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Inside AR (Jun 12th, 2019)

1. Apple's AR-related WWDC 2019 announcements have paved the way for an AR glasses launch. Dave Smith writes that each of the new tools unveiled at the company's annual developer conference — ARKit 3, RealityKit, and Reality Composer — are readying developers for a huge AR wave. Smith says by allowing devs to easily prototype content for AR experiences, even if they have no experience of building apps in 3D, the company clearly hopes to build up a compelling catalog of content in advance of any significant immersive hardware release. – BUSINESS INSIDER

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2. A new collaboration is aiming to bring Broadway shows to broader audiences through virtual reality. John Gore — the producer of Tony-winning productions such as "Hello, Dolly!" — is working with MelodyVR, a platform that facilitates live concert experiences, to port productions into VR. The idea is to allow viewers from around the world to not only watch live shows, but to select multiple vantage points during performances, jump spotting from the front row to the stage or orchestra pit as desired. – FORBES

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3. From the Forums: Apple's AR Dogfooding. Luís Marques Martins, a growth hacker working at Portuguese Immersive company NextReality, posted a video from the WWDC conference which has been viewed over 70,000 times in less than a week, drawing enthusiastic questions and reactions from devs and marketers alike. It shows a demo which uses augmented reality to give users an in-depth look inside the new MacPro computer. Since Apple has been pushing its new AR developer tools (see the first item in today's newsletter) it's nice to see the company willing to use them to showcase its own products.

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4. Veterans are using VR to tackle phantom limb pain. Nearly 2 million Americans have lost a limb, with as many as 80 percent of amputees suffering from phantom limb pain. For some patients, seeing the missing limb back in place can help reduce the pain, however, which is what prompted Researcher David Boe to pilot a “limb simulator therapy” within the Center for Limb Loss and Mobility (CLiMB), a research group within the VA Puget Sound. Boe coded what he describes as a primitive game after teaching himself the basics of VR design. When a person loses a limb, the mind has to reconfigure how it senses the body in space, so for some patients, seeing a "replaced" limb in VR can help achieve this. “We think that we can guide people back to that normal model of their limb and thus no phantom limb pain,” explains Boe. – GEEKWIRE

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5. Bethesda announced that it will launch the latest installment of the Wolfenstein franchise in Virtual Reality. Wolfenstein Cyberpilot for VR will debut in July but playable previews are available at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this week, The game is set 20 years after the events of The New Colossus and before the Youngblood, and the user's job is to be a hacker for the French Resistance, taking control of robots and turning them against their Nazi creators.–VENTUREBEAT

6. An Irish startup using virtual and augmented reality is providing VR training for high-risk industries within safe simulated environments. VRAI was founded by filmmaker Niall Campion in 2017 and has since partnered with the United Nations Mine Action Service in Somalia to demonstrate the challenges of spotting improvised explosive devices and Engineering firm ESB International to develop a virtual reality experience to demonstrate how its subsea cable repair product works. – IRISH EXAMINER

7. John Lewis is using immersive technology to encourage customers to be more adventurous in their furniture choices. The U.K. retail chain is rolling out a pilot in three of its stores where you can enter information about your home - dimensions, door and window placement, floor and wall colors - and get a 3D representation of what various furniture choices would look in that place. This can be viewed on the iPad in AR, but customers also have the option to take a virtual walk around the space wearing a VR headset.  – PROLIFIC LONDON

8. In this opinion piece, veteran tech reporter Jon Martindale writes an overview of the current state of AR and how it will fundamentally change the way we interact with the digital world in the next few decades. – DIGITAL TRENDS

9. A "Child's Play" VR experience has just been released which drops you into a deserted Zedmart as Chucky prowls for his next victim. The franchise is getting a reboot with a new film release on June 21, featuring Mark Hamill as the voice of the iconic killer doll. – GAMESPOT  

10. Otherworld is an ambitious multisensory immersive concept space in London which aims to "break down reality." Designed by  The Dream Corporation and architectural firm Red Deer, the space hosts 14 VR rooms featuring custom-built booths which deploy extra-sensory effects such as heat, wind, rumble, and scent to bring 16 experiences (such as fighting zombies or climbing Everest) to life – DESIGN MILK

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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

 

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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