This Week in ARExperience
November 4, 2021
The last week saw a lot of major events including Connect, Social Media Week, and Microsoft Ignite. Also included: updates from Snap and HP, a call for participation from the VR/AR Association, a funding announcement from DigiLens, and more.
- Connect took place on October 28. While leaked images had many fans anticipating hardware, no new devices were announced. Instead, the event focused on software updates and releases, as well as Facebook Company changing its name to “Meta.”
- Vertigo Games will be releasing five new Games
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Blade & Sorcery: Nomad are coming to Quest
- Horizon Homes will get a social update
- “Horizon Worlds” – a sandbox feature for building virtual environments is in beta.
Outside of Connect, Meta also announced Spark Foundry as its Agency of Record. As such, Spark Foundry – an international brand agency and member of Publicis Groupe – will oversee the strategy and acquisitions within Meta.
- Late last week, Arcadia Creative Studio launched. The company had been announced earlier that month as a creative studio dedicated to branded AR experiences on Snapchat. Early partners include Verizon, WWE, and Shake Shack.
- By a striking coincidence, on that same day another company also called Arcadia announced that its VR match-three game Jentrix is now available on Oculus App Lab. This Arcadia is a Russian arena VR venue. The in-home game available to U.S. audiences through Oculus devices both constitute exciting benchmarks for the company.
- Late last week, HP announced updates to the its Reverb G2 model including improved tracking, software updates, and a new warranty policy on cables. The G2 was initially launched from a first-of-its-kind press event in AltspaceVR during the 2020 Augmented World Expo.
- November 2-4 saw the annual Microsoft Ignite event. This year, among many other updates, CEO Satya Nadella announced that Mesh, the mixed reality platform announced last year, is getting an integration with Microsoft Teams allowing avatar use and virtual spaces. The updates should begin to roll out in the first half of next year.
- Social Media Week, an Adweek event dedicated to advertising on social media, took place at the same time. The event included sessions led by David Norris of Snap Inc, Deft founder Ian Crocombe, Julian Decot of Meta, and futurist Cathy Hackl.
- Also in Snap news, the company announced that sounds from select NBC Universal movies and shows will now be available to Snapchat creators. When a Snapchat user is sent a snap with one of these sound bites, a “Play This Sound” link will appear on the snap to take the viewer to the original source wherever it is streaming.
- The VR/AR Association released a call for participation for an upcoming report on avatars, holograms, and digital humans in the context of the metaverse. The organization is accepting information as well as promoting sponsorship opportunities for the report.
- Waveguide display manufacturers DigiLens announced that they have cleared a $500M series D funding round led by Samsung Electronics.
- Siduri Wines launched the Siduri Holographic Sweepstakes. The wine company is an early and strong adopter of mixed reality in advertising and the sweepstakes give winners the opportunity to tour vineyards, wineries, and a Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studio. Entry is open now through the end of the year.
There isn’t a clear theme in this week’s news and activations. We’re knee-deep into event season, which leads to a little bit of everything from everyone.