Market Reality: Microsoft Reveals More Mesh Details, Nintendo Taps Niantic for AR Games & Ricoh Prepares 3D Display

Microsoft believes its Mesh platform can help developers build immersive AR apps more easily. We spoke with a member of the Microsoft team to learn more about the platform.

Meanwhile, one of the companies appearing on stage during Microsoft’s AR event where Mesh was unveiled, Niantic, unveiled plans for its next big mobile AR game with a familiar partner.

Finally, we explore two devices, a prototype from electronics maker Ricoh and a device partnered with Snap that is available now, that provide different means for interacting with 3D content.

Microsoft Mixed Reality Director Greg Sullivan Talks About Microsoft Mesh

When Microsoft unveiled Mesh a couple of weeks ago, the move revealed a major part of Microsoft’s next steps toward dominating the augmented reality space, particularly with regard to enterprise customers.

But aside from the general details contained in the announcement, what really got some insiders excited was the demo video (see below) accompanying the launch of Mesh. It looked like something out of Iron Man’s holographic lab, but backed by very real sensor and display technology.

So was the video accurate? If so, how could some of the things in the video be accomplished? And if Microsoft is really focused on the enterprise space, what was the meaning behind including consumer-focused examples, including that amazing Pokémon Go proof of concept?

In order to unpack what Mesh really means for the HoloLens 2 and the AR space in general, we brought Microsoft’s Greg Sullivan onto the virtual stage of Twitter Spaces to answer all of our questions about Mesh

REALITY BITES: Facebook will hold the 2021 edition of its F8 developers conference, which has become a showcase for its latest AR tools and capabilities, as a virtual event on June 2. Meanwhile, Augmented World Expo will push back from its typical June date to Nov. 9-11, 2021 in order to hold an in-person conference.

Niantic & Nintendo Seek Repeat of Pokémon GO Success with Pikmin Mobile AR Game

Two of the three entities behind Pokémon GO, the reigning champion in mobile augmented reality gaming, are joining forces again to see if lightning can strike more than once.

This week, AR developer Niantic and gaming giant Nintendo announced a partnership that will see a series of mobile games built on the Niantic Real World Platform with Nintendo’s stable of characters, starting with the popular Pikmin franchise.

Continue reading for more details on the game and its chances of replicating the success of Pokémon GO

Image via Niantic

REALITY BITES: Version 2.0 of Blippar has closed a pre-Series A funding round of $5 million. Meanwhile, direct-to-consumer furniture startup Tylko closed a 22 million euro (approximately $26 million) Series C round of funding that will enable the Polish startup to continue investing in customer experience technologies, such as augmented reality and space recognition.

Ricoh Entering 3D Display Market with Warpe Prototype

Japanese electronics maker Ricoh, a name typically associated with printers and copiers, is looking to join the likes of Looking Glass and Sony in offering hands-free 3D displays.

The company recently unveiled a prototype display dubbed Warpe which is capable of displaying holograms viewable from all angles, a considerable improvement over currently-available displays.

Read further to find out how Warpe works, when we can expect to see it in the real world, and who Ricoh plans to pitch it to

REALITY BITES: AR content maker Eyecandylab has hired Kenneth Dancyger, a fifteen-year veteran of Walt Disney Company, to lead its education vertical. Dancyger specialized in integrating digital content into live TV broadcasts, which fits right in with Eyecandylab’s niche of AR-enhanced programming, as demonstrated by its AR home shopping broadcasts for LG Uplus and its recent Red Bull TV AR experience.

How to Add Lens Studio Effects to Spectacles 3 Videos

If you have Snap Spectacles 3, the dual camera-equipped sunglasses capable of capturing 3D photos and video, by now you’ve likely jazzed up the videos you’ve captured on the wearable with Lenses via Snapchat.

You’ve probably also realized that the available AR effects are relatively limited compared to Snapchat’s vast library of Lenses.

But did you know that you can also add effects from Lenses created and published from Lens Studio as well? Read further to learn how to add Lens Studio effects to your Spectacles videos

Images by Adario Strange/Next Reality

REALITY BITES: According to Heikki Harju, director of Nokia Tech Ventures, technical limitations with display optics, namely field of view and the physical size of display units, are the main obstacles in AR heads up displays (HUDs) becoming more prevalent in current-generation automobiles. However, Nokia Bell Labs researchers may have solved the problem with “large waveguides with nanoscale gratings using latest, high refractive index materials.” Their method enables virtual images to be projected at what appears to be greater distances in front of automobiles without a dramatic increase to HUD unit size.

Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.

Cover image via Microsoft/YouTube