AltspaceVR is no more, as Microsoft focuses on Mesh
The Immersive Wire - 13 March 2023 (Monday Briefing)
Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:
Headline: AltspaceVR is no more, as Microsoft focuses on Mesh (analysis below).
Stat of the week: South Korea commits $51m to support metaverse development (analysis below).
Trade mission: UK-based companies may be eligible for a mission to LA via a London & Partners programme.
Conversation-starter: I don’t typically share articles, but this piece on whether VR influencers can ‘save’ the metaverse is an interesting read.
Other stories: Spain boosted its investment into video games and the metaverse to €8m, Snap hosted an event for International Women’s Day called 8th of March, 8 women, and Samsung submitted a trademark for Galaxy Glasses (more below).
AltspaceVR is no more, as Microsoft focuses on Mesh.
The company had a great impact on the industry; by 2015, it created a complete social VR experience at a time when VR headsets were mostly tethered to PCs, and laid the potential for immersive virtual events. Microsoft bought the company in 2017, and the platform hosted a number of great spaces over the last few years. A personal favourite is Metaverse Safety Week, which is run by the XRSI.
How are metaverse events at the moment? Hard to say. The communities form tight groups where they congregate and meet regularly - valuable for companies that host platforms. But the actual number of users is perhaps not as high as companies wish; Meta or Pimax host events, but I rarely hear about a group that consistently meets up (save a comedy club and Educators in VR). I wonder if this will be a focus area for 2023?
Microsoft is shifting its focus to Microsoft Mesh and I am excited to see what will come out of it. In the meantime, let's raise a glass to how the team showed the potential of immersive events at such an early stage in the industry.
South Korea commits $51m to support metaverse development.
Compare this to Spain, which added a mere $8m to its budget. While some countries invest more into their future, others lag behind and risk the same issues we see in the EU, where chronically few people have digital skills to service demand.
Other notable stories
Got any stories? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
Before Your Eyes, a story-based game based around blinking, is now available for PlayStation VR2.
Guardians Frontline, a strategic sci-fi VR shooter, is now available on Quest 2 and SteamVR.
Niantic is launching Peridot on 9 May.
Pimax announced a 100% revenue share program with indie developers for the Pimax Store.
Samsung submitted a trademark for Galaxy Glasses.
Snap hosted an event for International Women’s Day, called 8th of March, 8 women.
Spain boosted its investment into video games and the metaverse to €8m.
SXSW is in full swing with its XR and metaverse track.
I asked VR film director Alex Ruhl, head of metaverse technologies at PwC, about the vibe of the show this year: “It’s so amazing to see the global XR industry alive and thriving in Austin this week. There is nothing quite like making new friends after experiencing a new virtual universe together 🔥”
Union Avatars launched the ‘choose who you want to be’ initiative to promote inclusivity.
Need some assistance from other readers? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
Helen Ponsford (Senior Programme Editor): The Economist is looking to speak to industry experts to research the agenda of The Economist's Enterprise Metaverse Summit taking place in London 27th - 28th June 2023. The event will help senior leaders build and benefit from digital twins to enhance productivity. If participating would be of interest to your company, please get in touch with Helen to discuss.
Linda Ricci is a senior executive and expert on XR. Recently ex-Meta, she is looking to join a team and leverage her XR industry network / supercharge growth through strategy, leadership and business development. She can be reached here.
That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. Have an excellent day!