Big News from Qualcomm, Apple, Meta, and Magic Leap

2023 is starting to ramp up as a valuable year for XR, following a slow start

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Published: August 4, 2023


Rory Greener

The second half of 2023 is looming. With it will come a new wave of announcements from XR and emerging technologies firms looking to wow audiences and get ahead of the pack heading into the new year.

Major immersive technology firms such as Meta and Qualcomm are gearing up showcase events highlighting recent marketplace innovations.

With the market kicking off with a whimper, not a bang at the start of the year, the tide appears to be turning heading into 2024.

The XR market appears healthier than ever as firms improve their understanding of the space and create targeted devices that suit a range of end-users.

XR products are evolving, and so are audiences. New products are coming, and it’s safe to say that the end of 2023 will breed XR confidence.

Qualcomm Release Q3 Earnings

Yesterday, Qualcomm released its Q3 earnings report, which revealed optimism towards its XR investments following a decline in smartphone sales.

During the call, Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s President and Chief Executive, expressed pleasure over the firm’s partnership with Meta to integrate the Snapdragon XR2+ chipset in the upcoming Quest 3 ahead of the Connect 2023 event in September.

Moreover, the firm highlighted further success via its Oppo partnership. Qualcomm aims to “drive the growing ecosystem of VR and MR developers in China,” with the upcoming Oppo MR Glass Developer Edition also featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+.

However, as the firm’s XR ambitions grow, it sees smartphone success dwindle. Qualcomm’s Q3 earnings revealed that its smartphone sales plummeted around 8.2 percent, perhaps due to weakening demand for smartphones in the Chinese market in what is seen as the worst-performing sales period in recent history.

The firm is undergoing restructuring efforts, totalling around $285 million, resulting in a series of redundancies with additional layoffs set to occur soon.

During the call, Amon also noted:

We are taking a conservative view of the market and will be proactively taking additional cost actions to ensure Qualcomm is well-positioned to deliver maximum value for stockholders in an uncertain environment

Apple Integrates AR AirTags for Vision Pro

This week, rumours emerged suggesting that Apple plans to introduce AR features for its upcoming AirTag 2 product, leveraging immersive visuals to help individuals locate misplaced items.

Trusted Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the AirTag 2 item tracking device will debut in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Moreover, Kuo noted that Apple will launch the AirTag 2 with Vision Pro compatibility, which is also due next year.

Kuo explained:

I believe that spatial computing is a new ecosystem that Apple wants to build, using Vision Pro as the core to integrate other devices, including AirTag 2.

Moreover, reports from last year highlighted how Apple added code to iOS version 13, which suggests that users will soon be able to find AirTags via AR visualizations.

AirTag 2 AR locational abilities will easily integrate into the Vision Pro MR framework. The AirTag AR features may also work with Apple iPhone devices, as modern iPhones have cameras supporting AR visuals. Perhaps meaning iPhone users could find their AirTag 2 devices via AR visual displays through a device’s camera.

Meta Connect 2023

Meta Connect officially introduced its event dates and partial line-up this week.

Between September 27 – 28, 2023, Meta and the firm’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, will likely look to impress following a busy year for XR.

The firm will look in-depth at upcoming Meta XR products, Horizon Worlds’ metaverse developments, emerging AI innovations, and hands-on opportunities for the company’s forthcoming immersive product portfolio. Additionally, the event will host sessions allowing attendees to learn from Meta’s community of developers, builders, and creators.

Meta Connect day one will start with a keynote with Mark Zuckerberg and a “Developer State of the Union.” Historically, these sessions hosted ground-breaking news, such as the firm’s rebranding.

Day two will feature developer sessions and product sneak peeks – most likely showing off the upcoming Meta Quest 3 MR device. Meta will reveal more details concerning the event as the date comes closer.

Horizon Refresh Refresh

The news comes as Meta plans to reinvigorate Horizon Worlds as the platform faces dwindling user bases. Meanwhile, Reality Labs is facing a mass loss in capital, pushing the Meta to drive new money-making opportunities via the Metaverse service.

Meta is achieving its new Metaverse goals by debuting Ouro Interactive, a production studio Meta established to support Horizon VR experiences and content.

Meta’s Ouro Interactive is focusing on creating first-party VR gaming experiences. Last Friday, Ouro debuted Super Rumble, a game the Meta-owned studio built for Horizon Worlds, leveraging the platform’s Metaverse framework.

Meta’s Vice President of Metaverse Vishal Shah said that the new studio and refocus on Horizon represents the “next generation” of the firm’s Metaverse service.

Meta is also releasing a mobile version of the Horizon Worlds service.

Meta’s mobile Metaverse application does not have a release date yet. However, according to reports, Meta has worked on the mobile service for the past year, but the firm is not yet satisfied with the application – delaying distribution.

Magic Leap 2 Powers New Mercedes Vision 111

Big automotive news this week.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker Mercedes-Benz is collaborating with Magic Leap to augment dashboards with its immersive goggles.

Magic Leap is introducing AR functions to the Vision One-Eleven Concept Car (C111), a new electric vehicle (EV) that leverages XR visuals.

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