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Inside AR (Aug 15th, 2017)

Qualcomm announced its new Spectra camera technology. The Spectra module expansion has high-resolution depth sensing which will allow for better face detection and enable VR manufacturers to build image sensing and hand tracking into their products. The technology also improves biometric authentication. The Qualcomm release comes a month ahead of Apple's iPhone 8 launch, which will also include depth-sensing and facial recognition technology. Qualcomm and Apple are still involved in a high-profile patent dispute. — TECHCRUNCH

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New York City will host its first VR-focused convention this October. The NYVR Expo is aiming to be the biggest virtual reality conference on the East Coast. Emerald Expositions is hosting the event alongside its PhotoPlus Expo at the city's Javits Center and anticipates 20,000 attendees between October 26 and 28. The city is also in the process of building a VR/AR hub at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering. — ENGADGET

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Shipping giant UPS is using VR to train its drivers. The company created training modules using HTC Vive and other headsets. The VR content is meant to simulate driving conditions in a city, and the technology will be deployed in September at nine of the company's Integrad training facilities for student delivery drivers. The VR training will replace the touchscreen devices currently used, and students will have to verbally identify the potential hazards they detect using the headsets. — ZDNET

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Augmented reality use by broadcast news media is increasing. Currently, only about 20 percent of broadcasters are using the technology, but even local news studios are starting to use AR as a storytelling tool. According to Newscast Studio, AR is more available to broadcasters because the technology is now featured by vendors like Vizrt, Ross Video, and Avid. AR is being used in weather and traffic reports, social media, and viewer polls. — NEWSCAST STUDIO

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Air France flights are getting VR entertainment. The airline is currently testing VR headset entertainment on one of its routes. The headsets are designed by SkyLights, in which Air France invested in June. Qantas was the first airline to offer VR entertainment to its first-class passengers in 2015 using Samsung Gear headsets. Air France's trial began August 1 on Airbus A340s that fly between Paris and the Caribbean, and the VR content includes 40 films and series. — CONDE NAST

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An Iranian-born musician affected by the Trump travel ban will use VR to play for audiences in the United States. Ash Koosha was jailed in his home country for organizing a rock concert and is now living in asylum in London. Last summer, Koosha was forced to cancel U.S. concerts when the State Department didn't process his visa in time, and this year the artist was unable to travel due to restrictions targeting individuals from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Instead, his Aug. 16 concert in London will be available on early access Steam to American fans with Vive or Rift headsets. — UPLOADVR

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