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Meta to cull more staff? 'Thunderbird are go' with $14.5 million, & Varjo to deliver medical breakthroughs?
This week...Rumours suggest Meta to cull more staff in 2023, Xiaomi's wireless AR glasses prototype steals the show, and are VR influencers considered to be 'saviours' of the metaverse?
Good morning Metaverse Business Brief readers. Let’s jump into the most relevant news from the immersive world in our weekly roundup.
Meta staff cull to continue in 2023. Rumours persist that thousands of jobs will be slashed in the coming days as Mark Zuckerberg looks to level up on early ‘Year of Efficiency’ promises. The move comes after an initial 11,000 being laid off in November 2022, which was said to have left staff morale at a distinct low. It remains to be seen if the move goes through, but it would not be a surprise given the wave of tech layoffs seen in recent months.
Xiaomi Wireless AR glasses prototype steals show. Xiaomi delivered the prototype to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and tech journalists are beginning to voice opinions about the surprise product. Powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1, the lightweight glasses are completely wireless. With Xiaomi’s reputation for testing prototype products, these glasses aren’t expected to launch soon.
Are VR influencers ‘saviours’ of the metaverse? The BBC have produced a feature that profiles high profile influencers in the space, and invites them to explain what they love most about immersive experiences. Amidst growing mainstream insecurity regarding the metaverse, the profiles intend to showcase the potential for influencers to drive more engagement in virtual worlds and communities via established platforms like video games.
Saudi Arabia host first ITU metaverse forum. The first U.N. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) forum for the metaverse aimed to stimulate global dialogue as the organisation look to strengthen standards and explore opportunities and challenges within immersive technologies. Held from March 7th to 9th, cybersecurity was also on the agenda at the forum.
Absurd:Joy raises $4 million. The money has gone towards its platform Tangle, which allows for shoulder or shoulder collaboration across the globe in the form of a virtual workplace. Tangle plans to launch commercially later this year, and counts funds like Qualcomm Ventures amongst its investors.
Rebel Girls grab $8 million. The emerging media brand announced the funding round, led by publishing house Penguin, with a future goal of using the money to produce a virtual world initiative in the second half of 2023. It is claimed Rebel Girls will try to establish a presence in Roblox and Minecraft.
Thunderbird Innovation score $14.5 million. Thunderbird Innovation Technology produce augmented reality glasses under the umbrella of TCL, a Chinese home appliance firm. The funding is set to be used to improve R&D and encourage the mass production of its AR glasses.
Dynepic awarded $51 million contract. The US Air Force has made the investment as it looks to expand its existing MOTAR system. MOTAR hopes to become the backbone of the ‘military metaverse’, with its application in the field of immersive training delivery for US Air Force staff members.
Keep an eye on
First ever ‘Rec Rocks’ festival takes place. The social VR platform Rec Room arranged for it’s first ‘in game’ music festival to take place between March 11th and 12th. The immersive concert experience was headlined by Tokyo Machine and Ethan Borthnick.
Varjo & MachineMD partner for medical development. The XR hardware and software developer have announced a partnership with MachineMD, who are a Swiss medical device company. The partnership hopes to foster Neos, a device that can be integrated with the Varjo Aero headset to allow for the potential early diagnosis of brain disorders.
A greenhouse and garden for the metaverse? A new project dubbed ‘Heterosis’ looks to allow users to collect breedable, lifelike NFT’s for digital flowers. The collection, created by Snark.art and OG.art will be housed in a virtual greenhouse modelled on the London National Gallery.
Starbucks NFT success continues. A group of 2,000 digital ‘stamps’ sold out in under 0 minutes at a cost of $100 dollars each. The sale comes hot on the heels of the launch of its Web3 membership platform Starbucks Odyssey, which exists as an extension of the IRL reward program gifting customers perks like upgraded or free drinks.
Events to be at
March 16 Paris | Virtuality Web3 Summit
March 20 San Francisco | GDC Conference
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments and your favourite immersive industry Influencers to email@example.com.
March 13 2023 Edition - Issue 10
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