Archive for the ‘News and Announcements’ Category

Virtual Reality App Development

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A fashion trend, a cutting-edge technology, a new direction in art, a radical philosophical and lifestyle shift. First of all VR is a rapidly growing market. Many researches state that VR market is on its way to its own Big Bang with some, like Thinkmobiles, promising a 400% increase in number of active VR users till 2018. So with the cost to develop a VR app being quite fair nowadays it is the best time to create a VR app for business.


Xiaomi hints at a more ‘sophisticated’ virtual reality headset

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Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi is working on a more “sophisticated” virtual reality (VR) headset, its head of international told CNBC on Friday, just days after announcing its first foray into the space. Earlier this month, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi VR Play headset, a device it said was an “entry level” product without unveiling the price.


Virtual, augmented and mixed reality are the 4th wave

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Consumer computing platform changes aren’t straight lines, they’re waves. PC, internet and mobile were the first 3 waves, and each was faster, larger and more disruptive than the last. Now the fourth wave of virtual, augmented and mixed reality is bearing down on us, so let’s dive in. The water’s fine.


Is VR the Future of Video Marketing?

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…now, in 2016, VR is finally as good as we always hoped it would be. It’s attainable too, with over 43 million active users worldwide and counting. Studies have predicted that by 2018, the number of people with a VR headset will reach 171 million!

That creates a lot of potential for marketers, now and in the future.

But, can VR go the distance?

Or is it just a passing craze?


9 market research reports to prove the massive potential of virtual reality

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By many experts, 2016 is seen as the year when virtual and augmented reality are expected to take off as a consumer technology. Here are some — free and paid — reports that will help you better understand the direction of the growing trends in the global VR/AR industry.


Intel’s new ‘merged reality’ headset sports made-in-Israel tech

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Project Alloy, introduced this week in San Francisco, lets you move around in VR without bumping into real-world objects, utilizing RealSense, a Haifa-developed vision system


Virtual Reality and the reimagining of Story

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Fast forward to the glorious year of 2016 and we have another beast in the house which hints at the nature of VR. Take look at the video below which shows the first hand on reactions of IGN’s (entertainment site) staff to the Paranormal Activity VR game\experience. Watching this, another revelation becomes apparent.  Especially when we reach the climax of the experience, and shit really hits the fan in the haunted house, the seasoned gameplayers are turned into crying babies. Watching this, I had goosebumps, because I knew that what Doom 3 offered over a decade ago, was nothing compared to the sheer schock, exhiliration, nauseau, and terror which VR will have on our senses in the coming years.


10 Great Examples of VR Media in Modern Journalism

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Storytelling. The art of showing and telling stories in a rich and elaborate manner. For as long as we can trail back our lineage, stories has been a foundational cornerstone within our cultural heritage, and this regardless of where we individually may hail from.


Seven Billion Heads are Better Than One

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With ultra-socialized millennials taking over the workforce, team and project based work is quickly becoming the standard operating procedure of most organizations. And good thing too. As the complexity of the problems that businesses need to tackle increases, multiple brains working together seems to have a much higher chance of success.


How NASA is using virtual and augmented reality to tain astronauts.

 

 

At the recent IVRPA conference in Quebec, we announced that we will soon begin accepting 360º video. Our goal is to create a high quality, curated collection of 360º videos that will be of interest to both our licensing customers and to those of our distribution partner, Getty Images.

Now you can upload your best 360º videos to 360Cities

We have now launched 360 video pages (https://video.360cities.net/video_page.html?handle=angel-of-peace) that are similar to our panorama pages. We started by asking a few contributors to share some videos with us in order to create a small 360 Video Gallery.

Today we’re announcing the soft launch of 360º video to all 360Cities contributors
Please note that we are still working on our video converter and testing performance over a variety of devices, video formats, and video sizes, so we ask your understanding and patience if you experience any hiccups.

We will eventually promote this new collection to our website visitors and licensing customers, so any videos uploaded will be available for licensing by default. And of course, if we license any videos of yours, it will mean royalty payments for you.As this is a soft launch, and we are still working on the backend, we ask that you opt in by emailing Elena at info@360cities.net with subject line: “360ºVideo – Opt In”.

1. Once you are opted in
Once you opted in, you’ll see a new “Upload Video” link in the top menu of your account dashboard.

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2. Content guidelines and recommendations

You can upload videos of your choice, but we recommend the following types:

Places, Spaces, Landmarks, Places of Interest, Landscapes (Rural and Urban), The Unseen and The Inaccessible.Specific examples include:

Woodland, forests, deserts, beaches, fields, beautiful landscapes, snowy locations, ocean environments, urban street scenes, underwater, mountain views, bustling cities at night, lakes, rivers, iconic views, weather based content (raining/snowing/high winds), travel (planes/trains/automobiles), coral reefs, volcanic environments, landscape gardens, moorland, sports pitches (football/rugby/tennis/basketball/American football), sand dunes….

Create static videos of things around you in motion. Static videos are easier to create and less likely to cause motion sickness in VR.
Limit or avoid creator attribution (your name and logo) inside of your videos to increase their attractiveness in VR and their chances of being licensed.

3. Technical specifications

  • Format: .mp4, .m4v or .mov
  • Duration: 10 – 60 seconds
  • Aspect ratio: 2:1
  • Resolution: minimum resolution of 2048×1024
  • Audio: not required
  • Maximum size: 4GB

4. How to upload

  • We recommend that you use Google Chrome, because it shows accurate upload progress information.
  • Sign in to your account, go to the Dashboard and click the “Upload Video” link in the top menu.
  • Choose a thumbnail image and upload it. (The thumbnail image should be the same resolution as your video file.)
  • Add a title, description and tags, following the instructions given.
  • Click Save. Your 360º video will now be processed.
5. Report issues
Please report issues and suggestions for improvement to https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/360cities under the category: “360º Video issues and questions”.
We look forward to building an awesome collection of 360º videos with you!

Regards,

The 360Cities Team

The new discovery will allow to touch the video, not just watching it

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The new discovery will allow to touch the video, not just watching it. Watching video is basically a fairly passive action. Information coming to your eyes, the brain processes them and you accept them. However, the researchers of the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence of the American University of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have designed a new technology that videos could do more interactive.


 

Not quite directly related with AR or VR, but these technologies are mentioned and it definitely worth reading;

Can technology revolutionize the way Americans worship?

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Late on a school night this spring, 26-year-old University of California Santa Barbara student Yankoff got an idea. Yankoff, a graduate student studying software engineering, was trying to study and like many students stress was getting to him.

He wanted an outlet and he needed to talk to someone, but it was the wee hours of the morning — too late, he felt, even to reach out to friends on Facebook and risk waking them with a notification. That got Yankoff thinking.


 

The New York Times Used Thousands Of Old Photos To Recreate Olympic Stadiums In VR

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The New York Times is one of the most well respected and venerable news outlets in the United States. It is also one of the few “old school” organizations that seems to be prioritizing and understanding the new immersive medium beginning to crop up. To that end, the Times launched the NYT VR application and began filling it with 360-degree content.


 

What’s the Difference Between HoloLens, Meta & Magic Leap?

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Augmented and mixed reality started as a lofty promise that’s just now taking form, but with several companies taking somewhat different approaches, it’s hard to understand what’s what. Let’s take a look at the three big players and what they’re doing: HoloLens, Meta, and Magic Leap.


 

Why the year of VR glasses will morph into the decade of AR

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Innovative new applications using virtual reality headsets are seemingly popping up everywhere these days, especially in the gaming, education, and entertainment arenas. While we will likely look back at 2016 as the year of VR, many industry observers believe augmented reality (AR) glasses may actually rule the day in a few short years.


 

Crisis and opportunity. How one VR startup is capturing the 360 degree reality of the World’s most vulnerable people.

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Four boats approach the small harbor of Skala on the Greek island of Lesbos. The first vessel is occupied by agents of Frontex, the European Union border-control unit. The men are dressed in black, from helmets to combat boots. They tow the second boat, an inflatable dinghy with flimsy plywood baseboards that’s crammed from pontoon to pontoon with extremely cold people. Earlier this morning a smuggler in Izmir, Turkey, filled the raft with refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, handed the throttle to a young man who’d never driven a boat, and pointed toward Greece. Like so many of the thousands of vessels provided by human-smuggling mafias, this one didn’t have enough fuel and ran out of gas somewhere in the middle of the Aegean.


Facebook introduces guided tours and a heatmapping tool for 360 videos

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Facebook has launched two new creator tools designed to give publishers additional insights into how people respond to their 360 videos. More than 250,000 videos with this capability have been uploaded to the social network since September, and as adoption continues to increase, there’s going to be a need to give creators information about what’s performing and how to make adjustments to have a better experience for people.


 

This man is cycling around the UK in virtual reality using Google Street View

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So much so, that nausea can be a problem, especially when he’s navigating complex routes — like roundabouts — that have been squashed into only a few layers of depth. “The problem [is that I’m] telling the ‘bike’ in VR to face in the direction of the path it was moving along,” says Puzey. “Then I had a breakthrough and realized if I make it face about 5 meters ahead of where I was it made an enormous improvement.”


 

These global research centers are a proof that virtual reality is more than gaming

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In a 2016 report, Goldman Sachs indicate that video games will make up the largest portion in the virtual reality economy. Multiple headsets are on sale for consumers, mostly targeting the gamers. However this doesn’t mean that VR is only about games.


 

How NASA uses virtual reality to train astronauts

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The first time an astronaut takes a spacewalk, in a way, it’s not his or her first time.

Thanks to virtual reality, NASA can make sure the people they put into space have some amount of experience under their belts before they have to perform complicated tasks in zero gravity.

Using virtual reality to help teenagers with autism learn how to drive

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Astronauts and pilots use them. So do truck drivers and Formula One race-car drivers.

Now there is a virtual reality simulator specifically designed to help teenagers with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, learn how to drive.

According to current estimates, one in every 68 children in the United States has ASD. It is considered a life-long diagnosis. There is a great deal of individual differences in the nature and severity of the disorder, but it generally consists of impairments in social and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors.


 

Virtual reality: Are health risks being ignored?

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Virtual reality and augmented reality are gaining momentum as promising new technologies. The Samsung Gear VR headset unit sold out in many places over the holidays, and Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset was flooded with pre-orders this month.


 

The following article is old, but worth reading anyway:

10 ways virtual reality is revolutionizing medicine and healthcare

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When people experience virtual reality for the first time, a common reaction is to start imagining all the different uses the technology might hold. Even within one industry, healthcare, the potential is open-ended. The good thing is that scientists and medical professionals have been at the drawing board for years now, developing and implementing virtual reality in ways that can help them train, diagnose, and treat in myriad situations.


Health Beat: Virtual reality for PTSD

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In 2004, during a deployment to Iraq, former United States Marine Jimmy Castellanos came under fire. “It wasn’t until hours later that we learned that our platoon was hit and that my roommate had been killed,” Castellanos said. It wasn’t until a decade later that Castellanos began to process the trauma as a medical student in New York City.


 

Paper Peep Shows Were The Virtual Reality Of The 19th Century

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Long before Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the paper peep show—a small, layered diorama that expands like an accordion to create the illusion of depth—was a way for audiences in the 19th century to peer into times and places beyond their own experience. A popular souvenir in their day, peep shows brought to life scenes of the completion of the Thames Tunnel and the Great Exhibition of 1851 to masquerade balls and theatrical stage sets. Now, they’re delightful pieces of ephemera from another time that suggest that desire for immersion in other worlds stretches back centuries.


Here comes the … virtual reality wedding. Couple preserves memories in VR

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When Daniel and Ilana tied the knot in Guatemala City earlier this year, the couple wanted to create a modern-day time capsule that would allow them to relive the day.

“As we started to plan the wedding, it became clear we needed something that could truly capture everything about the day, in a way we could enjoy many times over,” said Daniel, who declined to share the couple’s last name.


 

Intel shows off mystery depth-sensing virtual reality accessory

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An Intel engineer just tweeted out a photo of a new VR sensor prototype and suggested that VR would play a large role in the company’s developer conference late this month.

In the since-deleted tweet, Dimitri Diakopoulos, a senior prototyping engineer at Intel, showed off what he referred to as a depth-sensing prototype attachment for the HTC Vive.


 

Drones, virtual reality and fancy cameras: What Facebook hopes to do with its new hardware lab

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Facebook built its fortune on the internet, that non-physical space where people share updates and digital videos with friends. But deep inside its Silicon Valley headquarters, engineers have stocked a new lab with computerized lathes, industrial mills and tools for making physical goods.


Watch the Olympics from ANY angle: BBC will show 100 hours of coverage at Rio in 360-degree virtual reality
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The BBC is introducing 360-degree virtual reality video for viewers at home to get a more immersive view. The company is launching the new ‘experimental’ service in the UK on Friday which will be tested throughout the 2016 games.

LG’s new virtual reality headset has a problem: too much reality

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As part of LG’s range of peripherals for its new G5 flagship smartphone, the company has created a lightweight virtual reality headset: the LG 360 VR. Like Samsung’s Gear VR, it’s powered by a smartphone. But unlike the Gear, it doesn’t use your smartphone’s screen as a display. Instead of slotting the G5 into the back of the headset, you attach it via a USB-C cable and use the 360’s own internal screens. This has the advantage of making the headset super light (just 118 grams), but that’s about the only good thing this thing has going for it.

Virtual Reality applications bring a new dimension to real estate

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Imagine buying a house thousands of miles away at the comfort of your desk. Imagine you’re exploring the inside and outside of the property and experimenting the view from each and every window. Or even trying alternative view options by choosing different floors.

Afraid of crowds? Virtual reality may let you join without leaving home.

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To be clear, we’re talking about actual crowds—the kind where hundreds or thousands of flesh-and-blood people converge on a physical place for fun or to make a point. But if crowds end up in the dustbin with coffee percolators and cloth diapers, it will happen because the risk and cost of joining a crowd are forcing us to consider alternatives at a time when alternatives seem good enough to satisfy our needs. And that moment is about to land. Actual crowds will soon be replaced by what we might call distributed crowds.

Broadcasters to offer Olympic audiences virtual reality viewing

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The sandy shores of Copacabana beach may be nearly 6,000 miles away, but when the Rio Olympics gets underway on Friday, viewers will be able to soak up the atmosphere inside the stadium like never before, as organisers make use of virtual reality technology for the first time.

Space: The Biggest Problem Facing The Future Of Virtual Reality

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Space and time. In sports like soccer, hockey or basketball, space and time are what players need to exercise their creativity and build success.
In the forthcoming world of virtual reality, space may be the most limiting factor for the future of adoption.
According to the Asian PlayStation website, the requirements for using the forthcoming PlayStation VR headset are very specific, reported PCMag.

I tried one of the World’s first virtual reality cinemas

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Virtual reality promises to upend digital life as we know it. Gaming, shopping, teleconferencing, education, actual human screwing — in the next 10 years, VR is going to transform them all. (Heck, maybe even in just five.) First, though, it’s trying to change one of our most basic entertainment experiences, namely, how we sit in a dark room and watch movies together.

Welcome to Zuckerworld: Facebook’s really big plans for virtual reality

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The office building on Facebook Way is in the unfinished style that honors materials like plywood, concrete, and steel. The I-beams supporting its soaring walls still have the builders’ chalk placement instructions on them. It takes a business making billions of high-margin dollars to make plywood and concrete seem so appealing. The merely ordinary have to put up drywall.

Virtual Reality Stock Photos Are Unintentionally Comic Genius

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Virtual reality is finally here, and it’s revolutionizing entertainment. You can now put your phone in a plastic box, strap that box to your face, and immerse yourself in the world of, say, animated rabbits. It’s exciting, but what’s even more exciting is the accompanying deluge of delightfully terrible stock photos. Enterprising photographers have jumped on VR like it’s the next hoverboard, apparently without any real understanding of how people actually use it. As far as I can tell, they just handed knockoff headsets to moderately attractive models and told them to, “Look super excited or scared or whatever.” The results are glorious. I poured hours into curating the below images to bring you the best of the best—hackneyed CG graphics, unnatural poses, and a healthy dose of over-enthusiasm—all to help you see the potential of this new technology through the world’s most oblivious art form. 

 

The Augnet: Where Pokemon Goes from Here

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Augmented reality gives us something that only Argentinian literary giant Jorge Luis Borges dared dream of–a map as vast as the terrain it demarcates. Pokemon Go is the first landmark augmented reality experience, but definitely not the last. Right now I imagine there are developers working on AR treasure hunts, games, and enterprise applications that will become the Pokemon Go of their various categories.

Artist Profile: Matteo Zamagni Uses VR to Hack the Senses

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What is information? What is its relationship to meaning and structure? Does information exist apart from the material or medium by which it is transmitted? Matteo Zamagni’s VR experience Nature Abstraction offers a fascinating exploration of these questions. Like VR itself, the work challenges conventional notions of human perception and knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual reality works for games. But what about real life?

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Earlier this week, Recode’s Mark Bergen became a football quarterback and The Verge’s Lauren Goode flew through a building.

These things didn’t really happen, but they sure felt real — and that was the point. Mark and Lauren were visiting Stanford University to better understand virtual reality. You can see what they saw on our Facebook page; they also played hockey, swam a coral reef sans scuba gear and walked a plank over a perilous pit.

How Virtual Reality Will Impact Businesses In The Next Five Years

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Although not yet in the hands of everyday consumers, virtual and augmented reality are gaining traction.

From the Oculus Rift becoming a well-known name to other products showcasing at major conferences, VR and AR are finding their place in the market. And from virtual meetings to robust new ways of prototyping, both have the potential to impact the business world in the near future.

Consumers are feeling good about virtual reality

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Consumers have overwhelmingly positive feelings about virtual reality (VR) and the brands that use it, according to a new study by Greenlight VR cited in Adweek.

United Airlines Is Using Virtual Reality to Show Off Its Swanky New Business Class

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Ever since United and Continental merged in 2010 to create the world’s largest airline, Daniel Cuellar’s department has been hard at work creating a swanky new business class called Polaris. It’s a rarified preserve in the front of United’s Boeing 777s complete with 16-inch high-definition screens at every seat, lobster on the menu and flat beds fitted with Saks Fifth Avenue sheets.

Virtual Reality Is Coming For Weddings

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Destination weddings can be fraught with guest-list politics. Do I have to invite my second cousin’s inappropriate girlfriend? I’m inviting my high school best friend, but only because I’m sure she’ll decline. But now, literally anyone can attend your wedding—virtually, at least.

“Everyone always tells you, When you’re planning a wedding, it’ll fly by, be sure to enjoy it, and I knew they were right,” says Will Goldstone, who had his London nuptials recorded with a Kodak SP360 4K Action camera. “A 360 video allowed us not only to capture that viewpoint, but also to see guest reactions and the atmosphere in a way that would never be possible with ordinary video.”

You’ll be prepping for your next job interview in VR

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Imagine a VR simulation in which you can speak in front of an audience of thousands of people shuffling in their seats. All of those faces in front of you may not be real, but the 360-film footage and audio will trick your brain into firing up all of those familiar nerves, invoking what the VR industry is calling “presence.”

What’s it like to use VR on magic mushrooms?

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Tucked away in a finished basement, I’m watching her trek through her ownvirtual reality. I’m there to watch over her and keep her safe because she’s just taken a few grams of psychedelic mushrooms.

For as long as dystopian cyberpunk has been a thing, virtual reality has been looming over us as one of many future-bound apocalyptic scenarios. The story goes that virtual spaces will be so much better, so much more satisfying than reality that we’ll simply cease to be people. As with any mind-altering tech, though, there’s a wave of people hoping that this tech will enhance their life. Taking cues from earlier movements, these neo-psychonauts are the first wave of explorers, hoping to find pieces of themselves scattered across hallucinogen-augmented virtual landscape.

Exploring Methods for Conveying Object Weight in Virtual Reality

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With no way of generating resistive force feedback with today’s VR motion controllers, how can we make users feel and behave as though virtual objects have varying weights? Creative agency B-Reel explored several approaches and open sourced their experiments for others to learn from.

AR and VR in Education : 22 Amazing Apps

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Virtual and Augmented Reality technology has entered many markets beyond just gaming . VR and AR can be used as education tools for children , which is currently a less explored market but has a great scope. Making learning and education a bit more interesting and fun wouldn’t hurt no one !

So here are some really good AR | VR applications you can use for an interesting learning experience for your children or yourselves ..

Eyes of the Animal lets you become a bat—in VR

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Virtual reality may have launched with gamers in mind, but so far the most interesting applications for the technology have come from outside the games industry. Case in point: Marshmallow Laser Feast’s In the Eyes of the Animal, a VR experience showcased at this year’s Sundance film festival, which showed what it would be like to see and hear a forest through the eyes of its fluffy (and not so fluffy) inhabitants.

 

Using Virtual Reality to Create a New Corporate Headquarters

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In the heart of Silicon Valley, you can slip on a virtual reality headset and fly through a photo-realistic three-dimensional building that will soon be the new corporate home for the chip makerNvidia.

JETLAG | VR Short Film

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JETLAG is a VR Short Film that has won several awards, including Best Live-Action VR film at theKaleidoscope Festival, and was included at Cannes 2016 as part Cannes VR Days. For Writer/Director Pierre Friquet, VR is simply another step forward for content creators. He thinks that it’s the utopia of a “total” cinema or post-cinema, one that is able to reproduce all sensory data. For Pierre’s thoughts on VR’s place in cinema, read our Q&A below. Mettle 360/VR plugins were used in the production process, as new tools for this new medium.

 

Alibaba To Start Virtual Reality Shop By The End Of The Month

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Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is going to open its first online virtual reality (VR) demonstration shop by the end of this month. This shop will simulate the experience of shopping in a physical store. Consumers use their own VR headsets or glasses to navigate within the shop. They are first greeted by a robotic associate in the store who also recommends new products based on the past shopping history and preferences of the customer.

 

Google unveils Daydream, its full-fledged entry into smartphone-based VR

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Google’s Cardboard was an incredibly innovative platform for virtual reality to reach everyday devices like smartphones. But the search giant could not have stopped at just that, what with big players like Samsung and Lenovo coming up with their own VR headsets

 

53% of Consumers Likely to Purchase from Brands that Sponsor VR

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Among respondents, 71 percent agree that a brand that sponsors VR is forward-thinking and modern, while 52 percent would like to be associated with that brand. Additionally, 62 percent would feel engaged with a brand that sponsors a VR experience, and 53 percent say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that sponsors a VR experience.

“Greenlight VR has been researching consumer sentiment toward virtual reality since 2014, and this is our most conclusive study yet, tying together attitudes and intended action with branded experience exposure,” said Clifton Dawson, CEO of Greenlight VR. “If the recent success of Pokemon Go isn’t enough, this data provides concrete evidence to experience marketers who are currently designing for the new experience economy.”

and finally, naturally

Pokemon Go should make the government take Virtual Reality seriously

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The week in media has been dominated by augmented reality (the astonishing return of Nineties craze Pokemon on mobile phones) and political surreality (the equally astonishing upheavals at Westminster).

Pokemon Go shot to the top of the app charts and sent millions scurrying around their neighbourhoods trying to “catch” virtual cartoon characters that popped up on their mobile phone screens.

Fading Acer Makes Virtual Reality Gambit to Turn Things Around

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The personal computer maker that once led the world in laptops is jumping into VR, but with a twist. Chief Executive Officer Jason Chen is staking his company’s turnaround on ultra high-end headsets far pricier than Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift or HTC Corp.’s Vive.

 

TourismOhio to Launch Virtual Reality Experience at Republican National Convention in Cleveland

Try Ohio's 360 Virtual Reality Experience at Ohio.org/VR. (PRNewsFoto/TourismOhio)

Zipping through tree tops, plunging down roller coaster hills, soaring over Lake Erie and reveling in Ohio’s urban cultural offerings are just a few of the experiences visitors can enjoy as TourismOhio launches a360°Virtual Reality Experience July 18-21 at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. Ohio will be one of the first states to harness innovative virtual reality technology encouraging visitors to explore Ohio and inspire future visits.

 

The Warriors used practical existence during their representation to Kevin Durant — and it worked to perfection

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According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, Silicon Valley’s internal basketball group — maybe unsurprisingly —used tech to their recruiting advantage. They presented Durant with a VR headset, that showed him vistas of a Bay Area; shots of a team’s use facility, new stadium, and locker room in San Francisco; and copiousness more.Drake played in a background, given of march he did.

…and another reading related with use of VR technology in sport:

Virtual reality training ramps up for the 2016 NFL season

Football is a downright violent sport. If players aren’t injured in the games themselves, there’s a chance that they could be hurt in practice. It happens all the time.

While there’s no substitute for actual football practice, there is a technology enjoying rapid growth in the NFL and it involves taking contact-free virtual reps: virtual reality training.

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360 Camera Comparisons: GoPro, Ricoh Theta, Gear 360, Kodak PixPro SP360 4k

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At Foundry 45, many of the Virtual Reality apps we develop rely on 360 video. While we directly shoot 360 footage for some projects, other clients ask for suggestions on 360 video cameras they can use to shoot video themselves. This blog post compares 4 popular 360 rigs, on the cheaper end of the spectrum, capable of recording spherical 360 video (both vertical and horizontal)

Matterport: The New Age of Real Estate?

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Matterport is a new 3D camera that is designed to scan the interior of homes. The software stitches all of the still images together and creates a virtual tour of the home. Not a virtual tour as in a slideshow that realtors love, but one where you can actually walk through the home yourself. You can look up and down, left and right, move forward, backward, and so on. The technology, even in the state it’s in, is actually pretty incredible and really helps show off the home in a way we haven’t really been able to experience before.

Virtual reality lands at Jerusalem fest

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Elad Goldman, co-head of Israeli competitions and industry events for the festival, explains that the key decision was to introduce film-makers, rather than technology experts, to the possibilities of VR. “This narrative use of VR is much more developed internationally but it’s totally new in Israel,” he says. “Making a film out of it, that’s been the challenge.”

While the festival installation was supported by Jerusalem Film Fund, which provided money to develop a VR Jerusalem app and supply the headsets, film-maker Nimrod Shanit (Holy Land), who assisted curation of the section, says the funds are not yet receptive to the medium. “We’ve pitched two non-fiction projects, but they judge it according to regular documentary criteria,” he says, noting that VR is expensive for the length of films that are produced. “They haven’t managed to get over that hurdle yet.”

This hardly can be called a ‘reading’, just very brief note on spotting the misterious Nokia Ozo in real world, but anyway:

UEFA EURO 2016 FILMED IN 3D 360 ON NOKIA OZO

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Euro 2016 was filmed in 360. Watching the world cup I caught this screenshot! Congratulations to Portugal for winning the cup!

What Is Virtual Reality?

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Virtual Reality is everywhere again, and that’s a problem. Almost immediately after the new trend began, people started shopping 360° immersive video as VR. It is not. “Surround” movies are marketed as VR. They are not. “VR Storytelling” is a misnomer; it is not structurally VR. “Second Life” is described as VR. It is not. When the term is appropriated, its meaning disintegrates. Last time around, the same effect spread out across media types that are not VR. There is no such thing as “desktop VR.” Application of the term “VR” to a CAVE experience is questionable. When we use the term just because it’s sexy, its meaning spreads like an oil slick over our media and dilutes it such a degree that we no longer know what it means — think “turbo.”

…and another reading (pretty long, be warned!) about fundamentals of VR perception:

The Unified Field and the Quantum Nature of Consciousness

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We’re getting closer to incorporate consciousness as an integral part of the scientific picture of the “physical world”. Not only celebrated physicists of the 20th century such as Max Plank, John Wheeler, David Bohm, Niel Bohr, Erwin Schrödinger argued that consciousness is a fundamental property of our Universe but the new pleiad of scientists such as John Hagelin, Sir Roger Penrose, Stuart Hameroff, Guilio Tononi, Christof Koch, Donald Hoffman, Robert Lanza embarked on their quest to put consciousness on the new solid scientific footing and dimensionality.

 

How science fiction writers predicted virtual reality

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With the introduction of high-end devices such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, as well as the simple ones such as Google Cardboard, virtual reality is the next digital frontier. While it’s a world that can now be practically realized, it’s not a new idea: Science fiction has long been imagining virtual worlds within imagined ones.

San Francisco Startup Lets Anyone Enter The World Of Virtual Reality

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“As augmented-reality and virtual-reality technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, one San Francisco startup hopes to make its mark on this landscape. Taylor Freeman and Will Mason, the founders of UploadVR, are on a mission to improve the industry by providing enthusiasts with a space tailored specifically toward VR development.”

 

Why Chris Milk’s Change To ‘Within’ Signals A Major Shift In Storytelling

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“The recent announcement of Vrse changing its name to Within is representative of an important shift in the way certain artists are thinking about VR. Chris Milk, one of the leading creators in the VR space is moving away from thinking about VR as a medium in which the author tells a story, and toward thinking about it as a medium in which viewers can, for the first time, step directly into the world of the creator…”

 

Jesus is coming… to virtual reality

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“Producers have been fretting about how to do feature films in VR, because the format doesn’t lend itself to traditional Hollywood techniques. However, it’s about to be used on one of the best-known tales of all time for Jesus VR — the Story of Christ, slated to arrive in Christmas, 2016, according to Variety. The 360-degree, 4K film will work on all major VR platforms, including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and PlayStation VR. Produced by Autumn Products and VRWERX, it’ll tell the story of Christ’s life from baptism to crucifixion…”

 

For veterans who can’t travel, virtual reality offers a way to see the WWII memorial

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“Imagine you could travel to any place, or moment, in time? Maybe it’s traveling back in time to your wedding day, or visiting a sight that you’ve been itching to see for quite some time, but don’t have the necessary means to do so.

For World War II veteran Ernest Reitzel, it’s about finally paying his respects at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
…”

How virtual and augmented reality can transform the future of FinTech?

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“Imagine a world where users can truly experience a product, a financial service or a shopping mall and make purchase decisions at the comfort of their couch. With the help of the virtual and augmented reality technologies, users can now be immersed in digitally created spaces that simulate real-life scenarios. These scenarios provide a superior understanding of a product/financial service and help increase the brand engagement like never before…”

 

Practice Surgeries Go Virtual at Chicago Medical Center

Entrance to Rush University Medical Center at 1653 W. Congress Pkwy. in Chicago Wednesday Oct. 15, 2014. | Kevin Tanaka/For Sun-Times Media

“Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is adopting virtual reality technology to train its obstetrics and gynecology residents in surgical techniques.

The technology will allow Rush to do away with practice operations on pigs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. As a result, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals agreed to cover half of the $12,000 cost of the training module.”

Another medical application of VR

Virtual reality for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that causes people to feel unexpectedly anxious or threatened even though they are safe and out of danger. Members of the military, first-responders and police officers may be more likely than most to struggle with PTSD. Now researchers are testing a new therapy designed to speed recovery.

 

NBC and Samsung Want to Broadcast the Olympics in Virtual Reality

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The 85 hours of VR programming, which will be captured by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) and supplied to NBC Olympics, will include the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, men’s basketball — including the semifinals and final — gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, diving, boxing, and fencing, as well as highlight packages of those sports.

And NBC is not alone!

MTG to cover Olympics in virtual reality and UHD

Modern Times Group (MTG)’s Viasat is to provide coverage of the Olympic Games in virtual reality and Ultra HD.

The Swedish broadcaster said that it would be the fist Nordic region broadcaster to make live sports available in the 360° virtual reality format, as well as the first broadcaster in Europe to make coverage of the games available in Ultra HD.

 

..And finally: small aid in the case your creativity got stuck and you don’t know what to shoot next:

27 fictional places we want to visit in virtual reality, please

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“Thanks to the wonders of VR, we now have the power to (virtually) hang out in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment circa 1992 or take an elevator ride up the Wall in Westeros circa … whenever Game of Thrones happens. 

But we want more. Here’s our wish list of fictional places we’d like to check out in VR as soon as somebody can get around to building them.”

Dear Valued 360Cities Member,

Licensing 360º Images and Videos

 

 

 

360Cities is recognized as the leading source of high-quality, interactive 360° content

Over the past few years, 360Cities has licensed thousands of interactive 360° images (many of them multiple times) to hundreds of creative and editorial customers around the world. Over one thousand of our awesome contributors have received hundreds of thousands of $US in royalties, the average royalty payment to our contributors being over $200.

And we have been growing our revenue, royalty payments to contributors, and customer base each year

Licensing activities have grown every year. We launched an automated licensing engine in April of this year that allows our customers to search for, order, pay for, and receive images automatically, without any human intervention to slow things down for the customer.

 

 

 

 

360Cities Licensing Video

 

The number of our contributors’ images that our distribution partner, Getty Images, is licensing to their customers is growing each and every month

We announced our distribution partnership with Getty Images back in November last year and the results thus far in terms of monetization by Getty and the related royalties we are paying to contributors (60% of the royalties that 360Cities receives from Getty) has been very encouraging. The average royalty paid out to our contributors thus far is well above $100 although the amounts fluctuate dramatically depending on the end customer usage.

Getty is taking VR and 360 content extremely seriously, recently announcing the creation of a Virtual Reality Group. 360Cities is a key part of Getty’s strategy for VR.

 

What is Getty Images saying about our partnership and your panoramas?

> “This is an unprecedented partnership that will enable us to bring 360° imageryand immersive experiences to the mainstream.”

> “We expect this to be a huge growth area for photography in the next five years as consumers start to expect immersive imagery and Getty Images will be at the forefront of this change – our partnership with 360Cities is testament to this.”

 

NEW: Support for 360 video!

Video is going to play a big role in the VR experience and we’ll soon be launching support for 360° video on 360cities.net and with our distribution partner, Getty Images. We’re already getting licensing requests for video and we want to be prepared for when 360° video becomes more mainstream.

We’ll be sending out more details next week on how you can upload your 360° videos to 360Cities.

Wishing everybody a great summer!

– The 360Cities Team