Facebook restructures Building 8, separating projects into Reality Labs and Portal groups

Facebook is restructuring its experimental hardware efforts and giving its moonshot projects a home within its AR/VR research division. The restructuring, reported by Business Insider (paywalled), didn’t result in any layoffs but did see some shifts of teams as the old Building 8 group rebranded to Portal and some projects moved to the former Oculus […]

Niantic reportedly raising $200M at $3.9B valuation

Pokémon GO creator Niantic is raising a $200 million Series C at a valuation of $3.9 billion, according to a report from Katie Roof at the WSJ. The round is expected to be led by IVP with participation from Samsung and aXiomatic Gaming. The upcoming raise would bring the company’s total funding to $425 million, according to […]

WaveOptics nabs $26M as it sets its sights on lower-cost AR hardware

At the heart of the lightweight augmented reality glasses that you’ve been promised is a display engine that a handful of tech companies are racing to improve. WaveOptics is one such startup looking to expand the capabilities and shrink the form factor of waveguide displays. The U.K.-based company has just raised $26 million in what […]

AR startup Blippar in danger of becoming a blip as shareholders fight over future funding

Blippar, the U.K.-based AR startup that raised more than $130 million, may be nearing the end of the road. The company has been burning through cash in a bid to pivot in search of a profitable AR business model, and now shareholders are in dispute over whether to throw Blippar any more money to aid […]

WiARframe wants to make building AR experiences easy

Augmented reality has been a buzzword for years, but for the most part, it has remained a novelty. WiARframe, which is competing in our Startup Battlefield competition today at Disrupt Berlin, believes that we are still very early on in the AR game and that part of what is holding the market back is that […]

Phiar raises $3 million for an AR navigation app for drivers

Augmented reality is a very buzzy space, but the fundamental technologies underpinning it are pushing boundaries across a lot of other verticals. Machine learning, object recognition and visual mapping tech are the pillars of plenty of new ventures, enabling there to be companies that thrive in the overlap. Phiar (pronounced fire) is building an augmented […]

Genies brings lifelike avatars to other apps with $10M from celebrities

Genies is emerging as the top competitor to Snapchat’s wildly popular Bitmoji as Facebook, Apple and Google have been slow to get serious about personalized avatars. More than one million people have customized dozens of traits to build a realistic digital lookalike of themselves from over a million possible permutations. When Genies launched a year […]

How cities can fix tourism hell

A steep and rapid rise in tourism has left behind a wake of economic and environmental damage in cities around the globe. In response, governments have been responding with policies that attempt to limit the number of visitors who come in. We’ve decided to spare you from any more Amazon HQ2 talk and instead focus […]

YouTube VR finally lands on the Oculus Go

Today, Google’s YouTube VR app arrives on the $199 Oculus Go, bringing to Facebook’s entry-level VR device the largest library of VR content on the web. YouTube brings plenty of content in conventional and more immersive video types. It’s undoubtedly the biggest single hub of 360 content and native formats like VR180, though offering access […]

Sneaker marketplace GOAT announces an AR-centric Black Friday giveaway

Black Friday giveaways have become a tradition for online sneaker marketplace GOAT. Today it’s announcing the details of this year’s campaign, which will be its first to incorporate augmented reality. Director of Communications Liz Goodno described this as “the largest digital sneaker event of the year.” The company says it will be offering more than […]