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Mark Zuckerberg shows early metaverse headsets Mirror Lake, Holocake

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The company formerly known as Facebook is going to spend $10 billion this year on research and development on virtual reality and augmented reality technologies, including computerized glasses or headsets.

On Monday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off how much progress the social media company has made towards that goal by revealing many of the unfinished headset prototypes the company has built in its labs.

Zuckerberg has bet the future of the social networking company he founded on virtual reality, which immerses users in a computer-generated world, and augmented reality, which superimposes computer-generated objects over the real world. Last year, the company changed its name to Meta to highlight the company’s new emphasis on the metaverse, a virtual world where Zuckerberg imagines people will spend increasing amounts of time — ideally, through advanced computerized glasses.

If Zuckerberg succeeds in making head-worn computers mainstream, then Meta would have a new revenue stream of hardware sales, and it would control its own hardware platform, which would make it less susceptible to platform changes from other companies. For instance, on its last earnings call, Meta said that recent privacy changes Apple made to the iPhone could cost it $10 billion in foregone revenue this year, as it hampers the company’s ability to target ads to precise audiences.

The VR market is currently small and there are questions about how big it could get. Meta currently dominates headset sales, with its current $299 Quest 2 accounting 78% of all headset sales in 2021, according to an estimate from IDC. But there were only 11.2 million VR headsets sold total during the year — a far smaller number than smartphones or PCs.

Meanwhile, investors are skeptical about Meta’s pivot away from its core business of ads and apps. The stock has fallen over 53% so far in 2022 on fears of growing expenses, light growth forecasts, increased competition from TikTok, and effects from Apple’s iPhone privacy change that hampered mobile ads.

Monday’s demonstration did little to calm those fears — Meta’s stock closed down more than 4% Tuesday, despite a broader rally in tech stocks. (U.S. markets were closed Monday for the Juneteenth holiday observation.)

What Zuckerberg showed

Meta is developing next-generation virtual reality displays designed to provide a realistic enough experience for users to feel like they’re in the same room with other virtual people, Zuckerberg said during his demonstration. Current displays have low resolution, display distortion artifacts, and can’t be worn for long periods of time.

“It’s not going to be that long before we can create scenes in perfect fidelity,” Zuckerberg said on a call with media about the company’s virtual reality efforts. “Only instead of looking at them on a screen, you’ll feel like you’re there.”

“The issue today is that the vividness of screens that we have now compared to what your eye sees in the physical world is off by an order of magnitude or more,” Zuckerberg said.

For the past few years Meta has regularly shown its progress working on virtual reality headsets and augmented reality glasses to partners and the press, to encourage investors to regard the project as worthwhile, and to help recruit highly-paid developers and executives with experience in VR and AR.

In these roundtable presentations, Meta regularly shows off unfinished prototypes for use in research, which is unusual in consumer electronics. Gadget companies like to complete products and figure out how they are going to be manufactured before talking about them with the press. For example, Apple, which is working on headsets of its own, never shows off prototypes.

“These prototypes, they’re custom and bespoke models that we built in our lab, so they’re not products that are ready to ship,” Zuckerberg said.

Here were the prototypes he showed:



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Metaverse

iClick Interactive Releases Metaverse Livestreaming Mobile App Arohar

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Brings livestreaming to the metaverse for the first time

HONG KONG, June 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (“iClick” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ICLK), a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China that empowers worldwide brands with full-stack consumer lifecycle solutions, today announced the launch of Arohar, its proprietary live streaming enhancement mobile application that integrates AI, AR and interactive 3D avatars to bring a brand new metaverse-based live streaming experience to users. iClick’s flagship product, Arohar, for KOL promotion in overseas markets represents a new SaaS paradigm for live streaming.

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

(PRNewsfoto/iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited)

According to the global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”), the metaverse-related market is estimated to reach USD467.4 billion by 2025. Featuring immersive virtual backgrounds and effects, and the ability to create real-time facial animation avatars through AR technology, Arohar’s all-in-one livestreaming solution marks iClick’s first step into the metaverse market. Arohar currently enables users to access Meta and other overseas metaverse platforms, and future upgrades will help accelerate the development of the metaverse ecosystem and promote the transformation of the live streaming industry.

Arohar brings exciting new features to livestreaming including 3D avatars with AR facial micro-expression tracking and real-time facial animation and immersive virtual backgrounds through the AI image processing technology. Arohar is able to instantly detect the physical features of the live streamer and generate a clear virtual likeness and background without a green screen. Through these innovations, Arohar delivers a cutting-edge metaverse livestreaming experience that allows users to enjoy eight key features:

  • Access to high quality virtual backgrounds;

  • Create real-time animated 3D avatars;

  • Enhance facial features with beauty and makeup filters;

  • Use multi-scene switching to ensure smooth and attractive live streaming;

  • Remote control of live streaming via App or Bluetooth;

  • Share mobile game streams with friends and fans seamlessly via screen sharing;

  • Enhance live streams through built-in massive live streaming resources;

  • Support live streaming to multiple social media platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Frankie Ho, iClick’s President of International Business said, “We are very excited to announce the overseas launch of Arohar, a breakthrough solution that empowers metaverse livestreaming under our ‘SaaS+X’ business model. Arohar will be a key driver in our overseas market strategy as we focus on innovation to drive robust growth. iClick will continue to seek business opportunities in the metaverse while further accelerating the development of our SaaS product matrix to address brands’ challenges in the face of rapidly evolving business models and market.”

Arohar is now available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in North America. For more information, please visit arohar.app.

About iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited

Founded in 2009, iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited (NASDAQ: ICLK) is a leading enterprise and marketing cloud platform in China. iClick’s mission is to empower worldwide brands to unlock the enormous market potential of smart retail. With its leading proprietary technologies, iClick’s full suite of data-driven solutions helps brands drive significant business growth and profitability throughout the full consumer lifecycle. Headquartered in Hong Kong, iClick currently operates in eleven locations across Asia and Europe. For more information, please visit https://ir.i-click.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements, including those related to the Company’s business strategies, operations and financial performance. These statements constitute “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “confident” and similar statements. Such statements are based upon management’s current expectations and current market and operating conditions and relate to events that involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company’s fluctuations in growth; its success in implementing its mobile and new retail strategies, including extending its solutions beyond its core online marketing business; its success in structuring a CRM & Marketing Cloud platform; relative percentage of its gross billing recognized as revenue under the gross and net models; its ability to retain existing clients or attract new ones; its ability to retain content distribution channels and negotiate favourable contractual terms; market competition, including from independent online marketing technology platforms as well as large and well-established internet companies; market acceptance of online marketing technology solutions and enterprise solutions; litigation and negative publicity surroundings China -based companies listed in the U.S.; effectiveness of its algorithms and data engines; its ability to collect and use data from various sources; its ability to comply with existing or future laws and regulations related to data protection or data security; ability to integrate and realize synergies from acquisitions, investments or strategic partnership; the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the emergence of COVID variants, and its potential impact on the Company’s business and financial performance; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; general economic conditions in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates; and the regulatory landscape in China and other jurisdictions where the Company operates. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s annual report on Form 20-F and other filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

For investor and media inquiries, please contact:

iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited
E-mail: press@i-click.com

The Foote Group
Philip Lisio
E-mail: phil@thefootegroup.com

Cision

Cision

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/iclick-interactive-releases-metaverse-livestreaming-mobile-app-arohar-301575567.html

SOURCE iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited



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Infosec leaders decode new workspace opportunities in Metaverse – Back End News

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True to its vision of ensuring cybersecurity in the Philippines, the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) conducted the second installment of its 2022 virtual Metaverse forum series on June 23.

Anchored on the overall theme of “Traversing Beyond the Realm of Cyberspace.” the seconnd Metaverse forum focused on the discussions of the adjustment of each enterprise in the new norm and the measures being done in the integration of the metaverse in their operations. The virtual forum presented diverse and radical insights and significant business opportunities and solutions from great minds.

“This forum underscores our initiative and effort to design, create, and sustain a unified solution in the undertaking of Metaverse in the banking industry. We continue to collaborate with our partner institutions and stakeholders to address concerns and promote safe and effective use of the metaverse for business,” said Archie Tolentino, ISOG President and Landbank of the Philippines’ Chief Information Technology Security Officer.

ISOG forum zooms in on securing banking industry in Metaverse
ISOG to hold 2022 Metaverse forum, Cybersecurity Excellence Awards

Joining this virtual forum are field experts, decision-makers, and cyber leaders including banking Metaverse pioneer in the Philippines, Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, and Chief Transformation Officer Henry Rhoel Aguda.

Zero Trust

Cybersecurity professionals also gained insights into the Data Reliability & Accessibility within the Security Framework delivered by Arnie Alvarez, the Chief Technology Officer and IT Director of the Enterprise Business Group of Huawei Technologies Philippines. They also gained perspectives on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) ‘Financial Services Cyber Resilience Plan presented by Mhel Plabasan, chief person for the agency’s supervision of technology and cybersecurity risk including emerging technologies.

Forum delegates have imparted a knowledge of the concept and implications of the Metaverse and the significance of artificial intelligence in ensuring cyber security through the presentation of Tony Jarvis, Director of Enterprise Security (APJ) of Darktrace. Meanwhile, Palo Alto Network’s Field Chief Security Officer Ian Lim tackled Zero Trust as a guiding principle in securing an organization’s journey into the Metaverse. More exciting Metaverse topics were presented by Exceture’s Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Information Technology Consulting & Software Engineering Mario Demarillas, and BlueVoyant’s Chief Operating Officer Tal Blaustein.

Forum delegates were also engaged in a comprehensive panel discussion entitled “Decoding the New Workspace in the Metaverse”. It was an avenue where industry experts addressed concerns and queries about the virtual presentations. Joining the first panel were Unionbank’s Henry Aguda, Darktrace’s Tony Jarvis, BSP’s Mhel Plabasan, and Huawei Technologies Philippines’ Arnie Alvarez. The second panel discussion with the topic “The Metaverse: Revolutionizing Opportunities” was headlined by Palo Alto’s Ian Lim and Exceture’s Mario Demarillas. Both panels were moderated by SQrity Consulting CEO & President, Ricson Singson Que.

Two more forums

“To make the most of the opportunities in the Metaverse without sacrificing any aspect of the business, it is crucial for information security professionals to be equipped with the right knowledge of this new digital ecosystem. Rest assured that ISOG will support them as they continue protecting cyberspace,” said ISOG’s Vice President Chito Jacinto.

The second installment of the virtual cybersecurity forum was supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Bankers Association of the Philippines, National Privacy Commission, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology. The last two virtual forums of this series are slated for July 21 and Sep. 1.

Since 2015, ISOG has been organizing programs and events to strengthen cybersecurity awareness and secure network infrastructure in the Philippines. For more details about ISOG and its campaigns, visit ISOG’s official website at http://www.isog-org.ph and socials at LinkedIn: ISOG (Information Security Officers Group), Facebook: ISOGPH, and YouTube Channel: ISOG SUMMIT.



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CMO, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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 (Representative image, source: iStock)
(Representative image, source: iStock)

MUMBAI: Vodafone Idea (Vi) is evaluating opportunities on the Metaverse to enhance customer experience, a senior executive said, as the telecom operator tries to stem user drift and pushes to regain subscriber market share.

Vi is “keenly following this emerging technology to see how it evolves,” said Avneesh Khosla, chief marketing officer, Vodafone Idea. “We believe it has the potential to deeply engage with consumers and enhance their digital experience,” Khosla told ET.

Metaverse will enable deep engagement in genres such as gaming, entertainment, retail, education, e-commerce, and social networking, he added.

However, Khosla pointed out that to enable immersive experiences, it was “imperative” that the devices ecosystem achieve scale and economies quickly to reach critical mass.

Rival Bharti Airtel became the first operator in India to foray into the Metaverse through its Xstream multiplex.

Analysts said telcos will look at Metaverse differently for their business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) segments.

For B2C, the platform will eventually culminate in faster adoption of the telcos’ 5G services, which are expected to be rolled out by the end of this year.

Prashant Singhal, global TMT emerging markets leader at EY, said: “Right now, no one (retail customer) is asking for 5G. But once you offer experiences enhanced by faster speeds, low latency and more bandwidth, the consumer will start using it. That’s what we saw happen with 4G as well.”

For the B2B segment, which is expected to drive revenues in the near term once 5G rolls out, analysts expect telcos to team up with stakeholders to develop use cases for the Metaverse.

Video conferencing is one of the most logical applications integrating Metaverse into the enterprise offerings of telcos.

Globally, telcos have used the Metaverse to solve various problems.For example, Japanese telecoms giant NTT has created a “digital twin” of the Tour de France to give operations staff real-time visibility of race data to ensure the continuity and safety of the cycle race and to provide insightful visualisations and immersive fan experiences.

A digital twin is a digital replica of a physical entity connected seamlessly to enable transfer of real-time data. The concept can be applied to smart factories to monitor machinery, for inventory management at warehouses, and even for surgery preparation and planning, experts said.





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