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HomeAR updated lighting and reflection graphics, among other new and coming improvements to the home visualization platform. Image provided by HomeAR.
HomeAR updated lighting and reflection graphics, among other new and coming improvements to the home visualization platform. Image provided by HomeAR.

This Week in ARExperience

March 17, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • Construction planning app HomeAR launched a product update that includes improved lighting and reflection graphics and a Revit plugin.

    • The platform, which places 3D models of yet-to-be-constructed homes in the real-world build site, also announced that it is working on an in-model annotation tool and in-app video recording, though these features are not yet available.
  • Snap announced the release of their much-anticipated “Custom Landmarkers” development tool in Lens Studio. The tool allows Snap developers to “anchor” lenses to physical locations. Amid growing concern that AR may be misused by bad actors, Snap ensured in the release that lenses would be approved by a moderation team before being made publicly available.
  • AltspaceVR launched “We, the Women: Breaking the Bias,” A VR photo exhibition in collaboration with Dubai Carees, Expo 2020 Dubai, Agora Images, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The virtual exhibit features 29 photographs from around the world that address gender stereotypes.
  • Amazon announced two new free tools to learn cloud computing skills, one of which is the kind of course that you might expect from Amazon, and the other is a zany open-world role-playing game.

    • CNBC called the game “metaverse-like.” The game is 3D but doesn’t seem to be VR supported and features unlockable in-game assets that aren’t accessible in other platforms or tradable between users. The news here isn’t that the game is a metaverse, but rather that these initiatives teach metaverse infrastructure – cloud computing.
  • Meta announced a new innovation hub in Spain. The initiative will open up hundreds of VR jobs in that country but will result in experiences and advancements felt the world over. More than that, the center will be hardwired to similar facilities in America and Africa.

    • If that isn’t close enough to home for you, many Quest users found themselves unable to access their accounts. Meta has so far been quiet on what may be causing the interruption, how widespread it is, or how long it may last.
  • Also on the industry end, AR gaming giant Niantic acquired 8th Wall. A release published by Niantic said that the company will offer 8th Wall tools to AR developers but that 8th Wall will “remain standalone.”
  • For more in industry news, metaverse avatar builder Genies announced that Bob Iger has joined their board of directors. Iger was formerly CEO and chairman of Disney and his coming to the board of directors coincides with the company expanding their early access program and building anticipation for an eventual more public presence.

This series is about “ARExperience” but could have been titled “ARAquisitions.” While we do see some groundbreaking experiences and experience updates, most of the news this week has to do with the ongoing maturation of the XR industry. As we’ve said in past installments of this series, this bodes well for users down the road in terms of experience quality, but in the short time it shows growth and strength in what was very recently a niche field.