• February 1, 2023

Texas Bill: Many Immigrants, H-1B Visa Holders Can’t Buy Property

A bill in the Texas state legislature would prohibit many immigrants and H-1B visa holders from China and three other countries from owning property in the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott …

Laid Off? Try The Cannabis Industry

As more states legalize cannabis and new weed markets expand, industry hiring remains strong. A new study from the CannabizTeam, an executive search and staffing firm, estimates there will be about …

Homebuilder Confidence Bump – The Spark That Could Ignite The Next Growth Cycle

The homebuilder positives, particularly the mortgage rate dip and the new home sales and potential buyer traffic bump, might look too small to produce optimism. After all, uncertainties and inflation realities …

The really big news in tech world this week is Amazon’s acquisition of Roomba. Dust is not the only things the household robot collects. It also vaccums up data, mapping your house while it cleans. That data is valuable. Significant also is FundamentalVR’s raise of $20M for surgical simulation. Training again is proving to be one of VR’s most important, useful, and lucrative applications.

FundamentalVR Surgical Sim Raises $20M Their unique approach uses haptics to give users force feedback on scalpels and other instruments. The platform allows for full rehearsal of medical and surgical procedures. The investment was led by EQT Life Sciences and brings the company’s total funding to $30M.

Did Amazon Buy Roomba To Turn It Into a Household Spy? Think about it. For the last couple of years the smart device has been lidar mapping the interior of people’s houses and “data” is said to be one of the key assets of the robotics company sold. The firm, founded in 1990 by scientists from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, has sold more than 30 million units, and earned a place in popular culture.

Snap plans employee layoffs after disappointing Q2 earnings With 347 M monthly uniques the problem is not the app’s popularity, it’s with monetization. Apple’s privacy protections and the downturn in the advertising business. Snap’s accessories business (Specs, Drones) isn’t contributing and they don’t have any other sources of revenue. The stock has cratered. Alex Heath of the Verge says layoffs are inevitable.

Just in case you were too young to remember, or in a coma, the Metaverse is creating FOMO (fear of missing out) just like the Internet did thirty years before it. it is possible the tweet I’m s

Google bringing ‘Immersive Stream for XR’ to AR/VR headsets Google says it is actively working on an OpenXR client to stream XR experiences. When a smartphone connected to Google’s cloud service sends a camera pose it is instantly rendered photorealistically on high end computers and then streamed back down to the device, theoretically with zero latency. This could be a way the Metaverse will get to volumetric, photorealistic, real time rendered images sooner rather than later.

Keiichi Matsuda, co-founder of Liquid City design, and director of the famous viral short film HYPER-REALITY (was commissioned by John Hanke to build a location based AR experience using Niantic’s new Lightship SDK. The installation, The Reality Channels, was unveiled at Niantic’s fist developer conference, the Lightship Summit 2022, in San Francisco two months ago. Above is a video of the experience and a look at how it was made.

Rec Room is launching its new game Showdown on its popular cross-platform social game worlds. In it, players spawn in Sarsaparilla Springs, a western ghost town that has been transformed into a battlefield. Users can try out new western outfits and play in 3v3 cork-loaded shoot outs.

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Pick your next virtual life from these 10 amazing MMORPGs Their top five virtual worlds were Final Fantasy IV, World of Warcraft, and Elder Scrolls Online, Eve, and Lost Arc.

The 23rd edition of MUTEK will take place from Tuesday, August 23rd to Sunday, August 28th in Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles. MUTEK is a Montreal-based festival dedicated to the promotion of electronic music and the digital arts. Five A/V artists were invited to transform their cutting-edge live performances into XR artworks. This project expands distribution and monetization models for both the non-profit festival and artists. The works will join the catalog of Astera, the largest international distributor of immersive productions.

Apple’s $2000+ AR/VR Headset Will Only Have 1.5 Million Units at Launch. In what is absolutely not news, MacRumors analyst Ming-Chi Kuo wrote last Sunday that the tech giant will release less than 1.5 million units to prosumers.

This Week in XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, Head of Future Technologies at Paramount Global. This week we’ll be joined by Alex, Senior Contributor to The Verge, who will be talking with us about his recent reporting on Meta and Snap. We will later be joined by Alex Sychov, founder and CEO of Somnimum Space. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

What We’re Reading

Interview: Director Of HBO Doc We Met In Virtual Reality (Kyle Melnick/VRScout)

Top Meta execs flee California under Zuckerberg’s remote work policy (Theo Wayt/The New York Post)

This is how Snap is fostering the future of augmented reality (Harry McCracken/Fast Company)

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