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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Mar 7th, 2018)

AR startup Magic Leap announced today that it has raised  $461 million from Saudi Arabia’s investment arm, The Public Investment Fund. In addition to the $502 million funding round in October that was led by Temasek, this Saudi investment brings Magic Leap's Series D funding to $963 million, and its total funding to date stands at $2.3 billion — despite that fact that the company, which was founded in 2011, has yet to release a consumer product. Magic Leap has also recently been accused of violating whistleblower and age discrimination laws by its senior director of global security Todd Keil, and last week the company filed a lawsuit calling Keil's claims a frivolous attempt to extort money. Keil claims that Magic Leap violated the Defend Trade Secrets Act by having Microsoft HoloLens devices in their offices. Magic Leap also made headlines this week because its forthcoming AR headset is rumored to have battery charging issues that don't allow the device to recharge while it is in use. — TECHCRUNCH

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Oculus Rift headsets are malfunctioning because of a security certificate issue. Rift users worldwide have been reporting error messages saying "Can’t Reach Oculus Runtime Service." Developers have determined that the issue is coming from a .dll file called OculusAppFramework.dll which contains an expired security certificate. Some users have identified a workaround, which involves disabling the automatic system date and time in Windows and manually setting back the clock to allow titles to play, although this can cause other issues with Windows updates. Oculus has not yet responded with an official fix. — TECHRADAR

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Intel showcased a new software solution called Intel Arena Project that helps populate a crowd scene in VR. Intel collaborated on the solution with The Glimpse Group, which will release a white paper and the software to enable developers and content creators to build settings like the basketball stadium with 2,500 fans that the companies used for a demo. The project was unveiled during an Unreal design event promoting the game engine's Datasmith feature, and it uses Intel's i9 chipset and Optame memory drives. — ENGADGET

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The lawsuit against AR helmet company Skully has been dropped. The lawsuit was brought by Isabelle Faithauer, the executive assistant to co-founders Marcus and Mitch Weller, and alleged that the brothers had misused funds. Skully funded its AR motorcycle helmet concept first with a $2.4 million crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo followed by an $11 million Series A round in 2015. In 2016, the company ran out of money and had to shut down before the helmets could be manufactured and shipped, angering crowdfunding backers. Skully did sell the assets to the Spanish company Torrot, which has renamed the helmet Fenix and plans to ship the devices soon. — VENTUREBEAT

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CLOVR is a new mobile app that makes PC gaming content available in VR. The app's Malaysian developers are crowdfunding the project with a Kickstarter campaign that runs through May 5. CLOVR uses GPU image re-targeting and advanced encoding to transform any PC game into a VR-ready format. The app is wireless and includes head tracking. — VRFOCUS

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This year's Vive Developer Awards, the second annual, is offering a first-place prize of $50,000. HTC has announced the nominations in this year's competition, ten titles across five different categories: entertainment, education, arts & culture, enterprise and arcade. Winners will be announced at a special event on March 19 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018. — ROADTOVR

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