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VR Digest: Apple acquires Vrvana;
Mega Chinese VR theme park

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 147 – November 23, 2017

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

Apple Acquires Vrvana for $30 Million

According to TechCrunch, Apple purchased Vrvana for $30 Million. The company was developing a VR headset with camera passthrough, what Michael Abrash once described as “Augmented Virtual Reality”. They figured out how to reduce the latency from the image coming from the camera to the display down to just 3ms, the mechanics of which John Carmack briefly touched on during his talk at Oculus Connect 4.

Vrvana had also developed inside out tracking and hand pose recognition technology.


$1.5 Billion Chinese VR Theme Park to Soft Open Next Month

The Shanghaiist reports that a massive new theme park is opening in Guiyang, Guizhou in central China. The park will eventually cover 2,000 acres including VR production facilities. It is opening in stages starting with “Alien Base” in December. It definitely looks the part and includes a VR rollercoaster and the world’s tallest mech statue.

Visitors are supplied with a VR headset when they enter the park and use it for various attractions. It looks like a very simple 3DoF setup for now, but of course the equipment can be upgraded over time to keep the park cutting edgelikely much cheaper than building all new attractions, given the reported $1.5 billion price tag.


Bits

According to VentureBeat’s reading of a new report from the VR Fund, investment is way up this year over last, with a 79% increase in entertainment and 69% in enterprise. The analysts believe there are now 35 VR games that have reached at least $1 million in revenue.

Another day, another Vive-powered telepresence robot. This one is from Toyota and the most sophisticated we’ve seen.

The Void’s Star Wars experience is getting a third location in London, and The Verge got to go hands-on with an early version at their test facility in Glendale, California.

Upload noted that it looks like Skyrim VR is driving a lot of PSVR bundle sales in the UK and outselling the Nintendo Switch version. On a related note, if you are harboring any doubt that kids are excited about VR, let this one put that fear to rest for you.

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

 
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