RTL Group-backed virtual and augmented reality specialist Inception has joined Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality Programme and has been chosen as a beta partner for Facebook’s augmented reality Camera Effects Programme.
The Microsoft move will seen Inception add Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality to the list of platforms it supports.
Inception has incorporated Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, into its core UX, providing users with the ability to navigate mixed reality experiences using their voice. Microsoft and Inception are also working on multiple content creation and distribution opportunities, Inception said.
“The VR industry is growing rapidly, and Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform is going to be a significant leap ahead,” said Benny Arbel, Inception CEO.
“The ability to plug-and-play any of the Windows Mixed Reality headsets with any of the affordable, compatible PCs will bring immersive experiences to the masses, and we’re really excited to be taking the leap together with Microsoft. We believe that exhilarating immersive content should be available for everyone, which is why we’ve announced partnerships with leading publishers such as Time Out and Pitchfork who both have huge audiences who can benefit from mixed reality experiences.”
Inception has separately unveiled its first augmented reality ‘filters’ for Facebook’s Camera Effects. Inception has provided filters to showcase branded content it created for Israeli beauty network Beyond Cosmetics. The filters are available through Facebook Camera.
Facebook’s Camera Effects Programme was announced at its recent F8 conference and the Beyond Cosmetics campaign is among the first brands rolling out through the limited number of Camera Effects partners, according to Inception.
Camera Effects tools are designed to allow users to personalise and express themselves with the Facebook camera, creating augmented reality effects.
The Camera Effects Platform includes two products. Frames Studio lets users design frames that can be used either with profile pictures or in the new Facebook camera. AR Studio can be used to create masks, scripted effects, animated frames and other AR technologies that react to movement or interactions during live videos. Frame Studio is available globally, while AR Studio is now open for beta applications.
“This is an amazing opportunity for publishers and brands around the world to connect with fans through more relevant and personalized content,” said Arbel.
“As one of the top VR entertainment apps, we are proud and excited to step into the world of AR and provide even more value for our partners by creating viral immersive content.”
RTL Group took a 15% stake in Inception earlier this month after leading the company’s US$15 million (€13 million) Series A funding round.
RTL said that Inception will provide VR programming, creative, and distribution capabilities to RTL Group thanks to its content network, interactive technology and content making expertise.
The Israel-based firm launched in October 2016 and has apps for Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, iOS, Android, Google Daydream and HTC Vive – with Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality and Sony PSVR “coming soon”.