Inside VR - November 12th, 2019

Inside VR (Nov 12th, 2019)

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The present and future of virtual reality news and technology

1. Immersive technology is being applied across all areas in the realty sector. Stefanos Chen lists out concrete case studies of Virtual and Augmented Reality being used not just in showroom demonstrations and tours, but offering real value in the design and construction phase as well. One case study highlights technology offered by start-up Matterport that can capture a 1,500-square-foot apartment in 15 minutes with an off-the-shelf camera. It can also create virtual house tours that enable "iBuying" — electronic real estate sales that are often sight-unseen and completed online. The 3D visualization company, roOomy , which was founded in Amsterdam in 2010 and entered the American real estate market about five years ago (recently announcing a partnership with Sotheby's), can also take photographs or 3D composites from a company like Matterport, digitally replacing unsightly clutter with aspirational furnishing. – NEW YORK TIMES  

2. Isabella Rossellini made her immersive media debut in the third installment of “Wolves in the Walls.” The 3rd and final installment of Fable Studio's Emmy award-winning animated VR series, which is based on the Neil Gaiman book by the same name, is now available on the Oculus Store. The story follows a little girl named Lucy who believes that there are wolves hiding in the walls of her family home, and in chapter 3, Rossellini plays the character of Nana, Lucy’s grandma, who only lives on in the family’s memories. The next part of the story will be ‘Whispers in the Night,’ which will play onto Lucy's memories. Viewers will have the option to save those memories as they finish playing the third chapter. – VARIETY  

3. Spotlight: Women in VR - Rose Troche

By Alice Bonasio

Rose Troche is an award-winning writer, director, and producer of film, television, and new media. She started working part-time at a movie theater where her interest in film developed. She earned her undergraduate degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Chicago and went on to get a graduate degree in film.

In an industry where women still make up only 12 percent of the Directors Guild of America membership, Troche is just one of several lesbian directors who launched their careers with independent gay-themed films. She has gone on to find work in Hollywood and hit TV series such as "Six Feet Under" and "The L Word."

For the past several years she has started exploring immersive media in storytelling and believes that VR is special because it occurs in real-time, and women are emancipated enough that they can cooperate from the start in this emerging industry. She created  ”Perspective,” which is a story or a sexual attack. The story was shot from two perspectives, so viewers can immerse themselves from the perspective of both the victim and the attacker. It shows how signals can be wrongly interpreted, how alcohol clouds judgment and what horrible things seemingly normal people are capable of doing.  More recently she released  “If Not Love,” a short piece inspired by the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando that takes the viewer through a mass shooting at a nightclub. 

Every Tuesday we'll shine a spotlight on the female trailblazers making their mark in immersive tech and their work. If you have a story you think we should feature, just hit reply to this email or tweet me @alicebonasio.

4. The IHG chain has been using VR to test out hotel designs with its stakeholders. Dean Takahashi reports on how Trick 3D, a 3D visualization studio, worked with IHG to use VR to design its Avid Hotels and Atwell Suites hotel brands. IHG’s brand manager Anna Karwata claims that visualizations in Virtual Reality can help executives and decision-makers overcome the so-called “anxiety gap,” speed up the process of designing a hotel by 30% to 40%, and save significant amounts of money. "You have to convince 100, 200 owners to spend $10-12 million on something that they have never experienced. That’s where VR was critical," she tells Takahashi. – VENTUREBEAT  

5. FedEx is using Virtual Reality training to teach new recruits what to expect on the job. Package handlers working on FedEx Ground loading docks load and unload 8.5 million packages each day, and many quit after realizing the volume and physical nature of the job. FedEx Ground partnered with Strivr - a VR training systems vendor begun by a former Stanford University football player which has worked with companies such as Walmart, BMW, and Verizon - to teach newly hired package handlers what to expect on the job and how to stay safe doing it quickly. At a recent HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas, the company reported that based on early data the company has collected, VR training had resulted in a “notable” improvement in what people retain from what they’re taught. – IEEE SPECTRUM  

6. A 7,200 square foot space in Louisville, Kentucky, is being converted into a VR-themed racing venue. Justin Lewis, the owner of Jeffersontown’s Bluegrass Karting & Events, is leasing about 7,200 square feet of vacant space to create OVRDRIVE, which he describes as a multifaceted entertainment concept. It will include a half-dozen full-motion VR racing simulators that will have access to more than 400 cars and more than 100 race tracks across the world.– WLKY  

7. Would-be kleptomaniacs can now indulge in realistic virtual burglary experiences. Kyle Melnick walks you through "Thief Simulator VR," saying the process of breaking into people's homes felt realistic enough that it made him feel "like a bad person." Players break into various homes located within a free-roam sandbox neighborhood in search of valuable appliances, cash, and expensive jewelry to lift, which proves easier said than done. The game's "official guide to professional thievery" includes performing recon using a variety of devices such as binoculars, making sure your get-away car is in good shape, and familiarizing yourself with your target's routine and security systems. "The more information you obtain, the more efficient your burglary will be," Melnick says. He concludes that this is a premise particularly well-suited for VR, which makes all the intricacies of burglarizing a home — picking the lock, rummaging through drawers, climbing through windows — a much more engaging experience. The title is still in early access and will be available on teamVR and Oculus for $14.99 starting Nov. 12.– VRSCOUT    

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

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