×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook, Apple and the Coming Augmented Reality Land Grab

Two new reports suggest that two of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are secretly working on augmented reality (AR) technology. It may take some time before Apple is going to reveal its efforts in the space, but Facebook may give us a glance at its AR research as early as next month.

That’s when the company is holding its f8 developer conference in San Jose, California — an event that could double as a coming out for Facebook’s secretive “Building 8” R&D unit. Officially unveiled by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April of 2016, Building 8 is tasked with building hardware products that “advance our mission of connecting the world,” as Zuckerberg put it.

The group is headed by DARPA and Google veteran Regina Dugan, and has been working on four separate projects, including brain scanning, cameras, drones and augmented reality, according to a Business Insider report. Building 8 is expected to play a big role at f8, according to that report, and job listings indicate that the company has been hiring to sell hardware products in retail stores in the near future.

Apple’s augmented reality efforts may take a bit longer to reach consumers, but they could be just as ambitious, if not more so. The company has a group working on AR technology that includes former Oculus and HoloLens engineers, according to a new Bloomberg report. Some of the projects of that group include AR glasses that overlay digital imagery and information over a person’s view of the real world, as well as efforts to bring AR to the iPhone.

Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge its AR work, but CEO Tim Cook has on multiple occasions talked enthusiastically about the potential of the technology. For Apple, AR wouldn’t just be an attempt to once again release a genre-defining product, something the company hasn’t been able to do since the release of the iPad in 2010.

The company also wants to prevent to lose out in an area where others are making major investments. In addition to Facebook, AR has also gotten a lot of attention from Google, which already has AR-enabled phones in the market. Microsoft has also been an early pioneer in AR with its HoloLens headset, and is now looking to gain market share for devices that combine AR and VR.

And then there is magic Leap, the much-hyped and heavily funded AR startup that is expected top unveil its first consumer hardware soon. All of these efforts suggest that many companies believe that AR could be the next big thing — and Apple and Facebook clearly don’t want to be left behind when the AR land grab begins.

More Digital

  • Sam-Colby-The-Graveyard

    YouTube’s Sam and Colby Unveil ‘The Graveyard’ Paranormal Series Set in London

    Sam and Colby, YouTube’s favorite DIY paranormal investigators, headed to the U.K. for their next big ghost-hunting project. The duo today released the trailer for “The Graveyard,” a four-part docu-series shot in The Langham – by legend, London’s most haunted hotel – and an abandoned church graveyard. The project is their first international expedition. The [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

  • Babylon Berlin

    ITV-Backed Streamer Cirkus to Launch European Drama Service Kritic (EXCLUSIVE)

    SVOD outfit Cirkus is expanding with Kritic, a new service programmed with premium non-English-language drama. The first launch will be in Sweden in December and feature big-ticket shows such as “Babylon Berlin” from Germany and “Gomorrah” from Italy. Cirkus has established itself in the Nordics and German-speaking territories. Kritic will roll out in Sweden before [...]

  • Mama K's Tesm 4

    Time Travel, Child Hosts, Diversity Build in Kids Shows, Says Glance Study

    CANNES —  More or less the only thing that hasn’t changed in Avril Blondelot’s MipJunior presentation of Kids Audience Successes Around the Globe was Blondelot herself. As well as, which she began by reporting, that “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Miraculous Ladybug” – in that order – still dominate the rankings for the [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

  • Mixer Co-Founders Leave Microsoft's Twitch Competitor

    Microsoft’s Mixer Streaming Service Loses Its Two Co-Founders

    Microsoft’s Twitch competitor Mixer has lots its two co-founders: Both Matt Salsamendi and James J. Boehm, who co-founded the startup that eventually became Mixer in 2011, have both left the company over the past 2 weeks. The departure comes just a few weeks after Mixer poached famed video game streamer Ninja from Amazon’s Twitch. Salsamendi [...]

  • Trump-Twitch-channel

    Donald Trump Is Now on Amazon's Twitch Streaming Service

    Donald Trump has joined Twitch, the game-focused live-streaming service, apparently in an effort to widen his unfiltered 2020 reelection messaging as the embattled U.S. president faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry. Trump’s first Twitch broadcast was from his campaign rally Thursday in Minneapolis, where among other targets he lashed out at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Somali [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content