Updated: Jan 26
This week we focus on AltspaceVR & MRTK, Apple AR & MR rumors, non-consumer VR, how to begin in the immersive web, Mozilla Hubs, how to use AR smartglasses, metaverse, digital twins, & more!
Welcome to Spatial News™ .45, the official caliber of tech industry newsletters! “Is it still only January?” — Joh, avatar psychologist by day
XR is, how they say in the vernacular, “takin’ L’s” left and right.
You can thank the dynamic duo of Major Layoffs and Captain Kill-Offs as
And shuts down MRTK, the SDK used to build apps for HoloLens, which doesn’t bode well for the headset either.
Michael Barngrover makes a good point about the sunsetting of such services.
“The closing of AltspaceVR should bring more attention to a topic that I feel is under discussed: social platform operators should be required to have sustainability plans that extend beyond their own business interests[…]
Shutting off services to society isn't something that a telephone company can do simply because they'd like to use their money elsewhere, so why should owners like Microsoft or Meta be allowed to do the same with their own communications services?
I'll… remember[Altspace] as the cherished home of devoted communities from all over the world that loved it, even when it didn't seem to love them back equivalently. They deserved better.”
It’s not just the people that have lost their jobs that have lost out (and we hope they find work, start new ventures, and find new homes for their communities soon). What say you, dear reader?
Here’s a mix of L’s and W’s, I guess, maybe.
Really though, these kinds of rumors are what academics call “the farts of hope”. (Yes, that’s an actual taxonomic term.)
Here’s another kind of taxonomy.
The infographic below was created by the “Mapmaker of the Metaverse” Niclas Johansson, who also created the “MHD Positioning Map” that we shared in SN #041. Click the link to read the article and see the various ways VR can be utilized for enterprise.
(What happened to Å, Ä, and Ö, Niclas?)
All is not doom and gloom, though, you can still
Not sure how to start? Here’s how to begin on Mozilla Hubs by Heather Dodds, PhD. She also shares some
“Lessons learned If you are designing VR spaces for new users, here are some tips: - Have tech support available. - Set up basic tasks for new learners. - Start with predictable environments. - Have a compelling reason to use VR."
So strap a TV screen to your eyeballs (but leave the muzzle at home) and start your journey on the immersive web.
Image from Mutalk
Metaverse, Metaverse, Metaverse:
As the World Economic Forum sees it, the
Is the endgame then like uploading my consciousness into the Cloud like in “San Junipero”? (If so, I’d be the first to go Wintermute.)
According to the new WEF initiative “Defining and Building the Metaverse”, which currently boasts over 120 participants, “The metaverse will be part of our lives whether we like it or not.”
Ohhh, now, I get it! “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy about it” refers to ‘digital assets’! Mind ‘splosion!
I’m all for brands experimenting with emerging technologies (that’s Spatial8’s bread and jam, after all), but Heavens to Murgatroyd… My avatar can’t get a buzz from a virtual Miller Lite nor can it get the runs from a virtual Chipotle burrito. It’s not going to wait on line at a virtual Chase bank to get some funds that it can’t even spend on said virtual food stuffs. Fail! <Joh smiling mischievously.> (It’s fun to dog-pile.)
(Thanks for sharing, Catherine D. Henry.)
Should we add the WEF creating a Global Collaboration Village on AltspaceVR to promote the metaverse as the platform inches its way towards extinction? (Doesn’t count? Why? Just checking.)
“[T]ravel to [Metaverse Seoul] and handle administrative tasks remotely.” Bless you, South Korea, for making bureaucracy fun again.
If Metaverse Seoul has even a bit of the flavor of the real thing, it’s worth a visit. (I heart Seoul.) It’s available to all on Google Play and the Apple Store in English and Korean.
Seoul isn’t the only ‘metaverse city’. It’s among
8 Metaverse Cities to Hold a Shut Eye on in 2023
Including digital twins of London, New York City, Shanghai, Dubai, Santa Monica (Will Jack, Janet, and Chrissy be there?), Tokyo, and Singapore.
I don’t want to do a semiotic analysis of what ‘holding a shut eye’ means, so I’ll just close them both and move on…
But then I stumbled onto this:
“Whereas the idea of sensible cities has been round for some time, the formulation of a digital twin presents quite a few advantages. To work appropriately, a digital twin should gather real-time data from the bodily metropolis utilizing drones, sensors, cellular units, site visitors cameras, and extra.”
In case you missed it, “sensible cities” = smart cities, “bodily metropolis” = physical city, and “cellular units” = mobile devices. There’s more, but you get the picture.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read this information on another website by another author already and, if so, then this article is probably plagiarised. Still, I can’t help but enjoy the way this reads. It’s like an article from a parallel universe where these terms and phrases are correct. Plus, it sounds like cities are embodied and alive.
So, no, I won’t share the link, though, I’ve probably already promoted mass plagiarism by sharing all of those AI tools like ChatGPT in the last two editions of SN.
Twitch streamer @perrikaryal is
She “hooked up an EEG to her brain, where different brain activity is key bound to different abilities in game”.
Follow the link to watch the video. It’s walnuts!
Spatial News from Spatial8:
Here are videos, blogs and use cases from some Spatial8 ecosystem partners.
Video: How to Use AR Smartglasses
In the context of enterprise. Thanks to Spatial8 ecosystem partner Augumenta for sharing.
BODYSWAPS’ Christophe Mallet 3 trends are the following:
#1 - Acceleration of hardware adoption #2 - Multiplication of critical use cases driving stickiness #3 - Identification of best practices for scalable deployment
Follow the link to read his entire blog.
Billed as “the first metaverse with real-world positive impacts”, MetaAmazonia allows users to visit a digital twin of the Amazon rainforest and can assist conservation efforts and social programs through the purchasing of tracts of virtual land (which will, then, generate returns). Follow the link to visit the project and learn more about Zoan.
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The Immersive Wire
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See you in February, Spatialists!