Interesting articles about VR – week #32

Facebook’s new 360 cameras bring exploration to live videos


Last year, Facebook announced the Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that can capture footage in 3D and then render it online via specially designed software. But it wasn’t for sale. Instead the company used it as a reference design for others to create 3D 360 content, even going as far as to open source it on GitHub later that summer. As good as the camera was, though, it still didn’t deliver the full VR experience. That’s why Facebook is introducing two more 360-degree cameras at this year’s F8: the x24 and x6. The difference: These cameras can shoot in six degrees of freedom, which promises to make the 360 footage more immersive than before.


Sansar Ignites VR Content Boom


Linden Lab opened its much anticipated massive social platform Sansar today. Over the past year, invited creators have been building hundreds of graphic environments foreshadowing the infinite metaverse Sansar hopes to enable. If it works, this is next Snapchat, a social network whose meteoric five-year rise to 32 billion dollar IPO took everyone by surprise. At first.


Will 2017 be the Year that AR Kills VR?


Although it might feel like just the blink of an eye, this month marks the one year anniversary of the release of Pokemon Go. The Augmented Reality (AR)-based phenomenon broke all records for mobile apps and managed to earn five Guinness World Records in the process, prompting many to declare it the Watershed moment for immersive technologies. Niantic is celebrating this milestone with a surprisingly low-key in-game event, giving users a chance to augment their Pokedex with a Pikachu sporting Ash’s famous baseball cap. Fans also got the chance to enjoy a real-world Pokemon Go experience in the form of ‘Pokemon Go Fest’ in Chicago, allowing them to access exclusive in-game content and achievements.


Step Into The Shoes Of An 80s Robot In Funny Or Die’s New VR Film


Funny or Die is one of those websites that just seems too good to be true. Founded in 2007 by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, the video comedy site has been responsible for some of the decade’s most memorable sketches and series. The infamous Landlord sketch, Zach Galifiankist’s ultra popular Between Two Ferns series, the memorable Beiber After The Dentist parody. They are just a handful of the legendary content available on the trendsetting website. Now the multimedia studio is looking to extend their unique brand of humor into unknown comedic territories, including VR.


NVIDIA Unleashes the Future of Live 360 Storytelling


To bring more immersive VR to more people, NVIDIA is releasing the VRWorks 360 Video SDK to enable production houses to live stream high-quality, 360 degree, stereo video to their audiences. 360 degree stereo stitching is a leap forward for the live-production and live-event industries. NVIDIA VRWorks accelerates the entire stereo stitching process while maintaining the highest level of image quality.


The Growth of VR as a Training Tool


I’ve written before about the growing number of applications of virtual reality technology in training scenarios. A team from the University of Virginia have developed a VR based classroom to allow teachers to receive instant feedback on their delivery and classroom management.


Cliff Bleszinski Talks About VR’s ‘Killer App’ Problem


Cliff Bleszinski, AKA Cliffy B, is one of the videogame industry’s celebrity figures, with a career covering over two decades and having worked on high-profile titles such as the Gears of War series and Unreal Tournament. Bleszinski has more recently set up his own indie development studio, and was one of the industry figures to appear in the Oculus Rift Kickstarter video. What does he think of the current state of the virtual reality (VR) industry?


Inside Facebook’s Plan to Take Virtual Reality Mainstreamgoing-live-from-spaces.png

Last week I logged into my Facebook account to chat with some friends and browse through photos and videos, as any one of Facebook’s fellow 1.32 billion daily users do. But I wasn’t looking at photos on my phone or computer.


VR May Work Better For “Short Form” Experiences, Game Industry Vet & Former Linden Lab CEO Rod Humble Argues


Owners of Oculus Rift and Vive rarely use these VR platforms on a daily basis, but game industry veteran Rod Humble (formerly an executive with Electronic Arts and Linden Lab, currently General Manager at Jam City) argues that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: “Here is my attempt to thread the needle,” as he puts it. “VR does not need nor is likely to be a long form medium any time soon. The idea of millions of people using VR headsets for hours a day like they do with computer monitors may simply be a category mistake. Poetry, for example, is something I can enjoy for perhaps an hour or so before I need a different form; perhaps more applicably, going to a rave or nightclub — I don’t dance for a solid 4 hours. I do it in shorter intervals. While I am ‘at the nightclub’ I am not dancing all the time.


Should I Learn Unreal or Unity for VR Development?


Understanding that most games are just state engines, updating player input and screen output each tick (or frame). 
It’s the same pattern for micro and macro events. Then perhaps learn some trigonometry (quaternions) and how to transform objects in 3D space. Though you can easily build something in either engine as long as you can manage states.



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