Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Meta Platforms will in October debut the mixed reality headset the company has been developing under the codename Project Cambria. Appearing on Spotify’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast last week, Zuckerberg said the new headset will have outward facing cameras capable of porting the outside world into the VR experience. With improved facial tracking to transpose smiles and frowns and the ability to convey “actual eye contact” between avatars, Zuckerberg said the new device will enhance the experience of “social presence.” Continue reading Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Engineers at Nvidia have teamed with Stanford University researchers to develop a virtual reality headset that looks and feels more like a regular pair of eyeglasses, according to a research paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2022. The “Holographic Glasses” can depict scenes in full-color 3D holographic images using optical lenses that are just 2.5mm thick. The so-called “pancake lenses” not only have a slimmer profile, but also offer a 200-degree field of view and the potential for resolution that is virtually unlimited and can be “cranked up” at will. Continue reading Nvidia and Stanford Develop Downsized Holographic Glasses

Developers Criticize Meta Platforms for Costly VR App Fees

Meta Platforms is facing a backlash based on the fees it is charging virtual reality developers for access to its Meta Quest Store, which uses a financial model similar to that of leading mobile app stores. The Meta Quest Store supports the leading consumer market VR headset, the Quest 2, and reportedly demands 30 percent from digital purchases and anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent on subscription sales, which is comparable to Apple and Android store fees. Because Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously criticized those companies’ fee structures, he’s being labeled a hypocrite by those opposing the charges. Continue reading Developers Criticize Meta Platforms for Costly VR App Fees

HTC Desire 22 Pro Phone Integrates Cypto, NFTs, Metaverse

HTC is launching its Desire 22 Pro smartphone, which emphasizes VR and AR integration centering around HTC’s own Vive ecosystem and the open-source metaverse platform it calls the Viverse. The Desire 22 Pro’s preloaded Viverse app lets users access and manage NFTs and cryptocurrencies and other metaverse content. In February HTC announced the Viverse, where people can attend meetings or concerts, build avatars and play games. Optimized for HTC’s 5G products and Vive VR devices, users can join the Viverse from any phone, tablet, PC or VR headset. Continue reading HTC Desire 22 Pro Phone Integrates Cypto, NFTs, Metaverse

Meta Teases Headset Prototypes from VR Development Lab

With Apple expected to announce an AR/VR headset by year’s end, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg is wasting no time trying to saturate the market with Meta Quest 2 games and gear, while priming the pump for the Meta Quest Pro, which some say may debut as early as this fall. June has seen a summer sale of up to 40 percent off on 60 Quest 2 games. And last week, Zuckerberg mounted a shock and awe offensive, previewing several early prototypes, including the Holocake 2 — Meta’s lightest, thinnest VR headset, which plays PC virtual reality games. Continue reading Meta Teases Headset Prototypes from VR Development Lab

ByteDance on Hiring Spree for Expansion of Its Pico VR Unit

ByteDance appears ready to make a splash in the U.S. virtual reality market and is expanding the presence of its Pico VR unit on the West Coast, as per recent job listings. The Beijing-based ByteDance purchased Pico in August 2021, and now has more than 40 open positions posed for operations in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. According to Pico’s website, the company makes “best in class” wireless VR headsets, and in addition to the U.S. has operations in Europe, China and Japan. Many of the current job listings are for a content division called Pico Studios. Continue reading ByteDance on Hiring Spree for Expansion of Its Pico VR Unit

Lowered Expectations Drive Meta Stock Rise on Q1 Earnings

Meta Platforms’ stock price jumped 18 percent Wednesday on Q1 results that while not great were better than expected. Revenue was up 7 percent, to $27.9 billion, the most listless growth rate since Facebook’s May 2012 IPO. Reality Labs, the division driving the company’s metaverse ambitions, beat analysts’ expectations with revenue of $695 million, but the unit lost about $3 billion. Reality Labs is a large investment in a next-generation platform “comparable in value to the leading mobile platforms today,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. Continue reading Lowered Expectations Drive Meta Stock Rise on Q1 Earnings

Meta Adding Parent Controls for Instagram and Virtual Reality

Meta Platforms is beginning to implement parental controls on Instagram and Quest. Last week, Instagram added a Family Center that will eventually expand to allow parents and guardians to “help teens manage experiences across Meta technologies from one central place.” Meta says parental controls will be added to Quest VR in May, and hinted others, like Facebook, are queued-up to join. The Family Center will allow parents to monitor how much time their teens spend on Instagram, setting limits if they choose. Additionally, accounts teens follow and accounts following them will be trackable. Continue reading Meta Adding Parent Controls for Instagram and Virtual Reality

Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

Announced in 2019, the Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headsets are now being demoed for reviewers, with a commercial launch set for later this year. In 2020 the company shelved consumer plans to focus on enterprise clients in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and defense, where it will compete against Microsoft’s HoloLens. Offering a significantly improved field of view compared to the original 2018 Magic Leap, the new Magic Leap 2 is also lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. The new goggles are wired to a disc-shaped processor that must be carried or clipped on for mobility. Continue reading Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

HTC Adds Vive Guardian to Protect Kids in Volatile Metaverse

Taiwanese electronics company HTC has introduced a new Vive Guardian feature for its popular VR headset, the HTC Vive. The safeguard is designed to limit access to apps while children are cavorting in the metaverse, and experts say it’s a much needed step in an environment that thus far lacks kid profiles and parental safety settings. HTC, Meta Platforms and others suggest VR be used only by those over the age of 13, but at this point, it’s only a recommendation, and calls are already amplifying to put child safety measures in place. Continue reading HTC Adds Vive Guardian to Protect Kids in Volatile Metaverse

Sony Reveals Design Features of Its PlayStation VR2 Headset

Sony Interactive Entertainment has shared the design of its new virtual reality headset, the PlayStation VR2, and revealed some new design details of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller. White with black accents, like the PlayStation 5, the PS VR2 headset continues the “orb” look of the PS VR2 Sense controller, whose circular look is intended to reflect the “360-degree view that players feel when they enter the virtual reality world,” according to the company. The VR2 is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, and adds a lens adjustment dial to optimize the view and new side vents. Continue reading Sony Reveals Design Features of Its PlayStation VR2 Headset

Meta Quest VR Unit Faces Antitrust Probe by FTC and States

In the wake of a last week’s ruling that the Federal Trade Commission can prosecute its antitrust suit against Meta Platforms, it is now reported that the FTC and multiple state attorneys general are scrutinizing the company’s virtual reality unit — formerly known as Oculus Quest but renamed Meta Quest — for potential anti-competitive practices. New York, North Carolina and Tennessee are among the states that, in addition to the FTC, are said to be investigating whether the Meta Quest app store discriminates against app developers whose goods compete against Meta’s own products. Continue reading Meta Quest VR Unit Faces Antitrust Probe by FTC and States

CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

MIT Media Lab spin-off Brelyon, founded in 2018, is demonstrating its Ultra Reality screen technology this week at CES 2022. The display tech uses computational optics to essentially offer a curved 120-inch 3D “theater-like experience” via a 32-inch desktop monitor, which the company suggests is ideal for entertainment, gaming and enterprise applications “beyond screens, into the metaverse.” The concept relies on realistic depth effects and image composition techniques to provide users with a plug-and-play, high-fidelity, virtual experience that does not rely on VR headsets. Continue reading CES: Immersive Virtual Monitor Does Not Require a Headset

Meta Bumps ‘Horizon Worlds’ Out of Beta in U.S. and Canada

Meta Platforms last week threw open the doors to its “Horizon Worlds” virtual reality, online video platform. The collaborative environment has been in private beta since 2019 and had required an invitation to join. Now adults in the U.S. and Canada can download the free “Horizon Worlds” app and experience CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, as long as they have a Meta Quest 2 and a Facebook account. The playground lets users build things and virtually hang out with as many as 20 people in an environment that feels like being dropped into the OASIS of “Ready Player One.” Continue reading Meta Bumps ‘Horizon Worlds’ Out of Beta in U.S. and Canada

The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model

The Sundance Film Festival is returning to Park City, Utah in January after holding its last annual event entirely online. The 2022 Festival will introduce a new hybrid format that will expand The Spaceship, a virtual venue of the New Frontier exhibition where attendees can socialize and visit virtual reality and mixed reality installations. Sundance is also introducing a new Biodigital Bridge, a human-scale screen that will connect “festivalgoers in Park City and those attending The Spaceship online from anywhere in the world — establishing the Festival as a metaverse that overlays the physical event with a virtual one.” Continue reading The Sundance Film Festival Advances Tech for Hybrid Model