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Inside VR

Inside VR (Jan 2nd, 2020)

1. Teslasuit has unveiled haptic VR gloves that track biometric data and let users feel virtual objects. The company aims to ship the Teslasuit Glove by the second half of 2020 and retail for around $5,000. The device can be paired with the body Teslasuit and combines various technologies to capture the motion of users’ hands, record pulse and other biometric information via an inbuilt oximeter, and simulate the touching and holding of objects via an array of nine electrodes on each finger which produce the sensation of touching a nonexistent surface, while a plastic exoskeleton creates resistance and vibration to simulate interacting with solid objects. – THE VERGE

2.  An Australian athlete has partnered with developers at the University of the Sunshine Coast to help him train in VR for the Winter Olympics. Elliot Brown hopes to qualify for the 2022 games in Beijing, China, and is planning on using immersive technology to help him overcome the country’s lack of Skeleton Racing tracks. Developer Jason Riddell says they are working with a couple of USC students to put together a fully functional training app this year that would allow Brown to mentally prepare for the challenging course without having to travel extensively to access facilities in places such as Europe.  – VRSCOUT

3. Action-physics adventure game “Boneworks” has earned an estimated $3 million in revenue in its first week of release. In spite of only being currently available on Steam, the title has outpaced “Beat Saber” to reach 100,000 units sold. Boneworks was developed by independent studio Stress Level Zero, and its Founder Brandon Laatsch leveraged his experience and connections to market the game beyond the core VR community. Since April 2018, videos showing off Boneworks at various stages in development attracted over 21 million collective views. The company confirmed that it is currently developing a game “in the Boneworks universe” for the Oculus Quest as well. – ROAD TO VR  

4. Shelby Brown predicts some of the gaming tech that will be showcased at the CES 2020 show which takes place in Las Vegas beginning January 7. "We can expect to see technology that further immerses players in video games," she says. These include BHaptic's, a wireless full-body haptic Tactsuit which lets you virtually walk and run in VR environments - which Brown describes as looking like "a cross between the suits found in Pacific Rim and Ready Player One," and Arcadeo, a gaming chair that you can control with a mobile app.– CNET

5. Tim Bradshaw believes that the next decade the virtual world and the real world will merge into one to the extent that we won’t be able to tell the difference. Bradshaw writes that headsets such as Oculus Quest give us a peek into the “mirrorworld,” and that while the 2010s will be remembered as the decade that screens invaded every part of our lives, the next 10 years will mark a shift towards recreating our lives inside those screens as immersive technologies powered by ever-more sophisticated smartphone cameras and ultra-realistic computer graphics, enable us to replicate ourselves and our environment in remarkable detail. – FINANCIAL TIMES  

6. French Filmmaker Jan Kounen talks about creating the acclaimed VR experience “Ayahuasca,”  which explores shamanic medicine from the Peruvian jungle. “We’re using immersive technology, as well as sensory techniques to bring you in, in a way that no film can do,” said Kounen, who based the film on multiple trips to the Peruvian Amazon where he participated in the Ayahuasca rituals. Produced by France’s leading VR outfit AtlasV which previously made titles such as "Gloomy Eyes” and “Spheres.” It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and has just been released onto Steam. – VARIETY

7. The Oculus Quest is apparently selling better than Facebook had planned, with customers experiencing a nearly two-month wait due to high demand. A hot holiday season is just what VR needed, according to Travis Hoium, who nevertheless warns that holiday sales don't always translate into long-term growth where there isn’t enough content to keep users engaged. The hard work begins in 2020 to make the industry sustainable long term, he concludes.  – THE MOTLEY FOOL  

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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