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Stepping into Technicolor: This Week’s VR/AR News

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Speak, Memory: What Are the Implications of Conversational VR?
TVREV — Cortney Harding

A VR interview experience and the underlying technology offered a fascinating glimpse into what could come next — there are amazing immersion and education possibilities, but the future is also rife with ethical implications.

Houzz Has a New AR Mode That Lets You Try Furniture Before You Buy
The Verge — Lauren Goode

Houzz, the home decor company that combines professional renovation services, design ideas, and furniture shopping into one app, just rolled out an update to its iOS app that includes 3D imaging features. That means that users can now place a virtual furniture item or accessory in a room and get a sense of how well it will fit or look in the space before buying.

This Pokemon Go-Style App Lets You Find Virtual Statues of Historic Women
Digital Trends — Hillary Grigonis

Communications firm Y&R New York announced The Whole Story Project, an augmented reality app aiming to bridge the gender gap with virtual statues in select cities. Think Pokémon Go, but instead of catching Pikachu, you’re viewing Amelia Earhart and Elizabeth Cady Stanton statues guided by a map.

Nickelodeon Launches Tech R&D-Focused Entertainment Lab
Deadline — Denise Petski

The Nickelodeon Entertainment Lab will spearhead long-range research and development efforts around new technologies for Nick and its audience, including real-time rendering, virtual cinema, virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality and artificial intelligence. The lab will focus on building prototypes to test new ideas, collaborating on innovation with creators, and shaping strategy around production capabilities to fuel future content opportunities.

The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training
Pew Research Center — Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson

Online course options are cost-effective, evolving for the better, and game-changing because they are globally accessible. Those with the most optimism expect great progress will be made in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and AI. While some say 2026 will still be “early days” for this tech, many are excited about its prospects for enhancing learning in the next decade.

GOP and Democratic House Members Form ‘Reality Caucus’
Variety — Ted Johnson

A group of Capitol Hill lawmakers have formed what has been dubbed the “Reality Caucus” — a group focused on virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies. “These technologies have shown tremendous potential for innovation in the fields of entertainment, education, and healthcare. As these technologies develop, questions will inevitably rise in privacy, intellectual property, and other areas.”

Why VR Experiences Have the Power to Change Consumer Behaviour
Campaign — Matt Chokshi

We know VR can work. According to Touchstone Research, it has the potential to be incredibly shareable: 79% of consumers will seek additional VR experiences and 81% tell their friends about it. And it is more memorable and long-lasting when compared to more transient experiences of advertising.

How Sports Illustrated Made The First Live-Action VR Film On Everest
Fast Company — Daniel Terdiman

Today, Sports Illustrated adds a new, more visceral entrant to the Everest VR canon. With Capturing Everest, which it is promoting as the first-ever live-action virtual reality film of an Everest summit attempt, viewers are invited along on the successful 2016 climb by Brent Bishop, Lisa Thompson, and Jeff Glasbrenner.

PGA Tour Will Livestream a Single Iconic Hole in VR
Engadget — David Lumb

Fans with Samsung Gear VR headsets can view the pure immersive experience using the PGA Tour VR Live app. The device-less masses can tune in on Twitter and Periscope, which will both stream the same 17th-hole vantage in 360 video. Three VR camera positions will capture the whole round: One at the 17th tee, one on the walkway to the green and one in the water next to the island.

Microsoft is Building an Augmented Reality Viewer Directly into Windows 10
The Verge — Tom Warren

Microsoft is planning to bring a View Mixed Reality feature to Windows 10 later this year. It’s designed to let Windows 10 users augment 3D objects, created in 3D Paint, into the real world by using any laptop with a webcam. During a demonstration at Microsoft’s New York City event this morning, the company showed off how objects can be displayed on a tablet using augmented reality.

Fox Continues To Explore VR’s Selling Power With “Alien: Covenant In Utero”
Fast Company — Neal Ungerleider

Fox and director Ridley Scott are increasingly dipping their toes into virtual reality—and that’s good news for science fiction and horror fans. Fox is launching a new virtual reality experience for Oculus Rift called Alien: Covenant In Utero that lets users see the world through the eyes of a newly hatched neomorph alien.

Exclusive: Glass Animals Talks to VR & FUN about Music and Virtual Reality
VR and Fun — SJ Kim

Hearing famous artists talk about how VR is going to change the landscape of music is quite interesting. Technologies such as virtual reality have the disruptive power to influence different industries. Trend setters such as Glass Animals have recognized that VR is shifting the ability of storytelling and music as a whole.

AOL Launches RYOT Labs for Branded AR and VR Content, Debuts Sports Illustrated AR Experience
Variety — Janko Roettgers

RYOT has been quietly experimenting with this technology with Elle and Cosmopolitan, and is now officially bringing it to Sports Illustrated, with the goal to eventually enhance other Time Inc. titles with augmented reality as well. RYOT will continue to produce virtual reality content as well, the AOL subsidiary currently produces two shows for Hulu’s VR app, and is set to announce a new VR production at the Cannes festival next week

Bungee Jump Off the Space Needle in ExpediaLabs’ First Virtual Reality Release
GeekWire — Kurt Schlosser

Users can tour the iconic 605-foot structure and ride an elevator to the top — pretty standard fare for any tourist visiting the Emerald City. But access to the roof is where things turn into more than just sightseeing, as the option to bungee jump from a platform is included in the tour.

Why This Futuristic Tech Will Be The Future of Computing
TIME — Tim Bajarin

This kind of voice-activated innovation will continue to be important. But I believe a different technology will be even more significant: Augmented reality. For AR to become truly useful, somebody will have to make a platform for it that could host a variety of apps and services. It’s most likely this platform will exist first on smartphones, then, years later, extend to some type of glasses or goggles.

Annual Effies Survey: Augmented And Virtual Reality Hot, But ROI Remains Elusive
Forbes — Jennifer Rooney

Augmented and virtual reality are no longer fantasy for marketers. In fact, nearly half of respondents to this year’s survey of North American Effie Awards Final Round judges identified AR and VR, as they’re known, as the future-forward technologies that will capture the most time, attention and dollars from advertisers in the year ahead. Close behind are artificial intelligence, chatbots and machine learning.

New York Times’ Tomich Puts Newsroom In Brand Content Driving Seat
Huffington Post — Andy Plesser

At this year’s NewFronts, Tomich pitched advertisers with a palette including VR, AR, audio and video, observing: “Brands are saying, ‘We want to go bigger with fewer, we want never-been-done-before creative ideas that may take shape in a media program but could also take shape in producing a VR film or hosting an event’.

Silicon Valley Finally Went in on Tech’s ‘New’ Obsession — Virtual Reality
Polygon — Julia Alexander

Silicon Valley has always been apt at spotting the latest trends in the tech world and satirizing them, but the show finally took on one of the hotter trends over the past few years: Virtual reality.

Tencent Poised to Launch Virtual Reality Headset
Financial Times — Tim Bradshaw

Although virtual reality has been slower to take off than some backers such as Facebook had hoped, Chinese consumers have taken to the technology more eagerly than in other parts of the world. China accounted for a third of VR headset sales last year. Asia will be the largest market for such headsets by revenue by 2021, with a 45 per cent global share.

Best Part of Facebook’s New Social Virtual Reality is When You Talk to The Real World
USA Today — Edward C. Baig

Facebook Spaces’ aim is to let you and up to three of your distant Facebook friends hang out in the same virtual environment, such as in the lovely park by a lake where I landed, actually a static 360 image. When you or the other person speaks, the avatar’s mouths move more or less in kind. If you smile, the avatar may also smile. You can move around each other by moving around your real space

Unity CEO: VR Will Get Huge, But Devs Need to Survive and Avoid Hype Until it Does
Road to VR — Ben Lang

The VR industry is still in its infancy and still seeking a firm footing that will truly form an ecosystem: a self-sustaining web of hardware builders, software developers, and consumer demand. The Unity game engine currently sits at the forefront of VR and AR hardware support, used by two-thirds of AR and VR apps.

Facebook’s AR Studio Blows the Market Wide Open
VentureBeat — Andrew Kemendo

No single AR platform has captured a significant portion of the market and stayed independent. Facebook announced a vertically integrated AR development and distribution platform at Facebook scale that hopes to deliver on that promise.

How Augmented Reality Will Augment Your Revenue
Forbes — Karina Welch,
4/28/17

2017 will be the year advertisers begin to truly understand the capabilities of AR technology, and the plethora of opportunities it presents for your brand. The key to effectively executing an augmented reality campaign relies on perfecting the balance between a virtual and physical experience – convenient and immersive, yet personal and memorable.

Google’s Virtual Reality Art Gallery
Business Insider — Robert Elder and Kevin Gallagher

Google-owned Tilt Brush, a platform for artists to digitally sketch and create 3D content in a virtual reality environment, is launching its first art gallery that allows users to browse and share each other’s 3D content.

These Are the Companies Investing Most Aggressively in AR and VR
Recode — Rani Molla

Worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market are projected to approach $14 billion in 2017, according to IDC, the market research firm. But that’s forecast to explode to $143 billion by 2020. Also, in the past two years, the number of augmented and virtual reality jobs posted on LinkedIn has tripled.

Google Launches a Virtual Reality Artwork Gallery on the Web
TechCrunch — Lucas Matney

The Tilt Brush app is a bit of a “Microsoft Paint” for the VR world. Starting today, you’ll be able to peer into the 3D virtual reality canvases of other Tilt Brush users on the web while also gaining the ability to share your own work online. With this update, people that don’t own VR headsets can gain access to checking out 3D art and creations built by VR artists.

Digital Video Stealing Ad Dollars From Linear TV
CableFax — Alex Silverman

The study calls 2017 “the year of VR,” but you be the judge of these numbers. While the majority of respondents (68%) have watched a VR video at least once, less than a third of consumers (31%) expect to watch more VR videos this year than last year. Advertisers are showing some interest, with 70% saying they believe there is “a place for VR in the digital video marketplace,” and more than half (55%) saying they are currently purchasing VR and plan to continue in the next year.

How Virtual Reality at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival Is Changing Hollywood
Inc.– Emily Canal

Through Tribeca Immersive’s Storyscapes and Virtual Arcade — two programs that highlight the intersection of film and technology — traditional filmmakers used new methods like 360-degree cameras and virtual reality devices to bring audiences deep into new narrative worlds.

The VR for Change Summit Shines a Spotlight on Impactful Virtual Reality Projects
Mashable — Kellen Beck

The Games for Change Festival is happening July 31 to Aug. 2 at the New School in New York City and will host the VR for Change Summit, focusing entirely on virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality projects. Erik Martin, former policy adviser at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is curating the Summit.

Global Virtual Reality Market: Industry Volume, Revenue, Product Price, Top Players, Market Share and Growth Rate
OpenPR

It is anticipated that the global virtual reality market will increase by 8 times by 2020, from its current market size. The application segment is expected to lead the market over the hardware segment and HTC is currently positioned to be the leader in VR.

Warner Bros. Chief Digital Officer: VR and AR Have Huge Potential
Variety — Janko Roettgers

Warner Bros. announced a partnership with Imax last month to co-finance three VR experiences for movies including “Justice League” and “Aquaman.” Gewecke said that the full release plans for these titles hadn’t been released, but hinted at the possibility to bring them both to Imax VR centers as well as to consumers who have purchased their own VR headsets.

Gen Z is a Big Market Waiting To Be Tapped By the Right Marketing Strategies.
Boss Magazine — Laura Close

Gen Z’s biggest focus is technology, with many teens putting tech in the same category as commodities like air and water. If you thought millennials were connected, Gen Z is even more so. Hollywood is tapping into GenZ with social media, going live on Facebook and Twitter, supporting social good causes, and including VR.

Virtual Reality, Apps Add Interactivity to Music Videos
Fox Business — Kristin M. Hall

More musicians are using new technology, including 360-degree cameras, virtual reality musical experiences and vertical videos, to reach the smartphone generation of music fans who are discovering new music on their phones and tablets. Pop singer Ingrid Michaelson made a music video using only Snapchat filters and the electronic band Gorillaz released a six-minute VR music video that was the most successful VR video debut on YouTube with over 3 million views in 48 hours.


Each week, we bring you the most relevant stories covering the business of virtual and augmented reality, which we produce with our partner Vertebrae, the native ad platform for VR/AR.