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Inside XR

Inside XR (Oct 23rd, 2019)

1. Snapchat added 7 million new users in the last quarter and is relying on Augmented Reality to continue to fuel its growth. At the company's quarterly earnings call, CEO Evan Spiegel stressed how important AR is to its future, saying that the average user interacts with the platform 30 times a day via AR Lenses and filters. The Snap community, he adds, has so far created over 600,000 such lenses, and he hopes to build on this by integrating AR wearables over the next decade, beginning with its proprietary Spectacles glasses which go on sale next month. – THE VERGE  

3. “Scream For Me” Halloween Snap AR filter turns you into one of England's most infamous ghosts. Inspired by the true story Borley Rectory, known as "The most haunted house in England," the free filter developed by creative agency R3Digital is triggered when the user opens his or her mouth to scream. “We knew that the supernatural theme – this blurring of the boundaries between the real and the ethereal, would lend itself to all sorts of immersive experiences,” explained the film’s Producer Tom Atkinson, adding that the nun - who as legend has it was bricked up alive within the rectory's walls when she tried to elope - was a perfect starting point. The team is now keen to build a more complex multi-sensory immersive experiences around the famous séances conducted by paranormal investigator Harry Price before the rectory burned down. – VRSCOUT  

4. A new immersive visualization platform uses Mixed Reality to guide surgeons during procedures. MediView XR uses the HoloLens and other Augmented Reality devices to give surgeons the ability to peer inside patients and see their internal anatomy under the skin, including organs, blood vessels, bones, and other structures such as cancerous lesions. The system combines sensor readings from ultrasound devices with CT or MRI scans into a three-dimensional view. This means that surgeons can move around patients and continue to see their internal anatomy in the right position and from the correct angle. It also offers surgeons advanced positioning data as they operate, so that as they pick up an instrument while wearing the AR goggles, they will see a “lightsaber-like” ray of light emitted from the end of the tool which lets them see exactly how it will intersect with the patient’s anatomy and even notifies them when correct placement has been achieved. – DIGITAL TRENDS


5.  A new patent filed by Samsung contains plans and a 3D Rendering for AR glasses. The documentation reveals details of an Augmented Reality headset attached to a wire, and unusually contains a photorealistic rendition of what the device would actually look like as opposed to the more standard technical drawings alone. It is yet another indication that Samsung is branching out into the Augmented Reality space following the limited success of its VR offerings such as the Samsung Gear set, which hasn't been updated since 2017.  – DAILY MAIL

6. A Microsoft HoloLens interactive demo uses Unreal Engine to render the new Apollo 11 moon landing experience. The demo includes dynamic lighting and shadows, volumetric effects, and multi-layered materials, using Unreal Engine and featuring seven million polygons within a physically-based rendering environment. Sean Endicott notes the importance of the fact that these visuals are actually rendered outside of the HoloLens 2 device, being streamed wirelessly from a network PC running the latest version of Unreal Engine. The HoloLens 2 sends eye tracking, voice, gesture, current device positioning, and spatial mapping input to the PC on the network before streaming the rendered holographic content back to the HoloLens 2. – WINDOWS CENTRAL

7. Jon Jaehnig reviews "Bubiko Foodtour’s Unusual Guide to Augmented Reality." Written by AR enthusiast Stephen Black, the e-book provides a quick and practical guide for novices to immersive technology, while offering a useful reference library and new perspective on ideas and players in that space that should also keep experts entertained, "From Anchor to ZNet, it covers almost eighty unique entries," Jaehnig writes.  – ARPOST

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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