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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Feb 21st, 2019)

1. HTC unveiled its upgrade to the Vive Focus VR Headset. The Vive Focus Plus is the company's upgraded standalone HMD geared towards enterprise and is viewed as a direct competitor for the Oculus Quest. The headset, which will be available in 25 markets in the second quarter of 2019, is more comfortable to wear and features improved visual display quality. It also supports dual six degrees of freedom controllers that can read pressure-sensitive input, and  makes it easier for developers to port content from PC-tethered VR devices onto standalone headsets – DIGITAL TRENDS

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2. Immersive tech pioneer Lee Vermeulen talks to Bobby Carlton about using VR tools to create compelling AR experiences. His videos simulating real-world physics in Augmented Reality have gone viral and show the appetite for exploring Mixed Reality as a medium that blends VR and AR and reacts naturally with the real world. “I don’t want to completely escape reality, I don’t want to be in a complete virtual world. I just want to augment my world,” he says. - VRScout

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3. Microsoft's new Dynamics 365 Mixed Reality applications will be released in April. "These are really designed to help sales, remote workers, and people doing retail or space planning to bring that digital environment in with how their organization operates," explains Alysa Taylor, corporate VP of Microsoft Business Applications. This also signals the company's commitment to incorporate Mixed Reality across all platforms and devices. One of the functionalities being rolled out is Remote Assist – which lets technicians dial into a HoloLens from a smartphone or PC to see exactly what the wearer sees and talk them through it in real time. Another app called product Visualize is aimed at helping sellers in the healthcare, automotive and manufacturing industries to customize and showcase their products. - BUSINESS INSIDER

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4. Intel, Ericsson, AT&T and Warner Bros. will do a joint 5G Mixed Reality demo at Mobile World Congress. The latency needed to process the next generation of XR experiences simply isn’t possible with the current infrastructure. To make it work, the computing processing power needs to be pushed to the edge of the network, closer to where the end user is going to be – and that means 5G. It’s a lot to wrap your head around, so at MWC in Barcelona next week, the four media tech giants will come together to give users a taste of what this would look like. They will do that with a Batman-themed demo which builds on a proof of concept developed by WB with the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. - RCR WIRELESS NEWS

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5. Pop-up VR arcade opens this Saturday in Manhattan. For the next month, New Yorkers will be able to watch a range of immersive experiences including the highly successful “Chained,” a Victorian Nightmare which premiered in Los Angeles last December. Tickets start at $100 - VARIETY

6. “I had an eerie feeling as if I were being watched by a ghost.” Juliana Piskorz describes the 19-minute, Magic Leap-powered experience billed as the worlds ‘first mixed reality art exhibit’. Marina Abramović : The Life is open at the Serpentine Gallery in London until February 24th. - EVENING STANDARD

7. Virtual Reality gave senior citizens the chance to experience the Patriots' Super Bowl parade from the Duck Boats. Renderver, a VR company specializing in senior care, got special permission to film the immersive content which was then watched by the residents of Benchmark Senior Living facility in Norwood, Massachusetts. - BOSTON NEWS

8. Alex Kipman invites users to attend Microsoft’s MWC Mixed Reality announcement in Virtual Reality. Users who can’t make it to Barcelona in person, the Microsoft Technical Fellow and HoloLens inventor tweeted, can log onto AltspaceVR for the big reveal on Sunday the 24th. ALTSPACE VR

9. An open AR cloud is needed to enable Smart Glasses to go mainstream. Analyst, immersive tech entrepreneur and journalist John Koetsier argues that this infrastructure is more crucial than the hardware itself in enabling the development of Augmented Reality Technology -  FORBES

10. A virtual panel of influencers will get together - in VR, of course - to debate the crossover of immersive tech and art. You can join Jesse Damiani, Joël Kremer and Sidra Iqbal in exploring the future of storytelling and education on Friday, March 1st by registering here . - TWITTER

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This newsletter was written and curated by Alice Bonasio, a journalist and consultant obsessed with the immersive technology space, including AR/VR/MR/XR and any other acronyms that fit into the realities spectrum. Over the past 15 years, Alice has advised a wide range of start-ups and corporations on digital transformation and communication strategy and is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech Trends. She also regularly contributes to publications such as Quartz, Fast Company, Wired, Playboy, The Next Web, Ars Technica, VRScout and many others. Follow her on Twitter @alicebonasio

 

Editing team: 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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