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Microsoft patent details using augmented reality to find lost keys

Microsoft patent details using augmented reality to find lost keys

Microsoft envisions uses for augmented reality beyond digital pets and reading messages overlaid onto your environment — namely, finding your lost keys, among other things. Such was detailed in a patent recently filed by Microsoft, which goes on to describe the tracking of items that are moveable like wallets, your phone, and other similar things. Augmented reality could also be used to track the state of something, such as the level of milk in a milk carton.

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Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat's reported $30m buy of an Augmented Reality specialist could be the key to taking mixed-reality mainstream, as its real-world users embrace virtual products. The news earlier this week that Snapchat owner Snap paid as much as $40m for Cimagine, an AR startup focusing on making online shopping more immersive, prompted questions as to just what the ephemeral messaging app might have in mind. Certainly, with its vast cohort of Millennial users, it could be the first truly successful push of Augmented Reality into the mass market.

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Meta 2 augmented reality developer kit headsets start shipping

Meta 2 augmented reality developer kit headsets start shipping

The Meta 2 augmented reality developer kit headsets have begun shipping, the company behind them has announced. Though they're shipping out to buyers a bit later than we'd originally heard, those who quickly pre-ordered should have their AR dev kit unit by the turn of the year. According to a recent statement by the company, more shipments will be heading out early in 2017, and customers will get a shipping notification in their inbox when their own order goes out.

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VR trends to look out for in 2017

VR trends to look out for in 2017

Virtual reality, or VR for short, is already being hailed as the next wave in computing, but it’s still a few iterations away from becoming as commonplace as mobile devices, which is the current wave of computing. That said, proponents and advocates of VR continue to push the envelop in order to drive this fledgling market. Though delayed by a few months, VR was off to a great start this year. In 2017, we expect it to get over its teething pains and present a more mature image to consumers. Just how that’s going to happen has been laid out by our crystal ball, and here’s how it goes.

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Two new Samsung Gear VR coming soon, one jumping to AR

Two new Samsung Gear VR coming soon, one jumping to AR

You might think Samsung will be too busy putting out fires (caused by the Galaxy Note 7, of course), that it wouldn’t have time for more experimental technology, but this is Samsung we’re talking about. At a virtual reality gathering in California, Samsung Electronics VP Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong confirmed rumors that there would a “Gear VR 2” coming soon. But wait, there’s more! There’ll even be a “Gear VR 3”, but that might be a bit of a misnomer because that headset might actually be more about AR than VR.

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Magic Leap video may have involved more magic than tech

Magic Leap video may have involved more magic than tech

While the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and even Google Daydream are duking it out in the virtual reality space, the Microsoft HoloLens remains almost uncontested in the augmented reality arena. Well, almost. There’s also Magic Leap, which has was already making waves even before the HoloLens landed in the market. But apparently, that was all it was doing, making waves by blowing air. According to The Information’s Reed Albergotti, Magic Leap’s technology and prototype are actually far, far behind than the company is letting on, at least based on its two most-watched videos.

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White House ‘1600’ AR app makes a dollar bill come alive

White House ‘1600’ AR app makes a dollar bill come alive

The White House has launched a new augmented reality app called ‘1600,’ and it works by overlaying a 3D version of the White House over the images printed on a dollar bill. The app is simple to use — you just pull up the camera and point it at any dollar bill you have available. The app takes care of the rest, raising a tiny White House on the front of the dollar until it is full size. A helicopter zooms in, people carrying flags appear, and more.

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Microsoft Holoportation makes working anywhere freaky and cool

Microsoft Holoportation makes working anywhere freaky and cool

Move over tele-commuting. Microsoft’s Holoportation will be the remote office of the future. The somewhat distant future. Microsoft has just published an update to its Holoportation idea that is making Star Wars like holographic communication a reality. And while the technology has already been proven to work, it’s far from being something you can really use anytime anywhere. In this latest iteration, however, Microsoft takes one step closer to that ideal, by allowing Holoportation to fit and be used inside a moving car.

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ZapBox brings room-scale mixed reality to the masses

ZapBox brings room-scale mixed reality to the masses

As fantastic as technologies like augmented and mixed reality may be, experiencing them, much less creating them, requires a sizable investment, financially speaking. It is just beyond to reach of consumers as well as your garage-type indie developer. AR and VR startup Zappar, however, wants to smash that perception. With ZapBox, you can grab a kit for less than a triple-A video game to start your journey towards mixed reality fun and fame. It’s Magic Leap meets Google Cardboard. Or as Zappar itself says, making Magic Leap, magic cheap!

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Apple tipped to be eyeing smart glasses market

Apple tipped to be eyeing smart glasses market

Will Apple succeed in a market where Google miserably failed? That will probably be the biggest question that will come to anyone’s mind on hearing about Cupertino’s latest moonshot project. According to the usual insider sources, Apple is already taking baby steps towards potential digital glasses, ala Google Glass pictured above. Though there’s always a chance it would never see the light of day, such a wearable device could be its ticket into the augmented reality market.

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Google standalone AR headset tipped with eye-tracking technology

Google standalone AR headset tipped with eye-tracking technology

We heard rumor awhile ago that Google is working on a standalone virtual reality headset that’ll also serve as a platform for augmented reality applications. Joining that rumor is a new spat of sources claiming this standalone VR/AR headset will include eye-tracking technology. According to these sources, the headset will also boast sensors for mapping the real world around the headset user.

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“HoloLens Daily” shows how to do multi-screens in style

“HoloLens Daily” shows how to do multi-screens in style

Virtual reality is great and is entertaining for a lot of things, but there are just some scenarios where a mix of virtual and actual realities is, perhaps, more productive. Hence, the augmented, or rather mixed, reality offered by platforms like the Microsoft HoloLens. One such use case, flaunted around by AR/MR proponents, is eventually replacing one or two real-world, physical computer screens with nearly a dozen virtual ones. And while we all wait for the day when such devices do become more common, the folks over at The Holo Herald are already teasing what that future might look like.

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