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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 8th, 2019)

1. We have a few more details about the new hardware HTC announced yesterday afternoon. The Vive Pro Eye, which Gizmodo is calling “the next big step for VR” incorporates eye tracking to introduce foveated rendering to VR experiences with the headset. HTC also announced the Vive Cosmos, for which there’s less information. What we do know is that the company is being cagey about “form factors,” suggesting the headset could connect to a user’s smartphone, PC, low-power laptop, etc. The Cosmos will reportedly support OpenVR/SteamVR like HTC’s previous headsets. Furthermore, the Cosmos is not intended to be the “Vive 2” and will not replace the original Vive line, which will continue alongside Cosmos. — VRFOCUS / ROAD TO VR

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2. PlatformaVR is bringing its free-roaming VR experiences to Bally’s Las Vegas. The company opened its first VR LBE centre in Moscow in 2017, opening several more venues there and in Orlando, Florida in 2018. According to VR Focus, PlatformaVR uses HTC Vive Pro headsets, Vive Trackers for full body tracking and an HP VR backpack. Readers may recall that IMAX recently announced it would end its VR LBE pilot. — VRFOCUS

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3. Pimax is showing off new hardware at this week’s CES 2019, including the production versions of the company’s 8K and 5K plus headsets. As Road to VR points out, Pimax already started delivering the headsets to Kickstarter backers, but “they’re still missing a handful of additional components that were promised as part of the crowdfunding campaign.” Pimax also showed off its “Knuckles”-styled controllers and hand- and eye-tracking modules. A promised wireless transmitter module for the headsets is still in the works, according to the company. — ROAD TO VR

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4. Mark Serrels of CNET thinks “VR feels like a dream gathering dust” at CES 2019. Personally, that sounds more like a matter of mismatched expectations, as HTC’s eye-tracking Vive Pro Eye headset is pretty dream-like to me. Then again, time makes fools of us all… If VR is headed for hibernation from the public conversation, frankly, that may better suit the artists, developers and assorted creators looking to stake their claim in the VR medium. — CNET

“VR isn't dead. That's a silly thing to say. Ideas as perpetual as VR don't die, they simply go into hibernation before being lifted off the shelf, dusted off and reintroduced as a brand-new dream, a renewed promise waiting to be fulfilled.”

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5. “It’s like the difference between a regular mixed reality recording and a MixCast Moment is like pressing record and recording an hour-long children’s birthday party, or having two cameras shoot the party, having it edited, adding audio, and then getting a minute-and-a-half recording of the party." — VENTUREBEAT

6. ThirdEye Gen, Inc. is showing off its X2 device, which the company is calling the "smallest mixed reality glasses."  — NEXT REALITY

7. DigiLens is also showing off its lightweight AR glasses prototype at this week's CES 2019. — VENTUREBEAT

8. New Jersey Institute of Technology researchers are using augmented reality to... hack fish. — VRSCOUT

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9. Low-cost, tinker-type improvements... that's what I like to see...

"Awesome comfort for the scalp! Slide in an unused shoulder strap padding from any messenger/gym bag." - @NathieVR (source)

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10. Lesson for the day: Better have strong evidence if you want to claim VR is dead/crashing...

".@LinusTech posted a clickbait video called "Why VR is CRASHING" a few days ago & there was such backlash from the VR community that they renamed it "Why VR is STRUGGLING." Many of his arguments are either just wrong or being addressed in 2019: youtu.be/85DiHTpxGCo" - @kentbye

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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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