It’s the end of February already, and we’re here with our new digest. Let’s take a look at what happened in the world of immersive technologies this month.
As always, we have picked the most interesting and influential news, announcements of new devices and tools, and some rumors from a ton of resources.
Enjoy the best pieces and subscribe to keep a hand on the AR/VR market or just find something entertaining!
Digit of the Month
Last year Facebook has bet its future on Virtual Reality and building the metaverse, and it seems that it was a good decision. Now, Meta spends billions a year to design hardware and software that will support the development of the metaverse.
Meta’s social VR platform Horizon Worlds has grown its user base by 10 times since December – now it has around 300,000 users.
Something strange is happening inside Microsoft, and especially in teams working on HoloLens projects. The metaverse has split up the company into two groups – one that wants to put more power into building a go-to platform for the metaverse, and one that suggests that the Mixed Reality unit should double down on its hardware. One of the items of business is whether the company should continue serving its enterprise clients or focus on consumer-grade solutions.
Some sources also say that Microsoft plans a partnership with Samsung to develop a new MR device.
Four years ago, Firefox has launched its browser for Mixed Reality – Firefox Reality. The company has been at the forefront of developing new tools for immersive technologies for years, but now Firefox will change its area of work.
The Firefox Reality browser will be removed from the stores, but Firefox will support Wolvic – an Igalia browser based on Firefox Reality source code.
How do modern businesses use AR to increase their revenues and outperform their industry competitors?
Avantis is a provider of classroom-focused services and technology products. It was contracted to deliver VR headsets and related training software to schools in Malta for educational purposes.
The contract was awarded by the Government of Malta and is worth under €300,000.
Now, the newest BMW cars will have an “AR-over-video” solution installed on board.
Basemark’s solutions built for iX electric vehicles will use sensor data and computer vision to show AR-enhanced information on the car’s Central Information Display while the navigation function is enabled. This feature will help BMW drivers with an awareness of their surroundings.
Meta Quest has announced that after the Super Bowl LVI a legendary band Foo Fighters will perform an exclusive VR concert in Horizon Venues. Users with Quest headsets had an opportunity to visit the event for free.
The concert has been shot with multiple 180° cameras positioned around the stage, the immersive experience featured a custom stage design, lighting programs, and XR elements.
However, users reported numerous issues trying to visit the event, some of them did not get a chance to join the experience at all.
Tweet of the Month:
Some Rumors About Apple’s realityOS:
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) February 9, 2022
Tools & devices:
SimulaVR, the startup behind its proprietary open-source VR Linux distro, is designing a VR headset. The device is aimed at bringing the full power of the PC to a standalone format.
The company has already opened up preorder sales ditching plans for a Kickstarter campaign.
Back in 2016, Niantic launched an extremely popular mobile AR game Pokémon Go. But before that, Niantic launched a sci-fi AR game called Ingress Prime – a capture-the-flag game that used Google Maps and OpenStreetMap for citywide geocaching.
Now, Ingress Prime gets a serious update thanks to a partnership with Sony. Two companies will combine real-world AR technology and Sony’s latest audio hardware to immerse players with audio AR.
Lately, Sony revealed the new design of its next-generation VR headset and controllers. The overall look is inspired by the design of the PlayStation 5 console and aims at becoming an attractive part of the room’s decor as well as being as comfortable for long wear as possible.
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