A Recap of XR News the Past Week
It has been a busy week in XR. Here are some of the highlights of the most important industry developments over the past seven days.
Production of XR Headsets Delayed by Coronavirus Outbreak in China
Production schedules for both Oculus Quest VR headset and Nreal Light AR glasses has been delayed following the coronavirus outbreak. Factories that make these devices are currently at a standstill as the Chinese government works round the clock to contain the virus.
Facebook Cancels Global Marketing Summit Over Coronavirus Fears
Yet another coronavirus casualty. A Facebook global marketing conference slated to take place in March at the San Francisco’s Moscone Center and which was to be attended by up to 4000 people was cancelled two days ago over coronavirus fears. A Facebook spokesperson announced that the Global Marketing Summit will be cancelled as a result of “evolving public health risks related to coronavirus”. Some of the leading vendors had already pulled out of the conference in the days leading up to the cancellation.
Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020 Cancelled
The cancellation of MWC 2020 Barcelonawas also due to coronavirus fears. Like in the Facebook event, some of the bigger companies had already began pulling out of the event in the weeks leading to the cancellation. The cancellation will particularly affect the smaller companies and startups that typically use the MWC platform to gain visibility and market themselves.
Facebook Acquired Computer Vision Startup Scape Technologies
Facebook purchased 75% of the London-based computer vision company Scape Technologies. The startup’s product is based on a visual positioning system which leverages computer vision to accurately map out the location of a device. It is more accurate than the traditional GPS.
Oxford VR Notched Up $12.5 Million in Funding
UK-based VR therapy startup Oxford VR raised $12.5 million in a Series A funding round that was led by Optum Ventures and which was supported by Luminous Ventures. The new infusion of cash will go into research and development on their VR therapy programs. It will also finance their expansion into the U.S. market.
Magic to Invest in Developers and Ecosystem
Magic Leap announced new programs last week aimed at supporting its developers and expanding the ecosystem. They include a hardware access program, a developer conference to be held at Magic Leap HQs in Plantation, FL as well as an expansion of its funding support for developers with an emphasis on enterprise projects.
Ubisoft Revealed the Prince of Persia Escape Room Experience
The Prince of Persia VR escape room experience was revealed last week. It be coming to some 300 location-based entertainment (LBE) centers around the world. The Prince of Persia: The Dagger of Time launches this spring. The LBE experience by Ubisoft will support up to four players and is in the format of the traditional escape room experience with a Sands of Time storyline from the Prince of Persia. Between two and four players can team up and work out puzzles to make their way out of a reimagined Fortress of Time.
EE Promoting 5G Including Nreal Glasses
The telecommunications giant is shooting promotional materials for its 5G connectivity that will feature the recently unveiled Nreal Light AR glasses as well as Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon will be featured in the promotional content wearing the Nreal Light glasses in a UK train station in the shooting of the ad campaign that will promote EE’s 5G network.
XR-Capable Software Engineers in High Demand
Recent survey by Hired has reported a 1400% increase in the requests for AR/VR skills in the year 2018-2019, making this one of the fastest growing careers. The massive growth is anchored by various factors including the avalanche of new AR/VR patents as well as the fast-growing AR/VR market. The demand for XR professionals currently outstrips the supply of such as professionals.