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VR Digest: VR at Gamescom & Siggraph;
Altspace & WEVR raise new funds

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 Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 27 – August 5, 2015

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

VR to be featured at Gamescom and SIGGRAPH

Gaming conference Gamescom is underway in Germany, and next week the visual effects-focused computer graphics event SIGGRAPH begins in Los Angeles. VR news is trickling out of both events.

At Gamescom, CCP the maker of “EVE: Valkyrie”, unveiled video of a space turret game called “EVE: Gunjack” built in Unreal Engine that will be available “this fall with the launch of the Samsung Gear VR.” Mindfield Games also showed screenshots of exploration adventure game “Pollen” slated for PC early next year.

SIGGRAPH has a nice site listing an overview of projects and research available in the VR Village area of the conference. Projects being shown include several that offer immersive views of brain imaging data and others that explore collaborative shared VR spaces. VR Digest’s Ian Hamilton wrote for UploadVR about one of the collaborative experiences made by New York University researchers who have a long-term view about the impact of reality mixing technologies.

“My interest is not really in VR. It’s in the future of reality, or rather, what reality will become after everybody is ‘wearing’,” said NYU researcher Ken Perlin. “That is, when all children grow up in a world where everyone either has cyber-contact lenses or cyber‑lens implants.”
 

Bits:

If you own an Oculus development kit don’t upgrade to Windows 10 yet. “Our software team is working as quickly as possible to complete Windows 10 compatibility.” There is a method for getting it to work, but it is probably not worth the effort as you won’t be able to take advantage of the new Windows 10 graphics technologies yet.

Venice-based WEVR and Redwood-City-based Altspace both got $10 million investments, with HTC itself taking a 15 percent ownership share in WEVR. UploadVR also put together a post outlining the major startups working on mixed reality and the investments they’ve received.

Fans can soon visit the batcave from “Batman: The Animated Series” in a new interactive holographic video from Warner Bros., DC Entertainment and OTOY.

More footage from ViveCraft by Facepunch Studios offers a detailed look at what “Minecraft” would like on HTC’s Vive headset.

Kotaku wrote about Zero Latency, an Australian company that took over a warehouse to create an immersive first-person zombie shooter that takes place in a 400-square meter volume. “Running the show is a custom-made backpack with an Alienware Alpha small form factor PC, hooked up to the Rift and a pair of headphones with an integrated mic for voice communications.” Tickets are available now at $88 ($65 US) per person for a one hour experience.

Astronauts have been spending time with the HoloLens at the bottom of the sea, training for use in space. HoloLens will allow the a person on the ground to watch over astronauts as they work.

“We can learn about interaction between crewmembers and the ground control,” said Luca Parmitano, a European Space Agency astronaut. “We can learn about procedures and ways to make our work effective.”

Epic Games' chief executive predicts augmented reality will lead to a screen-free future, amounting to “the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes.”

“Augmented reality will drive all things like chat, social networking, photos, videos, organizing data, modeling, painting, motion capture, and visual programming,” Tim Sweeney said. “Every form of computing will be combined together and unified in a single platform. That is long term. This trend will start with VR. AR will take a full decade to play out.”

Autodesk announced that its new Stingray game engine will support the Oculus Rift.

Disney put together a cute video stylized like a classic cartoon to explain how light is rendered in a virtual scene. Currently this path tracing technique applies only to pre-rendered content, not real-time engines like Unity or Unreal, although there do exist impressive demonstrations of real-time path tracing, notably OTOY’s Brigade.
 

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

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