Enterprise Adoption And Financing Soar

Following its public offering last Friday, Unity (NYSE: U) now has market cap over $24 B. The tech stock boom, which include mobile gaming, where Unity supplies the building blocks for developers, could not have come at a better time. Competitor Epic Games’ $18 B private financing probably puts its stock, if offered, at over $40 B.

The fog of the war has shrouded a confusing and unsettled Tik Tok sale. Tik Tok is not banned, for now, but another reckoning will come next week. Tik Tok’s lawsuit against the US government is still pending. The Chinese government can still block the deal. And the president* is demanding the parties fund a conservative American history curriculum for public schools from the deal’s proceeds. Which is probably not legal. Meanwhile, TikTok downloads are skyrocketing, although many Tik Tok stars have begun beefing up their presence on other platforms, just in case the hammer falls.

A big thank you to Facebook for sending us a Quest 2 review unit. Go buy one. It’s got better resolution. It’s lighter. And it’s only $300. If you’re doing anything related to design or work, the improvement is noticeable.

Unity Software had its IPO last Friday. More than 100 companies went public from June to August in the busiest stretch for IPOs since the dot-com boom ended in 2000. What could go wrong?

Microsoft buys Zenimax Media for $7.5 Billion.  Zenimax is the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, the makers of Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Quake, and more. 

Osso VR raises $14 million for VR surgical training. Doctors practicing on virtual patients? We’re surprised it took this long.

Dreamscape Education And Defense Business Surges In Lockdown. The company set its sights on enterprise applications from day one.

Facebook working on a passthrough API for Oculus Quest AR apps. The upcoming API will allow developers to create augmented reality apps using the passthrough cameras on the headset. One of the first companies getting its hands on the API is remote collaboration app Spatial. 

Epic Games and Spotify Form Advocacy Group to Push for App Store Changes. 5G mayl end the tyranny of app stores before this does.

Minecraft now has PSVR support. Previously Minecraft was only playable in VR via Oculus headsets or by using the Vivecraft mod to play it on any PCVR headset. 

Rec Room announced new tools and features for user generated content. The upcoming tools include terrain creation and user created vehicles. Alongside the new tools, Rec Room also announced it will be launching on Xbox and that the number of Rec Room players has tripled over the past year. 

VRStudios connects VR at home with LBVR. The new VRStudios Sports includes VR games both for LBE platforms and for Steam. Players can connect their at home VRStudios game profiles, and highscores, with VRStudios games at LBE venues. 

Kellogg’s partners with Blippar to launch an AR promotional campaign in the Middle East. Boxes of Coco Pops will activate a WebAR experience when scanned by smartphones. The experience includes educational games and puzzles for kids.

VentureBeat’s Transform Event Sets New Records for Virtual Event Audience. This summer, VentureBeat opted for AnyClip’s Luminous Video Platform Technology to present their Transform Conference. VB saw unique viewers exceed those of their prior virtual event (GamesBeat in April) by 24X, achieving a new record in viewership for the event.

XR Association releases study on XR industry trends. Some highlights from the study include 70-80% of respondents in major industries predict that their organizations will increase XR technology spending over the next five years. Respondents note that high cost and lack of knowledge about effectively implementing XR technology to their industry are among the top barriers to adoption. 

Streem launches SDKs for iOS, Android, and Web. Streem provides AR and remote collaboration tools targeted towards enterprise and field services use cases. Their StreemCore video calls allow remote experts to annotate live video feeds so your local handyman can walk you through how to fix your appliances without needing to break social distancing guidelines. 

SideQuest, the unofficial app store for the Oculus Quest, raises $650k. The money comes from a $500k seed investment from BoostVC, and the rest from The Fund and Palmer Luckey. SideQuest has hundreds of thousands of monthly users despite being one update away from Facebook putting an end to the side loading capabilities of the Quest platform which allow unlisted apps to be installed onto the system. Sidequest makes side loading unofficial or unapproved apps as easy as installing any app from the official Oculus Store. 

8th Wall brings WebAR to curved objects. Previously, curved image targets for AR experiences required a native app. Most AR experiences today require flat surfaces to activate, but now, thanks to 8th Wall’s new tech, WebAR is capable of using curved surfaces to activate AR experiences. To demonstrate the new tech, 8th Wall partnered with Sinduri to augment one of their wine bottles. 

Fortnite hosting new BTS music video tonight at the Party Royale Main Stage. The superstar music group will debut a new music video of their hit single “Dynamite” at 8PM Eastern Time tonight. Players can also purchase a BTS emote pack in-game. 

This Week in XR is now a podcast hosted by Paramount’s Futurist Ted Schilowitz. You can find it on podcasting platforms Spotify iTunes and YouTube.

What We’re Reading

Why Magic Leap failed. Genius without guardrails.

Facebook leaks show Mark Zuckerberg defending his decisions to angry employees. Why would Zuck even want to worry about what the definition of protected speech is?

AT&T is already working on 6G. Because they blew the doors off with 5G? Not yet.

“This Week in XR” is written and edited with Michael Eichenseer.

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