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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
Hi Friends,

Welcome to the third installment of VR Digest!

If you enjoy this, don’t forget to tell your friends.

This is our third issue, and we want to make this the best VR Digest that could possibly exist. So, please, if you have comments, suggestions, or tips for the next issue, please let us know at news@studiotranscendent.com. 

Now, to the latest in VR!

Best,
Aaron, John and Ian at Studio Transcendent

First Magic Leap Hands-On Report Published

MIT Technology Review has published the first on-the-record hands-on with four of Magic Leap's prototypes. The previously rumored prototype, dubbed "The Beast", is a "metal scaffolding that towers over [one's] head" and uses "a tiny projector that shines light onto a transparent lens, which deflects the light onto the retina. That pattern of light blends in so well with the light you’re receiving from the real world that to your visual cortex, artificial objects are nearly indistinguishable from actual objects."

In addition to "The Beast", the author saw a more portable demo, where she used her finger to interact with a character from Weta Workshop's project, Dr. Grordbort's Invaders; a demonstration of a wearable prototype (currently low-res and monochromatic); and a glimpse of what the final design will look like: "a chunky pair of sports sunglasses wired to a square pack that fits into your pocket".

VR View-Master Pricing Announced

Mattel announced its new View-Master, which is based on Google Cardboard and is supposed to launch for the holidays. The phone-viewer will cost $30 and pair with an Android app for “360 degree ‘photospheres.’ ” Viewing the included “gallery of classic View-Master images” might be worth it just to jog memories of the 3D toy from decades ago.
 

3D Audio

The Verge took a pretty deep dive into binaural 3D audio: “You can hear a bird flying over your head. You’ll hear a whisper in one ear. And if you record a band, you’ll hear it exactly as the band was positioned when playing.” The accompanying video demonstrates:

 

GDC VR Talks (Times PST)

 

VR for Indies

March 2 from 1:45 to 2:45 pm
Details
 

Designing for Mobile VR (Oculus/Chris Pruett)

March 3 from 1:45 to 2:10 pm
Details
 

Transmogrified Reality (Google/Noah Falstein)

March 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Details
 

The Dawn of Mobile VR (Oculus/John Carmack)

March 4 from 11 am to 12:30 pm
Details
 

Environmental Audio and Processing for VR (Sony/Nicholas Ward-Foxton)

March 4 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm
Details
 

Advanced VR Rendering (Valve/Alex Vlachos)

March 4 from 5 to 6 pm
Details
 

Practical VR for Disney Themeparks (Disney/Bei Yang)

March 5 from 10 to 11 am
Details
 

Virtual Visuals: Key Lessons for Artists Working with VR (Sony/Jason Hickey)

March 5 from  2 to 2:30 pm
Details
 
 

Bits

 
Netflix Open Source on YouTube showed off a DK1 hack using Leap Motion for hand controls in the middle of last year, but where is the Netflix VR app? “If Netflix wants to make a VR app, I want to help!” says Oculus CTO John Carmack.

Some interesting specs on prototype eyewear shown off by Panasonic. It uses “an OLED panel for its display and can realize a viewing angle of 90° and a frame rate of up to 75 fps.”

Newly-granted Apple patents (filed in 2008) were unearthed by Patently Apple.

Unity 5 moved into Release Candidate stage, reaching RC2 on February 16.

Substance Designer 5 is coming March 4th and you can get a discount if you pre-order.
 


Crowdfunding Updates

Justin Moravetz, the guy behind Vanguard V and Proton Pulse, joined a team trying to raise $70,000 for a “virtual reality music experience” called Nuren.

The Apollo 11 educational experience continues fundraising with more than three weeks remaining.

About Face hygienic liners for the Oculus Rift have started shipping to backers.
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