Inside XR - March 25th, 2020

Inside XR (Mar 25th, 2020)

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Dear subscribers.

As we continue to transition towards a freemium subscription model to make the Inside Newsletter sustainable in the long-term, you will notice that some of the items on Inside XR are premium-only. 

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Alice Bonasio

@Alicebonasio

1. HP has teased a new VR headset that promises to become "the new standard in VR." The device was called "HP Reverb G2" in the URL for the page in which HP’s got it listed, although this won't necessarily be the name of the headset, writes Chris Burns for SlashGear. It’s the second-generation headset with a design that looks very similar to its predecessor, HP Reverb, which was launched last year. The Next-Gen HP VR Headset listed by Steam and HP looks to be a significant step up from that and will be "coming soon," according to HP/Steam. “The next generation HP Virtual Reality HMD–developed in collaboration with Valve and Microsoft–delivers an immersive, comfortable and compatible VR experience,” the company said, as it revealed the device in a non-event this week. – SLASHGEAR  

2. "Looking to Listen" project wants to create an Augmented Reality app to offer hearing-impaired people a way of being visually alerted to the sounds that surround them.

Seoul-based Cochlear.ai was founded in 2017 to "create a machine listening system that can understand any kind of sound."

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3. The iPad Pro 2020 is a bit step towards Apple's Augmented Reality vision. Scott Stein writes that with the Lidar sensor, the company is clearly running head-first into an AR future, which should involve a headset or glasses eventually. The scanner's 5-meter (16.4-foot) range and ability to 3D mesh an environment are exactly what should be in an eventual AR headset—and it will likely be in Apple's next iPhones, too. In a way, it's a farther-reaching version of the close-range 3D-scanning TrueDepth camera on the front of most iPhones, and the iPad Pro. ARKit apps load up faster and place objects better, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, scanning 3D objects, meshing reality and overlaying things, mapping reality out via the tablet. – CNET

4. A Virtual Reality simulation illustrates the devastating impact COVID-19 can have on the respiratory system.

"This patient is a gentleman in his late 50s, who initially had a fever and a non-productive cough like many other people," explains Dr. Keith Mortman, a Chief of Thoracic Surgery in Washington, D.C.

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5. A teacher has turned a VR environment in "Half-Life: Alyx" into what's arguably the world's best math classroom. Without giving away too many spoilers, VRScout Editor Kyle Melnick describes a run-down greenhouse perched atop a rooftop in City 17, where players can use markers to write on the glass. Many new players have shared their “works of art,” but one teacher named Charles Coomber took a more proactive approach, posting a YouTube video (which at the time of writing had attracted nearly 300,000 views), which is titled “Let’s Play: Angle Vocabulary Review (in Half-Life: Alyx).” In the lesson, Coomber guides viewers through a roughly 15-minute review of Angle Vocabulary, using the markers to help illustrate his lesson on the dirty windows. The video is part of an ongoing program referred to as “Homeschooling Week,” a likely response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Half-Life: Alyx is available now on all SteamVR compatible devices for $59.99. – VRSCOUT

6. A new XR platform lets galleries create their own VR exhibitions using 3D-Scanning.

As most galleries find themselves forced to shutter worldwide, an art insider has launched Vortic, which offers galleries customizable virtual spaces wherein they can show their art using immersive technology.

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7. Here are the countries where you can still buy Quest & Rift S directly from Oculus

As more people around the world are ordered to stay at home to slow the spread of coronavirus, demand for VR headsets is soaring.

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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.

Edited by Beth Duckett, staff writer at Inside.

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