Welcome back to Spatial Beats. This week, we look at Looking Glass’ latest hardware, New avatars at Rec Room and lots of new funding. Let’s dive in…
Genvid Raises $113M to Build Out Massive Interactive Live Games, Taps Ex-Netflix Content Exec Cindy Holland as Adviser. The new new game studio pulled in an astonishing $113M Series C to produce what the company calls “massive interactive live events,” or MILEs. Raise your hand if you’d like to be on the tv show you’re watching right now.
Resolution Games Closes $25M Investment. The studio behind the VR titles Bait!, Blaston, Angry Birds VR and others, closed a Series C funding round of $25 M, bringing the company’s total funding to $38.5 million. The round was co-led by Qualcomm Ventures LLC and BITKRAFT Ventures.
The Glimpse Group (NASDQ: VRAR) Completes Its IPO. Founded in 2016, the company is made up of eight subsidiary companies focused on XR. Glimpse companies include Adept Learning, D6, Foretell Reality, Immerse Health Group, Post Reality, and Early Adopter. CEO Lyron Bentovim told Forbes that while the company raised a relatively modest $12.3 M from the IPO, it now has a public currency to use for acquisitions.
Counterpoint’s Global XR (VR & AR) Model Tracker reveals Oculus Quest 2 Cumulative Sales. They estimate Facebook has sold 4.6 million Quest 2 headsets the first three months of the year, tripling last year’s numbers for the original Quest. The company may ship more than 20M of its $300 HMDs this year if the pace continues.
LBVR is thriving, benefitting from pent up demand. Apparently customers are not afraid of shared headsets.
Two New Harry Potter VR Experiences Coming to New York Store. I had a chance to try “Chaos at Hogwarts,” an amazing free roam experience, made by Wevr (”The Blu”), which wrote, created, and produced the experience using Dreamscape’s free roam VR technology. Free roam VR is only true, fully immersive VR experience you can have, replete with natural locomotion and spatial props. You are literally walking around Hogworts. “Chaos at Hogwarts”and “Wizards Take Flight” are now available exclusively at Harry Potter World in New York’s Flatiron district.
GIGXR Awarded Phase $750,000 Contract to Develop Extended Reality (XR) Simulation Training for Air Force Academy. GIGXR, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX to developing HoloChem, a new mixed reality application for the Academy’s 100 and 200 level chemistry courses.
Facebook Head of AR/VR Content Mike Verdu to Lead Netflix’s Push into Gaming. The rumors have been swirling, and they’re true. The streaming giant is going head to head with Microsoft, Sony, Google and Apple. They have to. Games are way bigger than Hollywood now.
Rec Room Adds More Flexibility to Avatar System with New Full-body, Animated Costumes. Each full-body, animated costume will be created by other players and made available for purchase via the platform’s in-game currency system.
Looking Glass Factory is launching 2 new holographic interfaces. The Looking Glass 4K Gen2 and the 8K Gen2 are designed for the workplace that provide even higher quality holograms, are lighter weight/more portable, and in the case of the 8K system, are less expensive than the previous generation. The company has also standardized the hardware to run on its companion software HoloPlay Studio.
Facebook was completely blindsided by the subversion of its platform by malign foreign actors in 2016. A new book, An Ugly Truth, tells the whole sordid story. The New York Times Book Review calls it “the ultismate takedown.” It is a disheartening tale of our times, reports Platformer’s Casey Newton, and a very, very potent argument for the regulation of social media. Most disturbing revelation: execs wondered if they had more responsibility to the company or the country. Maybe it’s time for Zuck to focus his passion on extreme sports like Hydrofoiling.
5 Years After Pokémon Go, It’s Time for the Metaverse | WIRED
Dogecoin co-creator blasts crypto as a scam to help the rich get richer. In a recent Twitter thread, Jackson Palmer says the crypto industry exploits the “worst parts” of capitalism
‘A Township Tale’ Quest Review – VR’s Most Immersive MMO-like Yet. Reviewers are raving about the VR version of this PC game, which has just been released on Quest. “With support for up to eight simultaneous players and immersive interactions at its core, there’s nothing else quite like A Township Tale out there.”
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.