Apple may have shelved its consumer AR headset. Rumors point towards an inability to reduce weight, while keeping functionalities such as 5G, as key reasons for a supposed abandoning of the consumer AR headset team back in May. DigiTimes of Taiwan made this assessment based on players in Apple’s Asian supply chain. Even if true, considering Apple’s focus on AR over the long term with efforts like ARKit, the dissolving of the AR headset team isn’t likely an end to the Apple AR project. We are more inclined to believe the transition from a see-through AR solution to a pass-through solution might look, from the outside, a lot like Apple is pivoting away from head-mounted displays. Apple topkick Tim Cook says “Apple doesn’t give a rat’s ass about being first. “We want to be the best, and give people a great experience. But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.” We have no direct contact with Apple, but sources closer to the company whisper a fall 2020 announcement of an Xmas 2021 launch for a pass through device. However long it takes, Apple’s plans for an immersive consumer device with continue to hang like the sword of Damocles over the industry.

First virtual reality massage center opens in LA. Esqapes provides relaxing virtual environments for guests experiencing automated massages. While laying in a massage chair, guests don virtual reality headsets immersing them in relaxing virtual environments. Doors are now open in the SAG-Aftra Building on Wilshire Boulevard, and you can book online

Pixana launches SPIN 2.0 with features focused on corporate learning and training, as well as SPIN Studio Lite for easy XR content distribution. The SPIN 2.0 update allows companies to launch immersive learning experiences cross platform between VR headsets, smartphones, tablets, and PCs. The update includes features like quizzing, scavenger hunts, and quality of life improvements like higher quality content streaming. 

Immersive WWI experience featuring Dan Carlin opens this August in Austin. War Remains takes audiences into the trenches of WWI in a free-roam experience that utilizes physical set pieces. The new Austin location follows a Tribeca Film Festival debut and will be followed by additional locations in the near future. Advance tickets through September 1 are available here.

VRstudios Halo: Outpost Discovery traveling the country this summer. The immersive fan experience offers fans of the Halo universe a weekend of immersive content built in partnership with 343 studios. The pop-up event includes a litany of Halo centric experiences, as well as a free roam VR PvP arena. A schedule of what cities the event will take place in next can be found on the Halo: Outpost Discovery website.

Sp[a]ce Gallery hosts summer long exhibition Robot Remix XR. Robot Remix XR is organized by Paisley Smith and Milo Talwani in Pasadena, California. The exhibition features cinematic, game, and experiential art VR pieces. Visitors can purchase tickets for hour long time slots, and each month a new lineup of experiences will be available.

“This Week In XR” is written and edited with Michael Eichenseer.


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