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Inside AR

Inside AR (Aug 23rd, 2019)

1. Scott Stein talked to Facebook's Engineering Manager Joel Hesch about how the company's vision for AR and VR will overlap and converge. Hesch led the development of Oculus Insight, a technology that will likely drive the company's future headsets as they evolve from Virtual to Augmented/Mixed reality and continue to develop their long-promised AR glasses. "For what we do in AR on mobile today and what we're doing on Quest and Rift S, a lot of those common building blocks like the Insight system are actually running across platforms. We think spatial AI is something that's going to be so foundationally important to all the platforms," says Hesch – CNET

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2. Airbus has unveiled its Holographic Tactical Sandbox tool for Augmented Reality headsets. The Airbus Defence and Space unit published a video yesterday demonstrating how the HoloLens 2 works with the Airbus Fortion TacticalC2 application, a software that enables military officers and personnel to visualize 3D maps of battlefield locations in their physical space through head-mounted displays, and collaborate in mission planning and training exercises by rotating, manipulating, and annotating the holographic assets. This follows the aircraft manufacturer's recent move into developing Mixed Reality applications for enterprise and government customers, and could also technically be deployed in rival devices such as Magic Leap One. – NEXT REALITY

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3. Follow Friday: Jesse Schell 

In his Twitter profile, @jesseschell describes himself as a game designer, but a quick scroll through his most awesome website menu will quickly reveal that he's a lot more than that. He's the author of "The Art of Game Design," a distinguished professor teaching "Building Virtual Worlds and Game Design" at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) and entrepreneur.

His early career involved working as a Software Engineer for IBM and Bell Communications Research, and he then moved to LA to work with Disney Imagineering, the company's creative engine that designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, and attractions.

He founded Schell Games in 2002, a company that has developed several interesting immersive projects including the upcoming VR sword fighting game “Until You Fall” and HoloLAB Champions, which bridges the gap between education and entertainment which allows students to interact and compete safely in a lab envi­ron­ment without investing in tangible lab equipment. 

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4. A new Apple Patent outlines technology related to hand, body, positional and environmental tracking. The patent was first filed in late 2018 with the US Patent & Trademark Office and published today. It covers a HMD device with embedded tracking, a technology derived from Vrvana, one of Apple's earlier acquisitions in the immersive space.– PATENTLY APPLE

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5. Star Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has entered into a partnership with entertainment company CityLights to create immersive experiences for NFL fans. The 23-year-old has taken an ownership stake in the MVP experience, where home fans watching games at Arrowhead Stadium will be able to put on a VR headset and be transported to the Kansas City field: "They’re going to be able to go out there and step into my shoes, at least for a couple of plays," says Mahomes.  – FORBES

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6. Companies like Adobe are increasingly integrating creative input and product development for immersive technology. Stefano Corazza, Head of Augmented Reality at Adobe, explains why the company chose to create an AR Residency program at the company two years ago, and how the creative input from artists the residents helped to shape its new suite of immersive creation tools such as project Aero. “Given AR’s potential to transform experiences of the future, we decided to bring artists in to Adobe even before we had an AR product in development to help us reimagine it. – TECH TRENDS

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7. An app lets kids try on prescription glasses in Augmented Reality. Fitz Frames uses AR technology to offer parents of children ages 3-and-up a convenient way to buy customized frames without having to visit a store. The free iOS app starts by measuring the child’s face using an AR filter, analyzing the dimensions of their individual expression in order to provide a proper fit, The app then lets them “try on” a catalog (currently six shapes and eight colors) of face-tracking augmented frames from a variety of angles. Once a frame is chosen, it is 3D printed and shipped directly to the child's home. Frames cost $95 for a one-time purchase, but the company also offers subscription services starting at $185 per year that include replacements and prescription sunglasses. – VRSCOUT

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8. Munich-based start-up eyecandylab has raised €1.35 (nearly $1.5) million in seed funding from Band of Angels and LG Technology Ventures. The company, which has customers including VIACOM, NBCUniversal, WWE, and Softbank, provides computer-vision software solution using videos as a trigger for AR content on consumer mobiles and AR glasses which integrates into existing apps. “Eyecandylab is on track to take advantage of the convergence of 5G, XR and next generation broadcast video” said Deutsche Telekom’s Director of Immersive Technology Terry Schussler, who will join the startup’s advisory board. – EU STARTUPS  

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9. Dreamworld AR has launched a Kickstarter for its DreamGlass Air headset. At the time of writing, the company had significantly overshot its initial $15,000 goal, with nearly $210,000 pledged. Earlybird pricing starts at US$269 but was fast running out for the headsets which weigh 5 oz (142 g) and offer 90-degree field of view, 5-hour battery, and 600-pixels-per-inch resolution. The devices are expected to ship in December and retail for $489 – NEW ATLAS

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10. USA TODAY has added AR functionality to its mobile app. Users who have the latest versions of the iOS and Android apps can now scroll down to the bottom of the sections within them to easily access Augmented Reality experiences produced by the USA TODAY Emerging Tech team. Since the start of 2019, USA TODAY has already created seven AR experiences such as “Oscars AR: The costumes and creators,”  and “Apollo 11: America’s Journey To The Moon.” – USA TODAY 

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This newsletter was written and curated by Alice Bonasio, a journalist and consultant obsessed with the immersive technology space, including AR/VR/MR/XR and any other acronyms that fit into the realities spectrum. Over the past 15 years, Alice has advised a wide range of start-ups and corporations on digital transformation and communication strategy and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech Trends. She also regularly contributes to publications such as Quartz, Fast Company, Wired, Playboy, The Next Web, Ars Technica, VRScout and many others. Follow her on Twitter @alicebonasio

 

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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