Welcome back to Spatial Beats. We continue to believe the avatar and its associated “backpack” of digital assets, costumes, currency, etc. will be your most valuable asset in the Metaverse. So we weren’t surprised to see the company formerly known as Facebook generously offering its shiny new avatar system to developers.
Meta just lanched Meta Avatars for its metaverse (quite a mouthful ain’t it) via a software development kit (SDK) for VR applications built on Unity for Quest and Rift. Developers using Steam are restricted to choosing from one of 32 pre-configured avatars. In cross-play scenarios, Meta says that although non-Oculus players can’t fully configure their own avatar, they will see the fully customized avatars of Oculus players. Support for Unreal Engine is pending.
Jadu announced $7M in funding led by General Catalyst. The company says it’s launching a “Mirrorverse,” a world-scale blockchain-based AR game early next year. Through geolocation players can find game items in the real world. Metapurse, the world’s largest NFT fund famously responsible for buying Beeple’s “Everydays” for $69 M, made a prominent investment in the round. Joining them are LionTree, Coinbase Ventures, The VR Fund, PKO Investments & Progression Fund. Individual investors include: Guy Oseary, Bored Ape Yacht Club Manager; Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures; TIME President Keith Grossman and Snoop Dogg’s manager Nick Adler.
ManageXR Manages $4M investment. The company has a system for XR device management and recently made a deal with Pico to support its devices in the US. This seed round led by Rally Ventures, with venture partner and previous lead angel investor Jay Borenstein joining the company’s board of directors.
Google is building a new augmented reality device and operating system. Based on the hire of a former Meta (not Facebook, the earlier Meta) engineer and job posts for AR engineering talent, 9to5Google infers that Google now has a new plan for HMDs and AR. Someone should tell them about Glass 2.0, a popular, low cost, assisted reality headset for enterprise, and this thing called Google maps, a digital twin of the physical world.
VictoryXR announced it is working with Meta Immersive Learning to launch digital twin campuses, replicas of existing campuses constructed in fully spatial 3D, at colleges and universities in the United States in 2022. This includes the construction of digital twin campuses where students can move about, socialize, learn and compete in activities, as well as live classes that students can access remotely.
Map Your Entire Home Into A VR Space using Custom Home Mapper Available on Sidequest for $7. Replace the Oculus Guardian with a flexible alternative, and map out your entire home as a giant VR playspace.
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.