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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Dec 1st, 2017)

Google has introduced Poly API to enable developers to work with 3D assets while in virtual reality. Last month, Google launched Poly, a library of free 3D objects and scenes for VR and AR apps. Poly API lets developers find, import, and interact with the assets in VR, and Google has also created a version for developers using Unreal Engine or Unity called Poly Toolkit. Several VR apps have already integrated the API, including Mindshow, TheWaveVR, Unity EditorXR, Normal, AnimVR, Modbox, and High Fidelity. — ENGADGET

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The LEGO AR-Studio app launches today on iOS. The app features six different LEGO sets including classics like the police station, train set, and fire station, as well as Ninjago models. Users can play with the sets in 3D overlaying the actual scene, and the LEGO characters walk, talk, and make noises. There are scripted events that give access to hidden passages with gold LEGO bricks for users to find, and kids can also create short videos. The app is free and works with iOS11 devices with A9 or A10 processors. — WIRED

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The construction company DIRTT has created a VR app to let clients walk through their future homes. DIRTT (Doing It Right This Time) built the app on top of its existing ICE software, including tools that combine data about materials, pricing, engineering, manufacturing, and installation. The app is called ICEreality, and lets iPhone users with the app and an ICE file explore the space in VR with an avatar. Multiple users can navigate the design at the same time. — DIGITAL TRENDS

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Mapbox has acquired Fitness AR. Mapbox is a location data platform for developers, and Fitness AR is an activity tracking app. Fitness AR launched in September, and was the first fitness app to use mapping that allowed Strava users to visualize their rides or runs on a 3D map. Mapbox has offices in the U.S. and in Europe, and the company provides global maps, real-time traffic, location search and navigation resources via APIs and SDKs for developers. The acquisition will help the company explore AR applications in categories such as travel, weather, fitness, sports and gaming. — MARKETS INSIDER

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The vintage Elf Yourself meme from 2010 now has AR features. The Elf Yourself virtual greeting card came from the Office Depot retailer and allowed users to place photos of family or friends onto holiday elves. Now, there is an AR app for iOS and Android that creates customized elves dancing on a Christmas tree or city skyline or any actual background, using up to five photos. The app can create videos to share. The AR function is available via in-app purchase for 99 cents per dance. — INVERSE

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First Class VR, a cinematic experience from Zodiac Interactive, is set for a Dec. 14 release. The title comes from an independent developer from China, and it explores the history and future of human flight. First Class VR will be available on Steam with support for HTC Vive. The VR experience explores the history of aviation, from the Wright Brothers to Elon Musk's SpaceX, as well as myths like the story of Icarus, and a look forward into the future of flying; it is based on the Hugo Award-winning novel Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. — VRFOCUS

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