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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 3rd, 2016)

Apple’s car technology might include augmented reality. Apple-tracking website Macrumors obtained a note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the company’s investment in AR would allow it to integrate the technology into products like the iPhone, the Apple Watch, and eventually an autonomous driving system. CEO Tim Cook has acknowledged the importance of AR and said he thinks it will be a bigger business for Apple than virtual reality. - FORTUNE

The NFL is developing a virtual reality series for YouTube and Google Daydream. The exclusive nine-part series will follow players, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and fans as they prepare for game day. The first episode will air on YouTube on Thanksgiving Day and will be available on Daydream later in the year. - RECODE

Virtual reality may have been predicted by optical illusions from the 19th century. In a lengthy essay, New York Times writer Steven Johnson explores the connection between antique stereoscopes and illusion palaces like the Phantasmagoria, and modern VR technology. He suggests that VR may have more in common with old-fashioned toys designed around optical illusions than it does with blockbuster movies or video games, and this could provide clues about where VR is headed. - NEW YORK TIMES

The Lenovo Phab 2 Pro phone is the first to use Google’s Tango AR technology. Tango goes a step beyond the approach of Pokemon Go by adding location tracking, using extra sensors and camera capabilities to 3D map our surroundings and create virtual play spaces. The Phab 2 Pro sells for $500 and has a range of new apps from the Google Play Store. - THE VERGE

Intel has bought VR company Voke, which develops virtual reality based on live images. Voke’s TrueVR uses sets of paired cameras to create three-dimensional spaces from live action rather than animation, making it ideal for sports, fashion shows and other events. Intel’s purchase of the company could help drive demand for Intel chips and provide marketing opportunities with sports leagues and broadcasters. - WALL STREET JOURNAL 

L’Oreal is using a virtual reality experience from software company 8i to train hairdressers. The new curriculum for the Matrix Academy creates a room-scale VR experience where stylists can walk around and view a virtual client’s hair from every angle. 8i used 3D photorealistic recordings to capture the texture of real hair and create holograms of the hairstylists and models. - ENGADGET

Bjork released a teaser for her new virtual reality music video. The “Notget” video from her Vulnicura album features a digital avatar of the singer in an ethereal environment. Directed by Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, it premiered at Iceland’s Airwaves Festival and follows VR videos for “Black Lake” and “Stonemilker.” - PITCHFORK

Secretive startup Magic Leap has spent $1 billion on a mixed reality prototype that could revolutionize computing. CEO Rony Abovitz said in a lengthy interview that Magic Leap is working on a consumer version of a futuristic user interface that uses retinal displays, motion tracking and mapping to create mixed reality objects that can interact with the real world. The final product should fit into a pair of glasses and will be able to create displays in any location, potentially replacing screens altogether. The first version of this prototype could be arriving in the next 18 months. - FORBES

FROM THE FORUMS

On the Virtual Reality subreddit, one user is curious about potential side-effects of VR. “I’m thinking about getting my first VR headset soon (specifically the PlayStation VR), but was curious about how people have experienced VR for a long period of time,” says riggat0ny. “Has anyone had a VR headset of sorts for a year or more? If so, what is it like having it long-term? Any impact on cognition, eyesight, etc.?”

remosito has been using VR for 27 months and noticed no problems with cognition or eyesight. “Still tripping out on ED with my force sensing non-moving joystick though, even after over 1000 hours played. The in-game joystick moves when you input directions in your IRL joystick. But as my IRL stick does not move there is conflicting info from my eyes and my I think it's called proprio-reception or some-such fancy word. Trippily enough my eyesight wins. And my mind is convinced my IRL hand moves too, even though I know for a fact that it doesn’t.”

“Wearing a headset is really no different than wearing glasses,” says Smallmammal. “You have a lens close to your eye and you look out that lens for extended periods. I think the health argument is vastly over-player and over-worried.”



Meanwhile on the Oculus subreddit, tugnasty described his first “intense presence” moment while playing Obduction. “I walked into that little cave like area with the river flowing and was focused on the metal beams and stuff to my left, trying to figure out the machinery stuff. I decided to turn back and when I turned around I saw the river flowing under the boards, and looked out to my right at the river and how the rock walls were shiny and wet and suddenly everything sort of shifted and it was just like I was actually there. I've never had that happen before. I completely forgot what I was doing and couldn't focus on the game anymore. It subsided after a minute or so and I walked out of the cave back into the sunlight and decided to take the headset off and take a break.”

bottonknob remarks, “This is one of the few games that when I'm not in the VR world, I can still conjure up that feeling of having been there. There is enough variety in the landscape, enough details and time to get familiar that it does feel like a place you've visited once you take off the headset.”

THE BIG QUESTION
What are your most disorienting experiences with virtual reality? 

Hit "Reply" and let us know!
JOBS IN VR

Leap Motion is hiring a VR evangelist to interact with people in social channels, forums, and industry events. (San Francisco)

Virtually Live is seeking a software engineer to develop PC and mobile versions of their VR platform. (Seattle)

Automaker Faraday Future is hiring a virtual reality specialist for its design team. (Los Angeles)

Accenture is hiring an augmented & virtual reality developer to create experiences for Fortune 500 companies. (San Francisco)

Google is hiring a test and failure analysis engineer for their VR/AR team. (Mountain View)

One of 50+ speakers at LAUNCH SCALE 2016: Casper CEO Philip Krim will break down how he created a $100M company in under two years. Use code: inside20 for a 20% discount on your ticket to the event!

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