Fifth Annual Snap Lens Fest and New Launches From Ready Player Me and Blippar
Our eye on crypto charts, continued fallout from the FTX collapse, the U.K. exploring crypto regulation, and news briefs from Lynx, Ready Player Me, the XR Association, Snap Lens Fest, adidas, Blippar, Meta, and the Augmented World Expo.
An Eye on the Charts
BTC and ETH both saw a nice little spike in the middle of the week, only to lose those gains. Bitcoin plateaued for a while before falling off again later in the week, while Ethereum saw a more consistent downward trend. Both have leveled off somewhat, slightly below where they were this time last week: Bitcoin trying to break $17k and Ethereum in $1.2k territory.
Most other coins and tokens saw a similar pattern, with most ending in the red — if slightly. One exception is the Uniswap token. While that token has seen ups and downs over the week, it remains higher than prior to last week’s announcement that the project will support NFTs. Polygon’s MATIC token failed to hold onto gains that it made after announcing support on the Phantom crypto wallet.
An Eye on the Fed
Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Sam Bankman-Freid and FTX. No, not for that. Well, yes for that, but also for market manipulation over Terra USD and Luna. In case you’ve already forgotten those dead names in the most recent bout of destruction, collapse of those coins led to the massive market downturn and increased federal interest in crypto that started this spring.
We don’t yet know for sure whether FTX deliberately rugging other projects caused the current state of crypto, but if that is the case, SBF might be the single greatest destroyer of wealth since … who even knows.
An Eye on the King
To cast a sidelong glance at someone else’s fed, the United Kingdom is reportedly closing in on its scheme for crypto regulation. Why do we care on this side of the Atlantic? At this relatively early stage in the game, America is still sorting out its own policies and is likely to be keeping a close eye on the U.K.’s work.
What’s more, President Biden has shown intense interest in a Central Bank Digital Currency — which is also a long-time aspiration of Britain’s new Prime Minister, who had previously been the Queen’s top finance man. For those skeptical of a CBDC, it’s easy to imagine Grandpa Joe and Rishi Sunak drinking tea and talking about banning cryptos in time to launch their own.
Announcements in XR
- The Lynx XR headset is shipping pre-orders shortly. The price is going up for non-pre-orders “due to the rise in cost of the components.”
- Ready Player Me launched a Studio for partners to have even more avatar customization options.
- The XR Association published results of a survey on immersive tech in education.
- The Fifth Annual Snap Lens Fest was held this week. Highlights include updates to physics meshes in Lens Studio, a new “Lensathon” and the second installment of their awards ceremony.
- Snap also held a “fashion drop” with adidas. The partnership brings new branded Bitmoji fashions. Snap’s bitmoji avatars can appear as AR elements in Snapchat as well as being used in other applications through various APIs.
- WebAR platform Blippar launched a new “documentation Centre” where users can quickly access information and education on building using their suite of tools.
- Meta’s newest Quest update brought a slew of new features including an avatar mirror in the Horizon Home, a reorganization of the mobile app, and mixed reality capture for the Quest Pro.
- For those of us not yet rocking a Quest Pro, this update is mainly interesting in that it allows us to see what MR on Quest Pro looks like via new recording capabilities for those that are making content with the advanced headset.
- The deadline is drawing near for applicants to AWE’s XR Prize Challenge. Also, AWE 2023 is scheduled for May 31 through June 2 in good old Santa Clara.