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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Feb 5th, 2018)

The New York Times has introduced a new AR feature in its news app. The new feature will launch with augmented reality storytelling about the athletes in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For now, the app only has AR features for the latest version of iOS but the publisher says that there is an Android version in the works being developed in ARCore. The stories will be illustrated with 3D objects but the articles will also be available for readers not using the immersive environment. — NYTIMES

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A new VR experience called I AM A MAN deals with the struggle for civil rights. The experience puts the user in the role of a worker that participates in the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and the events that led up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I AM A MAN was created by Derek Ham, a professor at North Carolina State University, who was the recipient of the 2017 Oculus Launch Pad Scholarship. The Launch Pad is designed to promote diversity in the VR industry. — ROADTOVR

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Stanford researcher Jeremy Bailenson has published a new book about how VR affects humans. The book, "Experience on Demand," focuses on how the medium can help society and also about the risks inherent in the technology. Bailenson co-wrote an earlier book about the VR industry with Jim Blascovich called Infinite Reality, which was published in 2011. Bailenson has been involved with VR since Palmer Luckey cobbled together the first prototype headset from spare smartphone parts. — VENTUREBEAT

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Kantar Consulting is using VR to design retail spaces and data tools to predict the impacts of the design on sales. The tech product is called Perfect Category. Perfect Category relies on two of Kantar's tools; the first is the company's VR Studio, which allows brands to design and update retail environments in stores. The other tool is Richmix, which uses data about purchases and shoppers' behavior to develop algorithms that can forecast economic results. — VRFOCUS

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The Art.com app has a new AR feature that lets users preview how art will look in their homes. The company sells art online and is using the feature to help boost its e-commerce. There is also a feature called "Gallery Wall Designer" that lets users see how different pieces of art look when grouped together. The app allows to take recommendations, swap out options, and make purchases, and it's available on iOS devices. — TECHCRUNCH

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The VR experience Space Plunge pairs Vive Trackers with toilet plungers to use as controllers. The game uses the controllers to harvest space slugs on a desolate planet for fuel. Space Plunge was developed by Shane Huston and Kyle Guillory and is available for download now for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and other PC-powered headsets. The game was developed as a part of this year's Global Game Jam at the University of Colorado. — VRSCOUT

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