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VR Digest: Unity raises massive investment;
Star Wars Vive experience on Steam

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 77 – July 20, 2016

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

Unity Raises Massive Investment Round

Unity raised an enormous $181 million round of investment, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.5 billion. Unity is positioning itself quite well to become the technology platform that will drive immersive media, with an easy to learn programming interface and a huge head start on creating a community marketplace to help developers bootstrap their projects. As VR and Mixed Reality eat into the territory currently held by apps and websites, Unity may find itself at the center of the next wave in computing.


Official Star Wars Vive Experience Available On Steam

Lucasfilm released Trials on Tatooine on Steam, delivering a short but official Star Wars experience for HTC Vive owners. It also revealed that there is a longer “non-experimental” VR story in the works that will be rendered in real-time and available in perhaps one to two years.

Batman Begins writer David Goyer is leading the project and posed a rhetorical question to the audience during a panel at The Star Wars Celebration in London:

“So we’ve got the entire Star Wars universe at our disposal. What planet do we want to be on, what location, what character is so iconic that we need to know more about this character?”

He answered his own question with this trailer.


Bits

Digital Domain announced a new VR camera called “Zeus”. The camera is capable of recording at 8K resolution with 10 bit color at 75 frames per second, all very high specs in the world of 360-degree camera equipment. The company also announced a partnership with Dreamworks to develop VR content with characters from Kung Fu Panda and Shrek.

The SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference is next week in Anaheim, California. A number of VR projects will be on display, and we’ll cover those for you in our next issue.

Microsoft Research showcased the latest tests from its performance capture research project in a 5-minute video. This version can run in real time.

The creators of Job Simulator, Texas-based Owlchemy Labs, are making an official game based on the popular cartoon Rick & Morty.

Updates this week to the Oculus platform software included support for more than two tracking cameras. A video shows a 3 camera test using the Rift and Touch controllers in SteamVR. This should allow for better coverage when the user turns away from the computer, enabling the Oculus to match the Vive’s tracking capabilities.

A cute trailer for a game concept called Anyland shows a number of ways to make things in VR. The game is a “sibling to Manyland”.

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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