San Franciso’s Games Developer Conference, which is immediately after SXSW, is on the verge of being cancelled. Three of their biggest sponsors, Microsoft, Facebook, and Epic Games (Fortnite), have pulled out. Facebook also cancelled its F8 developer conference.
Workers wearing protective gears spray disinfectant as a precaution against the new coronavirus at a … [+]
The city of SF has declared an emergency and wants everyone deplaning from overseas to be tested. Right now, there’s not the personnel or expertise to do that. The city is reportedly pressuring the organizers of GDC to reschedule for the fall, even though the city will lose 10s of MM if they get their way.
SXSW, with its crowded exhibition floor, film and music venues, shared VR headsets, and international audience, has not yet experienced the same from its sponsors but has similar vulnerability.
The big players continue pulling out of the big conferences over coronavirus concerns. Unity, Epic, Kojima Productions, Sony, EA, Microsoft and others are no longer attending GDC. Facebook has canceled their F8 conference. Companies are pulling out of PAX East as well. Despite these companies not attending, the conferences still intend to be held.
Qualcomm X2 see-through reference design.
Qualcomm revealed reference designs for XR2 chipset powered HMD. The XRs reference designs, dubbed VRDK, sport a litany of features for partner companies to test. The designs supports hand tracking, eye-tracking, and magnetic controller tracking. Qualcomm also claims to have a solution for cloud-rendered VR over a 5G network using their latest chipset, which they call “boundless XR.”
Actiview raises $10 million series A for VR software that assesses potential employees. The Israel-based startup has raised $18 million since its founding in 2016 with both seed and series A rounds led by the Teddy Sagi Group. Actiview’s virtual reality software is intended for human resources managers and universities to assess potential employees by monitoring eye movement, expressions, and other gestures using short games and assignments in VR.
Neurosity launching Notion, a “brain-reading computer”. The head worn device interprets brain waves as input for controlling users’ existing devices. It is non-invasive and rests on the back of the scalp. Neurosity is working with developers building apps for use cases such as effortlessly scrolling down a web page, hands free wheelchair navigation, emotion and mental health tracking, and many more. You can pre-order Notion for $1099 on the Neurosity website which estimates a ship date in December 2020.
Linden Labs parting ways with Sansar. The company behind Second-Life is saying goodbye to its VR social platform and refocusing back to Second-Life. Sansar has been unable to gain enough traction to be sustainable for Linden Labs. No official deal has been announced yet, but the company is in talks with potential buyers willing to take Sansar under their wing.
Over 100 VR games have generated $1 million or more in revenue. VR Fun investor Tipatat Chennavasin recently shared an analysis of the VR industry claiming 2019 as an inflection point. In Chennavasin’s analysis he found 106 VR titles have exceeded $1 million in revenue, with a few exceeding $10 million. The top earner: $60 million. Chennavasin believes we may see the first $100 million VR title in 2020.
Facebook acquires Asgard’s Wrath creator Sanzaru Games. Sanzaru has launched four titles for the Oculus platform: Ripcoil, VR Sports Challenge, MARVEL Powers United VR, and most recently Asgard’s Wrath. The team will continue to operate out of their current offices with the additional support of Facebook and Oculus Studios. Read more on the official Oculus blog.
Dreamscapes VR in Columbus, OH, is part of an entertainment destination operated by AMC Theaters.
James D. DeCamp
Dreamscape launches LBVR venue in Columbus, Ohio. The new location opens today February 28th in the Easton Town Center in Columbus. This marks the second location Dreamscape has opened in partnership with AMC theaters here in the US. Other locations include Los Angeles, Dallas, and Dubai.
Pimax partners with Ultraleap to integrate hand tracking tech into their headsets. Pimax has used Ultraleap’s Leap Motion for some time and now the partnership is official. The latest Pimax hand tracking accessory will integrate Ultraleap’s hand tracking hardware into the Pimax headset. The new integration modules should be available for users in Q2 2020.
This hologram can be seen with the naked eye.
“This Week In XR” is written and edited with Michael Eichenseer.