Some of the leading big tech companies are still working in the lab on actual products, but at least some of their leadership did have some thoughts to share on the future direction of the technology this week.

Meanwhile, we had the opportunity to check out two newish AR offerings from startups, a pair of smart swim goggles from Form and a facial recognition-based social network from Octi.

Speaking of AR startups, we recently examined where augmented and virtual reality currently sit on the adoption curve and why the sometimes questionable perception of these companies doesn’t match the reality.

Silicon Valley’s Top Execs Share Outlook on AR for 2020

The words of three of tech’s most important executives in the last 48 hours are providing some valuable insight into the near term future of augmented reality and the cloud infrastructures that support it.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel each, in unrelated statements, kicked off 2020 by giving us insight into what they see on the horizon.

See what these leaders had to say about augmented reality by reading further…

Image by Tim Cook/Twitter

REALITY BITES: Google I/O has been the stage for Google to introduce its latest innovations in augmented reality, including AR navigation for Google Maps, AR content for Google Search, and new features for ARCore. The tech giant has set the dates for I/O 2020, which will be May 12-14 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.

We Get Our Feet Wet with Form Smart Goggles

Startup Form now joins the ranks of companies with a real product on the market available to everyday consumers. But, make no mistake, their wearables may not be the kind of smartglasses you’re expecting while walking and driving around your city.

However, if you’re a competitive swimmer or you have swimming in your fitness routine, Form Swim Goggles might be the right fit for you.

We had the opportunity to take the AR fitness wearable on a few workouts. Continue reading for our impressions of the Form Swim Goggles

Image via Form

REALITY BITES: Vuzix continues to expand the functionality of its enterprise AR smartglasses with standard business apps. The company’s latest endeavor is adding support for popular video conferencing platform Zoom.

Octi Attempts to Take on Snapchat, Instagram with AR Social App

In a world full of augmented reality camera effects apps, one app is going in a more social direction.

On Tuesday, a rebooted version of Octi (which first debuted in 2018) dropped on the Apple App Store. Now, instead of merely adding AR effects to photos and videos, the app uses facial recognition to identify users and anchor augmented reality content around them in the form of a virtual belt.

Read further to see what Octi AR social networking looks like…

Images via Octi

REALITY BITES: After a disastrous 2018, Snap’s earnings and daily active users bounced back in a big way in 2019, fueled in part by its augmented reality innovations for fun and for advertising, and its stock price followed that upward trend. CNBC’s stock market oracle Jim Cramer believes that Snap’s financial streak will continue, and analysts now see a path towards profitability.

Why All Augmented Reality Startups Suck: The Answer May Shock You

For many, AR and VR have been viewed as trivial distractions. A sideshow filled with shiny lights, unworthy of the serious attention needed for more substantive areas of technology. Views around immersive computing are rapidly changing in some quarters, but for many operating outside of the AR and VR industry, the skepticism around the space remains steadfast.

The problem now is that many people the general public relies on for guidance through the tricky frontier of emerging technology have allowed this “magic” disconnect to frame their still shaky grasp on a future that is, quite literally, impossible to grasp.

Continue reading to learn more about the disconnect between the perception and the reality of AR and VR startups in the current landscape…

REALITY BITES: Yuji Higaki, most recently a senior engineering director at Facebook, who has also made stops at Google and Electronic Arts, has accepted a position leading the engineering team at Niantic Labs.

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.




Cover image via Form





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