Category Archives: Augmented Reality

A chat with Niantic CEO John Hanke on the launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Just shy of three years ago, Pokémon GO took over the world. Players filled the sidewalks, and crowds of trainers flooded parks and landmarks. Anywhere you looked, people were throwing Pokéballs and chasing Snorlax. As the game grew, so did the company behind it. Niantic had started its life as an experimental “lab” within Google — an effort on Google’s part to keep the team’s founder, John Hanke, from parting ways to start his own thing. In the months surrounding GO’s launch, Niantic’s team shrank dramatically, spun […]

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Focals by North Review: The future is (almost) here

The concept of an IRL heads-up display has been a part of science fiction since basically the beginning. Big players have tried their hand at it with less than stellar results — most notably Google with Glass, and more recently Intel’s Vaunt. But North may have cracked the nut on smart glasses with Focals. They are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination — they’re slightly heavy and don’t feel quite as seamless as science fiction promised they would — but this may be the best […]

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VCs give failed AR startup Meta a do-over with new CEO, corporate entity

AR startup Meta’s original investors might have been screwed by the company’s collapse and fire sale, but a pair of VC firms are giving the brand another shot with a new corporate entity and CEO that the new backers hope will lead to a less abysmal outcome. Meta Company is now Meta View, “a wholly new and unaffiliated entity.” Meta v1’s not-so-differentiated approach to the AR market led it into trouble competing with teams from Magic Leap and Microsoft that were more focused on new technologies, though […]

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Streem buys Selerio in effort to boost its AR teleconferencing tech

Streem, an AR startup that is meshing teleconferencing software with computer vision tech, has acquired a small U.K. startup called Selerio that’s also building out augmented reality technologies. The startups were both members of betaworks’ VisionCamp accelerator program last year where they met and collaborated while tackling separate computer vision problems in the AR space. Streem’s play is that they can create a kind of souped-up Skype call that enables home service providers to get more visual data in the course of chatting with home-owners. This can […]

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Modsy scores $37M to virtually redesign your home

Modsy has raised some new cash as the computer vision startup looks to get physical and build more of the furniture it recommends. The startup announced they have closed $37 million in Series C funding led by TCV. They’ve now raised north of $70 million to date. The service combines computer vision tech with human designer know-how to let users design the trendy home of their dreams. The process begins with a user snapping pics of their room (or multiple rooms), which Modsy then stitches into a […]

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Under the hood on Zoom’s IPO, with founder and CEO Eric Yuan

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Kate Clark sat down with Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of video communications startup Zoom, to go behind the curtain on the company’s recent IPO process and its path to the public markets. Since hitting the trading desks just a few weeks ago, Zoom stock is up over 30%. But the Zoom’s path to becoming a Silicon Valley and Wall Street […]

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Takeaways from F8 and Facebook’s next phase

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Josh Constine and Frederic Lardinois discuss major announcements that came out of Facebook’s F8 conference and dig into how Facebook is trying to redefine itself for the future. Though touted as a developer-focused conference, Facebook spent much of F8 discussing privacy upgrades, how the company is improving its social impact, and a series of new initiatives on the consumer and enterprise side. […]

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Nine lessons on how Niantic reached a $4B valuation

We’ve captured much of Niantic’s ongoing story in the first three parts of our EC-1, from its beginnings as an “entrepreneurial lab” within Google, to its spin-out as an independent company and the launch of Pokémon GO, to its ongoing focus on becoming a platform for others to build augmented reality products upon. The Niantic EC-1 It’s not an origin story that serves as an easily replicable blueprint — but if we zoom out a bit, what’s to be learned? A few key themes stuck with me […]

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Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics+AI Sessions Event

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics+AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate discussions with key robotics and deep learning founders, executives and technologists. Brian and Lucas discuss which companies excited them most, as well as which verticals have the most exciting growth prospects in the robotics […]

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Harry Potter, the Platform, and the Future of Niantic

What is Niantic? If they recognize the name, most people would rightly tell you it’s a company that makes mobile games, like Pokémon GO, or Ingress, or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. But no one at Niantic really seems to box it up as a mobile gaming company. Making these games is a big part of what the company does, yes, but the games are part of a bigger picture: they are a springboard, a place to figure out the constraints of what they can do with augmented […]

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