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    Posted by Liisa Mathlin on 5.3.2021
    Liisa Mathlin
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    If you still have some cleaning energy left from the lockdown, Ikea comes to the rescue! The furniture company launched an AR game on Snapchat, where the users can "escape" by decluttering a room.

    Also, Microsoft presents its Mesh service with Niantic and an XR Pokémon GO demo, and Varjo becomes a Unity Verified Solution Partner.

    Ikea created an AR 'escape room' on Snapchat

    If you are nothing like me and have no more organizing to do at home, here is something to channel all the cleaning energy into.

    Ikea's new AR feature on Snapchat turns decluttering into a game. The experience takes place in a miniature model of a bedroom superimposed on a tabletop, floor, or other flat surfaces through a smartphone camera. Users can record their solution to the puzzle and share it with friends through Snapchat Stories.

    "One of the challenges during the pandemic is that we really want to create different experiences to continue to engage our customers with our home furnishing solutions in new ways. It's about trying to really meet people where they're at," Paul Anderson, Ikea's U.S. interior design leader, told Adweek.


    Microsoft shows off its vision for future meetings

    Microsoft has announced Mesh, a service to build apps for people to collaborate in augmented reality. The goal is to enable people to join Mesh-enabled meetings on any device, such as a PC, a tablet, or a smartphone.

    Together with Microsoft's Alex Kipman, Niantic's John Hanke showcased a Pokémon GO proof-of-concept. It allows users to connect and collaborate remotely from multiple devices via "shared holographic experiences."

    The demo teased a future for the location-based multiplayer AR game. Hanke was wearing a Microsoft HoloLens headset while exploring a Japanese garden filled with various Pokémon characters.

    The company clarified that the demo is a proof-of-concept meant to showcase Microsoft Mesh's capabilities; there are currently no commercial release plans.


    Varjo joins Unity's Verified Solution Partner Program

    Varjo has announced that it is now a Unity Verified Solution Partner. According to the company, they are the first official XR/VR hardware provider to join this exclusive program. The partnership will enable more professionals to build photorealistic 3D experiences.

    As a Unity Verified Solution Partner, all Varjo headsets have complete compatibility with the latest Unity releases. Unity developers can now take full advantage of Varjo's virtual reality (VR) and extended reality (XR) capabilities such as human-eye resolution visual fidelity (at over 70 pixels per degree), photorealistic video pass-through mixed reality, real-time chroma-keying, and more.

    "Together, Unity and Varjo are powering the creation of immersive experiences that appear as real as the world we live in. We're confident that our partnership can help drive the shift from developing real-time 3D content, towards true XR experiences. Experiences, where users can no longer tell the difference between what is real and what is virtual," said Marcus Olsson, Head of Software Partnerships at Varjo.


    That's all for now, see you next time!

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    Topics: AR Weekly

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