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: