October 2, 2022

Conjoined twins separated with the help of virtual reality Three-year-old twins joined at the head were successfully separated in a twenty-four-hour surgery designed in VR by doctors collaborating around the world. The surgeons spent months training on actual CT and MRI scans. Dr Noor ul Owase Jeelani described it as a “space age thing”.

Quest’s Most Popular App Lab Basketball Game ‘Gym Class’ Secures $8 Million IRL Studios announced that Gym Class, the popular VR basketball game at Meta Quest App Lab, has raised $8 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) with participation from Y Combinator. Other participants include Founders Inc., Todd and Rahul’s Angel Fund, Balaji Srinivasan, Zaza Pachulia and several other angel investors.

NuEyes & Samsung Create an AR Solution for Healthcare. The companies announced a partnership to use augmented reality (AR) technology to give medical professionals access to live video and remote experts, as well as the ability to capture real-time images and documents. The NuEyes PRO series The AR smart glasses, when connected to a Samsung 5G Galaxy S series mobile phone or tablet, can run applications used for common healthcare functions such as ultrasound imaging and remote medicine.

Xiaomi unveils consumer smart glasses. Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has revealed its own take on a Google Glass-style monocular micro-display. The ~$370 Mijia Glasses camera features a single Micro OLED from Sony that boasts a peak brightness of up to 3,000 nits and 3,281 ppi. The camera/monitor top can also be clipped onto a pair of eyeglass frames or worn on its own. The company says it’s targeting “active consumers.”

ActiveLook brings “Light AR” to sports sunglasses. MicroOLED, an electronics company specializing in OLED micro-displays, earlier this week announced the latest version of its ActiveLook system, a transparent heads-up display designed for sports brands and eyewear manufacturers. The device provides users with real-time key performance data, allowing them to stay informed while remaining focused on their training. ActiveLook glasses and goggles start at around $250.

Zuckerberg Says Meta and Apple Are in ‘Very Deep, Philosophical Competition’ to Build Metaverse In an all-out meeting, Meta’s CEO told employees earlier this month that they were competing with Apple to determine “which direction the Internet should go,” according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by The lip. He said Meta will position itself as the more open, cheaper alternative to Apple. After recently helped spawn the Metaverse Open Standards Group with Microsoft, Epic Games and others. Apple is absent from the group.

Microsoft’s Battlefield AR headset on life support after major budget cuts. Microsoft’s ten-year, twenty-two billion dollar deal with the Army to build an AR system faces a significant cut from the House Armed Services Committee, which allocated only a paltry fifty million dollars in next year’s budget for the system. This comes amid a reorganization of Microsoft’s XR units. HoloLens creator Alex Kipman is leaving the company.

Snap’s first AR game is a ghost hunt on the phone In Ghost phone you use your smartphone camera to find AR ghosts around, a la Pokemon Go. Each ghost reveals a little more about the mysterious lost phone. There is other content on the phone that was found. Find it in Lens Explorer.

Planet of the Bored Apes: Inside the NFT, the world’s biggest success story Here’s the inside story on what happened when the founders of Yuga Labs, creator of the super hit Bored Ape Yacht Club, discovered their true identities from Buzzfeed. Bored Apes is a collection of 10,000 unique digital drawings of head and shoulders monkeys, each with a unique combination of features. They just raised $320 million from their owners to create a huge virtual world called Otherisde.

How Yuga Labs hopes to reach the metaverse first with Otherside As reported last week, Yuga Labs just tested the metaverse-in-progress with 4,500 concurrent unique users. Yuga teamed up with UK-based Improbable to achieve the feat, notably without compromising avatar obsession or 3D audio. Dean Takahashi interviewed Yuga CEO Nicole Muniz about the developments.

The VR Awards 2022 finalists After hosting the last two editions of the VR Awards virtually, AIXR is bringing the ceremony and celebrations back to reality in partnership with Immersive Tech Week in Rotterdam, Netherlands. AIXR recently announced that the 2022 ceremony will take place live in Rotterdam at: de Doelen on December 1, 2022. The full list of finalists can be found here.

NBCUniversal News Group has just begun airing a special two-week series that explores the opportunities and implications of the postuniverse. They air on TODAY, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCNews.com and NBC News NOW, Inside the Metaverse will explore how users in the virtual 3D world can engage in everything from retail and religion to healthcare and dating. Plus, CNBC’s Julia Borstyn will talk to Paris Hilton about her business ventures in the metaverse, including what she thinks is next in virtual entertainment.

Joanna Popper appointed Chief Metaverse Officer at CAA. Popper has a proven track record of delivering cutting edge content and technology to drive revenue, audience engagement and brand affinity, he will be responsible for establishing and executing on strategy and key business priorities for CAA and clients of the Metaverse.

This week on XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, head of future technologies at Paramount Global. This week our guest is Catherine Henry, SVP Metaverse Innovation Strategy for Media Monks. You can find us at Spotify, iTunesand YouTube.

What We Read

More than any other sports league, the NBA has gone all in on Web3 With a financially established group of athletes, tech mogul owners, and an active sneaker culture, basketball was primed for an explosion of NFT projects. (Jared Lindson/Fast Company)

The Top 5 Metaverse Activations You Should Know (Asa Hiken/Ad Age)

Mark Zuckerberg takes the first step to turn Facebook into Yahoo 2.0 By putting the algorithm in charge of Facebook to emulate TikTok, its totalitarian leader is endangering Meta’s life and may be risking the type of downward spiral that has already seen popular Silicon Valley portals collapse. (Therese Poletti/Marketwatch)

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