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VR Digest: Palmer Luckey funded
political meme group

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 87 – September 28, 2016

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

Palmer Luckey Funded Political Meme Group

Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey apologized for “negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners” after a report by The Daily Beast drew connections between him and a political propaganda group which has dedicated itself to disseminating anti-Clinton memes. Luckey said he gave the group $10,000 to pay for a real-world advertisement but denied posting under a pseudonym that would attach his persona as the public face of VR at Facebook to a set of out-of-character statements on reddit. Luckey also claimed to support Gary Johnson, not Donald Trump. CNET this week looked at emails sent between The Daily Beast and Luckey and came to the conclusion “Palmer Luckey lied” either to The Daily Beast or in his apology.

The controversy stirred up a lot of anger in the Oculus developer community, which was reminiscent of the backlash that occurred when Oculus was acquired by Facebook. Luckey’s apology seemed to effectively dampen the furor.

Meanwhile, Oculus Connect 3 kicks off a week from today, bringing with it the promise of Oculus Touch release details. Attendees look forward to the much anticipated stream-of-conciousness presentation that John Carmack can be counted on to deliver, and we hope to hear of progress on inside out tracking for the Gear VR platform.

We will be present at the event and hope to see you there!


Bits:


VR and AR pioneer Mark Bolas is now working with Microsoft Research on an unannounced project. His mixed reality lab at USC developed a cardboard box VR headset long before Google popularized the approach, and, in addition to being one of the world’s foremost experts in mixed reality, he hired Palmer Luckey to work in his lab. Luckey drew on that experience when he went on to co-found Oculus.

Occipital announced a $500 VR Dev Kit for iPhone owners that puts a structured light sensor on an iPhone. Combining the sensor with a Homido phone holder head mount and a wide angle lens that snaps over the iPhone’s camera, the kit promises highly accurate inside out VR tracking and room mapping capabilities.

A 30-second introduction video is probably your best look at the camera glasses from newly rebranded Snap, Inc. The company is diversifying beyond its wildly popular Snapchat social networking app with a foray into consumer electronics. Spectacles will sell for $130 and the included wide angle camera shoots short point-of-view clips you can share on Snapchat or elsewhere. It’s very reminiscent of Google Glass, but with a much lower price point and a highly visible recording indicator. It could be a precursor to more ambitious augmented reality projects from the company.

A video commissioned by Google does a great job showing off the incredible hand-crafted VR scenes it’s possible to create with VR sketching app Tilt Brush.

A Vive user reported losing almost 15 pounds after 50 days of a VR-only exercise program he outlined for himself.

VR toolset maker Unity released deeper integration with Google’s upcoming Daydream platform.

Specular Theory released its app on the Oculus Store, offering a content portal for the startup’s VR video experiences and experiments.

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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