This Week in ARExperience
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 entertainment, including VRTalks, the new game show Enter the Turing Test, and the return of VR’s Got Talent.
- Also in AltspaceVR this week, a screening of the film “The Pink Path.” The film, as well as a Q&A with creators and other social events around the screening, are produced and hosted by Big Rock Creative, the company that has been brining Burning Man into the Metaverse for the past few years.
- Recently released research papers from NVIDIA detail academic partnerships between the computing giant and various universities. While most of the advancements detailed in the paper may take years to materialize – and even longer to find their ways into the hands of consumers – some hardware profiled in the research already has wearable prototypes.
- In other research news, archaeologists used 3D photogrammetry to digitally reconstruct carvings found in a cave in Alabama. The carvings were so large and the area was so small that the carvings could not be viewed or photographed at one time, so they needed to be digitally reconstructed.
- Luxury group LVMH announced finalists for the Face of Innovation Award. The announcement was made by a virtual spokesperson, and included XR companies including digital-first fashion house DressX. The winning companies in six categorites will be announced next month.
- WebXR framework Babylon.js has a complete 5th release. Major items include animation updates, infinite morph targets, a new GUI editor, and a performance profiler.
- The Verge reported that a partnership between VW and Microsoft could make HoloLens work in cars. Because XR headsets rely on positional data for things like tracking, the headsets had previously not worked while moving, so this marks a big step forward for Microsoft as well as for VW, who have already been trying to incorporate AR into their vehicles.
- AR in vehicles may sound like a potential distraction, but it has obvious potential in terms of navigation. However, taking the headset off of the driver and putting it on passenger brings more possibility in terms of both entertainment and in terms of “the 25th hour” — allowing remote collaboration and productivity during in-car transport.
This week we see a lot of entertainment, but we also see a lot of innovation.
While a popular Snapchat lens might not seem thrilling at first glance, remember that this humble social media platform is how a lot of users and designers get their feet wet with AR. A win for Snapchat is a win for the whole ecosystem.
As for innovation, emerging technologies need to change to thrive. Previous bouts of XR hype have come and gone because one or two major innovations caught our attention and then the field stagnated. From headsets that work in cars, to lighter weight headsets, to lighter weight but more powerful and accessible code, this is a strong week for XR development.