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The European Parliament, cryptophones, and the metaverse

VR/AR and metaverse analysis every Wednesday and Sunday // 29 June 2022 

If you are in London, come along to the networking and launch event for my latest report, The Marketer’s Guide to the Metaverse. See you there! 

Can you call a centralised bank with a cryptophone? 

The European Parliament‘s think tank explored the risks and policy implications of the metaverse. 

  • In summary, it is keeping a close eye on it in regards to merger regulations and antitrust laws, while being wary of ownership and data protection. 
  • No surprises, but it does highlight how the EP is following the right threads of discussions. While companies are ironing out what it actually is, it is interesting to see that it wants to mitigate the potential for harm, fraud, and illegal activities. 
  • It focuses on the right areas, though it feels like it is more ‘monitoring’ than taking an active role. The language is more on “what if” rather than “what now.” I wonder if the think tank’s report will spur action in Brussels this year. 

HTC unveiled a new phone, and its perks relate to the VIVE Flow and NFTs. 

  • To grossly summarise, the HTC Desire 22 pro is a midrange mobile which can power the VIVE Flow, and can also hold/buy NFTs via the VIVERSE. 
  • The business strategy makes sense, in that it ties into HTC’s wider ecosystem. I also found it interesting that the main focus of the press release is its integration with VIVE Flow, almost like an accessory. I wouldn’t buy one strictly for the other, but it does make sense for HTC to make the connection. 
  • Its not the only ‘cryptophone’ either. Solana is making its own as well, aiming for early 2023. I understand why having a wallet on a phone makes sense, but I wouldn’t personally buy a dedicated phone for it. 

KPMG is investing $30m into web3, centralised around its hub

  • Like Accenture and McKinsey, it sees an opportunity to assist clients with their web3 strategies, and is investing in itself to provide the necessary skills. 
  • I am curious about the web3 training, and curious to see where they focus. The long-term view is on retail, healthcare, media etc, but let’s see how that narrows down over time. 
  • More generally, I am interested in seeing where the ‘experimental’ phase of agencies and consultancies go. The sheer variety of web3 and metaverse experiments going on is incredible, but it won’t be relevant for all areas at once. Signs point to retail, fashion, and gaming as early winners – but long-term, it’s hard to say. 

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

The Metaverse: A Professional Guide

As summer comes along, consider an easy read for the weekends. The Metaverse: A Professional Guide sorts the sense from the nonsense, giving experts insights and guidance on how to navigate the burgeoning world of immersive technologies. By the end, you will have a firm grasp of the metaverse and all the contingent technologies that link to its foundations.

Available in all regions. 

New appointments, new Apple rumours 

Want to see your story here? Reply to this email, or contact tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com. 

  • 501 Entertainment announced that they have signed a worldwide distribution deal with SEGA Amusements International.
  • Apple‘s XR headset will use the M2 chip, according to Bloomberg.
    • (Which is a bit like saying that flour will be used to make bread). 
  • Bridgeman Images has selected Emperia to bring its image archive to the metaverse, in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
  • Darabase partnered with Paramount+ for the UK launch of their new streaming service. 
  • ENGAGE XR announced that HTC and The Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University are confirmed as launch partners of ENGAGE Link.
  • Kayo Games launched an AR experience on the Boeing 737 MAX and MCAS.
  • Metaphysiks received $2m in funding to support advancements in life-like bodily stimulation.
  • Peter Graham is looking for a new role, after editing VRFocus and GMW3. 
    • He is a writer I greatly respect, and is looking for new work after a sudden change at the publication. 
  • Pi Labs published a report on real estate and the metaverse, called ‘Unreal Estate: Metaverse, extended reality and the future of our physical world’. 
  • Rome is doing a VR bus ride to show its history
    • I initially thought it was dumb, as you are in the city itself anyway, But with the transposition of the past over the view, I can see its merits. Then again, the motion sickness… 
  • SINGER STUDIOS will release the story of THE PIRATE QUEEN for the Meta Quest 2. 
  • Vatom announced two new appointments in its leadership team: Vicenc Marti joining as Managing Director of Vatom Europe; and Steve Machin taking on the role of Global Director of Entertainment. 
  • The State of AR/VR survey is live. Share your views on the popular AR/VR tools, platforms, and technologies in return for a chance to win prizes.*

*Sponsored link from SlashData. 

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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.