The XR Week Peek (2023.03.20): Meta to perform new layoffs, Google Glass to shut down, and more!

I’m back in Italy! My time at SXSW has been great, but now it’s time to be back to the usual routine. I still feel a lot tired because of the jet lag and the little sleep I had in Austin, but this is pretty normal, and in one week or such this feeling should go away. And I’m sure that the support from all of you will make me feel better even sooner 🙂 Top news of the week (Image by Meta)Meta to lay off people and focus more on AI It’s been a tough week for Meta. Mark Zuckerberg has communicated to his employees that in this “Year of efficiency,” the company is laying off another 10,000 people and canceling 5,000 open job positions. The layoffs will start affecting the recruiting departments in March, then the tech employees in April, and in the end, the business people in May. Together with

Arthur Releases Productivity and Display Updates

Arthur, an immersive virtual collaboration platform for enterprise, has recently rolled out its first major set of updates since its “Pro” version launched in 2021. The update brings solutions that are helpful in the platform but that VR in general has needed for a long time. To learn more about the platform’s growth in the space and the technology coming of age in the enterprise sector, I met in the platform with Arthur Business Development Consultant Lakshman Lattipally. We also showed off our full-body avatars and explored the platform’s many features both old and new. The Road So Far Arthur was founded in 2016 but became publicly available in 2020. The platform rolled out its first major updates the following year, which is when ARPost first introduced our readers to the platform. At the time, the company was largely presented as a “virtual real estate company” before that language was

The 2023 Polys WebXR Awards Recap

The third Annual Polys WebXR Awards took place this weekend. The show was bigger than ever thanks to the first-ever in-person awards and a special event saying farewell to AltspaceVR. However, despite some new categories, the overall category list was shorter this year as a number of previous awards were combined. A Very Special Polys The Polys launched during the height of the pandemic. Fortunately, not being in person has a way of not greatly hindering an event that’s already dedicated to WebXR. The event took place in a bespoke AltspaceVR world, with watch parties on YouTube as well as other remote platforms. However, this time, people were able to get together in person but they did it in a very “metaverse” way. In-person hosts, producers, presenters, and an audience gathered at ZeroSpace, an XR stage and motion capture studio in Brooklyn. Their actions on the stage were volumetrically

Unique Platform Puzzle ‘HUMANITY’ Coming to PSVR 2 & PC VR in May, Free Demo Now Live

When we first caught glimpse of HUMANITY, it was clear it was going to be a unique experience, although the crowd simulation puzzler was long delayed past the original 2020 launch window. Now Tokyo-based design studio Tha LTD announced HUMANITY is officially coming in May.

It was pretty vague what the hell HUMANITY was all about when it was first announced in 2019, however now the studio reveals its upcoming game is a “unique blend of puzzle-solving and action-platforming,” giving you control over an ethereal Shiba Inu dog who commands a massive crowd.

Like Lemmings, you control the crowd as they jump, turn, push, float, shoot, and climb their way to the end goal. Move past obstacles, enemies, puzzles, and gain unlockable skills in the main game, and upload and try out user-built levels with the in-game Stage Creator.

Image courtesy Tha LTD, Enhance

To create its stark and unique environments, developer Tha LTD is working with creative studio Enhance—founded by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, known as the mind behind Rez and Tetris Effect: Connected—and director and visual designer Yugo Nakamura.

Tha game is considered a VR-optional experience, offering up a fairly straightforward implementation that lets you turn the game’s puzzle-filled levels around and control your Shiba Inu buddy and direct the human horde. While nothing ground-breaking, it’s nice to see VR support from the get-go.

The game is slated to release on PSVR, PSVR 2, and SteamVR headsets sometime in May. What’s more, you can now play a free demo on those platforms from now until March 6th. The demo contains 10 levels, while the full game has “90 plus”, the studio says.

In the meantime, check out the demo gameplay video overview below to learn more:

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Demo Available For PSVR 2 Puzzler Humanity

Become a shining Shiba Inu and lead the masses back into the light. You can try a demo of Humanity now. The game was teased all the way back in 2019 and is finally coming PSVR 2 and PSVR in May with a demo available now, Sony revealed last week. You can check out the game in the trailer below: [embed][/embed] An official blog post on Sony’s website teases that the game’s early stages make it seem like a “rather peaceful action puzzler, but as you proceed through the story, it will transform into battles on a massive scale.” Here’s the official description: A unique blend of devious puzzle-solving and platformer-action mechanics, HUMANITY’s ever-changing and eclectic gameplay experience will have you lead a horde of ever-forward-marching people into the light. Place commands to direct the masses to turn, jump, push, float, climb (and more!) to salvation. Venture through

Save Humanity As A Shiba Inu In This New VR Game

Man’s best friend… literally.Coming soon to major VR headsets, HUMANITY is a unique-looking VR puzzle game that tasks you with guiding hordes of mostly brainless humans through a series of otherworldly obstacles. Taking on the role of a ghost-like Shiba Inu, you’ll use a series of basic commands to safely escort your army of faceless followers from point A to point B. [embed][/embed] According to the official website, HUMANITY will feature 90 stages to complete at launch, each with its own unique challenges to overcome. You can command your horde to climb, float, jump, push, or shoot depending on the situation. As you progress, you’ll unlock additional skills that will assist you in your journey. There’s even a level creator tool, allowing you to design your own courses and share them with the community.Developer Enhance is also offering a limited-time demo on all platforms (Meta Quest headset and controller

How XR Fan Engagement Brings Fans Closer to the Game

Over the years, ARPost has covered the physical nature of XR in athletics and sports a number of times – from how athletes use XR to improve their game, to how gamers can use VR sports to stay fit, to how thrilling and active a good AR team game can be for players and spectators alike. XR is also increasingly being used in another capacity: fan engagement. Is AR the Future of Fan Engagement? Athletes are usually sports fans, but are sports fans usually athletes? This article isn’t about how XR can make a sports viewer into a finely-tuned machine, or how a sports viewer can become a star in their own right through things like esports. After all, not all sports fans want to do those sorts of things. However, it’s probably fair to say that all sports fans want to feel closer to the athletes and teams that

Why you should use now generative AI in your metaverse company. Or maybe not

We are living the generative AI hype, with everyone getting crazy about ChatGPT. And every day I read articles about how AI can disrupt the metaverse, how ChatGPT and metaverse are the perfect match, and especially about how the fact that if your XR company doesn’t have an AI strategy, it is already old and ready to die a terrible death. I have my point of view on all of this, and I would like to tell to you. I know that now you only read ChatGPT’s opinions on everything, but for once, also listen to the meaty Tony. The incredible moment of generative AI Generative AI is incredibly cool. The moment I tried ChatGPT and saw its potential, I was literally stocked. Not only it was able to answer my questions better than the usual chatbot, but it had superpowers like: being able to speak all languages being able

PINKO Experience Powered by Emperia Amid Funding Announcement

Virtual store builder Emperia recently announced a new funding round, as well as hints at how that funding round will impact their roadmap going forward. In the meantime, PINKO is joining the list of retailers showing us what Emperia is already capable of. PINKO’s Virtual Store From Emperia Emperia isn’t a Harry Potter spell, it’s a tech company that “marries the reach and accessibility of e-commerce with the impact of physical customer service shopping experience.” ARPost first met Emperia about a year ago when the company launched “Artemis”, its software-as-a-service solution for virtual storefronts. “With the realization that clients will be using these spaces in the long term, and the need to constantly change/update the virtual store the same way they would change their physical space, Emperia created a platform that enables full customization of product displays as well as decor, allowing brands full creative control,” Emperia co-founder and CEO