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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 11th, 2019)

1. Visitors to this week’s CES 2019 got a chance to check out the full-body haptic Teslasuit, which Digital Trends compares to the terrifying “Black Mirror” episode “Playtest.” The bodysuit can not only simulate skin sensations like “the prickly patter of raindrops [and] growing waves of static,” but can also function as a motion capture device, transmit biometric information, and control the climate of the suited user. “That sounds like the immersive VR experience many have hoped for since its introduction,” the author writes. “It also sounds a little bit scary.” — DIGITAL TRENDS

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2. Canada-based Northern Digital is showing off its new reference design for magnetic tracking applications for VR headsets and controllers. Called “Atraxa,” the system consists of a single receiver module that measures “the transmitters’ magnetic fields and manages the wireless communication between tracker modules,” according to Road to VR. It’s not a “perfect solution,” by the author’s appraisal, but is effective enough to fall close to PSVR’s Move controllers (for “tracking accuracy and latency”), but below “all major PC VR motion controllers out now.” — ROAD TO VR

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3. At CES this week, VR Focus found HTC’s prototype controllers for the standalone Focus headset, and they look more than a little like the Oculus Quest and Vive Cosmos controllers. That’s thanks to the large tracking hoop over the knuckles found on the controllers for those inside-out tracking headsets, which VR Focus suggests has “been accepted universally for inside-out tracking.” These are only prototypes, VR Focus reminds us, so some number of design changes are all but certain. — VRFOCUS

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4. Mark UploadVR (or at least writer David Heaney) in the camp of seeing Oculus’ standalone Quest headset as the right thing for VR at the right time. 2019 should be an exciting year for VR… — UPLOADVR

"In my experience, far more people are interested in purchasing room scale VR than own a gaming PC. And that interest isn’t in graphical fidelity, it’s in the experience...To restrict the magic of 6DoF VR to the niche of PC gaming would strangle VR’s potential for growth for reasons few people find important. Oculus Quest is exactly what VR needs."

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5. Meta, makers of the Meta 2 AR headset, are insolvent, according to a Wednesday filing with a Delaware court. —  NEXT REALITY

6.  Steven Petite of Digital Trends (and I, FWIW) sees HTC's Vive Pro Eye, the Pico G2 4K and the Oculus Quest as the best shots for VR hitting the mainstream in 2019. — DIGITAL TRENDS

7. VentureBeat has hands-on details about the eye-tracking tech used in HTC's new Vive Pro Eye headset. — VENTUREBEAT

8. Doctors at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute are using VR to study tumor samples. — VRSCOUT

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9. It's dangerous to go alone...

"Mrs. Lovuolo’s 7th graders in their VR goggles explore the inner parts of a plant cell." - @CBHolicongMS

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10. One of the common themes emerging around the Magic Leap: "Cool, but how 'bout that next gen..."

"I played Tonandi for the first time last night, and the focal plane variability on the ML1 really isn’t anything to scoff at. Okay, fine; I’m impressed, @magicleap. Can’t wait to see your next gen." - @noazark

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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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