Bi-weekly update with the latest insights from the Metaverse: news, posts, creations, and communities.
Hello hello! I’m a bit late this week. It’s been a really intense month with how hard Covid hit my family, so sorry about that.
We have a very interesting newsletter this week with great thought pieces and some very cool creations that I’m personally excited about. Facebook tends to be the main character of many of the newsletters, and normally not for positive reasons. It’s the case again this time.
Facebook has been surrounded by controversy and malpractices for years now and things are getting hot. Governments like Germany and the US are heavily pursuing these malpractices and going after their monopolistic tendencies. We’ll have to see how things pan out, but I sure hope this helps push for a more open Internet.
On the news
Facebook launching a cloud gaming reality show: A partnership with Genvid to launch Rival Peaks. It’s a Twitch Plays Pokemon kind of game where viewers choose the next steps of the game’s characters. Genvid is building the underlying platform for cloud games that viewers can also interact with. I think it’s a very interesting concept and I agree that cloud gaming shouldn’t just be about playing regular games from a server. [Link]
A-Frame 1.1 is out: It’s been 5 years since the release of A-Frame and they are celebrating with an awesome release. Proper Quest 2 and AR support are the 2 most prominent features. But it also supports some Oculus Browser specific features like hand tracking, immersive navigation, and compositor layers. I do hope these features reach other browsers, but Oculus has a bit of a monopoly in VR browsers. Also, make sure to check out their sleek new t-shirts that help support the developers. [Link]
Bloomberg writes about FB’s malpractices trying to kill competition: We’ve talked about this before in the newsletter, but it’s now reached mainstream media. Bloomberg wrote a detailed article of different accusations against Facebook from teams like Yur, Virtual Desktop, and BigScreen. Facebook has tried to copy and buy these companies to kill them and maintain a monopoly. Kent Bye recently released an interview with Cix Liv, ex-CTO at Yur, going deeper into these topics. [Link]
FTC wants to break up Facebook: The FTC and the Attorney Generals from almost all states make a call to divide Whatsapp and Instagram from Facebook. This is a big and bold move against Facebook. The claim is for monopolistic reasons and anticompetitive actions. They say that Facebook bought these companies to avoid competition. We’ll follow this case closely as it could have very big effects in the tech sector but might also affect Facebook’s crazy investment in XR. [Link]
Food for Thought
Finding love in online games: This has happened since the 80s, but Wired has written about this decades-old news that people can find community and even love online. The article is specifically around games, which is relevant to the metaverse. As we do more and more things online, and with issues like Covid, it’s understandable that we’ll establish relationships in this way. The main advantage is being able to meet people way outside your geographic boundaries and being able to share meaningful experiences with them. [Link]
Discussion around the meaning of Metaverse: Liv, from the Hubs team, started an interesting discussion on Twitter. She asked what Metaverse meant to people and received a diverse range of answers. There are comments about openness, connectedness, the evolution of the Internet… It’s well worth taking a look at the thread. [Link]
Culture creation in social VR: Jessica Outlaw is the best researcher around social VR. She writes very insightful posts based on her studies on how to create welcoming and caring communities in VR. Her last post is around creating culture. She goes over the different tools that will shape the culture and values of a community in general but are equally important in VR. [Link]
XR reality tools: The team at Scapic, recently bought by Instacart, just released a set of tools for 3D workflows. These tools range from creating mockups to managing your 3D files. It’s great to see XR companies sharing the XR tools they are building. [Link]
immersive-ar emulator: Ada is back with another awesome WebXR project. It’s an emulator for AR experiences made with WebXR. Most of us can’t afford AR headsets, so this is very helpful. It’s basically a VR experience of a room that can load up WebXR AR content. [Link]
Balenciaga made a cloud game to present their new collection: Now this is a first. Presenting a fashion collection via a game. And even more, it’s a cloud game. The launch was very successful in the gaming community. It was unexpected and pretty high-tech from a non-tech company. I love the innovation. [Link]
Jel is a 3D social document: Greg Fodor, previously founder of Mozilla Hubs, has recently announced his new project: Jel. It’s a multiuser 3D application (no VR support yet) that’s basically a 3D representation of Notion. People can create different documents, which are 3D worlds, and add content to those documents. I am super excited about this project. This is where most of my thinking has been drifting towards and Greg went out and built it. [Link]
See you in 2 weeks!