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Mixed Reality Market Exploration

Weekly VRAR Update ✧ Issue № 2
July 7, 2017        


  1.   No public comment available. 

checklist-green256.png ACTIVITIES & PROGRESS THIS WEEK

  1. Defined and clarified extended reality (XR) technologies & market segments, fencing off areas of minimal interest for this investigation.
  2. Developed first-pass market size estimates.

calendar256.png EVENTS & BREAKING NEWS 🔎

  1. Developers exploring XR application opportunities are excited to get ahold of DAQRI’s new Smart Glasses™ and associated developer kit components.
  2. Volkswagen Group (VW) is exploring VR as global collaboration tool in partnership with Innoactive & HTC Vive.
  3. Google introduces "Blocks" app that allows XR app developers to create 3D objects from within a VR environment.
  4. Apple purchased German vision technology company SensoMotoric Instruments (https://www.smivision.com/). Eye tracking has been around for years, but Apple clearly values its implementation VRAR applications as Samsung has already announce an HMD with eye tracking (below).
  5. Samsung revealed new "ExynosVR III" standalone HMD with eye-tracking, 4K/75FPS video, cameras at Mobile World Congress in Shanghai last week. Camera inclusion would point to AR capability. The “standalone” term implies no computer or phone is needed. Samsung overtakes Intel as world’s largest chip producer & battles with Qualcomm (Snapdragon) as this headset includes their Exynos 9 series processor.

play_button-purple210.png VIDEO RECOMMENDATIONS 📺

  1. Put your VR headset on for this promotional 3D, interior, navigable space geared toward engineering & construction customers. It can also be viewed on a conventional screen, using your mouse buttons & scroll wheel the same way you do for Google Street View. If you’ve used a Ricoh Theta 360s or similar camera before, this will feel familiar.
  2. Apple AR presentation at their worldwide developer conference last month, where they introduced ARKit.
  3. Of course, developers are running with ARKit, demonstrating game opportunities, hoping to be the next Pokémon GO.
  4. Apple’s user base is strongest asset for potential consumer & commercial applications, compared to AR efforts focused on Microsoft’s HoloLens (Unity3D Mario Bros. example).
  5. US Army is exploring tactical military uses of AR.

info pictograph292.png FYI: ARTICLES & REFERENCES

  1. PwC 2017 global surveys in AR & VR.
  2. MdR homeboy Eddie Offermann writes in-depth ARKit reaction. Facebook | IMDB
  3. Bluebell Labs founder wrote an insightful VRAR dev/marketing article about 6 months ago.
  4. Nokia (Finnish) & Xiaomi (Chinese) signed a cross-licensing patent deal on July 5th focused on VR- & AI-based data center applications.
  5. Articles & opinions continue to emerge following Apple’s AR presentation at their worldwide developer “WWDC 2017” conference in San Jose on June 5-9, and thousands of demos are showing up on social media.
  1. On Forbes.com, Charlie Fink notes that some industry experts are betting on Apple’s AR over Google, thanks in part to the 200 million existing iOS customers (as far back as iPhone 6S launched in 2015) that won’t need to buy new phones for their AR experience. (Google’s Tango requires a phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, which helps explain why they launched Pixel.)
  2. On TheVerge.com, Vlad Savov claims Apple's AR is closer to reality than Google's. "Google's Tango is about the future whereas Apple's ARKit is about the present." This is self-evident when clicking on Google’s own “get devices” link on their tango page, which takes the viewer to Lenovo’s site. Searching Lenovo’s site for “Tango” yields zero results. 😕
  1. Developers applauded Unity & Unreal support for ARKit.
  2. Controllers are an important aspect of the XR human interface, so it makes sense to do some light reading on the topic. Here’s a recent commentary on Valve’s “Knuckles” controllers.
  3. Oculus Rift is working to bring native mixed reality capture support to their headset.
  4. AR is improving worker performance. Harvard Business Review, March 13, 2017
  5. In case you think drone FPV is still limited to military & Amazon beta developments, this Melbourned drone race video will give you an idea of how much the gamers love it. FPV is worth a mention in the VRAR space because of its proximity to potential XR extensions in consumer & commercial applications.  
  6. We can expect defense investments in VRAR to trickle down to commercial & industrial (C&I) as well as consumer applications. The Navy recently released this video of their Unified Gunnery System AR helmet—known as GunnAR, not to be confused with Gunnar Optiks eyeglass company—developed by SPAWARS Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality Lab (BEMR) using the Daqri AR helmet.
  7. In another defense example, the US Army’s RDECOM Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) shares a declassified AR concept referred to as “advanced situational awareness” in dramatization that culminates in the aiming of several automatic weapons at a hapless tourist on rooftop deck. 😨
  8. It comes as no surprise that Google has big plans to use VR in advertising, but the progression is worth keeping tabs on even in its infancy.
  9. A quick look at this extensive coverage of the wide variety of VR headsets opens our eyes (no pun intended) to experimentation far beyond smart-phone powered consumer products.
  10. Social: Artist arrested outside Kremlin for refusing to remove VR headset.
  11. VR headset consumer guide by Looking Glass.

A little “social” VR humor…

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