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HomeVirtual RealityThe XR Week Peek (2022.01.03): Quest 2 gross sales spark a debate...

The XR Week Peek (2022.01.03): Quest 2 gross sales spark a debate on youngsters and VR, Apple hires XR communication rep, and extra!

Welcome, 2022! That is the primary publication of this new yr, and I hope it is going to be an amazing yr for each one among us.
I ended the final yr with some good posts, like this one the place I had an unique interview with Holoride, one of many hottest XR startups on the market. Go studying it, for those who missed it. I hope this new yr I can preserve offering you with high-quality content material about AR and VR like all of the previous 5 years. Please help me on Patreon to assist me in making this occur 🙂
This week has been a bit boring for what considerations XR information, however perhaps subsequent week with the CES might be extra attention-grabbing. Actually, I don’t anticipate enormous XR information coming from this occasion, however I hope to be unsuitable. Fingers crossed.

High information of the week

There’s an ongoing debate about using VR by youngsters

VR had an amazing Christmas, and specifically, Oculus Quest 2 had an amazing Christmas. I’ve already talked about this in my earlier publication: Quest 2 has been a well-liked Christmas reward, particularly within the US, and in response to some analysts, throughout the Christmas holidays there have been round 650,000 new downloads of the Oculus app, that means that in all probability there have been round half one million headsets gifted. These are spectacular numbers for the VR ecosystem.
From the movies shared on social media, it’s clear that many of those headsets had been gifted to youngsters. However the issue is that VR headsets shouldn’t be utilized by youngsters youthful than 13 years previous as a result of headsets haven’t been made to accommodate the pinnacle and the eyes of a child, and they also might trigger discomfort. If the child may be very younger, there may be additionally the issue that he/she isn’t capable of distinguish what’s actual and what’s digital, and this may occasionally create a variety of confusion in his thoughts. One other space of concern is that present VR headsets haven’t any parental management instruments, and so youngsters can use them to play horror video games or get pleasure from porn content material, and this isn’t wholesome for his or her wellbeing both. The presence of children additionally creates issues for adults, that in social VR ecosystem are surrounded by youngsters that scream or ask too many questions, whereas the adults would identical to to hold round and peacefully chat or play.
I’ve written a put up highlighting these considerations and asking that all of us deal with this drawback: if dad and mom don’t need to respect the 13 years previous restrict, at the least we should always educate them on the right way to give their youngsters a protected VR expertise (e.g. limiting the time spent in VR) and additionally provide them parental management instruments. And I’ve not been the one one caring concerning the “youngsters concern”: Scott Stein on CNET wrote an article highlighting why youngsters ought to haven’t been gifted a headset for Christmas (however many dad and mom didn’t hearken to him), and CNBC additionally wrote a put up on the finish of 2021 detailing the issue of children in VR. With all these youngsters getting into VR now, the time is ripe for a debate on the right way to give them an expertise that provides them security and privateness. Simply writing on a field “not appropriate for individuals beneath 13 years previous” is sweet to cowl the a** of headset firms, however isn’t good to guard youngsters which might be utilizing the headset anyway.
The individuals of the group received engaged with these articles and answered them in several methods, and this sparked a debate concerning the subject. Some individuals say that’s solely a priority of the dad and mom, and we shouldn’t speak about it; others say that as a substitute VR headset producers ought to deal with it instantly, and detect if a child is utilizing the headset and block him/her. Some individuals say that VR might be dangerous to youngsters, others say that it’s not. Some individuals say that youngsters shouldn’t enter the VR worlds populated by adults, others say that it’s okay to be blended. There have been many various opinions that I’ve learn as of late. What’s attention-grabbing, nonetheless, is that the vast majority of individuals agreed that we have to speak about this concern, and discover a technique to provide youngsters a protected VR expertise. In fact, we additionally want the headset producers, and Meta in primis, to take part within the debate and present instruments that assist dad and mom in giving their youngsters a constructive VR expertise. I hope that is going to occur quickly.

Extra data (650,000 downloads of the Oculus app this Christmas)
Extra data (Many youngsters have acquired a Quest 2 this Christmas)
Extra data (My well-liked article about VR and the “youngsters concern”)
Extra data (Scott Stein on the Quest as a Christmas reward)
Extra data (CNBC on youngsters and VR headsets)
Extra data (A analysis research on youngsters and VR headsets)
Extra data (A dev discuss on the right way to restrict bully youngsters in social VR areas)
Extra data (One other dev discuss on the right way to restrict bully youngsters in social VR areas)
Extra data (A VR consumer complaining of the too many youngsters in multiplayer VR experiences)

Different related information

(Picture by Apple)

Apple hires Meta’s XR Head of PR

A report by Bloomberg stories that Apple has simply employed Andrea Schubert, Communications Director at Meta’s shopper {hardware} division for XR, together with Portal, AR, and VR gadgets.
This can be a piece of attention-grabbing information: if Apple wanted to rent such an individual knowledgeable with communications about XR merchandise, it’s possible that the launch of an Apple XR product is imminent. This could be one other clue about Apple launching its AR/VR visor in 2022, as many different stories appear to trace. In fact, nothing is certain but, however my expertise says that when the rumors intensify an excessive amount of, then there’s something true behind them.

Extra data

The US Military confirms IVAS deployment for 2022

One of many greatest endorsements for XR within the final years has been the $22B contract that Microsoft signed with the US Military to offer a modified model of HoloLens 2 glasses that ought to “enhance the lethality” of troops. Given the significance of this contract, there was a little bit of concern in the neighborhood when the information broke about its suspension, and a few thought of it as an indication that AR glasses usually are not a usable expertise but. After that, a brand new piece of reports talked nearly a delay and never cancelation of this system.
The excellent news of the week is that really, the US Military has confirmed that the IVAS program has not been suspended and that it has solely been delayed. The deployment continues to be awaited for 2022, and which means AR headsets proved to be beneficial for this use case, however some issues they nonetheless have within the tough environmental situations the troopers put them in.

Extra data

Welcome 2022 in VR video games

The yr has simply began, and it is going to be attention-grabbing to see what would be the information that can change the panorama this yr. For certain we’re all ready for excellent VR content material to come back, and there are already some wonderful video games introduced for the assorted VR platforms. Amongst Us VR, Cosmonious Excessive, Inexperienced Hell VR are just a few video games coming in 2022 that will amaze the XR group, and all of us hope to additionally see this yr the discharge of the massive titles Meta is engaged on like Murderer’s Creed VR or GTA San Andreas in VR. Let me hyperlink you some posts about these video games we’re all ready for.

Extra data (Upcoming video games in January 2022)
Extra data (Crucial video games we’re ready for in 2022)

Information value a point out

(Picture by bHaptics)

bHaptics introduced TactGlove haptics glove

bHaptics, one of many main firms for haptics in XR, has simply unveiled TactGlove, a haptic glove for the VR shopper market. It’s a light-weight glove similar to the usual ones, that may present vibrational suggestions on all of the ten fingertips of the fingers. It could work with Quest 2 and it’ll value $299.

Extra data

Meta acquires AI.Reverie

Meta has acquired one other startup, AI.Reverie, which was centered on coaching synthetic intelligence techniques utilizing artificial information. The usage of artificial information helps in coaching AI techniques in a sooner and cheaper approach than utilizing real-world information labeled by hand. The acquisition was carried out in October and could possibly be helpful to additionally enhance the AI techniques that can run on XR headsets.

Extra data

Researchers create a digital camera that’s large as a grain of salt

A group of researchers from Princeton and the College of Washington created a brand new digital camera that captures good-quality photographs and measures in at solely a half-millimeter. The research makes use of optical metasurfaces with machine studying to provide high-quality coloration imagery, with a large subject of view. That is spectacular work, and perhaps these applied sciences could also be used sooner or later additionally in XR {hardware}.

Extra data

A overview of Arpara 5K headset

The favored Youtuber Sebastian Ang has made a stay stream the place he reviewed the Arpara 5K headset and in contrast it with Reverb G2 and Varjo Aero.

Extra data

Fb offers life to youngsters drawing with AI

A brand new AI analysis undertaking by Fb offers life to the drawings of youngsters, animating them utilizing AI. So a child can draw as an illustration a monkey, and the AI system could make it dance and stroll in a reputable approach. I really like this as a result of as of late I used to be precisely considering of an XR system that provides life in 3D (AR or VR) to the drawing of children, and the evolution of this AI system could also be cool for that.

Extra data

Two articles on the metaverse

Each week I share with you the few good articles I learn concerning the M-word, in all of the noise that there’s on the market. This week I discovered two that stood out:

  • A full overview of the metaverse and its ongoing analysis. It’s a scientific paper of 66 pages that could possibly be helpful for you as a reference for those who work in educational analysis;
  • A put up on VentureBeat about AR being extra necessary for the m**averse than VR. I’ve discovered it attention-grabbing as a result of it helps in educating those that the m**averse isn’t just a VR recreation like in Prepared Participant One, however a pervasive expertise. This text additionally gives attention-grabbing ideas, just like the one about our mind that also has to maintain a psychological mannequin of the actual world whereas we’re in VR, and this creates a mismatch between the mannequin of the actual world and the one of many digital world whereas we use VR.

Extra data (Tutorial survey concerning the metaverse)
Extra data (AR vs VR)

PCVR continues its battle

The difficult second for PCVR continues.
Valve has simply revealed the listing of the highest video games on Steam for 2021, and among the many most grossing titles, there is no such thing as a VR recreation launched in 2021. Which means that no enormous VR hit has been launched this yr on Steam: in truth, one of the crucial awaited VR video games of the yr, Lone Echo 2, was unique to the PC Oculus Retailer. This exhibits that recreation studios are extra concerned with releasing large titles for Quest.
 FitXR, one of the crucial well-liked health XR video games, is following swimsuit and is pausing improvement for Steam and PSVR, to focus in the intervening time simply on Quest.
I’m not saying that PCVR is useless, as a result of truly there have been profitable titles launched on the platform in 2021, however for certain it has misplaced its unique attraction for a lot of recreation studios.

Extra data (No high promoting Steam VR recreation from 2021)
Extra data (FitXR pausing improvement on Steam)

Some information on content material

  • The VR mods for Resident Evil 2 and three are lastly accessible on GitHub
  • Add VR has gone fingers one with VR MMO Zenith throughout its beta interval, and the journalist got here out impressed by its present standing. Let’s hope this might be an amazing recreation!

Extra data (Resident Evil VR mods)
Extra data (Zenith hands-on)

Information from companions (and buddies)

XR influencer Alan Smithson has written a put up referred to as “The Metaverse Manifesto”, inside which he defines some primary traits of the metaverse and identifies an moral code we should always adhere to whereas constructing it.
Study extra

Some XR enjoyable

Who else reminds of the VGA ports and their screws?
Humorous hyperlink

The fitting definition of “Metaverse Knowledgeable”.
Humorous hyperlink (Take a look at the remark)

What to do with an Oculus Rift S in 2022
Humorous hyperlink

Superhero video games in digital actuality.
Humorous hyperlink

This thread of us making enjoyable of “meta-” definitions is fairly hilarious
Humorous hyperlink

Predictions for PCVR in 2022
Humorous hyperlink

Truly the Matrix was not that unhealthy
Humorous hyperlink

Let me start this yr in the easiest way attainable!

If you wish to make me super-happy for this new yr, please donate some cash to my weblog on Patreon to make me begin the yr with an enormous smile! I’ll use that cash to maintain my efforts in informing the group about AR and VR.
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(Header picture by Meta)

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