Hello and welcome friends of the Wider Web!
Yesterday I took a break from scrapping metal parts to interview the co-founders of Zesty who are working at the intersection of the Wider Web and agreement technology by providing “advertising space in the Metaverse”. Keep an eye out for Transmutable News’s first video release in which the Zesty C-suite reveal their worldview, their technology stack, and exactly how their community finds value in the chaotic foam of “web3”.
Close all of your tags, add an Easter egg comment, and fire up your FTP client because it’s time for another issue of the Transmutable News Weekly!
Opportunities for support
In a conversation about their new and somewhat controversial approach for user created content sales, Andrew Bosworth (CTO of Meta and leader of their Reality Lab) mentioned that their platform, Horizon Worlds, will release a “web version” in addition to their current native app.
Abby Crawford from Sketchfab announced a new open source library for the Unity runtime that allows applications to dynamically search and download 3D models from the large catalog on Sketchfab. Previous libraries used Sketchfab only in the Unity development editor but this library runs inside applications on end-user devices.
The Babylon.js team demonstrated iridescence support in their glTF loader which opens the door to more shiny and glittery objects for the Wider Web.
Marcel Wiessler from the Needle Tools team demonstrated that their Unity-to-Web exporter can now handle “pre-fab” links. Pre-fabs in Unity are templates that are commonly used in native applications to organize code and to make it useful in more scenarios. By supporting pre-fabs the Needle Tools exporter will be much more easily usable by experienced Unity developers.
The open hardware initiative around the Project North Star AR headset has been active since 2018 but only recently gathered the necessary commercial partnerships and community energy to take on the work of developing a general release usable by people who aren’t comfortable with a soldering iron and Linux kernel configuration. In the most recent FOSS Pod Will Smith and Bryan Chris Brown discuss the state of the project and how an open platform can support a more trustworthy Wider Web.
Collabora released a video demonstrating environment sensing in their fully open source implementation of OpenXR, the standard against which most new XR apps are written. The algorithms that they’ve implemented are often referred to as Visual Inertial Odometry (VIO) and they provide Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM). Together, this capability is more commonly referred to as “inside out tracking” and it means that a headset can know its position in the world without relying on sensors mounted on poles or on the ceiling. This is a big deal for the open source hardware community because until now VIO and SLAM have been carefully guarded technologies available only to larger players like Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.
The Wolvic team was hard at work rolling out version 0.9.5 of their Wider Web browser. Their recent emphasis has been on reintroducing features from Firefox Reality like synced tabs as well as behind-the-scenes work to provide manufacturers with the choice of three web engines: Gecko’s, WPE/WebKit’s and Chromium’s.
Stay open, friends.