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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Feb 12th, 2019)

1. Apple has named company vet Frank Casanova its new head of marketing for AR. Moving a longtime iPhone executive like Casanova to such a prominent role in its augmented reality division is seen as a key part of the company’s shift toward AR. Recall Tim Cook’s 2017 statement that AR may become as big a deal as the iPhone itself and the plans for an AR/VR headset expected from Apple in 2020, as even more evidence that Apple sees AR as a huge part of the company’s future. — BLOOMBERG

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2. Pokemon Go’s new Go snapshot feature will make it easier to take photos within the AR game. Game designers realized players enjoyed taking photos of their pokemon but that options were limited. “At any time of day, on any adventure a person is on, they should be able to take a picture with a pokémon in their inventory,” a company spokeswoman said. — THE VERGE

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3. Glitch and Mozilla have launched a WebVR starter kit video course to teach developers how to use A-Frame. The five-part course includes interactive code examples. A-Frame can be used to creat VR content for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets and PCs. — VENTUREBEAT

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4. Members of Parliament in the UK are considering how to regulate the use of VR and AR. The House of Commons' Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sought input from gamers and the gaming industry for its inquiry, which opened this week. The MPs are looking into the effects of VR and AR on people and society at large. — BBC

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5. Shopify Inc., which has invested significantly into AR and VR apps to attract customers, on Tuesday announced a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.51 million or $0.01 per share. That was better than the $2.98 million or $0.03 per share loss the ecommerce company posted in the same quarter a year ago REUTERS

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6. Shawn Layden, head of development studios at PlayStation says the company needs to be leading in areas like VR when it releases new games. He said he’d rather see a game held for release until it’s the best version possible. “We always have to set the high-water mark, to push the technology further than anyone else," he said. Gamers have speculated that the forthcoming PS5 will be VR-compatible, possibly with a new headset, but Sony has not released any details yet. — CNET

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7. Mashable took Google Maps’ new AR view for a spin and says the feature could spell “the end of asking strangers which way to go.”

8. WIRED previews the state of AR it calls the Mirrorworld, “virtual fragments being stitched together to form a shared, persistent place that will parallel the real world.”

9. Vortex Immersion Media is planning a 360-degree domed “community VR” multiplex in Phoenix, which will allow participants to forgo headsets. The Domeplex, slated to open in 2020, will provide “immersive multisensory experiences” for audiences of up to 2,500 people.

10. The Verge has a Q&A with sci-fi writer Elizabeth Bonesteel and her AR-themed story Overlay. 

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This newsletter was 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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