by Activision Call of Duty Modern Warfare II grossed $800 million in its opening weekend. The blockbuster opening topped all of the biggest film openings worldwide of 2022, topping Top Gun: Maverickand Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness combined. The $800 million represents 50% of the gross sales the Meta Quest store has generated in two years.
Once or twice a year I see something that makes me go wow. If you have an iPhone or iPad 12 with a Lidar camera, prepare to be blown away by the free Reality Construction Kit app. It will allow you to launch balls or darts, inside or outside. The virtual ball bounces off real surfaces including sofas, stairs and chairs with perfectly realistic physics.
Leia Announces $125 Million Debt Financing from Aon. The company makes Lightfield display hardware and software that literally leaps off the screen. They had previously provided the 3D screen technology behind the Hydrogen Phone and Continential’s new holographic instruments in luxury cars. Its core technology stems from years of R&D at HP Labs The company’s LeiaLoft allows developers to easily create Lightfield content for commercial and consumer use.
Google acquires Twitter-backed AI avatar startup formerly Facemoji for $100 million Alter, originally Facemoji, the Czech artificial intelligence (AI) avatar generator, was quietly acquired by the tech giant two months ago. The technology has been incorporated into messaging apps to animate custom avatars. According to TechCrunch, company executives are only acknowledging the transaction.
The future of Microsoft HoloLens is uncertain after the military gave its IVAS system low marks for its performance in the field. Not good for the recently revamped HoloLens team. The Wall Street Journal reports that the HoloLens 3 project has been halted and potential Microsoft HoloLens manufacturing partner Samsung has pulled out of a potential deal. Over the past year, more than 100 Microsoft engineers have defected to Meta, telling the Journal a story of missed opportunities and underinvestment in XR.
Qualcomm’s record third-quarter revenue of $11.4 billion undermined by weak forecast. The company expects a dramatic contraction in smartphone sales next year, which sent shares of the company that builds the chipsets for every XR device down 7% after hours trading yesterday. Despite the uncertain outlook, the company says several Snapdragon XR2+ devices will be announced by the end of the year.
PSVR 2 will launch on February 22 for $550 The company also announced new information about the games available at launch. Of course, you need the $500 PS5 game console to run it. The 2000 x 2040 resolution per eye will give users an excellent view of the PS5’s graphical superpowers, and new haptic controllers are designed to increase immersion. Analysts say the new competition will hurt Meta.
China aims to ship 25 million VR devices by 2026 Beijing’s five ministries, led by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, say virtual reality is a key industry for the digital economy under the country’s 14th five-year plan. They expect over 25 million XR devices to ship by 2026. They have made similar efforts in the past which have not been successful. Remember Virtual Reality Theme Park and Virtual Reality City?
Meta bans under 12 accounts from the game room. The problem is, unlike other social virtual reality sites, Rec Room is for them. It’s overrun with kids because it’s supposed to be. Unlike, say, Meta Horizons, which is also overrun with kids. An unsupervised mix of children and adults should be avoided for all sorts of obvious reasons. No parent thinks it’s okay for their children to talk to unfamiliar adults.
Metaverse Studio Journey acquires Squint/Opera. The acquisition of a new company responsible for the launch of Walmart Land, Universe of Play and the production of Electric Fest inside Roblox, announced the acquisition of Squint/Opera, responsible for the famous Saudi City Concept, The Line. Founded just six months ago by Andy Zimmerman (Frog Design) and former HTC and Magic Leap executive Kathy Hackl, Journey already has big-name clients like Walmart, JetBlue and Procter & Gamble.
November is National XR Month. The XR Association (XRA) will host the first annual “National XR Month” in November to raise awareness of immersive technologies to “advance accessibility, workforce training, national safety and entertainment.” The US House resolution was proposed by the Congressional Caucus on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Technologies (Reality Caucus). The XRA will host events across the country over the next two weeks.
Miami will host the XR Leaders at the Immerse Global Summit in December. Meta, AT&T, Magic Leap, Amazon, Lenovo, Unity, Sony will deliver keynote speeches at the Immerse Global Summit in Miami Beach, Florida, December 5-7, 2022. The program also includes speakers from companies like Boeing and General Motors.
Launching on Quest this week
This week in XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, head of future technologies at Paramount Global. Our guest this week is Rony Abovitz, CEO of Sun and Thunder and founder of Magic Leap. We can be found on Spotify, itunesand Youtube.
What we read
This entrepreneur has raised $74 million to equip you for the new virtual world (Alejandro Cremades)
The Big Tech boom is over and Wall Street knows it (Peter Kafka/Vox)
This week at Schadenfreude
Bulls on Meta Stock have a big problem: Mark Zuckerberg (Bloomberg/Hindustan Times)
Bad meta, bad metaverse (Tony Vitillo/Skarred Ghost Blog)
Facebook’s monopoly is imploding before our eyes (Edward Ongweso Jr./Vice)
As Meta’s woes mount, will Mark Zuckerberg take inspiration from Snap’s Evan Spiegel? (Mike Woosley/The Drum)