Inside XR - August 1st, 2016

Inside XR (Aug 1st, 2016)

Well-known tipster OnLeaks claims to have details on the next Gear VR headset. It will reportedly support the Note 7 as well as Samsung phones going as far back as the Galaxy S6. Rumors also have it that the new Gear will have a wider 110-degree view compared to the 96-degree view of its predecessor. – ENGADGET

TechCrunch contributor Soumen Ganguly writes with some confidence that VR will not go the way of 3D. This, despite both being heavily-hyped video-based “next big things” involving the purchase of new tech gadgets and the adoption of goofy eye-wear. Ganguly, who is a director at AV & Co, says his biggest reason for being bullish on VR is its potential for integration into social media – TECHCRUNCH

Artist Ivan Toth Depena has co-designed a new AR app called “Lapse,” which he describes as a “decoder or magnifying glass that reveals hidden gems" throughout the urban environment. The app is a kind of high-minded scavenger hunt (or a Pokemon Go without cartoon monsters) that works in conjunction with six multimedia installations throughout Miami, revealing through the viewfinder veritable explosions of art not visible to the naked eye. – ARTSY

Lionsgate’s movie “Nerve,” which opened wide to middling box-office over the weekend, centers on a sinister augmented reality app (called “Nerve,” natch) that is highly addictive but can imprison players forever if they make the wrong move. Of note is the fact that the filmmakers, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, were behind the compelling pseudo-documentary “Catfish,” which brought the potential dangers of internet socializing to the mainstream. – DEN OF GEEK

The Shaping Our Worlds AR Sandbox turns an everyday school sandbox into a fascinating tool for geoscience education. The challenge of teaching and learning Earth science has always been related to the difficulty of visualizing processes that take place over huge temporal and spatial scales. The AR Sandbox combines virtual water with traditional atlas-style color mapping to indicate depth and elevation, making once-esoteric Earth processes tactile and immediate. – EOS

At the always jumping Virtual Reality and the Metaverse subreddit, member Jakoul has a basic question about how VR works, and why high end computers are required to render relatively small resolution. Member bjoernkalv notes that "2160x1200 and never dropping below 90fbs is pretty demanding." Hklaveness adds, "The need for high end HW arises from the high framerates (90 fps) and the absolute horror that ensuses once you start dropping frames." Blueberry_Bandit spreads a little optimism around by writing, "Do keep in mind this is going to get better for consumers, very fast... 2nd Generation VR headsets should be many magnitudes better."

At the augmented reality subreddit, members are talking about Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent assertion that his company is "high on AR in the long run." ThrwansHand writes "I'm not certain he even knows what VR or AR actually is.... But it's really cool and thanks to Apple dreams are possible." Augeria notes, "
They bought a leading AR firm from Germany over a year ago called Metaio. They just didn't make a show of it."

And at the Oculus subreddit, member MrKubb asks the eternal question, "How can I play music over Rift headphones while I'm playing games?" MrKubb says, "
I love just driving laps in Project Cars and Assetto Corsa. But it occurred to me that there's no logical way to listen to music or podcasts over the headphones." Smithenheimer asks, "Just out of curiosity, why don't you want to change your default audio device? That's my usual solution." Member _Bones__ responds: "Because then, when you take the headset off, audio will still play over your Rift." rOlix thinks MrKubb should "just mute (his) windows sounds in the mixer." Clamroll says "I keep the rift as the default media playback device, and have win amp set to always play over my speakers, but that's just me," to which _Bones__ responds, "Man, that really whips the llama's ass"


Ahoy, faithful readers! Thanks for reading once again, and here's today's big question. We love to get any and all feedback we can from the readership, and no response is too silly, angry, or blindingly brilliant.  So here goes:

Much is made of a psuedo "format war" between VR and AR, but is it really a war? Does the success of a VR product benefit AR? Vice-a-versa? Are AR and VR entirely different concepts, or simply different points on a spectrum?

So hit "REPLY" and let us know what you think.  We'll be collecting the best, most insightful and entertaining responses in this space next issue.  See you then!
The Playstation VR asks for a surprisingly large amount of play space, according to UploadVR, despite the fact that it offers no room-scale user tracking. The new system requires 9.8 x 6.2 feet for usage, according to a newly released brochure. The suspicion on forums is that Playstation is playing it safe here, asking for more space than is utterly necessary to avoid the odd “I smashed my great-grandmother’s favorite lamp while swinging at a VR zombie” lawsuit. – UPLOADVR

Theresa Duringer designed Ascension VR (available starting today on Steam and Oculus app stores) to deal with her growing fear of flying. Though the adaptation of the popular fantasy role-playing card game does not specifically deal with airplanes, Duringer was focused on distracting the player from their external fears and calming them down by immersing them in quick-thinking strategy. (Duringer says her fear of flying has “crept up on her” since her 20s.) – VENTURE BEAT

A fascinating new video shows users navigating a new redirected walking (RDW) application that creates an unlimited virtual corridor within a space just 16 x 23 feet in actual size. RDW is a technique which attempts to “strongly modify spatial perception” to the extent that your mind believes you are walking in a straight line when your physical body is actually traversing a carefully calculated curved course. – ROAD TO VR


Eyefluence is still looking for a Senior Software Engineer for their VR/AR SDK. 

Custom Reality Services is seeking a unity developer to complete development of a an existing mobile VR platform using the Unity 3D game engine. 

Oculus is looking to hire an automation engineer to drive improvements in game and app quality. 

Envision Innovative Solutions is scouting for an augmented reality developer with existing strengths in the areas of gaming and Android development.

AR gaming firm Skyrocket Toys is looking for a game producer with 5+ years of hands-on mobile game production experience. 

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