Big XR News from Meta, Microsoft, and Nueyes

The holidays are here, and is 2024 going to be the foundational year for XR?

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Published: December 22, 2023


Rory Greener

The holidays are here… What a year for XR. Between ups and downs, the industry and its leading firms fought through a crashing technology market introduced in 2023, where many XR firms and other related digital solutions providers suffered greatly due to a lack of capital and investments.

2023 saw many XR giants crumble. Notably, firms such as AltspaceVR and Pico suffered during the year. However, on the flip side, others prevailed and relaunched XR into the stratosphere – painting 2024 as a pivotal year for the emerging space.

Firms like Microsoft, Meta, AWS, NVIDIA, and countless others are elevating workplace XR in all its forms, and the list is long. VR headsets, AR smartglasses, digital twins, the industrial metaverse, immersive learning, and other related XR technologies are introducing positive outcomes for enterprise clients.

While some enterprise XR use cases are more prevalent than others, the industry’s continued sense of innovation, adoption, and optimism could push 2024 to become evolutionary.

2024 promises to be a significant landmark in enterprise XR. It is up to some of the most prominent technology companies in the world to push XR forward in 2024.

Alongside innovations in AI, XR is holding the weight of countless promises and expectations, but will 2024 prove XR’s worth? While the world is far from ubiquity, this will take many years; the XR space may truly take its foundational steps as new hardware and software lurk around the corner.

Meta Updates Quest Amidst Concerns from the VRARA

Meta Quest has released its V60 update this month, which includes new features to its Meta Quest 3, Meta Quest Pro, and Meta Quest 2 headset portfolio.

The update introduces full-body tracking, which helps to reduce motion sickness by replicating a user’s body movements and minimizing disorientation. The feature uses the Quest’s outward-facing tracking camera to sync a user’s arm, shoulder, and torso movements, replicating this in an immersive application.

Apart from the body-tracking feature, Meta Quest V60 also includes other updates that optimize the headsets. The update introduces three new Horizon Home environments and a Layout Utility application that reproduces a user’s real-world home items, such as furniture, within the Home immersive space.

The update also includes improvements to user profiles, Bluetooth settings, Quest 3 public channels, pass-through application loading, safe browsing, Guardian boundary, Quest Pro performance, end-to-end encryption for cloud backup, and phone notifications discontinuation.

While Meta primarily focuses on consumer-first XR solutions, the company hopes to stay in the enterprise XR space as it develops its consumer portfolio. However, some experts point out that Meta may be making promises for the workplace without a strong product or development roadmap that meets enterprise clients’ standards.

Meta Quest 2, 3, and Pro gain Microsoft 365 Office tools.

The Meta Quest headset lineup of VR and MR devices now offers new Microsoft Office 365 applications that cater to spatial computing environments.

The services were made available on Meta’s headset portfolio after its announcement at Connect 2022, and users have highly anticipated the proposed applications. Microsoft is now providing Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the Quest digital storefront for free, available on all models of the Quest headset, including the Quest Pro, specifically designed for enterprise usage. Notably, Microsoft didn’t introduce Teams for Quest as it announced at Connect 2022.

Microsoft’s applications are designed for VR and MR environments, depending on the user’s preferred headset. Furthermore, the services are cloud-based, allowing users to save space on their devices. However, this means that users of Quest Office need to be connected to WiFi to use the services.

The small file size and cloud integration allow all Quest headset owners to use all three Microsoft Office applications simultaneously, promoting cross-application multitasking, similar to a conventional desktop or PC. Microsoft’s immersive Office applications also support hand tracking and tracked virtual keyboard input. Alternatively, users can connect a Bluetooth keyboard to interact with immersive Office screens.

NuEyes Gains FDA Approval

NuEyes, a company specializing in AR smart glasses, has achieved a significant milestone in its journey towards making its smart glasses more widely adopted through FDA approval for its upcoming product, NuLoupes.

The FDA approval now allows NuEyes to expand its product portfolio, which is designed to provide healthcare professionals with innovative smart glasses technology. The firm’s patent-pending technology offers dentistry and medicine professionals unparalleled precision and live 3D visualization.

Mark Greget, the Founder and CEO of NuEyes, expressed his excitement, saying, “We are thrilled to announce the FDA approval of NuLoupes, a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence in the medical technology field. NuLoupes represents a huge leap forward in visualization technology, and we are confident that they will revolutionize the way medical professionals approach their work.”

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