This Week In XR: Stability AI Raises $101 Million, VITURE Raises $10 Million For Wearable Hi Def Video

This Week In XR: Stability AI Raises $101 Million, VITURE Raises $10 Million For Wearable Hi Def Video

The post-Connect skewering of Meta continues unabated. The press was not impressed with the kind of Metaverse Meta showed us last week. It dominated the headlines for most of the week. No wonder Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he feels like he’s being punched in the stomach when he opens his phone in the morning. Meta can’t stop masking unforced errors, and its leaders live in a billionaire bubble, so it’s hard to resist piling on Meta while it is taking an historic business risk. Today, I’m relegating those “nattering nabobs of negativity” to the bottom of this column, in a new section, “This Week in Schadenfreude.”

Stability AI Raises $101M Stable Diffusion, an open source text-to-image AI program, announced a $101M seed round at Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco yesterday. You tell the app what you want it to create in text and it returns art, usually a mash up that passes. With this round, led by Coatue and Lightspeed Venture Partners, Stability AI should be able to pay its massive annual ~$50M AWS hosting fees for a couple of years. The investment values the company at $1 billion post-money. Stability AI’s open source system that has been downloaded over 200,000 times.

VITURE Raises $10M For Headworn Media Viewer The VITURE One XR Glasses are like a portable projector for your face that connects to a compatible smartphone, laptop, or game console. The HD OLED displays simulate a 120” screen. The Series A funding round was led by BAI Capital and Verity Ventures. It will help the company mass produce its VITURE One glasses.

Tilia Secures Strategic Investment From J.P. Morgan, Spins Out Of Linden Lab On Wednesday, Linden Lab announced the spin off of its proprietary finance engine Tilia.. Tilia’s solution, built for game, virtual world and mobile application developers handles payment processing, in-game transactions, as well as payouts to creators by converting in-world tokens to fiat currency including USD serving as the backbone of any functioning virtual economy. Oh, and JP Morgan is the world’s biggest bank. Last year Second Life generated $86M in revenue using Tilia. Now the two companies will share the revenue, which Tilia hopes to do with many other game worlds.

Shapeyard Raises $2 Million To Bring 3D Content Interoperability To The Metaverse The 3D modeling app for iPads compares with Blender, Maya, +3ds Max which are available only on desktop. The app is currently available in alpha stage on iOS.

Pico 4 VR Headset Review: Meta Quest 2 Has Competition​ Scott Stein of CNet took the new headset for a spin and concluded it’s pretty much the same, “a possible sign that standalone VR headsets in the next few years may see more hardware options. But it still may not be a better choice. At least, not for me.” The Pico 4 isn’t available in the US yet. Blogger Tony “Skarred Ghost” Vitillo took a even deeper dive at AWE Europe in Lisbon this week.

Dapp Radar Says There’s Almost No One in Decentraland or Sandbox, and according to The Verge and Bloomberg, it may be true. Decentraland, Sandbox Virtual Land in Metaverse Is Cheap and Very Risky writes Carly Wanna in Bloomberg. Decentraland has a $1 billion valuation but only 8,000 daily users says The Verge’s Richard Lawler.

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Rec Room launches “House of Terror” Halloween experience. Rec Room players enter “The House of Terror” through the all-new Haunt Society themed room. Haunt Society is a well-regarded directory of Haunted Houses. The experience itself is a journey through a maze which leads to an abandoned space station haunted by ghosts. ”House of Terror is both single player and multipalyer immersive experience that runs for a minimum of 15 minutes, and can be accessed by visiting Rec Room’s new “Haunt Society” room.

Valkyrie EIR armbands simulate muscle resistance in VR fitness games The company announced that it has opened preorders for Valkyrie EIR, a set of haptic armbands that provides unprecedented interactive resistance for the arm muscles. The armbands pair with EIR Training, the first VR training experience that takes full advantage of the hardware. The armbands will start shipping summer 2023.

This Week in XR is also a podcast hosted by the author of this column and Ted Schilowitz, Head of Future Technologies at Paramount Global. This week our guest is Caspar Thykier, co-founder and CEO of Zappar, an XR agency with several lines of business: Zappar.com, a no code web based AR content creation tool, and its smartphone HMD, Zapbox. We can be found here Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.

*NEW* This Week in Schadenfreude

It’s painful how hellbent Mark Zuckerberg is on convincing us that VR is a thing (Darrell Etherington/Techcrunch)

What If the Metaverse Is Better Without Virtual Reality? (Steven Levy/Wired)

Facebook’s Metaverse Is Apparently Filled With Mostly Empty ‘Sad’ Worlds (Zack Zwiezen/Kotaku)

Meta’s flagship metaverse Horizon Worlds struggling to attract and retain users (James Batchelor/GameIndustry.biz)

Meta’s $10B metaverse investment is ‘not enough’ according to Animoca Brands’ Yat Siu (Romain Dillet/Techcrunch)

UK Regulators Forcing Meta to Sell Giphy (Sara Morrison/Vox)

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