Prager Metis has become the first CPA firm to open up a metaverse headquarters. The firm, which in real life is based in New York, is setting up shop in Decentraland, a 3D virtual world, as part of a joint venture with Banquet LLC, a metaverse studio.
The firm purchased the piece of virtual real estate on Dec. 28, a three-story digital structure. On the first floor is an open floor plan that doubles as a gallery space for nonfungible tokens from Prager Metis clients along with a large entertainment area. The second floor will provide more of a working space with meeting rooms and conference capabilities. The third floor will serve as a rooftop space where Prager Metis intends to host events and even live entertainment.
The metaverse has been attracting attention ever since Facebook’s parent company announced a name change last October to Meta to highlight its interest in developing technology for virtual reality and augmented reality. More businesses have followed suit in setting up shop in the metaverse. Prager Metis isn’t the first firm to dip its toes in the waters: PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hong Kong firm announced last month that it had bought virtual land on another metaverse platform, the Sandbox, but Prager Metis is going further by setting up an actual headquarters in Decentraland. It plans to focus on advisory services for clients and potentially for other accounting firms as well. The firm already has clients who have entered the rapidly growing market for nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which use blockchain technology to create collectibles and artwork that people bid on to buy and trade.
Fittingbox’s Frame Removal uses diminished reality to help people pick out new eyeglasses — but the tech’s potential extends far beyond the bridge of your nose.
French company Fittingbox has just unveiled an app that uses a technology called “diminished reality” — the opposite of augmented reality (AR).
The app is designed to help shoppers pick out new eyeglasses, but the tech’s potential extends far beyond the bridge of your nose.
The challenge: Many eyeglass sellers now let you try on specs virtually — just pick a pair off a website, look into the camera on your phone or computer, and thanks to the magic of augmented reality (AR), you can see what the frames look like on your face.
Nreal is a China-based startup behind the Nreal Light AR glasses, which aim for a sunglasses-like design. By hooking it up to your (Android) phone, it’s able to project virtual objects in your real environment and even allow you to walk around with position tracking. While we’re not quite there yet, I think the Nreal Light is definitely getting us closer to fully fledged AR glasses.
Cas and Chary VR is a YouTube channel hosted by Netherland-based duo Casandra Vuong and Chary Keijzer who have been documenting their VR journeys since 2016. They share a curated selection of their content with extra insights for the Road to VR audience.
Of course, a minimum level of fidelity is required, but what’s far more important is perceptual consistency. By this, I mean that all sensory signals (i.e. sight, sound, touch, and motion) feed a single mental model of the world within your brain. With augmented reality, this can be achieved with relatively low visual fidelity, as long as virtual elements are spatially and temporally registered to your surroundings in a convincing way. And because our sense of distance (i.e. depth perception) is relatively coarse, it’s not hard for this to be convincing.
But for virtual reality, providing a unified sensory model of the world is much harder. This might sound surprising because it’s far easier for VR hardware to provide high-fidelity visuals without lag or distortion. But unless you’re using elaborate and impractical hardware, your body will be sitting or standing still while most virtual experiences involve motion. This inconsistency forces your brain to build and maintain two separate models of your world — one for your real surroundings and one for the virtual world that is presented in your headset.
When I tell people this, they often push back, forgetting that regardless of what’s happening in their headset, their brain still maintains a model of their body sitting on their chair, facing a particular direction in a particular room, with their feet touching the floor (etc.). Because of this perceptual inconsistency, your brain is forced to maintain two mental models. There are ways to reduce the effect, but it’s only when you merge real and virtual worlds into a single consistent experience (i.e. foster a unified mental model) that this truly gets solved.
It’s also building chips for Microsoft’s AR glasses.
At the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently taking place in Las Vegas, chip maker Qualcomm’s CEO Cristiano Amon announced several key new initiatives.
Amon described Qualcomm’s technology roadmap as including connectivity, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon premium-tier Android smartphones. Snapdragon is a suite of system-on-a-chip (SoC) semiconductor products whose central processing units (CPUs) utilize the ARM architecture.
Qualcomm’s new initiatives will be in the spaces of: next-generation ARM PCs, the metaverse, wireless fiber, Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).
You are on the PRO Robots channel and in this video we present to you the news digest for December 2021. New robots, the most realistic humanoid robot in the world, luxury flying cars of the future, xenobots — nanorobots that have learned to reproduce, nanochip for reprogramming living matter, drones with legs, universal robots, robotic cleaners, flying humanoids, Neuralink chip testing on people, new smart augmented reality glasses, the launch of the telescope, which will tell about the evolution of the universe, and much more in one release! All the most interesting high-tech news for December in one release. Watch the video till the end and write in comments, which news interested you most of all? And what areas of science and technology we should cover in the next issues?
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It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from AR company Vuzix. In early 2019, it came out with its first pair of. After staying relatively quiet over the past two years, it’s now partnering with Verizon. The two didn’t share many details about their collaboration. What they did say is that they plan to find ways to commercialize AR technology for use in sports and gaming scenarios, especially those involving the need for training. The partnership will combine Vuzix’s new Shield smart glasses and the capabilities of Verizon’s 5G network.
It’s hard to say if we’ll see anything impactful come out of this agreement, but it’s not a surprise to see Verizon. Augmented, virtual and mixed reality wearables have been consistently positioned as one of the primary beneficiaries of the speed and latency enhancements promised by 5G networks. Likewise, the focus on gaming and sports isn’t surprising either. Some of the earliest locations where Verizon had 5G service was in. They’re one of few places where the carrier’s mmWave deployments shine since there’s enough density there to justify building out all the small cells required to blanket even a small area with ultrafast 5G coverage.
Emerging technologies including AI, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 5G, and blockchain (and related digital currencies) have all progressed on their own merits and timeline. Each has found a degree of application, though clearly AI has progressed the furthest. Each technology is maturing while overcoming challenges ranging from blockchain’s energy consumption to VR’s propensity for inducing nausea. They will likely converge in readiness over the next several years, underpinned by the now ubiquitous cloud computing for elasticity and scale. And in that convergence, the sum will be far greater than the parts. The catalyst for this convergence will be the metaverse — a connected network of always-on 3D virtual worlds.
The metaverse concept has wide-sweeping potential. On one level, it could be a 3D social media channel with messaging targeted perfectly to every user by AI. That’s the Meta (previously Facebook) vision. It also has the potential to be an all-encompassing platform for information, entertainment, and work.
There will be multiple metaverses, at least initially, with some tailored to specific interests such as gaming or sports. The key distinction between current technology and the metaverse is the immersive possibilities the metaverse offers, which is why Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and others are investing so heavily in it. It may also become the next version of the Internet.