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Qualcomm’s XR development platform Snapdragon Spaces in now live. (Qualcomm)
Qualcomm’s XR development platform Snapdragon Spaces in now live. (Qualcomm)

This Week in ARExperience

June 3, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • In celebration of Pride Month, which started this week, Virbela has released two posts dealing with diversity, one on driving inclusion within XR companies and one on pride events taking place within the platform this month.

    • These two posts also speak to the dual nature of Virbela. The platform has proprietary tools and options for paying industry clients, but it also has an “open world” that anyone can explore any time. Further, spaces created for past events like Black History Month and Mental Health Awareness Month remain open in the platform.
  • Qualcomm’s XR development platform Snapdragon Spaces is now live. The platform was announced six months ago but has so far only been in use by select developers.

    • The release also details an upcoming hardware developers kit made with Lenovo and Motorola, as well as the first round of companies and projects funded by the company’s venture fund for immersive experiences.
  • An executive from Meta reportedly called for collaboration in building the metaverse. The extent to which Meta is trying to single-handedly “be” the metaverse has been a bone of contention in the industry since their last Connect summit when CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared them a “Metaverse company.”

    • From underselling other headsets, to buying up development studios, to changing their name, many have argued that Meta has indeed been trying to be the metaverse. This call for collaboration could be seen as a promising sign for an open future. Critics can keep reading – this idea comes up again in a moment.
  • Also in Meta news, Oculus announced that developers can now build with the Presence Platform. The Presence Platform is a set of tools and an app template for building shared experiences. The platform was announced during Meta’s last Connect, but was not yet available to the public.
  • The World Economic Forum announced a new initiative for “shaping a shared metaverse.” Tech companies represented included Meta, HTC, Somnium Space, Animoca Brands, Sony, Magic Leap, and Microsoft.

    • The presence of companies like Sony and HTC is particularly interesting because of their base in Pacific markets. While there are considerable hardware and software obstacles for the Metaverse, one of the main concerns is a global network through countries with drastically different approaches to the internet.

One big theme this week is developer tools, with Meta and Qualcomm both expanding the tools open to developers. Another is the idea of cooperation and co-building, from Meta’s independent call to collaboration on the Metaverse to the World Economic Forum’s new shared metaverse initiative.