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/ 04.01.2019

Our Top XR Picks For 2019

2018 was a jam-packed year for those working in the immerse industry. We saw hits like Beat Saber and Astro Bot getting people excited about VR content and hardware releases such as Oculus Go and HTC VIVE Pro making it easier for people to try out VR. We’re excited about what’s in store this year.

Here are our Top XR picks for 2019, counting down from five…

5. WebAR

Up until now, the user has had to download a standalone app (or integrate functionality into an existing app) and in some cases use a ‘marker’ to launch AR content. WebAR promises to take away this hassle. Now, users can view AR simply through a web browser.

Sony Pictures recently released an AR experience for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The application lets users interact with the superhero, take pictures, and even share them to social media – and it’s all web-based (no pun intended). The AR landscape is changing at an incredible pace, 2019 is going to be a big year for AR. 

4. Location Based Entertainment 

Consumer spend on LBE is expected to reach $809 million by 2022. The ability to access cinematic quality production values, a physical space purpose-built for immersive gameplay, and the high entertainment factor make for a compelling pitch to consumers. Like cinemas, LBE gives participants an experience not easily replicated in the home, allowing them to scratch their VR itch without much investment.

With the Hollywood giants embracing LBE and interesting partnerships forming, the future of this category is exciting. Not only is LBE providing fantastic introductions to VR for novices, but it’s driving interest in the industry as a whole.

3. Niantic’s AR Platform

Niantic is an augmented reality startup unicorn thanks to the success of Pokémon GO. Its next big release will be Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, speculated to be out in Spring/Summer 2019.

The Niantic Real World Platform –  the AR cloud platform that enables Niantic to integrate multiplayer experiences, persistent content, and real-world occlusion into mobile AR games and apps –  is being opened up to the masses. Now, that is exciting!

2. Mixed Reality

2018 finally saw Magic Leap release its first product and now we’re going to see what developers have been making with it. The developer fund, which gave up to $500,000 in grant money to ML One projects last year has greatly helped. The best experiences will be showcased at L.E.A.P. Conference in 2019.

From various leaks, we know that Microsoft is working on a new HoloLens which will be a standalone PC with its own Qualcomm processor – the Snapdragon 850. Expect more announcements and the release this year.

Mixed reality is going to have an interesting year.

1. Oculus Quest & Vive Focus

Shipping in the spring of 2019 for $399, the Oculus Quest looks to deliver on technology and content. The Quest’s main differentiator is Oculus Insight, a technology that powers the device’s inside-out tracking capabilities. Effectively, what the average consumer is going to get is proper room-scale VR, at a fraction of the cost.

The Vive Focus – HTC’s standalone headset – is a competitor to the Quest. When it launched in China in 2017, it only came with 3 degrees of freedom (3DOF) motion controllers, now 6DOF controllers are available. Pairing the headset with these new controllers will give users the freedom to move around in VR, much as they would with the PC-based HTC Vive.

Both devices will blow the medium open in an incredible way.

Bring on 2019!

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