Inside XR - July 15th, 2016

Inside XR (Jul 15th, 2016)

Scott Sight, a thermal imaging headset, is designed to help firefighters by integrating a thermal camera into a standard mask. While not true HoloLens-style AR, it's a bit closer to the helmet display used by Apache pilots. (The effect for the fireman is akin to the "Predator vision" from the 1987 monster movie.)  – GIZMODO

Road To VR bitingly asks what Pokemon Go might be like "if it was real AR." Basically, they discuss what the game might look like through a dedicated AR headset, and CapitolaVR's decision to build a Pokemon Go test-game for the Microsoft HoloLens.ROAD TO VR

Sony has reversed a statement it made earlier this week, when it claimed that all the Playstation VR games would support the PS4's DualShock4 controllers. Now, the company says "some game experiences will be enhanced with the use of peripherals such as Move or... the Aim controller."VERGE

Steam has pulled off its first VR-only best-seller: Raw Data, a first-person sci-fi shooter. The game is still part of Steam Early Access, and it's pulled down a share of stellar reviews. – VG 24/7

Undergrad Martin Spanel had developed a simple augmented reality software that will help players solve a Rubik's Cube in 20 moves or less. Spanel wrote the project in Java for his bachelor's thesis. (See more regarding Spanel's plans to improve and open source the code for his software below in today's "From The Forums" section.) SPLOID

Members at the Virtual Reality and the Metaverse subreddit are discussing an article claiming that half of the consumers in the UK feel that VR tech is overpriced. DeliriumT gets the shakes right away from what he calls a "flawed study": "Ask most people about videogames (no 'candy chrushers'...) and more than half will answer they dont know/they dont care... no wonder they wouldnt invest a dime in VR the same way I woudnt invest a dime in having 200 TV channels (to say something)"; User citylims says, "Hopefully the PSVR will be gateway drug for a lot people, as $400 is a reasonable entry price for your average gamer, and the Playstation install base is big and loyal to sony at this point." Copperlight adds the threads most cutting comment: "People who've never used VR thinks it's overpriced? No surprise there - most of these people thinks it's like strapping a 3D TV to your face."

On the AR programming subreddit, members discuss undergrad Martin Spanel's Rubik's Cube-solving AR app (see above for the full story.) TheDummy says "Looks awesome. I recommend optionally disabling the color overlays and just have the directional indicator. The overlays seemed a bit choppy." (He later indicates he may have been kidding.) Uses chipsambos says "I like it. Has that 'Take On Me' vibe going on. In fact, I'd take it a step further and have Take Me On as the soundtrack. Good tune to try and solve a rubiks cube to." The 80s live on, fans. CoughSyrup adds, "Solving a rubik's cube does not impress people the way you think it does. Or at least, it doesn't impress people the way I thought it would."

Phone Arena is running a poll, asking its readers if Pokemon Go is the watershed moment for augmented reality. The article sums up Pokemon Go's appeal, in the way the game combines intense nostalgia and (what is for most people) brand-new tech. The responses are running at about 75% "yes" so far. – PHONE ARENA

Codemasters, designers of the racing game Dirt Rally, have spoken to Road to VR about why their game lacks support for the HTC Vive. The designers deny that the issue was giving the Oculus Rift exclusivity, and that instead the hold-up for the HTC version is a "resource issue."ROAD TO VR

GoPro is testing a VR camera in plain sight, having just released a video showing their small demo camera in-action as part of GoPro's deal with MotoGP racing. The smaller-form camera appears to have two lenses back-to-back on a stem, feeding into a single camera. GoPro still has not given official word as to when a consumer version will be available.ENGADGET


Over 200 different educational apps currently available to teachers utilize AR technology.  Even the Pokemon Go app, teachers interviewed in Washington State say, can be highly valuable in the instruction of students with developmental disabilities.KXLY


Thanks for writing in last week in regards to our inaugural "big question" regarding what you thought the public's biggest misconception of VR was. The basic response was "they all think its just for games and porn," which is the kind of blunt reportage we love. 

So, here's today's question:

How important is it that a new tech's first massive cultural exposure is attached to something conceptually substantial and long-lasting? Does the fact that Pokemon Go screams "fad!" cause anyone to worry that AR will be seen as a gimmick, and not as the life-changing tech-support we've all be waiting for?

How likely are you to recommend Inside VR & AR to a friend or colleague?

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