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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 17th, 2019)

1. Microsoft has announced it will hold a press event at next month’s Mobile World Congress, which some predict will function as the Hololens 2’s formal announcement. As The Verge points out, Microsoft has skipped the event ever since the company scrapped the Windows Phone, making for an “unusual return to Barcelona for Microsoft.” Further supporting this prediction: the Hololens 1 has been inexplicably out of stock for weeks on end. — ROAD TO VR | THE VERGE

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2. Snap, Inc’s CFO Tim Stone has resigned from the company less than 24 hours after reports that Snap’s vice president of people and global security had left. This is one of several high profile departures from the company, leading some to wonder if this is a trend signaling deeper troubles in the company. According to Bloomberg, Stone left the company over a pay dispute, though the company said the exit was unrelated to any disagreement with Snap's management. — BLOOMBERG

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3. Magic Leap recently posted a job listing that has some predicting the company is gearing up to enter the world of mobile AR. The listing calls for a software engineer who will build “a cross-platform framework that enables large scale shared AR experiences between mobile devices (iOS, Android) and Magic Leap devices.” Furthermore, candidates are required to have hands-on experience with AR platforms like ARKit and ARCore. — ROAD TO VR

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4. Microsoft has opened a VR and AI incubator in China to capitalize on the growing popularity of VR in the country. The Nanchang City AI+VR Innovation center will reportedly be targeting startups and established manufacturing companies for cloud and mobile incubation. According to VentureBeat, the local government is expecting the incubator will “lure dozens of AI, VR and other tech companies,” and expects the facility to be used to train and support local companies. —  VENTUREBEAT

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Throwback Thursday: Remaining flexible in a rapidly changing industry

One year ago today, this very newsletter included an item about erstwhile VR company Jaunt:

Jaunt has signed a "first look" deal with XYZ films giving the company dibs on its VR content. The California-based cinematic VR company won its first Emmy award for the documentary film Collisions, and most recently produced Trending Gold, a virtual reality experience that features Olympic hopefuls from around the world. XYZ films' recent releases include Brawl in Cell Block 99, starring Vince Vaughn, and Sweet Virginia, starring Jon Bernthal. — DEADLINE

Less than 12 months later, Jaunt exited the VR content creation and distribution business. It's a tangible reminder of just how fast the VR and AR worlds are moving here at the end of the 2010s ("twenty teens"? Did we ever arrive at a good term for this decade?), where advances in technology can drive a wave of obselescence across the country, if not world. It's tough but exciting times for VR and AR for those of us watching!

~ Eric

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5. Nintendo has joined the VR-focused "VRM Consortium," but only as an "observer." — VRSCOUT

6. VR Focus went hands-on with Finch Technolgies' novel 6DoF controllers that don't require additional cameras or wall-mounted sensors. —  VRFOCUS

7. Facebook has hired away another former Google AR employee, this time to lead the Portal Hardware Team. — NEXT REALITY

8. OmniPad has launched an SEC-regulated crowdfunding equity campaign for its omnidirectional treadmill for VR. —  VRFOCUS

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9. Better to try a simulation before firing this thing up IRL...

"Now *that's* what I call a Vive controller! #VR #husqvarna" - @snigelpaogat

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10. Why don't HTC and Oculus' boundary warnings include height? Asking for a friend...

"RIP Lampe/light thx @BeatSaber #tooserious #danceharder #BeatSaber #vr" - @cherrykoks

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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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