AR+VR Weekly: China invests in AR, Spectacles are the future and Google’s Pixel event

Catch up on the latest XR highlights, funding news and launch announcements week of October 8

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: China invests in AR, Spectacles are the future and Google’s Pixel event.

Digi-Capital’s latest look at the investment landscape in XR suggests activity in the US has waned while VC dollars are flowing in China. Digi-Capital’s XR Analytics Platform showed Chinese investments into computer vision and augmented reality technologies reaching $3.9 billion in the last 12 months, while North American AR/VR investment fell from nearly $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 to less than $120 million in the third quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, a leaked memo from Snapchat outlines the importance of augmented reality to the companies success and confirms Spectacles are the first step towards smartglasses.

Finally, Google’s Pixel event wrapped up this week debuting the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL which features integrated Google Lens and rebranded augmented reality sticker hub called Playground complete with new animations, now called Playmoji.

Funding News

Magic Leap buys mesh-computing startup Computes (TechCrunch)

Atomico leads $31M Series B in Varjo, the Finnish startup developing ‘human-eye resolution’ VR and XR (TechCrunch)

VueReal raises $8.5M from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (FINSMES)

Launch Announcements

Google launches Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Magic Leap One adds 48-state U.S. shipping and 24-month financing (VentureBeat)

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices – Portals (TechCrunch)

ThirdEye reveals design of its next-gen X2 smartglasses & retail partnership with b8ta (Next Reality)

HaptX Launches Enterprise-focused Haptic Gloves Dev Kit (Road to VR)

Upskill launches support for Microsoft HoloLens (TechCrunch)

Facebook rebrands Camera Effects platform to Spark AR and opens it up to Instagram developers (Mobile Marketer)

Google rebrands AR stickers as Playground and adds new animations (Playmoji) (The Verge)

Google’s Owlchemy Labs reveals ARCore spectator experiment (VentureBeat)

Brainlab and Magic Leap Partner in Digital Surgery (VR Focus)

ILM’s next augmented reality experiment is Porgs on Magic Leap (Gizmodo)

Chicago launches world’s largest permanent projection mapping digital art installation (Chicago Tribune)