Lots of news from the metaverse scene during these last days. For instance, Google has confirmed the acquisition of Raxium for Augmented Reality (or AR) devices, while Meta (formerly Facebook) has decided to close the Venues app to move events to Horizon World.
Moreover, a new report by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence describes the general awareness around the metaverse: simple fad of the moment or a future revolution?
Metaverse News: Google acquires Raxium for AR devices
Google has acquired Raxium, an innovator in single-panel MicroLED display technologies that will provide the search engine giant with support for AR devices.
After much rumors, Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services at the Mountain View-based company confirmed this last week.
In practice, like many other tech companies, Google is also betting a lot on augmented reality, not only at the software level, but also and especially with regard to hardware.
Raxium is based in Fremont, California and specializes in creating miniaturized, low-cost, energy-efficient high-resolution displays that have laid the groundwork for future display technologies.
In this regard, Osterloh said:
“We’re thrilled to have the team at Raxium on board to help further our goal of building helpful devices and services to improve people’s daily lives”.
Meta shuts down Venues app and moves live events to Horizon World
According to Meta’s announcement, starting 6 June 2022, the original Horizon Venues app will be shut down to be fully integrated into Horizon World, which will then host its live events.
Basically, Horizon Worlds’ social VR experience will expand with new events so that users can attend their favorite shows, from live sporting events to concerts by the hottest artists of the moment, or they can attend a cabaret or meditation session or arrange their own meeting, all within the same platform.
Currently, Horizon World is available to citizens of the United States and Canada over the age of 18 with Quest 2 access.
Users who are not in the US or Canada or aged 13-17 and/or enrolled in Quest 1 will lose access to Venues programming when the app is deactivated, though they will still be able to view highlights and replays of Venues events on Oculus TV.
“We plan to expand access to Horizon Worlds in more countries this summer, so even more people will be able to build their own worlds, make new friends in VR, and enjoy our slate of Venues in Horizon Worlds programming”.
In March, Meta had also divested the 300-person team that was supposed to develop the XROS operating system, dedicated to augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR). It’s likely that already by that time, Horizon Word’s platform was the chosen one to become the official Facebook metaverse, still in development.
The Wunderman Thompson Intelligence report
A report on the general awareness of the metaverse was presented by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence with its “New Realities: Into the Metaverse and beyond”.
The report includes findings from a March 2022 survey of 3,005 respondents ages 16-65 in the US, UK and China.
Here are the highlights that describe the overall situation as follows:
- 74% of people who know what the metaverse is believe it is the future;
- of those, only 15% can actually explain how it works;
- 66% of respondents believe the metaverse will change lives.