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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 17th, 2017)

The universal, web-based dashboard called V is getting support for HTC Vive and Steam VR headsets. The dashboard was launched in beta in 2016 for Oculus Rift, and it enables users to browse the web or use apps while in VR. Since the launch, V has been upgraded to work with Touch controllers. Now, the dashboard also supports HTC Vive and Steam VR headsets, and by extension probably the Windows VR headsets that recently got support for Steam VR. V will be competing with the new web dashboard Dash announced by Oculus last month. — ROADTOVR

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Williams-Sonoma is acquiring the AR startup Outward for $112 million. Williams-Sonoma is a home furnishings company that also owns West Elm and Pottery Barn, and Outward is a San Jose, Calif. company that specializes in creating 3D images for AR shopping apps. Williams-Sonoma was a client of Outward's for three years, and they recently worked together on an AR app for Pottery Barn. The all-cash deal is expected to close at the end of the year. — RECODE

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Zynga is creating an AR feature for CSR 2 race cars. The CSR Racing 2 game is popular with car racing fans, and the AR feature lets users see the cars on a mobile phone display overlaid on a real-world environment. The Zynga game publisher's designers at Natural Motion studio in the U.K. created detailed models of the cars, and the feature works in iPhone and iPad versions of the game using iOS 11. The developers used Apple's ARKit platform to develop the feature. — VENTUREBEAT

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IMAX and Cineplex launched Canada's first VR theater. The IMAX VR Centre at Cineplex's Scotiabank Theatre Toronto offers immersive experiences including movie content and games. The Centre is a state-of-the-art facility with a Players' Lounge and 10 pods allowing for interactive, social experiences with multiple players. Content experiences will include Ubisoft's Star Trek: Bridge Crew Rescue at Perseph, Skydance's Archangel, and Justice League: An IMAX VR Exclusive. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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Starbreeze Studio announced its popular Payday 2 game is now available in VR beta for HTC Vive. The game accommodates up to four players and all users who currently own the title are able to participate in beta at no extra charge. The VR edition was first revealed in May, and although it runs through SteamVR, it only supports Vive headsets and controllers. But according to RoadToVR, some users say that the VR title also works with Windows VR headsets, and there is even a hack that enables the beta on Oculus Rift. — VRFOCUS

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Paramount Pictures is launching a VR movie theater experience that users can have in their own homes. The studio, in partnership with Bigscreen, is collaborating with Oculus, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft to create the experience. Users will put on headsets and sit in a virtual theater, with a huge screen and an audience to chat with before the VR movie shows. The experience will kick off with a screening of "Top Gun" in 3D on Dec. 3, available in 30-minute blocks on Bigscreenvr.com. — CNET

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