XR for Media Newsfeed – December 19, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

VR Focus: XR For Animation: The Future Is Less, Not More

Wired: VR Meetings Are Weird, but They Beat Our Current Reality

Variety: Virtual Reality Studio Baobab’s Message of Climate Change Leads to U.N. Partnership

VR Focus: Remotely Visit Museums And Galleries With Curatours In 2021

VR Scout: Google & Red Bull Launch AR-Enhanced On-Demand Video Experience

VR Scout: AR-Powered Movie-Making App ‘Diorama’ Lets You Drag-And-Drop Digital Props & Effects

Digital Bodies: The Facebook Lawsuit and Investigations – the Impact on VR

UploadVR: Free New Oculus Quest Movie Is Quill’s Longest Animation To Date

VR Scout: How to Watch TV & Movies With Friends On Oculus Quest 2

UploadVR: One Of The Largest Productions Ever Filmed In Space Is A VR Experience

Animation Magazine: Baobab Announces Next VR Adventure ‘Namoo’ from Erick Oh

VR Scout: Sundance 2021 Will Host Its New Frontier Program In VR

VR Scout: Snapchat’s AR Dance Series Lets You Create Your Own Music Videos

VR Scout: Zylia’s 3D Audio Technology Could Be The Start Of Virtual Concert Halls

VR Scout: Chance The Rapper Set To Perform Virtual Holiday Concert On Facebook’s ‘Venues’

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XR for Media Newsfeed – December 6, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

Virtual Perceptions: Analysis: Immersive Tech in Film Festivals (2020)

The Verge: Google and Disney team up for a Mandalorian AR experience

Protocol: Intel shuts down its AR/VR volumetric capture stage

AR Post: LucidWeb Offering Immersive Experience Platform to VR Film Festivals

UploadVR: Myst VR: How Cyan Worlds Is Modernizing A PC Gaming Classic

AR Post: Meet Brendan Bradley, the Artist Turning to Virtual Theater

AWN: 2020 Raindance Immersive Winners Announced

Jerusalem Post: Could virtual reality be the future of sports?

Digital Bodies: Microsoft Flight Simulator in VR: The World gets its Digital Twin

VR Scout: Super Nintendo World Theme Park Will Include AR Mario Kart Roller Coaster

AR Post: National Geographic Reimagines and Brings Dinosaurs to Life Through AR Experience

OC Register: Can augmented reality help theme parks recover from 2020?

AR Insider: XR Talks: How Will LiDAR Unlock AR’s Next Era?

Animation Magazine: Former Disney Animator Launches Parade VR with Oculus Short

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XR for Media Newsfeed – November 22, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

The Verge: The VR arcade that Disney crowned is teetering on the brink of extinction

Theme Park Insider: Come Explore Disney’s New Theme Park ‘Metaverse’

Theme Park Insider: Are Theme Parks Wasting Time Designing a ‘Metaverse’?

Variety: TCCF: Taiwan’s VR Industry Seeks New Outlets

VRScout: ‘Bigscreen VR’ To Host Live Q&A With Ready Player One Author Ernest Cline

The Verge: Go read this story about resurrecting Sega VR

c|net: Apple’s secret weapon in AR is right in front of us

c|net: Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a VR step away from virtually visiting Disney

protocol: From Arcades To Telekinesis, Here’s What’s Next For VR

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XR for Media Newsfeed – November 15, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

Backstage: How 1 Actor Has Stayed Employed During COVID-19 Thanks to Virtual Reality Gigs

Travel Daily: Hong Kong Opens Globally with New 360° Virtual Reality

Variety: HBO ‘His Dark Materials’ App Features Your Own Virtual AR Daemon That Encourages Self-Care

Digital Bodies: A Harrowing VR Story: Carne y Arena Returns for a Global Tour

VR Scout: Multi-Sensory XR Experience ‘(un)Balanced’ Receives 2020 Lumen XR Award

USCDornsife: Virtual reality takes users back to a 15th-century community of religious women

ARPost: Brickyard Broadcast: A Musical Event With World Premier in Virtual Reality

SCAD District: Don Carson discusses virtual reality in themed entertainment

engadget: Lenovo and Ava DuVernay unveil VR film series on empowering women

The Ghost Howls: Finding Pandora X review: a nice VR interactive theater performance

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XR for Media Newsfeed – November 8, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

TimeOut: The future of theater in NYC extends into virtual reality

VRScout: Spotify Launches 8th Wall Powered AR Experience For New Sam Smith Single

New York Times: Virtual Reality: Realizing the Power of Experience, Excursion and Immersion in the Classroom

BBC: Coronavirus: Is virtual reality tourism about to take off?

CNBC: Sports leagues are betting on augmented reality, as virtual courtside seats can’t match the real thing

Hollywood Reporter: Behind CBS News’ Augmented Reality and Other Advanced Election Night Tech

VRScout: Bizarre Interactive VR Performance ‘Scarecrow’ Makes VRChat Debut

VR Focus: ABE Begins Return In Two Terrifying Micro-Films

Apple Insider: Apple, Google hiring special effects masters away from Hollywood to work on AR & VR

UploadVR: Incredible VR Movie Spheres Is Coming To Oculus Quest With Hand-Tracking

VR Focus: Craig David & KSI Perform ‘Really Love’ In Your Home Using AR

VRScout: Oculus’ ‘Venues’ To Broadcast Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred Horse Race Live In VR

UploadVR: The Book Of Distance Explores Family Heritage And History In VR

UploadVR: Ace VR Movie Wolves In The Walls Is Coming To Quest

New York Times: As Augmented Reality Evolves, the Reporting Is All Around You

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XR for Media Newsfeed – October 27, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

Digital Bodies: David Attenborough’s Fascinating Look at Insects in VR

The Ghost Howls: Google 6DOF videos review: move inside VR videos!

The Ghost Howls: Kevin Williams: LBVR is not dead, it is rising again

UploadVR: Apple Announces 5G-Capable iPhone 12 Pro With LiDAR-Enhanced AR

RoadToVR: Facebook’s Expanded VR Policies Disallow “invading personal space” and “sexual gestures

UploadVR: The Business Of Showbusiness: How Atlas V Is Producing Some Of VR’s Best Movies

VRFocus: The Virtual Arena: The Ascendance Of Arena-Scale Entertainment – Part 1

VRFocus: The Virtual Arena: The Ascendance Of Arena-Scale Entertainment – Part 2

Polygon: The VR revolution has been 5 minutes away for 8 years

PC Gamer: Facebook VP of VR recommends checking your account is in ‘good standing’ before buying a Quest 2

Business Insider: The ousted founder of Facebook’s virtual-reality unit Oculus is paying a bounty to anyone who can hack his former employer’s new virtual-reality headset

GlobalNewswire: Felix & Paul Studios and TIME Studios Debut Episode One of Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, the Largest Production Ever Filmed in Space

VRScout: Amazon Introduces AR Packages In Celebration Of Halloween

TIME: Space Explorers: The ISS Experience Previews

VRScout: Building The Future Of Immersive Theater Technology With The Musical Theatre Factory

CNBC: The NBA made it through its pandemic season, now it looks to 5G and VR in a post-Covid world

VRScout: Spotify Launches 8th Wall Powered AR Experience For New Sam Smith Single

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XR for Media Newsfeed – October 10, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

VRScout: NYC VR Center, VR World, Re-Re-Opens Its Doors To The Public

VR Focus: David Attenborough’s Micro Monsters Comes To Life On Oculus TV

Variety: ‘Amy’ Director Asif Kapadia Debuts in XR Space With ‘Laika’ (EXCLUSIVE)

UploadVR: London Film Festival VR: Free New Experiences To Check Out From Today

VRScout: The Weather Channel Uses Mixed Reality To Explain The Dangers Of Fire Tornadoes

VRScout: Virtuix Reveals Omni One At-Home VR Treadmill

VRScout: VR Steampunk Opera ‘Miranda’ Is Visually Stunning But Needs Improvement

Digital Bodies: The Festival Collection: A Platform for Creative VR Projects

Esquire: The Artful Opulence of Watching Netflix With the Oculus Quest 2 Proves VR Isn’t Just for Gaming

AR Insider: Did Nintendo Just Reinvent AR?

RoadToVR: NVIDIA to Launch CloudXR Streaming on Amazon’s Cloud Platform Early Next Year

TIME: Camera Designed by Felix & Paul Studios and TIME Arrives at ISS to Capture First-Ever Virtual Reality Spacewalk

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XR for Media Newsfeed – September 27, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

Digital Bodies: Oculus Rift S Gone – The End of PC-only VR Headsets?

Slate: The Race to Map Reality so Silicon Valley Can Augment It Is On

Auganix.org: VRStudios launches Virtual Reality sports platform to integrate players’ at home and LBE VR gaming experiences

Variety: VR Content Producers Eye Online Distribution Opportunities

Variety: Michel Reilhac on How Festivals Are Launching a Joint VR Platform

Variety: NewImages Festival Seeks to Be a ‘Lab for New Forms of Visual Storytelling’

The Verge: Facebook is turning VR into a platform – but some indie developers fear its power

Page Six: Stars are lining up for Van Jones’ virtual reality-TV experiment

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Blast from the Past – Oculus Rift Prototype (2012)

Way back in 2012, John Carmack (one of the original creators of the video game “Doom”) took an interest in Palmer Luckey’s prototype for the first Oculus “Rift” headset. Carmack eventually went on to become the CTO of Oculus after Facebook acquired the technology from Palmer for $2 billion. See excerpt below from Carmack’s “A day with an Oculus Rift” (May 17, 2012):

I am going to be giving several demos in the next month, and Palmer graciously loaned me one of his test HMDs to go with the other things I have to show. Here are my impressions after a day of working with it:

When I first powered it up, it looked like the screen was badly offset, but this turned out to be a problem with the analog VGA input that Palmer had also seen before. Making a custom display mode with different horizontal timing parameters got it fixed up. The plan is for the kits to have a panel with a digital interface, which will properly resolve the issue.

The USB cable for power was also finicky – it wouldn’t work on a USB hub or over an extension cord, only plugged directly into my computer. When I put it on a bench power supply I found that I had to give it 5.2v to get it to come up, it apparently was voltage limited rather than current limited.

There still seems to be a tiny offset in either the optics or the nose cutout, because I can sometimes just glimpse the edge of the right eye view in the left eye. Interestingly, this happens when you are looking to the left with your eye, which moves it a few millimeters to the left, allowing it to look farther over to the right in peripheral vision. This is particularly distracting when the left and right sides of the view are at very different brightness levels. I experimented with different amounts of physical blanking on the lens and leaving a gap in the rendered image, but making the flash of view completely go away required giving up too much resolution. The right solution to this is to have a thin physical divider mounted directly on the display to prevent eye view crosstalk.

I measured the horizontal field of view as a bit under 90 degrees per eye (full binocular overlap), but when you first look through the lenses you clearly feel the edge of the screen on the sides. The vertical field of view is plenty, and you really have to push into the lenses to catch a glimpse of the screen edge. With only 640 pixels horizontally versus 800 vertically per eye and symmetric optics, the vertical FOV is 33% greater than the horizontal, and all of the loss is on the outside edge. I wound up covering the outside parts of the lenses with tape to block off the edges before the optics, which maintains immersion much better than seeing the edge of the screen out at the optical focal plane. This arrangement makes the best use of the limited panel resolution, but it might be better to ignore 160 scan lines and only use 1280 x 640 with a completely symmetric field of view, if that is achievable with available lenses at the same eye spacing.

Interesting commentary from Carmack in the early days of the Oculus Rift. It’s also fascinating to look at Palmer Luckey’s early progress report as he was about to launch a Kickstarter to fund development of the headset. See below for “Oculus ‘Rift’: An open-source HMD for Kickstarter” (April 15, 2012):

Hey guys,

I am making great progress on my HMD kit! All of the hardest stuff (Optics, display panels, and interface hardware) is done, right now I am working on how it actually fits together, and figuring out the best way to make a head mount. It is going to be be out of laser cut sheets of plastic that slide together and fasten with nuts and bolts. The display module is going to be detachable from the optics module, so you will be able to modify, replace, or upgrade your lenses in the future!

The goal is to start a Kickstarter project on June 1st that will end on July 1st, shipping afterwards as soon as possible. I won’t make a penny of profit off this project, the goal is to pay for the costs of parts, manufacturing, shipping, and credit card/Kickstarter fees with about $10 left over for a celebratory pizza and beer. 

I need help, though!

1) I need something that illustrates the difference between low field of view HMDs and high FOV HMDs, probably some kind of graphic illustrating the difference in apparent screen size. Would probably want to compare the rap 1200VR, the HMZ-T1, and the ST1080. Maybe throw in a few professional HMDs like the SX111 for good measure.

2) Logo/s. I am listing the organization as “Oculus”, I plan on using that name on my VR projects from here on out. The HMD itself is tentatively titled “Rift”, if you have better ideas, let me know. I based it on the idea that the HMD creates a rift between the real world and the virtual world, though I have to admit that it is pretty silly. 

3) Ideas for what I should show off in the Kickstarter video.

4) Ideas for Kickstarter rewards. The obvious one would be a full HMD kit, but I want to have some lesser monetary options for people who just want to show support. Laser cut badges? Some kind of software? On the other end, it seems like it would be a good idea to have some more expensive options that net you stuff like a wireless battery/video pack, or a motion tracker.

5) Anything else I am forgetting!

The help is appreciated! Really excited about this, I think it could be the kind of thing that jumpstarts a bigger VR community, and hopefully shows that there is a big demand for wide FOV, truly immersive displays.

Amazing how far VR has come in the past eight years! With Facebook’s launch of the new Oculus Quest 2, the era of “tethered” VR headsets will be coming to an end. Standalone (wireless) HMD’s are clearly the future of the VR ecosystem for 2021 and beyond.

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Roy Kachur is a Media Technologist, IT Architect, and VR Evangelist. He has worked in the information technology field since the 1990’s, and in the media industry since 2014. He believes that VR will play a significant role in the future of media.

XR for Media Newsfeed – September 19, 2020

Here are this week’s top stories on VR, AR, and MR in the Media industry:

Variety: Oculus Unveils Next-Gen Quest 2 VR Headset Aimed at Broader Market, Will Phase Out Rift S

Variety: Facebook to Launch Line of Smart Glasses in 2021, Starting With AR-Enabled Ray-Bans

VRScout: Facebook’s Project Aria Will Pave The Way For Consumer-Friendly AR

VRScout: The Oculus Quest 2: Price, Release Date, Accessories Announced

VRScout: Oculus Quest 2’s ‘Infinite Office’ Lets You Create Your Own Virtual Workspace

RoadToVR: Oculus Quest 2 Review – The Best Standalone Headset Gets Better in (Almost) Every Way

VRFocus: Oculus Rift S Is Being Discontinued In Spring 2021

Axios: NYT, Facebook launch multi-year augmented reality reporting project

Vox.com: We’re closer to holographic meetings than you think

AR Insider: Facebook Connect: The AR Angle

Immersive Shooter: Facebook Connect: The 5 Biggest Announcements for Immersive Journalists

VRScout: Miranda: A Live Steampunk VR Opera Where You Play As Judge & Jury

ASUNow: Dreamscape Immersive, ASU launch bold partnership to bring cutting-edge virtual reality to learners worldwide

VRScout: Venice VR Curators Offer A Behind-The-Scenes Look At This Year’s Incredible Projects

UploadVR: Best Of Venice VR 2020: Oculus Quest Impressions

Animation Magazine: Venice Film Festival Crowns Animated VR Winners

UploadVR: Venice VR: Players Are Joining Live Performances, Not Just Games

VRFocus: Baba Yaga, Paper Birds, Paper Beast & More Make Raindance Immersive’s 2020 Selection

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