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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 21st, 2016)

Expectant parents in the U.K. can now see their unborn baby for the first time via a 3D model that comes to life through a VR headset. This new scanning technology combines ultrasound imagery with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), offering the best view yet of a baby in the womb. But beyond simply determining the baby's sex, doctors can use the model, which also maps the foetus' internal structure, to detect health issues in the baby early-on. – TELEGRAPH

Dutch police are giving a trial-run to an augmented reality program that will help with the investigation of crime scenes. The system works when video footage from body cameras worn by officers investigating a crime scene is streamed to off-site experts, who can then access the body-cam footage and canvas the scene with their notes. Those notes are then visible to those same officers on the scene, superimposed via smart glasses like Google Glass. – NEWSCIENTIST

Variety's film critic Owen Gleiberman talks about the box-office failure of director Ang Lee's "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" and what that implies about the future of VR movies. Gleiberman, one of the few critics who rallied to the film, sees the film's 3D 4K at 120 frames per second (fps) look as an attempt to "take the spirit of virtual reality right onto the big screen." The writer says the experience gives the actors' presence a startling "this-is-happening-now" vividness. The frustration, though, is that Sony only made the the 3D/4K/120fps version available in 2 of the 1,175 theaters at which the movie opened. VARIETY

Employees of Myrtle Beach Safari have posted a few clips of Sugriva, a chimpanzee, playing with a VR headset. While there has been a social media backlash from concerned animal activists, Sugriva's caretakers say the chimp "loves the stuff." In one of the clips, you can spot Sugriva taking off his HTC Vive headset before quickly putting it back on himself. – NEXTWEB

AltspaceVR has introduced a new capture-and-replay VR feature that allows a writer from the Verge to interact with a version of himself from five minutes earlier. The author notes, "In clear violation of the Prime Directive, you can reach out and grab objects from out of your past self's hand." – VERGE

Chicago's Inventum Bioengineering Technologies has developed a VR system to help head transplant patients prepare for life with a new body. Should Italian neurosurgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero's groundbreaking, insanely complicated 2017 head transplant surgery work, there is an assumption that the patient will face "unexpected psychological reactions" to having an entirely new body below the neck. The VR system, called the Heaven Project, will acclimate the patient to the "new body" feeling pre-surgery. – GIZMODO

Edward Snowden shared his thoughts (via a Beam Pro robot) about the potential of augmented reality at Oakland's Real Future Fair. While Snowden says he hasn't played much Pokemon GO, he thinks the game's legacy can reach beyond gaming and into how "people see and treat each other." Snowden sees future AR apps that can "tell you how to get to the hospital or a job interview... but also tell you about your political history, (and about) what's going on in the country." – VB

Users at the Virtual Reality and the Metaverse sub-reddit are abuzz over the videos of Sugriva the chimpanzee using a VR headset (see above.) 

das_hans writes, "Kinda strange how no one has mentioned organic computing yet. That's totally it. Think about it, funny as he is, that's a chimp using a computer naturally with little instruction, for all intents and purposes. Imagine where we'll be in 3 years and the potential VR AR and MR have for intuitive computer interfaces. While logical gaps, like not being able to sit on a virtual chair without some sort of effigy, will still be around for a bit you can already see how easy people pick up VR games as soon as they understand basics like pointing and grabbing. ... For filestructure, most of us will be able to find files on our computers easily enough but when I look at my mom's computer she has everything crammed on the desktop because she constantly loses stuff buried in some folder somewhere. And that's the problem for her, 'where' is on the computer, the added step of understanding that there are physical locations within your computer is a step removed. Now imagine she has some sort of digital version of her desk but with endless drawers and all the bigger on the inside magic of computers but with spacial file locations. So much more human in a way."

voiderest is more troubled by the footage: "I don't really think that's what's going on here. Another post with a vr chimp talked about how the footage was from a group that uses animals like this for youtube clicks. Maybe the chimp used the stuff on their own but if not they would have been trained to do so. Probably in not so nice ways." But das_hans isn't convinced: "Imagine how long it would take for a chimp to learn how to do stuff on windows or even a tablet. As well as mental engagement."

SoundProofHead writes, "That's crazy how the chimp totally accepts the new reality that's offered to him/her." "Not only that," adds acosmichippo, "but it knows that it needs to hold the headset onto its face."

forkl says, "Cue the 2001: A Space Odyssey" music. catbackpack writes, "It really makes me think maybe an advanced race put their version of the HTC vive on early neanderthals to Kickstart intelligence."
Neverpart VR is looking for a freelance/contract 3D Artist. (Palo Alto, CA.)

Nokia Technologies wants to hire a OZO Principal Cloud Engineer. (Sunnyvale, CA.)

STRIVR Labs wants a Database Administrator. (Menlo Park, CA)

Audio Fusion LLC is looking for a Visual Artist - 3D Modeling. (New York, NY.)

Survivos wants to hire a Creative Designer for their games team. (Culver City, CA.)
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