The XR Week Peek (2022.11.29): Meta’s spending mostly on AR glasses, Black Friday XR deals, and more! – The Ghost Howls

I hope all of you that are from the US have spent a great Thanksgiving! And to you non-American friends, that you did great shopping for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday 🙂
 Here you are the news of the week, in a condensed format.
It’s a common saying these days that Meta is spending “$10B/year for Horizon” or that “Meta’s goal is to close everyone inside its cringy VR world”. But these statements are very different from reality (pun intended).
 According to a report by Reuters, Mark Zuckerberg has performed a rundown of the company’s spending and from this, we can get very interesting data. For instance, we now know that 20% of Meta’s total budget is going to Reality Labs, the company’s AR/VR division. Of this money, 50% of the spending is going to the research & development of AR glasses, around 40% to virtual reality, and around 10% to first-party content such as Horizon.
 As you can clearly see, most of the money is spent on the development of augmented reality glasses, which according to Zuck, are coming “later in the decade”. So all the companies, like Apple and Niantic, which claim to be so cool because they are “not like Meta” and they are interested in “AR and not the metaverse”, are actually doing exactly like Meta. Because the Metaverse IS also AR… and probably, in the long run, IS MOSTLY AR.
 Zuck wants to dominate the next technological platform, which is augmented reality, and is spending more than $5/year for this. It sounds a bit scary.
More info
DPVR, which is one of the leading VR companies (especially thanks to its sales in China) has announced its E4 headset, which is devoted to PC VR gamers. The company has historically worked as a B2B company, but now is trying this consumer foray, exploiting the fact that it’s been a while since the release of the last good PCVR device.
 We don’t have many specs about it, because they will be actually announced at a dedicated event in China next month. For now, we only know that the screen is 4K, that it weighs 280g, and that it features a flip-up design. And we have a few pictures that show its design and which you can see here above.
 At least we know the price, though. The official price of DPVR E4 is $549, with early bird pricing available at $499 for the first 2,000 units purchased between Nov 30-December 31. Devices will begin shipping before Jan 15, 2023.
More info
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have just passed by, but some deals are still valid until the end of the month or of the week. So enjoy a collection of the best deals of Black Friday, and try to see if you can still seize some of these opportunities!
More info (Best XR deals for this Black Friday)
More info (Best 180/360 camera deals for this Black Friday)
More info (HP Reverb G2 still at $299)
More info (Star Wars Squadron free on the Epic Store)
According to some leaked benchmarks, the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s GPU is able to provide about 2.5x the frame rate of the 865’s GPU. Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is rumored to be the chipset over which will be based the new upcoming XR-related chipset, that is the XR2 Gen 2; and 865 is the chipset over which the original XR2 has been based, and that powers headsets like the Quest 2.
 This means that if the rumors are true, the next generation of Qualcomm-based XR headsets could offer 2.5x the graphical power of the current ones. This would be a huge jump forward for the performances of standalone XR headsets, which would help a lot in letting them offer better graphics than the cartoonish ones that can provide now. This would be great.
 Notice anyway that even this big jump wouldn’t be enough to reach the performances of the M2 chip that is rumored to power the Apple Reality One…
More info
XR analyst Brad Lynch has unveiled that MegaDodo, the company behind the DecaGear, has no offices anymore. This means that most probably all the project is probably no more, too. This is something that doesn’t surprise me, like, at all.
More info
After the change of the login system of the Quest from a Facebook account to a Meta account, the Quest could be back on sale in Germany. Meta, which has suspended the sales of the device because the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) was to initiate abuse proceedings, is now aiming to put the device back on German shelves before the end of this year (I guess they hope to launch it in time for the Holidays).
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MicroLEDs are seen as the most promising technology for the next generation of XR displays because they can offer high brightness and resolution in a very power-efficient way. So news about them are intensifying in this period.
 This week we got to know that Meta is in talks with LG and Samsung to talk about microLED supplies. And ITRI has announced a new type of MicroLED display able to deliver 20,000 nits and 2,000 PPI while consuming less than 1 Watt. This is impressive.
More info (Meta talking with LG and Samsung)
More info (ITRI Display)
A recent study has analyzed the effect of VR adult content on the sperm that men ejaculate. Yes, you read it well. And they didn’t even ask me to help them with this interesting research…
 It seems that the total number of motile spermatozoa in the sperm caused by the vision of VR porn is higher than the one caused by traditional means. Anyway, this holds true only if the person watching it had an abstinence period inferior to 58 h.
 Jokes apart, this means that VR headsets could be ideal to be used in sperm donation facilities or in hospitals where you need to perform a sperm analysis. Now I get all the attention of the community in the accessibility feature of having the experiences work using only one hand…
More info
In the recent trial in which Meta is trying to defend its acquisition of Supernatural’s studio Within, we were able to discover interesting things. One has been that Meta has thought about transforming Beat Saber into a fitness game. And the other one is that Camouflaj is currently working on a VR title involving Batman. We don’t know further info about it, but it sounds very cool!
More info (Beat Saber for Fitness)
More info (Camouflaj working on Batman VR)
A Redditor showed the interesting work is carrying on about transforming smartphones into VR controllers. Using ARCore, he’s able to get the position and rotation of the phone and so use it as a controller for VR content running on Cardboard. I think the idea is very cool… even if it comes now that Cardboards are dead.
More info
More info (Beers And Boomerangs)
More info (What The Bat?)
More info (Peaky Blinders VR)
More info (Half Life Alyx Levitation)
More info (Demeo)
More info (Broken Edge)
More info (InDeath: Unchained)
More info (Flight Attendant Simulator)
Google adds the possibility to see sneakers in 360° to Google Images
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Tilt Five launches The Lab, a place where you can find the applications for Tilt Five glasses made by the community
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Someone made a VR treadmill that when folded looks like a Taco
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The viral video of the week is this 3D billboard ad created by Meta. The video seems made in CGI to me, though
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Charlie Fink wrote a good editorial about the current status of virtual reality
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HitMotion needs you!
Please download our fitness XR game HitMotion: Reloaded from App Lab and give it a good review! We need the support of the community now more than ever! Thank you 🙂
Learn more
I heard you like Dilbert…
Funny link
Like last week, also this week in this final paragraph I won’t ask you to donate for my blog, but to the poor people that are facing the consequences of the war. Please donate to the Red Cross to handle the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine. I will leave you the link to do that below.
 Let me take a moment before to thank anyway all my Patreon donors for the support they give to me:
And now here you are the link to donate:
Support The Red Cross in Ukraine
(Header image by Qualcomm)
AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I’m not giving up: I’ve started an AR/VR agency called New Technology Walkers with which help you in realizing your XR dreams with our consultancies (Contact us if you need a project done!)
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I’ve tried the indie game “What The Bat?” and I’m ready to tell you why I found it very cool! What The Bat? “What The Bat?” is a game that immediately clicked with me since the first time I heard about it. I was reading some articles on Upload VR (as it happens every week) […]
Another week, another roundup of amazing AR/VR news! Let’s see what have been the most interesting things happening in immersive reality… Top news of the week Qualcomm and Niantic bet on the future of augmented reality with AR2 The biggest news of the week took place in the Hawaii islands, where Qualcomm had its Snapdragon Summit event. […]
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