Your weekly briefing on the metaverse // 14 November 2022
by Tom Ffiske
- Exclusive story: TRYO is a new virtual try-on app, working with Cartier, Gucci, and Adidas at launch (more below);
- Hot off the press: Apple is planning a 3D world and video service for its headset;
- Headline: Meta cut 13% of its workforce, while its share price increased 20% (analysis below);
- Stat of the week: The value of metaverse land is dropping steeply, with the market cap falling from $5.45bn in January to $1.16bn in November;
- Useful tool: Three Object Viewer is a plugin that enables 3D content on WordPress, with neat ramifications for immersive tech sites.
- Conversation-starter: Liberland, an unofficial micronation, is creating a virtual space for its citizens to congregate together. Basically, a strip of abandoned land was claimed by a Czech MP with ambitions for statehood. The nation is now making a virtual world for its citizens to meet — which is one way to avoid getting arrested by Croatian police in the contested land. Unbelievable.
Seeing Sigur Ros live was a lot of fun, though David Attenborough documentaries kept cropping into my head as I watched the show. Also, if you’re heading to Immersive Tech Week, let me know as I will be popping over too – Tom Ffiske, Editor of the Immersive Wire
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Job losses, and the nebulous value of metaverse land
Exclusive story: TRYO is a new app that provides a one-stop location for trying on virtual items.
- What is it? Announced today, TRYO provides users with a one-stop shopping experience with the ability to virtually try on footwear, watches, hats, and eyewear, updated weekly. The company is launching products from Cartier, Gucci, Adidas, and New Era, with more to come. TRYO was developed by QReal, a subsidiary of Glimpse Group.
- How does it compare to the competition? It’s an interesting one. TRYO’s product approach is to provide a single location to try on multiple types of apparel with brands, servicing people who want to try things in a single location. Compare this to Snapchat, where browsers can browse on their social platform and pop on items to try on in-app.
- A part of me thinks this is smart, as there may be a market segment of people who want a dedicated place to try on new clothes virtually. The search intent is strong in the app too; people are there to buy items, unlike Snapchat. Another part of me thinks that it will be tricky, as competitors already have audiences while TRYO will need to prove its proposition. One to watch.
Meta cut its workforce by 11,000 spurring another round of discussions on its future.
- Why did this happen? Mark Zuckerberg pinned it on the rapid and seismic recruitment drive the company undertook during Covid, swelling the workforce. When the appetite for online commerce subsided dramatically — alongside a drop in revenue — job cuts became necessary. ‘I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that,’ he said in a letter to colleagues.
- The mood in Meta is ‘bewildering,’ according to my sources. Also, recruiting has been disproportionally affected, as Meta will continue its hiring freeze.
- I suspect Meta may have upskilled the whole industry. XR-related roles are in high demand at the moment, and Meta has let go of people who are leading in immersive technologies. It would not surprise me if a Meta employee helps to pioneer a competitor over the next two years. If that happens, that’s an incredible story.
Metaverse land is taking a dip, though it is hard to say why beyond macroeconomic conditions. Here is my analysis, though as a summary:
- Declining value: The value of metaverse land has shrunk over the last year, as the market cap across major metaverse platforms declined from $5.45bn in January to $1.16bn in November (more in the article);
- Fewer participants: The number of active buyers declined, from a height of 16,257 buyers in May 2022 to 9,346 in October 2022;
- Macroeconomic conditions: The clearest reasons for the decline are directly linked to the wider economic climate;
- Lack of utility and high speculation: While both reasons may contribute to the declining value of metaverse land, there is not enough evidence to firmly prove it as a broader trend. The area warrants further studies and investigation;
- Interoperability: My core argument is that metaverse land needs multiple platforms to connect together, in order to be viable (more in the article).
What do you think of Meta’s layoffs? Join the discussion and meet like-minded professionals on the Immersive Wire Discord.
My new audiobook
The Metaverse: A Professional Guide is now available as an audiobook on Audible! Listen to the audio version of the book, highly rated by professionals in our space. One review from Amazon: ‘It is definitely a book worth reading and for those who know more there are lots of facts, insights and explanations across the metaverse, AR, VR, and its applications. As Tom Ffiske outlines, this is a never-ending journey so I’m pleased to have started the journey with this book’
Get it in your region:
Important stories over the last week
Got stories? Do let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
- A Swiss anthropologist and Japanese VTuber published a report on harassment in the metaverse.
- ABI Research reported that 30% of total AR shipments, and 23% of VR shipments, will include cellular connectivity by 2027.
- Among Us VR is now out.
- Anything World, the platform for developing interactive 3D experiences through ML, raised $7.5m in funding.
- atmoky integrated its Spatial Audio Web SDK into 8th Wall‘s WebAR engine.
- ENGAGE launched ENGAGE Link, its enterprise-focused metaverse platform.
- Groove Science Studios, the creator of Soundscape VR, announced new artists like Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Big Wild, and Hermitude.
- Immerse Global Summit will take place between 5 – 7 December at Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
- Meta is acquiring Audio Analytic for an unannounced sum.
- Additionally, the company is selling the Quest 2 Headset with Resident Evil 4 and Beat Saber bundled in, for a limited time.
- Metaverse Tech‘s software, VBuddies, is a Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 5.0 Cambridge City Winner.
- Missing Pictures is a documentary collection that will launch across VR platforms on 1 December.
- Palmer Luckey made a VR headset that kills the user when they die in-game.
- No, this is not a joke.
- Pimax is crowdfunding a console that can turn into a VR headset.
- Spatial announced a partnership with Exclusible, working on metaverse real-estate.
- Space Shells, a rogue-lite VR shooter, will release on 6 December.
- Spinview announced a partnership with Kvalitena AB to digitise its property portfolio and meet ESG reporting requirements.
- Stranger Things VR will release in late 2023.
- Unity officially merged with IronSource.
- Varjo announced additional platform support for Unity and Unreal Engine projects.
- XR Women is celebrating its two-year anniversary in AltspaceVR.
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Editor, Immersive Wire
Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.