With the “meta-universe” boom, the tech giant AR/VR hardware is expected to drive rapid growth in the industry chain when it comes out!!!
Wonder Dynamics, a startup co-founded by Terry Sheridan, the star of the movie “Top Gun” and advised by “Top Gun” director Spielberg, has closed its Series A funding round of $9 million. The funding round was led by Harbour Investment, a company led by Li Ka-shing confidant Kaiser Chow, who has been investing in the TMT industry since 2007 and has established itself as a global venture capital firm with a $120 million investment in Facebook.
After announcing the company’s name change to Meta, Facebook recently opened its VR world “Horizon Worlds” to North America. This is a very crucial step for Facebook to enter the meta-universe after the name change.
“Horizon” is essentially a preliminary VR social platform created by Meta, which allows people to create and interact in this metaverse, supporting 20 people online at the same time, however, users need to use the Oculus Quest 2 headset to create characters. The metaverse is a virtual space parallel to the real world but independent of it, with greater immersion, interactivity and ultra-low latency than the current Internet. Meta shows people the prototype of metaverse social and gaming. Meta is said to have introduced a $10 million creator’s fund in October, hoping to drive creators to create immersive experiences for the “metaverse”.
There is a perception that Meta Universe is the next generation of the physical Internet, which is relative to the current Internet, which is a flat Internet — a two-dimensional Internet built from graphic and video content.
When Microsoft and Meta launched their own ‘meta-universe’ in high profile. Who remembers that Google made the first AR glasses? With the mysterious comeback of Google Lab, this time, Google is going to make a big move too! Only, it’s the meta-universe…the operating system!
On December 14, Mark Lucovsky, a former Meta OS engineer, announced that he officially joined Google (for the second time). In addition to saying that he will be in charge of an AR OS team, Lucovsky also took the opportunity to highlight a wave of brand new positions for this recruitment. Back in 2012, Google released a prototype of AR glasses. With a wave of hardware and software upgrades, it successfully landed in the U.S. market in 2014. However, in 2015 it was forced to be taken down because of various negative news. in 2017, Google decided to shift the application of AR glasses to industry.
In the same year, Apple released ARKit for building AR experiences for cell phones, which directly caught Google off guard. This battle, and the subsequent shelving of many of Google’s virtual reality projects, left its AR and VR team members demoralized by the shift in its direction. At the time, the industry was in an uproar over Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, and Bavor’s team began work on an advanced Google VR headset, codenamed Dawn, with a VR software platform called Daydream.
But by early 2017, there were rumors that Apple was planning to release a new set of software tools for creating AR applications at its developer conference that summer. At an all-hands meeting, Bavor said Apple’s plans would not change Google’s product roadmap, and that VR would continue to be its top priority. But things quickly changed after Apple officially launched ARKit in June of that year, and Google executives demanded an immediate response from Bavor. While Google had already started working on AR tools codenamed Project Tango a few years ago, it needed to rely on dedicated hardware at the time.
Data show that the AR market size will reach $90 billion in 2020, much higher than VR’s $30 billion, and the compound annual growth rate of AR devices is also much higher than VR devices up to 103.4%. As the AR market continues to expand, Meta, Apple, Microsoft and other technology companies have begun to “squeeze” into the AR track. We may dare to imagine that the competition of meta-universe may be the competition between AR system VR headsets. Not only Apple, Meta, Microsoft, many technology companies want to share the hot cake of the metaverse, for now.
Apple’s upcoming first AR/VR headset weighs about 350 grams, and is developing a lighter second-generation AR/VR headset
Apple has about 1,000 engineers working on the device. Looking further into the future, Apple hopes that the headset can be transformed into a thin and light “AR glasses,” although it will take a few years to achieve this goal technically.
According to Tianfeng International analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s upcoming first AR/VR headset product, the first generation of the headset is expected to debut in 2022. Apple’s first VR/AR headset weighs about 300–400 grams, which is much lighter than the existing VR headsets on the market. In addition, Ming-Chi Kuo also revealed that Apple is developing a second-generation AR/VR headset that is lighter in weight than the first generation and features a new generation of industrial design, a new battery system, and a faster processor. Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple’s first release will be a mixed reality headset that can support experiencing both augmented reality and virtual reality. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is very concerned about AR, AI and self-driving areas. It is reported that Apple’s first AR device is also expected to come online in 2022.
Snapchat: AR users on the platform has exceeded 200 million daily average play AR more than 6 billion times
According to news reports, at the Snap AR Creators Summit held recently, Snapchat disclosed that the Snap AR platform currently brings together more than 250,000 filter creators, developers, brands and partners from more than 200 countries and regions, who have created more than 2.5 million filters. Users have viewed the platform more than 3.5 trillion times. More than 300 of these creators have at least one piece of work that has received more than 1 billion views, and more than 200 million users have played AR on Snapchat, with an average of more than 6 billion AR plays per day.
Manus launches Polygon, a SteamVR-compatible motion capture software
Following the launch of the professional-grade SteamVR tracker Manus Pro Tracker in February this year, Dutch VR haptic feedback glove developer Manus has released Manus Polygon — a motion capture software that is compatible with SteamVR and free to download.
WIMI releases new headset device to enhance metaverse user experience
WIMI has been the most talked-about company in China, and it is known as the “№1 holographic AR company in the metaverse”. WIMI has established the metaverse division to promote the layout of VR/AR/XR industry, and has been able to develop the underlying holographic technology of metaverse and successfully squeeze into the metaverse fast lane.
Samsung launched Dreamground, an AR playground that immerses visitors in a unique digital environment
Samsung recently launched Dreamground, a new generation playground that combines realistic architecture with AR technology, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind digital environment. Here, visitors can use their smartphone devices to explore artwork enhanced by AR visuals, floating portals to other worlds, and various on-screen animations.
Xiaomi takes stake in domestic VR/AR veteran Dang Hong Qitian
According to the news, Beijing Dang Hong Qitian International Culture Technology Development Group Co., Ltd. underwent industrial and commercial changes, adding Xiaomi affiliates Hanxing Venture Capital Co., Tianjin Legend Haihe Intelligent Technology Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership) and Intel Asia Pacific R&D Co. as shareholders, while the company’s registered capital increased from RMB 66,629,700 to RMB 75,746,100.
SoftBank invests $150 million in Korean metaverse platform Zepeto to lay out metaverse
Zepeto, a Korean metaverse platform, has reportedly received a $150 million investment from Japan’s SoftBank Group. This investment by SoftBank is part of a Series B round of funding that values Zepeto, a metaverse platform, at more than $1 billion.
Alibaba bets on the metaverse being the entire Internet on VR/AR glasses
Alibaba not only set up Hangzhou Digital Classics Technology Co., Ltd. to lay out the VR device hardware field; Dharma Institute added “operating system laboratory” and “XR laboratory” two labs. Recently, Alibaba Artificial Intelligence Laboratory launched a holographic space BIM products, information shows that the holographic space BIM production is a set of algorithm-based BIM products, this set of products include holographic space BIM construction algorithm, site safety management, digital twin city and other products. Holographic space provides the ability to model the real 1:1 restoration of the physical world and establish virtual space through AI technologies such as 3D visual algorithms and spatial computing capabilities, which can superimpose various spatial information and services based on scenes, such as space names, commodity information, ordering guides, etc., to achieve digital management of physical space, which is applicable to many industries such as construction real estate, new retail e-commerce, cultural tourism, etc. Alibaba’s holographic space has very many advantages, high precision, fast speed, low cost, and self-researchable and controllable technology, which can be applied to various application scenarios such as holographic exhibition halls, digital stores, property visualization, smart parks, etc.
AR glasses currently have a clear and predictable demand in the B-side, and have the potential to become the next generation of large-scale terminals. In the future, with the entry of the big player Apple glasses, and after 2–3 years of market cultivation period, AR glasses are expected to become a necessary productivity tool of the same magnitude as cell phones and laptops.
AR development stage is 2–3 years later than VR, the current best technology path has been locked Micro LED + light wave guide, the future with Apple, Google and other technology giants after a new generation of hardware is expected to drive the rapid growth of the industry chain.
With the onset of the “meta-universe” boom and Meta’s urgency to the meta-universe, domestic and foreign giants have grabbed the AR meta-universe track, they have their own advantages in the AR field, who can “win” is still unknown, and who can’t catch up with the “meta-universe” car and win the top chip?
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)