AR/VR

Wave VR Concerts Put On Pause

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After five years of virtual performances, the company is pivoting away from music and art.

When Wave launched in 2016, it served as this incredible VR platform that brought people together through virtual entertainment. It merged VR with music to create these over-the-top VR performances impossible to re-produce in the real-world. It even caught the attention of Grammy winning artists such as The Weekend and John Legend, who both performed in VR via the music-focused social platform. 

In June of 2020, Wave announced it had raised $30 million in series B funding. Towards the end of 2020, Rolling Stone wrote a story stating that Justin Bieber, The Weekend, and J Balvin were in talks to potentially invest in the company. Wave CEO Adam Arrigo was also listed on Rolling Stone’s Future 25 list. 

Image Credit: TheWaveXR

Things looked incredibly bright and exciting for the “interstellar music festival.” 

Now, 15 days into 2021, Arrigo tweeted out a press release stating that the company will be shutting down Wave on the Steam and the Oculus Store in order to protect the future of the company. So, what changed?

Not seeing the VR adoption they were initially hoping for, the company pivoted away from immersive tech in 2018 in favor of gaming and live-streamed events because, according to Arrigo, “the VR industry didn’t develop as quickly as we’d hoped.” To his point, VR headsets still aren’t a household an item, even with more affordable all-in-one headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 now widely available to consumers.

Lindsey Stirling live performance // Image Credit: TheWaveXR

To make things more difficult, Wave built all of their user tools via Google Poly, which will soon be shutting down. Even with its superstar backers and $30 million fundraising, the company isn’t in a position to “spend the resources to build a new backend pipeline.”

Talking with VRScout, Social VR Researcher Michael Zhang said, “TheWaveXR served as the role model of what social VR concerts could be,” Zhang adds, “Their recent pivot is a harsh reminder of the difficulty of scaling social VR apps. I wish the team the best of luck!”

Twitter also reacted to the news of Wave shutting down their VR App with people around the world chiming in.

Wow sorry to hear this news but I’m sure it will be greater later

— Fokis 3.0 (@Fokeezy) January 15, 2021

I hope to see you guys return in 5 years or so. The day we can have live artists wearing headsets at home and using consumer cameras for their mocap, with spatial audio, and better visuals, is the day this becomes a serious space.

— DarthBuzzard (@DarthBuzzard) January 15, 2021

my favorite app on VR I am absolute crushed reading this Thank you for the awesome times and wonderful community. I have met some talented people there that have inspired my career in 3D art so much. With that said, I cannot wait to see what you guys bring in the future

— smashotakustv (@VickyBooo) January 15, 2021

This is the app that got me into VR. Still my favorite app. It’s sad to read this but I wish you guys the best of luck. Thank you for the good times.

— Edgar Lopez (@EdgarJLopezXR) January 15, 2021

In a tweet from Lucas Rizzotto, he points out that the company focused more on established stars rather than focusing on the community; instead of empowering users, they were empowering the industry. Rizzotto goes on in another tweet saying, “It went from being this crazy, forward-thinking social platform to a studio big companies hire to do a cool livestream every now and then.”

While this news marks a significant loss of for the immersive industry, it doesn’t mean VR is dead or it’s not a hit. It just may take a little longer before people and industries can figure out the best way to use it. 

So what is next for Wave? Are they abandoning VR shows for good? Arrigo says, “VR shows will come to a pause,” and says they hope to someday be able to revisit this and bring it back in an even more evolved form. 

Obviously the company plans on moving forward in some shape or form. They are still a startup with funds and Arrigo seemed very optimistic about the companies next chapter.

Image Credit: TheWaveXR

The post Wave VR Concerts Put On Pause appeared first on VRScout.

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/wave-vr-concerts-put-on-pause-600491ed9d8fae23235d4e12?s=rss

AR/VR

The VR Game Launch Roundup: A Race to the Top

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VR Game Roundup

Normally VRFocus’ Friday roundup of videogames to come doesn’t include today, but with slim pickings next week it was necessary to take some artistic licence. Even so, here are five virtual reality (VR) titles set to launch in the coming days.

Arden's Wake

BoomBox – Cyberspline Games Inc

Ok, so BoomBox is the first of two titles that are actually launching today. A rhythm-action experience by Cyberspline Games Inc hitting Steam Early Access, grab those digital drum sticks across 16 songs plus there are a further 100 pre-cleared songs for users to create their own maps using the editor.

Arden’s Wake – Penrose Studios

An animated short from Penrose Studios, Arden’s Wake features Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider, Ex Machina) and Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) as the voice cast. Already an award winner picking up the Lion for Best VR at the Venice Film Festival, Arden’s Wake is the story of a young woman who embarks on a dangerous journey in a post-apocalyptic world.

Z-Race

Z-Race – XOCUS

For adrenaline fans who love to hurtle around futuristic tracks really fast, XOCUS’ upcoming Z-Race looks to be all that and more. Another Early Access title, Z-Race features 10 anti-gravity racers and 12 tracks across four terrains and an asynchronous global multiplayer mode.

Stargaze – Played With Fire

A relaxing puzzle title set among the stars, Stargaze originally launched via Steam for PC VR headsets and now it’s Oculus Store’s turn. Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s early 20th-Century novella The Little PrinceStargaze is an interstellar journey where you play an astronomer observing life on other planets, each one a puzzle to solve using your telescope.

The Climb 2

The Climb 2 – Crytek

Time for the big VR title of the week, Crytek’s The Climb 2. Originally slated for a 2020 launch on Oculus Quest 2, this sequel will have you clambering up mountains and the side of buildings in no time. Alongside new maps are new features likes dynamic objects such as ropes and ladders that react to your weight.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/02/the-vr-game-launch-roundup-a-race-to-the-top/

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Connections and inspirations between science fiction, tech, and games

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Dean Takahashi, Ramez Naam, and Tim Chang talk about the connections and inspirations between science fiction, tech, and games.Read More Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/02/26/drawing-the-connections-and-inspirations-between-science-fiction-tech-and-games/

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How Do Consumers Feel About AR Shopping?

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AR continues to prove itself as a shopping tool. It can help consumers visualize products on “faces and spaces,” to make better-informed decisions. This is amplified during a pandemic when it can bring back some of the product essence and dimension that’s lost in retail lockdowns.

On the “sell side,” AR likewise resonates with brands and retailers. On one level, it appeals to their creative sensibilities — erstwhile stuck in 2D media — to demonstrate products in their full 3D glory. On a more practical level, they’re seeing real results from AR-based campaigns.

All of this continues to be validated in case studies and figures we track from AR-forward eCommerce leaders like Shopify. In fact, we recently rounded up several AR shopping performance metrics in a Data Dive article like this one. These proof points continue to roll out.

To continue that narrative, another angle to the story needs to be told. Beyond performance metrics in the aggregate, how do consumers actually feel about AR shopping? Are they asking for it? Are they comfortable with it? Answers to these questions can help to extrapolate demand.

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Temperature Reading

Jumping right into the data, we’ve rounded up several data points that indicate consumers’ sentiments towards AR shopping for this week’s Data Dive. Here they are in no particular order.

– Accenture reports that 50 percent of consumers have better brand recall through immersive ads, and 47 percent say they feel more connected to products.

– Nielsen reports that 51 percent of consumers are willing to use AR for shopping, scoring higher than other emerging shopping technologies such as retail self-checkout (44 percent).

– Hubspot reports that 75 percent of shoppers expect AR experiences from retailers.

– Snapchat reported a 2.4x lift in consumer interest for shoppable AR lenses during Q3 2020.

– A Harris Poll survey on behalf of Threekit reports that 60 percent of U.S. adult respondents who shop online are more likely to buy products shown in 3D or AR.

– A GetApp survey reports that 65 percent of consumers surveyed are comfortable using AR as a shopping tool.

According to consumer research firm, Gfk, 68 percent of consumers are familiar with AR shopping and 25 percent plan to use it in the next year. This scored higher than other emerging shopping tools such as smart speakers (23 percent) and subscription services (21 percent).

– In a survey from IoT software company Arm, 58 percent of consumers say they’re extremely or very likely to buy AR devices designed for everyday use such as shopping. The figure shoots up to 79 percent for respondents aged 16–24.

According to Parks Associates, consumers familiar with AR prefer it for price comparison overlays ( 48 percent) and product reviews ( 39 percent).

– Lastly, consumer survey data from our research arm, ARtillery Intelligence indicate year-over-year growth in both current and aspirational use for mobile AR shopping (click charts to expand).

Exposure Effect

The data points above have a range of sample sizes, survey wording and focal points. But there’s a directional trend towards comfort and demand for AR shopping. That includes “faces & specs” visualization as well as visual search to contextualize products with one’s smartphone.

Acclimation to AR shopping will also accelerate as Snapchat continues to cultivate rear-facing camera lenses. This shifting use case could bring Gen-Z shoppers with it — offering a broader canvas for a wider range of products, beyond sunglasses, lipstick. and other selfie fodder.

Lastly, to circle back to an earlier point, the value that AR adds to e-commerce is evident in normal times. But it takes on new meaning during Covid-era retail lockdowns when the value of visualizing products remotely is amplified. It brings some dimension back to shopping.

That dynamic is clear, but it’s unclear what will happen next. Will the tools discovered during this period create permanent habits through a “ mere exposure effect?” If so, it could bode well for AR’s sustained use in a post-Covid world, and its continued rise as a shopping utility.

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How Do Consumers Feel About AR Shopping? was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: https://arvrjourney.com/how-do-consumers-feel-about-ar-shopping-892ab2eb6855?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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VR Fitness May Soon Be More Accessible

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