Welcome back to Spatial Beats. At 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide, The MSG Sphere Launched in Las Vegas is the world’s biggest spherical structure and the biggest programmable LED screen in the world. Its wraparound screen is made of thousands of individual panels, which covers the building’s entire exterior. U2 will be the debut act, setting up house in the Sphere with 25 shows.

Meta’s New Twitter clone Threads has something Mastodon, Post, and Bluesky Will Never Have. Scale. Sixteen hours after its launch Thursday, Meta’s new Threads app was downloaded over thirty million times. Twitter has been in decline since Elon Musk bought the company last year. Fewer employees, fewer users, fewer posts, fewer advertisers. The promised Zuck v Musk cage fight is really on, and it may play out in court. Twitter sent a cease-and-desist to Zuck, alleging Meta’s Threads app relies on proprietary intellectual property supplied by former Twitter engineers on the project.

Apple’s delivery dates and expected production numbers for Its Vision Pro are slipping. According to the Financial Times, Apple’s China-based contract manufacturer, Luxshare, is now preparing to make fewer than 400,000 Vision Pros in 2024. It’s possible as few as 130,000 will be fully assembled, because they don’t have enough parts. It was previously reported that Apple was operating with an internal 12-month sales target of one million units. This is going to give Apple competitors Meta, HTC and Xreal some more runway.

Apple Vision Pro: 5 Hands-On Takes

Speaking of competition, Samsung will delay its upcoming headset to match the features of the upcoming Apple Vision Pro. South Korean news site SBS Biz cites “an official familiar with Samsung’s internal circumstances” that the company informed partners the project would be delayed 3-6 months into mid or late 2024.

Hands-On: Xreal Air AR Glasses. Sean Booker’s review of these $379 smartglasses, which are a second screen (or screen reflector) is inconclusive, but I think that’s because he’s not using Xreal’s must-have accessory, Beem, which turns their Air glasses into a 3 DOF XR headset. The screen can be placed in your environment where you want it. When you look away, it stays anchored in place. Each lens of the 90 gram Xreal Air AR glasses features a 1080p display that acts as a second monitor for any USB-C or HDMI device like game consoles, phones and computers. We just started using our Air with Xreal’s new Beam, so my review is a week or two away, but here’s a teaser, and the best part of the experience so far: when you plug Beem into your device – including Apple devices – the Air just works. XReal said it sold 200,000 unites in the past six months.

Trying the $6,500 Varjo XR-3, to get a better sense of Vision Pro. Ben Lovejoy of 9to5 Mac, took this industrial 4K headset for a spin. Like the Apple Vision Pro, the XR-3 uses mixed reality, passing through the headset’s cameras, to combine the physical and digital worlds. Varjo’s headsets are typically used for industrial design and simulation, so the price tag is no barrier. The displays make it almost too realistic.

Jon Carmak (former Meta VR CTO) Reviews Bigscreen Beyond. Jon Carmak, creator of Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake, put Oculus on map when he used Palmer Lucky’s janky demo unit to blow everyone away at E3 in 2013. He left Meta after spending a decade advancing the tech. He tried the upcoming “Bigscreen Beyond” PC VR headset and gave his review in a series of Tweets in which he called the new VR HMD “far and away the smallest and lightest PC VR headset. For people considering an upgrade to a PC VR system, Bigscreen Beyond should be in the mix. I am very happy to see this extreme focus on light weight, and I hope it impacts Meta’s future designs.”

Sony launches its Mocopi motion tracking system in the US. You know what this means: more dancing in VR! The phone-based mo-cap system enables body movements to control an avatar. You jump. It jumps. Mocopi, now available for preorder at $449, is expected ship next week. Vtubing, meaning broadcasting into Twitch and YouTube as a virtual character, is popular in Japan and Korea. Users have heretofore used old HTC tracking towers from PC VR days, or a Microsoft Kinect camera, to caputre movement in real time. Mocopi will provide a much easier, friction free method of accomplishing this.

CNet Editor Scott Stein Tries OpenBCI’s Brain-Connected AR-VR Headset. OpenBCI, a Brooklyn-based company that makes noninvasive brain-computer-interfaces, integrated its sensors with a modified Varjo mixed-reality headset to create Galea. In January, the prototype won two CES innovation awards. It will be available later this year.

Humane AI Pin Details Revealed. Founder Imran Chaudhri demoed the pin onstage at TED in February. The Pin, which clips to clothing, can summarize emails and calendar invites, and perform tasks like search, wayfinding, and translation. Ai Pin uses a built-in projector and depth sensor, and it can project onto any surface, like a table, or your arm. Humane is working with Qualcomm to develop the Ai Pin’s internal hardware. Humane expects to launch by the end of the year. San Francisco-based Humane, which has a more than 200-person workforce, has raised $230 million from investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Kindred Ventures, SK Networks, LG Technology Ventures, Microsoft, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Tiger Global, Qualcomm Ventures and OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman.

Inflection AI Develops Supercomputer Equipped With 22,000 NVIDIA H100 AI GPUs (Muhammad Zuhair/wccftech)

Lessons From the Catastrophic Failure of the Metaverse (Kate Wagner/The Nation)

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.

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