Market Reality: While Apple & Vuzix Bet on AR, Game Developers Are Less Enthusiastic

While Apple & Vuzix Bet on AR, Game Developers Are Less Enthusiastic

This week, saw two companies leaning on AR to prop up their financial futures.

On one hand, Apple made quite a bit of AR-related news ahead of its quarterly earnings report next week. On the other hand, Vuzix launched a pre-order program for its Blade smartglasses and closed the largest financing deal in the company's history to fuel its ongoing headset production.

While most observers agree that the future of AR is bright, one area where it's still finding its way is gaming, where developers have not fully bought into the technology for their businesses.

Apple Highlighting AR Ahead of Earnings Report

In the wake of reports of slow iPhone X sales and a possible early end to its shelf life, Apple CEO Tim Cook is on a public goodwill tour of sorts, espousing the virtues of Apple AR.

Cook traveled to Canada to meet with the staff from Shopify on Monday. While there, he checked out a new 3D product model in AR via an iOS shopping app. Unlike Animoji, ARKit is not exclusive to the iPhone X, but it is a key cog in the company's current AR strategy nonetheless.

Why is this an important news thread? Follow along as we connect the dots between all of this and other Apple AR news...

Image by Sam Bribbie/Instagram

REALITY BITES: Reports emerged this week that Microsoft plans to reorganize its teams working on augmented and virtual reality. Beyond insider corporate politics, the move indicates an interesting shift in Microsoft's immersive computing strategy.

Vuzix Caters to Consumers, Lowers Cost of Blade Pre-Order

After Vuzix's scorching hot week at CES, the future of AR is so bright, we have to wear (smart) shades. Luckily, Vuzix is making it easier for consumers to grab a pair.

To address the apparent new interest in company's Amazon Alexa-equipped Blade smartglasses, the company has initiated the next phase of its market launch with three Blade Edge pre-order programs, including one called Blade Edge Engage that targets individual consumers. This new pre-order program gives individual buyers who have no company affiliation or role as a commercial developer priority access to the first public Blade shipments, which will cost $1,000 each.

Read on for more details about the Blade reservation program how the company plans to fund its future...

REALITY BITES: In other Microsoft news, the company is offering academic institutions a 10% discount on the HoloLens through May 31. While the move appears to be an attempt to move more units, it also serves as a means to get students familiar with the platform once it evolves beyond a developer kit.

Augmented Reality Gaming Forecast Currently Cloudy with Chance of Sunshine Later

A new survey of game developers paints a somewhat less than rosy future for augmented reality gaming, but there's still some hope for its long-term prospects.

The Game Developers Conference, which is holding its annual event in March in San Francisco, recently surveyed about 4,000 game developers in its sixth annual State of the Industry report.

What do game developers have planned for augmented and virtual reality headsets? Read on to find out, but you may want to sit down first...

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 Tim Cook/Twitter

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