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Niantic Receives $300 Million Investment from Coatue. (Niantic)

This Week in ARExperience

November 24, 2021 by Jon Jaehnig
  • The FDA has authorized the marketing of prescription-use VR platform EaseVRx for management of chronic back pain.
  • Niantic announced a $300M investment from global investment manager Coatue towards the AR company’s “real-world metaverse” play. Niantic has been involved in the creation of world-scale AR games for years, but it is arguably only in their recent release of the Lightship developer platform that the company has stepped into a metaverse offering bigger than their own in-house experiences.
  • Smart glasses manufacturer Nreal has announced that two of their consumer models will be available in the U.S. for Verizon users. The company has been launching products and rolling out updates for years but only announced earlier this year that they would be launching in the states.
  • Snap has added new layers to the Snap Map, making for easier and more informative navigation of the physical world through the camera-based app. (Also, Snapchat independent creators on social media have been posting about receiving mysterious Snap gift boxes in advances of “Lens Fest,” the company’s developer conference, which will take place from December 7-9.
  • In further avatar news, STEM VR education platform brainSTEM announced the rollout of its avatar customization tool.

It’s worth pointing out how much of the news this week is AR related rather than VR related. There’s definitely a sentiment in the industry that as these technologies develop VR will be more for isolated, highly specialized use-cases while AR will be used more frequently and consistently in the average user’s day-to-day. This context makes the Nreal’s announcement of U.S. AR glasses availability even more exciting – even if it’s currently only for Verizon 5G mobile devices.