Social virtual reality (VR) platform Somnium Space already dropped one announcement today and now it’s released a whole load more! Highlighting some exciting investments, partnerships and more, the most surprising reveal of the bunch is that Somnium Space is getting into the hardware business; development is already underway on a standalone VR headset.
Only a few sparse details have been released so far regarding the headset’s development with Somnium Space confirming in a blog post that it’ll feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset, a native PC VR mode, an open software ecosystem and a modular design. Presumably, the latter would allow additional sensors to be incorporated. While it may seem unusual for a social VR platform to expand into hardware the team gave this reasoning: “as a decentralized and open Metaverse company we cannot allow Somnium Space to be dependent on hardware gatekeepers to be able to communicate and engage with our users.”
How is Somnium Space going about developing its own standalone headset? Artur Sychov, Founder & CEO of Somnium Space confirmed to VRFocus that it is partnering with VRgineers, the company behind the XTAL enterprise headset on the project. Specifications are being finalised at the moment with the full specs, price and release info arriving as part of Somnium Connect, its first physical and in VR event in December.
The collaboration with VRgineers comes as no surprise considering Sominum Space also announced a strategic investment in the hardware maker. Details of the investment amount haven’t been released. Continuing on the investment topic, Gemini Frontier Fund – a venture fund focused on crypto projects founded by the Winklevoss twins – has invested in the metaverse company with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss joining Somnium Space as official Advisors. Again, no figures have been mentioned.
There’s still more. Somnium Space will be integrating Solana NFTs giving users the option to showcase their Solana NFT art tokens on their land parcel or employ their Solana VR avatar in the virtual world. Another land sale will run between 14th – 18th November utilising Ethereum and Solana via OpenSea and Holaplex stores, and just to top it all off there’s an Oculus Quest app coming!
“We are hard at work on our Oculus standalone app. Our plan is to release its Alpha version in December 2021 and expand development in 2022,” says Sychov. “This app will allow users to explore PARCELs and WORLDs natively without a need of a tethered PC experience while being in the same instances with other players from our native VR client.”
So plenty for metaverse fans to get excited about. For continued updates keep reading VRFocus.