May 2021

Touching Holograms

How the Microsoft Mixed Reality Studios explored more immersive interactions

Cognixion’s brain-monitoring headset enables fluid communication for people with severe disabilities

Of the many frustrations of having a severe motor impairment, the difficulty of communicating must surely be among the worst. The tech world has not offered much succor to those affected by things like locked-in syndrome, ALS and severe strokes, but startup Cognixion aims to with a novel form of brain monitoring that, combined with a modern interface, could make speaking and interaction far simpler and faster.

Microsoft is working on HoloLens 3, consumer version

In an interview with Bloomberg Microsoft’s head of Mixed Reality, Alex Kipman, answered some questions about the present and future of the Microsoft HoloLens, releasing some crumbs about the next version of the device.

Week 14, April 5 to April 10, 2021

In March steam VR had 2.9 million of users or 2.3% of Steam users.

For the third month running, the number of VR headsets on Steam has reached a new record high of some 2.9 million, or 2.3% of Steam users.

Welcome to Decentraland, where NFTs meet a virtual world

NBC News. Digital platforms, such as Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite, have emerged as digital spaces that offer near-real-life experiences. Decentraland’s world offers a chance to own a piece.

Augmented Reality Digital Clothes Are Selling For Thousands Of Pounds

Earlier this year, RTFKT, the creators of virtual trainers and collectibles, teamed up with artist Zaid Kirdsey to create their first virtual jacket. Named the ‘metajacket’, its hefty price tag of $24,996 didn’t stop the jacket from selling out.

Facebook, Apple and Niantic Bet People Are Ready for Augmented-Reality Glasses

WSJ. Tech companies are accelerating their development of computerized glasses for consumers, in a competition between Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and others that proponents say will usher in a new way for consumers to use technology.

Tim Cook says Apple wants to use AR to make conversations better

NYT. “You and I are having a great conversation right now. Arguably, it could even be better if we were able to augment our discussion with charts or other things to appear,”

Neuralink Reveals Monkey Playing ‘Pong’ Using Only Its Brain

Neuralink, the brain-machine interface (BMI) company created by Elon Musk, released a video showing off a live trial of its brain implant in a monkey.

Week 13, March 29 to April 4, 2021

Microsoft Signs $22B Contract with US Army to Bring HoloLens 2 Tech to the Battlefield

Following a prototyping phase started in 2019, Microsoft and the United States Army have announced they are moving to a production phase of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), based on HoloLens 2 technology, through a contract worth up to $22 billion.

We wont't Have Phones in 15 Years

Interview with Facebook Reality Labs VP, Andrew Bosworth about the future of XR and Facebook’s plans for it, but also about privacy and security in new media.

Snapchat Readying an AR Version of Its Spectacles Glasses

Hot on the tail of Niantic teasing a pair of AR glasses earlier this week, a new report from The Information says the company is readying a pair of its Spectacles glasses with proper AR functionality.

Some rumours about Apple XR

Apple has been working on hybrid ultra-short focal length lens aiming to keep the weight of the headset under 150 grams.

Mojo Vision Details Low-Power Chips for Augmented Reality Contact Lenses

A millimeter-scale microLED display that fits onto a contact lens to provide augmented reality is, frankly, amazing.

WSJ. Virtual Reality Brings Joy to People in Assisted-Living Facilities.

Studies show improved emotional health among residents who watch VR images.

Week 12, March 22 to March 28, 2021

Gucci's New Sneakers Cost Only $12 USD but You'll Never Be Able to Wear Them

Having already dipped into the digital footwear realm, the luxury fashion house Gucci is launching a series of augmented reality (AR) sneakers as non-fungible tokens NFT. This is part of a major push from parent Kering to keep at the forefront of virtual reality trends.

Facebook Reveals Latest Wrist-worn Prototypes for XR Input & Haptics

Facebook today revealed some of its latest research and vision for a wrist-worn input device that the company expects to form the basis of AR and VR interactions and haptics in the future. The device, still in a research prototype phase, senses electrical signals in the user’s arm to detect intentional inputs. In addition to functioning as a simple ‘button’ input, the company says the device can even enable accurate, keyboard-less typing, and more.

Sony Unveils Next-gen VR Motion Controller for PS5

In preparation for the reveal of its next VR headset, Sony today gave a first look at its next-gen VR controller for use with PS5, something that appears very similar to Oculus’ Touch controller.

Apple Mixed Reality Headset Coming In 2022, Apple Glass In 2025, AR Contacts in 2030

Respected analyst and Apple research expert Ming-Chi Kuo revealed yesterday that the company will be launching its long-rumored mixed reality headset “mid-2021,” according to a report by MacRumors. This followed by a dedicated AR headset in 2025 and AR contact lenses as early as 2030.

‘Rec Room’ Plus Members Can Now Exchange In-game Tokens for Real Cash

At the time of this writing, one ‘eligible token’ is worth $0.0004, making it equivalent to $400 per million tokens, the studio outlines in a blogpost.

Nearly 10,000 People at Facebook Are Working on AR & VR

By now, it’s pretty clear Facebook is serious about leading virtual and augmented reality. Further underling Facebook’s bet that immersive technologies are the future of computing, a report from The Information claims that the company is currently employing nearly 10,000 people to work on AR/VR.

Facebook Working On Quest 3 & 4, Zuckerberg Wants Face & Eye Tracking

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants eye tracking & facial expression tracking in future iterations of Oculus Quest.

In fact a wide-ranging interview with The Information, Zuckerberg talked about the company’s strategy & direction in the AR/VR space.

Inside Facebook Reality Labs: The Next Era of Human-Computer Interaction

In today’s post — the first in a series exploring the future of human-computer interaction (HCI) — we’ll begin to unpack the 10-year vision of a contextually-aware, AI-powered interface for augmented reality (AR) glasses that can use the information you choose to share, to infer what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Oculus Quest 2

Quest 2 120Hz Refresh Rate Beta Update Now Planned for Q2 2021

After teasing last month that Quest 2 could get an update to enable a 120Hz refresh rate, Oculus confirmed the feature is on the way. Unfortunately it’s not heading into beta this month as previously announced.

HTC Introducing tracking 3.0

„We’re always looking at how we can support the VR industry, and beyond. Today we launch our updated VIVE Tracker 3.0, which has a 33% smaller footprint, 15% reduction in weight, and up to 75% more battery life. Previous versions have been used for just about everything – sports, animation and motion tracking, industrial machines, TV and film production, the list is long!” by Graham Weeler GM HTC EMEA 

SXSW VRchat

SXSW Will Build a Virtual Downtown Austin for Attendees to Experience in VR

Last spring, South by Southwest was canceled on March 5—just five days before the event was slated to begin. It was early in the pandemic, and there was hardly time for would-be attendees to cancel their travel arrangements.

This year, in a new landscape of all-virtual events, SXSW is aiming to bring the same kind of viral innovation and immersive experience to its all-online version that attendees have come to expect from the event.

Augmented reality glasses

Digitization of consumerism is the only way to stop us from destroying our planet.

The earth’s biggest problem is global warming, which is the consequence of three successive industrial revolutions. The question is whether the fourth revolution can help save the world. I am convinced that it can.

Marcin Lunkiewicz founder mimo.ooo

Microsoft introduce Mesh, XR system.

In 2021, microsoft demonstrated a fully working Mesh system. XR system that allows you to connect XR devices together. Both VR goggles and AR glasses. Nice job.

Microsoft presents an idea for a Mixed Reality system.

In 2016, Microsoft showed a Windows 10 promo video that fully illustrated its plans to build XR.

SteamVR with another month of user growth.

It’s growing, the curve is growing, it seems, at an exponential rate. SteamVR another month with an increase in users per month. In December 20 it was 2 million, in January 21 it was 2.6 million, in February 2.8 million.

Qualcomm XR Smart glasses

Qualcomm is making their XR Smart Glasses to help manufacturers of such hardware develop their own products. I wonder if they can be trusted?

Lynx XR smart glasses

This is a breakthrough technology that will massively change the face of the world. We won’t be staring at our phones, and we’ll be looking through glasses. Lynx showed shots of the lenses in action and I must say it is promising.

The digitization of consumerism

The digitization of consumerism, is one of several reasons why we are interested in XR. By using digital substitutes for physical products, we can save the planet from ecological destruction. Here’s one of the first experiments that nods to what I mean.

apple leaks VR AR

Apple XR leaks

We were very confident that Apple would show off AR Smart Glasses first. This after Tim Cook’s 2017 interview. It was also obvious that Apple was working on VR, as in 2016/7 they bought a startup building VR goggles for $50 million, and last year they spent $100 million on NextVR, a company that sreams in VR sports. However, that they would combine everything into one is something I didn’t expect. If the rumors are confirmed, next year we will see the best VR goggles in the world. Of course, probably also the most expensive. With 2x8K resolution and 12 spawning cameras that give you both VR and AR capabilities, i.e. in XR, it can’t be cheap.

VR pandemic

Yes using VR in a pandemic helps.

Dr Alessandro Siani, from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “VR appears to have had a striking and positive impact on people’s mental and physical wellbeing during periods of forced lockdown.”

Iron Man VR

VR reaching mass market is only a matter of time.

An article about why the creation of a mass market of virtual reality is inevitable. This time, I invite you to read the English version.