Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, we look at Facebook F8, Walmart’s new AR inventory system, Legoland’s AR activation, and fresh funding rounds. Let’s dive in…
Librestream has raised over $55M for its device-agnostic Onsight remote assistance platform, which puts “the human at the hub of the tech stack that includes Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), Natural Language Processing (NPT-3), and Augmented Reality (AR).
Specular Theory Awarded $4.5M For More USAF VR Simulations. They’ll be expanding immersive training products for the B-52, C-17 and KC-135 aircrew training in mid-air refueling and other operations.
Avatour Raises $2.9 Million For Remote Inspection And Meeting Platform. The seed round was led by Ulu Ventures. A local 360 camera operator creates a 3D room which up to twenty remote participants join, creating a unique fusion of the virtual and physical. You’ve got a factory in Asia? Here’s a great way to be present – and completely mobile, with a human as your local agent. Congrats to founders Nokia VR vets Devon Copley and Prasad Balasubramanian, who worked on the Ozu 360 camera.
Walmart Global Tech EVP shares an internally developed mobile AR app they developed to help with inventory management in the backrooms of Walmart stores, which have up to 15,000 boxes stored on shelves. A spatial layout of the store coupled with computer vision reduces the time to find an item by more than 50%. In a world where there are “10,000 inventory events every second,” every minute counts.
The Facebook F8 “Refresh” developer conference was underwhelming, says XR tech blogger and developer Tony “Skarred Ghost” Vitillo. His take: no one really talked about VR. There were enhancements to its Spark AR content creation platform for Instagram and Facebook such as full-body tracking, which came out in Snap Lens Studio last year. “It was all about marketing, social media, and all this boring stuff…” Wrote Vitillo, “The speakers repeated a bazillion times the words “business” and “diversity” (the quality they don’t have when choosing the words to say during an event).”
Zappar’s mobile AR platform is being used to create experiences for Lego Mythica: The World of Mythical Creatures at Legoland Windsor Resort. The app will help visitors immerse themselves in the story as they roam through the park.
Huawei on Wednesday launched its self-developed operating system across a slew of devices, including smartphones. The move comes as the Chinese tech giant looks to wean itself off its reliance on U.S. technology and could pit it against software from Apple and Google. China is not going to rely on a platform created by a non-Chinese company for a technology this important.
Virtual Reality Therapy Can Cure PTSD (The New York Times). The simulation of traumatic experiences can often be mitigated by new therapies enabled by VR tech.
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.