Odds and Ends 

Maps walking navigation is Googles most compelling use for AR yet

Google managed to elicit an audible gasp from the crowd at I/O today when it showed off a new augmented feature for Maps. It was a clear standout during a keynote that contained plenty of iterative updates to existing software, and proved a key glimpse into what it will take to move AR from interesting novelty to compelling use case. Along with the standard array of ARCore-based gaming offerings, the new AR mode for Maps is arguably one of the first truly indispensable real-world applications. As someone who spent the…

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Headlines 

Augmented Reality Is Transforming Museums

New York’s Museum of Modern Art is under siege. Well, a virtual siege, at least. A group of renegade artists has co-opted the brightly-lit Jackson Pollock gallery on the museum’s fifth floor, turning it into their personal augmented reality playground. To the uninitiated, the gallery remains unchanged; Pollock’s distinctive drip paintings are as prominent and pristine as ever. But to those that have downloaded the MoMAR Gallery app on their smartphones, the impressionist's iconic paintings are merely markers—points of reference telling the app where to display the guerilla artists’ works.…

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Niantics follow-up to Pokmon Go will be a Harry Potter AR game launching in 2018

Niantic Labs had tremendous success with Pokémon Go, which paired their expertise in building location-based augmented reality mobile experiences with a top-flight IP with a ravenous fan base. So, it stands to reason that we should expect a similar fan response to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR title set to launch in 2018, co-developed by Warner Bros. Interactive and its new sub brand Portkey Games. Niantic building a Harry Potter game similar to Pokémon Go was rumoured last year, when the company noted that it had acquired the rights…

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Odds and Ends 

Magic Leap confirms $502 million Series D round

Mixed reality slash augmented reality startup Magic Leap announced today that it raised a $502 million Series D round led by Temasek with participation from EDBI, Grupo Globo, Janus Henderson, Alibaba Group, Fidelity Management and others. Just last week, a Delaware filing confirmed that Magic Leap authorized up to $1 billion in new shares. “We’re excited to welcome Temasek and the other new investors in this round to the Magic Leap family,” Magic Leap founder and president Rony Abovitz said in a release. “We also greatly appreciate the strong support and…

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Escher Reality is building the backend for cross-platform mobile AR

The potential of mobile augmented reality is clear. Last summer Pokemon Go gave a glimpse of just how big this craze could be, as thousands of excited humans converged on parks, bus stops and other locations around the world to chase virtual monsters through the lens of their smartphones. Apple was also watching. And this summer the company signaled its own conviction in the technology by announcing ARKit: a developer toolkit to support iOS developers to build augmented reality apps. CEO Tim Cook said iOS will become the worlds biggest…

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Omega Ophthalmics is an eye implant platform with the power of continuous AR

Google and other tech companies have come up with glasses and contact lenses for the purposes of AR, but OmegaOphthalmics is taking a much more invasive approach by using surgically implanted lenses to create a space for augmented reality inside the eye. It sounds wild, but lens implants arent a new thing. Implanted lenses are commonly used as a solve for cataracts and other degenerative diseases mostly affecting senior citizens; about 3.6 millionpatients in the U.S. get some sort of procedure for the disease every year. Cataract surgery involves removal…

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How to create the most value for the next technology wave

Doug Clinton is a managing partner and co-founder at Loup Ventures and previously worked as an analyst at Piper Jaffray. Major technology platforms shift every 10-15 years, with new platforms building on the ones they preceded. The PC was the platform of the early-1980s, then the internet came in the mid-1990s to improve the functionality and connectedness of PCs, then the smartphone emerged in the mid-2000s to put an internet-connected PC in everyones pocket. Were due for the next major technology platform shift, and artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual…

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