For the love of the loot: Blockchain, the metaverse and gaming’s blind spot

Jonathan Stringfield Contributor Jonathan Stringfield, Ph.D., is VP and global head of Business Marketing, Measurement and Insights at Activision Blizzard Media and Esports. The speed at which gaming has proliferated is matched only by the pace of new buzzwords inundating the ecosystem. Marketers and decision-makers, already suffering from FOMO about opportunities within gaming, have latched […]

Apple’s dangerous path

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review. Last week, we dove into the truly bizarre machinations of the NFT market. This week, we’re talking about something that’s a little bit more impactful on the current state of the web — Apple’s NeuralHash kerfuffle. If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can […]

TikTok owner ByteDance buys a top virtual reality hardware startup

TikTok parent company ByteDance seems to be looking to one-up Facebook anywhere it can. After taking over the mantle of most-downloaded social media app in the world with TikTok, ByteDance is coming for Facebook’s moonshot, buying up its own virtual reality headset maker called Pico. The deal first reported on by Bloomberg last week was […]

AI voice, synthetic speech company LOVO gets $4.5M pre-series A funding

“Voice skins” have become a very popular feature for AI-based voice assistants, to help personalize some of the more anodyne aspects of helpful, yet also kind of bland and robotic, speaking voices you get on services like Alexa. Now a startup that is building voice skins for different companies to use across their services, and […]

Messenger celebrates its 10th anniversary with new features and a plan to become the ‘connective tissue’ for real-time experiences

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Messenger today announced a handful of new features: poll games, word effects, contact sharing and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay. But beyond the fun features, Facebook has been testing a way to add voice and video calls back into the Facebook app, rather than on Messenger. “We are testing audio […]

You can now buy the $299 Oculus Quest 2 with 128GB of storage

Following its announcement late last month, Facebook’s new 128GB model of the Oculus Quest 2 is now available to buy. You can purchase the VR headset from the company’s website for the same $299 price as the previous 64GB base model. “Long story short? We’ve created this 128GB model so that players can easily store […]

Facebook finally made a good virtual reality app

Facebook’s journey toward making virtual reality a thing has been long and circuitous, but despite mixed success in finding a wide audience for VR, they have managed to build some very nice hardware along the way. What’s fairly ironic is that while Facebook has managed to succeed in finessing the hardware and operating system of […]

Zuckerberg is turning trillion-dollar Facebook into a ‘metaverse’ company, he tells investors

“I wanted to discuss this now so that you can see the future that we’re working towards and how our major initiative across the company are going to map to that,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “What is the metaverse? It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You […]

Psychedelic VR meditation startup Tripp raises $11 million Series A

As an increasing number of startups sell investors on mobile apps that help consumers prioritize well-being and mindfulness, other startups are looking for a more immersive take that allows users to fully disconnect from the world around them. Tripp has been building immersive relaxation exercises that seek to blend some of the experiences users may […]

Facebook’s entry into VR advertising isn’t going too well

Facebook’s efforts to bring advertising to the Oculus virtual reality platform it has spent billions of dollars building out doesn’t seem to be off to a great start. The company announced last week that they were planning to roll out their first in-game ads inside the title “Blaston” from the prolific VR game developer Resolution […]