AR+VR Weekly: AR/VR headset surge, smartglasses go North with Thalmic Labs and Shopify pushes AR to 600,000 stores

Catch up on the latest XR highlights, funding news and launch announcements: 09/24/2018

By Tom Emrich


It’s been another busy week in AR+VR! In addition to keeping you up-to-date on the top AR+VR news, funding activity, and launch announcements, here are there three stories you need to know: AR/VR headset surge, Shopify pushes AR to 600,000 stores and Walmart’s massive VR training rollout.

IDC published its latest report on AR/VR headsets which forecasts an 88% yearly growth rate until 2022 to reach 53.1 million by that time. 2018 expects to see a 31% increase in sales to 4.2 million units by the end of the year.  

Meanwhile, Canadian Tech publication BetaKit posted its scoop on a new pair of consumer-facing smart glasses from Thalmic Labs called North. The post also outlines patents which hint that the wearable device may utilize eye-tracking, microphones and hologram technology. Investor   

Finally, Shopify rolled out support for AR Quick Look to its 600,000+ stores which builds augmented reality support directly into the Safari browser thanks to this new feature in iOS 12. And Walmart made a huge announcement in enterprise VR in its rollout of 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to US stores for VR-based employee training powered by Strivr. The company will ship four headsets to every Walmart Supercenter and two to every neighborhood store to a total of 4,700 locations across America.  

Funding news

FIBRUM received an investment of $1 million for the launch of DESIRIUM VR platform (Markets Insider)

Illumix raises $8.6M to build more dynamic phone-based AR games (TechCrunch)

Porsche leads $80 million investment in WayRay to bring holographic AR displays to cars (VentureBeat)

Oxford VR Secure £3.2 Million In Funding To Bring Clinically Validated VR Treatments To Market (VR Focus) raises $8 million for conversational augmented reality platform (VentureBeat)

Blippar raises $37 million hoping to become profitable in the next year (TechCrunch)

Launch Announcements

Mozilla’s Firefox Reality web browser is now available (TechCrunch)

Vuzix partners with OnCore Golf to bring real-time insights and feedback to its users (Wareable)

Alaska Airlines Begins Offering VR Movies On Some Flights (VR Focus)

Kayak app adds luggage-sizing AR (Mobile Marketer)

Torch 3D launches Torch mobile app to create and edit 3D content and view it in AR (Next Reality)

Walmart is putting 17,000 VR headsets in its US stores for training (The Verge)

Dynamics 365 announces new Windows Mixed Reality integration in its suite of tools (Windows Central)

Shopify’s iOS 12 update adds AR shopping support for 600,000 stores (The Verge)

The Void is adding new VR experiences based on Disney and Marvel properties (The Verge)

Google Creates Experimental 6DoF Controllers For Mirage Solo (VR Focus)

Google is bringing support for all Android apps to Daydream VR (VentureBeat)

Rovio’s Angry Birds coming to Magic Leap (The Verge)