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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Dec 6th, 2017)

QualComm is hosting a new reality show for VR developers participating in an app competition. The show is called "VR Developer Challenge" and the developers are matched with YouTube stars. The series debuted last week on YouTube. The developers are Sam Maliszewski, Jordan Mann, and E McNeill, and they were selected by Warner Bros company Machinima, which partnered with QualComm to produce the show and promote QualComm's new VR platform. Developers had a month to create content using a standalone headset and the Snapdragon 835 VR developer kit. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 and will receive $20,000 in prize money. — ADWEEK

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D-BOX, Cineplex, and IMAX have launched a cinematic VR experience in Canada. The inaugural film is called Raising A Rukus and features twins Jonas and Amy as they go on an adventure with their dog Rukus. It screened previously at the IMAX VR center in Los Angeles. The VR hardware company D-BOX installed 10 motion seats in the new VR center at Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre in Ottawa. The Scotiabank center was a joint project between IMAX and Canada's Cineplex, and in addition to VR films, the center also has immersive video games, a players' lounge, and ten room-scale VR pods for various types of content. — VRFOCUS

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Niantic is adding 50 new creatures and a weather feature to its hit AR game Pokémon Go. The company also recently announced it was updating its inaugural AR game Ingress. Pokémon Go was released in 2016, has earned $1.2 billion in revenue, and has been downloaded 752 million times. Niantic has regularly added new creatures to the game and there will now be 300 total. The characters will also react to actual weather conditions as the latest AR feature factors in real-world weather in the user's environment. The Pokémon will appear in the weather that they are suited for, splashing in the rain, playing in the snow, or basking in the sun. Niantic recently raised $200 million in funding as the company develops its third new AR title Harry Potter: Wizards Unite to be released in 2018. — VENTUREBEAT

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Samsung is partnering with St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, Australia on a clinical trial using VR for pain management. The trial will use Samsung smartphones and Gear VR and offer a variety of VR experiences for patients experiencing acute pain. It will measure efficacy, side effects, and potential for reducing the risk of opioid dependency. Similar studies of the use of VR for pain management and physical therapy and other applications have had some success. — TECH REPUBLIC

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A Dutch startup has created a VR game called Stressjam that helps people deal with stress. The title was created by the Jamzone studio founded by the psychologists at Maarsingh & van Steijn, and won this year's Digital Innovation of the Year award in the Netherlands. The game gives players super powers and tasks, and they have to monitor and watch their stress levels (generated by biofeedback) as they try to balance the Cortisol and DHEA hormones. — THE NEXT WEB

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The VRX 2017 conference takes place in San Francisco on Dec. 7 and 8. The event covers all aspects of the VR/AR ecosystem, from entertainment to enterprise technologies. VRX is a senior-level VR/AR event and there will be speakers from Oculus, Intel, Ford, HTC, Paramount, Google, Epic Games, Walmart, Qualcomm, and other companies. People attending the conference will have the opportunity to check out the latest technology and content. — ROADTOVR

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