Discover more from AIXR's Weekly Metaverse Business Brief
Meta cancel Quest Pro, Futureverse take $54 million, & Alicia Keys tour embraces AR.
Also this week...Samsung to develop 'Galaxy Ring' wearable, Meta downgrade Artemis displays, and Google testing new AI tool that writes news articles.
Good morning Metaverse Business Brief readers. Let’s jump into the most relevant news from the immersive world in our weekly roundup.
Meta to stop producing Quest Pro. According to industry reports, Meta will shut down the Quest Pro project and also end work on a future Quest Pro 2. The news comes soon after the much anticipated launch of the Quest Pro in October as a product targeted at the enterprise/professional market. The move is said to be a result of significant project cuts at the organisation.
Samsung developing ‘Galaxy Ring’ wearable. Rumours are beginning to spread suggesting that the global electronics giant will be venturing into the smart ring industry, which is experiencing rapid growth. The ring will apparently marry a focus on health tracking with XR device integration, as suggested by existing patents filed by Samsung. The ‘Galaxy Ring’ could allow users to control other Samsung products as it will be embedded in the Samsung device ecosystem.
Meta’s Artemis glasses won’t feature high-end displays. Meta have been reported to be developing consumer facing AR glasses, dubbed the ‘Artemis’ glasses, for some time. Rumours have largely suggested that the device would make use of MicroLEDs, however information now suggests that the more dated Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology will be utilised. Meta plan to make the first-generation pair of glasses available for select developers and internal tests next year.
Google testing news article writing AI tool. The product, dubbed ‘Genesis’, absorbs information from current events and then uses this to generate news stories. Although Google claim to be in the early stages of exploring the uses of the tool, news outlets like the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal’s owner News Corp have all been exposed to a pitch of the technology. Google stressed that the technology was not intended to replace real world journalists.
Futureverse take $54 million. The company consists of an alliance of 11 different startups from the fields of blockchain, AI, metaverse and gaming. Although in their infancy as a collective, they are behind some large projects with strong ‘IPs’ having worked with soccer leaders FIFA. They intend to use the finances initially to invest in a gaming focused blockchain called “The Root Network”.
Monash University and Cortical Labs win $600k grant. The Australian research team are exploring synthetic biological intelligence by attempting to merge AI technology with human brain cells in a bid to produce ‘lifelong’ machine learning. The team have previously developed brain cells capable of playing Pong, in a much lauded experiment dubbed “DishBrain”.
Metabook XR secure seed backing. EvolveX accelerator, a fund led by strategic angels and community founders, have injected an undisclosed investment into the Indian organisation. Metabook XR’s mission is to enhance learning for students in compulsory education through “immersive virtual reality and augmented reality content”.
Keep an eye on
Snapchat provide AR for Alicia Keys. The musical artist has looked to Snapchat to provide AR augmentations throughout her ‘Keys to the Summer’ tour. Fans can scan album artwork to reveal messages and AR lenses, with geolocated lenses that produce a “larger than life Alicia Keys avatar” also being produced for the Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York dates on the tour.
“McNuggets Land” comes to The Sandbox. The U.S. fast food chain McDonald’s has stepped into the metaverse via it’s Hong Kong branch. The McNuggets Land virtual world has arrived to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Chicken McNugget product, with users able to earn real world McDonald’s coupons and ‘in game’ accessories by completing quests and activities in the Sandbox world. Users will have access to the world until August 28.
Pimax redesigning Portal View. The Chinese kickstarter hit startup have announced that their Portal View headset shell will be redesigned amidst missed shipping targets and bad reviews. Pimax themselves claimed that the original design wasn’t as comfortable and durable as hoped, and expect a redesigned headset to ship to 600+ backers between July and September.
UK Charity launch counselling service in the Metaverse. The Brighton and Hove based youth mental health charity Ditch the Label will use digital avatars to allow staff to interact with people via the Spatial platform. In a service that will begin in autumn, trained psychotherapists, counsellors and psychiatrists will provide free support. Ditch the Label claim they are taking to the Metaverse in a bit to support in communities that are known to be inhabited by young people.
Events to be at
August 08 Online | Insights Live: How the Metaverse would Transform Education
August 30 Singapore | AWE Asia 2023
September 23 Online | Insights Live: How can CEOs stop feeling alone?
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.
July 24 2023 Edition - Issue 29
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