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Meta’s VR green garden, playing music & painting in VR and more from Lenovo and Snapchat

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Meta’s VR green garden, playing music & painting in VR and more from Lenovo and Snapchat

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Meta’s green garden in VR

Meta is going further with its metaverse plan, investing billions of dollars (10 billion to be exact) into technology advancements, specifically hardware.

According to new reports, Meta is planning to release four virtual reality headsets by 2024. These headsets, sources say, have high-resolution image quality that’s clear enough for reading text so that you can type emails or code within the VR environment.

Building in the metaverse continues and here’s a sample of the kind of experiences Meta is preparing for us.

Soft knitted robotic fingers from MIT CSAIL

Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have designed a robotic wearable comprised of soft pneumatic actuators*. Motion is powered by compressed air and the actuators are knitted with conductive yarn for sensing, allowing the actuators to “feel” what they touch.

The wearable is a critical step forward in a variety of applications such as assistive wearables, robotics, and rehabilitative technologies.

*Actuator is a device fitted on a robot which causes parts of the robot to move: wheels turning, arms rotating, fingers gripping etc.

Google acquires AR Microdisplay Hardware startup Raxium

Raxium is a five-year-old startup pioneering pixel technology with record-setting innovation. According to the company, the MicroLed technology that they are developing enables a new class of smaller and more powerful display products, ranging from augmented and virtual reality micro-displays to life-size panel-based light field arrays. And what they are building is 5x more efficient than anything available right now on the market.

Google announced the acquisition on May 4, saying that “Raxium’s technical expertise in this area will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts.” It looks like Google is growing into a strong competitor for Meta.

Image: Raxium.com

Snapchat is crafting stories in AR

Augmented Reality is not just for fantasy animals or engaging games. The social platform with the most advanced AR features is Snapchat. In 2019, the company announced it would invest $1 billion in AR content and developments. Recently Snapchat rolled out a series of AR features focused on enabling purchases in-app for brands and creators.

Another use for AR is storytelling. Snapchat partnered with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art to explore monuments and murals, representation, and history. In the clip below, you can see The River Once Ran, a Lens created by artist Judy Baca and Lens creator Holliday Horton.

Lenovo won 3 Webby Awards for its innovative AR campaign, MLKonMLK

There are 955 streets that bear Martin Luther King Jr’s name and Lenovo transformed all of them into an immersive experience to celebrate black history. The company partnered with the DuSable Museum of African American History and created the MLKonMLK AR campaign, an immersive educational experience that brings Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to every single MLK street using augmented reality.

Do you have a musical ear? Now you can play music in VR!

Making music is now easier with VirtuosoVR, the VR musical sandbox. Started in 2020 as a hobby project by Jonatan Crafoord, audio director on Angry Birds, LittleBigPlanet, and Minecraft, VirtuosoVR was released on Meta Quest, Rift and Steam VR in March 2022.

Discover your inner painter with Vermillion VR

We’ve seen VR use cases in entertainment, education, healthcare etc. Here’s another rather surprising use case for VR: painting, may it be as a hobby or for professional painters.

Vermillion is a VR oil-painting simulator created by Thomas van den Berge, a VR/AR developer. Vermillion started as an after-hours project during the first lockdown of 2020, where Thomas discovered the joy of painting through building a prototype.

 

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