Inside XR - October 9th, 2019

Inside XR (Oct 9th, 2019)

Upping the Game on Volumetric Capture / Sony's Ghostbusters Experience / Reclaiming Aboriginal Identity With AR

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1. An Australian university is using Augmented Reality to teach anatomy students. La Trobe University is piloting the technology to boost spatial awareness, and stated that the solution is proving very cost-effective, amounting to 10 Australian dollars ($6.74) per student compared to an average of over 100 Australian dollars for a single textbook. “It is a great resource for both teamwork and self-directed learning,” adds Aaron McDonald, La Trobe’s head of the anatomy discipline. “You can superimpose anatomical structures over a peer who can perform movements along with the app, to better understand muscle function,” he says, explaining that the pilot is meant to increase overall accessibility and explorative learning, since AR has the advantage of offering students 24-hour access to three-dimensional anatomy images through their phones, computers or iPad. “Augmented reality allows students to visualize and manipulate anatomical structures and develop a deep understanding,” he concluded .– CNBC

2.  8th Wall plans to integrate content from Microsoft's Mixed Reality Capture studio. The company's 8th Wall Web platform makes it possible for mobile web audiences to view highly-realistic 3D content in their physical environment through the web browser on their smartphone or tablet. This "anytime, anywhere accessibility is crucial to deliver on the full promise of the medium, according to Steve Sullivan, general manager of the Microsoft Mixed Reality Capture Studio, in a statement about the partnership. As Tommy Palladino writes, following from Verizon's recent acquisition of Jaunt XR, This shows the strong trend among telecom providers banking on Augmented Reality content to push the case for 5G network rollout. – NEXT REALITY  

3. Janko Roettgers toured the world's largest volumetric capture facilities. The impressive Los Angeles-based facilities officially opened at the beginning of last year and since then has been used for dozens of projects, ranging from a Reggie Watts VR music video to a volumetric performance of “Grease” where 20 performers were captured simultaneously on stage. It uses more than 100 individual 8K cameras, mounted all the way from the floor to the dome’s concentric ceiling, each one connected to a battery of Intel servers housed on-site through a network of five miles of fiber-optic cable transporting terabytes of data. Diego Prilusky, Intel Studios director, explains that the company sees the studio as a long-term investment. “We are creating more capture than you can deliver to devices,” said Prilusky, who went on to compare the current stage of VR to 8-bit video games. The material captured at Intel Studios can’t just be exported to different surfaces, but also offers higher resolutions for future device generations. That’s why Intel is safe-keeping the raw footage, thanks in part to 10 petabyte of on-site storage. “I look at it as keeping the negatives,” he says. – VARIETY  

4. A new experience in New York uses immersive technology to send an environmental message. Arcadia Earth was created by experiential designer Valentino Vettori with twelve leading environmental artists and is set across multiple rooms in a 15,000-square-foot space. Using upcycled materials and technological tools such as AR, VR, projection mapping, and interactive environments, the exhibit - which runs until January 2020 - aims to create an emotional connection with visitors and highlight problems such as the dangers that fishing nets pose to wildlife and our excessive use of plastic bags. Ticket proceeds will be donated to the exhibition’s charitable partner Oceanic Global, and a tree will also be planted for every ticket sold. – MY MODERN MET

5. Sony will run a Ghostbusters location-based Augmented Reality experience in Japan to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the original movie release. Limited spaces for the free experience at Sony building at Ginza Park will be available from Oct. 12 until Dec.8, but apart from having to be in Japan for this, you'll also need some knowledge of Japanese, (or a web translator at a pinch), some friends, plus a healthy dose of luck. Each session takes approximately 60 minutes and will only run two to four times a day. Sony encourages people to apply in groups of two or more (the experience can run with up to four friends) and will allocate tickets on a lottery basis. – UPLOADVR

6. The world's first indigenous Augmented and Mixed Reality company is using immersive tech to empower aboriginal people in Australia. "As Aboriginal peoples we're usually the last people to receive cutting edge technologies and I wanted us to be the first this time," its founder Mikaela Jade explains, adding how she uses drones, 4D mapping software, image recognition technology, and cultural law to bring such sites to life through an AR app, which works anywhere, even without access to the Internet. "Indigital is a way for people to get involved in future economies and to be able to understand digital technologies. The best way that we can do that is to make the technology relevant to our culture, to our law, to our language, and to draw on the 80,000 years of science experiments that we have the answers to," Jade concludes.– ZDNET  

7. Clifford Colby offers gamers a comprehensive guide to everything they need to know to start playing Minecraft Earth. As Microsoft starts the game's global rollout, Colby shares his experience of the early beta version so far, and walks users through all the elements and mechanisms that will make up the highly anticipated mobile AR game. From what a "tappable" is to the phone technical specs required, this is a nice primer for Minecraft fans and newbies alike, and he promises to keep it updated as new features are added in the coming months. And never fear, he says: "Because it's Minecraft, you go on adventures that include exploring caves and battling skeletons." – CNET

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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