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Chewy Dog Photo
Walking cowboy dog costume from Chewy's Fur-tual Boutique. (Chewy)

This Week in ARExperience

October 28, 2021
  • Pet food and goods retailer Chewy has launched the “Fur-tual Boutique” where pet-parents can use a special AR camera filter on their mobile device to see their dogs and cats virtually dressed up for Halloween. Not only is the experience fun on the phone, the costumes are also Chewy exclusives that can be purchased through the experience. The experience is entirely enabled through WebAR, with no app download necessary.
  • Also getting in on the fun, Spirit Halloween released an NFT bundle and new members of the blockchain-based XR property trading game Upland are invited to register for discounted rates. The bundle included 3D decorations that users can place in their Upland properties.
  • In other seasonal news, Snapchat has launched a series of Halloween-themed lenses and filters, as well as stickers, Bitmoji costumes, and a limited-time Snap Map theme.
  • Also from Snapchat, the MLB Scoreboard Lens will be pinned as the top Lens in the Explore tool throughout the remainder of the World Series. The lens allows users to take pictures and record video augmented with team apparel, up-to-the-minute live stats, and more.
  • On Tuesday, Frame launched the third version of its open Beta. Frame is a browser-based VR platform for virtual meetings and collaboration, under its parent company Virbela. The Frame update includes weather customization options for its virtual environments, more avatar customization options, audio zones for breakaway or private conversations, and improved user interfaces and toolbars.
  • Speaking of Virbela, the company partnered with Funraisin to host The Future of Giving. The event is raising funds for the American Cancer Society through a virtual evening out, including a digital performance by DJ Jazzy Jeff.
  • The Raindance Immersive film festival launched this week in London and continues through November 21. The festival, now in its sixth year, features over thirty 30 pieces of immersive media.
  • Also in London, creative content agency Pocko is holding the Augmented Reality Exhibition featuring works from over thirty “generative artists.” The exhibition launched last week with a private showing and continues through November 26.
  • Virtual entertainment company Zanni announced Oversees, “the first XR viewer designed for live performance and entertainment.” Modeled after traditional opera glasses, the viewer is designed for mixed reality productions that include AR elements incorporated into live performances.
  • Lightweight smart glasses manufacturer Nreal announced a partnership with Accedo XR, a company specializing in immersive media broadcasting. The partnership will likely mean a larger audience for Accedo XR and more virtual screen offerings for Nreal.
  • Metaverse platform Roblox announced a layered clothing beta for their avatar customization system. A blog post announcing the beta was published by Bjorn Book-Larsson, now an executive at Roblox after having previously been on the board of directors at VRChat and VP of Product at VIVE.
  • Zakeke and YouGov have released results of a survey on how U.S. consumers engage with AR/VR enabled online retail.

    • The study found that the percentage of respondents who want AR/VR retail experiences (roughly one in three) is inversely correlated with the percentage of respondents that have experienced AR/VR enabled online retail (71%). This may suggest that a lack of interest in these experiences is directly related to a lack of awareness of the experiences.

    • The study further found that participants are most interested in AR/VR enabled experiences in the Apparel and Home Furniture retail sectors.

This week brought a number of seasonal announcements. This may all sound like fun and games, but seasonal and limited-availability content in XR help to incorporate the technology into daily life, giving it a greater value for users. 

This week also saw condensation of XR companies and executives as organizations announced big-name board appointments or membership in new organizations. This kind of integration help to stabilize the young and expanding industry.

And expanding it is. With new product offerings and enhanced services from existing experience providers, it is, as ever, a very exciting time to be in XR.