Inside XR - May 31st, 2019

Inside XR (May 31st, 2019)

Super Smash Bros in VR / Immersive Tech Improving Automotive Design / AR Krakens on Broadway

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Well, hello there! It's a pleasure to share this journey down the weird and wonderful rabbit hole of immersive tech with the thousands of subscribers, like yourself, that read Inside VR & AR every day.

My door is always open, so if you ever have any comments, tips, complaints or compliments do feel free to send them my way:

Speaking of weird and wonderful though, we are close to launching our 50th newsletter here at Inside, so although this is clearly the best of the lot, there are still many other delicious subjects you might want to geek out on, such as Meditation, Photography, DIY or Nutrition, so be sure to check them out and vote for your favourites. Have a fab weekend! — Alice Bonasio

1.  Nintendo has included VR support in its latest update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In spite of somewhat disappointing reviews for its previous Mario and Zelda Virtual Reality games, the company is persisting in porting some of its most popular titles into the Nintendo Labo VR Kit.  Like Zelda and Odyssey, Smash will retain its third-person perspective. The virtual reality update mode will give players a view with a better sense of depth and allow them to view the stages and backgrounds in Virtual Reality. –  KOTAKU

2. Oculus Venues promises to immerse fans into sporting action. Brady Langmann tests out the function, which he describes as a "Fortnite chat for sports diehards, populated by build-your-own cartoon people tricked out with pink hair and tiger masks, rich with a chorus of cringey jokes and cross talk," all of which is supposed to replicate the perspective of sitting courtside like Spike or a Kardashian-Jenner. – ESQUIRE

3.  Follow Friday: Bernhard Drax

For many years Bernhard Drax has inhabited the digital and real worlds simultaneously, building his identity on Second Life and using his filmmaking skills to showcase the important stories that emerged from those early virtual communities. 

But although Second Life is very much still alive, Drax is also busy exploring new projects using the latest immersive platforms, and his feeds contain a wealth of thought-provoking and cutting edge content that helps us to look at these amazing technologies from a more human perspective. Follow him @draxtor

4. Canada’s largest and only publicly accessible VR cave for connected and autonomous vehicles was unveiled this week. The $4.6-million project at Windsor’s Institute for Border Logistics and Security constitutes of a three-dimensional cave, with three screens measuring 4.75-by-2.9 meters. It can handle simulations for operating 18-wheel trucks down to the functioning tiny engine parts. According to Jonathon Azzopardi, president of the Canadian Association of Mold Makers and Laval Tool, using immersive setups such as these can dramatically reduce the cost of failures, as simulation and digital twinning give you the ability to try new things at a lower risk. – WINDSOR STAR

5.  Newly formed spatial computing venture Meta View has acquired all the assets of Meta, the AR display company which got shut down earlier this year.  – VENTUREBEAT

6. Kevin Carbotte dives deep into the specs and quirks of the new Valve’s Index VR Headset. From the puzzling lack of inside-out tracking to its adjustable refresh rate and the fact that it provides cushioning for small heads and a useless "frunk", here are ten things you might not have known about one of the most anticipated immersive hardware releases of 2019. – TOMS HARDWARE

7.  Amazon launched a massive AR experience in New York to promote its latest apocalyptic series which premieres today. Based on Neil Gaiman's novel Good Omens and starring David Tennant (Doctor Who) the stunt it places AR constructs such as UFOs and a Kraken in the middle of Broadway using a billboard screen camera. –  NEXT REALITY 

8.  David Heaney details how The Oculus Rift S has a fairly hidden setting which changes the headset’s default resolution. He recommends that users with a lower end gaming PC use the performance setting to maintain framerate. – UPLOADVR

9. Digesting the immersive alphabet soup isn't always easy, so David Cardinal provides a short guide detailing the major aspects and use cases for VR, AR, MR and XR. – EXTREME TECH

10.  Volvo is using the new high-resolution Varjo XR-1 headset to iterate its design process in real time. The company is taking advantage of the HMD's 12-megapixel cameras can deliver the real and virtual world at very low latency while driving in controlled conditions to test out heads-up displays, new interiors and warning systems.  –  ENDGADGET

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) and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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