The biggest stories in augmented reality – January roundup

AR industry newsDecember roundup

2018 got off to a flying start with some great augmented reality news stories, here is your roundup of the biggest stories from January

Apple patents a mysterious iPhone window – by Phoebe Weston, Daily Mail

Apple have filed a patent for an iPhone ‘ window’ that would sit at the top of a handset. The patent does not give details about the device but it seems the ‘window’ could be used exclusively for augmented reality.

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From the future of bitcoin to Facebook, 2018 in technology – by Alex Hern, The Guardian

AR tech is accused of “floating in tech novelty”, with it being suggested that AR needs something major to save it.

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Amazon’s smart mirror patent idea will dress you in virtual clothes – by Gerald Lynch, Tech Radar

Amazon’s MR mirror means that you can see what an outfit would look like on your body without having to actually try the clothes on, the presumption is that it would be tied to some form of Amazon retail system, letting users buy “the look” being trialled too.

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Immersion Will Use Both VR & AR For The Design & Construction Of Future Buildings – by Nina Salomons, VR Focus

True Scale is an interior design tool that can simultaneously create 2D floor plans, 3D mockups and full room-scale environments in VR. HTC Vive’s roomscale technology enables users the freedom to walk around and explore a design space whilst making changes in real time.

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Best VR and AR headsets to buy in the UK in 2018 – by Lewis Painter, Tech Advisor

A rundown of the best VR and AR headsets to buy in the UK in 2018

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Virtual, Augmented and Blended Reality – Marketers on the biggest video trends for 2018 – by Josh Wheeler, Prolific North

Marketers on the biggest video trends for 2018 predicted Augmented Reality to be the second biggest trend.

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Apple’s secret CES trip is proof that its AR glasses are just around the corner – by Roland Moore-Coyler, Trusted Review

Apple could be set to reveal a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses this year, as the company has reportedly been in talks with part suppliers of AR wearables.

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Upskill Is the Coolest AR Startup You Haven’t Heard of Yet – by Rob Marvin, PC News

Upskill’s software underpins AR devices on the market – the start-up creates software for companies like Boeing, Coca Cola, and GE, boasting more than $28 million in venture capital.

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Augmented reality to see 2018 boom as smartphone capabilities grow – Mobile Europe

Augmented reality to see 2018 boom as smartphone capabilities grown. The number of augmented reality (AR) users will exceed one billion in 2018, according to Deloitte, as technological advances make it more widely accessible. Last June, Apple brought augmented reality into iOS by launching ARKit for developers to build new kinds of services. Despite the take-up, Deloitte claimed revenues from AR content will be less than $100 million globally for the year

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Apple could use its repatriated cash to buy Magic Leap or Peloton – by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

There’s a lot of speculation about how Apple will use its $245 billion overseas cash stash now that it’s announced it will pay taxes on the money, freeing it to spends the cash as it sees fit. Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, thinks Apple will mainly use the money on stock buybacks and paying dividends. However, Apple could be eyeing smaller startups, such as Google-backed Magic Leap, who create augmented reality headsets

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This AR Headset Surpasses the Field of View of HoloLens, but You Still Won’t Wear It in Public – by Tommy Palladino

Digital imaging company OmniVision Technologies and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited (ASTRI) entered the CES fray this week with a new reference design for an augmented reality headset capable of 60 degrees field of view (FoV). While the headset doesn’t give consumers the smartglasses they can casually wear in public, it does push the early movers and aspiring entrants in the industry to improve on their next iterations. The publication refer to the headset as “a possible step in the right direction for whichever company puts the right branding on the device”.

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Virtual and augmented reality features on new Airbus A380 app – by Ben Ireland, Travolution

Airbus has launched a new app for their A380 aircraft which allows customers to sample augmented and virtual reality on board. Available on Apple IPhones, the app is designed to enhance Airbus’ existing desktop booking assistant. Passengers can book A380 flights and get real-time notifications to stay updated with their flight’s departure time. They can also “explore destinations” based on geolocation and personal interests, discover the cabin in virtual reality and connect to an “immersive in-flight experience” through an augmented reality feature.

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NUSHU Makes News Accessible To Children In Augmented Reality – by Dave Aubrey, VR Focus

Children will be able to use NUSHU in order to make learning easier and faster than ever. The aim of the app is to get children up to speed on the goings-on from around the world. NUSHU is a news service schools with hopes to get children interested through using Augmented Reality. Its helpfulness has been recognised by Google and has been certified by the Finnish educational system. In addition, there are AR games to play in the pages of the magazine.

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Apple’s AR apps will finally be able to stick things on walls – by Shara Tibken, CNet

When iOS 11.3 launches it will pack technology that developers can use to make their augmented reality apps do things they’ve not yet done. Apples ARKit 1.5 uses advanced computer vision to recognise images and integrate them into an AR scene. The new tech will pack new features to enable richer apps. This includes the ability to place items on vertical walls and doors, not just horizontal surfaces like tables. It has the image detection for signs posters and artwork, and it supports higher resolution for the real-world images you see on your screen.

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Building ‘Quick’ Experiences with Augmented Reality is Key – by Nick Kolakowski, Dice

Building ‘Quick’ Experiences with Augmented Reality is Key – as augmented reality goes mainstream, developers could shift their AR builds from immersive to “glance-centric” experiences, according to analyst firm App Annie, which has been watching the space. Although the number of AR apps is currently small, the market may grow closer to the end of 2018, especially if a few “killer apps” hit the app stores.

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Use an app to animate your Lego playsets with augmented reality – BT

Use an app to animate Lego playsets with augmented reality. Lego is launching an augmented reality (AR) app that will bring popular playsets to life with interactive animation. Lego AR-Studio will allow fans to control digital versions of Lego models in real-world sets such as City Fire Station and City Police Station on their device. The app, developed by the construction toymaker’s Creative Play Lab, will also record the action and save video clips directly to the user’s phone or tablet. It also contains special audio-visual features that include a dragon breathing fire, a Lego firetruck using a fire hose and trains sounding a horn.

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READ MORE: Top Industry Stories from December 2017


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