News of the week: Metaverse progress and a Quest 2 challenger

Image: Epic Games

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Flashback to the future of computing: Meta, Sony and Epic Games are pushing their own Metaverse strategies while Pico wants a bigger slice of the VR pie.

Sony joins Epic for the Metaverse, Horizon Worlds expands

A man has a digital grid on his face projected by an iPhone.  Above, his facial expressions are transferred to an avatar to the right of the image, an older dark-skinned man with a thick beard and curly hair.  He smiles.

Epic’s Metahuman Creator Can Generate Near-Photorealistic Avatars | Image: Epic Games

In April 2021, Epic Games released the “Metahuman Creator” digital human builder for photorealistic avatars. It may have the Meta in its name and the potential Metaverse in its code, but it has nothing in common with the Meta company.

On the contrary: Epic boss Tim Sweeney has for years been one of the biggest critics of Facebook, aka Meta, in the context of virtual reality and augmented reality. He’s repeatedly warned that Mark Zuckerberg’s company shouldn’t master the Metaverse on its own – and is therefore tinkering with its own Metaverse strategy. In addition to a tool like the Metahuman Creator, Sony, which bought more than a billion from Epic Games, could also play an important role in this regard. Together, Sony and Epic Games are well positioned for the future of Metaverse.

As good or maybe even better than Meta? In any case, Zuckerberg’s company announced this week the expansion of the 3D VR world Horizon Worlds on the web. Smartphones should also be provided, consoles could follow. Meta has been criticized by Apple, among others, for wanting to grab more than 50% of the revenue generated from the creation of Metaverse – although Meta has harshly criticized Apple’s 30% share of the App Store in the past.

>> Sony invests $1 billion in Epic Games

the future of computers now!

🥽💧 Glasses leak at Meta: the first high-end AR glasses should arrive in 2024
🔧🎮 Developer earns $10,000 a month from VR mods
🤖🎓 AI tutor drives more people to graduation
🦯👥 PeopleLens: AI and AR support blind people
🤖📱 Amazon’s astro robot in first tests
📸🥽 innerGallery is a good VR photo gallery app for Quest

🥽 of the week: Pico Neo 3 Pro launched with B2C in the West

Woman with Pico Neo 3 and hand tracking kit

Image: pico

Bytedance (TikTok) now wants to make Meta more competitive in VR: The Pico Neo 3 Pro standalone VR glasses are coming to the West and even support hand tracking with an additional module. The Pico goggles are a bit behind the Quest 2 competition – but the successor model is said to be in the planning stages.

>> Pico Neo 3 Link: Pico relaunches the Neo 3 Pro VR glasses for individuals

DEEP MINDS #7: AI inspired by the brain

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are pushing today’s computers to their limits. Do we need new brain-inspired computers? We chat with Laura and Julian about how the “neuromorph” enters neuromorphic computing, how the field came about, what goals it pursues, and how AI can advance it.


The DEEP MINDS KI podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, Soundcloud, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or via RSS feed. New episodes appear approximately every two weeks.

MIXEDCAST #294: Moss 2 and the perfect VR glasses

Moss 2 proves once again that VR gaming is underrated and great genres are underrepresented. Ben has been going through Moss 2 non-stop and, as usual, goes into great lengths about why the diorama and tabletop VR are so great. Also: why and why the Playstation VR 2 could be a revelation (with a catch) – the two clarify this in the MIXEDCAST conversation.

The podcast is available on YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, in the Google Podcast app or as an RSS feed.

A few 🤗 to finish

Image: IEEE Spectrum / Alexis Block

The HuggieBot robot gives hugs. The latest version now learns the intricacies and preferences of human hug experts.

>> The HuggieBot and the 11 commandments of a cuddly robot

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