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Zuckerberg is turning trillion-dollar Facebook into a ‘metaverse’ company, he tells investors

“I wanted to discuss this now so that you can see the future that we’re working towards and how our major initiative across the company are going to map to that,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “What is the metaverse? It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think of this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.”
These comments echoed an interview he gave to The Verge last week, detailing some of the company’s future goals.
The metaverse offers …

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Can advertising scale in VR?

Michael Boland
Contributor

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Your in-car attention is media’s next battleground
Mobile and enterprise are the keys to VR/AR scale

One of VR’s prospective revenue streams is ad placement. The thought is that its levels of immersion can engender high engagement with various flavors of display ads. Think billboards in a virtual streetscape or sporting venue. Art imitates life, and all that.
This topic reemerged recently in the wake of Facebook’s experimental ads in Blaston VR. As TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney observed, it didn’t go too well. The move triggered a …

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Facebook’s entry into VR advertising isn’t going too well

Facebook’s efforts to bring advertising to the Oculus virtual reality platform it has spent billions of dollars building out doesn’t seem to be off to a great start.
The company announced last week that they were planning to roll out their first in-game ads inside the title “Blaston” from the prolific VR game developer Resolution Games, and just days later the game studio has shared that after hearing an earful from users they’ve decided to abandon the ad rollout.
“After listening to player feedback, we realize that Blaston isn’t the best fit for this type of …

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Facebook VR exec Hugo Barra is leaving

Four years after joining as Facebook’s first VP of VR, ex-Xiaomi exec Hugo Barra has left the company, he said in a social media post Tuesday.
Barra led Facebook’s VR efforts during a particularly tumultuous time for Oculus, coming aboard to helm the division as the once independent arm was folded deeper into its parent company after the departure of co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe. During Barra’s time at Facebook, the company pivoted from PC-based VR systems towards all-in-one designs, relying on a partnership with Barra’s previous employer Xiaomi to help the company scale its entry-level …

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New Quest 2 software brings wireless PC streaming, updated ‘office’ mode

After a relatively quiet couple of months from Oculus on the software front, Facebook’s VR unit is sharing some details on new functionality coming to its Quest 2 standalone headset.
The features, which include wireless Oculus Link support, “Infinite Office” functionality and upcoming 120hz support will be rolling out in the Quest 2’s upcoming v28 software update. There’s no exact word on when that update is coming but the language in the blog seems to intimate that the rollout is imminent.
The big addition here is a wireless version of Oculus Link which will allow Quest 2 users to stream …

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Microsoft debuts its AR/VR meetings platform Mesh

Today, at a special AR/VR focused event held inside its virtual reality community platform Altspace, Microsoft showcased a new product aiming to provide their AR HoloLens platform and VR Windows Mixed Reality platform with a shared platform for meetings.
The app is called Microsoft Mesh and it gives users a cross AR/VR meeting space to interact with other users and 3D content, handling all of technical hard parts of sharing spatial multi-player experiences over the web. Like Microsoft’s other AR/VR apps, the sell seems to be less in the software than it is in enabling developers …

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What the NFT? VC David Pakman dumbs down the intensifying digital collectibles frenzy

Non-fungible tokens have been around for two years, but these NFTs, one-of-one digital items on the Ethereum and other blockchains, are suddenly becoming a more popular way to collect visual art primarily, whether it’s an animated cat or an NBA clip or virtual furniture.
“Suddenly” is hardly an overstatement. According to the outlet Cointelegraph, during the second half of last year, $9 million worth of NFT goods sold to buyers; during one 24-hour window earlier this week, $60 million worth of digital goods were sold.
What’s going on? A thorough New York Times piece on the trend earlier this week …

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Augmented reality’s awkward phase will be long and painful

Howdy friends, this is the web version of my Week in Review newsletter, it’s here to entice you to sign up and get it in your inbox every week.
Last week, I showcased how Twitter was looking at the future of the web with a decentralized approach so that they wouldn’t be stuck unilaterally de-platforming the next world leader. This week, I scribbled some thoughts on another aspect of the future web, the ongoing battle between Facebook and Apple to own augmented reality. Releasing the hardware will only be the start of a very messy transition from smartphone-first …

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How artificial intelligence will be used in 2021

Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang forecasts the biggest emerging use cases

Kirsten Korosec

9 hours

Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang doesn’t need a crystal ball to see where artificial intelligence will be used in the future. He just looks at his customer list.
The four-year-old startup, which recently hit a valuation of more than $3.5 billion, got its start supplying autonomous vehicle companies with the labeled data needed to train machine learning models to develop and eventually commercialize robotaxis, self-driving trucks and automated bots used in warehouses and on-demand delivery.

The wider adoption of AI across industries has been a bit …

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Google shutting down Poly 3D content platform

Google is almost running out of AR/VR projects to kill off.
The company announced today in an email to Poly users that they will be shutting down the 3D-object creation and library platform “forever” next year. The service will shut down on June 30, 2021 and users won’t be able to upload 3D models to the site starting April 30, 2021.
Poly was introduced as a 3D creation tool optimized for virtual reality. Users could easily create low-poly objects with in-VR tools. The software was designed to serve as a lightweight way to create and view 3D assets that could in turn …

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