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May 19, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • Pico released a video of the Neo3 Link. Now available for preorder in Europe, the headset appears to be a gaming-first modified version of the Neo3 Pro, the company’s stand-alone 6DoF enterprise headset. Pico remains an enterprise-only company in the United States, but has been exploring consumer expansion for years and could become a serious competitor to Meta.
  • TechCrunch reported that Snap Inc. has acquired KeyDB, an opensource database developer. The sum of the acquisition was listed as “undisclosed” and as of this writing neither Snap nor KeyDB had any outward-facing documents confirming the acquisition. However, it is hinted at by the name of the KeyDB Github repository.

    • According to TechCrunch, the acquisition is primarily demonstrative of Snap’s sustained growth. While this is fair, their acquisition of an opensource database developer also speaks to a trend in social media companies being more transparent. Social media hawks may think of Musk’s recent calls to make Twitter code opensource.
  • Snap did have some public news this week, although this too was largely internal. The company released both a memo regarding their efforts to increase workplace diversity and a full version of the report. While the memo is largely self-critical, the full report shows that key diversity benchmarks have moved up and the company is on track to reach goals set in 2020 for 2025.

    • A typical theme of Snap events is that diversity makes the platform more welcoming and representative of users. However, much of this diversity comes from the creator community. This week’s report represents efforts to diversify the corporate back-end which will subtly impact the tools used by the already diverse creators.
  • This Friday, BRCvr is hosting a party in AltspaceVR. The party is a social catch-up event, but will also be a planning session for this year’s playa.

    • In case you’re missing something, Big Rock Creative is the outfit that has been bringing Burning Man into AltspaceVR for the past few years. Naturally there are a few people at the top, but the effort is largely community driven – as it should be. Bringing the burn to VR was initially a covid project, but organizers and attendees are keeping it going.
  • In other immersive world news, the new Virbela campus is live. That means the open campus is free to everyone, but the update also has big implications for enterprise clients who create proprietary closed worlds through Virbela. More than a new campus with several new locations and a new transportation system, the update comes with highly improved graphics.

    • Virbela’s updates had been announced at an in-world event earlier this year that took place in a closed version of the new world. Since then, earlier viewers have had to make due with the original campus and graphics. That event also announced a new avatar creation system which is still not yet live, but is expected to unroll soon.

Usually, these end with a comment about how much news there was. This week, there didn’t seem to be as much in terms of separate news items. But that’s okay, because it afforded the chance to take deeper dives into the context and background of the week’s news.

As far as trends, light news also means heavy development, and that’s largely what we see here. There’s a lot of internal news, but even the outward facing news is development of existing initiatives, which shows maturity and sustainability in the industry.

May 19, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Pico released a video of the Neo3 Link. Now available for preorder in Europe, the headset appears to be a gaming-first modified version of the Neo3 Pro, the company’s stand-alone 6DoF enterprise headset. Pico remains an enterprise-only company in the United States, but has been exploring consumer expansion for years and could become a serious

May 12, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Are all of your friends crying? Snapchat’s most viral new lens makes the user (or others) appear like they’re crying. According to Snapchat, the lens has been used over 1 billion times since its release less than a week ago, including by celebrities like David Dobrik and Kylie Jenner. AltspaceVR announced a new season of interactive

May 5, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig The XR world celebrated “Star Wars Day” on May the 4th.Blippar created a WebAR game that lets players shoot down waves of TIE Fighters, on their desktops or in their neighborhoods on mobile devices.Enterprise AR headset manufacturer RealWear tweeted that the design for their headsets was inspired by Boba Fett’s targeting system.Meta put a sale

April 28, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Smartglasses manufacturer Vuzix has donated “a number of their M400 Smartglasses to Ukraine.” With the support of local operators and carriers, the glasses will help medical professionals in particular at a time when communication and transportation have been strained by the war with Russia. LED display inspection and repair company InZiv announced the closing of a

April 21, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig U.K.-based AR experience builder Blippar announced that it is expanding its presence in the United States.While AR experience building certainly isn’t a saturated market in the United States, Blippar may find itself competing more directly with the likes of 8th Wall. Enterprise smart glasses manufacturer Vuzix announced that a Zoom application is now available for their

April 13, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Hologram creator PROTO, formerly PORTL, has announced that Sean Combs is now an advisor. Combs is also a big investor in the company but more importantly, brings with him valuable insights and connections from his decades-long career as a recording artist, actor, producer and entrepreneur. In other hologram news, XR development studio 8th Wall worked with

April 6, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig The XR Safety Initiative’s Metaverse Citizens Forum took place in AltspaceVR this week and focused, among other topics, on the use of artificial intelligence in building and populating immersive experiences. MultiBrush from Rendever announced updates including passthrough support and avatar integration. The multi-user XR painting platform was created by Rendever after the open sourcing of TiltBrush

March 31, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Friday saw the opening of the Peace Pavillion within Spatial. Launched in collaboration with artist community The Polycount Newsfeed, the pavilion is a gallery of NFTs with proceeds going to benefit charities in the Ukraine. If that didn’t get you excited about the virtual world of NFTs, virtual gallery experience Mona partnered with Ready Player Me

March 24, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Verizon continued trailblazing 5G-enabled XR experiences for its customers, this time partnering with Snap, Arcadia, and Cirque du Soleil for an exclusive lens. The lens recreates the “O” experience featuring motion-captured performances that even recorded finger movements of the actual Cirque du Soleil performers.Like other recent XR experiences and applications from Verizon, this experience is

March 17, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig Construction planning app HomeAR launched a product update that includes improved lighting and reflection graphics and a Revit plugin.The platform, which places 3D models of yet-to-be-constructed homes in the real-world build site, also announced that it is working on an in-model annotation tool and in-app video recording, though these features are not yet available. Snap announced