Ford developing virtual showroom | Inside XR - March, 30th 2017

Inside XR (Mar 30th, 2017)

Augmented Reality 3D / Samsung Ostrich VR Ad / Murder In VR


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Murder in VR space should be made illegal, argues Angela Buckingham on Quartz. Since we don't know the impact of such convincing virtual violence, Buckingham thinks many psychological and sociological studies need to be carried out before the ability to commit VR murder proliferates. Most films and video games are based on stories about conflict and resolution, so murder and violence have become cornerstones of escapist entertainment. However, crime rates in the country have dropped as Hollywood movies and mainstream videogames became more violent, and some argue that virtual murder (even in an everday first-person shooter) can, in a complicated way, be soothing. But the VR experience is a whole other level of immersion, and the writer argues that the psychological conseqeuences of "such complete identification" are unknown. – QUARTZ


A new, augmented reality method may be able to deliver 3D more effectively than before, as well as lead to the popularization of AR headsets. The 3D process, around since the 1950s, never quite delivered the real immersion it was advertised as offering. The new method is not about "forcing a 3D world onto a 2D viewing plane," as was the case with past 3D movies and TV. Instead, the new idea is all about the viewing of 3D objects in our own 3D world. The notion combines 3D cameras that can sense dimensions in the real world with 3D graphics that can be overlaid in a "natural" way. Recode's Bob O'Donnell posits that the technology will drive the development of augmented reality headsets. – RECODE


Samsung cleverly underlines the appeal of VR in an ad featuring a CGI ostrich. The ostrich, a flightless bird, dons a Gear VR headset and gets to "experience" flying. Time sums up the ad's message well: "In VR, anything is possible." – TIME


Ford is working on a system combining AR and VR that could turn potential customers' homes into virtual showrooms. If successful, the idea could cast doubt on the traditional notion of retail space for car dealers. Jeffrey Nowak, head of Ford's global digital experience division, says, “It really is a blank canvas. It is easy to imagine that someone who wants to buy an SUV could experience taking that car for a test drive over desert dunes without leaving the comfort of their home." However, Amko Leenarts, head of global interior design operations for the company, seemed to imply that the physical experience of real test driving is essential: “From the moment you get in, you form connections with the smell, the feel of the surfaces, or the sound of the car door closing and it’s very powerful." – AM ONLINE


A trailer for the fourth season of HBO's "Silicon Valley" hints that the new season will focus on VR. The technology has been discussed on the show during the previous three seasons. Upload VR argues that it would seem to be a natural development for the series' fictional startup, Pied Piper, to lend its technology to a VR headset project. – UPLOAD VR


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