Inside XR - March 26th, 2020

Inside XR (Mar 26th, 2020)

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Dear subscribers.

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Alice Bonasio

@Alicebonasio

1. Linden Lab seems to be abandoning its Virtual Reality platform.

The makers of Second Life have announced that they've sold off assets related to Sansar to a small, little-known company called Wookey Search Technologies.

To continue reading and find out what's in store for Second Life and Sansar, upgrade to Inside XR Premium.

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2. "Half-Life: Alyx" has been widely hailed as VR's first killer game title. Since launching earlier this week, the game has already made a huge impact, garnering positive reviews from the gamer community. "Alyx is turning out to be an early VR success story for Valve and a much-needed boost for the gaming medium," Brandon Hill writes. Even though compatible VR headsets such as the Valve Index and Oculus Quest have been largely sold out and the game is priced at a rather steep $59.99, there are currently about 10,000 playing "Half-Life Alyx" on Steam VR. This is an important victory for the medium, and although Valve game designer Robin Walker admits that modders will eventually hack the game to kill the VR-requirement when the port does materialize, Walker is confident that it would "clearly demonstrate why we did this in VR." – HOT HARDWARE  

3. Immersive tech could rescue the live events industry.

The COVID-19 emergency has pretty comprehensively obliterated the live concert space for the foreseeable future. 

To read the full story on how artists are exploring new ways to earn money, click below to upgrade to premium. The cost is $10 per month, or $100 a year, which comes down to the price of a coffee every week.

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4. AR Post journalist Jon Jaehnig posted on his @JaehnigJon Twitter that we should be adding the HTC Vive GDC sessions to our collective #VR #Quarantine calendars. There will be virtual events starting on March 31 through May 12, 2020. Take a look below at some of what we have in store to liven up the long quarantine days ahead. 

5. Could the coronavirus outbreak change the course of XR adoption?

Nick Kolakowski writes that however long it takes for things to get back to normal (or normal-ish) in a post-COVID-19 world, it is easy to see the current crisis as the necessary spark for new technologies that allow people to collaborate more deeply.

To read this story (and others in Inside XR), click below to upgrade to premium.

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6. BBC Earth releases educational experience for Magic Leap

The free "Micro Kingdoms: Senses" insect experience is now available for free, narrated by British actor Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

To read how writer Adario Strange's test of the app went, click below to upgrade to Inside XR Premium.

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7. The "Experience Versailles" virtual tour is experiencing a renewed burst of interest.

Since we first covered this free Virtual Reality experience back in October 2019, it has proven popular with visitors from all over the world.

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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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