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VR Digest:  WEVR offers grants;
Magic Leap's VR health claims
checked by Washington Post

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

We hope to see you at VRLA this Sunday. We'll be demonstrating our airshow experience, Rapid Fire: a brief history of flight.

Our cofounder John will also be speaking at the Epic Games panel, The GDC VR Postmortem: Challenges and Opportunities. The panel is slated to start at 5:20 PM.

If you're at the event, come by and say hi in person. We'd love to meet you or see you again. 

Best,

Aaron, John, Ian, and Elissa
at Studio Transcendent

Developers rallying for new VR experiences

Meetups are coming, hackathons are planned, and cold hard cash is being offered to developers in a big push for new virtual reality experiences as consumer products come into view.

WEVR announced a $1 million grant program for VR developers, joining Oculus and Epic in offering cash for cool VR projects. The Epic fund is $5 million, while Oculus is offering $1 million in prizes as part of its Mobile VR Jam.

The Los Angeles area VR meetup has grown so large that a group from Silicon Valley is chartering a bus to attend on March 22. Both Valve’s Vive (courtesy of WEVR) and Sony’s Morpheus are expected to be there. If you happen to be in Southern California, OCVR is holding a hackathon on April 11 for mobile VR development to get people ready for the VR Jam.

And a friendly reminder to VR enthusiasts after a number of people, us included, fell ill after the Game Developers Conference: sanitize your gear. CVS sells “Alcohol Prep Swabs” which work well, and John’s hack is to put some coffee filters in a plastic baggy and pour in some 70% isopropyl alcohol.

 

HMD health concerns: don’t panic

Recently we covered a Q&A session on Reddit with Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap’s CEO, in which he offered little information about the company while simultaneously raising health concerns about Oculus-style virtual reality. When the Washington Post followed up, Magic Leap provided a research paper. However, an author of that paper tells the Post that “there’s no real smoking gun here...But people are making these rather brash statements about potential health concerns and stuff as if there’s a smoking gun. I don’t see it.”

 

Bits

“Thousands of families across Australia are missing out on precious moments everyday, and it’s taking its toll,” suggests a promotional video for the Gear VR from Samsung in the land down under. It depicts a father using VR to witness the birth of his child.

Geoff Keighly posted an hour-long interview with Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson of Valve about VR, Steam Boxes, and Source 2. “What we’re really betting on is making sure that we don’t end up stuck with dependencies that keep us from providing good customer solutions.”

Nonny de la Peña is showing off a new VR journalism experience built around what happened between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The experience uses 911 calls to reconstruct the events of that evening and Upload VR has an account.

Raffaele Picca has released a quick experience called Deep Echo, which is intended to become a full game. For now, it is an extremely atmospheric submarine ride through some beautiful ocean depths.

The Kickstarter for the Apollo 11 educational VR experience was successfully funded.

Some of the first people heading out to see “Insurgent” in IMAX 3D will be getting a free Google Cardboard to view a VR experience from Lionsgate, Kite & Lightning and Reel FX inspired by the movie.

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