AR+VR Weekly: AR Big Ben, 2018 Apple acquisitions & Google Lens sees billions

Catch up on the latest XR highlights, funding news and launch announcements: Week of Dec 24

Source: Snap Big Ben World Lens

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 Big Ben, 2018 Apple acquisitions and Google Lens sees billions.

A recent Snap Lens restores London’s Big Ben which is under construction during the holidays. The location-based World Lens uses augmented reality to unwrap the scaffolding on the clock tower to reveal the restored structure along with its chimes and bongs.

Meanwhile, 9to5 Mac took us down memory lane as they looked back at the companies that Apple acquired in 2018. Those that touch AR include VRVANA, Akonia Holographics, Shazam, and Spektral.

Finally, Google Lens now recognizes over 1 billion products, four times what was possible when it launched back in October of 2017.  


Funding News

NextMind Secures $4.6M in Funding (FINSMES)

Hyped AR startup Blippar crashes into financial reality (The Verge)

Niantic Offers $1 Million in Rewards for Games Built on Its Real World Platform (Next Reality)


Launch Announcements

Qualcomm launches 9205 chipset for IoT and wearables (ZDNET)

Facebook adds new dynamic camera features on Messenger including Boomerangs, portrait mode, and AR stickers (Mashable)

Zspace unveils laptop that enables easy AR/VR interaction (VentureBeat)

Oculus reveals DeepFocus, an open source AI renderer for varifocal VR (VentureBeat)

TikTok launches AR campaign to raise $2 million for charity (Mobile Marketer)

LIFEWTR and Marriott Hotels collaborate to create new in-room augmented reality art (Digital Trends)

Magic Leap Updates Lumin OS with Enhancements for Helio Browser, Avatar Chat, & More (Next Reality)

Magic Leap One just got prescription inserts for people who are nearsighted (The Verge)

Funomena launches Luma for Magic Leap (The Verge)

‘Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs’ Brings Mega-Franchise to Virtual Reality (Variety)

Sling TV, ESPN, and FOX NOW Streaming Come to Oculus Go (Road to VR)

Leap Motion’s New Experimental Tools Give Developers Access to Camera Data & Unlock Multiple Device Support (Next Reality)

Elf Yourself Back For The Holidays, With A Facebook AR Twist (MediaPost)