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Launching shops and operations

Meta store. Photo credit: Meta.

By Tom Ffiske
VR/AR and metaverse analysis every Wednesday and Sunday // 27 April 2022 

Sometimes, small journeys in life can be a stupid (and comedic) nightmare. In our case, it’s the delivery of a single IKEA bench to our home.

Supported by:

Black Public Media

Meta your friends in the store, shopping for glasses

Nissan and Toyota rolled up their sleeves and ‘launched operations in the metaverse.’

  • Well, not really. Toyota is hosting online meetings with virtual avatars. While it is a more engaging way of doing meetings, it is hardly stepping into an actual metaverse. 
  • Nissan is more promising, as they made a digital replica of its Tokyo Gallery, called the  Nissan Crossing. While it isn’t technically a metaverse, it is a neat way to show people a location remotely. 
  • Unfortunately, the metaverse is becoming a catch-all term in the media. Announce the same items a few years ago, and they would be workplace and cultural stories respectively. But under the confusion of the metaverse, everything can fall under its wide umbrella-like brim. It’s inaccurate, but the right package helps to push the stores at the moment. 

Meta opened its first physical store. 

  • A smart move that I expected sooner. Immersive technologies are best shown in person, showcasing how people can get the most out of their devices. Now that Reality Labs has a suite of products, from Portals to Quests, then it is time to open its white and blue doors to the public. 
  • “Why open a store at all,” some internet perusers may say. “Isn’t everything moving online?” Yes, but the high street has a lot of power in places like the UK, and products like the Meta Quest can only really be shown. Microsoft is doing the same, opening flagship stores like the one in London’s Oxford Street. The company labels them as Experience Centres; a term which Meta may like to use as well. 

Nreal will launch its glasses in the UK this spring. 

  • We’re seeing many companies across the US and China expand in Europe. Pico Interactive was a recent example, unveiling their Beta programme for the summer. While Meta’s hardware dominates in the US, their products are expanding into the continent as well. We are now seeing Nreal, a China-based company, tap into the UK market by partnering with EE, a local carrier. 
  • One day, I would love to see the granular data on its process. How popular is VR in the UK, compared to France? Would Italians love AR, while the Spanish do not? Europe is a complex and multi-faceted market, and all these companies will have different approaches to tap the shoulders of prospective consumers. One to focus on closely. 

Supported by Black Public Media

Creative technologists from Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, South Africa, and the United States will participate in PitchBLACK Forum: Immersive. The winner will receive $50K USD in funding, and the runner-up will receive $25K. Projects include AI, 360VR, 6DOF VR, projection mapping, and AR projects. Watch the contest on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at 13:00 ET and 19:00 CET.

Register to watch PitchBLACK live on April 27th

Sipping cola in hidden app labs

If you have any news, then respond to this email or contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. 

Jobs board

DISTRIBUTION AND TOURING PRODUCER. Marshmallow Laser Feast is looking for someone to join our team as a Distribution & Touring Producer. You will have a desire to work at the bleeding edge of immersive storytelling and help shape how that work is distributed globally. We see the development and distribution of MLF’s own work as key to the future success of the business, a key revenue stream and integral in building global brand awareness. This new role will be a vital part of the core team that formulates and realises this ambitious vision. Learn more. 

Find more roles here. 

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Meditative with the VIVE Flow. Photo credit: Tom Ffiske

Tom Ffiske

Editor, Immersive Wire

Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a twice-weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.