Anthropic Adds $450M, NReal Rebrands XReal, Introduces New Beam XR Glasses

For the past ten years, the long-awaited launch of Apple Reality Pro has been a sword of damocles and source of hope for the entire immersive industry. The June 5 launch of the new XR headset at its annual developer conference (WWDC) comes a week before the immersive industry bringing together AWE on the road in Santa Clara, from May 31st to June 2nd. While the unfortunate timing might make things awkward there, Apple Reality Pro is nothing but good for the XR ecosystem and brings a welcome boost to an industry sidelined by the Metaverse and then the rise of conversational AI and generative (even though that’s what XR really needs).

Forbes contributor David Phelan on Mark Gurman’s report on the Apple Reality Pro headset. This is reporting reports behind the Insider firewall. [CF – ironically behind the Forbes’ firewall] from the amazingly accurate Apple Observer. Supposedly Palmer Lucky saw Reality One and described it as “so good”. XR Publications Road to VR, Upload VR, were invited to WWDC for the first time.

Anthropic raises $450 million in latest AI funding. Microsoft, along with Salesforce and Zoom, led the way. That takes them to $1.45 billion in total funding, with early support coming from Google. Anthropic, which is working on a chatbot called Claude, was started by former OpenAI executives. Earlier this month, they were one of four companies invited to a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, along with Alphabet, parent company of Google, Microsoft and OpenAI. Big AI is soaking up investments like a sponge right now.

Introducing a new era of AI-powered ads with Google. If you think ad tracking and targeting is accurate now, you haven’t seen anything yet. The keyword in your search will be integrated into the ad.

Meta reportedly wants to license Magic Leap’s AR technology. The tech giant is reportedly negotiating a licensing deal with Magic Leap for its augmented reality (AR) technology. In a strategic move aimed at enhancing the metaverse’s AR experience, the deal could provide Meta with advanced optics and light field technology. The deal could be a milestone for Magic Leap, which is not a direct competitor to Meta, as it has shifted its focus exclusively to enterprise applications.

Sony says it sold 600,000 PS VR 2 units in six weeks. It’s outselling the original Playstation release six years ago – and there were a lot more PS4s on the market than PS5s now. Sony reportedly lowered sales projections, in part due to a tightening economy, but the company denies this and is publicly sticking to its first-year sales projection of three million. It’s too early to tell, as the data is only based on April.

AI experiment goes terribly in new mobile augmented reality thriller Active 15. From director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), 30 Ninjas, and Verizon tells the story of two sisters, Flux and Petra. When Petra falls into a mysterious coma after being exposed to an experimental new technology, her hacktivist sister Flux struggles to find a way to save her. ASSET 15 features cutting-edge immersive augmented reality mobile gameplay and photorealistic 3D holograms.

VR Chat introduces the “Creator Economy.In a blog post this week, the company says it’s in early beta for a patreon-like system to support creators and artists in its metaverse. The company declined to share details of how this will work and whether it means there will be a digital currency and a way for builders and other users to buy and sell things. Second life earns $60 million a year taking pennies off transactions. Much of the VRChat economy now exists on platforms like Fiverr.

Pre-AWE announcements have begun.

NReal becomes XReal, introduces new headset, the XReal Beam. Additionally, the company is rolling out Spatial Display, an updated app that will allow for better compatibility (yay!) for its air launch app. The new 3DOF headset will anchor the 210” screen projected onto its Air screen reflectors, which have sold 150,000 since November. The CEO and founder will give one of the talks at AWE. XReal always draws a crowd at AWE and CES. People stand in line to try on their headphones. XReal will start taking pre-orders on June 1st.

Looking Glass reveals Liteforms for AI characters. ChatGPT animation and the company’s holographic display technology to bring 3D characters to life. Founder and CEO Shawn Frayne will be attending AWE, giving demonstrations of the system at the expo and speaking at the conference. Applications include retail, out-of-home advertising and location-based entertainment, as well as individual users.

Volograms presents vologram messages. The new creation system system that uses AI to transform standard video into professional quality 3D holograms. Now, anyone looking for a better way to engage people—from marketing announcements to corporate communications to wedding invitations—can simply record a standard video of the person, upload the clip, and get a 3D version back.

This Week in XR is also a podcast presented by the author of this column, Ted Schilowitz, futurist, Paramount Global and Rony Abovitz, founder of Magic Leap. This week our guest is Artur Sychov, founder and CEO of Somnimum Space. We can be found on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

what are we reading

I Tried The AI ​​Novel Writing Tool Everyone Hates, And It’s Better Than I Expected (Adi Robertson/The Verge)

Apple hopes people will use its expensive VR headset at parties (Victor Tigermann/Yahoo News)

This week in Schadenfreude

Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse is over. Can Apple save it? (Alex Hern/The Guardian)

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