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8th Wall's Reality Engine
8th Wall's Reality Engine is fully optimized to adapt WebAR content beyond the smartphone, enabling it to work across all devices: iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, computers and AR and VR headsets. (8th Wall)

This Week in ARExperience

November 11, 2021 by Jon Jaehnig
  • In related news, Apes are in Decentraland – kind of. As of November 14, the first generation of 3D apes is coming, but these are apes made by Apes 3D, not Yuga Labs, the studio that took the social media and crypto worlds by storm with the Bored Apes Yacht Club. A collaboration between Yuga and Decentraland would be interoperability, but to some this might feel more like counterfeit.
  • Niantic also rolled out their Lightship Platform for creating shared AR experiences. The highly anticipated software developer’s kit had been announced months ago but remained in closed beta until earlier this week.

    • The company also announced Niantic Ventures, an investment branch for “discovering the AR leaders of the future.
Niantic Lightship AR
Niantic Releases Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit. (Niantic)
  • Logistics company DB Schenker has partnered with remote presence platform Avatour. The partnership, allowing virtual warehouse tours and more was inspired by the pandemic but is likely to end up a long-term move, with DB Schenker representatives calling the partnership “a new dimension of digitization.”
  • Qualcomm has acquired hand tracking company Clay AIR and launched Snapdragon Spaces to select developers. The full release is expected next year. Companies currently working with the platform include Lenovo and DT
  • Game studio Chicken Waffle has created XRswim, curated VR content including games, web experiences, education, and entertainment. Also, the company’s “VR Baby Simulator” is coming to PSVR on Thanksgiving.
  • VR studio Resolution Games announced that it will create a branch dedicated to the development of AR titles.
  • Unity has “entered a definitive agreement” to acquire Weta Digital, the digital effects company best known for Avatar and the Planet of the Apes films. Under the agreement, Weta would remain its own standalone company but Unity would gain access to its engineers and software “to deliver tools to unlock the full potential of the metaverse.”

The biggest takeaways from this week’s XR news come from the engines and developer kits announced by 8th Wall, Qualcomm, and Niantic. All of these tools offer not only ways for more people to create more experiences and more robust experiences, but also more ways for those experiences to reach the end user – regardless of what kind of technology that end user may have.

“Democratization” has been an idea in XR for some time, and it usually means making experiences easier to create; however, removing the barrier for the user as well as the creator definitely helps the XR community to scale – and that’s better for everyone.