This Week in ARExperience
November 24, 2021 by Jon Jaehnig
Reality Labs, the XR research branch within Welcome to Meta | Meta (facebook.com), released a report on some of their research into advanced haptic wearables.
- Following the report, HaptX founder and CEO Jake Rubin posted an open letter asserting that “the core components of this prototype … appear to be substantively identical to HaptX’s patented technology.” The letter also asserts that engineers from Meta had seen HaptX facilities and the concern was that competition in the industry remain fair.
- The FDA has authorized the marketing of prescription-use VR platform EaseVRx for management of chronic back pain.
- FastCompany released a list of “The Next 24 Big Things” to watch in the tech space. The list wasn’t limited to XR experiences and activations but included several including Arcturus, DressX, Envisics, eGlass, Taqtile, and Tilt Five. Also included were “honorable mentions” including Virbela, Help Lightning, Rec Room, and Upland.
- Birdfy has exceeded its Kickstarter goal to create an AR app for identifying birds through computer learning and a mobile device camera.
- HTC VIVE has announced updates focused on privacy and security, earning two new ISO certifications.
- Niantic announced a $300M investment from global investment manager Coatue towards the AR company’s “real-world metaverse” play. Niantic has been involved in the creation of world-scale AR games for years, but it is arguably only in their recent release of the Lightship developer platform that the company has stepped into a metaverse offering bigger than their own in-house experiences.
- Smart glasses manufacturer Nreal has announced that two of their consumer models will be available in the U.S. for Verizon users. The company has been launching products and rolling out updates for years but only announced earlier this year that they would be launching in the states.
- Snap has added new layers to the Snap Map, making for easier and more informative navigation of the physical world through the camera-based app. (Also, Snapchat independent creators on social media have been posting about receiving mysterious Snap gift boxes in advances of “Lens Fest,” the company’s developer conference, which will take place from December 7-9.
- The X Reality Safety Initiative is gearing up to host their annual XR Safety Week virtually from December 6-10. The event “will explore the challenges of extended realities in critical areas of the immersive ecosystem.
- The Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Association is promoting a day-long virtual summit on Metaverse Platforms and Avatars scheduled to take place on December 17 via Hopin.
- In further avatar news, STEM VR education platform brainSTEM announced the rollout of its avatar customization tool.
It’s worth pointing out how much of the news this week is AR related rather than VR related. There’s definitely a sentiment in the industry that as these technologies develop VR will be more for isolated, highly specialized use-cases while AR will be used more frequently and consistently in the average user’s day-to-day. This context makes the Nreal’s announcement of U.S. AR glasses availability even more exciting – even if it’s currently only for Verizon 5G mobile devices.