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LFF Expanded is in full swing, as Pico sees unprecedented demand

LFF Expanded 2022

Your weekly briefing on the metaverse // 17 October 2022
I am currently in Japan, around Tokyo – and I am hyped for the rest of the trip.

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XR artists among business professionals

LFF Expanded is in full swing in London.

  • Sad to be missing this while I am on holiday, as the event has some of the best XR experiences available. “This year’s programme considers pertinent issues of our time from a hugely diverse range of perspectives and art forms,” said Ulrich Schrauth, BFI London Film Festival’s Immersive Art and XR Curator.
  • The festival will also unveil work from Guy Maddin, called Haunted Hotel. It is an AR work that “invites audiences to explore a vibrant tableau of desire, deception and death.”

Pico has delayed deliveries of the Pico 4 due to unprecedented demand in the EU.

  • The company said that “there will unfortunately be delays in fulfilling some customer pre-orders in the EU region. We are working tirelessly to ensure that demand is satisfied by the end of October.”
  • Looks like Pico 4 is a hit, though it would be interesting to see hard numbers from the company at some point.

Meta Connect unveiled a host of updates last Tuesday. As the hype cools, here is my analysis:

  • While others fixate on virtual legs, the enterprise side is the most interesting (to me). The collaboration with Microsoft is a smart step in the direction, integrating Office 365 tools into the Quest Pro. “We are clearly going through a once-in-a-lifetime change in how we work,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Every organisation today is looking for new ways to reconnect and re-energise their workforce at home, in the office, and everywhere in between.”
  • Other companies are doing some great work in the space as well. Look at the wider market: Vrgineers is working on an open source headset; Lenovo unveiled the ThinkReality VRX; and Magic Leap 2 is now in US stores, among many others. Alongside the hardware is a thriving ecosystem of software, developed by teams in Make Real Ltd and Immerse among many other companies.
  • Will Meta top other enterprise platforms like Virbela or ENGAGE? Perhaps. A powerful reason why Microsoft is so dominant among businesses is that it offers a full suite of services to help them run – which Meta is tapping into with its own hardware.
  • I can also see Meta Connect splitting into multiple events in the future. With the sheer diversity of initiatives (fitness, games, enterprise, innovation), it may make sense to make smaller events for specific audiences.

What do you think of Meta’s event? Join the discussion and meet like-minded professionals on the Immersive Wire Discord. 

Supporting The Economist’s Metaverse Summit

The Economist’s Metaverse Summit 2022 will help senior leaders define and build mixed-reality experiences that will add economic and social value. The event will take place on October 26-27th, consisting of an in-person experience on October 26th in San Jose and one day in the metaverse on October 27th. Be in the room where enterprises will build a better Web3 future and understand where the metaverse meets NFTs, gaming, crypto and blockchain to create value

Register free here.

Other stories

Got stories? Do let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. 

  • AWE Europe starts on 20 October.
  • Bonelab made $1m within its first hour on Quest.
  • FitXR is partnering with Myprotein to launch the Power of Potential Challenge.
  • Imint struck a strategic partnership with AicView so that its Vidhance video stabilisation platform will reach OEM markets throughout China.
    • This is important because AicView will offer Imint’s platform to a customer base that makes AR glasses.
  • Mona unveiled its AI-enabled material creator.
  • Psychic VR Lab announced the ‘Real Metaverse Project,’ allowing people to create and view XR content mapped to a physical space.
  • Ready Player Me launched an API for avatar interoperability.
  • Roblox is collaborating with FIFA to launch FIFA World, which celebrates football and its history.
  • ShapesXR unveiled an MR toolkit for Meta Quest Pro.
  • Understanding the Metaverse: A Business and Ethical Guide is a new book from Nick Rosa, Metaverse Strategy Lead Europe at Accenture.
    • Having received an early copy, I recommend it. Nick has been working with immersive technologies for some time, and the book shows his expertise by delivering actionable insights on tapping into the business side of the metaverse.
  • XRStories unveiled the Immersive Accelerator programme, a free, part-time, and eight-week course that will provide training for women, marginalised genders, and those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community in making XR experiences.

Looking for assistance

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Don’t over-engineer

Eran Galil, CTO & Co-Founder , ByondXR

What is your background?

I started from being a computer geek programming at very early age, enjoying the creations. Later on while working on that went on studying more general degrees – in management and Cinema/Television studies liking the breadth of people and methods of learning. 

I’m working in the professional Hi-Tech industry for almost 30 years in various roles – mainly technology and people management – as R&D, Product.  Worked in various company sizes from smallest startup to biggest enterprises like HP and Kodak.   Always had passion for technology, but not as a thing of itself – but as a tool for performing tasks, building things and bringing real value.  Always had an attraction to analytics and numbers – measuring the value of a business, providing hidden insights or just letting you know if the organization is on the right way. 

What are you working on, and what’s a key learning that you’ve had from it? 

In ByondXR, my recent venture – I’m acting as a CTO, but in a sense also acting as COO. I don’t just envision the new directions – I also make sure that the organization executes it and this way I stay very close to the processes & customers – seeing if our solutions and Tech really brings them the value we’re planning.

Recently we’re investing in spreading the word – letting more and more customers and partners onboard our Software – making it simpler and more friendly to be used by bigger crowds.   We’re thinking all the time how to take evolving complex Metaverse-like worlds (Horizons, Fortnite, Decentraland, Roblox and more) – and make the easily accessible for brand. Since they are all evolving and changing all time – we try to predict where they will go tech-wise and where our users will be in order to plan our resources right. 

Our key learnings were that we should help our brands perform well in every environment. Sometimes its better to have a simpler experience – but let them full visibility and ability to change, evolve and optimize it – and that can be WAY better then giving them a ping impressive elephant to stand in the middle of the room (or website) – and not be sure of what to do with it.   Novelty of new things can take a brand only to certain distance, after that you need to demonstrate long lasting repetitive value. And measurable one. 

If you had to give one piece of advice, what would you give? 

Don’t over engineer.  We’ve seen brands investing in the visibility of their stores so much, thinking it’s going to be visible like a physicial store. Forgetting that the mobile phone medium has different rules and that key point is how to keep the masses with inherent ADHD still focused and interested in more than 30 seconds.    We keep educating brands that less is more and virtual store has its own rules – but it sometimes takes time to understand.   It’s part of the treats of being in the forefront of technology and paving new UI/UX methods – its exciting as it is sometimes frustrating to explain new tricks to people who learnt all the tricks but on a completely different circus.

If you want to know more about Eran Galil, then click here to find out more. 

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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 weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.