Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, we look at Sony’s tease for PSVR2, new features in Snapchat’s Lens Studio, and a whole slate of new AR glasses emerge. Let’s dive in…
Sony Confirms New Playstation VR2 for PS5 with New Controllers. The PSVR tethered headset remains the market leader, and will not go quietly into the night when challenged by the Oculus Quest 2. Just four months ago, in October, 2020, Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan told The Washington Post “At some point in the future VR will represent a meaningful component of interactive entertainment. Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No.” We have no insight into why the market leader, with over 7M Playstation VR headsets sold, would need to do a head fake. No release date has been announced. VR dev kits for PS5 will be shipped out soon with a new VR format.
Interplay raises $18 million to expand XR Training platform for workers in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, facilities maintenance, and energy industries. The system also supports PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
The Wild acquires IrisVR Prospect. The product is a VR design review and coordination product for the AEC industry, which is also served by The Wild.
Snapchat Lens Studio adds an asset library and improves hand & body tracking. The asset library contains scripts, models, and presets, which were added to assist the creation of new AR lenses. The improved hand & body tracking can be used to trigger actions, and separates the background behind the user for green screen effects. Currently, there are over 1.5M Snapchat lenses.
Scope AR launches an enterprise browser-based AR creation platform. The product allows users to create 3D content on top of CAD models without a game engine like Unity. The browser-based platform automatically scales down a model’s detail to meet rendering capabilities which then can be accessed in AR via Scope’s WorkLink app.
You can now create an avatar of yourself and import it into VRChat. Ready Player Me, a free avatar maker from Wolf3D, now allows exports to VRChat and other games. Now, anyone can have a customizable avatar like mine above. You can make your own here.
Nreal To Launch In US This Spring. At Mobile World Congress Shanghai on Monday, the China-based startup announced that its Nreal Light augmented reality glasses will launch in the US in the second quarter of 2021.
AR-Powered Prescription Lenses are coming to the masses from Luxexcel & WaveOptics. They hope to make the product both comfortable and have an appealing appearance for everyday use. One aspect which is interesting is that the smart layer is sandwiched between prescription lenses, protecting the tech. A prototype will be showcased this March at the SPIE AR, VR, MR conference.
Tender Claws’ VR Theater production of The Tempest is returning to the Quest on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during March 2021. Tickets are now on sale here or as an in-app purchase in The Under Presents.
nDreams Announces $2M funds for VR Devs Looking for a Publisher. The company is looking for games which embrace the medium. nDreams also plans on offering publishing support, marketing knowledge, and game marketing & sales experience to clients.
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.