A recap of CES announcements, like an e-ink VR headset
The Immersive Wire - 9 January 2023 (Monday Briefing)
I analyse the metaverse every Monday, recapping the most important stories. Subscribe to upskill yourself, at the beginning of every work week.
Welcome to your weekly briefing on the metaverse. Here are your snippets to sound smarter in meetings this week:
Headlines: Sol Reader is a new VR headset that uses an e-ink display (analysis below).
Hot off the press: Apple may unveil its headset this coming spring, according to a well-trusted reporter from Bloomberg.
Stat of the week: The NFT market generated $24.7bn of trading volume across platforms and marketplaces in 2022, according to DappRadar.
Conversation-starter: Samsung and LG unveiled updates on its NFT integrations with smart TVs.
Other stories: Chipotle is using AR again, Mercedes Benz is working with Nvidia, and Sony is working with Manchester City (more below).
Community insights: 76% of Immersive Wire readers expect 2023 to be as economically weak as analysts expect.
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Will the Vive Elite XR sell well, when it ships in February?
Pokemon Violet is pretty janky, but I'm enjoying the adventure so far. Also, I assisted with a new Accenture report on the metaverse, distinguishing between the Internet of Place and Ownership.
HTC unveiled the Vive XR Elite for $1,299, with 110-degree FoV, 4K resolution, and a 90Hz refresh rate.
I've been hearing from CES that the passthrough is excellent. It has full-colour capabilities, and comes with hand tracking as well. Competitors like the Quest 2 or Pico 4 offer a lower-cost alternative with a robust set of features. The VIVE XR Elite takes a step beyond and offers a range of new capabilities in a light form factor.
Will the higher price hurt sales? Potentially, though the same critics may buy Apple's XR headset when it launches at a (potentially) higher price. Like the Varjo Aero, it's for the smaller slice of consumers who want the absolute best experiences. That won't be for everyone, but it will be suitable for enthusiasts.
Sol Reader is an e-ink VR headset that is under 100g, has 30 hours of battery life, and will cost $350.
Why? The purpose is for people who lay down in bed and flick through pages of a book, hands-free. Think of it as a way to read while lying down, in the dark, and flick through what you wish. As someone who shares a bed with a partner, I can see the benefits of reading without a light or torch. SadlyItsBradley noted that the resolution may need improvement.
Is it worth it? It's likely not for everyone, but I love the innovation. CES is always a hotbed for weird and wonderful tech. Much of it is flash with a thin veneer of absurdity, such as an oven that lets Twitch streamers show their cooking. But I'm all in for new ideas and differing applications, and I can see an e-ink display working well for a thin sliver of book readers.
Other notable stories
Got stories? Do let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.
AjnaLens launched AnjaXR with an immerisve learning platform.
BasedAF is a new production company specialised in the metaverse.
Chipotle will release a wellness-inspired AR Snapchat lens on ‘Quitter’s Day,' to reward 100,000 US customers with free guacamole.
Graffity launched two AR games using AR glasses, in collaboration with Qualcomm and Nreal.
Hero Zone announced that 20 new American locations have joined its platform.
MeetKai launched a sophisticated metaverse builder.
Mercedes-Benz is working with Nvidia to design and plan manufacturing and assembly facilities.
Octonic VR released v2.0 with more worlds, 400 treadmills support, and full integration with NoblePro among other updates.
ONTOP Studios teamed up with movie theatres by releasing two game arenas.
Outform found that 58% of consumer tech shoppers are willing to shop in the metaverse.
Treat the survey with a pinch of salt, but I wouldn't be surprised that more tech-conscious people are interested in it.
Raydiant offers a virtual try-on solution built by Zyler.
Recur unveiled an all-in-one platform to run web3 projects.
ROYBI unveiled its own metaverse platform.
Sony gave an update on its PS VR2 headset; it will launch with 30 games, and Gran Turismo 7 will receive a VR update.
Also, Beat Saber will be coming to PS VR2. The addition is no surprise, akin to saying that Angry Birds is coming to the next smartphone.
One more; Sony is working with Manchester City to make a metaverse.
TCL unveiled its RayNeo X2 AR glasses.
Turkey will use blockchain-based digital identity for its public services.
Vrgineers is working with IMRNext to release its new XTAL headset.
VRROOM launched a metaverse platform for performances and events. The company will launch an event with artists tomorrow, starring Maxence, Le Juiice, and WEB7.
Wave is working with Pico to develop a series of immersive concerts with a variety of artists like Calvin Harris.
That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Either reply to this email, or contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. Have an excellent day!