Discover more from AIXR's Weekly Metaverse Business Brief
Meta's costly AR glasses, ShapesXR grab $8.6 million, & 'Scentient' bring smell to VR.
Also this week...The latest news from SIGGRAPH, Sony lock down a patent for a potential revolution in VR technology, and news organisations launch open letter plea for AI transparency.
Good morning Metaverse Business Brief readers. Let’s jump into the most relevant news from the immersive world in our weekly roundup.
Meta’s ‘Orion’ AR glasses will be ‘made in USA’. Meta is set to unveil its first AR glasses, Orion, in 2024. Around 1,000 units for internal use will initially be produced in the USA. The glasses will come at a high cost of manufacture, due to being made in the US thanks to their high-tech lenses which rely on silicon carbide. The compound, which is used in space telescopes and US military radars, is currently restricted from being exported to usual manufacturing hub China.
SIGGRAPH focus is making VR & AR ‘convincing’. Researchers at the annual conference are said to be focused on augmenting the physical sensations and feelings surrounding the use of VR and AR as opposed to improving graphical fidelity and sound. Meta, Sony, and the University of Chicago were amongst those showcasing ingenious peripherals aiming to improve user immersion, with weighted rumble packs and backpacks the picks of the technological innovations on show.
Sony patent could revolutionize VR technology. Sony has filed a patent that could enable headsets to detect and emulate real-life objects. The technology uses audio cues created by objects to accurately determine their material, allowing VR headsets to detect and recreate them digitally. This could enhance gameplay experiences, allow for the creation of realistic visuals and dimensions of emulated objects, and even assist disabled users such as eyeglass wearers.
Open letter demands AI copyright protection. Media organizations have called for rules protecting copyright in data used to train generative AI models. The open letter urges lawmakers to consider regulations to protect transparency and the consent of rights holders. Backed by organisations like Getty Images, the Associated Press and the National Writers Union, the letter comes soon after Google demonstrated its generative AI news writing tool Genesis to major news organizations.
ShapesXR secure $8.6 million. The San Francisco based company aims to have their product become the industry standard for UI/UX design. Already in use by Meta, Logitech, and top universities, ShapesXR will use the seed funding to expand from Meta Quest headsets to new devices like Apple Vision Pro, Pico, and Magic Leap.
Cube3.ai take $8.2 million seed funding. The cryptocurrency-focused security startup, founded by Einaras Gravrock, uses machine learning and pattern matching to protect smart contracts by blocking malicious transactions. This technology is in high demand, with a reputation growing in the DeFi industry for hackers and cyber criminals to seek greater financial rewards.
Windup Minds raise $1.6 million pre-seed. The Seattle based company, which has hired industry veterans from Oculus, Electronic Arts, Magic Leap, and Bungie, aims to redefine player interaction with virtual creatures by leveraging animal cognition and emergent gameplay in the form of VR pet games. The company believes there is a demand for a ‘more immersive’ Nintendogs/Tamagotchi style experience.
Keep an eye on
UK startup bringing scent to VR. Scentient are developing a wearable device called ‘Escents’ that integrates smell into virtual reality. The device, which pairs with a VR headset, contains four cartridges filled with synthetic scents that mimic smells like smoke or natural gas. The device can be released at specific times or locations through a specialized app. Scentient's main focus is on training emergency service workers, who already use digital simulations to prepare for real-world disasters.
Nokia demonstrate 360-degree video broadcasting using 5G. In a joint demonstration with TPG Telecom and MediaTek, the organisation showcased a live 360-degree video broadcast discussing the future of the Metaverse. This was enabled by Nokia’s 5G Uplink Carrier Aggregation (CA) technology. The demonstration was a showcase of the tech which will prove to be a key requirement for the growth of the Industrial Metaverse.
Turbulence: Jamais Vu opens in Melbourne. Turbulence: Jamais Vu is a VR experience designed to simulate Ben Joseph Andrews' chronic vestibular condition. Andrews, who was diagnosed with the condition in his mid-20s, has produced the mixed reality experience in what is the most recent of a long line of immersive technologies that uniquely explore sensory conditions. It is available to experience at the current Melbourne International Film Festival.
Aston Martin launch Valhalla VR Experience. Developed with Zerolight and Nvidia's CloudXR technology, the experience is driven by VR headsets that allow customers to view a detailed 3D digital twin of their luxury Valhalla car, allowing them to virtually experience the car's interior and exterior specifications. This VR experience aims to create an immersive, uninterrupted connection between both the driver and the car, enhancing the customer experience.
Events to be at
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.
August 14 2023 Edition - Issue 32
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