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TMCNet:  Cannabis Companies Partner With Inventive Technologies to Develop New Features

[March 12, 2019]

Cannabis Companies Partner With Inventive Technologies to Develop New Features

NEW YORK, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology has been rapidly reshaping the world throughout the past few decades, from the introduction of the first smartphone to the emergence of supercomputers. The digital age has continued its trajectory in recent years with the introduction of new innovative products. In particular, augmented reality (AR) has become increasingly popular among tech-savvy users. AR is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image onto a user's real-world point of view. Primarily, the increasing number of smartphones, and the mobile game users who utilize the smartphones is causing the rise in adoption of both augmented and virtual reality solutions. However, the industry still remains in a sluggish period due to the lack of penetration of those technologies, specifically in underdeveloped regions. Despite the industry's current trend, heavy investments have been flowing into the market, creating new opportunities for the future. According to data compiled by Allied Market Research, the global augmented and virtual reality market was valued at USD 11.32 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 571.42 Billion by 2025. Furthermore, the market is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 63.3% from 2018 to 2025. Nextech AR Solutions Corp. (OTC: NEXCF) (CSE: NTAR), Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTC: OGRMF) (TSX-V: OGI), Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN), Future Farm Technologies Inc. (OTC: FFRMF) (CSE: FFT)

The gaming segment in the AR industry accounted for 26% of the total revenue in 2017 and is even expected to maintain its lead into 2025. New innovations such as the 360-degree view of environments and haptic feedback through controls have led to the proliferation of AR-based games. Additionally, the exponential growth of the AR industry has also led the technology to be adopted in other fields such as education, information, retail, and even the cannabis industry. In particular, the cannabis industry is increasingly using AR technology for virtual retail experiences to enhance customer engagement or to improve grow houses' operations. The technology also allows customers to walk through dispensaries and view virtual projected images and information about the product on their smartphones or smart lens. On the supply side, AR can also help cultivators see data regarding the strain on their devices to access quick and onsite information. "Imagine an environment where you're going with your cellphone into the cannabis store," said Jay Rosenthal, Co-Founder and President of Business of Cannabis, "You scan the SKU, the barcode, and it brings up on your phone all the information about the product."

Nextech AR Solutions Corp. (OTCQB: NEXCF) (CSE: NTAR) is also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE: NTAR). Earlier today the company announced breaking news that, "the launch of its innovative augmented reality ("AR") platform for the legal cannabis industry, AR Dispensary.

NexTech's AR Dispensary utilizes immersive AR technology and rich 3D 360-degree photography to provide an eCommerce experience like no other in the legal cannabis industry. The white-label web-based AR solution, integrated into a dispensary's website seamlessly through just a snippet of code, enables consumers to preview products like flowers, gear, pre-rolls, and more from home or on-the-go. The platform can also support features for online ordering/pickup, and online ordering/delivery (where permitted), creating a complete digital dispensary experience.

"As an end-to-end eCommerce and education solution for the legal cannabis industry, AR Dispensary provides dispensary owners with a comprehensive solution that is scalable, customizable and, most importantly, easy to integrate within an existing web interface," said Evan Gappelberg, CEO of NexTech. "Whether a dispensary's goal is to educate customers on potential health benefits of cannabis or simply to increase sales, AR Dispensary provides the interactive online experience consumers crave that drives brand loyalty and awareness."

Traditionally the education process for cannabis consumers takes place at the dispensary, through a conversation with the "Budtender." This can be both time-consuming and confusing for the customer, especially if they are new to the industry. Instead, with AR Dispensary, legal cannabis sellers can empower consumers to educate themselves before entering the dispensary, ensuring they have the knowledge to make an informed purchasing decision.

"When people are planning to make a purchase both in-store and online, many are using the internet to research products to ensure they're making the right purchasing decision. We do it with clothes, electronics, and other consumer goods – why should cannabis be any different?" Gappelberg said. "AR Dispensary provides that traditional research and purchase experience for dispensaries that we've seen be so successful across a host of other industries. This is truly a next-generation experience that will drive engagement and learning within the cannabis industry."

With spending on legal cannabis worldwide expected to reach $57 billion by 2027, according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, on-demand, interactive AR experiences are the next step towards improving customers' path to purchase. The release of AR Dispensary continues NexTech's penetration into the burgeoning market, following its deal with Cannvas Medtech Inc., a leading digital cannabis education and business technology company, in January 2019.

About NexTech AR Solutions Corp: NexTech is bringing a next generation web enabled augmented reality (AR) platform with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and analytics to the Cannabis industry, eCommerce, education, training, healthcare and video conferencing. Having integrated with Shopify, Magento and Wordpress it's technology offers eCommerce sites a universal 3D shopping solution. With just a few lines of embed code, the company's patent-pending platform offers the most technologically advanced 3D-AR, AI technology anywhere.  Online retailers can subscribe to Nextechs state of the art, 3D-AR/AI solution for $79/mo. The company has created the AR industries first end-to-end affordable, intelligent, fritionless, scalable platform. To learn more, please follow us on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, or visit our website: https://www.nextechar.com ."

Organigram Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: OGRMF) (TSX-V: OGI) is a TSX Venture Exchange listed company whose wholly owned subsidiary, Organigram Inc., is a licensed producer of cannabis and cannabis-derived products in Canada. Organigram Holdings Inc. recently announced the release of an immersive 360-degree virtual facility experience, highlighting innovative indoor production practices at its Moncton, New Brunswick campus. The tour, available as an immersive 360 experience for both Android and iOS-enabled devices, takes viewers through Organigram's entire production process, from propagation to packaging. Facility infrastructure including mechanical controlling, irrigation and the campus' 40-megawatt substation are also highlighted. "We are told time and time again by industry experts, analysts and investors who visit that our production facility is precedent-setting for indoor cannabis production," Organigram Chief Executive Officer Greg Engel said. "We're proud of the innovation and engineering that's gone into the design; our geographic location makes it challenging for many visitors to visit in person, so we're eager to offer them an inside look from wherever they may be in the world."

Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI) is a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. Vuzix® Corporation recently announced the debut of Vuzix' next generation enterprise smart glasses, the M400, one of the first products made commercially available using the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR1 platform. Since the Company's collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), was announced in May 2018, the teams have been actively engaged to develop the first Snapdragon XR1-based enterprise smart glasses. The Vuzix M400 enterprise smart glasses was unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) on February 25-28, 2019 at the Fria Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain. "The Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform with built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities offers a platform of improved interactivity, power consumption, and thermal efficiency," said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix. "The Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses were designed to be best in class in enterprise and come equipped with Qualcomm's XR1 processor; larger memory profile; better noise canceling; a multifinger supported touchpad, built-in GPS and more. The M400 with the XR1 processor is, by almost every measure, an order of magnitude faster than current solutions on the market. The performance improvements also mean that for less processor intensive applications power consumption is expected to also be much less.  Qualcomm Technologies has been a great partner for Vuzix and we look forward to expanding our relationship to support the burgeoning AR smart glasses market."

Kopin Corporation (NASDAQ: KOPN) is a leading developer and provider of innovative wearable technologies and critical components for integration into wearable computing systems for military, industrial and consumer products. Kopin Corporation recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Forth Dimension Displays Limited, (ForthDD), is launching a 2K x 2K high-performance reflective LCOS device at Photonics West 2019. The 0.94" diagonal 2K x 2K device has 2048 x 2048 pixels and can be used as a microdisplay or as a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM). It is targeted at high-performance applications such as structured illumination and Near-To-Eye displays. The imager will be demonstrated on ForthDD's booth #1651 at Photonics West (Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Feb 5 – 7 2019). Through a 33° FOV viewer, one can see 24-bit colour 4.1 MPixel images. The purely digital LCOS technology ensures high brightness capability without any image burn-in. Used as a microdisplay, the 2K x 2K's square format is ideal for specialized near-to-eye applications such as surgical microscopes and electronic viewers for medical imaging. Used as an SLM, the imager will also find applications in 3D optical metrology and 3D augmented reality (AR). Dr. John C.C. Fan, Chief Executive Officer of Kopin Corporations, says: "The 2K x 2K LCOS display is the latest example of innovative products Kopin has introduced. It is the highest resolution ferroelectric display and SLM on the market, with very fast all digital switching characteristics to display a crisp lifelike image or provide high-performance binary phase modulation. Kopin is the only company that offers the full suite of microdisplays: transmissive and reflective LCDs as well as OLED displays. Our microdisplay products are being used across many military, industrial and consumer applications including AR, VR and 3D metrology."

Future Farm Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: FFRMF) (CSE: FFT) is a Canadian company with holdings throughout North America including California, Massachusetts, Florida, Maine, Puerto Rico and Newfoundland. Future Farm Technologies Inc. recently announced that the Canadian Securities Exchange approved the listing of the common shares of NexTech AR Solutions Corp. NexTech's shares began trading on the CSE on October 31, 2018 under the trading symbol "NTAR". NexTech is bringing augmented reality to the Cannabis market by turning 2D products into exciting 3D consumer experiences. NexTech is currently developing a proprietary and disruptive Augmented Reality (AR) advertising and education platform that uniquely engages by connecting brands and retailers through a fully immersive 3D AR experience called Native AR. NexTech launched its ARitize™ app in August 2018, which is capable of hosting many brands 3D objects and augmented reality experiences. "NexTech's vision is to merge augmented reality, a high growth technology, with Cannabis and other industries. We have been hard at work over the past year building a team and technology platform which is focused on bringing state of the art augmented reality to the cannabis industry and other industries," says Evan Gappelberg, Chief Executive Officer of NexTech.

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