As ever, the world of immersive and games technology has been moving at a rapid pace. The XR experts at Draw & Code have selected some of the stories that caught their eye during October.

VR and MR Headset News

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  • Deliveries of Oculus Quest 2 are underway; sales are up on its predecessor at the same stage.
  • Tilt Five announces a $7.5m funding round to help bring their AR headset to market (pictured).
  • A new ZapBox from Zappar is a phone-powered MR headset available for only $40 on Kickstarter.
  • DecaGear is a tethered VR headset touted to sell at a…

It’s hard to keep track of all the happenings in the world of immersive technology, so here’s a handy briefing with bullet-point summaries of the major stories for September.

Facebook Connect and Oculus Quest 2

Facebook Connect
Facebook Connect
  • Oculus Quest was a sell-out success — the Quest 2 brings a faster processor and lower $299 price.
  • Facebook announced a partnership with Ray Ban to produce consumer AR glasses from 2021.
  • Project Aria is Facebook’s AR glasses prototype being tested now.
  • SparkAR software has been used to create over 1.2m AR effects by over 400 creators (including Draw & Code) — 55% of whom are women.

XR Market Developments

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If there’s one thing that gets the Draw & Code team excited it is some shiny new kit to play with — and the recent Facebook Connect event certainly had plenty of XR announcements to keep us amused. However, Facebook threw a curveball by revealing an augmented reality headset with no display. Yes, Project Aria is devoid of a display, instead it is being touted as a research tool for future AR glasses.

Is this a new and more open approach to the data-harvesting that an era of sensor-laden mixed reality headsets could usher in? And is Facebook Reality Labs’…

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John Keefe, co-founder of XR studio Draw & Code, talks to Phil Charnock about Facebook Connect. Will Oculus Quest 2 be another sell-out smash hit? Is Project Aria the most un-Facebook thing Facebook has ever done? Do we need the Ray-Ban brand to buy into smart glasses?

Formerly known as Oculus Connect, the name change to both this event and to Facebook Reality Labs — the department charged with XR innovation at the social media giant — signifies the shift in the importance of XR to Facebook as a whole. While the Oculus Quest 2 had leaked ahead of the…

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Sony Music Entertainment has collaborated with Draw & Code to develop a new AR (augmented reality) experience celebrating the release of Pink Floyd’s The Later Years box set. The latest WebAR technology is employed to allow fans to place iconic album artworks into the real world. All the user needs to do to access the AR experience is to go to on a smartphone and follow the on-screen instructions.

Pink Floyd’s The Later Years, released on December 13th 2019, and is an 18-disc set covering the material created by David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright from 1987 onwards…

Draw & Code’s Phil Charnock considers the argument of whether AR and its sister technologies are too gimmicky — or whether there is no such thing as too gimmicky.

In new technology generally — and XR particularly — there is an innate distaste of the word gimmick. It’s time to dispel the notion that gimmicks are bad and to question whether the developing mediums of AR, MR and VR are as saturated with them as some will make out.

OK, let’s open up the Oxford English Dictionary. It says that a gimmick is ‘a trick or device intended to attract…

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Draw & Code collaborated with Magic Leap and Manchester International Festival on a mixed reality experience for 21st century ravers. Phil Charnock, who DJ’d at many raves in a past life, shares the insider experience:

A basement, a red light and a feeling. That is all you need for a good rave. Well, that and a lot of nice people. And amazing music. Oh, and don’t forget the giant projection installations, mixed reality experiences, a multi-floored stage running from floor-to-ceiling, face-painting and an entire troupe of acting talent. Obviously.

As part of Manchester International Festival, grime superstar Skepta delivered his…

Draw & Code have developed a new experience with live events and communications agency Meet & Potato for Mercedes that utilises mixed, augmented and virtual reality.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans Immersive Roadshow represents the first time that Magic Leap has been used in the commercial vehicle sector and brings together the 21st century AR startup with a storied brand that boasts a catalogue of innovation and roots that stretch back to the 1800s.

Delving deep into Mercedes’ unparalleled history while looking to its future, the experience is housed in an 18-wheeler truck that is touring the UK to create awareness of…

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Immersive technology means you are able to place yourself inside a world, not just to peer inside it. Like all of the tech industry, XR features a diversity imbalance — is this burgeoning sector a chance for us to finally build a diverse corner of technology? And is its inherently first-person nature making it all the more important that diversity is pursued? Draw & Code’s Annie O’Toole opines on why the XR industry needs diverse perspectives.

Today I am thinking about stories. Why? Because this morning I was reminded of the eternal Isaac Newton quote that “If I have seen…

Draw & Code’s Phil Charnock ponders the impact of our VR interpretation of the Neuron Pod — a daring new building that opens this week in London.

Monday marked the opening of Queen Mary University’s bold and brilliant Neuron Pod building. Years in the making, it seems like a good time to revisit our virtual reality visualisation that may have played a small role in helping get this ambitious project built.

Virtual reality is visceral, arresting, memorable. Like all forms of spatial computing, the sense of presence is magnified and the scale of 3D objects and environments can be accurately…

Draw & Code

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