🥽 Apple Vision Pro 2 CANCELLED

PLUS: Palmer Luckey Confirms New VR Headset

Good morning, folks!

The Augmented World Expo just wrapped up yesterday in Long Beach, California, after showcasing some exciting XR tech. Here is a quick summary of all the amazing AR and VR products demoed.

As one of the biggest expos in XR, we loved everything about this year’s edition, except their tagline, “You’ll feel spatial, we promise.” Seriously? Using "spatial" as a pun? That's way too on the nose. It’s like naming your VR newsletter 'The Spatial Edition' or something... oh wait.

 Joel Johnson, Founder & Chief Editor

Headlines for people in a hurry:

  • 🍎 Apple Hits Pause on Vision Pro 2, Focuses on Cheaper Headset

  • 🏗️ Meta Reshuffles Reality Labs: Metaverse and Wearables

  • 📱 Varjo's Teleport App Turns iPhone Scans into VR Worlds

  • 🕶️ Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey Working On New VR Headset

Read time: 3 minutes

TOP STORIES

APPLE

Apple's Vision Pro 2 Gets Put On Ice (For Now)

In a highly unsurprising turn of events, Apple is reportedly hitting pause on the next high-end Vision Pro to focus on something a bit more wallet-friendly. A Vision Air perhaps?

The details:

  • According to The Information, Apple has "suspended" work on a premium Vision Pro successor. Instead, they're going all-in on developing a cheaper headset aimed for release by the end of 2025.

  • This more affordable Vision is still set to use fancy micro-OLED displays but should weigh about a third less than the current $3,500 behemoth. Apple's apparently aiming for "high-end iPhone" pricing - think $1,000 to $1,600.

  • To hit that price point, Apple's courting new display suppliers in China. But at least one (SeeYA Technology) is reportedly struggling to meet Apple's exacting standards.

  • Multiple reliable sources have been hinting at this cheaper Vision headset for a while now. It might ditch the EyeSight display and use iPhone-class processors to keep costs down.

Why It Matters: Let's face it, what the world needs now isn’t a better Vision Pro, it’s a cheaper Vision Pro—one that doesn’t have the unnecessary added costs of gimmicks like EyeSight but contains the basic elements that make the Vision Pro fascinating. This decision lets Apple tackle two of the top three challenges of the first Vision Pro (cost and weight), and the third one will be solved automatically (lack of native apps) as the reduced cost will increase accessibility, which will convince developers that working on native apps can be profitable.

META

Major Shakeup At Meta’s Reality Labs

Courtesy: Andrew Bosworth / Meta

Looks like the leadership at Meta got confused by their complex org chart and decided to make things simple. Meta's CTO Andrew Bosworth just announced a reshuffle in how they're structuring their Reality Labs division.

  • Reality Labs is now split into two main groups: "Metaverse" (covering Quest headsets, Horizon OS, and Horizon Worlds) and "Wearables" (focused on AR glasses and Meta AI).

  • The goal? Creating a more seamless product experience across hardware and software. No more left hand not knowing what the right hand is coding, hopefully.

  • There's been some "rightsizing" (aka layoffs) as part of this restructure, though apparently nothing too drastic.

  • Interestingly, Bosworth claims their Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses have been "a much bigger success than expected." Could explain why wearables get their own division now.

Why It Matters: This restructure shows Meta doubling down on both VR and AR, but with a clearer division between headsets and lighter wearables. By bringing hardware and software teams closer together, we might see more polished, integrated experiences coming out of Reality Labs. It's also a sign that Meta sees a big future in AI-powered smart glasses, potentially even rivaling their VR ambitions. The metaverse may still be under construction, but Meta's blueprint just got a major revision.

VARJO

Varjo's New 'Teleport' Tech: Your iPhone is Now a VR World Scanner

Courtesy: Varjo

Ever wished you could just revisit that memorable vacation spot again without paying for a flight ticket? No, I’m not talking about iPhone’s crammed spatial videos. I’m talking about full-screen 3D VR video with immaculate clarity!

Well, Varjo's new Teleport app is making that sci-fi dream a (virtual) reality. This nifty piece of tech lets you capture real-world scenes with your iPhone and explore them in stunning detail using PC VR.

  • Varjo Teleport uses the magic of "Gaussian splitting" (for non-tech folks, it’s a fancy neural rendering technique that turns your scan into a photorealistic 3D environment).

  • The process is pretty straightforward: Wave your iPhone around for about 10 minutes, then let cloud servers chew on the data for a couple hours. Boom - instant VR world.

  • Right now, you'll need a beefy PC and VR headset to view these captures, but Varjo claims standalone headset support is coming.

  • Beyond just personal use, Varjo envisions this as a way for people to "teleport" and explore distant locations together as avatars. Virtual tourism, anyone?

Why It Matters: This tech could be a game-changer for easily creating photorealistic VR environments. Imagine real estate tours, preserving historical sites, or collaborating on architectural designs—all from scans you took with your phone. While it's PC-only for now, if Varjo can deliver on bringing this to standalone headsets, it could dramatically lower the bar for creating compelling VR content. The ability to capture and share our world in immersive 3D is getting closer to being in everyone's pocket.

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NEWS FLASH

COMEBACK

Luckey’s Back In The Game

Courtesy: AWE

  • 🥽 Palmer Luckey confirms working on a new VR headset, calling it "really cool".

  • 🔄 Meta is reportedly developing a tool to force Quest OS updates via PC tether.

  • 🇰🇷 Pico 4S receives South Korea certification, indicating an imminent launch.

  • 👓 Rokid’s new AR glasses eliminate the need for a phone with built-in compute module.

  • 🕶️ Hugo Swart from Qualcomm joins Google XR, signaling strategic shifts.

  • 📸 Xreal Beam Pro captures spatial videos and photos, enhancing AR experiences.

  • 🛒 Refurbished Meta Quest 3 available at a discount, offering a more affordable VR option.

  • 🎮 Somnium VR1 PC VR headset launching in July, promising high fidelity.

  • 🖐️ Leap Motion demos Meta's Ray-Ban glasses with new hand-tracking sensor.

  • 🚀 Quest Pro 2 development reportedly began in November, hinting at future enhancements.

BOOKMARKS

Immersive Articles From The Web

COOL APPS

SPORTS

Go Back In Time & Revisit Your Childhood Memories

  • 🌍 Wander: Travel back in time and explore the world with this fascinating VR app on Meta Quest, powered by Google Streetview.

  • 🏡 Escape Simulator Meets Powerwash: Solve puzzles and enjoy the new Powerwash DLC in this immersive escape room experience.

  • 🕵️‍♂️ Rogue Ascent VR: Engage in thrilling roguelike action with this VR game on Steam.

  • 🌌 Infinite Inside: Experience a promising mixed reality game releasing in July for Quest 3, Vision Pro, and more.

  • 🕺 Downtown Club: Step into a virtual dance club and groove to the beat with this VR app.

  • 🥊 Slap Fighter VR: Test your reflexes and compete in slap fights with this unique VR game.

UNREAL MONEY

FOLLOW THE MONEY

RetinaLogik Wants To Prevent Vision Loss With AI And VR

Courtesy: RoadtoVR

VR studio Another Axiom's breakout hit "Gorilla Tag" has just crossed the $100 million revenue mark, solidifying its place as one of VR's most successful games. This free-to-play multiplayer phenomenon has garnered an impressive 10 million lifetime players, with 3 million monthly active users and a staggering 1 million daily active users.

What's even more remarkable is the engagement level - players are spending an average of nearly 60 minutes per session, impressive for such a physically demanding game. The game's revenue primarily comes from in-game cosmetics, proving that simple social fun can be a powerful monetization strategy in VR.

Originally launched in early access in 2021, Gorilla Tag has seen exponential growth. It reached $26 million in revenue on App Lab before moving to the main Quest Store in late 2022. Now, it's the first Quest Store game to reach 100,000 user reviews, currently sitting at 115,000.

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Have a great week folks.

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