Welcome back to Spatial Beats. Mobile World Congress wrapped last week in Barcelona. Like CES 2022 eight weeks ago, it was smaller than previous iterations, which has attracted more than a hundred thousand visitors in recent years. Meta’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg implored other companies to join Meta in building the Metaverse, and cited examples of its infrastructure partnerships which will help build the physical infrastructure a big M Metaverse would need to succeed. Wired reports laptops and tablets dominated the show floor.
HTC made its metaverse announcement. Road to VR says HTC’s vision of the Metaverse, the Viverse, is “heavy on buzzwords, light on substance.” Ouch.
Nikeland in Roblox is just the beginning. Retailers are clamoring to get into the Metaverse, which though it doesn’t really exist, is evident in the many small m metaverses, like Roblox.
Vive Flow Holoride app turns car rides into moving VR theme park experiences. We tried at at AWE last November and it’s awesome. CEO Nils Wolney will be our guest on the podcast March 18.
Location-based flop The Void, rescued from bankruptcy by one of its founders, is planning a return. Hyper Reality Partners, owned by former Void investor Adrian Steckel, bought the Void’s assets out of bankruptcy for around $2 million. No word on what experiences will be offered, or when or where the new locations will open.
Liteboxer, the video boxing system for home workouts, has launched its Quest app today. Techcrunch says “Liteboxer is the next contender in the VR fitness ring”
Mech Combat comes to Quest store. The multiplayer VR mech sim Vox Machinae has arrived. Originally released on Rift in 2018, Vox Machinae includes a free multiplayer campaign mode.
When stand-up comedy meets virtual reality, things get weird (Anne Ruben/The Washington Post)
A new challenge for Meta: How to moderate the metaverse (Dan McCarthy/Morning Brew)
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.