Disney Releases AR-Enabled Short Film ‘Remembering’ Starring Brie Larson
This week’s major crypto moves, Disney’s AR-enabled short film Remembering starring Brie Larson, updates from Varjo and Magic Leap, and XR events in Somnium Space and Virbela.
An Eye on the Charts
Major cryptocurrencies held steady early in the week after another tumble at the end of last month. Toward the middle of the week, they saw a minor swell and fall before spiking late Thursday and early Friday putting BTC back above $21k and ETH back above $1.7k.
The trends were strikingly similar for a number of Altcoins, including IOTA, HBAR, and ApeCoin, with APE up a hearty 6% on the week.
Another Coin for the Watchlist?
The U.S. Treasury is reportedly recommending that the country issue its own “digital dollar.” The United States potentially launching a Central Bank Digital Currency, or “CBDC” has been a point of conversation in the crypto community for a while, but interest has been officially stirred by President Biden, who considers the issue a matter of national security.
Varjo Doubles Down on Cloud Solution
Finish XR headset manufacturer and software developer Varjo announced a $40M series D funding round. The funds are largely earmarked for software R&D, including Varjo’s Reality Cloud offering – an XR remote presence and collaboration solution.
The release also announced the appointment of Patrick Wyatt to Chief Product Officer. This is another Reality Cloud-focused move, as Wyatt’s new responsibilities largely consist of software and cloud development.
Magic Leap Opens Developer Portal for Second-gen Headset
Magic Leap has opened orders and launched the developer portal for the second generation of the Magic Leap Mixed Reality headset. The headset starts at $3,300 with more robust Develop and Enterprise packages available for $4,100 and $4,500, with the full platform expected to go live to users at the end of this month.
The headset features a number of software and design improvements over the initial iteration, but it is also more widely available and targets a (slightly) larger user base. The initial headset, which gained interest from casual users was targeted almost exclusively to enterprises, though it also saw use with exhibitors.
Disney Plays With AR
The short film Remembering, produced by and starring Brie Larson, launched on premier streaming platform Disney+. Fans can enjoy the film on the big screen just like any Disney+ offering, but it is also AR-enabled through an app that recognizes audio ques from the program.
The film is only eight minutes long, and the app is only available for iOS devices, but it remains a promising use case by the megacorporation. The AR component compliments the film, which was filmed using virtual production methods similar to those used to shoot other Disney+ projects like The Mandalorian.
Immersive Learning Research Network to Debut New Campus
The Immersive Learning Research Network, a group working to understand, implement, and improve education through extended reality, drinks their own champagne by hosting their annual gathering virtually on a campus hosted by the Virbela remote collaboration platform. Following a major update to Virbela earlier this year, iLRN is showcasing a new campus within the platform on Thursday.
Virbela’s update included new campus locations and an updated graphics engine, but it also implemented changes for clients like iLRN who create their own bespoke virtual campuses using Virbela’s software. So, while the tour of Virbela’s open campus was telling, there will still be a lot of new things to see for people familiar with iLRN’s virtual campus – or visiting for the first time.
Conferences and Exhibitions in Somnium Space
The Somnium Space virtual world also had a big week, including a live mixed-reality fashion show, and “the world’s first presidential candidate press conference in Mixed Reality.” Both the fashion show and press conference by Czech presidential hopeful Karel Janecek were enabled by TESLASUIT, a full-body wearable tracking and haptics product.
The Somnium Space virtual world also had a big week, including a live mixed-reality fashion show, and “the world’s first presidential candidate press conference in Mixed Reality.” Both the fashion show and press conference by Czech presidential hopeful Karel Janececk were enabled by TESLASUIT, a full-body wearable tracking and haptics product.