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VR Digest: Smartphone buying advice from John Carmack;
Unity summit joins packed VR/AR conference lineup

The week's top VR news brought to you
pre-digested and ready for assimilation!
VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 29 – August 19, 2015
Hi Friends,

This was a slow VR news week, but we've rounded up a slew of upcoming events that should yield interesting announcements in the near future. 

The prolific Kent Bye this week published a podcast and article about Studio Transcendent and VR Digest, which was recorded back in May at the SVVR Expo.

Best Regards,
Ian, John, Aaron and Elissa from Studio Transcendent

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

No Gear VR (yet) for the Note 5

Samsung announced the Note 5, but surprisingly made no mention of VR related to the device. Do not buy a Note 5 for VR development until after Oculus Connect. That advice comes straight from Oculus CTO John Carmack, who advised in a pair of tweets: “If you are considering buying a phone for VR, you might want to hold off until after Oculus Connect for relevant information” with “lots of Gear VR announcements coming” at the event.

Coincidentally, this week rumors flared of a new “Galaxy O” line coming from Samsung, and the smartphone maker has said they are not releasing the Note 5 in Europe (however, the S6 edge+ could potentially serve as an equivalent Gear VR phone for Europe).


Unity VR/AR summit joins packed conference lineup

Excitement is building as Sony, Valve and Oculus ready their consumer launches, and there will be lots of opportunities for the public to get their hands on VR hardware at upcoming events.

PAX will run from August 28 to 31 in Seattle. Meanwhile, August 29 brings the sold-out VRLA Expo, which has now grown so large as to fill the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Techcrunch Disrupt runs from September 21 to 23 in San Francisco, but the biggest news of the fall will likely arise from Oculus Connect 2 in Hollywood from September 23 to 25. Immersed lands in Toronto from October 4 to 6. SEA VR plans a large expo October 28 in Bellevue, Washington.

2016 opens with CES in Las Vegas from January 6 to 9, which is likely to see VR-related announcements. Unity will be hosting the Vision VR/AR Summit conference in Hollywood on February 10 and 11.


Bits:

The Verge put together an in-depth 17-minute video going inside ILMxLab, the mixed reality research lab from Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic.

Social VR platform Convrge posted a short video showing a Vive playtest which portrays subtle human movement just by tracking the headset and hand-held controllers.

Enter the Rift posted a “trailer for VR” on YouTube, which does a good job of making it look like an exciting pastime.

Slides from NVIDIA’s presentation about its GameWorks VR technology are online as a PDF if you’d like a technical look at how the graphics chip company is working to create more immersive VR experiences.

Bloomberg reports Apple display supplier LG will spend $8.5 billion over the next few years “to develop next-generation screens” that might end up being useful for VR.

SteamVR’s platform has been updated with support for the Oculus software development kit up to version 0.6.0.1.

One of our favorite VR games, Lunar Flight, has been updated with support for Oculus runtime 0.6.0.1.

Linden Labs, the creator of Second Life, is prepping to launch its Project Sansar follow up virtual platform next year. It is “optimized for virtual headsets like the Oculus Rift, but also accessible via PCs and — at consumer launch — mobile devices” and promises the ability to “explore and socialize...through advanced expressive avatars, using text and voice chat.”
 

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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