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A preview of a virtual store made in the new Artemis platform, provided by Emperia.
A preview of a virtual store made in the new Artemis platform, provided by Emperia.

This Week in ARExperience

February 24, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • Emperia has announced its new Artemis platform specifically designed to manage virtual stores for the fashion industry. The Software-as-a-service solution is designed to give retailers access to and control over virtual worlds that are compatible with their existing e-commerce infrastructure.
  • GPS company NextNav has announced a partnership with Unity-based immersive app development studio echo3D. Together, the companies are developing Pinnacle – a service for “accurate, floor-level vertical location.” The solution has promise as a wayfinding solution, but is also intended for cloud-connected XR experiences and location-based games.
  • In other developer news, mobile-based WebAR studio and creator platform Blippar announced integration with Babylon.js via the company’s WebAR SDK. Example products created through the integration incorporate advancements like real-time light and shadow rendering.
  • In gaming news, Sony gave us the first proper look at the highly anticipated PS VR 2. We knew that the console-dependent headset was coming, but most everything else about it has been the source of rampant speculation.

    • Some of the announced features (slimmer design, lighter weight, manual IPD adjustment) are just Sony catching up with industry standards. Other features such as haptic feedback and integrated vents in the headset itself are more exciting.
  • Meta has another week of exciting releases for Quest, including action/adventure game Virtual Reality 2, puzzle game UNBINARY, and the highly anticipated MinecraftVR. “QuestCraft” is available as a standalone experience on SideQuest, no PC required.
  • In other Meta news, the platform is inaugurating cultural art experiences within Horizon Worlds with VR sculptor Gabe Gaults “I Am a Man” immersive sculpture exhibit.
  • Virbela and Microsoft also created immersive museum experiences celebrating Black History Month. (The Virbela experience isn’t linked directly because it is accessible through the open campus via app download while the Microsoft experience is viewable in-browser.)

In searching for trends, we can’t look past the increased content offerings from Meta and the new headset info coming for Sony’s PlayStation VR. Meta has the headset advantage but a major title like Minecraft edging its way onto the platform is big news – and potentially in direct competition with a gaming-first headset like PS VR.

There’s also a story to be told in the fashion world, through Emperia and Metaverse Fashion Week. These two stories capture either end of the virtual fashion narrative: XR experiences to market physical goods and digital-first fashions. Also of note this week, the use of WebAR to augment physical purchases in the Coca-Cola, Pinnacle, Blippar, and musical announcements and activations.