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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 18th, 2019)

1. Lyft has filed a pair of patent applications that show the rideshare company is looking into ways it can integrate VR and AR into its services. TechCrunch found the applications, one of which outlines a VR “transportation experience” that responds to bumps, stops and other forces along the customer's route, and integrates those forces into a gamified VR interface. The other patent describes a system that would provide information to Lyft passengers via an AR interface. Lyft did not respond to TechCrunch requests for comment, but we’ll likely hear more about these systems sooner than later, as this sounds at least similar to Audi’s recently announced Holoride project. — TECHCRUNCH

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2. Hardlight VR has made its project open source, after the company announced it was closing due to lack of funds. The team ran a successful Kickstarter for its haptic suit system, showing interest in the technology, if not buying demand. The “entire Hardlight project” is available on GitHub, according to a company update to its Kickstarter backers. Sad it didn’t work out, but good on Hardlight for opening up its resources—maybe we’ll see Hardlight’s tech again… — VRFOCUS

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3. Finding the best content with which to introduce VR to first-timers is tough, but Valve’s free “The Lab” experience is one of the best. Even though it’s three years old, it’s “polished, and funny, and fun, and there’s a lot of different content to muck around in,” according to David Dunbar over at Gamasutra. I mean, c’mon: you get to play fetch with a cute robot dog—if that doesn’t whet a first-timer’s appetite, what will? — GAMASUTRA

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4. Surprising none of the readers of this newsletter, I’m sure, “Beat Saber” has claimed the top spot in Playstation’s 2018 Game of the Year Awards. On top of that, the Beat Games-produced blockbuster took second place in the “Best Independent Game” category, as well. As Road to VR points out, the GOTY awards are determined by votes from Playstation blog readers. — ROAD TO VR

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5. We've heard VR and AR are used inside the U.S. military, but a writeup straight from USAF provides some rare inside info. — U.S. AIR FORCE

6. Ford pitted VR-bedecked humans against its in-vehicle hazard-spotting tech, Co-Pilot360, at last week's CES. —  VRSCOUT

7. Scape Technologies has raised $8M in seed investment for its centimeter-scale visual positioning system. — ROAD TO VR

8. Next Reality was able to speak to Meta founder Meron Gribetz for an inside account of how the company's demise "all went down." — NEXT REALITY

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9. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) are something we're going to see more and more...

"Day Two at @realityvrhack and the team has set up our electrode reading for BCI #VR #AR integration! This morning we're starting with a breakfast and learn about neuroscience and integration with Unity " - @ali_heston

"THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! There are so many useful applications and research that have yet to emerge from BCI integration for #VR/#AR; so much we could learn about humans. Can't wait to see what y'all cook up!!" - @downtohoerth (replying to @ali_heston)

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10. Funny, informative, vitally important AND award-winning from one of the most dryly hilarious actors out there...

"THE EVOLUTION OF TESTICLES IS COMPLETE! Please watch and share this VR video. We can save lives, and it's a pretty incredible watch, I promise. #MaleCancerAwareness #SkyBalls #VRforGood #CheckYourBalls" - @BigBoyer

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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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