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By Tom Ffiske // 2 December 2020
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The ending of Ready Player Two plunges humanity into an existential nightmare. It's hilariously terrible.
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The Main Story
Let's talk about the holiday season. AR companies are primed to win big during the festive spending season. Marketing campaigns naturally suit casual browsers who shop online, with festive games that get people's bells jingling. (Editor: ... what?)

Additionally, shoppers want a more visual way to see products (one of many reasons that Flipkart bought Scapic a few weeks ago). Both are great uses of the technology. 

Some experiences are cute, but a tad gimmicky. ImagineAR created one where Santa can come into people's home, so children do not need to go to shopping malls where COVID could be a risk. Cute, yes, and it shows how AR is a safer way to participate in seasonal activities. But it doesn't have much commercial value beyond that. Remarkably, the team had a quote from Santa himself (alongside a video): 

'I'm an old guy, set in my ways,' chuckled Santa. 'Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll likely still use chimneys, too. But my ImagineAR™ elves have really outdone themselves.

(I almost expected Santa to crack open a Coca-Cola and wink at the camera). 

The most innovative ones step away from short-term activations. David Ripert, CEO and co-founder of Poplar Studio, agrees: 'With retailers and businesses affected by the pandemic, its use will be invaluable in allowing brands to engage with potential customers in ways that have become difficult in the face of regional restrictions. AR effects such as virtual try-ons and product visualisation will help businesses circumvent physical limitations of shopping in-person.'
Banjo Santa gives two thumbs up to capitalism. Photo credit: ImagineAR. 
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Other Stories
Got a news story? Let me know at tom (at) virtualperceptions (dot) com.

Varjo announced some new headsets. 
  • The XR-3 and VR-3 are high-grade headsets designed for enterprise customers. The focus is on resolution, to make it as realistic as possible. It also has the highest FoV across headsets. 
  • It's worth noting that Pimax just launched their '5K' headset as well.
  • Comparing Varjo to HP, HTC, and others is difficult, but what's clear is that the rate of innovation is incredibly fast. I have to wonder if enterprise customers will be okay with replacing headsets yearly?
  • Regardless, the headsets (on paper) look to be perfect for companies seeking to immerse people as much as possible, focusing on their eyes. 
6.4 million consumer VR headsets will be sold in 2020, according to Omdia.
  • Also, 45 million VR headsets will be actively used by consumers, who will spend $4bn on VR games and other media. 
  • Basically, the market will grow; just not quickly. The full report is worth reading. 
XR Safety Awareness Week is next week.  StoryFutures Academy has launched its debut podcast dedicated to XR. 
  • Hosted by Shehani Fernando, the StoryFutures Academy Podcast gives listeners practical insights into how narrative-led VR, AR, and MR experiences actually get made. Details here. 
  • Disclaimer: I have assisted StoryFutures with the PR of the podcast.
Want to see a physical game from the nineties as a virtual game? Super Nintendo World, a theme park, features an AR Mario Kart coaster.   Holoxica helps healthcare with 3D holographic system
  • Think of it as a little device that helps patients understand their condition. Neat
Want to be inspired about the Future of Work? A haptic suit launched on Kickstarter.  Want a free-roam cops and robbers game?
  • Consider Synthesis VR's COPS VS ROBBERS, a new kind of free roam for Quest, Quest 2, and PICO devices.
Fancy winning some Amazon vouchers from Innoactive?  MeetinVR and Wolf3D is partnering together.  Want to experience some space missions? 
  • Shuttle Commander allows users to take part in the Hubble space telescope missions first-hand with accurate recreations of the space missions, landing missions, and science missions.
What happens if you merge Kernal Flow with VR?
  • You get this, from Virtuleap. 
Finally, I am available for work. 
  • If you are looking for a someone specialsied in XR and PR/ content writing and strategy, hit me up! 
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That's all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Either reply to this email, or contact tom (at) virtualperceptions (dot) com. Have an excellent day! 

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