'Largest construction project in the history of the world': Michael Leventhal on the AR Cloud

Michael Leventhal, writing for the Holmes Weinberg blog, sums up the implications of the numerous and recent AR Cloud announcements.

Let’s say you’re in New York, walking by the Empire State building wearing your Magic Leap One. You look up and see the hot new Banksy virtual graffiti installation.  For this to be realized, someone will have to construct a virtual Empire State Building first.

Do you want to see what your neighborhood looked like 50 years ago, or might look like in 50 years?  Someone has to create a virtual rendering of your ‘hood, both with today’s imagery and archival images from the past.

Would you like to leave a friend a virtual note at a favorite meeting spot, to be seen when he or she next wanders by?  You’ll need a virtual version of that location in order to create a layer on top of it.

Over the last few months, I’ve been seeing more and more discussion of the platform we might call the persistent virtual world…READ MORE

HoloLens 2 is a Pragmatic and Solid Step Forward for AR

Los Angelenos are focused on The Oscars today. Tech news is piggybacking on that story with the “how will Netflix perform” story angle.

Meanwhile, earlier Sunday (Pacific Time) Satya Nadella and team announced the Hololens 2 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Since before the Sensorama, we’ve envisioned a world where our devices blend into the background. In some ways a small step toward that future has been taken as we’ve moved away from desktops to a mobile world. Mass adoption of AR glasses would represent several large steps.

For Microsoft, building out the services to one day support a large-scale adoption of AR while also slowly iterating the hardware has positioned this latest iteration of Hololens as a big step up toward that future.


As reported by The Verge’s Dieter Bohn, this Hololens is meant for enterprise. This contrasts with Magic Leap’s MagicVerse enabling a futuristic world world of Dr Grobort’s Invaders and Project Porg,

Meta is out of the race for now. Google, Facebook, and Apple are all strongly rumored to be working on consumer-focused AR glasses to be released at some point in the future. Microsoft and Magic Leap are the lead contenders in the high-end AR HMD space with clearly delineated positioning. Magic Leap is pivoting to enterprise as well since that sector will represent the best opportunity to make money for at least a few years.

In addition to the hardware, Microsoft is building out the application layer that will propel adoption starting with enterprise but later consumer applications. The new Azure Spatial Anchors adds “multiplayer” or collaboration capability, anchors real-world locations to specific functionality, and provides integrations for IoT / hologram interaction.

As industry insiders wring their hands and wonder where we are in the Trough of Disillusionment, this solid step forward for the state of AR technology should provide much-needed solace.

Hype Cycle for Technology as defined by Gartner

Hype Cycle for Technology as defined by Gartner