$56 million for player-ready avatars, Inworld raises $50 million for AI NPCs, new augmented reality headsets, and VR headsets

Ready Player Me cross-platform avatar system wins $56 million The tour was led by Andreessen Horowitz. This follows a $13 million increase in December 2021. The Estonian company’s avatars are integrated into 3,000 apps including VRChat, Spatial and Somnium Space. Once the cross-platform teleportation protocol is developed, Avatars-as-a-Service will grow exponentially. Facebook and Epic are both developing similar products, but for now, they’re behind the seven-year-old startup that started its life as a personal contractor Wolf3D.

Inworld AI raises $50 million to fill games and metaverse with smart charactersAnd the This brings their total funding so far to $70 million. Academy Award Winner for SFX (the matrix) John Gaeta has been appointed Chief Creative Officer. We saw a demo of this at AWE. NPCs (Non-Player Characters) are static elements in the video game world, but they lack context, and language recognition is required for longer conversations. The money will be used to build its developer platform. Division 32 and Intel Capital led the round, which also included investments from Founders Fund, Accelerator Investments, First Spark Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Bitkraft Ventures, CRV, Microsoft M12 Fund, Micron Ventures, LG Technology Ventures, SK Telecom Venture Capital and The Venture Reality Fund. .

The Metaverse has been added to the Gartner Hype tournament. But with a outlook of more than 10 years, and a state of disappointment in the near term. On the other hand… what is metaverse? Nike says Roblox.

Nearly 7 million people have visited the Nike Store in Roblox No word on how much engagement this resulted. Roblox has 43 million daily active users. The most distinguishing feature of this ad is that Nike describes this as a “metaverse” (allowed) but he is Significant endorsement of the strategy of building branded “places” within the rules of the game. If I were a Nike I would search in Fortnite, Rec Room, VR Chat, Horizon, etc.

Selfie That Launched Alf Trolls Leads to an important announcement for promotion. You may remember in the distant past (last week), to celebrate the launch of Horizon Worlds in France, the CEO of Meta took a selfie inside the Horizon with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Selfies taken inside the Horizon do not turn out well. The Wii had better graphics, much to the chagrin of one critic. In response, Zuckerberg rolled out some future graphics upgrades for Horizon. Take that, haters!

Vuzix launches Vuzix Blade 2 smart glasses The second generation of smart glasses, valued at $1,299 for businesses, will be available on the Vuzix website on September 1. Features include head tracking, touchpad and voice commands, virtual assistant, See What I See, collaboration software, real-time data, work instructions, mixed reality, HD photography, and video streaming. Waveguide optics provide a special ultra-bright display that delivers 24-bit full color images indoors and outdoors.

Sony confirms Playstation 2 VR launch in early 2023. The headset has great features, 2K per-eye OLED, and internal and external scroll-facing cameras. It’s not backward compatible, which means it will only work with PS5, which is finally widely available.

New Meta HMD launch confirmed in October Speaking to Joe Rogan, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the headset previously known as the Cambria will be released in October, likely as the Quest Pro.

Hamish Hector tried out Starburst, an experimental virtual reality headset that Meta Reality Labs presented at the Siggraph computer graphics conference earlier this month. The future HMD was powered by a powerful computer, and its weight was so great that it had to be attached to a crankshaft. The Starburst is 200 times brighter than the Oculus Quest 2.

iHeartMedia plans to host Metaverse parties in Fortnite On September 9, Charlie Puth will be the first of twenty shows that iHeart plans to produce on the platform, which has been famous for hosting mega shows with stars like Travis Scott and Ariana Grande. In addition to the main stage, iHeartLand in fortnite Includes mini-games, a recording studio, a virtual red carpet, and a replica of the iHeart headquarters in New York City.

VR Studio Felix and Paul to livestream the launch of NASA Artemis In 360 in virtual reality on Meta Quest, 360 Facebook Live, Domes, Planetariums and via mobile apps.

Game Of Thrones Prequel Gets The Augmented Reality Treatment On Snap Snap has launched a series of augmented reality lenses inspired by Dragon House last Sunday. This includes a selfie Lens that turns you into a fire-breathing dragon as well as a unique World Lens that uses Sky Segmentation technology to fill the sky with terrifying flying monsters. Snapchat has hired creators around the world to create high-quality, location-based experiences in Chennai, India, London, UK, Venice Beach Grand Canal – Los Angeles, California, Mumbai, India, Prague, Czech Republic and Rio de Janeiro.

Nerf Ultimate Tournament kicks off in Quest 2. In virtual reality, you don’t have to hunt down exhausted ammo (or make your brother do it) in order to continue the game. For $14.99, this 4v4 multiplayer shooter game from Canadian VR Studio Secret Location features multiple modes, including point capture, hill king, and 4v4 team battle.

City Builder Deisim moves from App Lab to Quest Store The popular VR city builder game was launched as a PC title in 2018. Despite moving to the official Meta Quest store, the $14.99 price tag will not change and all previous purchases, including the PC title, will include the new platform.

This week in XR It is also a podcast hosted by this column’s author and Ted Shilowitz, Head of Future Technologies at Paramount Global. This week we will be joined by John Gaeta, Chief Creative Officer of InWorld AI, who just raised $50 million for AI-enabled NPCs. He is also co-founder of LivingCities.xyz which was announced two months ago. The former Magic Leap SVP won an Academy Award for SFX in matrix. You can find us at spotifyAnd the ItunesAnd the Youtube.

what we read

‘Phantom Touch’ and the (real) fun of virtual dating: just a girl looking for love in the metaverse. (Madeleine Aguiler/The New York Times)

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