Big XR News from Lenovo, Meta, Apple, and Glartek

Major movements are occurring in the XR space, could April be big for XR?

XR Big News
Mixed RealityNews Analysis

Published: April 5, 2024


Rory Greener

The Easter holiday period sees the world pour millions towards chocolate eggs. The XR egg is similar; however, audiences and firms spend millions annually to promote and distribute immersive solutions in order to crack the industry and reach a paradigm-shifting moment.

While the world sleeps during holiday periods, the XR world does not. Continuously, the XR gears turn as major firms are introducing or doubling down on creating enterprise-facing immersive solutions.

With 2024 already deep underway, new products are upcoming. Industry leaders are responding to the booming market with rich investments for inventive solutions.

VirtualSpeech joins Snapdragon Spaces in Global Distribution Goal

This week, VirtualSpeech was launched on Lenovo VRX and the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer platform, allowing the firm to reach a new group of users via Qualcomm’s growing comprehensive suite of enterprise XR tools.

Sophie Thompson, the CEO and Co-Founder of VirtualSpeech, added:

VirtualSpeech is dedicated to empowering individuals and organizations through immersive learning experiences, and our collaboration with Lenovo and Qualcomm Technologies is a major leap towards achieving this goal. The compatibility of VirtualSpeech with the Lenovo ThinkReality VRX allows us to reach a broader international audience, enabling learners to enhance their active learning of key soft skills like public speaking, difficult conversations, and leadership.

By partnering with technology giants like Lenovo and Qualcomm, VirtualSpeech aims to leverage the firm’s platform to transform communication and soft skills learning and development.

Ali Zamiri, Staff Manager, XR Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, added:

VirtualSpeech is leveraging XR to make professional development training interactive and more accessible. By building their XR training solution on Snapdragon Spaces allows for compatibility with XR devices such as the Lenovo ThinkReality VRX. It’s exciting to work with developers like VirtualSpeech to bring their training courses to the masses.

By integrating VirtualSpeech XR learning solutions onto the enterprise focus headset, the firm can reach a “significant milestone” in achieving the global scalability of its product.  

VirtualSpeech is a company known worldwide for using AI in its training platforms to improve workers’ soft skills, such as presentation, public speaking, and meeting skills. The company offers a range of training scenarios involving digital humans who can react to a presentation-style training scenario as if in person.

New Product to Continue Meta Reality Labs 2024 Uptick

Meta recently teased the arrival of new smart glasses in a blog post highlighting their ten-year immersive journey. The post revealed that the new AR device would offer more sophisticated ways of combining AR and AI. The company believes that smart glasses are currently on the market and are just the beginning of a constellation of devices that will form the future. They are committed to building in the open with partners and have teamed up with LG to design potential AI-immersive smart glasses.

LG aims to merge its TV division services with Meta’s XR portfolio to establish a technology ecosystem. This collaboration will leverage LG’s smart device OS, which will work with Meta’s AI systems, to develop a competitive XR device. LG’s smart OS provides a significant platform of app revenue, worth approximately $750.5 million, for Meta’s immersive product portfolio. Enable Meta to generate a valuable income source and services for its XR hardware ecosystem, competing with Apple’s Vision Pro offerings.

As of March 30th, Meta also removed Horizon Workrooms features, including functions such as interactive whiteboards, custom posters logos/environments/layouts, chat files/links, and tracked keyboards. Moreover, Meta has also removed all user data related to these features.

On the other hand, it appears the Meta may be trying to breed new life into its Workrooms platform, following a lull in interest in its Metaverse ambitions on the whole – as seen during Meta’s last Connect event whereby CEO Mark Zuckerberg only mentioned Horizon: Worlds in passing; assuring the platform is being developed in the background.

Apple Enhances Persona Avatar System

Apple has released a new Vision Pro update, enhancing its remote immersive communication feature. This update lets users position the caller’s digital avatar anywhere in their spatial environment, providing a more realistic and integrated experience.

The new feature, “Spatial Personas,” can be used for up to five personas for entertainment and collaboration through services such as FaceTime. While the Persona system has faced criticism for its uncanny qualities, Apple is working to integrate it further into the device, demonstrating its commitment to immersive collaboration tools. The Avatar system will be upgraded in the Vision Pro 1.1 update, which is still in beta testing.

Glartek 2.0 Debuts New Spatial Frontline Worker Tools

New features in Glartek 2.0 include a new worker skill management page for allocating tasks, identifying training needs, and tackling skills gaps.

Moreover, new dashboard features enable real-time metrics to speed decision-making, and new templates ensure prompt software adoption. Finally, the update also adds 3D training models, such as digital twins of machinery.

Notably, following the genAI trend, Glartek 2.0 integrates the booming technology to extract and automate data for automatically creating training templates.

Bruno Duarte, the CEO at Glartek, added:

We are so excited to be expanding our digital solution and adding maturity to our technology. Glartek 2.0 provides a more comprehensive approach to specific issues in the industry while expanding the capabilities of users. We listened to our clients and drew up from real-life experiences what companies were lacking, and we are now introducing the necessary changes to help companies streamline their operations and have a more complete experience using our software. At Glartek, we believe that both providers and clients can achieve continuous improvement, and we are leading the way to a new future.

Glartek 2.0 also introduces features to its Augmented & Connected Worker Platform for new onboarding expectations. The new onboarding features include augmented step-by-step guides for relevant Glartek 2.0, allowing clients to digitise and optimise immersive training integration.

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