KnowTechie: IKEA’s app digitally removes your furniture and replaces it with theirs

KnowTechie: IKEA’s app digitally removes your furniture and replaces it with theirs. “IKEA just launched a new design tool meant to help you envision its furniture right in your living room. Ikea Kreativ’s Scene Scanner lets you scan a room with your phone and place furniture how you see fit. You can ‘erase’ your own first, and then start placing Ikea-branded products like you’re arranging a home in Animal Crossing.”

CNET: A Virtual Tour Uncovers the Hidden History of Black Disenfranchisement

CNET: A Virtual Tour Uncovers the Hidden History of Black Disenfranchisement. “[Old Lick Cemetery]’s disturbing story would likely remain a footnote in the city’s history were it not for a project called Hidden in Plain Site, the brainchild of creative agency BrownBaylor. It’s designed to resurface the lost narrative of marginalized Black people across the US with experiences you can view through a browser or virtual reality headset.”

CNET: Google Maps’ New Feature Lets You Visit Restaurants From Home

CNET: Google Maps’ New Feature Lets You Visit Restaurants From Home. “Google has a new feature for its Maps app that it’s rolling out this year called Immersive View — and it takes Street View to a new level. It works by using billions of photos to model buildings and trees in 3D using machine learning. Once it becomes available, you’ll be able to experience what a restaurant, neighborhood, landmark or popular venue is like, as if you’re already there.”

A barrage of assault, racism and rape jokes: my nightmare trip into the metaverse (The Guardian)

The Guardian: A barrage of assault, racism and rape jokes: my nightmare trip into the metaverse. “Before I went into the metaverse, I’d read a few articles on it and people didn’t have the nicest things to say. But I wanted to see if that was true, or whether people were just trying to find negativity. I’m a heavy user of social media, so a 3D virtual space where you can interact with other people – where artists are doing concerts and fashion houses are doing shows? That’s exciting to me! But within the first 10 minutes of putting on a VR headset and entering a chat room, I saw underage kids simulating oral sex on each other. I experienced sexual harassment, racism and rape jokes. At one point, I heard someone say ‘I like little girls from the age of nine to 12: that’s just my thing.’”

The Verge: Mark Zuckerberg’s Augmented Reality

The Verge: Mark Zuckerberg’s Augmented Reality. “Zuckerberg may have big hopes for smart glasses, but the near-term reality of the technology is far less lofty. The demonstrations during Zuckerberg’s Meta presentation, such as playing virtual chess on a real table with someone’s avatar, weren’t based on any functioning hardware or software. And Meta doesn’t yet have a working, wearable prototype of its planned AR glasses but rather a stationary demonstration that sits on a table.”

Wall Street Journal: The Future of Socializing at Work? Virtual Golf

Wall Street Journal: The Future of Socializing at Work? Virtual Golf. “If the most popular professional application of VR does prove to be socializing, the implications could be significant. Remote teams in danger of being splintered by miscommunication and isolation could be bound together without the need for in-person retreats. It might help reduce some of the office social dynamics that give advantage to some employees but not others. It could even allow employees to connect in ways that aren’t possible even when everyone is going to an office.”

CNET: Extinct Ice Age Animals Like the Woolly Mammoth Will Roam the Metaverse

CNET: Extinct Ice Age Animals Like the Woolly Mammoth Will Roam the Metaverse. “On a remote Arctic island, some 4,000 years ago, woolly mammoths took their last steps on Earth. Around 6,000 years prior, the final few sabre-toothed cats preyed across the Americas. And 3,000 years before that, majestic dire wolves became creatures of the past. Scientists are revving up to bring these now-extinct animals, and more, into the domain of augmented reality.”

The Verge: Meta reportedly breaks up the 300-person team that was building a hybrid VR / AR OS

The Verge: Meta reportedly breaks up the 300-person team that was building a hybrid VR / AR OS. “Meta has reportedly broken up the around 300-person team tasked with working on an OS for AR and VR headsets, moving some of the engineers to teams working on AR glasses and Oculus (er, Quest) headsets, according to a report by The Information. This comes after recent reports — which Meta denied at the time — that the company had halted work on the team’s project creating a unified custom operating system for its VR and AR headsets.”

Facebook’s latest metaverse move: Dropping avatars into Instagram (CNET)

CNET: Facebook’s latest metaverse move: Dropping avatars into Instagram. “Facebook changed its company name to Meta last fall, promising an upcoming metaverse-focused strategy that would blend VR, AR, and the company’s existing social media platforms. Today, Meta announced that its 3D VR avatars would start showing up on the company’s other apps: Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Meta’s also dipping its toes into promotional gear for avatars, introducing limited-time Super Bowl-themed jerseys.”

Wired: How to Build a Better Metaverse

Wired: How to Build a Better Metaverse. “THE METAVERSE, YOU may have heard, is the next big thing: an ever-present social cyberspace in which people—or their digital avatars—will work, hang out, and shop. As it happens, this was also the next big thing in 2003. That’s when Philip Rosedale and his then-company Linden Lab launched Second Life, an immersive digital platform in which users can build worlds, create art, and buy and sell digital goods. After a spike of interest, Second Life faded into the background of internet culture, but it has maintained a loyal following of people who for whatever reason prefer its virtual reality to their own meatspace.”

New York Times: How Facebook Is Morphing Into Meta

New York Times: How Facebook Is Morphing Into Meta. “Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of the company formerly known as Facebook, has upended his company ever since he announced in October that he was betting on the so-called metaverse. Under this idea, his company — renamed Meta — would introduce people to shared virtual worlds and experiences across different software and hardware platforms. Since then, Meta has pursued a sweeping transformation, current and former employees said.”

ArtsHub: How virtual events and museums can be better

ArtsHub: How virtual events and museums can be better. “Virtual exhibitions don’t need to replace gallery-going, and likely won’t. Seeing an object in an image doesn’t give us an accurate sense of its dimensions, or its texture. Without an understanding of embodiment in the virtual, these exhibitions fail to keep the sense of curiosity and discovery that drives the real-world desire to wander, examine details, read labels and ask questions. That governs exploration of digital spaces, like in video games.”

Comment: Google would do well to skip the social metaverse and remain focused on AR (9to5 Google)

9to5 Google: Comment: Google would do well to skip the social metaverse and remain focused on AR. “Ever since Mark Zuckerberg showed off Facebook’s – now Meta’s – vision for the future of technology and social interaction, I’ve been trying to imagine what the Google equivalent would be. I’ve concluded that such a metaverse direction is a direct contradiction to Google’s modern vision of tech that assists.”