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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Feb 5th, 2019)

1. Apple is reportedly making changes to Safari that could make it more difficult to use and develop AR and VR features. The change, aimed at protecting users' privacy will allow users to prevent sites from accessing an iPhone or iPad's accelerometer and gyroscope. These two features, of course, are used for motion and orientation in AR and VR apps (among other uses). The new settings, which appear to be coming to an update to iOS 12.2, won't completely prevent Safari users from accessing AR and VR apps, but could potentially make it more difficult to seamlessly integrate VR, AR or 360-degree video into experiences.— DIGIDAY

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2.The National Basketball Association and AT&T are partnering on a deal that will include virtual and mixed reality, the companies announced Tuesday. The goal is to bring the games "closer to the fans," an NBA spokesman said. The NBA All-Star game, slated for Feb. 16 and 17 will be played in Charlotte, one of the few cities to have a mobile 5G network in place, but since true 5G-enabled phones are a few months away still, it's not clear whether or if this would be a factor in the NBA/AT&T partnership. USA TODAY

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3. Madefire has brought its 3D motion comics to Magic Leap's One AR headset. The company's comics already are available in VR on the Oculus Rift, but the Magic Leap platform allows animated AR to be overlaid on "reality," giving the comics a different, enhanced look and feel. — VENTUREBEAT

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4. Tyra Banks' new theme park will incorporate VR and AR elements. Modelland, will include brand integration and technology with things "you cannot do on your phone," Banks told TechCrunch. She added that the park, based in Santa Monica, Calif. is not just geared toward models, but will be a family-friendly expression of beauty.  — TECHCRUNCH

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5. NTT Docomo unveiled what it calls the world's first 8k 3D virtual reality system at the Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan. The system will allow streaming of high-quality, panoramic VR experiences anywhere there's a 5G network. The system, which will allow 60 frames per second, was demonstrated by Docomo and Japanese television station HTB at the festival this week.— VENTUREBEAT

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6. If you've been dying to look at your Excel spreadsheets in virtual reality, the latest Windows 10 build is just the ticket. Win32 desktop apps are now available in the Windows Mixed Reality environment in 3D, even those built in 2D. You can use your VR headset to run apps even if they're not built using the UWP API. —  ARS TECHNICA

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7. Quartzy says AR is becoming a must-have for brands like Warby Parker and Sephora​​​​​​, with facial-recognition software drawing customers in.

8. WeForum looks at how musicians with disabilities are using VR  thanks to VR-created instrument designs.

9. For Forbes, Sol Rogers looks at 7 ways eye-tracking capabilities will change VR, including increased user comfort and better security.

10. Game Review: The Mage's Tale on PSVR (spoiler, it's awesome).

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This newsletter is curated 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

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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