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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 27th, 2017)

Amazon announced its new Sumerian tools which allow developers to create VR, AR, and 3D apps. The company's Amazon Web Services division says the Sumerian preview starts today. The service has templates for scenes that support Daydream, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and iOS smartphones and tablets. Sumerian has a library of objects (users can also embed their own or from a supported third party) and tools to help animate 3D characters. The tools are integrated with Amazon Lex and Amazon Polly, which provide automatic speech recognition, natural-language processing, and text-to-speech functions. Users don't pay for the design tools, but instead for the storage and for traffic generated by the apps. — ZDNET

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More than a million VR headsets shipped in the third quarter of 2017. This is the first time that many devices have shipped in a single quarter. These figures were reported by Canalys, a firm that analyzes the global technology market. According to Canalys, the increase in sales was due to the discounts offered by the manufacturers. Sony PSVR headsets led the quarter with 490,000 shipments; Oculus was second with 210,000 Rift headsets, and HTC Vive was third with 160,000. — VENTUREBEAT

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Niantic studio has raised $200 million in a Series B round of funding. Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter AR game, was born out of a startup founded within Google. This latest funding round was led by Spark Capital, and other investors included Founders Fund, Meritech, Javelin Venture Capital, You & Mr. Jones and Chinese Internet technology company NetEase, Inc. The company raised $30 million in its Series A round in 2015-16. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be released in 2018 and is being developed in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive. — TECHCRUNCH

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The first of Snap's new AR advertisements is coming from the carmaker BMW. The AR Trial ads are based on Snapchat's World Lens ads, and allow users to see and interact with products in the real world. BMW's ad lets users walk around the X2 car and tap it to change the color. Last quarter, Snapchat's revenues were $30 million short of projections and the company is trying to make money from its existing user base. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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A new app called Vinyl Reality allows users to create sound mixes using two turntables vinyl records. The app was created by Berlin developer EntroPi Games. The VR experience features two turntables, a 2-channel mixer, motion controls, virtual headphones for previewing cued music, and a separate audio output. Vinyl Reality is available for $15 on Steam. — VRSCOUT

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Magic Leap has filed a trademark for its long anticipated AR headset: Magic Leap One. The company also trademarked the Magic Leap Monster Battle, possibly for software or a game title for the upcoming device. The names were filed on Nov. 6, but reports of a Magic Leap One device first came in 2016. Magic Leap raised $502 million in October in a Series D round, bringing its total funding to nearly $2 billion, even though the company has yet to launch a product.  According to Bloomberg, the company could release its device to a limited number of users in early 2018. — ROADTOVR

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