By Tom Ffiske // 9 September 2020
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The Midnight Library is heart-wrenchingly beautiful. If you feel you have many regrets in your life, it is a must-read.
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The Big Story
Let’s talk about Venice VR Expanded. My immersive colleagues always rated Venice Film Festival as a lot of fun. The glitz and glamour of intermingling stars and flashing shoots sparked a fun sense of wonder in my mind. But critically, Venice Film Festival has been supporting the immersive arts for several years. I have a lot of respect for that.
Yes, the global pandemic ruptured the festival this year. No visitors can see Venice, sip prosecco, or chill in the gondolas. But in a way, the crisis also prompted festivals to provide a virtual equivalent. A range of partners, from HTC to VRrOOm, provided the capabilities to deliver the event in VR. And in the process, they helped deliver some excellent experiences.
It reminds me of an old debate; why do animated movies have its own category? An animated movie isn’t a genre; it works with multiple genres, all at once. I feel the same is happening with VR; though arguably it is so different to its 2D counterparts that it makes sense to judge them in different ways.
For more on this topic, check out the full article.
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- I can’t cook to save my life. Seriously, I mess up making pasta.
- But finally, I can learn in VR! Resolution Games launched its VR cooking game, Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale, on Oculus Quest and Rift.
- Or, if you are feeling for sci-fi…
- Blasters of the Universe: Infinity Forever is a cooperative multiplayer shooter in free-roam VR, based on Secret Location’s popular room-scale VR game. Neat.
- We’ve seen some top-notch innovations in AR recently:
- Firstly, I love the idea of AR banner ads, where people can access filters with just a click. Facecake is a great example of this, letting people try on glasses while browsing. Really clever and innovative, as a smart and commercial use of the tech.
- Another is Superfan, which provides a no-code tool to make AR. For many creatives, this is a huge deal.
- Some nifty updates on AR glasses as well:
- Keep an eye on SDKs; we’ll see more that help AR specs over time. An example is Immersal, who released their support for the Nreal Light AR glasses with its SDK. The better tools devs have, the better AR content we can expect.
- On a similar note, Vuzix is developing a product line of smart glasses powered by micro-LED technology, expected to become available in 2021.
- Qualcomm continues its interest in XR…
- As another example, Ultraleap partnered with Qualcomm to bring their handtracking tech to the Snapdragon XR2 5G platform.
- Interested in VR surgeries? I mean conceptially, not experiencing first-hand…
- FundamentalVR announced a new virtual classroom capability to its multiuser educational VR platform, Fundamental Surgery.
- Need some AR assets for your project?
- Catchar launched their asset marketplace. The marketplace lets creators and companies sell their AR and MR assets, like 3D models, templates (Spark AR & Lens Studio), source code, and tutorials.
- Igloo Vision is part of this year’s 100 fastest-growing British tech companies.
- What makes me particularly happy is that it is growing fast in the Midlands, far away from the flash and power of London.
- The league table charts Igloo Vision as the fourth fastest-growing tech company in the Midlands, and 98th across the entire UK.
- Spatial, a nifty VR productivity tool, launched on the Oculus Quest.
- “We constantly look to our customers to hear how to make the experience more personal and expressive for them – we want to make it so intuitive that it barely feels like work at all”, said Anand Agarawala, Co-founder and CEO of Spatial.
- WaveOptics hired Richard Smith as COO.
- Richard has over 20 years of experience in financial and operational roles, notably as CFO of Imagination Technologies
- XRSI released a Novel Privacy framework.
- The framework approaches privacy in XR and Spatial computing in a great way. Find out more here.
- Finally, the Immersive Wire now has a Patreon.
- This is completely option, and only for those who want to help finance the sheer amount of caffeine the fuels these newsletters.
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That’s all for this week! Want to have a chat, let me know about a news story, or talk business? Either reply to this email, or contact [email protected]. Have an excellent day!