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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Sep 11th, 2018)

1. Verizon and NYC Media Lab have announced a new contest designed to “harvest” 5G education solutions that use VR, AR and machine learning technology. The Verizon 5G EdTech Challenge is offering $1 million in prize money to “encourage the submission of ideas,” as VentureBeat puts it. “Starting today, Verizon is inviting education tech nonprofits such as research groups and universities to propose technology-based solutions to challenges in under-resourced middle schools. Confronted with challenges such as unengaged students, the need for educator STEM expertise, and too little personal support for students with special needs, entrants will need to pitch a solution that uses next-generation 5G wireless in combination with AR, VR, or AI/machine learning technology to improve the scholastic experience,” ZDNet reports. More information about the competition can be found after the jump. -- ZDNET

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2. AR headset company Meta Company has had to put 65 percent of its staff on furlough for 30 days as U.S. tariffs prompt Chinese investors to reconsider. Meta’s CEO told Bloomberg that “the Chinese government sent an official request to our lead investor to re-evaluate the deal based on the recent actions from the Trump administration...This was a big shock to us." But it may not be as simple as tariffs, as Next Reality points out: “the timing of the news of furloughs falls curiously close to the long-awaited release of the Magic Leap One about a month ago. Next Reality asked Meta exactly when the furloughs began but, as of this writing, we have yet to receive a response.” -- NEXT REALITY

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3. Another TechCrunch Disrupt nugget from Unity CEO John Riccitiello: somewhere around two-thirds of all VR and AR content is built on the Unity platform. Despite that, Riccitiello doesn’t think the hardware and content are ready for prime time: “They’re not cheap enough...they don’t work well enough, you don’t have enough good control systems, you can’t see your arms and your legs in most of them and use them in an interactive way, there’s not a lot of content,” VRFocus reports. But don’t worry, John’s still on board. “AR and VR is not yet a consumer smash, although it’s rising and it will ultimately get there,” he said. -- VRFOCUS

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4. Finding a job has always been hard, but CareerBuilder is hoping to make it easier with the help of new AI and AR smarts. The company just released a new mobile app adding some novel features, like “[showing] augmented reality views of job openings at the businesses you walk by,” according to VentureBeat. On the AI side, “the mobile app shows the real-time supply and demand trends for talent you need. It instantly builds your job descriptions, automatically matches your job openings to candidates who are more likely to respond, and runs campaigns to engage them.” The app is live on iOS, with an Android version coming soon. -- VENTUREBEAT

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5. “Blue Sky Paint” offers users tools to leave AR messages in the sky for others to find. -- VRSCOUT

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6. Cult classic “Space Channel 5” is coming to PSVR… eventually. -- VRFOCUS

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7. The VFX designer behind Coca Cola bears, Babe the Talking Pig, The Golden Compass, Harry Potter and more is working on VR experiences with his company, Blackthorn Media. -- VRSCOUT

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8. Shift your perspective, for a moment...

"'He came with us when we were displaced. We kept all our belongings in his vehicle and were walking. He was then stopped and taken. We saw him being taken away by the LTTE.' | This is the 360 #VR story of Dharmarani #lka #srilanka #DisappearedSL" - @MaatramSL (Maatram is a citizens journalism website in Tamil, based in Sri Lanka. Established in 2014 Curated by @SRajasegar)

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9. Haha, glad to see the BBC catching up...

"Could virtual reality be useful in treating anxiety disorders? Psychologists led by Prof Daniel Freeman of Oxford University are using VR to help people overcome their fear of heights http://bit.ly/2x9ERLp  #VR" - @sciencefocus (The home of BBC Focus magazine, explaining science and technology since 1992. See http://sciencefocus.com  for news & special offers and @sciencefocusQA for Q&As)

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10. The past and future of VR, according to Wired...

"Virtual reality: the future, or a dismal failure? Yes. But there's more to this story; here's everything you ever wanted to know about VR. https://wired.trib.al/HGRuEYa" - @Wired

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Written and curated by Eric Skalac, who is a hands-on IoT and VR/AR tinkerer, former NPR affiliate news director and eternal learner. He's based in central Illinois where the waves of grain are amber.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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