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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 15th, 2019)

1. One of the more eye-catching VR/AR devices at CES last week was NordicTrack’s VR exercise bike concept. The stationary bike is designed to work with the HTC Vive Focus standalone headset, which syncs with the bike to take advantage of motion control and analytics. Scott Stein of CNET took the bike for a spin and provides a hands-on account: “It felt like a workout! But I think, for VR, I'd prefer a more grounded experience like Beat Saber instead.” — CNET

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2. “Small but meaningful steps forward,” is how Jeremy Horowitz of VentureBeat characterizes VR/AR at last week’s CES 2019.VENTUREBEAT

This is going to be an exciting year for VR and AR. The headsets we’ve been waiting for are coming — likely within the next 2-3 years  — so hopefully they’ll be affordable, because these mixed reality technologies have a lot of potential to change the way we work and play.

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3. Another AR company—this time ODG—is in trouble, operating now with reduced staff after a $35M sale to Magic Leap fell through. According to TechCrunch, the company also attempted to sell to Facebook, Razer and Lenovo. Asset liquidator Hilco Steambank will reportedly sell ODG’s assets, which includes more than 100 awarded patents, an assortment of patent applications in various stages of the evaluation process, trademarks, and more. — NEXT REALITY

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4. Sense Arena hopes its virtual hockey training kit will function as a tool for professional players, in addition to kids and others looking to sharpen their skills. The system is designed to improve cognitive skills and “hockey sense” via game simulations that focus on reaction speed and decision making skills, according to VR Scout. The kit costs $5,480 and requires a $199 monthly subscription, which VR Scout points out is steep for a single user, but starts to make more sense as a training tool for an entire team. — VRSCOUT

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5. Oculus has announced it will show off highly-anticipated VR titles "Stormland" and "Defector" at Pax South later this week. — ROAD TO VR

6. Steam is one of the primary content platforms for VR experiences, and its creator, Valve Software, is making changes to the way that platform works. — VENTUREBEAT

7. More dramatic claims about the future of VR and AR, this time from Digi-Capital: "For AR/VR 2.0 to live, AR/VR 1.0 must die." — TECHCRUNCH

8. VR is being used to help diagnose mental illness, in a glimpse of what will undoubtedly be a facet of our tech-infused healthcare future. — WIRED (PAYWALL)

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9. Can't get enough of these "best practices"/"do's and don'ts" articles in these early days...

"'Creating Low-Cost 360-Degree #VirtualReality Videos for Hospitals: A Technical Paper on the Dos and Don'ts.' Doctors @sickkids provide tips on how to make tailored #VR experiences to help pts prepare for surgery. Preparing in VR helps reduce anxiety: buff.ly/2soUoUI" - @BrennanSpiegel

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10. Powerful, powerful technology we're dealing with...

"It is #VR college tour day in my class. Best comment of the day is from a student saying-'I didn’t want to before, but now I want to go to college!'” #eduwin" - @kennybosch

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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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