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VR Digest: Unity’s Vision Summit
delivers big announcements

The week's top VR news brought to you
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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by John Dewar (@jstarrdewar) Issue 118 – May 3, 2017

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Hi Friends,


“It’s been gangbusters around here!” as my dad used to say. We’re producing our first-ever performance-capture-driven human avatar interactive experience, which has gotten us in collaboration with the good folks at FaceWare. That’s after coming off of a big push on a hush-hush project for a major telecom that debuted with some great accolades after an epic push to the finish line. And our Editor/CTO/Super Genius John has been totally off the grid in Bali (much deserved!). 

So, Elissa and I have held down the fort. Elissa has done most of the work, making her our true guest editor this week. 

We hope you enjoyed the Vision Summit, if you were there. And happy May!
 
Best,
Aaron + John, Bowdy, and Elissa 
at Studio Transcendent


Unity’s Vision Summit Delivers Big Announcements

Unity’s Vision VR/AR Summit 2017 began on Monday. The keynote included a demo of 360 video combined with real-time CG and interactive elements. RoadtoVR described it as “two layers of video with 3D elements in between...a simple way of enhancing standard 360 video footage to make it interactive.” The demo also introduced new Unity tools that could be used to create a ‘gaze-based locomotion’ effect, along with additional realism-enhancing techniques.

Google’s Nathan Martz announced that Tango, the company’s AR focused platform, will receive official, native integration in Unity, version 2017.2, later this year. “This is going to make Tango AR development for smartphones just as accessible and powerful as Daydream VR is today,” said Martz. In addition, Martz unveiled new tools for Daydream that will enable developers to create high-performance apps:  a new Daydream Renderer, Instant Preview, GAPID, PerfHUD, as well as Daydream Elements, described by Martz as a “modular, open-source application that contains focused examples of best practices.”

Also during the keynote address, Microsoft’s Brandon Bray highlighted the anticipated Windows holographic headsets and reported that 91 percent of the holographic apps built for the headsets were constructed using the Unity game engine. In addition to promising a free Acer Windows VR headset to all attendees, Bray showcased Cliff House, an app used to interact with the Windows operating system in VR. A Windows Central hands-on with Cliff House reports that the VR-capable Windows 10 UI and shell are “very much like HoloLens but a little more polished.”

Unity’s Vision Awards honored Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team) as Best Game, Zero Days VR (Scatter) as Best Cinematic VR, and MIYUBI (Felix & Paul Studios, in collaboration with Funny or Die) as Best 360 Video. Complete list of awards here.


Bits:

Next week’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC 2017) will include a VR Content Showcase on Tuesday, May 9th. The showcase recognizes companies focused on making VR and AR useful across industries such as healthcare, education, and architecture. RoadtoVR published a list of the 10 companies competing for $30,000 in cash and prizes; included are informational links to each company.

Ian Hamilton, who edited VR Digest in the past, has written a thoughtful article on the questions surrounding the departure and continued silence of Oculus Co-Founder Palmer Luckey.

The Beijing-based company 7invensun announced an upgrade kit that will add eye tracking to the Vive. The Verge reports that the aGlass lens (approximately $220 US) “consists of two eyepieces that the ‘average VR user’ can fit inside the HTC Vive’s face mask, including three pairs of interchangeable lenses.” Connected to the Vive via USB, the eyepieces “will allow the headset to track pupil movement via sensors and infrared lights.”

Nickelodeon has launched its Entertainment Lab, focused on creating kid friendly experiences. UploadVR reports that the Burbank, CA lab will first develop prototypes that test various ideas incorporating VR, AR, MR, AI, and real-time rendering before launching “fully featured products.”  While no specific projects have been announced, the UploadVR article includes glimpses of a social VR experiment involving slime.

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.

 
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