Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week we look at Zoom’s new immersive view, Looking Glass’ latest milestone, the latest AR funding rounds and the return to physical events. Let’s dive in…

Tribeca Immersive will offer a combination of real and virtual events this June. The XR section of the venerated New York film festival introduced its offering on Tuesday: a mix of VR in the Museum of Other Realities, some limited in-person events at the Tribeca Hub downtown, and location-based mobile AR experiences around New York. While Burning Man announced it’s throwing in the towel on a live 2021 event, the world’s largest trade show, CES, will be back in Las Vegas the first week of January, 2022. In 2020, CES (the consumer everything show 😉 set a record with 170,000 attendees from 164 countries. So far, about 25% of exhibitors have committed to returning.

Campfire hi-res XR design system emerges from stealth with 8M in VC $ and something so amazing we see its like but once or twice a year. AR images are as flawless as a QLED. 92 degree FOV. VR mode is even better. You can read the dial on the dash of a model car. And the headset is only 500 grams. Campfire is cross platform, too. PC. Tablets. Smartphones. Unlimited simultaneous users.

Proximie raises $38m for augmented reality surgery. UK-based Proximie, which uses augmented reality to allow surgeons to advise on operations remotely around the globe, has raised $38M series B funding round. A local surgeon shares a screen with a remote specialist in real time enabling them to guide the attending surgeon with voice and annotations.

The App Store goes on trial next week to face down charges it uses monopoly power to extort companies like Epic Games, whose Fortnite is refusing to share in-game revenue.

Zoom rolls out new features, including Immersive View. Immersive view hopes to simulate an in-person office meeting by building upon the immersive backgrounds feature by placing meeting participants in a realistic location, such as a board room or auditorium. The feature is available for Free and Pro accounts attending meetings and webinars with up to 25 participants.

XR company Healium gets an Air Force Contract to help with stress management. Healium is a technology and a product that allows users to learn to self-regulate their focus and calm by letting them see their EEG brain patterns in near-real-time. This new contract hopes to help with the ongoing military service member suicide epidemic.

VR Developer Moth + Flame has landed a $2.25 M contract to provide VR training at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The Air Force has purchased 43 VR units to kick off the training program, which will put student pilots inside a virtual MQ-9 ground base station. 

The Looking Glass Portrait begins shipping. Looking Glass Portrait, a personal holographic display, had over 8,300 people pledge $2.6 million on Indigogo and Kickstarter, breaking tons of platform records. The new Looking Glass Portrait allows users to use their phone to take Portrait mode photos, videos, or 3D models and then display them as a hologram. The new holographic displays will ship with a number of standalone demos on them, including one from Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studios.

Pfizer uses VR in its $450M injectables factory. Instead of going to the plant, employees can familiarize themselves with equipment and procedures by using VR. Trainees can use Oculus or Google Glasses to learn in a virtual rendering of the facility from almost anywhere around the world.

Lumeto Inc. launched Involve XR to the health care and public safety sectors. The company was incubated by Dark Slope Inc. for 18 months, developing its technology and industry partnerships. Involve XR is an XR learning platform for institutions looking to deploy training and assessment across their workforce.

Pico Interactive partners with REACT Neuro to measure brain health via wireless Virtual Reality headsets. The headset was appealing to REACT Neuro due to the Tobii Eye Tracking. The technology, according to Pico, is already being tested in different fields, from senior living to physical therapy.

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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