🥽 Meta's Cooking Something BIG

Vision Pro Coming In These Countries, Quest 2 Price Drop and More

Good morning, folks!

Tim Cook woke up this morning wishing he hadn't. The United States has filed a blockbuster anti-trust lawsuit against the Vision Pro maker, saying they’ve monopolized the smartphone market by “locking in” customers and developers.

If this suit succeeds, the DOJ will force Apple to open up its products, which means we’ll see a more open ecosystem for the Vision Pro in the near future.

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 🧊 Meta Unveils A Crazy Object-Recognizing AI for VR

  • 🌍 A Job Listing Hints At Vision Pro Release In 3 Countries

  • ✂️ Quest 2 Prices Slashed To $200 (Plus A $50 Credit)

  • 💰 Meta Launches Multi-Million Dollar Fund For New Studios

Read time: 3 minutes

TOP STORIES

META

Meta Unveils SceneScript: An Object Recognizing AI For VR & AR Applications

Meta has unveiled a groundbreaking AI-enhanced AR glasses technology that could revolutionize how AR devices interact with the world. Through a recent demonstration, Meta showcased its Project Aria AR glasses' ability to recognize objects in the environment without the need for depth sensors. Watch the full video demo here.

  • Meta SceneScript: Utilizing Llama AI, Meta's SceneScript can interpret point cloud data captured by Project Aria AR glasses, identifying real-world objects like walls, windows, doors, and furniture. This is achieved through an English language text file that outlines objects or creates 3D renderings using bounding boxes.

  • Innovative Object Recognition: The technology allows for the creation of more complex geometries, providing detailed representations of tables, office chairs, and sofas.

  • Future Applications: While not yet available for consumer use on Quest 3 or Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, Meta's research into SceneScript offers a glimpse into future AR experiences. This could enable immersive augmented reality where virtual content interacts seamlessly with the physical environment.

This advancement by Meta highlights the potential for AI to enhance AR glasses, making them more intuitive and capable of providing richer, more interactive experiences without the added bulk of extra sensors. Plus, it can reduce the set-up time for mixed reality applications. For example, Meta’s popular ‘First Encounters’ game/demo where aliens land in your living room requires you to spend 4-5 minutes drawing boundaries around all the furniture in your room for a more immersive experience.

APPLE

Leaked Job Listing Shows Imminent Vision Pro Launch In Australia, China and Japan

Apple is gearing up for the Vision Pro's international launch, with recent job listings indicating plans to bring the mixed reality headset to Australia, China, and Japan.

The details:

  • Apple has posted job openings for "Briefing Experience Specialists" in Australia, China, and Japan, tasked with presenting Vision Pro to business customers.

  • "You will design and deliver demonstrations that present the capabilities of the product and its revolutionary new technology," the job listing says.

  • These listings, now removed, hint at Apple's strategy for Vision Pro's global rollout, aiming to engage more developers worldwide in anticipation of WWDC 2024 and visionOS 2 updates.

Why It Matters: Apple's Vision Pro expansion into key international markets underscores the company's commitment to establishing its presence in the global AR landscape. By targeting business customers and developers in these regions, Apple not only aims to increase Vision Pro's adoption but also to foster a robust ecosystem of apps and experiences tailored for the visionOS platform. This strategic move could significantly influence the development and adoption of AR technologies, positioning Apple as a leader in the next wave of digital transformation.

META

Meta Slash Prices Of Popular Quest 2 To $150: Suggests Quest 3 Lite Launch Soon

Meta has officially reduced the price of the Quest 2 to $200 for the 128GB model, marking another significant price cut for the headset. This adjustment comes shortly after the 256GB model became unavailable across various retailers, including the Meta Store. Additionally, purchasing the headset from Walmart includes $50 in Quest Store credit, effectively lowering the cost to $150 for those planning to buy standalone games.

The details:

  • The Quest 2, launched over three years ago, initially priced at $300 for 64GB and $400 for 256GB, received a storage upgrade to 128GB in 2021.

  • Despite the launch of Quest 3, Meta continues to sell Quest 2 as a more affordable option, recently reducing its price to $250 before this latest cut.

  • The Quest 2 is arguably the most successful VR device to date with over 20 million units sold.

  • Speculation is growing that Meta may introduce the cheaper alternative to Quest 2 very soon, possibly named "Quest 3 Lite" or "Quest 3S," featuring the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset but with older fresnel lenses to maintain a low price point.

Why It Matters: This price reduction strategy by Meta could indicate the Quest 2 nearing the end of its market presence, making way for a new, more affordable entry into Meta's VR ecosystem. It could also mean that Meta wants to clear the remaining Quest 2 stock before the launch of the Quest 3 Lite.

POLLS

Given the Quest 2 Is Now $150, which device would you prefer to buy?

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NEWS FLASH

META

Meta Launching A Multi-Million Dollar Fund For New XR Studios

  • 🎮 Meta announces a "multi-million dollar" XR development fund through Oculus Publishing Ignition to support newly formed studios with potential full title funding, targeting midcore and mixed reality games.

  • 🗡️ Meta extends the offer of including a free copy of Asgard's Wrath 2 with all Quest 3 purchases until July, a 60+ hour made-for-VR RPG.

  • 🚜 HARDI International leverages RealWear smart glasses to offer remote technical support to farmers, reducing downtime and intervention costs for advanced agricultural machinery.

  • 👓 The creator of Job Simulator feels validated by Apple Vision Pro's approach to VR, particularly in hand tracking, which aligns with their own long-standing focus in immersive gaming experiences.

  • 🎮 A PSVR 2 firmware update hints at wired PC VR support, potentially broadening its use beyond the PlayStation 5 and indicating a strategic shift in Sony's VR approach.

  • 🧟 According to Capcom's online statistics, only 100,000 players have tried Resident Evil 4's VR mode on PSVR 2, suggesting a small user base for the platform compared to its initial sales.

BOOKMARKS

Immersive Articles From The Web

  • The Short History and Long Future of Smart Glasses

  • FORBES: Why The Vision Pro Will Change The Way We View Concerts

  • Case Study: Selling Oat Milk with Social AR

  • 8 Ways AR Reduces eCommerce Hidden Obstacles

COOL APPS

GAMING

Angry Birds On Quest 3 Is Pretty Cool

  • Playing "Angry Birds: Isle of Pigs" in Quest 3’s mixed reality mode is a must-try experience.

  • Embrace the role of a virtual landscaper with Lawn Mowing Simulator VR, now available on Meta Quest, bringing the zen of lawn care to VR.

  • Cyan Worlds is bringing the classic puzzle game Riven, the sequel to Myst, to VR in 2024, promising an immersive experience with expanded storylines and breathtaking visuals.

  • Dive into the "Mobile Suit Gundam" universe with a VR interactive anime experience, "Silver Phantom," bringing a new story and immersive battles to Quest users.

  • Battle against a genocidal AI army in Soul Covenant, a VR action RPG set in desolated Japan, available next month on Quest, PC VR, and PSVR 2.

  • Experiment with Quest 3's impressive mixed reality relighting feature using Figmin XR, enhancing physical environments with simulated lighting and shadows.

WRAP UP

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Have a great week folks.

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