Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, we welcome the age of VR content. As over fifty titles join the million-dollar club on the Oculus store for Quest, its largest free social VR site snags the largest valuation for a VR company yet. Let’s dive in…
Rec Room is valued at $1.25B during a recent $100M funding round. The company is the first VR content company to hit such a valuation. The free social VR platform has over 1M active monthly users and 15M lifetime users, and is generating more and more revenue from in-game sales due to the pandemic and increasing interest in the product. Astonishingly, 15% of the audience are makers, gluing them to the platform, and attracting others. The boom use is being driven by mobile, game consoles, and consumer VR headsets from Oculus and Sony.
AppliedVR, a VR pain management startup, secured $29M in funding. The company hopes to use the funding to gain FDA approval for its technology. The technology uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help users manage pain.
Cmon Baby, Do The Locomotion: Virtuix’s Omni One SeedInvest campaign has surpassed $14M; ends April 2nd. The campaign has over 11,000 investors, making it one of the fastest uptake in SeedInvest’s history. The Omni One is an omni-directional treadmill that lets users walk and run inside games and virtual worlds in VR.
Blippar, an AR brand marketing company, closed a $5 million pre-Series A funding round. The funding will be used to expand into new global markets and improve and innovate the Blippar technology. The company uses its technology to create AR games incorporated with products for companies such as PepsiCo, Cadbury, and Kelloggs.
Disobedient Pets Cavort in VR. Adventure lab presents a mashup of escape room, improv, and cartoons. You’re a secret agent embodied as a rabbit (what’s up doc?), husky, or a cat named Fancy Feast, infiltrating the lab of mad scientist Dr. Crumb.
One-Man VR project ‘Gorilla Tag’ became an instant success with 125K players in the first month. Gorilla tag is a multiplayer social VR tag game made by first-time indie VR developer Kerestell Smith. The app is now available to download on Quest App Lab.
Sketchfab, a 3D model content library, announced it has reached 5M users. With the creation of 3D models becoming more and more accessible with technologies such as LiDAR, Sketchfab is seeing immense growth and creative potential with a device in everyone’s hands. The company is now also celebrating their 9th anniversary as it continues to grow its community more and more.
Sandbox Location-Based VR, newly emerged from bankruptcy is going into the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian, effectively replacing the Void which had likewise shut down during the pandemic. Operators are optimistic that the pent-up demand will give new momentum to live VR entertainment.
MeetinVR, a collaboration site, is launching on the Oculus Store. One stand-out feature for us was being able to collaborate with others on a SWOT analysis in VR. The platform is available on standalone headsets, Pico Neo 2, and computer-tethered HMDs. A desktop version is also available for users without headsets.
Niantic is teaming up with Nintendo again to develop Pikmin into an AR game. The two companies previously worked together to create the hit, Pokemon: Go, and hope to do the same with the Pikmin franchise. The game is expected to arrive later this year.
Apple XR Rumor of the Week Tom’s Guide says the new Apple VR HMD is a Quest killer. Not sure what this means for the $3,000 HD model, or the all-day retina reader vision correction device, or their other rumored XR whatchamcallits.
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.