Magic Leap 2 Supports OpenXR
Magic Leap has announced that its ML2 headset now fully supports OpenXR, an open standard that aims to standardize the development of VR and AR applications, making hardware and software more interoperable. This comes after a delay from the company’s commitment last year. The move might be attributed to Apple’s rumored entrance into the XR space. Apple is known for using its own proprietary technologies, potentially creating a divide between its platform and the rest of the industry. Magic Leap and other brands may be trying to build strength and familiarity in the open standard before Apple introduces it’s own standard. It’s possible that Apple will also embrace OpenXR, but it remains to be seen.
Skyrim AI NPCs
A new mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR uses AI technology to introduce non-playable characters (NPCs) that can generate natural responses to a player’s questions in real-time, resulting in more realistic conversations. The mod uses the AI chatbot ChatGPT (which I’m sure most are familiar with at this point), the AI-based voice generator xVASynth, and voice recognition software, and includes Python scripting to enable advancements such as lip-synching and in-game item detection. NPCs can comment on items held by the player, in-game actions, time of day, and location. The technology has some limitations, including an awkward delay of around 15 seconds for NPC responses and rough-sounding voices, but demonstrates how AI could take role-playing video games to the next level, particularly when paired with VR technology.
Meta’s 1st quarter
Meta’s Reality Labs division has reported a loss of almost $4 billion in the latest financial results, despite Meta’s continued investment in XR technologies. However, Meta’s family of apps now has over three billion users, with a 5% year-over-year increase. Reality Labs is responsible for Meta’s forward-looking projects, including the Quest virtual reality platform and AR and AI research. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned shareholders that the company’s XR investments may not pay off until 2030. Despite the heavy losses, Meta has reported $339 million in revenue for Reality Labs in Q1 2023. The company has also announced the release of a new Quest 3 headset this year. Meta has recently undergone two rounds of layoffs, with a third expected in May. Zuckerberg has stated that the company will continue to focus on both AI and the metaverse.