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AR lens makers aim at 2020

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CES 2019 was a subdued show for new product launches in the AR and VR sector. HTC bucked this trend with not one but two new devices; the Vive Pro Eye and the Vive Cosmos. However, the major news was happening behind the scenes; specialist AR lens manufacturers such as Lumus and LetinAR are improving their production capabilities. This market development will underpin genuinely mass-market AR product launches that we can expect in 2020.

David MacQueen, Executive Director of the Virtual & Augmented Reality research program at Strategy Analytics, said, “Why is lens manufacturing important? As discussed in the report, Dedicated AR Devices – Market and Outlook, today, the specialist lenses are one of the most costly and difficult to manufacture components in transparent AR glasses. Price must come down and manufacturing scalability must be improved for dedicated AR devices to reach mainstream usage.

“There are now at least 4 major specialist lens manufacturers which are making significant investments in their production capabilities. This should lead to improved scalability and reduced costs. Although it may not be as exciting as a new product launch, this is a major step forward, overcoming one of the most significant hurdles in AR product development. This foundation will underpin the “sexy” AR product launches we can expect to see at CES 2020.”

David Kerr, VP at Strategy Analytics, said, “This points toward those companies seeing a major market opportunity – there’s only a requirement to invest in scaling production from the thousands of units, to the tens or hundreds of thousands of units if the demand exists. Strategy Analytics’ earlier prediction that 2020 will be the year when we see significant volume growth in dedicated AR devices seems to be on course, at least from the point of view of the lens manufacturers.”

The full report, AR Market In Sight: CES 2019 AR & VR Roundup, is available here.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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