Inside XR - July 8th, 2016

Inside XR (Jul 8th, 2016)

Our Oculus Rift giveway is running for 14 more days, and today we launched another giveaway for an HTC Vive. Enter here to win!

In an effort to get a robust dialogue going with our readers, we're going to start asking big questions about VR & AR, and we'd love to get the most passionate responses we can out of you. Any and all comments are welcome, and we'll be compiling a mailbag section curating the most interesting responses next time.

Here's today's conversation starter:

"What is the public's biggest misconception about VR?"

Hit reply and let us know!
Games Radar calls “Batman: Arkham VR” “the ultimate in wish fulfillment.” The writer describes the thrill of the initial moments in-game, as he suits up in the VR world as Batman with his “gadgets and gauntlets” one at a time. Looking into the mirror and seeing Batman grimacing back, the writer feels his mind going to joyful mush: “Oh, dear god, this is cool,” he writes. – GAMES RADAR

Forbes calls Pokemon GO "a terrible Pokemon game, but an augmented reality home run." The writer says anyone looking for something that feels like old-school Pokemon game play is in for a crushing disappointment, as "everything you know about catching, training, and battling... has been essentially thrown on the window." However, on its own terms as an AR vehicle, the writer finds it "crazily addicting, a lot of fun, and possibly the most significant advancement in the battle against obesity in recent memory" as he relates doubling his pedometer's average step count searching his city for Pokemon. – FORBES

Part of the successful Golden State Warriors pitch to Kevin Durant included a VR tour of the team’s practice facility and new stadium.  – BUSINESS INSIDER

Virtual reality may help save Planned Parenthood. A new VR film “Across the Line” depicts 360 degree scenarios of the harassment women often face when trying to access reproductive healthcare, from protesters blocking the entrances to people shouting accusations. Producer Molly Eagen says VR will help Planned Parenthood get viewers to experience how bad it’s gotten for patients and providers at clinics. – NEWSWEEK

Programmer Trammell Hudson is working to make the HTC Vive’s positional tracking tech available to tinkerers. The Vive gets its noticeably precise tracking done with two IR-blasting “Lighthouses” and the photodiodes on the headset and the controllers. – VERGE

Snapchat has hired Hollywood visual effects specialist Raffael Dickreuter to help on an unnamed augmented reality project (most likely the company's much-discussed AR glasses that will lay computerized info over a wearer's reality.) Dickreuter, who worked on the “Iron Man” films, has been given the title “Concept and Augmented Reality Designer.” – BUSINESS INSIDER

Cool gadgets and games are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how virtual reality will disrupt business and everyday life. By 2020 there will be around 42 million VR headsets globally, and this will revolutionize the business world, from making hardware like televisions obsolete to letting people attend live concerts from their living rooms. – THE DRUM


Virtualitics in Pasadena, California is looking for a lead UX designer to direct the design of a new type of software system.

Tesla is seeking a creative VR/AR software engineer in Fremont, California.

Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Virginia is looking for a senior Unity 3D developer.

General Dynamics is seeking an augmented reality application developer to work on training applications in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Google is hiring a motion designer for Cardboard and virtual reality in Mountain View, California.

Future Colossal in New York is looking for an experience / level designer to develop AR, MR and VR experiences.

At the Virtual Reality and the Metaverse subreddit, the news of Steam data suggesting Vive is way ahead of Oculus in terms of base installs has kicked off a discussion about the lack of Rift sales figures. Asking about sources for info on Rift sales, user theERJ gets some helpful responses: FarkMcBark says the lack of available Oculus numbers "probably doesn't mean anything good."; As for the Steam data, member edmg says "It's meaningless, since I rarely use my Rift with my Stream."; User sitbusitgooddog responds to edmg, saying "You don't need to use your Rift with Steam, just having it connected to your PC when the hardware survey is run will ensure it's counted. Also owners of both that completed the survey have said it was the Rift that was counted."

PadenPierry has shared some conceptual work he's done for an augmented reality "fighting-mechs-on-your-keyboard game," and has gone to the AR subreddit boards for advice and tips. Traim asks "Could you maybe tell a bit more about the concept of the game? Currently I only see that Mechs are spawning and each kill is a point."; PadenPierry is happy to respond: "You get your mechs into the middle area and the capture meter goes up, once your team hits 100%, the point is captured and then your teams points start ticking up. Once your team points are at 100, you win."; perverseKinematics asks "Might I ask how you are making the shadows?  They look nice." Paden Pierry offers "Transparent shaders that show only shadows on mobile took quite some time to get, mostly hunting forums and doing research" before adding a link to the shader he used; thestrandedmoose sounds like he's found his calling: "This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen! If you'd like, I could help with the HUD design if you could tell me a bit more about what you're going for."

Project Nourished is a fascinating, curious new application of VR that allows a user to sensually experience an entire meal without swallowing a single bite – even one made of fictitious food items with no real world counterpart. To use, one slips on the headset and sits down in front of several devices and alien-looking food implements, including a “bone conduction transducer” that slips around the back of your head to mimic the internal noise and vibrations of chewing and a "aromatic diffuser" which blasts food aromas at you from a tube. (While Project Nourished is meant as a commercial product, the idea is more of an aesthetic one than a dietary one, as not eating is an ineffective weight-loss method.)  – CNET

The UK’s first virtual reality center aims to bring the VR experience to a new audience. Tension VR, located in a converted church in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, provides the latest virtual reality games, helpful support staff and large rooms that allow customers to walk freely. – TELEGRAPH

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