News of the Week

WEDNESDAY 13 DECEMBER 2017 (FINAL FALL SEMESTER ENTRY)
(hat tip to Bishka for some of these!)

Jaunt Goes Interactive
Jaunt Announces XR Platform (sort of: branching)

Headset News
Google is Developing a VR Display With 10x More Pixels Than Today’s Headsets
OCULUS FILES PATENT APPLICATION FOR CURVED DISPLAY IN VR HEADSETS
PSX 2017 Showed Why Sony Is Leading The VR Race With PSVR

Content News
Daydream Impact is Google’s new philanthropy program for VR
Sundance Film Festival announces 2018 New Frontier program
Explore virtual reality at the National Museum of Singapore this weekend
Oculus revives its Wolves in the Walls virtual reality story experience

Perception
Virtual reality users must learn to use what they see

Advertising
How Virtual Reality Is Changing The World Of Advertising

Tombstones in AR?!?
Phones for urns: Hong Kong turns to virtual reality to honor ancestors

WEDNESDAY 6 DECEMBER 2017

New Tech
5 AMAZING NEW VR PRODUCTS AWARDED IN CES 2018 VIRTUAL REALITY CATEGORY
The ZED mini camera brings an AR twist to your VR headset
Amazon’s Sumerian Is A Web-Based Development Service For VR/AR Apps
Apple’s most powerful iMac is arriving this month
3 practical ways that VR is improving health care

Big Content
Computing Clout Helps Hollywood Tap Potential of Immersive Content (Variety)
Nat Geo Brings the Ocean to Times Square
BBC Launches VR Studio

The Dark Side
Game over for virtual reality? (The Economist)
The Promise and Disappointment of VR: A Cultural History (Lithub)
Drone Maker D.J.I. May Be Sending Data to China, U.S. Officials Say

MONDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2017

Cool Hacks
How a High-Tech Stationary Bicycle Can Help Patients With Dementia
Smellable VR is coming whether you want it or not (video)
The AR-powered fighting MekaMon robot goes on sale at Apple Stores (video)
Apple acquires AR headset startup Vrvana for $30m “truly opaque blacks” (vrvana.com)

More Location-Based “Out of Home” VR
Theme parks are blurring the lines between physical rides, movies, TV and virtual reality
China is opening a massive VR theme park next month (Guiyang)
Paramount Has Created a Completely Virtual Movie Theater; Is This a Game Changer? (In Home)

End of Year Reflections
The VR Fund: Entertainment VR investments jump 79% in second half of 2017 (big “who’s who” poster)
10 virtual reality experiences that stood out in 2017
A CONVERSATION WITH JARON LANIER, VR JUGGERNAUT (Wired) (See also NY Times article)

End of Year Projections
Virtual and Augmented Reality Markets Expected to Show Strong Growth
I gave up on VR, but I believe again. Sort of

This Means You
Is Virtual Reality’s Steven Spielberg Still in College?

WEDNESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2017

What Happened to Snap Spectacles (and what will happen to them?)?
Snapchat loses $40m on flop Spectacles
What’s Going to Happen to All the Unsold Snapchat Spectacles?

More Better VR Headsets
HTC reveals standalone Vive Focus VR headset and cancels Daydream plans (cool video)
RideVR Is A New Standalone Headset Designed For Theme Parks

Social VR
Social VR Platforms Proliferate in the Next Digital Land Grab
Will blockchain help make Virtual Reality more social?

What’s Wrong with this Forecast? (clue: how many significant digits?)
Virtual Reality (VR) Market Size Projected Reach $26.89 Billion by 2022: Zion Market Research

WEDNESDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2017

Corporate News

Corporate Optimism & Corporate Cynicism
Why Samsung Is Ramping Up Its Virtual Reality Campaign
Empathy – the latest gadget Silicon Valley wants to sell you

Success
Pimax Kickstarter Nears $3.5M With Less Than a Week Left, Free Eye-tracking Module Unlocked

Failure?
Why Snapchat Spectacles failed

New Tech
Sony’s Big Bet on 3D Sensors That Can See the World
Exclusive: Inside Europe’s Amazing New Volumetric Capture Studio, Dimension

VR Content (High & Low)
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible VR experience is getting a special Oscar award
Use Your Expensive VR Set-Up To Milk Cows

VRarcades (and China!)
Shanghai is Building the World’s Largest Planetarium
VR Arcades in Shanghai: A Red Ocean Looking for Innovation
China’s £1 billion virtual reality sci-fi theme park
Can VR Save The Movie Theater, Or The Mall?

WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER 2017

Hardware News – Cameras
Samsung’s new camera has 17 lenses and costs $10,500 (from Samsung)

Hardware News – Headsets
Pimax 8K VR Headset Surpasses $2 Million On Kickstarter
Review: Google Daydream View’s virtual reality is something to see
Further Information About LG VR Headset Revealed

Cool Content
Felix & Paul Studios Launch The Confessional VR Comedy Series On Daydream
Jaunt VR Releases Experimental Experience Through You

Cool Hacks
Developer Uses ARCore To Bring Positional Tracking To Gear VR
The Latest On VR Locomotion (from Oculus)
Lytro Announces VR Light Field Rendering Software ‘Volume Tracer’
Facebook Collaborates with Mettle for 360° Depth Related VR FX Software
Adobe’s Project SonicScape lets VR film editors see sound

Not Gossip
Snap May Have Hundreds of Thousands of Unsold Spectacles
Regina Dugan, the head of Facebook’s secretive hardware lab, is leaving the company

MONDAY 16 OCTOBER 2017

AR vandalism makes the NY Times

More big content
Here’s the trailer for the new Star Wars VR experience coming to Disney parks
Pixar Announces First VR Project ‘Coco VR’, a ‘Next level social experience’

Facebook Oculus announces 2 new VR headsets, both standalone

Bad Content
Oculus will start refunding users for bad VR content

Good Content
Discovery, Google Launch Multi-Part Virtual Reality Trip Around the World
‘Everest VR’ Hits PlayStation VR Today
TRIPP Raises $4 Million to Develop ‘Mood Altering’ VR Experiences

Hardware Wars
Sony Isn’t ‘Entirely Comfortable’ With PSVR Market Lead By Current Margin
Google, Facebook and Microsoft Line Up For VR Standalone Push
How to get the new Microsoft and Samsung ‘mixed reality’ headset
Snap CEO’s Focus on Spectacles Underscores Hardware Ambitions

Hardware Innovations
A Finnish VR startup is developing a ‘human eye-resolution’ headset that is ’10 years ahead of its time’
Jaunt VR’s 6DOF Interactive Experience Free The Night Debuting Exclusively For Windows Mixed Reality
The Basslet: a wearable subwoofer for your body

Surprises (or maybe not)
Artist virtually vandalises Jeff Koons’ Snapchat artwork to protest “AR corporate invasion”
Go ahead, try to guess what Magic Leap does based on this video

MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2017

Pimax Kickstarter exceeds $1M (+ “scent modules” and “eye tracking models” for “foveated rendering” via partners)
Standalone VR Headsets Are On The Way! (note source)
Ars Electronica opens VR Lab
Oculus tweaks VR audio to seem closer and more realistic
China’s Largest Messaging App ‘WeChat’ is Creating its Own AR Platform (HT to Jack Hua Zhu)
Google signs $1.1bn HTC smartphone deal (money goes to HTC VR dev?)
3 things you need to know about augmented reality in China
VR Industry Forum Draft Guidelines Push for Open Ecosystem

MONDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2017

ARKit and ARCore will not usher massive adoption of mobile AR (The “AR Cloud” Will)
Report: Magic Leap To Cost Between $1,500 And $2,000, Limited Shipping Soon
Google Earth Integrates With Street View In New Update
https://vr.google.com/earth/ (still clunky)
Apple shows off breathtaking new augmented reality demos on iPhone 8 (tabletop game)
Adobe to introduce 360 VR editing, character animation to CC (video post-production ++)
Chinese Pimax has an 8K VR headset coming to Kickstarter soon (impressive!)
Felix & Paul’s ‘The People’s House’ 360 Video Wins an Emmy (cinematic VR)
This Robot Disarms Bombs Through Virtual Reality (HT to Bishka)
THESE CRAZY HEADPHONES LET YOU RECORD IMMERSIVE 3D SOUNDSCAPES ANYWHERE (Binaural)
Eye-tracking is virtual reality’s next frontier
The Everything Simulator (Thoughtful Medium story by VR VC)

MONDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2017

Here’s the first of weekly “News of the Week” posts. I monitor lots of blogs and newsfeeds, so this is a no-brainer for me. If you have any news items, please email me before Monday classes and I’ll give you a HT for it 🙂 .

This first batch is actually a week old. I’ll catch up next week.

Notes:
– AR, particularly “mobile AR,” is heating up.
– Magic Leap is still attracting attention, even with no product yet to show.
– VR in medicine (note “Snow World”) and sports (especially STRIVR).
– “Naming problem” is an issue for location-based “big” experiences.

Links:

Apple shows off new AR apps just as Google launches ARCore
Google’s ARCore is the answer to Apple’s ARKit
ARCore: Augmented reality at Android scale
Made with ArKit

Check out these smartglasses designed by $4.5 billion startup Magic Leap

3 Ways Virtual Reality Is Transforming Medical Care
VR Is Changing Sports: More Than 30 Teams Use STRIVR Training While SyncThink Diagnoses Concussions

Immersive entertainment has a naming problem