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Tech Giants Start Getting Real on AR

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‘Pokemon Go,’ an augmented reality-based smartphone game introduced in 2016, has generated $6 billion in reported lifetime spending since its launch, according to data from Sensor Tower.

Credit: Thomas Samson/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Big technology companies are scaling back their plans for augmented reality (AR) devices.

Meta Platforms, for instance, appears to have scrapped plans to release commercial AR glasses, and Microsoft reported the departure of Alex Kipman, who led its HoloLens project.

Apple's efforts have so far concentrated on AR software tools for developers.

The challenge of AR, even for large tech firms, is that the technology involves the virtual layering of objects onto the physical world, which requires the motion-capture capabilities of virtual reality, the computing power for machine vision, and artificial intelligence for the real-time processing of real-world imagery.

It also is difficult to combine those capabilities in a comfortable and attractive head-mounted display unit.

Companies appear to be focusing on small wins in the AR space, with Sensor Tower finding that Niantic's AR-based smartphone game Pokémon Go has generated $6 billion in reported lifetime spending since 2016.

From The Wall Street Journal
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