The Metaverse continues to grow
Bi-weekly update with the latest insights from the Metaverse: news, posts, creations, and communities.
Hello! Welcome to another newsletter. It’s starting to feel like Spring here in Madrid. Trees are regaining their colors, sunny days are frequent and lower temperatures no longer require Artic coats.
Some very interesting things have popped up these last few weeks. Rec Room is starting to become pretty big and Microsoft is getting into XR services. Another exciting WebXR application launched. And there’s a very interesting essay about our freedom to decide our avatar’s form.
On the news
Hack Week at Mozilla Hubs: The Hubs team organized an internal hackathon to experiment with different features. They recently shared the outcome and it’s very interesting indeed. There’s an easy-to-use avatar creator, a way to use your webcam feed instead of your avatar, and a 2-way link into Zoom. I’m just happy to see that Hubgs continues to evolve and improve at a fast pace. [Link]
VTubers now do virtual concerts: VTubers are a big trend, especially in Japan. And now they are jumping into the virtual concert bandwagon. Virtual events have big pros that just aren’t possible in physical events. The kind of spectacle you can organize can be truly magical, and more and more influencers will start experimenting with them. Even virtual influencers. [Link]
Wonderland Engine moves to a royalty model: It’s a whole engine to build WebXR applications. I’ve talked about it in a previous newsletter. They just moved from a subscription model to a royalty one. I think this is the right approach for developers to decide to test out the engine and play around with it. [Link]
Microsoft Mesh to build multi-user XR applications: It’s a new Azure service that supports all the necessary ingredients for a multi-user application. Things like spatial voice and cloud-based asset management. It also provides a common avatar system, which means that you can use the same avatar on all applications that use Mesh. [Link]
Rec Room reaches 2M creators: This is a huge milestone. 2M people creating rooms and objects. And there’s now a way to monetize those creations. Shawn from Rec Room indicates that this success comes from Rec Room supporting all platforms, including mobile. It’s becoming a very powerful universe with a lot of content already. [Link]
Food for Thought
The rise of Avatarism: Greg Fodor, from Jel, has posted an essay on Avatarism. A concept he defines as a movement to protect Freedom of Form. This can be applied both to your physical appearance to your digital appearance as an avatar. But the key for this movement is that digital avatars are way easier to create and modify. More and more applications and platforms will have a 3D environment and XR headsets become the entry point to them. This increases the importance of our virtual representation. Greg explains in detail the implication this entails. How does my freedom to project the appearance I want affect others freedom to see what they see fit. [Link]
City of Mementos: Dani Gatunes has used his voxel framework to create a 1km2 city in WebXR. It’s full of colorful buildings that you can easily get lost in while in VR. The interesting feature is that people can leave audio messages for others to find. These kinds of experiences are right up my alley. I sure had fun exploring. [Link]
Interesting Meetups & Communities
WebXR Awards: They happened a couple of weeks ago with watch parties on multiple platforms, including Hubs. Check out Kent Bye’s thread outlining all the winners and nominees. Congratulations to everyone and thanks for your great work.[Link]
See you in 2 weeks!