Despite a revealing story about upcoming Apple XR devices in Bloomberg, there was no announcement about new XR devices at Apple’s Developer Conference (WWDC), except for spatial upgrades to maps, which will certainly be relevant to AR on smartphones and, eventually, head mounted displays.
I wrote about de-fi, web3, and the Meta Metaverse earlier this week in Forbes. Just three days later Neal Stephenson unveiled his plan to build a carbon-neutral metaverse based on open web3 protocols. Web3 is in the air, the perfume of the moment.
Neal Stephenson’s new company is called Lamina. Most recently he was Magic Leap’s chief futurist (2014 – 2020). This week he announced he’s teaming up with Crypto entrepreneur Peter Vessenes to make his original vision of the metaverse a reality. Our friend, Tony Parisi, co-creator of the VRML programming language, and until recently an SVP at Unity, is joining them as chief strategy officer. Vessenes wrote in a blog post on the Lamina1.com website. He thinks of Lumina as “the base layer for the Open Metaverse: a place to build something a bit closer to Neal’s vision — one that privileges creators, technical and artistic, one that provides support, spatial computing tech, and a community to support those who are building out the Metaverse.” The company hinted that more will be revealed when Stephenson keynotes Consensus this Saturday.
Meta brings game development platform Crayta to Facebook Gaming’s cloud streaming service. Crayta, acquired by FB in 2021, re-launched this week as a cloud-streamed service of Facebook Games. It provides thousands of user-created games and virtual worlds along with WYSIWYG tools to allow non-technical users to create their own games and build their own experiences.
IMVERSE Secures $4.8M for Holographic Conferencing. The Swiss B2B2C conferencing company provides voxel solutions for live holograms and real-time 3D graphics with applications across social media, entertainment, gaming, education, marketing and e-commerce, remote work and training and teleconferencing. They won the CES 2021 Best of Innovation award in the Steaming category for its telepresence software. Leading the round was Ariel Luedi’s Hammer TeamHTC and Logitech, Existing investors ACE & COMPANY and Ivo Petrov, the company’s executive chairman, also followed on in the round.
Looking Glass Factory launches a 65-inch holographic display The Brooklyn-based company showed the new 8K display in private demos at AWE last week. CEO Shawn Frayne says it’s the largest holographic display in the world. It was a CES-like moment, where you find yourself looking into the future. At 60K, it’s for pros only now.
This Week in XR is also a podcast. Hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, Futurist at Paramount Global. At AWE last week we recorded 18 ten minute interviews with industry vets, entrepreneurs, and company executives, including John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, and Alvin Graylin, President of HTC China. This Friday we’ll be speaking with Vicky Dobbs-Beck, the executive in charge of ILMxLab. You can find the podcast on podcasting platforms Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.
What We’re Reading
Agencies are investing in VR headsets and other tech to simulate in-person work experiences (Alyssa Meyers/Morning Brew)