Local & Global VR News for the Week of February 22nd, 2019

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

Don’t forget - we have a Meetup next week on the 26th!

Local & Global VR News for the Week of February 1st, 2019

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • VR Awards organisers launch AIXR trade body, The new organisation AIXR -- which stands for the Academy of International Extended Reality -- is positioning itself as the international trade body for individuals and companies of all sizes working in any form of immersive technology (including, of course, video games).

  • WellTown Turns Wellington New Zealand Into A VR City With Games, Developer WellingtonNZ aimed to take some of the things Wellington is known for in some fun directions for this project. Wellington is a cafe town, for example, so one game has you shooting caffeine at sleepy zombies. Or you can visit local buskers and jam with them on a virtual drum kit. This being New Zealand, there are some brushes with nature too including a deep dive in the harbor and a chance to explore the wilderness.

  • Where is augmented reality going in 2019 — and beyond?, In 2018, augmented reality started to heat up as Magic Leap released its much-anticipated headset, paving the way for others to explore and support massive AR development on their platforms. AR continues to be a rapidly growing space, as more tech companies continue building out their own competitive technologies — including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Magic Leap. The new year will be an important one for the software and hardware components of AR to shine. Here are some predictions for where we’ll see AR as we move into 2019.

More importantly, VR is changing everything.

Local & Global VR News for the Week of January 25th, 2019

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Microsoft Partners With VictoryVR To Bring A VR Curriculum To Schools, As part of the deal, Microsoft is offering 25 hours worth of free VictoryVR content to schools that purchase a Windows VR headset. VictoryVR’s offerings include a virtual science book for students in grades 5 – 12. Its science units contain a variety of educational experiences such as virtual field trips and interactive games and experiences. In total it offers 240 unique VR experiences spread across 48 different units. You can see what the package includes in the video above.

  • GDC 2019 Survey: 33% Of VR Devs Working On Vive, 21% On Quest, On this year’s survey, the question “Which platform(s) are you *currently developing* games for?” saw 33 percent of VR/AR developers pick Valve/HTC followed by Rift at 30 percent. In addition, though, 21 percent of VR/AR developers said they were working on the still unreleased Oculus Quest. Developer kits for the $400 Quest aren’t available publicly so it’s a notable showing for the standalone VR system ahead of its launch. I should also add that the “Other” category was also selected by 42 percent of VR/AR developers.

  • Epic Game acquires SkookumScript dev Agog Labs and graphics firm 3Lateral, Agog Labs developed its scripting and direction solution following an Unreal Dev Grant in 2015, while 3Lateral is best known for its realistic animation of human character modelling.

Local & Global VR News for the Week of January 18th, 2019

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Byju's acquires AR educational startup Osmo for $120M, These augmented reality apps integrate offline activities to help children between 5 and 12 learn, and according to Sharma, have been incorporated into around 20,000 schools in the United States.

  • Mystery company buys Meta's augmented reality tech, Meta fell on hard times in September after a promised $20 million investment from a Chinese company fell through over trade tensions between the US and China. The company has promised that its current products, mainly its latest Meta 2 AR headset, will continue to be supported.

  • Microsoft opens AI and VR incubator in China, Despite its struggles in some countries, virtual reality has steadily grown in popularity throughout China over the last few years, so Microsoft — better known for its augmented reality headset HoloLens than its VR initiatives — is getting in on the action. As reported by China’s Xinhua news agency, the company today launched the Nanchang City AI+VR Innovation Center, a cloud and mobile technology incubator geared towards startups and established manufacturing companies.

Local & Global VR News from the Week of January 4th, 2019

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

Also, not really news, but hilarious (and NSFW) - Rappers saving dogs in virtual reality is your tummy rub for the day.

Local & Global VR News from the Week of December 28th, 2018

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Google Lens Now Recognizes Over 1 Billion Products, “Google Lens, Google’s AI-powered analysis tool, can now recognize over 1 billion products from Google’s retail and price comparison portal, Google Shopping. That’s four times the number of objects Lens covered in October 2017, when it made its debut.”

  • Clay AIR Offers Hardware-Agnostic Hand Tracking for VR & AR, “Hand tracking has the ability to offer even more lifelike virtual reality (VR) experiences by removing controllers and simply engaging your hands directly. When it comes to this type of technology Leap Motion is one of the more well-known companies, manufacturing a small USB powered device that goes on the front of devices to track users hands. Clay AIR Inc. is another working in the same field but taken a different approach, developing gesture recognition software that’s hardware-agnostic.”

  • Valve will ship Knuckles dev kits ‘in quantity’, “The new controllers have been in development for some time from privately owned Valve, which is based in Bellevue, Washington. The engineers at Valve are the folks responsible for the key tracking technology used in the HTC Vive. They are also developing their own head-mounted display and, with these controllers, could offer new ways of using your hands in a virtual space. The controllers strap to your hands and allow for realistic grasping and release sensations with capacitive sensors meant to track finger movements.”

Local & Global VR News from the Week of December 21st, 2018

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Zspace unveils laptop that enables easy AR/VR interaction, “Zspace has dedicated itself to “spatial content,” and today it is unveiling a laptop targeted at kids that lets them easily interact with augmented reality or virtual reality content.”

  • University Of Warwick Study Finds VR Is More Engaging Than Traditional Learning Methods, “Textbooks and video are out, and VR is in.”

  • IMAX drops VR, will close its last three locations next year, “Two years ago, IMAX had big plans for VR experiences, with its CEO anticipating 10-minute movie tie-ins that people would pay up to $10 to try at one of its locations. Now that dream is dead, as Variety points out an SEC filing from the company revealing that in Q1 2019 it will close the last three of its virtual reality installations, including the flagship location that opened last year in LA. It also cited a quote from CEO Richard Gelford telling investors on a recent earnings call that despite positive reactions from customers, ‘the numbers just weren't there.’”

Also, big thanks to WRAL Techwire for covering our latest Meetup!

Local & Global VR News from the Week of December 14th, 2018

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Oculus Announces VR Charity Challenge With $100,000 Up For Grabs, “Set to run this week from December 13th – 16th, the challenge will see two teams of five influencers go head-to-head in four VR games. At the end of the week the winning team will score the prize money for the charity they’re representing. One side is playing for a gaming-focused veteran charity named Stack Up while the other is representing a mental health nonprofit that also focuses on games, named Take This.”

  • Viewr gives friends a window into what you are doing in VR, “The team at #include in Brisbane, Australia, created Viewr (which the company spells ViewR) for VR developers to integrate this capability into their games, making the VR experiences more social and shareable.”

  • New Report Uses VR To Unearth Hidden Pollution Along US Border, “Journalists at The Sun began investigating pollution in the New River, which runs from the Mexican city of Mexicali, over the border and into the US, in 2016. Their findings were compiled in a comprehensive new report named Poisoned Cities: Deadly Border that features VR as one small part of the larger piece.”

Local & Global VR News from the Week of December 7th, 2018

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • AR/VR spending to jump 69% in 2019, Augmented reality and virtual reality are poised to grow at a surprisingly steady pace over the next four years. According to market intelligence firm IDC, worldwide spending on AR and VR products and services will be up 69% next year, and will sport a five-year compound annual growth rate inching closer to 70% from 2017 through 2022.

  • Epic Games To Launch Its Own Digital Store This Month, When it comes to virtual reality (VR) the news is much better. VR compatible titles can be sold through the store if developers wish to, but the store itself won’t have a VR interface of any kind.

  • 1 billion AR/VR ad impressions: What we’ve learned, As we set out to show how immersive advertising beats traditional digital advertising, we learned a few lessons along the way. Here are our three key learnings from serving 1 billion VR/AR ad impressions.

Local & Global VR News from the Week of November 30th, 2018

Each week we highlight 3 top stories from local and global VR/AR/MR news to help you stay on top of the trends.

  • Upcoming Unity Demo Day, During our last meetup in November, we heard from David Zielinski about his student's Unity Demo day. You can try out his ISS320 Unity Class student's desktop games and experiences on Tuesday, December 4th from 5-7pm. The Demo Day will take place at Duke University. Smith Warehouse. Bay 12. Room 228. (Near Duke's East Campus, Behind the Domino's Pizza on Main Street). You can find more info here on their Facebook event. And don’t forget about our next meetup - the Winter Social at Fullsteam Brewery on Monday, December 3rd!

  • US Army awards $480 million contract for Microsoft's Hololens, A bidding war between Microsoft and Magic Leap for a US Army contract to develop AR devices has concluded, with Microsoft emerging as the victor.

  • Submissions Now Open For The Third Annual Viveport Developer Awards, The awards are Viveport’s way of rewarding and celebrating developers who contribute to the platform’s success, with winners in each category able to walk away with up to $50,000 USD in cash and prizes including the newest HTC Vive hardware, tickets to the 2019 Game Developers Conference and marketing support.