This Week in ARExperience
February 17, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
- MR headset and software developer Magic Leap announced a “critical OS update for Magic Leap 1 and Magic Leap One Creator Edition.” Magic Leap is currently targeted almost exclusively at enterprise, and the update is targeted largely at developers, but other Magic Leap users should see the fruits of the update as they use their headsets and access future experiences and apps.
- VR training platform Talespin announced the closing of a $20M funding round led by investors including Sony Innovation Fund and Accenture. The company plans to use the funds to “scale its immersive learning platform to a range of different industries around the globe.
- In other funding news, Beem announced a $4M funding round. The cross-platform app focuses on AR communication, including live, two-way communication and pre-recorded one-way AR messages.
- In other AR news, hardware agnostic XR creator tool 8th Wall partnered with cross-platform avatar creator Ready Player Me. The partnership will allow users to include their Ready Player Me avatars into compatible experiences made with 8th Wall. Ready Player Me is constantly adding new partners, but 8th Wall is the first that preeminently features AR rather than VR.
- Monaverse isn’t the only immersive gallery out there. The Musee Dezentral has announced how its decentralized NFT gallery will work – a technical specification that has been unclear since the Musee started posting this autumn. Frames in the Musee will allow users to display ERC-721 and ERC-1155 tokens in a frame that will automatically change to fit the aspect ratio of the piece.
- This was also a big week for the immersive social platform Decentraland, with Vice opening an HQ and Miller Lite opening a pop-up bar for “The first Big Game ad in the metaverse.” The Meta Lite Bar seems to be closed now that the big game is over, and the Vice open house event has passed, but the publication does still plan on doing business out of their new virtual office.
- JP Morgan also opened a lounge in Decentraland, which wowed finance fans but proved “underwhelming” for XR enthusiasts.
- Fellow immersive social platform AltspaceVR announced a series of changes to its platform, mostly geared towards safety. Changes include the end of Altspace-hosted social clubs, the “safety bubble” being turned on by default, and new event attendees entering with muted mics. The changes will be the topic of a “Town Hall” event on Feb. 18 hosted by Alex Kipman.
This week’s news (barring a roundup of XR Super Bowl events that could have constituted its own article) are largely social in nature. Big announcements from Decentraland, Monaverse, Musee Dezentral, and AltspaceVR – not to mention the funding announcement by Beem – show that immersive spaces are not only gaining traction and adoption, they’re also maturing in their stacks and sustainability.
It’s also worth pointing out that two of the big announcements – HoloLens and AltspaceVR – are both Microsoft-led initiatives. While the computing giant is arguably underwhelming in terms of its expectations compared with consumer expectations, they certainly haven’t forgotten about their XR offerings.