Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, Pico gets new funding, SXSW charges forward with online event, and new Apple AR rumors emerge. Let’s dive in…

Pico raises $37M Series B+ Financing and announces NEO 3 standalone release. The company said that the money will be used for acquiring core technologies such as optics and increasing consumer awareness and demand for the products in Asia. The Pico NEO 3 will be released in Q2 2021.

Zero Latency is opening its 52nd free-roam multiplayer VR gaming center in Milan. Zero Latency allows up to eight players to fight zombies and play other games in a free-roam VR space. This is big news because it shows that the LBE industry is going to thrive in the upcoming quarters.

Apple rumored to launch MR glasses in 2022 and AR glasses in 2025. According to MacRumors, the product will be portable but not truly mobile, like the iPhone. It also is rumored that Apple will be releasing AR contact lenses by 2030-2040. Both products are predicted to have an AR see-through experience with the MR glasses also having VR capabilities. The future of Apple XR products is coming soon to an Apple store near you.

SXSW announces SXSW Online XR, a virtual version of the festival. This version will showcase live panels, meetups, special events, 360° videos from the Virtual Cinema program, as well as 2D video feeds of SXSW programming. In the virtual cinema competition films as, BIOLUM (Sci-Fi VR Experience), The Passengers: Her and Him (VR experience about strangers on a train), and Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Episode 2: Advance (daily workload of international Space Station, showcasing the importance of woman in space) are being shown. The event will be from March 16th-20th and you can register here for $325.

Resolution Games drops gameplay trailer for new VR tabletop game: Demeo. This turn-based RPG game allows players to save the realm by defeating minions which is done by rolling and combining attacks with special ability cards. Board games, both original and existing, will quickly be adapted for AR and VR, as already seen with Catan. It is familiar content which reinvents game night for the new era.

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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