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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Feb 22nd, 2019)

1. A Virtual Reality documentary by The New York Times confronts the legacy of Emmett Till's lynching. Sixty years after the kidnapping and murder of the Chicago teenager accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi, people still struggle with how to memorialize him. NYT Video Journalist Veda Shastri describes how immersive technology allowed them to recreate the ruined places to help future generations witness and confront this legacy. The 360-degree video overlays with images from the 1955 case to bring this gruesome yet important history to life, and is available on the NYT VR App for Oculus or Daydream. - THE NEW YORK TIMES

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2. An EU-funded project is exploring how we can use sound waves to simulate touch. The Horizon 2020 initiative awarded $3.5 million (3 million Euros) to Ultrahaptics and the universities of Glasgow, Sussex, Bayreuth, and Chalmers University of Technology. Their proposition is based on using the ultrasound spectrum to create acoustic forces that lift – or levitate – micro particles that can then be detected by our skin as we interact with virtual objects. The ultimate immersive experiences will be multi-sensory and this idea actually builds on the enormous advances we’ve seen recently in the use of spatial audio to increase our sense of presence in virtual environments. -  ANDROID PIT

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3. Samsung hasn’t quite given up on the Gear, but it seems close. At its annual showcase, the company revealed that the existing headsets would – with an adaptor – be compatible with the new Galaxy S10. It’s clearly a compromise, however, as this won’t make use of the newer phone’s capabilities. Smartphone headset sales have dwindled considerably as higher quality standalone devices like the Oculus Go have become more affordable, and it seems there is little appetite in the industry for investing in this type of product. - VR FOCUS

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4. Europe’s biggest immersive lab is serious business. The Elbedome in Germany was built in 2006 and renovated in 2018 for $2.8 million (2.5 million Euros). It uses 25 laser projectors to create 360-degree hyper-realistic simulations (in both Virtual and Mixed Reality)  of workplaces such as factories and oil rigs for planning and training purposes. - EURONEWS

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5. There have been persistent rumors for years that Nintendo is making moves to enter the immersive arena. In this article, Tech Radar's associate Editor Gerald Lynch explains why he thinks the Nintendo Switch and VR are a match made in heaven.  TECH RADAR

6. Sony is still excited about the future of the PlayStation VR platform. While sales might not have been as high as anticipated, the head of the company Shawn Layden says the technology is still in its infancy. "You look at PSVR right now, none of us are going to be able to imagine what it will look like 10 years from now, but the change will be dramatic.” - THE VERGE

7. Android users can now take pictures of  Pokémon using Augmented reality. The highly anticipated Pokémon Go Snapshot feature lets you pose along with your favorite  characters and will even scale them accordingly to match real-world surroundings  - FORBES

8. Marshall From Detroit is the latest production from Felix and Paul Studios which takes the viewer on a journey through the early career of Eminem.- ROLLING STONE

9. Magic Leap has created Mixed Reality Porgs. Users are invited to build a relationship with the iconically cute Star Wars creatures, according to Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive-in-charge at Industrial Light and Magic Lab. "We're trying to create a whole new era of living stories," she says. NEXT REALITY

10. HTC has industry punters excited by a video preview of its latest Cosmos controllers. Due for release later this year, they will be the first of their kind to use analog controls instead of track pads and will enable six degrees of freedom movement tracking without relying on external sensors. - 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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