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Inside VR & AR

Inside VR & AR (Jun 10th, 2019)

1. At WWDC, Scott Stein played Swift Strike, a multiplayer AR bowling game developed by Apple to demonstrate the potential for collaborative augmented reality applications. In this CNET piece, he writes that the realism added by occlusion was significant, and that the experience shows how far things have come in a year. It's unclear whether Apple actually plans to launch Swift Strike to the public. CNET's Eli Blumenthal, who joined Stein in playing the game, commented that "As companies like Sandbox VR and VR World NYC open up virtual reality arcades around the world, it's not hard to imagine this technology expanding to malls, parks and events, providing a new medium for people to come together and interact." – CNET

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2. As VR becomes more lifelike, people will eventually spend more time in virtual worlds than the real one. Becca Caddy gives a comprehensive overview of the main current use cases for immersive technology, and opines that although there is still a long way to go before we’re trading in our smartphones for VR headsets, these will eventually reach such a lifelike level of graphics quality - coupled with 5G connectivity - as to enable us to routinely use it for everyday tasks as well as entertainment and social experiences. In the future, she says, social VR could be less about meeting new people and more about connecting with the partner, friends, and family you already know. – METRO

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3. By the Numbers: AR is boosting Snapchat stock

Snapchat's stock ($SNAP) has experienced a surge of more than 180 percent since a December low, and Bloomberg reporters Kamaron Leach and Kurt Wagner credit this largely to an uptick in augmented reality users, who are driving consumer engagement. At its first developer conference in April, Snap rolled out a games platform and new AR features that let users add graphics to their hands, feet or bodies. This is in addition to its popular Lens features which allow users to indulge in gender-swapping or superhero fantasies. "The latest launch of lenses is among some of the most impressive product innovation we have seen in some time from the company," says Pivotal Research Group’s Michael Levine, adding that this, in their opinion, constitutes significant innovation in augmented reality. – BLOOMBERG

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4. Law Firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is using VR tours to give potential new recruits a real feel for what life in its Dallas and New York offices is like. The tours include external views and a personal greeting from the group's chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “Recruiters tell us the websites provide them with a lot of information but it’s often repetitive between firms. Many are left with questions like, ‘How do people present themselves? What do the offices look like?’ says David Botter, Akin Gump’s firmwide hiring partner. The firm is now working on further tours of its Los Angeles and Houston offices.– LAW.COM

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5. Energy company E.On calculates it can save around 800 to 1,000 hours of travel time by training its employees in VR. Bayernwerk, the subsidiary company rolling out the first pilot, expects the complete mapping of its 750 transformer substations to take another four years. – ELP

6.  Black Mirror "Striking Vipers" explores how immersive technology makes porn more personal. At a press conference, the show's creator Charlie Brooker and producer Annabel Jones walked reporters through the creative process. Jones explained their fascination with the concept of gender fluidity enabled by VR, and of pornography crossing over from being a distraction into actually evolving into an affair in a world where digital interactions become truly immersive. – THE WRAP

7. Dan Watson explores how VR-enabled education platforms are being deployed in schools and labs across the world, and ponders how these will develop and transform the classroom in the next few years.  – TES.COM

8. A new exhibit will feature Jerry Garcia's artwork in augmented reality. The lead guitarist for the Grateful Dead was a prolific painter, and many of his works will be available for the first time in a new exhibit that opens on August 1, which would have been his 77th birthday. StraxArt is an official worldwide licensee of Garcia's work and the company behind a new wave of limited edition AR digital art collections and experiences at the Capitol Theatre, which is the venue for the exhibit.– GRATEFUL WEB

9. UploadVR will host the first-ever showcase dedicated entirely to immersive titles at E3. The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019 will open Tuesday in Los Angeles, and the showcase with Upload announced back in April will include over 30 VR titles in store from various developers across multiple VR platforms.– PLAYER ONE

10. Ian Hamilton tests Antilatency’s new positional tracking system which is now available to order starting at $350. The technology uses an optical inertial tracking module with an ultra-wide field of view, with the unit mounted on a headset or accessory that can identify its location relative to infrared lights embedded in expandable floor mats. – UPLOADVR

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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), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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