Inside XR - July 28th, 2016

Inside XR (Jul 29th, 2016)

One of the most popular sections in this newsletter has proven to be "From the Forums". We regularly get feedback from people who find it interesting and valuable to get a synopsis of the most interesting conversations on VR forums each week. So, we're placing it up top today. What do you think?

At the Oculus subreddit, MatisenDK proudly showed the DIY cockpit he created, complete with steering wheel, joystick and pedals. “Pretty sweet!” grantwolf1971 comments. “I’m just now shopping around for peripherals (wheel, HOTAS). It will be years before I have a dedicated setup like this (if ever). Nice job.” tricheboars recommends searching eBay for materials. “I got both my x52 pro and my driving force GT on eBay and they are awesome. Paid a lot less than new.”

In the Vive subreddit, there’s a world of horror for arachnophobic VR enthusiasts after user Jhzanto had a spider climb into his headset. “I had the headset on and I see a blob move in front of the right eye,” he writes. “I take the headset off and see its a spider. It ran into the cracks just above the left eye. I can’t get it out!!!” Apparently the spider was about the size of a quarter. “He’s deep into the hardware, I can’t see him at all. I’ll just put the headset in a bag for a few days, but there’s no way in hell I’m putting it back on.” Amused Redditors offered a few suggestions on how to kill it or drive it out, while JoffSides remarked, “Spiderbro just wants to experience some of that VR goodness he has been hearing about on the spidernews, share the wealth OP.”


Apple is investing in augmented reality, CEO Tim Cook says. Asked about Pokemon Go and the future of AR at Apple’s earnings day, Cook said the technology “can be really great” and that “we are high on AR for the long run, we think there’s great things for customers and a great commercial opportunity.” He expressed some doubt about it being the next new platform, however. - THE VERGE

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg claims the future of AR is in smartphones, not glasses. In a recent investor’s call for Facebook’s second quarter results, he revealed that he enjoys playing Pokemon Go himself, and the biggest takeaway is “the phone is probably going to be the mainstream consumer platform” for both VR and AR technology, rather than mixed reality headsets like Oculus or Gear VR. - UPLOAD VR

The Democratic National Convention is going virtual reality with a 360-degree live stream. The video, which viewers can pan around by tilting their phone or using their PC’s mouse to change perspective. They can also switch to Cardboard mode and watch the stream with a compatible VR headset. The live stream is being produced by LA-based company Digital Domain. - VARIETY

Samsung is the first-ever VR sponsor for Lollapalooza, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It’s planning VR experiences including surfing and skateboarding, and a lounge where people can watch performances on VR headsets — but only if they own a Galaxy phone. Other sponsors who want to showcase virtual reality must use Samsung gear. - CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Minecraft will get Oculus Rift support in the next few weeks. Microsoft and Mojang announced the news on the one-year anniversary of Minecraft’s release on Windows 10, confirming that it will be a free update. Previously, the Samsung Gear VR enabled Minecraft in virtual reality; but the Oculus Rift, which features things like external camera tracking, will allow for a different and possibly more comfortable experience. - THE VERGE

A Guardian op-ed argues that Facebook’s virtual reality just attempts what artists have been doing forever. Writer Jenny Judge says that despite Mark Zuckerberg’s grand claims about the future of virtual reality, writers and artists still have the original claim to creating rich and vivid “experiences.” “We tend to forget, amid the clamor surrounding the advent of VR, that society is already full of virtual reality experts: artists." - THE GUARDIAN

Werner Herzog tries to understand Pokemon Go, with amusing results. “Physically, they fight?” the perplexed filmmaker asked, during an interview about his new documentary about technology, “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.” “Do they bite each other’s hands? Do they punch each other?” He pointed out that the interviewer was talking to somebody who made his first phone call at age 17 and doesn’t have a cell phone. “I have no clue what’s going on there, but I don’t need to play the game.” - TELEGRAPH


One challenge for VR companies is figuring out how to convey the experience of their products in photos and videos. Often, this leads to awkward, hilarious stock photos of people wearing VR headsets. LAMag rounded up some fantastic examples this week.


Custom Reality Services is hiring a Unity developer, located anywhere, to complete development of an existing mobile VR project using the Unity3D game engine.

Eyefluence Inc in Silicon Valley seeks a senior software engineer for virtual reality SDK, creating state-of-the-art wearable eye interaction technology.

Digital ArtForms needs a MakeVR programmer in Los Gatos or remote for a seven-month project, with potential to continue beyond.

WSJ Magazine in New York is hiring a digital editor who can create Virtual Reality content, along with writing and producing stories and working on social media platforms.

Aca in Overland Park, Kansas is looking for an experienced AR/VR product engineer to deliver outstanding software.

Navisens in San Francisco is hiring a mobile engineer for iOS and Android, to handle the mobile-facing aspect of Navisens technology.

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