Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, Epic’s trial with Apple kicks off, Snapchat acquires Pixel8.Earth to build out its AR cloud, and Adidas & Tooz reveal more about their smartglasses partnership. Let’s dive in…

Week One of the Epic Games (Fortnite) v Apple App Store trial provided a gusher of information about the giant, opaque business of games. Apple is trying to show Fortnite pays similar royalties to console gaming partners, while Epic compares the allegedly usurious App Store to a car salesman who expects a royalty on gas purchases.

Verizon unloads AOL and Yahoo, ending its ill-advised foray into media. Hedge fund Apollo Management took the faded, iconic brands for $5.9 Billion, a little more than half of what Verizon paid. First reaction on Twitter: “@AOL⁩ still exists? I thought it had been buried in shame and replaced by the only acquisition it did not kill, TechCrunch.”

Snapchat acquired 3D mapping startup Pixel8.Earth for $6.7M. The startup is planning on contributing to building an AR cloud (a metaverse) for Snap by leveraging photos captured by GoPro, Insta360, and mobile devices along with aerial drone footage to construct photogrammetry of objects and maps of the world.

Facebook acquired Downpour Interactive, developer of ‘Onward.’ This is the fourth acquisition of a developer which made games on Oculus prior to the acquisition, such as Ready at Dawn, the makers of Echo Arena and Lone Echo and Beat Games, the makers of Beat Saber. These acquisitions keep on happening because Facebook is trying to build its library of exclusive games.


Arcturus, a post-production and streaming volumetric video company, raised $5M. The goal is to bring real-time responsive volumetric video to e-commerce, music, sports, media, and gaming. Immersive and live-action content can be consumed in new ways with this technology.

Hickory Dickory Doc, ByteDance CFO is now leading the flock. Bydance’s CFO Shouzi Chew was named as TikTok’s new CEO, after former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer quit during the pressure applied by the Trump administration. Chew’s and the leadership team’s goal is to set the stage for sustained growth.

Warner Music Groups announces partnership with Wave. With this partnership, Wave will develop virtual performances, experiences, and monetization opportunities for WMG’s global roster of artists. WMG hopes to use Wave to form better relationships between the audience and the artist during a show through Wave’s features including live chats, virtual gifting, and voting, as well as real-time audience appearances during artist performances.


Lightform, the San-Francisco projection mapping company, today introduced Project LFX, a platform for steerable projected interfaces for the home. LFX showed off three different devices, each capable of turning any surface into a screen.

Adidas & Tooz Reveal More About AR Smartglasses Partnership. While wearing the glasses, wearers can see and use the Adidas Runtastic app to track their workout process. The partnership shows that Tooz can easily develop content for their glasses.

VR Awards open 5th year of nominations and celebrate 5 years of awarding global VR excellence. VRA 2021 is open for nominations until May 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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