Gear Up On IoT: Magic Leap Gets Alibaba As Partner + Is Apple Building a Virtual Keyboard?

Gear Up On IoT: Magic Leap Gets Alibaba As Partner + Is Apple Building a Virtual Keyboard?

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Five IoT news bites to start your Wednesday.

Augmented reality firm Magic Leap nabbed nearly $800 million in VC money led by Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba. To date, though, the Dania Beach, Fl-based company has shown little of what it promises to eventually deliver, other than a video released last year.

Apple scored a patent that would let users control a device just by hovering their fingers or hand over the item. The potential here? A virtual keyboard, says Patently Apple, by pointing to Apple emphasizing that hovering alone could cause something to happen "without making contact with the touch panel," they wrote.

Nintendo and virtual reality? According to a tweet from gaming analyst Serkan Toto, during Nintendo's recent briefing, the company mentioned "they 'are looking"'at VR - with no details." The company is already in beta with an augmented reality version of Pokémon (as we noted last month). But Nintendo has yet to launch any VR experiences.

For those who already find VR a yawn, consider buying tickets to a new live/virtual reality hybrid experience called Virtually Dead. Timed to lead into HTC Vive's launch in April, the event will have ticket holders don the new headsets at a secret location in London. The experience starts March 19th, and will include live Zombies (okay...actors) adding to the fear factor.

Finally, have a wearable device yet? You will. Gartner says wearables will grow more than 18 percent this year. But smartwatch adoption is the real area to watch, says the research firm. Consumers are expected to push this market up 50 percent, to almost 68 million sales by 2017, helped by Apple's move in this area.

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