4. Google has launched its new 3D editor for the Google Poly platform. The feature, which runs on Swirl, offers brands new options for customizing their web-based immersive advertisements. Using the Swirl format, brands are able to upload and display realistic 3D assets onto the mobile web, allowing potential customers to rotate their product, zoom in and out of the 3D scene and trigger specific animations, for example. As Swirl is currently in closed beta, interested companies need to contact their Google Display & Video 360 account manager to get involved. – VRSCOUT  

5. Immersive Tech continues to gain traction in Architecture and Real Estate. IR Architects CEO Ignacio Rodriguez writes that what was once considered a novelty has become a groundbreaking resource to design, communicate and sell a property. "The immersive toolbox has been leading architects to drastically save on costs and time," he says, adding that at its core, architecture is a social art, and AR is particularly suited to enable architects, interior designers, and clients to virtually come together and work on a design. – AR POST

6. Andy Boxall tests out Lenovo's Mirage AR headset with the new “Marvel: Dimension of Heroes” game. “In a hotel room in Berlin during IFA 2019, I wielded Star Lord’s twin blasters, shot some generic-looking enemy cyborgs, and rather enjoyed myself,” he said, describing how the specially made controllers which "resemble knuckle dusters" felt natural in gameplay. The game will allow users to play as six different characters including Thor, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther. The headset and controller can be purchased for $250, with the game being free. – DIGITAL TRENDS

7. BAE Systems claims to have finalized the prototype of its lightweight Augmented Reality glasses. Improvements to the system since the concept demonstrator was launched in late 2017 include the transition from monochrome to a full-color display, a two-fold increase in the field of view (which is now 40° x 30°), and introduction of an inertial head-tracker. Engineers are already working to explore the integration of AR onto bridges of naval ships, which would allow officers to work outside of the operations room and still be able to see tactical situation data and other vital information from anywhere on the ship. – ICONNECT007  

8. Adario Strange does an extensive Q&A with AWE, Founder Ori Inbar as they unpack the past, present and future of Augmented Reality. "My goal, my passion, is to see this industry become mainstream. So in essence, once it becomes mainstream, you could say our job is done. But there will still be a need to innovate and guide the industry toward the potential of the spatial computing industry," says Inbar. He also adds that although VR and AR can still be considered separate categories at the moment with distinct use cases, in the longer term he imagines hybrid devices will become possible where users could open their eyes to engage with an AR experience, and close them to do VR, for example. – NEXT REALITY

9. A newly published report confirms that the XR enterprise market is booming, but consumer takeup is still relatively slow. VR Intelligence spoke to over 750 professionals working in and around XR to find out their view about the sector in the near to longer-term. Answers suggest that although most have currently shifted their priorities to enterprise applications, following a series of high-profile announcements from the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, Huawei and YouTube, 2020 prove to be a breakthrough year for consumer XR. – TECH TRENDS

10.  The Kodak Smile Classic Instant Print camera includes Augmented Reality Features. James Artaius gets some hands-on time with the device as it launches in Europe at IFA 2019 show in Berlin. He describes an AR feature where users can embed a 30-second video clip (with optional sound) from their media library and anyone with the Print Companion app will then be able to view the video by holding their smartphone over the picture. – DIGITAL CAMERA WORLD

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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