Bi-weekly update with the latest insights from the Metaverse: news, posts, creations, and communities.
Hey folks! Hope you’re keeping safe and your family is doing well.
The big news this week is that Roblox is going public. I believe it’s the first metaverse company that’s doing so. Some virtual universes are growing really big, and not just in the pure number of active users, also in the impact they are having on our culture. Games build communities around them, and as we move more of our lives online, they become an important part of our social and creative lives.
Ready Player Two also released last week. The first book was my tipping point to get into virtual reality. I read it and thought, okay, I love this idea and I want to contribute to making something like the Oasis, but decentralized. This wouldn’t be the panacea, decentralization only helps in removing full control from one single organization. We also need to consider other side-effects from platforms that take us further away from our physical bodies and the people around us.
On the news
Roblox is going public: Some companies go from 0-to-IPO in just a few years, and it was even faster in the Dot Com era. Now, some stay private for longer or just continue to persist until their moment arrives. That’s the case of Roblox, created way back in 2004. Usage was already soaring lately with kids, but the pandemic brought in a 68% increase in revenue this year compared to the year before. There are now 31M daily users and 18M created experiences. Those are staggering numbers. Onwards and upwards, hopefully pushing to a more open and decentralized platform. [Link]
Servo moves to the Linux Foundation: Some good news after the Mozilla layoffs that rid them of Servo. Why do we care about this? Well, there are fewer browser engines now, and they are all very old. Servo is a rethink of how a browser engine should work to become more performant. They implemented WebGL and WebXR to great success. Luckily the efforts will now continue. [Link]
Ready Player Two discussion in BigScreen: The sequel to the blockbuster book Ready Player One came out last week. To celebrate the launch, Ernest Cline, the author, will join Darshan Shankar, CEO at BigScreen, for a Q&A. Fictional and real metaverses coming together! [Link]
Depth sensing and Light Estimation AR in Chrome: An Origin Trial for the Depth Sensing and Light Estimation API is coming to Chrome for Android in version 87. This should give WebXR apps access to the same capabilities as native apps. Chrome is paying more attention to AR features than VR, but it’s still important work. [Link] [Link]
Notes beta is out: It’s a new node-based 3D code creator. You can basically manage the 3D hierarchy of your scene with nodes, which are like code blocks that can be joined up. To simplify things, it’s like a mix of Scratch and 3D node editors. It comes with an inspector too. I really want to give this a go and see if I can actually think about my code differently. I’m curious if a VR viewer would be helpful. [Link]
Interesting Meetups & Communities
Metaverse tours: There are different metaverse platforms and it’s hard jumping into one and getting the hang of their full possibilities. Virtualis is offering different tours to experience VR Chat. They have different options that act as an intro into specific aspects of the metaverse. There’s one around virtual currencies and another one to learn how to explore your virtual identity from inside VR Chat. It’s a great way to get into a virtual world and meet new people in a more accessible and comfortable way. [Link]
See you in 2 weeks!