Welcome back to Spatial Beats. The tech press, having watched Meta’s recent recovery with a gimlet eye, piled back on this week with the NY Times headline Mass Layoffs and Absentee Bosses Create a Morale Crisis at Meta. The Washington Post piled on, reporting Meta paid VR developers salaries of up to $1 million. Facebook’s owner is now in financial trouble. You’d never know it if you follow financial news. Meta stock has doubled in the past four months. Despite the bad press, investors seem to have remembered that Meta’s AI – its algorithms – generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue with humans there not contributing a whole lot. The mere suggestion Meta’s dropping humans in favor of code, and that they’ve stopped talking about the metaverse, has sent the stock soaring, and refilled our favorite new section, “This Week in Schadenfreude” below.
Microsoft Teams adds Snapchat AR Lenses to video chats. In addition to the avatars Teams is rolling out this month, the company partnered with Snap to bring a small set of 26 curated Snapchat Lenses to Teams. Snap Camera, which contains all of Snaps’ filters, has been integrated into Zoom since 2020.
Coachella 2023 Announces ‘Fortnite’ Metaverse Activation. Last week, the festival announced “Coachella Island,” a partnership with Fortnite that presents the festival in the metaverse. Launching Friday (April 14) at 3 p.m. PT to coincide with the first day of the IRL fest, Coachella Island is inspired by Coachella’s dreamy desert landscape, with digitally rendered mountains, polo fields, palm trees and day-to-night features.
My Top Ten VR Experiences. I make the same recommendations to people so for fun I wrote it down. The list does not include games. The criteria is simply that it made me go “wow.”
Mom, Dad, I Want To Be A Prompt Engineer (Craig S. Smith/Forbes)
Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset Can’t Defy the Laws of Physics (Karl Guttag/Display Daily)
This Week in Schadenfreude
Whatever Happened to the Metaverse? (Parmy Olsen/Bloomburg)
It Sounds Like Facebook Is Completely Falling Apart (Futurism/Maggie Harrison)
Mark Zuckerberg Abandons Metaverse As Shiny New Toy Appears (Futurism/Maggie Harrison)
This Week in XR is also a podcast hosted by Paramount’s Futurist Ted Schilowitz, Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz, 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.