Some big-time investors are going to bat for emerging technologies such as augmented and virtual reality with a new venture capital firm: Eleven Ventures. And no, that name doesn’t mean they’re just investing in 11 companies — but we’re still waiting for confirmation on whether their ventures go all the way up to 11.

The new fund comes from two game industry luminaries — Michael Howse and Greg Ballard. They’re focusing on emerging technologies and early-stage companies, and the two can point to their successes like Glu Mobile and 3Dfx Interactive, which created more than $2 billion in valuations.

So, what does this mean for your VR company? Sure, you might not be able to tap into Eleven Ventures’ cash spigot, but it does show that despite some folks being down on the AR/VR sector — and a high-profile company like castAR going belly up this week — others are willing to dive into these emerging techs and invest in interesting and innovative ideas.

And after we saw how VR took a larger role at the Electronic Entertainment Expo game-industry show earlier this month, along with big changes afoot for Pokémon Go, AR and VR still have plenty of good things going on even as it experiences some rough waves in 2017.

For AR/VR coverage, send news tips to Dean Takahashi and Jeff Grubb (for those that cross over into PC gaming). Please send guest post submissions to Rowan Kaiser. Please be sure to visit our AR/VR Channel.

—Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor

P.S. To paraphrase Clemont in Pokémon XY, “the future is now thanks to science! And … augmented reality.”

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Beyond GamesBeat

Former Valve initiative CastAR shuts down

CastAR, the augmented reality start-up co-created by two former Valve employees, laid off its staff, shut down internal studio Eat Sleep Play and closed its doors today, according to now former employees. Less than 70 people have been laid off between the Palo Alto headquarters and its Salt Lake City studio which was comprised of former Eat Sleep Play and Avalanche Software employees. (via Polygon)

Apple May Have Just Bought Eye-Tracking Firm SMI

Back at the start of the month Apple got serious about VR, revealing its latest iMac Pros would support SteamVR. Now new rumors surrounding the company suggest it’s also looking into one of VR’s most requested features – eye-tracking. Mac Rumors has gathered a pretty substantial amount of evidence that suggests the company has just acquired SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), a computer vision company that VR enthusiasts will likely be familiar with. Apple’s vice president of corporate law Gene Levoff recently granted power of attorney to German law firm Hiking Kühn Lüer Wojtek to represent what looks like an Apple shell company in all business related to the acquisition of SMI, for example. (via UploadVR)

The VOID Opens In Canada And Plans For The Future Of Hyper Reality

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Nickelodeon Debuts SlimeZone Social VR Experience

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