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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 20th, 2017)

A Czech developer has created a free, cross-platform template for adding hands to VR experiences. The developer,  iNFINITE Production, released the UVRF framework to help game developers create virtual hands that look real and animate in a natural way. The UVRF has 17 grab animations for various objects, input mapping and logic for different platforms, basic haptics, teleport locomotion using NavMesh, touch UI elements, and several other features. — ROADTOVR

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HaptX, formerly AxonVR, has released a prototype of its haptic gloves. The gloves use micro-pneumatics to give feedback to the hands. Other types of haptic gloves use vibrating or buzzing motors to give the sensation of resistance, but HaptX says their system has more precision. HaptX uses hundreds of tiny air pockets known as "haptic pixels" that can change pressure to create a sensation on the skin. The air capsules can also be woven into fabrics to create the HaptX smart textile. — ENGADGET

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Researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Utah are using VR to study neuroanatomy. The team uses CGI computer rendering to create images from MRI brain scans. Then they made 3D images of the neural pathways so that they could be viewed and mapped in VR. The researchers said that the technology was almost twice as fast as using the desktop method. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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A Dutch nonprofit has created a system to allow people to swim with dolphins in VR. The nonprofit, called the Dolphin Swm Club, has created waterproof headsets that users can swim with while experiencing the virtual dolphins.  The headsets were 3D printed from recycled plastic sourced from the ocean, and are used with waterproof Samsung phones. The devices were built using a grant and the technology is used to provide therapy for disabled people. — 3DERS

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The Venture Reality Fund's latest report on the industry revealed that the investments by the entertainment sector in the second half of 2017 are already up 79 percent compared to the same period last year. The VR Fund tracks investments in the technology and highlighted 450 companies that develop infrastructure, tools, platforms, and apps for VR and AR. The company reported that the worldwide investment in VR and AR so far this year is more than $2.3 billion, the highest of any year so far. The entertainment sector included major players AMC, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, HBO, Netflix, Sony Pictures, and Viacom. — VENTUREBEAT

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A U.K. company is using VR experiences to help people with dementia. The VR project, called Wayback, has created a series of films meant to give people positive experiences and trigger happy memories. The initial film takes viewers back in time to the 1953 coronation of the Queen of England and a street party to celebrate the event. Patients can use inexpensive headsets to watch the film. The project is being backed by the company Dementia Care Matters. — GUARDIAN

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