Google collab on Samsung headset?, $18 million for XR Karate, and Gen Z ready for Metaverse.
Also this week...Meta criticised for letting Horizon Worlds creators down, while Amazon announce shopping in Metaverse and PSVR 2 comes to local retailers.
Good morning Metaverse Business Brief readers. Let’s jump into the most relevant news from the immersive world in our weekly roundup.
Should we expect an Android powered Samsung headset soon? At their I/O 2023 conference, Google suggested they will share more information regarding a potential ‘immersive XR android collaboration’ with Samsung later this year. We already understand that Samsung are collaborating with Google and Qualcomm to develop XR hardware. While the latest news only serves as a hint to a future product, we could be on the cusp of welcoming Samsung back to the realm of consumer focused XR hardware, with potentially an MR device as is the prevailing market trend.
Meta criticised by Horizon Worlds creators. In a piece by The Verge, creators shared their concerns as Meta announced they will be stopping community organised events on the platform. The decision was a surprise to many, who actually expected Meta’s treatment of events on the platform to be improved amidst some high profile protests from independent creators. It is thought now that community formation on the platform will be heavily impacted by Meta’s move, which has been deemed by some to support the growth of Meta backed ‘official’ events.
Amazon launch new XR e-commerce service. Amazon have unveiled the service, dubbed “Amazon Anywhere”, which will allow customers to purchase products from it’s online store while playing video games, or using VR, or engaging in mobile apps. It is a rare step, as traditionally digital goods have been offered via digital platforms. The service will launch within Peridot, an augmented reality game from developer Niantic.
Playstation VR2 now available at local retailers. As of May 12, PSVR 2 can now be purchased from retailers as opposed to through Playstation Direct. In the UK, orders can now be placed with larger distributors like GAME and Amazon, while in the US the device is being stocked by Best Buy and Gamestop amongst others. The decision to make the device more widely available could be a direct response to criticism and disappointing initial sales.
Karate Combat raise $18 million. Karate Combat is the world’s ‘premier full-contact striking league’, merging karate and immersive CGI environments powered by unreal engine. XR tech allows viewers to enter a virtual world in which real-life athletics takes place, thought to be a first in world sports. The finances are set to go towards a new gaming app and cryptocurrency token.
Lavita AI take $5 million seed funding. Lavita AI provide a brand new AI and Web3 powered platform focused on the healthcare market. The platform allows patients to ‘take control’ of their own health by changing the way individuals manage and share their health data. Funds will go towards building a decentralised platform with privacy preserving infrastructure, which will allow users to maintain ownership of data.
Artizen Fund raise $2.2 million for NFT cultural artifacts. Artizen host a Web3 culture led crowdfunding platform. The funds raised have come from some leading investment pools, including Animoca Brands. Artizen allows creators to sell ‘artifacts’ on the Ethereum blockchain to raise finances. These ‘artifacts’ serve as teasers for larger creative artistic projects.
Keep an eye on
Eurovision survey supports Gen Z Metaverse desire. Research of 1,000 UK consumers by Amdocs suggested that more than 3/4 of 16 to 24 year olds would be interested in watching the yearly Eurovision Song Contest in the Metaverse, while more than 1/3 suggested they would pay extra to view the show in the Metaverse. The results suggest a strong desire amongst the younger age group to step into immersive experiences.
Travelzoo launch Metaverse experience. In “Travelzoo Meta”, the internet media company Travelzoo have produced an offering that promises users the chance to explore the outer limits of the world, like Mount Everest, or explore history by going back in time. The experience will be offered on a members-only basis to a million founding members, with sign-ups available now.
Google launch PaLM 2 AI language model. The tech giants latest development in AI, which Google claims to be a “next-generation language model”, is said to outperform competitive models like Open AI’s GPT in some tasks. It is deemed to be an essential move by Google who are chasing Open AI amongst others in a bid to claim the top spot in the current AI arms race.
Hello Neighbour VR game coming to all major headsets. The announcement that the PC viral stealth horror hit will be landing on PSVR2, Quest 2 and SteamVR headsets on May 25th has been well received. Original Hello Neighbour developers tinyBuild have been working with VR developers Steel Wood Studios, who are most known for their work on fellow horror hit Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Events to be at
May 17 - 18 London | Edtech World Forum 2023
June 01 Online | The 7th International VR Awards Nomination Webinar 2
June 13 Online | Insights Live: Metaverse vs Web3: A Convergence?
July 11 Online | Insights Live: The Importance of Inclusivity and Diversity within the Metaverse
August 08 Online | Insights Live: How the Metaverse would Transform Education
October 24-26 Houston | The 10th Augmented Enterprise Summit
November 30 Rotterdam | The 7th International VR Awards
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news and comments to email@example.com.
May 15 2023 Edition - Issue 19
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