This week's luxury tech news for the somehow privileged
Brutal heat dome in the USA with weeks of over 42 degrees, oceans with comfortable 36 degrees, on La Palma 4,500 hectares are burnt and in Berlin the government wants to remove bike paths for more parking spaces.
"Completely normal! Always existed. Besides, it's somewhere else and none of my business. And the only thing that helps against left-green wokeness is a well-groomed tour in the SUV to the nearest bakery. On the way, you can run over a few protestors - they're terrorists, after all, and you should be allowed to do that."
While the world maneuvers deeper and deeper into a disgusting culture war of "false balance" that has been deliberately prepared for years, while "salvation" is increasingly sought in the revival of fascism, and as violent fantasies against dissidents are dominating the discourse that has long become fact-free, we are allowed to distract ourselves here with technology news of the next generation.
After all, we arrogantly assume that there will be a next generation that celebrates the stubborn "keep going" just as we do.
Liebes @ZDF, wenn ein Verleger und Millionär auf die Frage nach dessen Verantwortung in der #Klimakrise antwortet: »Nach mir die Sintflut, ich hab keine Kinder.«, dann darf die @ZDFheute-Moderatorin das nicht mit einem »gut« quittieren und stehen lassen.
— KLIMA° vor acht e.V. (@KlimaVorAcht) May 3, 2023
Translation of the video clip from German television:
Audience question: "Mr. Backhaus, how do you fulfill your responsibility for future generations and the environment?"
Backhaus, publisher & millionaire: "After me the deluge, I don't have children."
I'm not even close to being a millionaire, I have kids, and I'm worried.
But first, the luxury news of the week.
The Metaverse is dead, long live the Metaverse
Meta has made it official: The Metaverse hype is over. Finally, away from all the half-baked marketing and half-baked business models (Metaverse properties, anyone?), we can work on the technical and social fundamentals. We'll have to do that because one day it might be too hot to go outside anymore.
Entertainment, of course, is part of the Metaverse, but it can be enjoyed without a metaphysical construct. For example, a concert by Zara Larsson in VR, Vertigo 2 for PSVR 2, or the perennial #1 hit Beat Saber. Roblox, by the way, is also considered a metaverse by some - how fitting that it is coming to Quest 2.
Speaking of Quest, Quest 2 and Quest Pro are getting a graphics upgrade with Super Resolution, giving developers more options. Also coming soon is a swipe function for the virtual keyboard on Quest headsets.
Meta's AppLab gets some competition: Bytedance launches Pico Lab. As always, any similarities between the two services are purely coincidental.
By the way, the Vive Cosmos is over; it will hardly see an X-verse in the future.
Europe aims to be the market leader for XR
By 2030, the EU wants to expand the European market for new technologies - which it summarizes under the term Web 4.0 - to a value of more than 800 billion euros. At the heart of the project, however, are not only economic interests, but also social and value-based standards. I think the project is important because the EU currently lacks many framework conditions and subsidies that could increase competitiveness.
Google seems to have enough on its plate currently with its AI race. So, the whole XR strategy - if the tech giant ever had one - is going down the drain. Oh, well.
Increase mental and physical fitness
Keeping fit is always essential. VR can help busy people fit in a short daily fitness routine. Of course, this also applies to people who don't like to run through the park or hammer the treadmill at the gym. The creators of FitXR see women as a huge target market.
In addition to physical fitness, mental fitness doesn't hurt either. New technologies, such as augmented reality, can do a lot of good in an educational context, making learning a motivating experience instead of having to drudge through the last 60 years of dull curriculum in dusty books. The German startup Heartucate has made this its mission (german article).
With this in mind, keep cool!