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Inside AR

Inside AR (Jun 18th, 2019)

1. The latest 2019 Unity update makes it easier to integrate Augmented Reality into native mobile games and apps. This follows Unity's launch of its AR Foundation tool that enables game developers to quickly create AR software that can run on both Android and iOS devices. This means that developers can now insert AR features powered by Unity, such as 3D/2D and real-time rendering directly into mobile apps. This happens as the Unity runtime library exposes controls to manage when and how to load/activate/unload within the native application. – VENTUREBEAT

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2. A team from Carnegie Mellon University and Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason are using immersive technology to allow researchers to virtually step inside their biological data. The technique is called expansion microscopy, which, combined with VR, allows scientists to enlarge, explore and analyze cell structures. The project has received $200,000 through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a software tool to allow scientists studying disease a way to understand large amounts of data through a computational technique called 'immersive science'." The system to convert expansion microscopy data into VR 3-D images will be affordable and easily accessible to researchers and physicians in developing countries. It will also allow for up to six people to collaborate and view the same sample remotely at the same time. "This is the future of how scientists can handle complex data, It's an immersive experience, just like you are sitting inside your data so you have the freedom to explore it from every angle," says Yongxin (Leon) Zhao, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon's Mellon College of Science. – PHYS.ORG

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3 - Spotlight: Women in VR - Tamara Shogaolu

By Alice Bonasio

Tamara Shogaolu is a director and video artist whose work has been widely shown at galleries, museums and film festivals all over the world. Describing herself on her @tutafilm Twitter profile as a "Blatina filmmaker and immersive artist on a magic carpet ride," she has emerged as one of the most interesting voices in the immersive storytelling space. She is a 2018 Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs Fellow and holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a Burton Lewis Endowed Scholar for Directing. She was also a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt, which is where she lived at the time of the Arab Spring uprising in 2010. 

In an interview for The Guardian, she recalls how traveling around the country collecting oral histories of people’s experiences at the time, she was inspired to use Virtual Reality to convey those stories in a more impactful way. Her VR documentary Another Dream, debuted at the Tribeca film festival in April and follows an Egyptian lesbian couple during the post-revolution backlash against LGBT people.

“When you’re listening to someone’s voice, to be physically present in their memories is so interesting,” During the production, the characters would describe their feeling of difference as people of colour in majority-white spaces (the couple featured was forced to seek asylum in the Netherlands), and immersive technology gave her the chance to place the audience within a scene and really experience what it was like to "feel different," she explains. 

She is based in Amsterdam where she is Creative Director of Ado Ato Pictures, which functions as a hybrid production company and collective with a network of directors based worldwide. She is also a member of the XRBASE.

Every Tuesday we'll shine a spotlight on the female trailblazers making their mark in immersive tech. If you have a story you think we should feature, just hit reply to this email or tweet me @alicebonasio

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4. The JFK Presidential Library released an Augmented Reality App to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing. Digital marketing agency Digitas created the app, which is available for free for iPhones and Android. It lets users relive the Apollo 11 mission and put a digital overlay of the Saturn V rocket onto their living room carpet, testing the thrusters to see the spacecraft burn some fuel. There is also an interesting real-time element which means the actual mission won’t begin until the day of the 50th anniversary, at 9:32am on July 16, and last more than 120 hours, with a touch-down on the moon surface predicted for July 20th. Users can also try their luck and a variety of missions such as landing the spacecraft on the surface of the moon and play mini games inspired by some of NASA’s original dexterity training tools. – VARIETY

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5.  Dali's master-works Augmented Reality exhibit opens on Saturday at the Salvador Dali museum in St Petersburg, Fla. The Museum's Executive Director Hank Hime hopes it will help entice a younger generation to engage with art in a new and dynamic way by using AR to bring these paintings to a new kind of openness: "The augmented reality shows you the double-images, the relations between images, and allows you to kind of query the paintings about their themes," he explains.  – FOX 13

6. A distribution project called SideQuest has evolved into an unofficial source for apps that aren't available on the Oculus Quest. Facebook is not too happy about this, but after spending some time on Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest with the SideQuest patch, Ian Hamilton writes that being able to run apps like Google Earth VR makes a pretty good case for the feature being a useful addition to Quest in spite of performance issues. – UPLOADVR

7. Minecraft Earth will be an opportunity to gauge the long-term viability of AR as a form of play. With the beta game due to launch on Android and iOS in the coming weeks, Todd Martens believes that users will likely gravitate to the game because of the way it integrates its designs into real-world infrastructure.  – LA TIMES

8. Cornell Wright offers up a comprehensive timeline of development or AR technology from The Sword of Damocles to Pokémon Go. – NEW HAVEN REGISTER

9. Over 6,500 people attended PTC’s LiveWorx19 conference in Boston last week, where the focus was largely on the applications of immersive technology for industry 4.0. Manufacturers have been showing increased interest in the applications of Augmented Reality for their operations, with PTC officials commenting that "spatial AR” will make it easy to decorate the industrial world with real-time information that workers need to be as safer and more productive.– AUTOMATION WORLD

10. In spite of being on staff at Magic Leap, Neal Stephenson participated in a Microsoft-hosted YouTube series, "The Shiproom". As part of the promotion tour for his latest book Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, the Science Fiction Author joined Microsoft corporate vice president Brad Anderson to play a game where he was asked to predict which edge technologies will be most impactful through a march-madness style bracket. Stephenson picked Augmented Reality ahead of quantum computing, neural link computer interfaces, and thorium reactors.  –  NEXT REALITY

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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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