- Art.com (iOS): Art.com introduces ArtView so you can view artworks on your wall.
- Ally Big Save (iOS, Play): Ally, a financial services company, gets in on the Super Bowl action with this AR game that people played during commercial breaks to win cash prizes. (Editor’s Note: Last week I covered Virtex Arena (iOS, Play) an app that also introduced a real time Super Bowl game; I think these game time group experiences have a chance to be really impactful when done right).
- dARk: Subject One (iOS): A short horror story that begins with you entering a ‘portal’. (Editor’s note: AR portals, in many ways, bring you to a fully immersive experiences that can be similar to VR. There’s a lot of space to explore here — pun intended!).
- 4th Wall (iOS): From multi-disciplinary artist Nancy Baker Cahill, 4th Wall invites you to walk and teleport through her studio & artworks (which you can place in your real environment). Nancy previously did something similar in VR.
- The New York Times will begin using AR to bring the news into your home. We’ve seen other publications like EW and Time use AR on previous editions and this NYTimes announcement should help propel AR into more media. Here are some directions on how to get started. The AR features are only available on iOS for now. (Read more on the New York Times)
- Microsoft endorses mixed reality hard hats that lets construction workers use augmented reality on the job site. Using HoloLens, workers can “superimpose the digital model on the physical environment to get a clear understanding of the relations between the 3D design model and the actual work on a jobsite” with the app Trimble Connect. The headset is about $3,000 and has passed many of the necessary safety regulations needed to break into this space. (Read more onVRScout)
- ‘Experimental AR projection system lets surgeons see through a patient’s skin.’By overlaying medical images like CT scans, ultrasounds, X-rays and MRI data, the surgeon can have something akin to real-time X-Ray vision under the skin. The project is called ProjectDR and is being developed by researchers at the University of Alberta. (Read more on Digital Trends)
- ‘Al Jazeera English uses AR to map out Holy Land’ live on air. The segment was created using Viz Virtual Studio products, and used the layered map and buildings to explain the geographic and religious symbolism of religions. (Learn more on News Cast Studio)
- Google announces big updates to Blocks, a tool for creating and sharing 3D objects in virtual reality. Some of the big updates include the ability to change your background environment while creating, improved ‘snapping’ to help make your creatives precise and quick & easy access to your most requested features. (Read more on Google’s blog)
SHINE OF THE WEEK
Apple takes over Grammy Awards commercial breaks with Animoji spots. Apple continues to double down on making AR more mainstream. Their recent commercials pair top songs with singing Animoji characters. (Editor’s note: this is perhaps my favorite part about the iPhone X…very excited for the new characters in next release). (Enjoy the commercials on Apple’s YouTube channel)
FROM THE COMMUNITY
- Apple’s Tim Cook talks up AR in earnings call. He mentioned “AR has the ability to amplify human performance instead of isolating humans” — continuing to strategically position AR over VR. (Read more on Fortune)
- Niantic Labs (e.g, creators of Pokémon Go) acquired multiplayer AR platform Escher Reality so users can see and interact with virtual objects at the same time. Excitement grows for true multiplayer AR. (Read more on Variety.com)
- Intel is reportedly planning to release consumer smart glasses later this year. They are also looking to sell a majority stake in their augmented reality spinoff company. Internally, the glasses are called ‘Superlite’. (Read more on The Verge)
- As mentioned before, ARKit 1.5 comes with a number of upgrades such as vertical surface detection, image recognition and reference detection (ability to replace object X for Y when you point at it). (Check out early examples on NextReality and9to5 Mac).
- ‘3 powerful ways augmented reality is disrupting the customer journey’. One of them is customer service. Imagine you have trouble with your router. Instead of picking up phone to call the company for help, you could just point your camera at it and AR could help you diagnose what’s wrong and guide you on how to troubleshoot. (Read more on AdWeek)
- VentureBeat talks about how Google’s recent AR on the web’ could be a big opportunity for advertisers who want to get in on the space. (Read more onVentureBeat)
- In a new study by Dell, 51% of business expect to invest in AR and VR to explore the potential applications that can take their businesses to the next level. (Watch an interview on BNN)
- Journalist Jean Liu writes about the latest AR developments in China (Read more on Jeans Liu’s blog)
Disclaimer: I am employed by Google. The opinions stated here are my own.