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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Mar 12th, 2019)

1. Palmer Luckey’s company Anduril was awarded a Pentagon contract to supply VR, AI, and drone technology. The Oculus founder has become known for his controversial views and previous moves for developing a "virtual wall" along the southern U.S. border. This latest development will see his firm delivering "Project Maven," which combines machine learning and virtual reality. It will create an enhanced view called Lattice AI to allow users to detect, track and classify threat levels relating to any person or vehicle. Luckey hopes this will give soldiers "perfect omniscience" so they're rarely surprised on the battlefield. – MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

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2.  Virtual Reality is being used to manage chronic pain.  “VR isn’t going to be a cure-all for pain, but it’s another tool in the toolbox that we can use to help people control it,” said Dr. Bernie Garrett, lead investigator, and associate nursing professor at the University of British Columbia, which led the study. In an ongoing trial, a group of 40 patients engaged in half an hour a day of meditative and cognitive VR activities, with many reporting that their pain had “virtually disappeared” during the experience. — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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3.  Doctor Who fans will get to preview the show's new experience at Tribeca. The 12-minute animated film, narrated by the 13th Doctor, Jodi Whittaker, will premiere at the New York festival from April 24 through May 5. BBC VR Hub Commissioning Editor Zillah Watson says that immersive technologies are allowing them to “explore a new dimension of storytelling.” – CNET

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4. Former lead VR filmmaker for Google Jessica Brillhart is unveiling her spatial audio platform at SXSW. The founder of immersive studio Vrai Pictures wants to replicate the sense of presence artists achieve with live music. Traverse lets you walk around a soundscape, and the plan is to create a rich immersive content catalog based on existing recordings of artists such as Elvis Presley. The technology runs on Bose’s custom AR platform, so users currently need Bose's QC35 Headphones II or Frames audio shades to try out the special edition of the app from today. –ENDGADGET

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5. To promote its latest film "Highwaymen," starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner, Netflix has set up a multi-level experience at SXSW which blends technology and participatory theater. Immersive technology influencer Cathy Hackl was won over by its elaborate attention to detail which included a faithful re-creation of a 1930s speakeasy – CURBED AUSTIN

6. The Nevada Chapter of Associated General Contractors is recruiting and training construction workers with VR.  To address soaring demand in the state's booming construction industry, the company is using virtual simulators to engage young people and teach them practical skills. “It's like an arcade for construction workers,” says Trey Henry, a senior at ACE.  –  KTVN

7. Fans can watch March Madness games in Virtual Reality. Turner Sports, CBS, the NCAA, and Intel have released this year's VR app where they can watch game highlights for free or pay $2.99 to stream each game in VR.  – NCAA

8Immersive tech is among the most popular trends at SXSW. From the full-body haptic feedback offered by the Tesla suit to Augmented Reality ‘try before you buy’ phone apps, Julia Boorstin demos some of the tech on display in Austin this week. – CNBC

9. Physical exercises based on virtual reality may help to improve the motor performance of children and adolescents with cerebral palsy. In a pilot study, a team of  Brazilian researchers evaluated the impact of movement interventions based on virtual reality tasks on the physical performance of participants. Although it is not fully understood how virtual reality exercises can induce functional improvements, it has been suggested that this effect may be linked to modifications of communication networks within the brain. –  CEREBRAL PALSY NEWS TODAY

10. Visitors can tour the Lin'an History Museum in Virtual Reality before it opens. The VR experience showcases how the building  - designed by Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu's studio and based at the foot of the Gongchen Mountain in China - combines modern and traditional construction materials and techniques. – DEZEEN

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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: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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