Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:
Headline: Only 13% of web3 founding teams include women, according to BCG X (analysis below)
Stat of the week: Meta has sold nearly 20 million Quest headsets to date, according to an executive (analysis below).
Conversation-starter: Meta reduced the price of the Quest Pro by $500.
Other stories: SXSW unveiled the new look of this year’s SXSW XR Experience World, and Xiaomi unveiled prototype AR glasses (more below).
Lethargic this week, which I am attributing to the brittle cold. I’ll also be speaking at Trust:Live on 14 March - perhaps see you there!
Meta has sold nearly 20 million Quest headsets to date, according to an executive.
We do not get sales figures on Quest headsets often, so it is good to see some hard figures peek out from the Reality Labs presentation on Tuesday. What's unclear is the make-up between Quest, Quest 2, and Quest Pro when it comes to sales, which would be fascinating to learn more about.
A roadmap was shown, too. We may get three new Quest headsets and a pair of AR glasses in 2027, paired with a ‘neural interface’ smartwatch. But plans change, and this may shift if budgetary priorities shift.
Web3 companies are not especially diverse, according to data from BCG X.
Further, only 3% of teams are all women; a staggering 87% are all men.
Why is this? Simone Berry, the cofounder of People of Crypto, attributes it to the predominance of men in the investing space, which then tweaks the types of teams they focus on. I agree.
I’m disappointed for many, many reasons; it’s a kaleidoscope of issues whichever way you look at it, but it becomes starker when you realise how young the immersive tech and web3 spaces are as well. We have a chance to start bigger and better than other industries, but seem to fail at the first hurdles. My advice is for teams to support advocacy organisations like People of Crypto, and to educate themselves by reading on the topic; my favourite book on why these trends seem to persist is Invisible Women, which is as relevant today.
As a side note, I have been musing about imagery and the metaverse recently.
Imagery shapes how we perceive a topic - which is why I am cautious about how we portray the metaverse. I've found that people visualise fleets of people docked in VR headsets, plugged into another reality and retreating from the real world. It's problematic. I believe it directly hampers how people see immersive technologies and the metaverse, and has a tangible (if untrackable) impact on its public perception.
What is the resolution? I personally believe we need to show how immersive technologies bring people together, and step away from shots of people gawping in VR headsets. Marketing and communications teams have a tough hand to play, as it is difficult to convey the value of something so nebulous and abstract. But I believe that images of people in VR do not help, when it is much wider than that.
Other notable stories
Got any stories? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
Blind Burners is launching a VR experience to experiment in 3D spaces through spatial audio.
brandXchange, a consultancy, announced that it has acquired health, fitness and leisure agency aim Content Marketing and Public Relations.
Deloitte and Vatom announced the launch of a new immersive experience platform that enables companies to build virtual spaces for their customers, partners and employees.
Flipside XR is launching a virtual production studio app called Flipside Studio.
FOV Ventures made a list of female founders building metaverse companies.
Disclaimer: I assist with FOV Venture’s newsletter.
Habytat announced that it will be launching AI-powered pets in the ‘metaverse,’ using a proprietary AI and machine learning engine that learns from and responds to each user as they interact with their pet.
Morpheus, a VR engagement platform, launched out of stealth.
Move.ai, a markerless motion capture app, launched in the App Store.
SXSW unveiled the new look of this year’s SXSW XR Experience World.
Xiaomi unveiled prototype AR glasses.
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.
Headonists, a UK-based XR community, is looking to compile XR-related events within a single calendar. The calendar itself can be found here, and the submission is 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!