CES: Sony’s Mixed-Reality Headset Built for Content Creation

Sony Corporation debuted a mixed reality headset “aimed at supporting creators in sophisticated 3D content creation.” The Sony XR HMD includes “an XR head-mounted display with 4K OLED Microdisplays and Sony’s proprietary rendering technology” to enable real-time, high-definition “rendering of textures of 3D objects and facial expressions of human characters,” Sony announced at CES. The electronics giant disclosed plans to “collaborate with developers” of 3D production software, “including in the entertainment and industrial design fields.” At launch, Sony is exclusively partnered with Siemens to develop a collaborative product design solution. Continue reading CES: Sony’s Mixed-Reality Headset Built for Content Creation

CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Seattle-based tech firm Ixana is at CES 2024 demonstrating its Wi-R communication chip, which “reduces energy consumption by 100x compared to radiative wireless technologies like BLE, Wi-Fi, cellular, Zigbee and Z-Wave, enabling a paradigm shift in wearable technology,” according to the company, which nabbed a CES Innovation Award. The 4Mbps YR22 Wi-R chip offers “continuous charging-free body-worn health monitoring, video streaming for extended reality, and intuitive human-computer interaction,” Ixana says, explaining it works via algorithms that run via distributed computing on battery-powered devices. Continue reading CES: Ixana Transforms Human Body into Networked Receiver

Meta Platforms Continues Its Pursuit of AI and the Metaverse

Meta Platforms has reportedly been investing billions of dollars each quarter in developing the metaverse, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has described as the future of the company. Although sales of VR headsets and AR glasses dropped nearly 40 percent in the U.S. (according to research firm Circana), Meta continues to tout the intersection between AI and the metaverse. “The progress we made in 2023 means generative AI is making its way into the heart of the world’s most popular apps, mixed reality is now at the core of a mass market headset, and Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses will let AI see the world from our perspective for the first time,” explained Andrew Bosworth, CTO and head of Meta’s Reality Labs. Continue reading Meta Platforms Continues Its Pursuit of AI and the Metaverse

Diesel Vert Watch Debut Powered by Web3 Promo with NFTs

Watch brand Diesel continues its exploration of Web3 and the metaverse with its new Vert line, a collaboration with Fossil dropping November 2. The “narrative-driven brand experience” for Vert centers on a game-like digital adventure called “the Vert Metamorph Experience” that that can be explored online and instore through November 17. The Metamorph virtual world is inspired by Vert design details resulting in an environment both organic and futuristic. There, visitors will try to advance through challenges as an NFT-minted “A:VERT:AR” trying to reactivate time in land where it has stopped. Continue reading Diesel Vert Watch Debut Powered by Web3 Promo with NFTs

CREAL Plans Launch of Commercial Lightfield AR Next Year

Swiss technology firm CREAL has announced what it calls a breakthrough in lightfield technology that can greatly improve augmented reality experiences. The tech is set to be commercially released in early 2024 for integration into third-party products, CREAL CEO Tomas Sluka says the advancement will make it more comfortable to wear AR glasses, reducing eye strain, nausea and fatigue. While other companies approach AR’s challenges through solutions including passthrough, monocular projection and varifocal display, CREAL says the stack it’s built for lightfield display addresses the most pressing common issues. Continue reading CREAL Plans Launch of Commercial Lightfield AR Next Year

Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ Offers Metaverse on Mobile, the Web

Meta Platforms will offer its “Horizon Worlds” virtual reality experience to the world at large, making it available in 2D via mobile and browsers on the Web, starting with early access. Initially, a “small number of people” will be able to  tap into the FPS game “Super Rumble” via the Meta Quest app on Android, with iOS availability over the next few weeks and “more experiences to come.” Early access can also be requested by those who prefer to use computer browsers at horizon.meta.com. “The metaverse should be available to everyone — no matter what device they’re on,” Meta suggests. Continue reading Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ Offers Metaverse on Mobile, the Web

Films Shot ‘In-World’ at Mona Get Their Own Shorts Festival

Films shot using the 3D world-building tool Mona will compete in what is being billed as “the world’s first metaverse short film festival.” Running September 26-29, the Mona Shorts Fest will take place in the immersive environment app that CEO Justin Melillo has coined “the Monaverse.” “With an entire film studio at your fingertips through Mona’s SDK and in-world experience, imagine what story you could tell,” the festival’s website suggests. Last summer, the company announced more than $14 million in Series A funds after “thousands of creators” used the platform to build experiences for Web3. Continue reading Films Shot ‘In-World’ at Mona Get Their Own Shorts Festival

The Met Teams with Verizon to Create Roblox AR Experience

Verizon has teamed with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on a discovery app called Replica that lets consumers scan artwork to generate digital collectibles. The augmented reality Replica experience lets museum visitors scan items using a mobile app that stores them to Roblox as objects or avatar accessories. Roblox account holders can also virtually explore the Met’s facade and partake in other immersive experiences. The effort follows a previous Verizon collaboration with the museum and indicates the way institutions can leverage AR to engage consumers. Continue reading The Met Teams with Verizon to Create Roblox AR Experience

Tech Firms Join Pixar in Group Promoting OpenUSD Standard

Led by Pixar Animation Studios, a consortium of tech companies has formed the Alliance for OpenUSD to promote an open 3D computer graphics standard for the metaverse and other 3D projects. Adobe, Apple, Autodesk and Nvidia are also founding members along with the Linux Foundation’s Joint Development Foundation. The group will promote the development and standardization of Pixar’s Universal Scene Description tech, a 3D platform that is interoperable across a variety of tools, data and workflows. The goal is to make it easier to describe, compose and simulate large-scale 3D imaging projects and services across industries and platforms worldwide. Continue reading Tech Firms Join Pixar in Group Promoting OpenUSD Standard

Meta Sees Double-Digit Growth for the First Time Since 2021

Meta Platforms had a successful Q2, reporting double-digit growth for the first time since Q4 2021. The performance was attributed to a rebound in the digital advertising sector. The good news comes with a warning, as the company says it plans to increase spending on virtual reality and artificial intelligence next year. The parent of Facebook and Instagram reported revenue of just under $32 billion for the period ending June 30, an 11 percent gain over 2022. Advertising contributed a whopping $31.5 billion, growing nearly 12 percent year-over-year. Continue reading Meta Sees Double-Digit Growth for the First Time Since 2021

Sony Offers Affordable Phone-Based MoCap System in U.S.

Sony Electronics is launching its Mocopi mobile motion capture system in the United States. Using a dedicated smartphone app for iOS and Android, the wireless system enables full-body motion tracking, captured by six small, lightweight sensors. Sony has been marketing Mocopi in Japan where virtual streamers (also called “VTubers”) have been using the system to drive avatars and fictional animated characters. Mocopi allows users to go mobile with virtual reality, loosening time and location constraints. Sony is now taking preorders for the $499 Mocopi system, which ships July 14. Continue reading Sony Offers Affordable Phone-Based MoCap System in U.S.

Zuckerberg Shares Meta Strategy with Staff After Rocky Year

Following nine months of difficult repositioning that included layoffs and consolidation as Meta Platforms segued to its “year of efficiency,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently shared his plans for the company’s future with employees at an all-hands meeting. In a discussion that has been reported as an effort to help bolster staff morale during this challenging period, Zuckerberg explained his strategy regarding job cuts, offered insight on the tech giant’s approach to artificial intelligence, and took a swipe at Apple’s upcoming Vision Pro mixed reality headset while talking about his goals for VR and the metaverse. Continue reading Zuckerberg Shares Meta Strategy with Staff After Rocky Year

Meta Quest 3 Is Unveiled Just Ahead of Apple’s WWDC 2023

The Meta Quest 3 is a thinner, wireless AR/VR headset that will sell for $499 beginning this fall. Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the device last week ahead of Apple’s WWDC, taking place today through Friday (during today’s WWDC keynote, Apple announced its visionOS software platform for the company’s much anticipated Vision Pro headset). Powered by a new Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset developed in conjunction with Meta, Zuckerberg describes the Quest 3 as “the first mainstream headset with high-res color mixed reality” and promises more details at Meta Connect, September 27-28. Continue reading Meta Quest 3 Is Unveiled Just Ahead of Apple’s WWDC 2023

G7 Leaders Call for Global AI Standards at Hiroshima Summit

Leaders at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, are calling for discussions that could lead to global standards and regulations for generative AI, with the aim of responsible use of the technology. The chief executives of the world’s largest economies — which in addition to the host nation include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the U.S. (and additionally the EU) — expressed the goal of forming a G7 working group to establish by the end of the year a “Hiroshima AI process” for discussion about uniform policies for dealing with AI technologies including chatbots and image generators. Continue reading G7 Leaders Call for Global AI Standards at Hiroshima Summit

Meta In-House Chip Designs Include Processing for AI, Video

Meta Platforms has shared additional details on its next generation of AI infrastructure. The company has designed two custom silicon chips, including one for training and running AI models and eventually powering metaverse functions like virtual reality and augmented reality. Another chip is tailored to optimize video processing. Meta publicly discussed its internal chip development last week ahead of a Thursday virtual event on AI infrastructure. The company also showcased an AI-optimized data center design and talked about phase two of deployment of its 16,000 GPU supercomputer for AI research. Continue reading Meta In-House Chip Designs Include Processing for AI, Video