Inside XR - April 11th, 2019

Inside XR (Apr 11th, 2019)

Sony PSVR Patent Hints at Foveated Rendering / Immersive Experiences for Earth Day 2019 / VR Reducing Parkinson's Symptoms

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1. A Sony patent hints at new details about the next generation PSVR headset. A patent published on March 14 had already revealed that Sony was possibly working on making its new generation VR HMD wireless. Now a new patent dated April 4 gives details of an integrated eye tracker capable of delivering foveated rendering. Robert Jones explains the concept, saying that by using a virtual reality headset with an integrated eye tracker, this technology renders areas of a virtual world a gamer is not looking at a lower level of graphical quality, allowing for much more expansive virtual worlds. – T3

2. USA Today built an augmented reality tour around the world's tallest buildings. The mobile app for iOS and Android provides a close-up look at the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center in New York City, Willis Tower in Chicago, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Users can also view related data for each of the buildings in 3D, with content hosted via Sketchfab. As with previous AR experiences from the news outlet, it incorporates hot spots with audio snippets to tell the full story of the buildings. – NEXT REALITY

3. Nintendo has released its LABO VR kit to enthusiastic reviews. Twenty-four years after launching the "Virtual Boy," Nintendo seems to have hit the right tone with its "playful and silly" immersive games.  Many outlets have described the experiences in the kit as well-executed and genuinely enjoyable ​​​​​Labo: VR Kit includes a mix of games, sandboxes, and creative apps that provide a good sampling of what you can currently do in virtual reality, Nintendo has also announced that the VR Kit will be supporting Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. – BBC

4. SoftBank demoed a VR communication and social platform that offered the ability to personalize realistic avatars. At this year's VR/AR/MR World expo in Tokyo, the Japanese communications company unveiled a platform called Epic Play Live. SoftBank partnered with ObEN, an AI company specializing in personalized AI technology, Salin, an AR/VR social platform provider, and wrnch, which captures and digitizes human motion, to develop the prototype platform that creates 3D avatars based on a selfie and a short voice recording made on a user's mobile device.  –ZDNET

5. A study published in the Journal of Retailing and Co documents the rising popularity of augmented reality among marketers. Researchers found that AR content that triggers consumers' imagination and motivates them to generate new ideas is most effective. Results and additional findings will be presented in June in Munich as part of the 5th international AR VR conference. –PHYS.ORG

6. Extended reality can be an effective tool for environmental health and safety training. Todd Maddox explains how XR technologies hold great promise for training behavior and situational awareness in EHS by reducing the burden on cognitive systems whose processing is adversely affected by stress and pressure. – TECH TRENDS

7. Earthx2019 Expo will feature over 40 immersive experiences. As part of their EarthxInteractive festival to be held in Dallas, TX between April 26 and April 28, users will be able to swim with dolphins, rescue turtles, or travel through Africa to defend wildlife through immersive technologies such as AR, VR, and MR. –VRSCOUT

8. Tokyo XR Startups, a Japanese initiative to help immersive tech startups with funding, workspace lending and back-office operations has announced the fifth batch for its Incubation program. Five applicants were selected, and each startup will be mentored by experts in the XR field to develop prototypes and launch services.  –VR FOCUS

9. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of Utah restored dynamic movement in 10 patients who trained on a VR system three times a week for a period of six weeks. Patients were found to be much more adept at walking, turning, and staying balanced afterward.  – DAILY MAIL

10. China's growth in the next five years could see it dominate AR/VR long-term with the potential to take more than $1 of every $5 spent, says a report from Digi-Capital. Firms such as Tencent, Alibaba Group, and Baidu are already investing in virtual reality, and the rollout of 5G infrastructure could help further tip this balance. – BUSINESS TIMES

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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