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Inside AR

Inside AR (Jun 26th, 2019)

1. Although a hip injury has prevented Andy Murray from taking part in this year's Wimbledon Singles tournament, he will be making a virtual Appearance in Centre Court. As part of the tournament's Fan Experience Zone, would-be tennis players put on an HTC Vive headset and use a virtual racket to play a match on Centre Court. The objective is to hit five targets as a holographic Andy Murray coaches you from the sidelines. Murray is a prolific tech investor and this is not his first foray into the immersive space; in 2016 he endorsed a 360 experience created by Jaguar and Hammerhead Studios. It hasn't yet been confirmed whether this latest offering will be made available to the general public after the tournament wraps up. – UPLOADVR 

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2. An immersive experience is being launched to recreate Soundgarden's final North American show of the “King Animal” tour. The concert took place on Feb. 17 2013 and is widely regarded as one of the band's best. Lead singer Chris Cornell has since died and his bandmates have described the effort as the world’s first attempt at recreating the live concert experience from both the visual and the audio side. The technology was previously used on Lorde and Childish Gambino holographic tours. “Live From the Artists Den” is a 360-degree real-time mix that will be synced to on-screen footage and further complemented by a light show. – VARIETY

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3. Chris Wiltz writes about how Leap Motion's Ultrahaptics' technologies could combine to advance haptic features for immersive experiences. The combination of hand tracking with mid-air haptics could provide highly responsive interactive UI without the need for gloves or other bulky wearables. UK-based Ultrahaptics bought Leap Motion  - which utilizes ultrasonic technology to give users a tactile sensation for virtual objects - for the modest price of $30 million. – DESIGN NEWS

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4.  Pharos AR App is the latest immersive venture by singer Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover). The app --which already has over 50,000 downloads at the App Store-- was designed by the creative agency MediaMonks using Unity’s 3D engine. It features dancers inside a cave and the slow blending of the real world around users (seen through their phone camera) with the cave. Reporter Mark Sullivan writes that this felt more like the gradual onset of a hallucinatory drug as opposed to the immediate occlusion and immersion you get when entering a VR experience.– FAST COMPANY

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5. A 360-degree dome Installation that looks a lot like a Death Star is now open to the public at the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia. The Universal Sphere is the result of a 7-month collaboration between Immersive International Studios, Foster and Partners Architects and film director Steven Spielberg. – THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER  

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6. CIOs need to start thinking about AR and VR and other immersive technologies as the new enterprise UI, argues David Petersson, and prioritize it accordingly rather than as an add-on. – TECH TARGET

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7. Watchmakers Audemars Piguet created an immersive tour of the Swiss Jura Mountains in VR. The experience was so popular at their lounge in Art Basel (the world's largest art fair which concluded last week) that the company decided to make it permanently available to the public. – ARTNET

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8. Unity XR Lead Timoni West believes VR and AR are going to converge. She envisages a future where immersive technologies outpace consoles and offer viable alternatives to PCs: "Even if it doesn't take off this year, we're always going to be trying to push this medium forward to that type of computer where anyone can pick it up and do what they want to with it. I truly believe that's the future we're heading towards." – GAMESINDUSTRY.BIZ

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9.  California's Imagery Estate Winery has created an image-filter app for its range of wines. The Sonoma Valley company partnered with AR app producer Imagery to develop an application that gives users access to four different filters that turn their surroundings into artistic works.– JUST-DRINKS

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10. Manus VR Launched new haptic gloves aimed at the enterprise market. Priced at around $5600 (€5000) the Manus Prime glove series now features three models and provides wireless finger tracking for a range of training applications. Customers can customize the haptic feedback depending on their needs, with the user interface featuring an integrated material editor to adjust signal strength, frequency, and resonance for each finger. The gloves come supplied with plug-ins for Unity and Unreal Engine, and are compatible with any headset using the SteamVR tracking solution, such as HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro. – VR FOCUS

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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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