Category Archives: AR

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite AR Game now available in Australia and New Zealand

Augmented Reality company Niantic has announced the beta launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in Australia and New Zealand. In development since 2017, this new AR game offers gameplay similar to Niantic’s other games Pokémon GO and Ingress. According to the developer:

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite combines content and characters you know and love from both the original Harry Potter series and the Fantastic Beasts films in a unique Wizarding World experience. It’s up to you to ready your wand, prepare your potions, brush up your spells and help prevent The Calamity from exposing the secrets of the wizarding world.

As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more. Cast a variety of spells to overcome the Confoundable magic, keep the magical Foundables safe, and send them back to the wizarding world. By returning Foundables, you’ll earn unique rewards that can be tracked in the game Registry.

More information and signups are available at the website.



Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.


Best of Sundance AR and VR Experiences

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival is over, but there were plenty of high quality virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. The Verge has published their list of the best AR and VR from the festival. Among their top selections:


BEST 360-DEGREE VIDEO: 4 FEET: BLIND DATEcreated by: María Belén Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damián Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardón

BEST VR ANIMATION: GLOOMY EYEScreated by: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado


BEST INTERACTIVE MECHANIC: THE DIALcreated by: Peter Flaherty, Jesse Garrison

BEST WRITING: DIRTSCRAPERcreated by: Peter Burr, Porpentine Charity Heartscape

BEST INSTALLATION: SWEET DREAMScreated by: Robin McNicholas, Ersin Han Ersin, Barnaby Steel, Nell Whitley

The complete article with full reviews can be found here.


Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.



XR Association Releases Starter Guide for Developers

The XR Association (XRA) has released “XR Primer 1.0: A Starter Guide for Developers,” which offers design guidance and creates an industry-wide standard for VR and AR developers.

In their October 29th press release, the XRA explains the objective of this new guide:

“As augmented and virtual reality experiences continue to integrate more deeply into recreational, public health, workforce training, scientific, and other facets of all of our lives, the XR Association will continue to partner closely with developers,” remarked Debbie Girolamo, XRA President and Senior Corporate Counsel at HTC VIVE. “The Starter Guide for Developers creates a set of standards and a common language through which developers can optimize their processes and, ultimately, the end-user experience.”

According to their FAQ, the XRA “is an evolution of the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA) and its mission. The XRA recently expanded its industry representation to reflect the broader XR industry, which encompasses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), as well as future XR technologies developed in the constantly evolving XR space. This transition, including a new name — the XR Association — has provided the association with the opportunity to relaunch as a more influential body and strong resource for stakeholders globally.”

The XR Association represents headset and technology manufacturers across the broad XR industry, including Google, HTC VIVE, Facebook and Oculus, Samsung, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and STARVR CORP.

The XR Primer 1.0 developer guide, along with other research and standards, can be found here.

USA Network Releases Mobile AR App for “The Purge”

Released as a companion mobile game for their new horror TV series, The Purge augmented reality (AR) app is now available for Apple and Android devices.

The Purge AR app allows you to “scan your space with your phone and then add defenses to make your room Purge-worthy (think: barbed wire and bear traps).” Once your room is protected, you will face increasingly difficult stages and earn better objects to safeguard your environment.

Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse Productions, The Purge revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in an altered America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. As the clock winds down, each character is forced to reckon with their past as they discover how far they will go to survive the night. New episodes air every Tuesday night on USA at 10/9c!

More information and download links are available at USA’s website.


New York Times to offer Mixed Reality Content for Magic Leap One

In a press release on August 8, 2018, the New York Times announced that its immersive journalism content will be available for the “Magic Leap One Creator Edition” mixed reality headset:

The Times’s first offering for “Magic Leap One Creator Edition” is a mixed reality (MR) version of its immersive report inviting readers to explore the damage caused by the Fuego volcano eruption in the Guatemalan village of San Miguel Los Lotes. Through MR and accessible via Helio, Magic Leap’s web browser for 3D and spatial web experiences, The Times is able to transport a life-sized piece of the scene to readers, conveying the scale of this natural disaster in a visceral way, and allowing users to examine it as if they were there.

The New York Times continues to explore the latest technology in immersive media. In previous projects, they established themselves as early adopters of virtual reality, 360-degree video, and augmented reality. Most notably in November 2015, the Times distributed over a million cardboard VR headsets to home subscribers in conjunction with the launch of their 360-video “NYT VR” app.

Journalism offers unlimited opportunities to benefit from the features of immersive technology. As more VR, AR, and MR devices become available and affordable, the content produced by news organizations like the New York Times will continue to reach increasing numbers of consumers. However, producing content that’s compelling and accessible is only part of the equation. It’s critical to raise awareness and promote immersive media to the public at large, to ensure that talented journalists and technologists (like those at the Times) can continue to create these amazing experiences.


Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.

BREAKING NEWS: Magic Leap One AR Headset Now Available for $2,295

From Magic Leap’s announcement today (Aug. 8th, 2018):

Calling all developers, creators and explorers – Magic Leap One Creator Edition is now available. Brace yourself because a universe of creative possibilities is expanding right in front of you.

Join us on a mind-expanding journey into the outer reaches of human creativity. Magic Leap One Creator Edition is a spatial computing system that brings digital content to life here in the real world with us. Its unique design and technology lets in natural light waves together with softly layered synthetic lightfields, enabling creators to build unbelievably believable interactive experiences and create worlds within our world. And this is just the beginning.


AR/VR Marketing Benefits, Challenges, and Future (IAB article)

Great article at IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) discussing the benefits of AR/VR for marketing. Here is an excerpt:

While they have their differences, AR and VR both provide superior strategies for marketers to tell stories that capture the entirety of a user’s attention and invoke natural exploratory curiosity. Virtual reality is independent of user context and replaces the real world in its entirety. VR advertising allows the user to be completely immersed into an environment of the marketer’s choice, which instantly commands the total attention of the end user and allows marketers to craft incredibly compelling VR experiences. VR offers opportunities for advertisers to connect with their audience in a visceral way that traditional channels cannot achieve.

Includes an excellent glossary of AR/VR terminology which will be very useful for agencies and and advertisers.


Snapchat AR for Disney, Universal, and Six Flags parks

According to Next Reality News, Snapchat is now offering augmented reality apps at various theme parks this summer.

According to a company spokesperson, Snapchat now offers geofenced Snapchat Lenses at Disney, Universal, and Six Flags/Warner Bros. parks. The Lenses, which reflect the intellectual property of each parent company, will be available in the carousel once users enter participating parks.

Smartphone-based entertainment at theme parks is a growing trend this year. Disney has recently announced their “Play Disney Parks” mobile app, which allows guests to engage in various games, challenges, and other entertainment while waiting in line or exploring the parks.

Standards for XR Terminology Defined

TVTechnology reports that the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has released their “first-ever standard addressing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies.”

Developed by the CTA’s Portable Handheld and In-Vehicle Electronics Committee, this new standard provides official definitions for the following terms:

360 Spatial Audio
Augmented Reality
Mixed Reality
Room-Scale VR
Six Degrees-of-Freedom
Spherical Video
Three Degrees-of-Freedom
Virtual Reality
VR Video and VR Images
X Reality

Although these terms are well-known to those in VR/AR/MR circles, establishing clear “official” definitions will help to clarify product features for consumers and manufacturers, and hopefully increase awareness and mainstream adoption.

The new standard can be obtained for free at CTA’s website, after registering for a free account.