Archive for the ‘News and Announcements’ Category

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

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

united-vr-hed-2016

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

alibaba

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

pokemon

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.

nfl

 

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

YouTube for iOS gets full Google Cardboard support

http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/16/youtube-for-ios-gets-full-google-cardboard-support/

YouTube’s Android app has had full Cardboard support since November, but iPhone users have been sorely out of luck. With today’s release, iOS users can now tap the icon in the top-right of any video to get the option to view it in VR mode.

This is huge news for mobile VR as YouTube essentially just opened up what is likely the largest iOS virtual reality content library.

 

Google Announces Virtual Reality “Daydream” Headset, Controllers and Ecosystem

http://immersiveeducation.org/scoop/Google-VR-announced

At its annual I/O developer conference today, Google is showing off a reference design for a new virtual reality headset that builds on the success of the Cardboard unit it launched back in 2014. The headset is part of Google’s new Daydream initiative, a mobile VR platform baked into Android N. As with Android, Google wants its hardware partners to build and sell their own Daydream devices. And in a surprise move, Daydream’s system doesn’t just use a headset — it also features a new kind of control system for mobile VR…

 

Q&A: Mad Max stuntman on VR and movies

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11640687

Is it hard to sell the idea of VR while high-end headsets remain prohibitively expensive and many people haven’t been able to try out the technology?

It depends on who you’re pitching to. Suicide Squad’s VR portions were filmed for marketing purposes. It takes some work figuring out how to monetise these experiences.

 

 

 

Inside Megadeth’s Virtual Reality Adventure

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/inside-megadeths-virtual-reality-adventure-20160120

“We’re hoping for something that is completely mind-blowing, and we’re doing something that to the best of my knowledge hasn’t been done yet by any metal bands and maybe not any bands at all,” Mustaine tells Rolling Stone during a break in shooting.

The virtual reality performance footage will be included in a special edition of Dystopia, packaged with the visor and instructions on how to download an app that allows you view the immersive mini-concert via your smartphone. The five-song set unfolds amid flashing lights, layers of fog and the “dystopian world” introduced in the music video for “The Threat Is Real.”

That grim scenario is hardly new for Megadeth, which has explored doom, death and corrupt geopolitics in their songs and imagery from the band’s early Eighties beginning. The band’s name, says Ellefson, refers to the body count after a nuclear confrontation, and “that theme has carried through from the very original artwork.”

 

 

 

Incite Mixes Heavy Metal and Virtual Reality in Their New Video (Exclusive)

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2016/05/18/incite-mixes-heavy-metal-and-virtual-reality-in-their-new-video-exclusive/

Cavalera says the new technology enables bands to give their fans new ways to experience the music and how it all comes together. He imagines virtual-reality cameras capturing aspects of live shows that create new experiences, such as having fans witness the mayhem of a pit from directly above, or putting them in the position of the band members on stage.

The “Life’s Disease” video, meanwhile, places the viewer directly in the middle of terrifying scenarios. “We trap the audience in various 360-degree environments where we built an occult underworld packed with imagery that’s designed to whip viewers into a state of frenzy,” Sexton says in an email. There’s a seance scene replete with flashing lights and nightmarish specters, and there are moments set in an insane asylum.

 

The Ultimate VR 360 Camera Buying Guide

http://www.vrheadsets3d.com/vr-news/ultimate-vr-360-camera-buying-guide/

Making the correct choice depends on what you really need and, of course, your wallet’s capability. If you’re looking to simply carry a 360 camera as you go on your outdoor adventures for the sake of capturing your experiences, then the cheaper 2D cameras should do fine. However, if you’re looking to produce professional-level video quality, then the much pricier 3D cameras are a good investment. Everything just comes down to preferences and needs, like in most gadgets.

 

HOW THE MILITARY IS INCORPORATING VR INTO TROOP TRAINING

https://unimersiv.com/military-incorporating-vr-troop-training/?ref=fb

Simulating the actual battlefield for soldiers who will be facing combat is possibly the strongest area in which virtual reality can prepare troops during training. In the past, popular movies and books were the closest examples a new soldier had of a war zone. Today they can become fully immersed in a virtual program that helps them train their senses to be fully aware of what is happening without the risk of actual harm, helping them know what to expect when they are ready for battle. The three-dimensional environment allows the soldier to move around and interact with the environment for the closest experience to the real thing.

Some virtual reality programs extend beyond troop training as well. Some troops have found great relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through virtual reality therapy. Soldiers can learn to deal with their symptoms and become exposed to their triggers in a safe environment, protecting themselves and their loved ones in the process.

 

 

How will virtual reality change our lives?

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36279855

The therapist tries to mimic what the patient is talking about in their trauma narrative. And eventually by confronting it with therapists, you start to see post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms start to diminish.

We’ve used VR to help people with high-functioning autism be more effective at job interviews. This involves having them practise their interviews with a wide range of interviewers – different age, gender, ethnic background, and different levels of provocativeness.

We know that the brain is quite good at suspending disbelief, so even though people know these aren’t real people, they relate to them as if they are.

This is why VR is so compelling, because whatever is learned in those worlds hopefully will benefit how the person translates their behaviour in the real world.

 

 

 

History of Virtual Reality

http://srushtiimx.com/history-of-virtual-reality/

Post World War II, VR kicked off as a Flight Simulator for the military, and later for guiding tanks and ships. Millions were invested in this technology which showed great potential. The technology was already spreading its wings around the world, but the term Virtual Reality became popular only a little after 1980s.

 

 

Studio 360

The pioneers who are making the first virtual-reality narratives.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/25/making-movies-with-virtual-reality
Luis Blackaller, a producer at Wevr, said, “We all liked the concept. We had only a few choices to make.” Like most V.R. crews, Bravo and her team would shoot with GoPros—cheap, shatterproof cameras that are marketed to extreme athletes, not filmmakers. Matthew Niederhauser, a cinematographer, noted that most V.R. experiences are viewed on phones, and said, “You can shoot with big, expensive lenses, but what’s the point?”

An engineer at Wevr built a camera rig out of aluminum and sandbags, to minimize jostling, and the crew did a test shoot with the rig in the passenger seat. “Watching it, you had to turn around the whole time to make sure you weren’t missing anything in the back of the car, which felt annoying,” Blackaller said. So they decided to film from the back right seat instead. Bravo tweaked her screenplay to remove minor cinematic vestiges—insert shots, subtle blocking details—that would be either irrelevant or impossible in V.R.

“Then we had another big conversation,” Blackaller said. “Do we film a dummy?” In some V.R. experiences, the viewer feels invisible; in others, one can look down to see one’s body represented onscreen. In a clumsily animated V.R. segment produced by another company, I experienced a nightmarish version of the latter: I flew through the air, my legs dangling below me, scrawny and immovable. My arms were those of a white man in his thirties, which happened to match my anatomy but might have been distracting, if not alarming, to most humans. And when I craned my actual neck downward I saw a sharp line where my virtual neck ended, leaving a black void where my head was supposed to be.

 

Google IO!

Google IO started yesterday so there was a lot of hype around VR.

Nick Bicanic made some interesting predictions:

1. Tethered VR headsets are a speedbump. No one wants to have wires attached to their heads and while of course Uncharted 4 in VR could be awesome – the same rule will apply as for cameras in the early days of the iphone. What’s the best camera for the job?…..The one you always have with you.

2. Full-size Mobile Headsets (GearVR/Google Daydream) are also doomed – because no one (NO ONE) will carry these things around. The only thing I ever carry around with me is http://www.homido.com/en/mini and I’m not the only one Marco DeMiroz

3. So that leaves us with Magic Window or finger swiping on a screen to view bits of the surroundings until such time as something the size of of pair of sunglasses (or smaller – or even…contact lenses) can handle VR.

I know I know. People will say “spinning around your phone is not the same thing as watching a whale swim underwater!!!!” –

yeah sure.
I agree with you.

But that’s irrelevant if no-one will do it.

The point of my pronouncement is that if I’m even half-right we should be shorting Samsung and Apple.

Because Samsung needs Android more than the world needs GearVR. Google will demand that Samsung Galaxy phones accept the new VR styled Google Play in order to have access to Maps, Gmail, Contacts, Gtalk etc etc – and Samsung will cave. Which means Oculus store go bye bye.

As for Facebook – well that is interesting…by integrating voice calls into its messenger and thinking that Photo/Social Network communication is taken care of then in theory they just hold people within their app. Which is a great strategy if there is more than one O/S. For example you could have Facebook on Hololens, Facebook on iPhone etc etc – just like you do now.

But unless Facebook makes a phone (AND a phone O/S) (which has been rumored for a while) they will NOT own the operating system of the future (as Mark Z. suggested VR was). Google will.

Hmmm. MSFT doesn’t need cash – but has Hololens in a very interesting position….if Hololens was a private company Facebook would buy it for whatever money was necessary to shore up Oculus position.

My question is then – how does Facebook pivot Oculus to Mobile without making a mobile O/S? It already supports 360 video in Facebook app – which is great – but not enough to transition to AR and exercise some control. So who do you buy if you are Facebook? Magic Leap is overvalued (and Google is in it to the tune of 300mil). Meta? ODG? Hmmm….Facebook buying ODG – that could be interesting wink emoticon

As for Apple – right now it’s neither a premium player nor is it a lowest-common-denominator player. It’s just sitting on the sidelines. By the time it gets up – it’ll be too late…

 

Here is the 360 interactive live stream of the IO keynote:

 

 

 

NEW VR APP GIVES A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST, AND A PROMISE OF FUTURE REVENUES

http://3dvrcentral.com/2016/05/06/new-vr-app-gives-glimpse-past-promise-future-revenues/

Effectively a virtual time machine, Timelooper helps users travel back in time by watching animated historical scenes using a smartphone app and headset, currently being tested in London and New York. What makes Timelooper unusual is the way it is tied to the physical location and how it can generate revenue for itself and its business partners.

“Timelooper is an open virtual reality platform for cultural and historic locations,” says founder Yigit Yigiter. “We create content in-house and host third-party content, and when we monetise content via the app we share revenue with the content owner.”

Like most app start ups, Timelooper considers multiple revenue sources. “The app is free but we will have in-app purchases like premium content, advertising and a few other revenue streams,” he says.

 

The Nauseating Disappointment of Oculus Rift

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601375/the-nauseating-disappointment-of-oculus-rift/#/set/id/601399/

But reliable consumer VR is still in its infancy. The games, films, and other virtual experiences that people are making for these gadgets are very much experimental; it’s hard to know just what will and won’t work until a lot of headset-wearing folks like me have spent time trying this stuff out.

And when things don’t work just right, VR can literally make you ill, or at least uncomfortable. Some issues can pop up with the hardware itself, like visual jittering. Others relate to the ways content is made—things like rapid acceleration and deceleration can make you feel sick because what you see isn’t matching up with what your body feels.

 

Watch the first sample footage from GoPro’s six-camera Omni VR rig

http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/5/11599736/gopro-omni-vr-360-degree-video-clip

The Omni, when it ships later this year, will help filmmakers eliminate that hassle of needing to build their own rig. (If they want to go all-out, they can buy a 16-camera rig that GoPro built with Google for $15,000.) GoPro started taking preorders for the Omni last month; the company is charging $5,000 for six Hero 4 Black cameras plus all the necessary hardware and software, or $1,500 for just the frame.

 

Riding ‘TheWave’: How A Few Young Men Are Using VR To Change Music Forever

http://uploadvr.com/the-wave/

“Currently—EDM music is a perfect place to start, given VR’s current state. Our goal is to expand to all of the genres.TheWave is going to be the number one place where you go in VR to experience music. But right now, it would be incredibly hard to do an interactive, immersive rock concert because I just don’t know how you could do that with actual people and guitars. You need to use the Kinect or some sort of janky video capture to get them. So it’s really a matter of focus and execution of where the tech is.”

 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explains why he’s not ready to invest in virtual reality

http://uk.businessinsider.com/netflix-ceo-reed-hastings-not-ready-to-invest-in-virtual-reality-2016-5?r=US&IR=T

First, despite growing interest and adoption of VR following the release of the Oculus Rift this year, the size of the market remains tiny. Now that Netflix has expanded to 190 countries and has 80 million users watching on 1,000 different platforms (smartphones, gaming consoles, TV apps), the number of potential viewers on VR seems like a speck.

“The problem with VR is that there’s not enough people on the platform to support the investment in that kind of content,” Sarandos said.

The second issue relates to the type of experience VR offers. The immersive, intense nature of VR can be exciting in the context of a game, but it can be too much when it comes to simply watching a movie.

“You’re exhausted after 20 minutes,” Hastings said. “We are more focused on a lean-back, relaxing experience.”

Sarandos added: “I can’t imagine putting on a VR headset while sitting on the couch with my wife for two hours and just disappearing.”

 

Oculus exec Mary Lou Jepsen resigns to cure diseases

http://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-loses-mary-lou-jepsen-key-player-vr-push-oculus-virtual-reality/

http://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-loses-mary-lou-jepsen-key-player-vr-push-oculus-virtual-reality/

 

(Un)folding a virtual journey with Google Cardboard

https://googleblog.blogspot.ch/2016/01/unfolding-virtual-journey-cardboard.html

1. 5 million Cardboard fans have joined the fold.

2. In just the past two months (October-December), you launched into 10 million more immersive app experiences:

3. Out of 1,000+ Cardboard apps on Google Play, one of your favorites got you screaming “aaaaaaahwsome,” while another “gave you goosebumps.”

4. You teleported to places far and wide, right from the comfort of YouTube.

5. Since we launched Cardboard Camera in December, you’ve captured more than 750,000 VR photos, letting you relive your favorite moments anytime, from anywhere.

6. Students around the world have taken VR field trips to the White House, the Republic of Congo, and 150 other places around the globe with Expeditions.

 

Unilever CMO Keith Weed: ‘We are shooting VR content for all our brands’

http://3dvrcentral.com/2016/05/06/unilever-cmo-keith-weed-shooting-vr-content-brands/

Oculus Rift, a VR headset sold by Facebook, carries an initial price of $599.

“We’re now in a phase potentially of marketing for people and that journey I think will make marketing mobile again,” said Weed. “Marketing started off by serving people [and] in the 80s it got a little bit lost with selling more stuff.”

“If you go on somewhere like Vice – which is obviously very much targeted at millennials – you see Unilever brands very much present there. Why? Because we really understand the power of millennials. Our brands have stories to tell to millennials and the reason they have that is because we have brands with purpose, brands with meaning.”

 

The most promising virtual reality experience I’ve ever had

http://www.polygon.com/features/2016/5/5/11597482/the-void-virtual-reality-magician-tracy-hickman

The Void isn’t like other VR systems you might have heard of. It is a full-body simulation, and it is completely wireless.

the_void_rapture_backtop

The Void’s Rapture system features a haptic vest with a built-in, fully customized, ultralight computer.

So what does that mean?

What that means is you’re not seated in The Void, like you are in most Oculus Rift experiences. You’re not standing and walking around inside a tiny virtual cube, like you are with the HTC Vive. With The Void, you are completely free to go wherever you want within the bounds of the simulation.

 

 

MCDONALD’S USES OCULUS AND SAMSUNG VR TO OFFER A FIRST-PERSON EXPERIENCE OF FARMING

http://3dvrcentral.com/2016/05/06/mcdonalds-uses-oculus-samsung-vr-offer-first-person-experience-farming/

 

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“The eating out market is growing but this passion for food is masking a lack of understanding around how food is produced and the vital role our farming and food industries play in growing, sourcing and producing quality ingredients.”

He added: “By bringing together tech developers with farmers and food experts, we have created an immersive virtual reality experience that will allow people to follow in the footsteps of farmers, suppliers and our crew, bringing the best of UK food production from the countryside to communities across the UK.

“Our hope is that it will help build pride in British and Irish farming, challenge outdated stereotypes and celebrate the best of food and farming in the UK today.”

 

Virtual Reality’s trillion dollar endorphin industry

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/virtual-realitys-trillion-dollar-endorphin-industry-charles-blatz

Adding 360 video to the marketing wheelhouse is a tall order, but innovation is quickly making it easy and affordable to adopt.  The medium depends on whether or not future investment carries its development.  Teleportation of the conscious to another location is still compelling, and exclusive to virtual reality, and hardware companies such as LeapMotion continue the development adding hand control features. I presented the game Weightless to my colleagues at a retreat yesterday, and they could almost feel the space debris in front of them.

 

 

 

 

Visual Connections is the largest annual visual media trade show in the world. This networking event is exclusively for image/footage/art buyers.

360Cities is attending the “Visual Media Expo Chicago 2016” event this week to introduce the potential of your high-quality 360-degree panoramas to a new audience of advertisers and publishers. 

If you in or are around Chicago on May 5th, 2016, come to see us at the Ivy Room in downtown Chicago. We’d be glad to see you!

Install the new 360Cities Extension to your Chrome browser, just click here. You will be able to enjoy an interactive panorama on each tab you open in your browser. You’ll also be able to search on Google or 360cities.net.
It looks amazing, doesn’t it?

 

halong

loop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 360Cities tab extension allows you to:


• View an interactive 360-degree photo on each new tab on your Chrome browser
• Pan 360 degrees around and 180 degrees up and down for a fully spherical view
• Zoom in and out to see amazing detail
• View the panorama in full screen
• Choose from six different projections and two navigation modes
• Click to view the profile page of the photographer on 360cities.net
• Share the panorama on social media and embed in your non-commercial website or blog
• Click on a shopping cart to license the image for editorial or commercial usage
• Search Google and 360Cities

 

 

martin

Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Turned Me Into a Cow, Then Sent Me to the Slaughterhouse

I-Am-a-Cow-1920x760

“Please turn to your left until you see the fence where you started,” says the voice. “You have been here for 200 days and reached your target weight. So it is time for you to go to the slaughterhouse.”

I was not expecting this. A wave of sadness and horror hits me with the word “slaughterhouse.” The suddenness of the announcement, the feeling of being trapped, the guilt and responsibility I feel for my cow avatar, who I somehow feel is me, but who I simultaneously feel is younger and more innocent and who is, I should point out, a vegetarian— it’s remarkably heavy for having been in this virtual life only a few minutes. The part of me that is a cow dutifully walks toward the fence. The part of me that is a person is yelling. It’s unbidden, startling even me, an anger borne of nervousness. “That is brutal!” I shout at no one in particular.

 

Half Of Kids Can’t Tell The Difference Between Virtual Reality And Regular Reality

 

Stanford University partnered with Sesame Street and used Oculus technology to study, among other things, what it does to the perceptual system of a child. Based on the director of lab Jeremy Bailenson’s findings so far, the answer is: it kinda messes with it. Most recently he noted that when children are exposed to a virtual experience, a week later 50 percent of them remember the event as real. As early as 2009, his data showed that virtual reality caused significantly more false memories in elementary schoolers than any other type of imagery. If you thought their imaginary friend was a little creepy, get ready to deal with their imaginary double life.

 

Virtual Reality In The Music Industry Needs To Be A Tool, Not Just An Experience

We also need to be wary, however, about translating all musical activities to VR. Just as the Uber model does not translate well to other industries, so the VR model will probably die if we attempt to apply it to every possible corner of the music business. Again, the key opportunities come from gaps in trust. I already trust platforms like Facebook, Skype and Twitter for my social networking, so I will probably not use VR to hold remote meetings or conversations with friends and professionals—but I do not always trust friends who tell me that one seat in the theater is ten times better than the next. I personally trust Spotify to give me any song that I want, so I won’t necessarily go through the hassle of strapping a device to my head to stream music—but I do not always trust streaming services to provide accurate metadata.

We play CCP’s first attempt at a physical, virtual reality ‘sport’ProjectArena02_1920.0.0Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 07.02.36

“No one really knows what it feels like to hit a flying fireball that bounces off the walls,” Godat explained, “but if you were making something that feels real like with a metal sword in your hand people expect to feel the clang when you hit a shield. We’ve tried to steer clear of those elements just because you can, the field is wide open.”

Your brain doesn’t expect your virtual shield or disc to “feel” a certain way, because it’s so clearly not real. This, counter-intuitively, makes the experience feel more real when you’re inside the game, to the extent that I had to fight a small bit of panic every time I deflected the enemy’s disc. It felt like an actual threat, and it took me a few minutes before I felt comfortable enough to smash it back at the person on the other side of the room.

Facebook Shows Off How They Might Use Virtual Reality

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 07.04.51The best part of the demo happens at the end, when Schroepfer goes to give his friend a high five. His buddy makes a dap fist, and they wind up doing a VR version of the “Now I’m grabbing your fist with my open palm because I thought we were doing a high-five.”

 

VR headset shipments ‘to boom’ in 2016

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More than nine million virtual reality (VR) headsets will be shipped in 2016, suggests research by analyst firm IDC.

The estimate is far more than the 350,000 headsets that were sent out last year, it said.

Some of the growth will be down to the first consumer-ready versions reaching customers, said the firm.

However, most numerous will be the “screenless” systems that use smartphones as their main display.

IDC said it expected about two million headsets from Oculus, HTC and Sony to be shipped to consumers in 2016. The Oculus Rift headset began shipping on 28 March, HTC Vive headsets are due to start being dispatched this month and Sony’s PlayStation VR should be available in October.