Gravity Sketch draws $33M for a platform to design, collaborate on and produce 3D objects in VR. The London-based startup announced this week that it had a $33 million Series A. This follows their $7 M seed round in 2020. The Gravity Sketch VR design tool just passed 100,000 users, which represents both indie designers and product design teams at companies like Adidas, Reebok, Volkswagen and Ford. The round is being led by Accel, with GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and existing investors Kindred Capital, Point Nine and Forward Partners doubling down. Also participating are a number of high-profile individual investors, including Tony Fadell, founder of Nest.
NFL Pro Era VR Let’s You QB Your Favorite Team This Fall. The new fully licensed NFL VR football simulation game for the Oculus Quest lets players experience what it’s like to be the QB of their favorite NFL team. Leveraging NFL game data, users step under center and see if they make the big plays before being sacked.
Meta is working on a web version of its Horizon Worlds. Last week Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth tweeted that the company will expand its social VR platform to other devices, including web, game consoles and mobile phones. These same moves quadrupled the usage of Rec Room during the pandemic. Meta spokesperson Iska Saric told the Verge there were “no timing details to share at this time.”
The Corporate Hitchhikers Guide to the Metaverse was released by the Boston Consulting Group this week. Their research says the Metaverse market will be $250-$400 billion dollars by 2025. According to the report, this growth will be fueled by a convergence of advancements and innovation around m-worlds, VR/AR/MR offerings, and Web3 technologies.
Mystic Moose partners with One Tree Planted to offset NFT energy costs for Planet Mojo game. Planet Mojo is a web 3 gaming metaverse being built by veterans of LucasArts, Electronic Arts, Activision, Industrial Light & Magic, and more. Players pit their customized teams against each other in esports player vs. player (PVP) and “play and earn” games set on a mysterious planet.
Coachella Augments Its Festival With AR Content. In a sign that the digital and physical are continuing to merge, the Coachella music festival worked with Unreal Engine to integrate AR content into the livestream of festival performances. Unreal Engine worked with Flume’s artistic team and other technical collaborators to create massive psychedelic 3D images that blended in seamlessly with his stage design and set, floating around the artist and into the Indio sky.
Snapchat and LACMA Return With Monumental Perspectives AR Monuments. LACMA is one of the museums that receive some of The Monuments Project’s $250 million fund. The initiative with Snapchat brings together LA-based artists who are inspired by moments and pieces of the city’s history. The three installations include Judy Baca’s ongoing The Great Wall of Los Angeles mural, Sandra de la Loza’s ecological work on the LA River and Willowbrook and Kang Seung Lee’s work commemorating activists who rebuilt LA following the 1991 uprisings.
This Week in XR is now a podcast hosted by Ted Schilowitz, Futurist at Viacom, and Charlie Fink, the author of this weekly column. Our guest this week is AR Insider’s Mike Boland. You can find us on podcasting platforms Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.
What We’re Reading
Rony Abovitz Takes On NFT Tulipomania (Rony Abovitz/Medium)
Snap’s AR Vision (Harry McCrackken/Fast Company)
What Does The Metaverse Mean to the Defense Industry? (Andrew Everdson/Breaking Defense)