VR Digest: Is Magic Leap getting $1 billion?

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 39 – October 28, 2015

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

Magic Leap prepping $1 billion funding round?

The South Florida Business Journal cited unnamed sources in reporting mixed reality startup Magic Leap is prepping for a $1 billion funding round to add fuel to its existing $592 million. Re/Code reported the startup had talked to chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba to be the lead investor in the round, estimating the share at $200 million.

Magic Leap hasn’t commented on the rumors but the funding is in line with expectations needed for it to scale up production of its “silicon photonics” technology.


Oculus sold out of its “DK2” head mounted displays ahead of the launch of the consumer Rift. It also released version 0.8 of the Oculus runtime. Meanwhile, Microsoft started accepting applications for its $3,000 HoloLens development kit.

Playful Corp, the Texas-based company behind Rift-exclusive launch title “Lucky’s Tale,” received a $25 million investment from unnamed investors. The money dwarfs recent investments in VR-focused software companies. CEO and co-founder Paul Bettner answered some questions over DM on Twitter. The company has about 40 employees and Bettner said they are “focusing practically all attention on Rift.

Sergio Hidalgo, the developer behind VR horror game Dreadhalls, outlined the evolution of the title on Facebook.

Los Angeles Times visual journalist Armand Emamdjomeh built a web-based VR graphic with an audio tour of the Curiosity rover’s work on Mars.

U2 released a panoramic music video by filmmaker Chris Milk partnering with Apple Music.

An 11-minute video shows footage from StressLevelZero’s Vive game Hover Junkers being played in 4-player multiplayer. “You place cover on your ship and then you get behind it and then you kind of pop up and take the shots. So people get lazy and they just stand there and try to shoot at you they’re going to quickly learn they need to get down...if you want to win.”

An NPR article dives into what affordable VR might offer people with disabilities.

"It allowed me to experience something I thought I never could experience,” said Danny Kurtzman, who has muscular dystrophy.

A VR experience for “The Martian” is being developed by 20th Century Fox, a New York Times article revealed in a look at the company’s “rapidly expanding virtual reality program.”

A 27-minute video outlines development progress on highly anticipated VR space-fighting game EVE Valkyrie.

RoadToVR posted a 4-minute reaction video to a “Paranormal Activity” experience being shown with the HTC Vive at some AMC theaters.

A 1-hour video with developers from Owlchemy Labs, the creators of “Job Simulator,” delves into the design challenges of creating apps for room-scale VR.

A blog post by investment firm Kleiner Perkins outlines “6 Mobile VR Use Cases We Believe In”.

A study suggests Alzheimer’s disease could be detected early using VR.

Sony announced new games coming to PlayStation VR including “Tekken 7” and “Gran Turismo Sport”. A 2-minute video shows footage from a number of upcoming games for PlayStation VR.

Laguna Beach-based NextVR used its 360 camera rig to stream the NBA’s season opener into VR.

Tested did a 9-minute video testing demos at Valve, offering looks at “Chunks” (previously known as “ViveCraft”) and zombie shooter “Arizona Sunshine”.

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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