Tag Archives: VR

XR for Media Newsfeed – October 5, 2019

Stories this week include a VR tour of Verailles, Verizon’s acquisition of Jaunt XR, GoPro Max 360 camera, leadership change at Nomadic, new Avengers VR experience at The VOID, and much more below:

Engadget: Google used photogrammetry to create a detailed VR tour of Versailles

RoadToVR: Verizon Acquires Jaunt XR’s Augmented Reality Tech

Popular Science: 360-Degree cameras haven’t caught on, but GoPro’s Max camera hopes new tricks can change that

Variety: VR Startup Nomadic Replaces CEO Doug Griffin With Former The Void CEO Cliff Plumer

Th3rdEyeXR: Apple Rolls Out AR Dev Platform Reality Composer with iOS

UploadVR: Oculus Quest Firmware Update Adds Stereo Passthrough, 3DoF Mode, Go Apps

VRScout: Discover Your Hogwarts House With An AR Sorting Hat Ceremony, Available Now

UploadVR: The Void Announces Avengers: Damage Control VR Experience, Tickets On Sale Now

VentureBeat: AR is big — 5G will make it huge

ZDNet: How 5G will affect augmented reality and virtual reality

VR/focus: Later This October Post Malone is Live in Concert via Oculus Venues

wccftech: Interview: Magic Leap was a Flop, But More AR/VR Unicorns Are Coming

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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 28, 2019

The biggest news this week comes from Oculus Connect 6! See below for all the details on announcements, product launches, new headset features, and much more. A few other XR stories from around the web are thrown in for good measure:

NextReality: Terrifying Swarms of Mosquitoes Help David Beckham Fight Malaria with Facebook AR Effect & Billboards

c|Net: Emmy-nominated VR film Traveling While Black puts you in the Jim Crow era

Polygon: Where Oculus VR games go from here

Variety: Google’s VR180 Format Stalls After Camera Manufacturers Pull Back

Th3rdEyeXR: Facebook, Ray-Ban Co-Developing AR Glasses, Named “Orion”

VR/focus: NextVR and NBA Continue League Pass Collaboration Revealing 2019-20 Schedule

c|Net: Mark Zuckerberg sees the future of AR inside VR like Oculus Quest

Variety: Oculus Quest Gets Hand Tracking, Rift/PC Compatibility

engadget: Who needs the Rift S when the Oculus Quest can do everything?

MyTechDecisions: Live Sports Broadcasting VR is an Example of How Virtual Reality Can Dramatically Alter an Industry

RoadToVR: Hands-on: Oculus Link Makes Quest Feel Like a Native PC VR Headset

RoadToVR: PC Tethering on Quest is a Huge Upgrade, Making Rift S a Tough Sell

VRScout: FandangoNow Brings 90,000 Movies And TV Shows To Oculus Quest And Go

arsTechnica: We put Oculus Quest’s two craziest new VR features through their paces

UploadVR: OC6: Oculus Quest Can Run SteamVR Games Via Link, Facebook Says

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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 21, 2019

Interesting week for XR in Media! Here are the articles for this week, including a new location-based VR motion simulator, Cartoon Network’s upcoming VR game, a VR violin performance, AR documentary on homelessness, Björk’s VR album and more:

VR/focus: Hologate Bliz Offers New Immersive Possibilities for VR Arcades

Animation Magazine: Cartoon Network Logs In to ‘Journeys VR’ Oct. 1

VRScout: 400K Live Viewers Tuned In For Lindsey Stirling’s VR Violin Performance

NextReality: Augmented Reality Documentary ‘These Sleepless Nights’ Explores the US Homelessness Epidemic

RoadtoVR: Björk Releases ‘Vulnicura Virtual Reality Album’, A Collection of Immersive Music Videos

NextReality: Snapchat Doubles Down on AR Billboards to Promote Snap Originals Series

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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 13, 2019

Lots of great articles this week, including the Weather Channel’s use of mixed reality for reporting, VR in theme park rides, secrets of the tech behind The VOID, launch info on the new HTC Vive Cosmos, TIME Immersive’s new AR experience, and Adam Savage’s “Tested VR”:

FastCompany: Inside the Weather Channel’s quest to reinvent storm chasing

Forbes.com: The Best and Most Thrilling Virtual Reality (VR) Theme Park Rides In The World

VRespawn: Magic in The VOID: A VR Experience Unmatched

Variety: HTC Replaces Vive With New $699 Vive Cosmos VR Headset

RoadToVR: Hands-on: Vive Cosmos Aims to Reboot the Vive Experience

VRScout: TIME Immersive AR Experience Shines A Spotlight On The Rapidly Shrinking Amazon Rainforest

RoadToVR: Adam Savage’s ‘Tested VR’ Takes You on a Virtual Tour of Maker Workshops

Variety: Hulu Discontinues VR App for Google’s Daydream Headset

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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.

 

The VOID to add 25 new VR destinations in US and Europe

Location-based virtual reality startup The VOID and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) announced a partnership to launch 25 new VR entertainment centers across the US and Europe. Full roll-out will be completed by 2022.

New pop-ups will open this summer at Westfield shopping centers in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. Additional permanent venues will be established in Paris, London, and Stockholm.

More from today’s announcement:

The VOID, a Utah-based venture with experiential content deals spanning entertainment studios, including Disney and Sony, is recognised as the most immersive of virtual reality experiences and represents the future of entertainment. Titles include Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, the award-winning experience by ILMxLAB and Lucasfilm; Ralph Breaks VR, by ILMxLAB created in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios; Ghostbusters: Dimension, and original content Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, with several new experiences still to be released. The partnership will allow The VOID to scale its presence globally, taking advantage of URW’s unique network of flagship destinations. Together with The VOID, URW will offer its visitors a cutting-edge, first-to-market entertainment across its locations, in line with the Group’s strategy to differentiate through exceptional and memorable experiences.

The two companies will kick off their partnership this summer with four temporary pop-ups expected to open in August and September with Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR. URW flagship destinations set to debut these pop-ups include Westfield World Trade Center in New York, Westfield San Francisco Centre, Westfield Santa Anita in the Los Angeles metro area and Westfield UTC in San Diego. All of these centres will open permanent The VOID locations in the subsequent months.

Additional permanent locations – to be announced in due time – are slated to include URW centres in cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam, Chicago, Copenhagen, Oberhausen, San Jose, Stockholm and Vienna.

Last week, The VOID received a $20 million investment from James Murdoch. Location-based virtual reality (LBVR) is proving to be an interesting sector of the VR industry, with companies like DreamscapeZero LatencySPACES and Nomadic joining The VOID in delivering premium multi-player VR experiences for out-of-home customers.

 

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.

Lucid VR Review: A moving tale of human connection

Lucid is a cinematic virtual reality story, currently available via VeeR on multiple platforms. It’s a short but effective tale about a young woman’s attempt to connect with her mother, who recently suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Told via computer generated imagery (CGI), it’s essentially a 360-degree animated experience told from the point of view of Astra, a young woman whose mother is in a coma from a recent car accident. Astra is working with a medical technician in a near future hospital, where she is engaged with a brain-computer interface, trying to make contact with her mother via an electronic link-up.

There are short scenes in which Astra enters various fictional worlds created by her mother (a children’s book author) and eventually establishes contact in a touching and effective way. The VR experience is mostly passive, allowing the viewer to look around in any direction, but not interact with any characters or objects in the scene. The camera is always placed within arm’s reach of the main characters, as if you are another person in the room observing the story.

Lucid was an official Selection of the 75th Venice International Film Festival. According to director Pete Short:

Lucid was an opportunity to explore the fading imagination of a beautiful mind. This is a topic very close to my heart because of personal experience with dementia. I wanted Lucid to be an appreciation of the happiness, joy, and love of a person’s life rather than a somber farewell. The story is set inside the mind of a children’s book writer, which lends much of the piece an innocence and cheeriness, even though it’s dealing with an extremely difficult topic. I have been waiting a long time to tell this story. VR finally allows me to tell it in a way that does it justice. The audience is granted access to Eleanor’s mind to share the final, intimate moments between a mother and daughter. As the audience find themselves immersed in the magical worlds of children’s books, I hope they will let themselves be swept away by the story.

Despite the limited interactivity, Lucid is an excellent example of VR storytelling. Well worth the price of $1.99, Lucid is representative of the high quality immersive content that continues to be available at VeeR.

VeeR

VeeR is a global VR content platform and community where users can create and share the next generation of media. It’s available on all major VR devices, providing a large library of free and paid content.

 

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.

Sansar and High Fidelity Back Away From VR

Two of the major social virtual reality platforms, Sansar and High Fidelity, have decided to pull back from VR as a primary technology for their respective applications.

Previously reported at RoadToVR, each of the social platforms has cited “slow growth” as the reason for their decisions.

High Fidelity:

Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity and founder of Second Life, announced at a High Fidelity community meeting recently that the company will be scaling back their VR efforts, focusing more on improving their PC and Mac performance. The company has also shut down all first-party user spaces and associated servers except for a single orientation room, which will be used for new users only.

Sansar:

Speaking to New World Notes at GDC 2019 in March, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg says the company’s latest platform has always been a majority desktop experience ever since it went live back in 2017, and it seems he doesn’t expect that to change in the near term. “Statistically, it’s always been a majority PC, desktop. I don’t know what the exact numbers are: 75/25, 80/20, of […] desktop versus VR. And so you’ll probably be seeing us less pitching it as a VR thing,” Altberg told New World Notes.

This is disheartening for fans of social VR, but several other social platforms remain committed to their VR plans:  AltSpace, RecRoom, and VRChat. All three of these applications are likely to be available on the upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset, available later this spring.

Sansar and High Fidelity, perhaps due to higher graphical requirements requiring a desktop computer, have not made plans for availability on the Oculus Quest.

See below for more details at RoadToVR:

‘High Fidelity’ shifts focus towards non-VR due to slow growth

Linden Lab CEO: ‘We’re pitching ‘Sansar’ less as a VR platform now’ 

 

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.

 

Best of Sundance AR and VR Experiences

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival is over, but there were plenty of high quality virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. The Verge has published their list of the best AR and VR from the festival. Among their top selections:

BEST AUGMENTED REALITY: A JESTER’S TALE, created by: Asad J. Malik

BEST 360-DEGREE VIDEO: 4 FEET: BLIND DATEcreated by: María Belén Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan, Damián Turkieh, Ezequiel Lenardón

BEST VR ANIMATION: GLOOMY EYEScreated by: Jorge Tereso, Fernando Maldonado

BEST SOCIAL EXPERIENCE: MECHANICAL SOULScreated by: Gaëlle Mourre, L.P. Lee

BEST INTERACTIVE MECHANIC: THE DIALcreated by: Peter Flaherty, Jesse Garrison

BEST WRITING: DIRTSCRAPERcreated by: Peter Burr, Porpentine Charity Heartscape

BEST INSTALLATION: SWEET DREAMScreated by: Robin McNicholas, Ersin Han Ersin, Barnaby Steel, Nell Whitley

The complete article with full reviews can be found here.

 

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.

 

 

The Limit VR Review

The Limit is a new virtual reality film, directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Michelle Rodriguez and Norman Reedus. A short film in stereoscopic 180-degree format, this is a high-octane action film, putting you in the role of a bionic-enhanced human on a fast-paced quest to find another cyborg. Told in a no-holds-barred series of quick cuts and action snippets, you barely have time to breathe as you move from bar-fight to car-chase to jumping-out-of-an-airplane.

Despite director Rodriguez’s established film credentials (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City, and Spy Kids), in VR his technique leaves something to be desired. Although the high production values are evident, the overall experience was too fast and furious to be enjoyable. I have nothing against action films, but this production makes clear that extreme close-ups and quick cutaways are not conducive to a pleasant experience in VR.

Most of the story is told from a first person perspective, with you as the protagonist. However, at multiple points in the film we switch to an objective POV which can be disorienting and intrusive. It would have been much more effective and immersive if the original POV was retained throughout.

the-limit-vr

At best, The Limit is an interesting VR experiment from a high-profile filmmaker. Unfortunately, the cinematography employed is not appropriate to the medium at hand. Let’s hope that other filmmakers can figure out how to utilize top name talent in an effective VR production.

The Limit is available on all major VR platforms including Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows VR, PSVR, Gear VR, Oculus Go, and Google Daydream.

 

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.

 

Blast From the Past: Quantico VR

In the spring of 2016, ABC Television released a short 360-degree video, set in the world of its popular crime drama Quantico. Although the show was cancelled in 2018, it’s worth taking a look back at this early VR experiment. Officially called Quantico: The Takedown, this short VR film was one of the first examples of a broadcast network using virtual reality (or 360 video) for a major TV series.

Sponsored by Lexus, the three and a half minute video starts in the backseat of a Lexus LX 570 SUV. Told from the point of view of a new FBI recruit, the viewer is brought along on a mission with FBI trainees Shelby Wyatt (Johanna Braddy) and Caleb Haas (Graham Rogers) as they track down and apprehend an assigned target.

Presented in a single, uninterrupted camera shot, the viewer follows Shelby into a nightclub, where they search for and apprehend their target, then move quickly into a back alleyway. Finally, they end up back in the Lexus SUV.

It’s a short experience, but provided enough immersion to give me a feeling of what it’s like to participate on a mission with these characters. Throughout the film, the characters addressed me directly, and the camera pulled me through the story without limiting my freedom to look wherever I wanted.

Overall, a fine early example of 360 video used for a TV show. This and other early examples have led to current productions such as Nightflyers VR, The Limitand Trinity.

See below to experience Quantico: The Takedown on YouTube VR, along with a behind-the-scenes companion video (in traditional “flat” format).

Quantico VR is available via YouTube on all major VR headsets, including Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

 

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.

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