Metaverse mania is here. I was twenty-five years too early for the party, so it’s sadly anti-climatic for me. I learned a long time ago that it’s going to take years to fix this. If it is even possible. Will Metaverse be browser-based or app-based? What role does AR play in Metaverse? No one knows. Not Zuck. Not Tim Sweeny. Not Tim Cook.
One Metaverse already exists. Second Life, a web-based 3D virtual world, has been popular for two decades. It still has a million monthly users. It has an economy. People are buying and selling virtual real estate and digital goods. It is spatial (3D). It has persistence. It’s social. You have a bodily presence, an avatar. Second life may already be -one metaverse. But as we know, it is not that metaverse. The distinction is incredibly important.
There are even more evolving metavers. These include VR Chat, Facebook’s Horizon, Rec Room, AltSpaceVR and Roblox. Epic Games raised a billion dollars for a metaverse they will presumably build on Fortnite, which with 350 million users is many times larger than all the others combined. These all grow fast and create lots of money. But again, none of these are that metaverse.
Here are a few things I know are true about that metaverse. You get a secure personal identity and you move smoothly from place to place, just as you move from site to site. It will be spatial, 3D, and any device with a browser, including the humble smartphone, will have access to it. Being in a headset may not be a prerequisite. It has to be social. It has to have an economy, which means ways of making and selling things. That’s why most people do or do something.
And now, the news.
The Glimpse Group Rang The Bell. The company with XR companies is listed on NASDQ as VRAR. Searching Alpha called them “the market’s only pure VR investment in VR games.”
Thirdverse raises $ 20 million for VR games The company’s titles include “Swords of Gargantua” and “Kunimitsu.” Serial entrepreneur Hironao Kunimitsu, who took mobile game publisher Brave Frontier publicly in 2014 and also started Virtual Reality Fund, Gumi Cryptos Capital and several VR incubators, has been named CEO.
TetaVi raises $ 20 million for its metaverse-focused computer vision tech The Israeli company uses a streamlined volumetric recording method enhanced with AI to create photorealistic 3D holograms for Metaverse. The round was led by Impact Partners. Previous seed rounds raised $ 15 million, bringing the total funding to $ 35 million.
ByondXR secures $ 7M seed funding to expand its 3D and AR virtual shopping offer to the e-commerce market The company has developed a web-based augmented reality (XR) platform to build photorealistic versions of showrooms and homes.
Niantic acquires 3D scanning app Scaniverse Scaniverse is a high-resolution 3D iPhone / iPad app for scanning objects and environments in 3D. Niantic is going to keep it in the app store and will make its previous premium features for free. This is Niantic’s most recent acquisition in the 3D mapping space that had acquired 6D.ai last year and Escher Reality the year before.
Fortnite’s Ariana Grande Concert features a taste of metaverse music 12.3 million people joined the pop star in a specially designed world where they could play along with the music. This critic was thrilled with it.
This week on XR is now a podcast hosted by Viacom / CBS ‘Futurist Ted Schilowitz and Charlie Fink, the author of this weekly column. You can find it on podcasting platforms Spotify, iTunes, and Youtube.
What we read
Technicians believe that we are on the verge of a virtual world called ‘metaverse’. I’m skeptical Sean Monahan says his son is 1000x more interested in Roblox than VR.
Virtual production and metaverse: Latest buzzwords or the future of our industry? Fantastic story about virtual production that takes Hollywood by storm. I have no idea what it has to do with a / metaverse.
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