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Opinion: Snap Inc.'s Massive Loss on Spectacles May Hint at Trouble for the Future of Mainstream AR Smartglasses

The would-be role of Snap Inc. as the first step toward mainstreaming wearable tech in the form of glasses has stalled, and now we have proof. In the company's third quarter financial results report, released on Tuesday, Snap Inc. revealed that it will lose nearly $40 million due to unsold Spectacles, the camera glasses first sold at kiosks throughout the US.

News: Waveguide Developer Wins Big in New Round of Funding for Augmented Reality Displays

DigiLens, a company specializing in optical waveguide technology, recently announced that they had closed a $22 million round of strategic investment, also known as Series B funding. This round brought in Sony, Foxconn, Continental, and Panasonic, as well as more traditional venture investors such as Alsop Louie Partners, Bold Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, and Dolby Family Ventures.

News: Microsoft Enlists Rapper/Actor Common to Push Its HoloLens Future During NBA All-Star Weekend

The Microsoft HoloLens has a fairly passionate, yet relatively small group of users pushing the developer-centric device forward, mostly spreading the word about the device through word of mouth and meetups. But this weekend, during the annual NBA All-Star festivities, we got a look at how Microsoft may be planning to market the device if it ever goes truly mainstream.

News: Five Windows Holographic Mixed Reality Headsets Have Now Been Seen, but Most Have Not Been Touched

Some of the products I have been looking forward to seeing the most during CES 2017 has been the upcoming Windows Holographic virtual reality headsets. These are VR headset that will run a version of the Windows Holographic platform, which will allow users to have a similar experience as the HoloLens with a mixed reality environment. Of the six headsets that could have possibly made it to CES, five had shown up. Unfortunately, most of them are behind glass.

Market Reality: Snap Inches Toward Smartglasses with Spectacles 3, Meta Patent Suit Ends, YouTube Launches AR Makeup

This week, Snapchat parent Snap came closer to fulfilling its smartglasses destiny by adding new 3D content capabilities to its third-generation Spectacles. At the same time, the now defunct Meta Company continued its fall from grace, as a judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the patent infringement case against the Meta 1 and Meta 2 headsets.

Market Reality: Magic Leap App Makes Waves, Norm Glasses Push Smartglass Future, & Facebook's Mind-Powered Controllers

When it comes to the business of augmented reality, companies that aren't already introducing new products or apps are focused on producing the AR technology of the future. But in the realm of real products and apps, Magic Leap continues to show off what its headset can do, this time via a new app that transports users to the ocean's depths.

NR50: The People Leading Augmented & Mixed Reality's Head-Mounted Displays

A new technological movement without the technology itself is just an idea sitting and waiting. Once the technology is present in the equation, movement forward can begin. This is how many of us see the head-mounted displays (HMDs) and smartglasses that have recently entered the augmented and mixed reality market — or are coming out in the next few months. This is a movement that will sweep over the world, changing everything in its path, and these are some of the people behind it.

Market Reality: Snapchat Does E-Commerce, Renault Drives into Star Wars AR & Christie's Taps Wealthy Art Buyers via AR

It doesn't matter how cool or groundbreaking a particular technology is, if it doesn't offer the promise of big returns on investments, you'll have trouble drawing interest from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street. That's why we're increasingly seeing existing augmented reality players doing everything they can to focus in on revenue generation, which was the message coming from Snap Inc. this week.

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