The U.S. Army and Homeland Security have developed a new VR simulation to help teachers respond to school shootings. The agencies spent $5.6 million on EDGE, Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment, a program that trains fire departments and law enforcement to deal with school shootings. An updated version of the program to be released this spring includes three new roles in the simulation: a teacher, a shooter, and an officer. To build the new program, engineers used the audio from shootings at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook. — GIZMODO
Hyperfair has launched a new social VR platform for business and enterprise. Experiences like Facebook Spaces and Rec Room are geared toward social interaction and entertainment, but Hyperfair is meant to help colleagues network and collaborate. Hyperfair has an interface that works with mobile and PC based VR, and an SaaS platform that can accommodate thousands of avatars interacting at the same time. The app also video and image sharing and can be used with HTC Vive and Google Cardboard. — VRFOCUS
AT&T revealed plans today to launch a 5G mobile network in a dozen markets in 2018. The announcement follows the adoption of international 5G standards last month. The company had previously marketed enhanced LTE technologies as the evolution from 4G to 5G, and run smaller 5G tests in some cities. Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are also making plans to launch 5G networks in the future. The 5G networks mean VR consumers will have access to data speeds up to 100 times faster than current speeds and zero latency. — VENTUREBEAT
VorpX, a 3D driver that allows users to play traditional video games in an immersive environment, has been updated. The update version is 17.3.0 and makes it easier to optimize the configuration for each particular game. VorpX first became available in late 2015 alongside Rift development kits, but now it supports both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The product has different levels of support for more than 200 games. The 17.3.0 version automatically adapts the field of view and resolution to the game's settings, and also has an immersive screen mode. — ROADTOVR
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The LiveWorks app for broadcasting VR over the air and using OTT (over the top) platforms will be showcased at the CES show in Las Vegas. The app was created by VR Video and WheresMyMedia, the entities that were awarded a $15,000 grant to develop the prototype by the National Association of Broadcaster's PILOT Challenge. The application uses the new ATSC 3.0 broadcasting standard, which was approved by the FCC in November. ATSC 3.0 and the LiveWorks app will bring immersive content to consumers with next generation TV receivers. — MULTICHANNNEL
The Final Fantasy franchise is being used for a VR roller coaster in Japan. The Final Fantasy XR ride opens Jan. 19 in Universal Studios Japan and lets guests explore the games iconic locations and see its most popular characters. The ride was developed by Square Enix’s personal FX studio Visual Works and costs $31 (3,500 yen). The release is a part of the Cool Japan 2018 initiative. — VRSCOUT