Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, we look at Apple’s moves across the spatial spectrum, Magic Leap 2, And Oculus Quest game sales among other items. Let’s dive in…
Apple VR rumors mounting up. Macrumors called our attention to articles in the Verge and Bloomberg that quote an unnamed source who’s supposedly seen Apple’s debut consumer HMD. It’s got 8K resolution and a dozen external cameras and and sensors that offer the possibility of doing pass-through AR. We predicted in 2018 that the Apple XR device would probably be focused on media consumption – at first. The cost could be as much as $3,000. Question: where does the 8K content come from?
How Computer Vision And AI Make New Revenue From Old Media. The technology replaces products in streaming media that has already been produced. The shelves of a kitchen can be populated with new products after the fact. Like this example, cars could be swapped out. Didn’t ask if people could be swapped out.
Apple Maps ‘Look Around’ Feature expands to more cities. The feature, first introduced in iOS13, is designed to provide 3D imagery in major cities, similar to Google’s Street View. It is available in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Tokyo, London, and most recently, San Diego and Portland.
MultiBrush, a multiplayer version of TiltBrush by Rendever, is now available to download via SideQuest. As you know, we were very disappointed at the sunsetting of TiltBrush only to be surprised with the announcement last week of the experience becoming open source. Already, developers and creators are building upon the open source code, developing new content such as MultiBrush by Rendever, which allows creators to collaborate on art in VR. It is coming soon to the Oculus store.
Magic Leap’s next headset to ship in Q4 2021. There was not a lot of information released about the headset but it was stated the new AR headset will be “50% smaller, 20% lighter, with 100% larger field of view.”
Over 60 titles on the Oculus platform surpass $1M in revenue. Also, 6 titles surpass $10M in revenue. This number quantifies the success of the Oculus Quest 2 for Facebook and VR developers, with Superdata even reporting that the Quest 2 sold over 1M units in Q4, nearly 10x Playstation VR headsets. Standalone VR will account for most VR users in the coming years. In fact, at the launch of Quest 2, Resolution Games (Blaston, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale, Bait!) saw a 500% increase in downloads.
Glue is now available to download on the Oculus store. The remote collaboration site Glue, designed for enterprise use cases, can now be downloaded on the Oculus Quest. For a team of ten, Glue is €50 EUR per user per month. The price drops to €40 per user per month with 100+ users. Companies such as KLM are using Glue for collaboration.
UiPath raises $750M at $35B valuation. The company specializes in robotic process automation (RPA) and announced that it closed its Series F funding led by existing backers Alkeon Capital and Coatue. Since inception, the company has raised $2B, according to Crunchbase. UiPath’s goal is to “automate millions of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks for business and government organizations all over the world, improving productivity, customer experience and employee job satisfaction,” giving workers more time and energy to work on more complex tasks.
Vertigo Games acquires SpringboardVR. SpringboardVR is most known for creating its distribution platform for location-based VR. The brand and software platform will still operate though it will support Vertigo Games, the studio behind Arizona Sunshine and the upcoming shooter After We Fall. While maintaining the old platform, Springboard has created an app store for enterprise VR, which will be its primary business mission. This seems to us an acknowledgment that VR arcades with shared headsets will not survive the new normal, not in its present form. Retail entertainment is a narrow margin business that cannot withstand even a modest dropoff in business.
Immerse, the enterprise VR training company out of the UK is expanding to the US following a year in which the company reportedly grew 300 percent. Cathy Hackl, a former Magic Leap, HTC and AWS executive, and author of the new book The Augmented Workforce (with John Buzzell) is joining the company as Global Strategic Advisor.
This Week in XR is now a podcast hosted by Paramount’s Futurist Ted Schilowitz and Charlie Fink, the author of this weekly column. You can find it on podcasting platforms Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube. Watch the latest episode below.
Charlie Fink is an author and futurist focused on spatial computing. See his books here. Spatial Beats contains insights and inputs from Fink’s collaborators including Paramount Pictures futurist Ted Shilowitz.