Peridot (Coming in May!)

Niantic, the creator of Pokémon GO, is releasing a new location-based augmented reality game called Peridot in May. Similar to the Tamagotchi, the game lets you raise digital creatures from birth to adulthood, and take them on adventures in the real world. Once they mature, your virtual companions can breed new generations of Peridots, each with unique traits. The game will launch globally on May 9th for iOS and Android devices, and those who pre-register will receive an exclusive party hat cosmetic for their Dots.

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Envisics receives over $50M in Series C funding

Envisics has secured over $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Hyundai Mobis, with additional investments from InMotion Ventures and Stellantis. Envisics specializes in dynamic holographic technology used for augmented reality HeadUp Displays (AR HUD), which can improve situational awareness for drivers and increase road safety. The funding will enable Envisics to develop next-generation AR HUDs and expand its partnerships with global automakers, including General Motors and Jaguar Land Rover. The latest investment will also allow Envisics to realize the commercial potential of dynamic holography in the auto industry.

AltspaceVR Shut Down

AltspaceVR was acquired by Microsoft after facing closure in 2017 due to lack of funds. AltspaceVR existed alongside other social VR platforms like VR Chat, Rec Room, and Horizon Worlds. However, on March 10th, 2023, Microsoft shut down the social VR platform to focus on supporting immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.

Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Toolkit (MRTK) was also shut down, with the entire team being eliminated from the company. MRTK was a Microsoft-driven project used to accelerate cross-platform XR app development in the Unity game engine, but it will remain open source.

Around 5% of Microsoft’s overall workforce were affected by the recent layoffs, including the Xbox games teams, including Bethesda Game Studios (‘The Elder Scrolls’ series) and 343 Industries (Halo).

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