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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 14th, 2017)

HTC has announced plans for its Vive Focus headset in China, and cancelled its plans for a standalone Google Daydream headset. The Vive Focus will be the first standalone to have "six degrees of freedom," and uses inside-out positional tracking and on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip. Meawhile, the Google Daydream headset that HTC had planned since May has been nixed. Google is still working with Lenovo on a wireless Daydream headset that is scheduled to be released this year. — VERGE

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National Geographic sent a VR camera into space with an astronaut to document the International Space Station. The company sent a Vuze VR camera aboard the Cygnus cargo spacecraft. Paolo Nespoli, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, will use the camera to film a tour of the space station. The Vuze VR is built by a company called Humaneyes and has eight built-in cameras that can record in 3D with 4K resolution. — SPACE

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A 300-year-old bookstore in Boston has a new AR app. The app, called Look Again, overlays 3D historic signs for the Old Corner Bookstore, which had been a publishing house, a jewelry and woodworking shop, a pizza place, and a travel books and map store throughout the centuries. The app was built in the Vuforia framework, and it's in beta and only available for Android, but an iOS version is in the works. — VRSCOUT 

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Volkswagen has created a custom VR experience for its customers. The T-Roc virtual reality experience uses a Vive setup and Leap Motion hand-tracking technology so that no controllers are needed. Users can interact with a life-size 3D model of the Volkswagen T-Roc SUV/crossover with their own hands, changing the vehicle's color or configuration, opening a moonroof, honking the horn, or turning on the radio. The experience is free at the Volkswagen Markenhochhaus Brand Tower in Wolfsburg, Germany. — VRSCOUT

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HTC is creating Vive Wave, a mobile openVR platform, in China. As reported above, HTC is releasing a new standalone headset Vive Focus in the country, which is the impetus for creating the platform for developers. Vive Wave does the same thing for mobile that Valve’s OpenVR does for desktop, allowing third-party devices access to all the Viveport VR content. HTC already has a dozen hardware partners tha will support Vive Wave in China, including 360QIKU, Baofengmojing, Coocaa, EmdoorVR, Idealens, iQIYI, Juhaokan, Nubia, Pico, Pimax, Quanta and Thundercomm. — ROADTOVR

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Several companies are working to incorporate the sense of smell into VR experiences. Internet streaming site Camsoda has developed a scent machine called the OhRoma for its adult entertainment. Project Nourished includes an aromatic diffuser, a headset, and virtual utensils to simulate different kinds of food, and researchers from the National University of Singapore has created the Vocktail to simulate different kinds of drinks by overlaying color, taste, and smell sensations. — ENGADGET

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