The XR Week Peek (2022.11.21): Qualcomm launches AR2 chip, HTC headset gets leaked, and more!


Another week, another roundup of amazing AR/VR news! Let’s see what have been the most interesting things happening in immersive reality…

Top news of the week

(Image by Qualcomm)

Qualcomm and Niantic bet on the future of augmented reality with AR2

The biggest news of the week took place in the Hawaii islands, where Qualcomm had its Snapdragon Summit event. At it, it announced the Snapdragon AR2, a new chip optimized for augmented reality glasses.
 
 AR2 is a chip thought so that you can have a pair of lightweight augmented reality glasses that work by being wirelessly connected to your phone via Wi-Fi 7. To maximize power and thermal efficiency, the chip is actually split into three processing units: AR Processor, co-processor, and connectivity. These chips make sure that all the sensor analysis and environment understanding happens on the glass, while all the graphical rendering happens on the companion phone, streamed via Wi-Fi, and reprojected in front of the eyes of the user. The chip is also optimized for AI and offers 2.5x AI power than the current XR2. It consumes less than 1W of power.
 
 AR2 will really make the AR sector take a big step forward, enabling lightweight wireless glasses. There are already some OEMs collaborating with Qualcomm on this chip, and we can expect to see the first hardware implementing it in the second half of 2023.
 
 Talking about hardware, a great partner of Qualcomm is Niantic, which make two great announcements at the Snapdragon Summit. The first one is that Niantic VPS will be available on all devices that support Snapdragon Spaces: long story short, this means that all AR headsets compatible with Snapdragon Spaces will be able to localize their exact geographical position in the world locations where Niantic VPS is active. This enables a lot of outdoor AR activities: if the headsets can understand their position, shared AR in the same location becomes possible. For instance, I could see the AR graffiti left on a wall by another user exactly in the same location.
 
 But there is even more: Niantic showed its reference design of AR glasses based on Snapdragon AR2, envisioning for them use cases all based on socializing outdoor with other users. Thanks to Snapdragon AR2, the glasses are very slick, and thanks to Niantic software, they offer many possible multiplayer interactions. I can’t wait for some OEM to bring this to the market.

More info (Qualcomm Snapdragon AR2)
More info (Niantic announces its AR glasses)
More info (Niantic announces its AR glasses and VPS on Snapdragon Spaces)

Other relevant news

(Image by Brad Lynch)

HTC’s new headset gets leaked

HTC has been teasing its headsets for a lot of weeks by sharing images of small black corners of the upcoming device. The community has started to become a bit pissed off by this long teasing, so serial XR leaker Brad Lynch has put some effort into getting info about this device and has finally been able to share them with the community.
 
 The new headset, which the Youtuber jokingly called “Flowcus”, is a lightweight headset based on the XR2 chipset and with a design that is become increasingly more popular lately: 4 tracking cameras, 1 RGB camera for color passthrough, and pancake lenses. As for the specs, we know that the display features 1920×1920 pixels per eye. The device should have a similar design to the Vive Flow but also use the Vive Focus 3 controllers (hence the nickname “Flowcus”).
 
 There is one interesting characteristic of the Flowcus: you can detach it from its rear strap (which contains the battery) and have a lightweight viewer like the Vive Flow that you can attach to your phone or PC. This is an interesting concept for sure.
 
 The device should release next year. Honestly, I don’t know what to think… it seems like an original concept, but I’ve never heard of anyone in the market looking for something like that. So I’m afraid it can be one of those amazing ideas that don’t become a successful product. Of course, I hope to be wrong.
 
 As usual, take this rumor with a grain of salt.

More info (Brad Lynch unveiling the “Flowcus”)
More info (The Flowcus on Road To VR)
More info (The Flowcus on Upload VR)

PSVR 2 preorders are now open

Sony is finally accepting preorders for the PSVR 2 headset. People who expressed interest ahead of time via Sony’s official website received emails with pre-order windows, and many have already placed their pre-orders. The delivery date is of course in February 2023: Upload VR placed an order in the US about this product and got a delivery window between February 22nd and February 28th.
 
 The road to next-gen PSVR has started! I can’t wait for this to be on the market…

More info

Enjoy some Black Friday deals

Black Friday is getting close, and it’s time for some amazing deals on XR hardware and software! These are some of the cool discounts I’ve found:

Quest 2 is going to cost $350, with included Resident Evil 4 and Beat Saber

HP Reverb G2 already costs $299 on the HP website

Star Wars Squadron (one of the most appreciated VR games on PC) is going to be FREE on the Epic Store on November, 24th

Vive Flow is going to cost €379, and the Vive Pro Full Kit €1199

From Thursday 24th November to Wednesday 28th November, all customers who purchase a PICO 4 are going to get for free three games: Ruins Magus, After the Fall, Les Mills BodyCombat

It’s time to get some VR!

More info (Quest 2 deal)
More info (HP Reverb G2)
More info (Star Wars Squadron)
More info (Official blog post on how to watch Oculus Connect 6)
More info (HTC Sales)

News worth a mention

(Image by Vuzix)

Vuzix to announce Ultralight smartglasses at CES

Vuzix is going to introduce its new smartglasses, dubbed Ultralight, at CES 2023, for which it has already won the CES 2023 Innovation Awards winner. The smart glasses continue a long tradition by Vuzix in producing lightweight devices, but this time there is a catch. While Vuzix has historically always aimed at the enterprise market, this time in the press release it also talks about potential consumer usage. Vuzix will offer this platform to OEMs that may decide to sell it on the consumer market. This is a positive moment for consumer smartglasses and Vuzix is confirming this trend.

More info

New rumors about the upcoming Apple headset

According to industry professional Cesar Berardini, the upcoming Apple headset may have a monster display: 4000PPI and 120 frame per seconds of framerate. The overall weight should be just 250g. The device should be produced in big volumes starting Q2 next year. As for all Apple rumors, take this with some kilos of grains of salt.

More info

Manhunt VR may come to Meta systems

According to a popular Rockstar Games leaker, Meta and Rockstar Games’ partnership goes beyond GTA V. There should be one or two more games in the pipeline, and Manhunt VR should be one of them. Ah, and GTA V is releasing in 2023.
 
 Again, take this with a grain… of potatoes.

More info

Some news on the metaverse

Some interesting articles about the M-word I’ve found this week:

Louis Rosenberg has written an article I totally agree with, called “The metaverse is not dead, it’s inevitable”

Nike is expanding its interest in Web3: its new project is called Swoosh, a Web3-enabled platform where people will be able to buy its virtual products. Interestingly, the idea is also to create a creators’ market, where some people design virtual elements and others buy them. It may also be that the best virtual creations are going to become real Nike products

Nem x Mila have released a report about harassment in the metaverse, especially focused on Japan and VRChat

Chipotle CMO tells about his experience in creating a successful world on Roblox, explaining that in the “metaverse”, brands should create meaningful experiences and talk the language of the platform they are in

Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe has spoken at COP27 and talked about the sad situation of his small island. If global warming will make the sea level rise, Tuvalu is going to disappear. For this reason, the government is going to digitize the whole country, so even if it is not going to survive in the real world, there will still be a memory of it in the metaverse.

More info (The metaverse is inevitable)
More info (Nike’s Swoosh)
More info (Harassment report)
More info (Chipotle CMO)
More info (Tuvalu island)

Meta’s bad and good virtual events

It’s another week of rollercoasters for Meta’s reputation. At first, we had something bad happening: Meta shared on its social media an embarrassing video of Godzilla stepping into Wendy’s inside Horizon World. Yes, you read it well. Godzilla. Inside Wendy’s. I don’t know what could be worse than that: maybe mixing Sharknado with Two Girls One Cup inside Horizon World. The nonsense concept together with the Playmobil graphics of Horizon World made sure that the whole web started mocking this event, of course.
 
 Luckily, there are also positive things happening in Horizon: Meta is going to host there an event about Notorious B.I.G. To commemorate what would have been Biggie’s 50th birthday, BURST Live, in partnership with the Notorious B.I.G. Estate, HYPERREAL®, and SURREAL Events is creating a gamified virtual metaverse, “The Brook,” that takes users back to old school Brooklyn of the 1990s. This concert, which will show a realistic avatar of the famous rapper, is going to be hosted inside Meta Horizon Worlds too. I hope that it won’t just be a video…

More info (Meta’s WTF event)
More info (Notorius BIG Event in Horizon)
More info (Notorius BIG Event teaser video)

What The Bat has been released

What The Bat, the crazy game where you have to solve some tasks by having baseball bats in place of your hands, has finally been made available for Quest, Quest 2, and Quest Pro, alongside PC VR headsets via Steam. This was the indie VR game I was waiting for the most, so I can’t wait to put my hands (or bats) on it soon!

More info

Some news on content

After years of development, the cyberpunk and physics-driven action game Lonn has been released on November 17 for PC VR via Steam

Sword game Broken Edge is available now and has already been reviewed by Road To VR which gave it a 6 out of 10

After five years in Early Access, drum game Paradiddle launches on Quest App Lab (for $20) and PCVR ($25)

Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate Episode 2 — The Eleventh Hour is coming to Meta Quest 2 on December 8

Upload VR has reviewed Espire 2: the game seems better than the first episode, but still preserves some of its original problems (e.g. the AI of the enemies)

ForeVR announces Pool game for Quest 2 and Quest Pro

Missing Pictures is an interesting storytelling VR content that talks about the movies that some VR directors have not been able to shoot

More info (Lonn)
More info (Broken Edge)
More info (Broken Edge review)
More info (Paradiddle)
More info (Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate 2)
More info (Espire 2)
More info (ForeVR)
More info (Missing Pictures)

Other news

Meta acquired Audio Analytic, a company providing deliver reactive, intelligent sound feedback for smart homes

Learn more

Pimax has already succeeded in its Kickstarter campaign for its Nintendo Switch of VR

Learn more

The VR nominations for this year’s Game Awards include Among Us VR, Bonelab, and Red Matter 2

Learn more

3OV is a WordPress plugin to show 3D worlds in your web page

Learn more

The coolest trick of the week is using a smartwatch to activate the objects in your house you point at with your finger

Learn more

A new report analyzing the privacy policies of XR headsets shows that Hololens 2’s one is the best

Learn more

News from partners (and friends)

Bodyswaps and Meta Immersive Learning partner to launch grant

VR training company BodySwaps has partnered with Meta Immersive Learning to offer VR training to 100 educational institutions across the UK, North America, France, and Belgium:
 
 Bodyswaps will provide each institution with a 3-month unlimited, free access to its full soft skills learning library. Meta will support with hardware donations of Meta Quest 2 VR headsets. 
 Institutions will be able to select a variety of courses, including modules on public speaking, job interview or anti-racism training, to empower their students with soft skill development that might have been hindered as a result of the pandemic.

Learn more

Some XR fun

The Dilbert strip contained in this article is very fun
Funny link

Well… yes
Funny link

Germans approve this video
Funny link

Donate for good

Like last week, also this week in this final paragraph I won’t ask you to donate for my blog, but to the poor people that are facing the consequences of the war. Please donate to the Red Cross to handle the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine. I will leave you the link to do that below.
 
 Let me take a moment before to thank anyway all my Patreon donors for the support they give to me:

Alex Gonzalez VR

DeoVR

GenVR

Eduardo Siman

Jonn Fredericks

Jean-Marc Duyckaerts

Reynaldo T Zabala

Richard Penny

Terry xR. Schussler

Ilias Kapouranis

Paolo Leoncini

Immersive.international

Nikk Mitchell and the great FXG team

Jake Rubin

Alexis Huille

Raghu Bathina

Chris Koomen

Cognitive3D

Jennifer Granger

Jason Moore

Steve Biggs

Julio Cesar Bolivar

Jan Schroeder

Kai Curtis

Francesco Strada

Sikaar Keita

Ramin Assadollahi

Juan Sotelo

Andrew Sheldon

Chris Madsen

Horacio Torrendell

Andrew Deutsch

Fabien Benetou

Tatiana Kartashova

Marco “BeyondTheCastle” Arena

Eloi Gerard

Adam Boyd

Jeremy Dalton

Joel Ward

Alex P

Lynn Eades

Donald P

Casie Lane

Catherine Henry

Qcreator

Ristband (Anne McKinnon & Roman Rappak)

Stephen Robnett

Sb

Enrico Poli

Vooiage Technologies

Caroline

Liam James O’Malley

Hillary Charnas

Wil Stevens

Brian Peiris

Francesco Salizzoni

Alan Smithson

Steve R

Brentwahn

Pieter Siekerman

Simplex

Matias Nassi

And now here you are the link to donate:

Support The Red Cross in Ukraine

(Header image by Qualcomm)

The post The XR Week Peek (2022.11.21): Qualcomm launches AR2 chip, HTC headset gets leaked, and more! appeared first on The Ghost Howls.

Read More


Generated by Feedzy