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Premiere of the Pico Neo 3 Link at Laval Virtual 2022 (Pico)
Premiere of the Pico Neo 3 Link at Laval Virtual 2022 (Pico)

This Week in ARExperience

May 19, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • Pico released a video of the Neo3 Link. Now available for preorder in Europe, the headset appears to be a gaming-first modified version of the Neo3 Pro, the company’s stand-alone 6DoF enterprise headset. Pico remains an enterprise-only company in the United States, but has been exploring consumer expansion for years and could become a serious competitor to Meta.
  • TechCrunch reported that Snap Inc. has acquired KeyDB, an opensource database developer. The sum of the acquisition was listed as “undisclosed” and as of this writing neither Snap nor KeyDB had any outward-facing documents confirming the acquisition. However, it is hinted at by the name of the KeyDB Github repository.

    • According to TechCrunch, the acquisition is primarily demonstrative of Snap’s sustained growth. While this is fair, their acquisition of an opensource database developer also speaks to a trend in social media companies being more transparent. Social media hawks may think of Musk’s recent calls to make Twitter code opensource.
  • Snap did have some public news this week, although this too was largely internal. The company released both a memo regarding their efforts to increase workplace diversity and a full version of the report. While the memo is largely self-critical, the full report shows that key diversity benchmarks have moved up and the company is on track to reach goals set in 2020 for 2025.

    • A typical theme of Snap events is that diversity makes the platform more welcoming and representative of users. However, much of this diversity comes from the creator community. This week’s report represents efforts to diversify the corporate back-end which will subtly impact the tools used by the already diverse creators.
  • This Friday, BRCvr is hosting a party in AltspaceVR. The party is a social catch-up event, but will also be a planning session for this year’s playa.

    • In case you’re missing something, Big Rock Creative is the outfit that has been bringing Burning Man into AltspaceVR for the past few years. Naturally there are a few people at the top, but the effort is largely community driven – as it should be. Bringing the burn to VR was initially a covid project, but organizers and attendees are keeping it going.
  • In other immersive world news, the new Virbela campus is live. That means the open campus is free to everyone, but the update also has big implications for enterprise clients who create proprietary closed worlds through Virbela. More than a new campus with several new locations and a new transportation system, the update comes with highly improved graphics.

    • Virbela’s updates had been announced at an in-world event earlier this year that took place in a closed version of the new world. Since then, earlier viewers have had to make due with the original campus and graphics. That event also announced a new avatar creation system which is still not yet live, but is expected to unroll soon.

Usually, these end with a comment about how much news there was. This week, there didn’t seem to be as much in terms of separate news items. But that’s okay, because it afforded the chance to take deeper dives into the context and background of the week’s news.

As far as trends, light news also means heavy development, and that’s largely what we see here. There’s a lot of internal news, but even the outward facing news is development of existing initiatives, which shows maturity and sustainability in the industry.