Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week we cover a handful of new funding rounds, new Snap AR milestones and Oculus Quest sales Inflections, among other items. Let’s dive in…

Librestream Secures Strategic Investments From Honeywell And Evergy. This will allow these companies to work more closely together to deploy AR applications across industries in the process of digital transformation. The strategic investments follow Librestream’s raise of $25M in venture investment in the fall of 2020.

San Diego-based VR company Nanome raises $3M in funding. The virtual collaboration product uses 3D visualization tools to enable pharma R&D between computational chemists and structural biologists. In Nanome, scientists can engage and collaborate with others at the molecular level.

Arden’s Wake hits the Oculus Store. Finally, Penrose Studios’ award-winning narrative VR experience is available for the Oculus Rift for $7.99. In 2018, we put Arden’s Wake at the top of our Tribeca Immersive “Awesome List,” and have previously called director (and company CEO) Eugene Chung “the D.W. Griffith of VR.” Wired called Penrose’s first project, Allumette (2016) “the first VR film masterpiece.”

Over 200M Snapchat users engaged with AR daily in Q4. Some of the lenses on Snapchat have reached billions of impressions in a few days. The company brought it $911.3M in Q4 revenue and added 8M users, both up from last year.

Rec Room estimates 2-3M Quest 2 headset sales in Q4. A Rec Room employee, Shawn Whiting, used the free social game’s download data to project Quest 2 sales could be as high as 3M since its October 2020 launch.

Sundance as a ten-year-old filmmaker is the next step for the Lucy virtual being. Back in November, we covered the release of Fable’s “Wolves In The Walls” on Oculus Quest, a film in which Lucy, the AI-driven character, was the star. Users can befriend Lucy and have an actual relationship with her by applying here.

Matterport to be listed on Nasdaq. The company will be listed in a merger with Gores Holdings Vi. Matterport allows users to scan objects, buildings, and rooms to be used for 3D tours of houses or apartments.

Arvizio brings AR to Zoom meetings with Immerse 3D app. The app allows meeting participants to interact with the same 3D model simultaneously in VR. Immerse 3D is available for smartphones, HoloLens, and Magic Leap.

Jadu launched the Curse of Calypso. The 8-minute interactive mobile augmented reality experience featuring Palaye Royale allows viewers to watch and interact with holographic performances in their own homes.They are planning on building a slate of musical AR experiences this year.

Epic’s MetaHuman creator lets users design realistic faces in a browser. The tool can help power more realistic body movements and facial animations. It can be used with motion capture and animation techniques. The MetaHuman tool is powered by the Unreal Engine.

Zoom adds facial effects during meetings. The feature, which is in beta, allows users to alter your lip color, eyebrows, and facial hair. This addition is to make the app usable for more than just professional meetings, but also for personal or casual events as well.

VR/AR Association introduces the Poly’s – WebXR awards. The event is designed to honor achievements in immersive web development. The Poly’s will take place on Feb. 20th 2021.

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.

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