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VR Digest: HTC Heading
$100 Million VR Investment

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 65 – April 27, 2016

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

HTC Heading $100 Million VR Investment

HTC started accepting applications for Vive X, promising a $100 million global investment fund to accelerate VR with a focus on content development. The creator of the HTC Vive headset plans to offer support and office space to startups with accelerator programs in Taipei, Beijing and San Francisco. Applications are currently being accepted via a sheet that asks some probing questions, including how much money your startup is spending each month.
 

Bits

The Silicon Valley VR Conference kicks off this week amid a busy conference schedule that is followed by Google’s developer conference, I/O, May 18 to 20, gaming conference E3 from June 14 to 16, and graphics conference SIGGRAPH from July 24 to 28.

Time magazine named Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey one of the year’s most influential people. A snippet contributed by director Ridley Scott praised the technology Luckey helped shepherd into reality for opening “up a new world of storytelling.” Scott has been working on The Martian VR.

Lionsgate announced a partnership with Valve to offer a library of over 100 films for rent on Steam. The films will be watchable in a virtual theater on the Vive via SteamVR.

A 7,000-word article in The New Yorker dives into the world of 360-degree content creation. “Everyone does that the first time,” said Anthony Batt, one of Wevr’s co-founders, to someone who gasped after trying VR.

BigScreen, a new social virtual app, launches in beta on Steam this week. Co-founded by former Convrge creator Hayden Lee, BigScreen will allow users to stream their computer screens into a shared virtual space enabling virtual LAN parties and coworking spaces.

A 1-minute video shows footage from Tron-Like game Project Arena, a new experimental game by CCP, creators of EVE: Valkyrie. The company held a fan event in Iceland to show off a new mode coming to the space fighting game as well as confirmation that it will offer cross-platform multiplayer allowing Rift and Vive owners compete against one another.

An experimental website provides an interactive way to watch artists create artwork within Google’s VR creation software Tilt Brush.

Well-regarded PC builder Falcon Northwest has joined the “Oculus Ready” computer certification program. The company’s PCs have been a common sight at VR related conventions, powering demo stations for Oculus and Epic Games.

A 1-minute video previews virtual “home” software coming later this year that could offer a more customizable default VR environment and an interesting “deck of cards” interface paradigm.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama tried VR in Germany with a custom version of Google Cardboard that enables hand-tracking.  Watch their experience with the device created by Project Tango sensor provider pmdtechnologies.  The company will be sponsoring the TechCrunch New York hackathon May 7-8 and will provide interested teams with their strange Obama-approved device as well as an S7 phone.

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

 
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