Happy birthday pong! The venerable Atari game turned 50 this week. Its storied history began in Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Through its many iterations, clones, and lawsuits, Pong remains an iconic and iconic video game. Because of its cultural influence, the game is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC
Meta schadenfreude seems to have fizzled out this week, despite being hit with a $275 million fine for breaching EU data privacy laws. The penalty, imposed this time by Irish regulators, brings total European fines to more than $900m since last year. Some analysts have suggested that the stock has been down so far, and it’s now a bargain.
Sony enters the Metaverse with ‘Mocopi’ motion tracking system Mocopi allows content creators to take pictures of objects wearing six motion-tracking bands. Capture can be used to move avatars in a game or in a simulation such as VR Chat. This will free V-Tubers from the constraints of time and location and enable real-time avateing of animations that can be used anywhere. Mocopi with six bands, $350. Important, on December 15th, Sony will release the Mocopi SDK to enable developers to integrate content captured with the Unity game engine and animation application/MotionBuilder application from Autodesk.
3D animation company Beyond Sports has been acquired by Sony for $70 million This technology, combined with previously acquired Hawk-Eye innovations, allows Sony to capture and translate real-time data from professional basketball, baseball, tennis and soccer games and turn it into animation. This will create a new spatial way to consume sports content that can be viewed at any angle, including on the field or in god mode, and share it with other users simultaneously. Sony calls this a “metaverse representation” of the game. We wrote about similar technology we saw in the lab in 2018. Analysts estimate the acquisition to be worth $70 million.
Common Ground raises $25 million for TrueSelf Scan creation app for iPhone. The application enables virtual video conferencing. Users can scan themselves, then invite participants to a meeting, where each guest’s avatar is placed around a virtual table, reflecting (via their computer camera) the facial expressions and body language important to each user. The round was led by Marius Nacht, one of Israel’s leading serial tech entrepreneurs and also includes Matrix Partners, Grove Ventures and StageOne Ventures, bringing the Israeli company’s total earnings to $45 million.
BeFake uses a stable spread to create different versions of you. BeFake is the first mobile app that allows you to use the latest model of artificial intelligence for face-stable posting. With a little help from artificial intelligence, which adjusts billions of parameters. Users can become cartoon superheroes, Renaissance paintings, or anything else. The app was developed by a team of three people – Alfred Woolfors, Florian Guengermann and Axel Backlund – in two weeks. I gave them a hard time charging the six bucks, but they say the app requires huge processing power, which creates a huge hosting bill. Look at that picture and tell me it wasn’t worth six bucks. You can find BeFake in the App Store.
BAE and Red 6 to integrate augmented reality into the Hawk Trainer If the company behind the new AR training for real pilots in real fighters gets any hotter, they’ll burn through this page. practically. BAE Systems and Red 6 announced at I/ITSEC in Orlando that they will “explore” the integration of the Red 6’s Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality Systems (ATARS) into the Hawk’s fast jet trainer.
Disney’s new neural network could easily change an actor’s age Disney just published an academic paper, Production-ready facial aging re-aging for visual effects Which shows how machine learning can be used to age or reduce the age of a performer in a motion picture. After, after Benjamin button and DeNiro’s de Ageing in irish I thought we could actually do that, and we could, but by applying thousands of man hours. This way, everything is automatic.
Mozilla acquires Startups Pulse and Active Replica, and introduces the Hubs subscription tier. Active Replica of Vancouver is a virtual events company specializing in custom venue design, event planning, live entertainment, and technical support. Active’s co-founders, Jacob Ervin and Valerian Dennis, are now Senior Engineering Director and Product Lead, respectively. Hubs is now offering a $20 per month subscription that gets you your own custom Hub that can hold up to 25 people, environments, avatars and themed packs, and 2GB of asset storage. Pulse, also based in Canada, provides automatic status update integrations for Slack.
Celebrating its first year as a “Meta-Versary,” Forever 21 launches its first ever physical-virtual crossover F21 Metaverse CollectionAnd the Features real hoodies and t-shirts that match the brand’s virtual offerings on Roblox. This limited edition F21 Metaverse Collection It will be available in stores and online, with products starting at $14.99. Producer VBG has also created the successful Metaverse experiences for Barbie/Mattel and most recently, The Voice!
Step into the ancient Egypt of Ramesses the Great with an impressive, immersive tour Beyond King Tut. The immersive exhibit, organized by National Geographic, features a virtual reality experience by City Lights called “Tutankhamun, Enter the Tomb,” which is experienced in the tactile Positron Chair. “The comfy chairs that twist, spin and vibrate make it almost impossible to believe you’re not actually floating through the entrance to the massive rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel,” said CNet reviewer Leslie Katz. More on how to see the show in Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco.
This week in XR It’s also a podcast hosted by this column’s author, Ted Shilowitz, President of Future Technologies at Paramount Global, and Ronnie Abovitz, Founder of Magic Leap. We can be found on SpotifyAnd the ItunesAnd the YouTube.
what we read
‘Extinction is on the Table’: Jaron Lanier warns of technology’s existential threat to humanity (Watchman)
What are all these “chief officers” actually doing? (Alex Fitzpatrick/Axios)
This week in Schadenfreude
The metaverse happens without Meta’s permission (Alex Herty/Queen Telegraph)