Connect with us

Business

Microsoft’s AR/VR chief is out and the change may have deeper implications for the metaverse

Published

on

Microsoft’s AR/VR chief is out and the change may have deeper implications for the metaverse

Just as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are finally entering the mainstream business discussion, Microsoft’s immersive computing leader, Alex Kipman, is leaving the company. The move was first uncovered by a news outlet close to the tech giant’s headquarters, Seattle-based GeekWire, which posted an internal memo confirming the change late Tuesday night. 

“Over the last several months, Alex Kipman and I have been talking about the team’s path going forward,” wrote Scott Guthrie head of the Cloud & AI Group at Microsoft. “We have mutually decided that this is the right time for him to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.”

The timing of Kipman’s exit came as a surprise to some AR industry insiders. Kipman has been the leading evangelist for Microsoft’s immersive computing efforts since the launch of the HoloLens AR headset in 2015, which he helped develop. In addition to the HoloLens, Microsoft offers its bleeding-edge Azure Kinect spatial computing depth camera, which captures and tracks 3D objects. The company has also developed Microsoft Mesh for shared AR interactions, supports a wide array of VR headsets via its Windows Mixed Reality platform, and boasts one of the most popular VR communities in AltspaceVR. 

Quietly, Microsoft has become the biggest name in the metaverse next to Meta, largely due to its focus on business enterprise users. But now that Microsoft is losing its immersive computing champion, where does the company’s metaverse path lead? And why is Kipman leaving at such a crucial moment? 

Advertisement

Microsoft’s lead metaverse voice is going mute, and the timing isn’t great  

In his memo, Guthrie says that Microsoft’s immersive computing hardware and software teams will be absorbed into its Windows + Devices and Teams groups, respectively. The change is being framed as a way to accelerate Microsoft’s metaverse efforts as the new computing dynamic has begun to be embraced by mainstream businesses and users. Kipman will help the company’s immersive computing teams transition over the next two months. 

Still, the timing for the exit of the company’s metaverse boss has come under scrutiny as it comes just two weeks after a Business Insider report surfaced allegations of a toxic workplace culture involving Kipman. 

Guthrie’s statement makes no mention of why, specifically, Kipman is leaving at this particular moment. “I appreciate the tremendous vision Alex has provided to Microsoft over the years, and all that he has done to advance our Metaverse offerings,” says the Microsoft executive.

How we treat people in the metaverse is connected to how we treat them in real life 

Any possible connection between Kipman’s departure and the work culture allegations have not been publicly addressed by Microsoft, and the company did not immediately respond to a request from Quartz for comment.

Nevertheless, the open speculation around the timing of his exit has once again thrown a spotlight on the responsibility to develop the metaverse in a way that protects users from potentially toxic behavior. Earlier this year, Microsoft added new user safety protocols to its leading VR platform to guard against harassment and bullying. That move came just days after Meta added a new Personal Boundary to its Horizon VR platform to prevent virtual groping. 

Advertisement

The issue of harassment in the metaverse continues to be an issue companies are struggling to address through software tools and more diligent community management. But increasingly, it’s clear that the formation of a healthy metaverse starts with the sensitivities and awareness of the humans in charge of developing these immersive environments.  

Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

Malaysia’s $30bn wealth fund to stand by carbon-emitting state companies

Published

on

Malaysia’s $30bn wealth fund to stand by carbon-emitting state companies

barrier image

Choose your subscription

Advertisement

Trial

Try full digital access and see why over 1 million readers subscribe to the FT

  • For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT’s trusted, award-winning business news

Digital

Be informed with the essential

news and opinion

Advertisement
  • MyFT – track the topics most important to you
  • FT Weekend – full access to the weekend content
  • Mobile & Tablet Apps – download to read on the go
  • Gift Article – share up to 10 articles a month with family, friends and colleagues

Print

FT print edition delivered Monday – Saturday along with ePaper access

  • Delivery to your home or office Monday to Saturday
  • FT Weekend paper – a stimulating blend of news and lifestyle features
  • ePaper access – the digital replica of the printed newspaper

Team or Enterprise

Premium FT.com access for multiple users, with integrations & admin tools

Advertisement

Group Subscription

Premium Digital access, plus:

  • Convenient access for groups of users
  • Integration with third party platforms and CRM systems
  • Usage based pricing and volume discounts for multiple users
  • Subscription management tools and usage reporting
  • SAML-based single sign-on (SSO)
  • Dedicated account and customer success teams

Advertisement

Or, if you are already a subscriber

Sign in

Are you a student or a professor?

Check if your university has an FT membership to read for free.

Check my access

Advertisement

Read More

Continue Reading

Business

Japan’s biggest chipmakers from Toshiba to Sony brace for engineer shortage

Published

on

Japan’s biggest chipmakers from Toshiba to Sony brace for engineer shortage

barrier image

Choose your subscription

Advertisement

Trial

Try full digital access and see why over 1 million readers subscribe to the FT

  • For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT’s trusted, award-winning business news

Digital

Be informed with the essential

news and opinion

Advertisement
  • MyFT – track the topics most important to you
  • FT Weekend – full access to the weekend content
  • Mobile & Tablet Apps – download to read on the go
  • Gift Article – share up to 10 articles a month with family, friends and colleagues

Print

FT print edition delivered Monday – Saturday along with ePaper access

  • Delivery to your home or office Monday to Saturday
  • FT Weekend paper – a stimulating blend of news and lifestyle features
  • ePaper access – the digital replica of the printed newspaper

Team or Enterprise

Premium FT.com access for multiple users, with integrations & admin tools

Advertisement

Group Subscription

Premium Digital access, plus:

  • Convenient access for groups of users
  • Integration with third party platforms and CRM systems
  • Usage based pricing and volume discounts for multiple users
  • Subscription management tools and usage reporting
  • SAML-based single sign-on (SSO)
  • Dedicated account and customer success teams

Advertisement

Or, if you are already a subscriber

Sign in

Are you a student or a professor?

Check if your university has an FT membership to read for free.

Check my access

Advertisement

Read More

Continue Reading

Business

Swiss Luxury Brand Hublot Adopts Bitcoin Payments

Published

on

Swiss Luxury Brand Hublot Adopts Bitcoin Payments

The Swiss luxury watchmaker – Hublot – allowed its customers to buy certain limited products in cryptocurrencies by partnering with the bitcoin payment service provider – BitPay.

In addition, Prague City Tourism joined forces with Global Payments to enable passengers of the emblematic Tram Line number 42 to purchase tickets in digital assets.

Hublot Enters the World of Crypto

Embracing cryptocurrencies as a means of payment has turned into a move practiced by numerous companies part of the fashion industry. The Switzerland-based renowned watchmaker – Hublot – is the latest member of that club.

In a recent announcement, the firm said it launched a limited collection called “Big Bang Unico Essential Grey,” which consists of 200 watches. Those products could be purchased only on Hublot’s US e-Boutique platform as clients can pay with cryptocurrencies.

Advertisement

Introducing the new #BigBangUnico Essential Grey, a limited edition of 200 pieces solely available online on the e-commerce platform https://t.co/FtQRk4LWq7. Exclusively on our Hublot United States eBoutique, clients will be able to shop using select Cryptocurrencies with BitPay. pic.twitter.com/Ny2tct8lQ2

— Hublot (@Hublot) June 21, 2022

The price of a single watch from that edition is around $21,200, meaning that if one wants to pay in bitcoin, they will have to part with approximately 1 BTC (calculated at current prices).

Last month, another Swiss luxury watchmaker – Tag Heuer – also said “yes” to such payments. The enterprise accepted leading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Shiba Inu, plus five stablecoins as a means of settlement on its US website.

Explore Prague in Exchange for Crypto

Another example of the latest cryptocurrency adoption is Prague’s iconic Tram Line number 42. One of the oldest trams in the Czech Republic is currently used as a tourist attraction. Visitors can ride on it and explore the most popular sightseeings of the country’s capital, such as the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Powder Gate.

According to a local coverage, the Tram Line teamed up with Global Payments to allow travelers to pay for their experience in crypto. Petr Soukup – Director of IT at Prague City Tourism – said:

Advertisement

“Cryptocurrencies are a very popular source of money today. There is no reason why people should not use them for regular payments. They can now pay for a ticket with a piece of bitcoin or, for example, Ethereum.”

He further explained that clients could pay in digital assets, but merchants can choose whether to accept the transaction in crypto or fiat (for example, Czech crowns).

Featured Image Courtesy of Hublot

SPECIAL OFFER (Sponsored)

Binance Free $100 (Exclusive): Use this link to register and receive $100 free and 10% off fees on Binance Futures first month (terms).

PrimeXBT Special Offer: Use this link to register & enter POTATO50 code to receive up to $7,000 on your deposits.

Advertisement

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 Newsline. Powered by WordPress.