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TOP10 NEWS - 02.15.24

TOP10
MARK ZUCKERBERG ON APPLE VISION PRO: "I THINK QUEST IS THE BETTER PRODUCT." PERIOD."
He anticipates "fanboys" will be upset over him questioning whether "Apple is gonna be the leader in a new category," he said in the Instagram clip.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks his company's Quest VR headset is a better product than the Apple Vision Pro—and said so in a video shot on his company's VR headset and uploaded to Instagram, a social media company that Meta has owned since 2012.
"I expected that the Quest would be the better value for most people since it's really good and it's like seven times less expensive," he said in the video, which was shot in his living room. "But after using it, I don't just think that Quest is the better value. I think that the Quest is the better product—period."
In the video, he referenced the big difference in price. The Meta Quest 3, released in 2023, retails for $499. Meanwhile, the Apple Vision Pro starts at $3,500.
Zuckerberg said he thinks Quest's screen compares favorably to Apple's on some—but not all—specs.
"Our field of view is wider and I found our screen to be brighter also," he said in the clip. "I also noticed that Apple's headset has this motion blur as you move around, while Quest is just a lot crisper."
But he did concede that Apple's screen has a higher resolution than Quest's, before jumping back into talking about the ways in which he thinks it falls short. One of the big gripes he has with Apple's new device: Its somewhat short list of content integrations.
"You know we've been working with studios, building virtual and mixed reality games and other content for a long time now," Zuckerberg said. "And if you want to watch YouTube or play Xbox on a big screen anywhere you go, that's only available on Quest for now."
Curiously enough, Zuckerberg side-stepped one of the features at least some users wish the Apple Vision Pro had: VR porn. But the Google results speak for themselves. Many people have figured out how to watch porn on the Meta Quest 3 and taken to the internet to share their hacks.
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TOP10 FINEST METAVERSE INFLUENCERS
Xpert Times
🦧 Lil Miquela
With hundreds of thousands of followers, Lil Miquela is broadly considered the main digital influencer within the metaverse, having made her debut in 2016. This 19-year-old celebrity with Brazilian and Spanish ancestry, created by the Los Angeles-based enterprise Brud, has musical ability.
Lil Miquela, a method icon identified for endorsing high-end labels like Prada, can be a powerful advocate for social issues, most notably Black Lives Matter. Her specialty is having a digital presence at real-world occasions with celebrities, as demonstrated by her current Coachella visits, when she interacted with Millie Bobby Brown and Diplo, cemented her fame as a digital trendsetter.
🦫 Shudu
Developed by British photographer Cameron-James Wilson, Shudu is the primary digital supermodel in historical past. The South African-born magnificence has generated controversy since making her debut in 2017. Most notably, Fenty shared her Instagram picture and mistook it for a real particular person.
Aside from complicated large model advertising and marketing groups, Shudu has a large following—greater than 239k on Instagram. Shudu’s place as a trailblazing determine within the discipline of digital modeling is cemented by her exceptional high-fashion aesthetics and postures, which make it evident why collaborations with main style firms are anticipated to flourish within the years to come back.
🦩 Rozy Oh
Rozy Oh is without doubt one of the most adored influencers within the Asian metaverse. She was launched to the general public in 2020 by the Korean media firm Sidus Studio X, and she or he is continuously referred to as the “expression specialist” or “GamSeong Jangin.”
Rozy Oh has established collaborations with well-known style labels, comparable to Calvin Klein, demonstrating her impression within the sector. She is a incredible prototype, usually noticed with sportsmen and celebrities, exhibiting how a small shift in expression could seize the eye of the goal marketplace for companies trying to make a splash within the digital area.
🐿️ Lucy
Presenting Lucy, the South Korean digital influencer with over 100,000 devoted followers due to Lotte Residence Purchasing’s artistic progress. Presenting herself in a singular method as “perpetually 29 years outdated,” Lucy personifies the timeless enchantment with a compelling historical past based mostly in industrial design.
Designed by Lotte Residence Purchasing, Lucy is greater than merely a digital persona—she is a supply of motivation, inspiring individuals to maintain going after their desires. Her work serves for instance of how firms could use digital influencers to advertise their items whereas additionally constructing belief and goodwill with their goal market within the ever-changing metaverse.
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TAYLOR SWIFT DEEPFAKE PORN IS THE TIP OF THE AI ICEBERG
DAZED Magazine by Brit Dawson: The recent wave of AI-generated celebrity porn highlights the harmful role of text-to-image models in enabling image-based sexual abuse.
For those who’ve been keeping track of the ever-advancing abuse of deepfake technology, the story sadly came as no surprise. The kinds of non-consensual, sexually-explicit deepfake images of Taylor Swift that went viral on X – circulating and multiplying on the platform, formerly known as Twitter, for almost a whole day – have existed online for years. In fact, Swift is one of the most popular targets for deepfake porn, and has been edited into hardcore videos since at least 2017.
Once in the public domain, though, the deepfakes spread like wildfire. As per The Verge, one of the most prolific posts, made by a now-suspended verified user, amassed more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and hundreds of thousands of likes and bookmarks, and was live for 17 hours before it was removed. (Again, this isn’t particularly surprising, given Elon Musk gutted X’s moderation team when he took over the platform in 2022.) Swifties quickly sprung into action, flooding the TL with ‘Protect Taylor Swift’ tweets in order to bury the trending search, ‘Taylor Swift AI’. At one point, X blocked users from searching Swift’s name altogether.

Swift hasn’t commented on the images herself, but, testament to her and her fanbase’s colossal clout, the whole debacle has caught the attention of those who can actually do something about it (according to a report by Control AI, 75 per cent of American voters support criminal charges against people who shared AI deepfake sexual imagery of Taylor Swift). In the days following, a group of US senators introduced a bill that would criminalise the spread of non-consensual, sexualised deepfakes, while EU negotiators did the same (deepfake porn is already criminalised in the UK under the Online Safety Act). Musk, meanwhile, promised to hire 100 more moderators to tackle child abuse and other illegal posts.

For many people, this has opened their eyes to the reality and ubiquity of deepfake porn, which makes up 98 per cent of all deepfake videos online. They might have heard or even read about the phenomenon before, but never seen, as Henry Ajder, an AI and deepfake expert puts it, “this kind of content in the synthetic flesh”.
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ULTIVERSE RAISES $4M FUNDING FOR WEB3 GAME PRODUCTION
Metaverse Post
AI-powered gaming platform Ultiverse announced that it raised $4 million funding through a private token sale for Web3 game production and publishing.
According to the announcement, this round is led by IDG Capital, followed by Animoca Brands, Polygon Labs Ventures, Morningstar Ventures, Taiko Labs, ZetaChain Inc, Manta Network (MANTA) Token, DWF Ventures, and Jacob KO (Partner of Superscrypt).
“The capital allows us to accelerate our vision of building the most intuitive AI-powered platform for web3 game creation,” said Frank Ma, CEO of Ultiverse. “Going forward, Ultiverse remains committed to delivering an ecosystem with accessible tools and captivating experiences to nurture the next generation of AI-driven Web3 games.”
“Next week, Ultiverse will release Ulti-Pilot, an immersive portal to the universe’s diverse gaming experiences, powered by AI. It is one step closer to materializing gaming interoperability through AI and blockchain. The team plans to launch Gaming Launchpad, Restake Rollup and dApps in the future.” Frank Ma added.
Moreover, Ultiverse is preparing to introduce Ulti-Pilot, a platform offering a variety of gaming experiences across the universe, enhanced by AI technology. The platform is designed to promote gaming interoperability by incorporating AI and blockchain integration. Future initiatives include the introduction of the Gaming Launchpad, Restake Rollup, and other decentralized applications (dApps).
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APPLE'S VISION PRO NOW HAS OVER 1,000 APPS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR THE NEW DEVICE
TechCrunch
Mark Zuckerberg may be laughing off the competition in the AR/VR headset market, but Apple’s Vision Pro is gaining traction — with developers, at least. On Tuesday, Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Greg Joswiak, announced on X that the company’s “spatial computing” headset now has more than 1,000 apps designed specifically to take advantage of the new hardware. That’s up from the 600-plus apps Apple said just two weeks ago would be available at the time of the device’s launch, and far more than the 150-plus apps that had been ready in the days leading up to the Vision Pro’s arrival.
While reviews, besides Zuckerberg’s obviously biased take, have dubbed the Vision Pro the best mixed reality headset on the market, although still very much a work in progress, its $3,500 price point could mean a limited market for developers. However, App Store data indicates that over half of developers have been embracing the paid app business model, instead of freemium or free with in-app purchases or subscriptions, as elsewhere on the App Store. That means even if only a few hundred customers download their app, they’ll receive a guaranteed income from their work.
While the Vision Pro is capable of running more than 1.5 million compatible iOS and iPad apps, spatial apps built for the headset are those that have been designed to leverage its specific capabilities. This includes a number of streaming apps like Disney+, ESPN, MLB, PGA Tour, Max, Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Peacock, Pluto TV, Tubi, Fubo, Crunchyroll, Red Bull TV, IMAX, TikTok and MUBI. (Netflix is a notable holdout).
The PGA Tour, MLS, NBA, Red Bull TV and others have also built apps for the new device, as have productivity app makers like Microsoft, Slack, Notion, Zoom, WebEx and others. But many independent software developers have embraced the new platform, too, filling in gaps, as Christian Selig did by building a YouTube app called Juno, or tackling areas that don’t have as much competition yet, like fitness, science or mindfulness, among other things.
One developer, Jordi Bruin, is even working to improve an area where the Vision Pro falls short with his Persona Studio app that lets users view and record their “Persona” — a 3D avatar used when communicating with others via Vision Pro. Apple’s version of personas makes people look odd and unlike themselves, but Persona Studio aims to improve that.
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WHERE BEAUTY AND TECHNOLOGY CONVERGE
WWD: Perfect Corp. founder and CEO Alice Chang discusses the transformative power of generative AI and AR.
As investments in generative AI are expected to grow this year, Alice Chang, chief executive officer and founder of Perfect Corp., said technology and augmented reality will play a key role. Here, Chang offers insights into the technologies and how they can be best used.

🔮 How are generative AI and AR transforming retail and beauty?

👾 Mobile commerce and e-commerce have become the preferred shopping channels for many beauty and fashion consumers today. As more and more consumers turn to online channels for product advice and inspiration, it’s increasingly important for brands to equip themselves with e-commerce solutions that immerse and engage shoppers while providing personalized advice and recommendations. Particularly with products like makeup and foundation, it’s difficult for a shopper to know what’s going to match or compliment their skin tone without being able to visualize the product on their own skin.

🔮 How are these technologies being used?

👾 The use cases of AI and AR-powered beauty and fashion technology are extensive. From virtual consultations and try-ons to complexion analysis, personalized skin analysis and even AI-powered clothing try-ons, AI and AR have the power to match consumers with the best products for their style preferences and beauty needs.

Not only has AI and AR technology done wonders for the beauty and fashion industries, it has completely revolutionized wellness and personal care — a worldwide market projected to generate a revenue of $646.2 billion in 2024. Solutions like AI skin analyses and skin simulations give personalized, near-instant insights into skin concerns, skin types and skin age. These solutions are leveraged by skin care brands looking to put the right products in front of customers, and med spas looking to leverage emerging tech to enhance the skin consultation experience.

🔮 What is the value proposition of deploying these technologies? And the ROI?

👾 Technologies such as virtual try-on, AI skin analysis and generative AI can help brands deliver personalized, inspiring and valuable experiences to consumers at scale. These technologies help shoppers visualize styles, shades and results, ultimately increasing purchasing confidence and customer engagement.

🔮 What do retailers and brands need to consider before investing in this tech?

👾 The entire world is buzzing about how AI will transform our lives, and the potential for AI to improve the lives of consumers is limitless. However, as with any new technology, it can cause skepticism and hesitance.
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ANNA WINTOUR AT PARIS FASHION WEEK: FUNDRAISING FOR JOE BIDEN

METAVERSE FASHION MAGAZINE

The iconic Chief Content Officer of Condé Nast and Global Editorial Director of Vogue is breaking away from the traditional fashion schedule during Paris Fashion Week. Partnering with Rufus Gifford, the finance chair for the Biden-Harris 2024 presidential campaign, Wintour is set to co-host an exclusive fundraising reception in support of United States President Joe Biden The event is slated for March 4 within the Paris Fashion Week timeframe, spanning from Feb. 26 to March 5, as reported by The Business of Fashion.

Anna Wintour's dedication to the Democratic party spans decades, with notable support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election. The Paris fundraising event is orchestrated by the Biden Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee authorized by Biden for President, the Democratic National Committee, and state Democratic parties across most states. Tickets for this exclusive Parisian affair range from $500 to $10,000.

In contrast to the old Fashion System of the past decades, characterized by political and governmental involvement within a fiat economy based on debt, money printing, and inflation, the future of metaverse fashion is anticipated to adopt a deflationary and decentralized business model. This model envisions sound money working towards transparent and sustainable web3 assets. Experts say that in the metaverse fashion no government, elections or propaganda is required whatever.
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