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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Mar 18th, 2019)

1. Oculus is set to reveal its new VR Headset at GDC 2019. An email sent to multiple developers has surfaced which indicates that Facebook is going to announce its new Oculus Rift S HMD at the Game Developers Conference, which opens in San Francisco this week. The new hardware is expected to be a standalone version of the Oculus Rift, which relied on USB-powered external sensors and needed to be connected to an external computer. – UPLOADVR

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2. Todd Haselton gives an enthusiastic review of his first-hand experience using the beta version of AR Google Maps. The feature, which will be available for Android and iPhone users, overlays digital signposting onto real-world environments in real time. The reporter anticipates that as smart glasses become ubiquitous this will be one of the major applications to drive the adoption of AR technology among consumers – CNBC

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4. Japan puts a unique VR spin on tackling climate change. The ‘White Day Illumination Shining with Virgin-Produced Electricity’ event celebrated the Japanese version of Valentine’s day. VR Porn company Soft on Demand placed virgins wearing VR headsets on stationary bikes to ‘harness the energy that had nowhere else to go.’ Predictably, the Tokyo-based stunt which also featured appearances by famous adult film stars Hinata Koizumi and Tina Nanami drew large crowds of curious bystanders. – VRSCOUT

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5. Science Fiction author Ben Bova imagines a future in which multi-sensory immersive technology creates a new legal system, where VR dueling replaces trials. “I think VR duels would ease the burden on the courts, provide more emotional satisfaction, and make lawyers poorer,” argues Bova –WIRED

6. The UK'S Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has run a project in which staff based at various sites collaborated to build a Virtual aircraft engine. The organization, which promotes innovation for the defense and security sector, said future applications could involve supporting training for law enforcement agencies. – UK AUTHORITY

7. Puppetoon lets you place random AR puppets in the real world. The app, due to launch in April for iOS, comes with six Augmented Reality customizable puppets that you can place and animate just by dragging them with your fingers on a phone screen. – NEXT REALITY

8. Tackling ‘healthcare deserts’ with Virtual Reality training. The United States could see a shortage of up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, with many places lacking access to primary care doctors altogether. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is one of the institutions to try and address the problem by using VR to train more healthcare professionals. – UTSA

9. An app creates botanically correct 3D plant models to let users make portable Augmented Reality gardens. The project (an offshoot of The Virtual Garden Timeline) is a collaboration between the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The University of Central Florida, and Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. – PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE

10. Immersive Media is becoming a bigger trend in sports. Following a recent announcement that the English Football Premier League would be producing VR content using Intel’s True View technology, the NBA (which began experimenting with VR around 2014) is releasing an AR app to further engage its fan base. – FORBES

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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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