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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Nov 28th, 2017)

The former vice president of VR at Hulu, Noah Heller, is starting a technology fund in Los Angeles. Heller left Hulu last month and is creating 3Rodeo, an early stage venture fund for entrepreneurs. Heller said he will be investing between $250,000 and $500,000 in technology startups in the seed phase. One of the projects it's funding already is Mira, the company working on an AR headset. Heller first joined Hulu after its acquisition of Vhoto, a startup he co-founded in 2012. — VARIETY 

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Tap Systems has developed a device to let users type on a virtual keyboard. The company's new wearable, called Tap, is a one-handed device with five interconnected rings that turns any surface into a keyboard and mouse. Tap is compatible with a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, computer, or virtual reality headset and works with most Bluetooth-enabled hardware. The device comes with a wireless charging case, has a TapGenius app to help people learn how to use it, and is available for preorder for $130. — VENTUREBEAT

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VirtualGuide.com is launching a new VR app for tourism and e-commerce. The app is a collaborative effort berween VirtualGuide.com and several other companies, including Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, The Bee2Bee Network, I-Drive 360, Samsung, and Google. The first venue to be featured is the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, where users can virtually visit the location, make reservations, or purchase goods and services. The Orlando Eye is the pilot for the $3.5 million project, which will add other venues in Florida. — VRFOCUS

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Apple plans to add a 3D rear-facing camera to its 2019 iPhone. When the company launched its iPhone X this year, the front-facing camera featured "TrueDepth" technology for facial recognition and authentication. The sensor array needed for TrueDepth made it hard to manufacture at scale, and Apple was forced to reduce the accuracy of the technology to speed up production. The new rear-facing cameras will use "time of flight" sensors instead, which uses the time it takes for a laser to bounce off an object to create a 3D picture. The additional sensor will enable more AR applications on the iPhone. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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Janimation has created a VR hot air balloon ride. The Dallas-based animation company created the experience as a prototype for other custom tourism experiences. The balloon ride is a location-based experience, where the users are put in a wicker basket held over the ground that moves and swings in sync with the display. The ride also has wind, temperature changes, and scents, and users can select from three different levels — easy, advanced, and experienced. The expert level features Jurassic era scenes with dinosaurs. — VRSCOUT

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Titanic VR is a new educational experience that brings the sunken shipwreck and its history to life. The experience was created by Immersive VR Education, the same team responsible for Apollo 11 VR, and was funded with a Kickstarter campaign. Titanic VR was built using maps to create a realistic 3D model of the ship, and the studio worked with the BBC to get real life testimony from survivors. The experience also features a storyline, a sandbox mode for exploration, and bonus missions, and it is compatible for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PSVR. Windows VR support is expected to come later this year. — ROADTOVR

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