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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jan 29th, 2019)

1. Ford is exploring how to design cars in virtual reality. The company's designers are tinkering with Gravity Sketch, which lets them draw three-dimensional cars in VR. The process for new car design now involves two-dimensional sketches which are transferred to 3D, a time-consuming and lengthy process. The designers can rotate, tweak and even sit in the driver's seat of 3D models created in VR. The automaker is now determining how the VR program would fit into its overall workflow, so VR-designed cars are not likely to be available to consumers for a while. —  ENGADGET

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2. Samsung has filed a patent for a 180-degree  curved headset. The patent application shows a headset with a curved OLED display, and while OLED displays are used in other VR headsets, this would be the first with a curve. Such displays, available in higher-end televisions, may help with peripheral distortion and expand the field of view for the wearer. — TECHRADAR

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3. Bluetooth's governing body announced it is bringing enhanced location services to supported devices. This is significant for augmented reality devices, because it will allow better indoor navigation for AR experiences, rather than relying on landmarks and waypoints. — VENTUREBEAT

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4. Edgybees brought its AR rescue drone technology to the World Economic Forum in Davos. The software adds an overlay of "situational awareness" to geospatial data, so that first responders can see a more complete view of an area. The company showed how its application works during flood emergencies for search and rescue operations. — VRSCOUT

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5. Snap has unveiled an AR billboard on the Sunset Strip. When users scan the vertical billboard's code with the Snapchat app, it unlocks an AR experience with Bhad Bhabie, the star of Snap's original show "Bringing up Bhabie,"  complete with emojis and closed-captions for the hearing impaired. It's not the first time Snap has used AR to promote content; its Shoppable AR platform has featured merch from Ariana Grande, Drake and Nicki Minaj. —  NEXT REALITY

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6. CNET takes a look at the AR and VR highlights of the New Frontier program at the Sundance Film Festival. Fine dining, karaoke with puppets, and the Oculus Quest are just a few of the innovations generating buzz. — CNET

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7. Rhode Island School of Design student Zeyu Ren talks about how he made "Wired," an animated film created completely in virtual reality. 

8. Developers met at the Reality Virtually event at MIT to discuss, among other things, how to promote more VR use among consumers.

9. The failure of its VR division is among the reasons Swedish game developer Starbreeze filed for reconstruction last month. 

10. Submissions are open for the Virtual Reality & Arts Festival in Hamburg, Germany.

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This newsletter was curated with care by Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist Kim Lyons, whose byline has appeared in The New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review and other local and national publications. Find her on Twitter @socialkimly

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies) 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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