This Week in ARExperience
March 3, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
- VR giant HTC VIVE launched its VIVERSE network of connected applications and services.
- Like Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse Connect presentation, the launch compiled a demo reel of services that were already available with technology that isn’t currently ready for mass rollout.
- The most significant element of the VIVERSE announcement was probably that it is intended to be accessible from any device, including desktop and mobile — a marked departure from the Zuckerverse.
- HTC also announced that its recently launched light weight VIVE FLOW headset will be the first VR headset compatible with Holoride, a German company creating in-vehicle VR experiences.
- Speaking of Meta, the company partnered with the Musuem of Food and Drink to recreate the Ebony Test Kitchen in mobile AR. The immersive experience powered by SparkAR can be found by visiting the Museum of Food and Drink in the Facebook or Instagram mobile app. The experience was designed to complement a physical exhibit in the Museum now through June.
- Even Varjo got in on the art scene with the “Goodbye Reality” mixed reality exhibit by Jani Leinonen. Until very recently, Varjo was a strictly enterprise company, though it has recently ventured into the high-end consumer market.
- Also in art and culture, fashion designer Philipp Plein partnered with 3D artist Antoni Tudisco and “21st century auction house” Portion to unveil a digital-first fashion line at Milan fashion week. The items in the line will start out as NFTs wearable by avatars in Decentraland before being manufactured and sold in the physical world.
- In darker fashion news, Ukrainian digital-first fashion company DRESSX launched the Support Ukraine Collection. Digital clothing items can be viewed on a user in AR for free through the DRESSX mobile app, while donations can be made in cryptocurrency through DRESSX or directly to the Ukranian Ministry of Defense and other charities.
- For more in metaverse fashion, cross-platform avatar creator Ready Player Me has released new outfits just in time for spring. The group has also announced a batch of new partners and connected apps, including NFT art gallery Musee Dezentral.
- Fellow 3D avatar creator DNABLOCK announced that it has cleared a $7M funding round driven largely by investors in the blockchain and virtual property space.
- In Microsoft’s virtual world, AltspaceVR, hip-hop group Naughty By Nature held an event in their custom world. The event included a musical performance, merchandise and tour announcements, and more. This was the group’s second “holoportation concert.”
- Speaking of volumetric video, 8th Wall is in the news again for announcing an integration with 4Dviews. Users of 8th Wall’s XR authoring tools can now incorporate holograms created using 4Dviews method for capturing volumetric video either with portable hardware or in a studio.
- On the outside of the headset, the XR Safety Initiative held a “kickoff meeting” to begin work on the second major version of its Privacy and Safety Framework.
There’s so much news, there’s little space to talk about trends. But that’s okay. Like last week, the primary trend this week is art and fashion everywhere! While many XR activations try to do something completely new, most of the activations this week advance XR by using it to advance our most basic human pursuits – and that might be exactly what the field needs.