philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology

24Jul/16Off

THE MOST EXPENSIVE VR EXPERIMENT YOU’LL SEE ALL WEEK

hapticvive-combo-shot_featuredThere isn’t a lot of detail to be found behind this short demo of robot-based physical feedback for VR, but the video (embedded below) demonstrates things well. It’s an experiment in generating force feedback for virtual objects using a Baxter robot and the HTC Vive. When the user presses against a wooden block in VR, the robot presses back which simulates the mass of the virtual object. Force feedback is one of these areas in which research is ongoing, and in a variety of different directions.

Like so many other things in life, nothing beats the real thing for actual physical feedback. Also, there’s something great about giving a $25,000 robot the job of impersonating a few simple wooden blocks in VR, just so you can strap on a VR rig and basically give a robot a realistic-feeling fist bump.

 

See the full story with video here: http://hackaday.com/2016/07/24/the-most-expensive-vr-experiment-youll-see-all-week/

23Jul/16Off

Tech investors are betting big on alternate realities (graph)

20160721_av_vr_fundingSee the full story here: http://www.businessinsider.com/vc-investment-virtual-augmented-reality-2016-7?r=UK&IR=T

23Jul/16Off

Legend VR creates virtual reality episodes for Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders

cosmiccrusadersp*750xx640-360-0-0Virtual reality company Legend VR has partnered with Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment to create virtual reality episodes for the new adult animated series “Stan Lee’s Cosmic Crusaders” and is expanding its virtual reality division.

The company also said it has promoted the series’ VR producer Will Maurer to vice president of business development for its standalone VR and VFX divisions.

The series is the first show to debut on THR.com, the website of industry newspaper The Hollywood Reporter, and the first four episodes will air exclusively on THR.com leading up to Comic-Con International 2016 in San Diego this week. The VR episodes will premiere on the Hindsight VR app.

Legend VR said Maurer’s promotion “underscores the company’s commitment to expanding Legend VR," its freestanding virtual reality division that helps studios, documentary filmmakers and others create interactive content. Its clients have included Lionsgate, Warner Brothers, Apple Music, Annapurna Pictures, Hulu, and Tidal.

See the full story here: http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2016/07/21/legend-vr-creates-virtual-reality-episodes-for.html

21Jul/16Off

Augmented reality WW1 art exhibition opens in Greenwich

640_Black-PoppyRaven is the first oil painter to work in the exciting world of augmented reality, teaming up with industry leading application Blippar to unveil the process of creating her multi-layered oil paintings.

“My paintings have always had layers,” said Raven. “But no one has seen them until now.”

While creating her pieces, Raven set up cameras to capture the journey, with each picture having up to 10,000 photographs depicting its growth.

Within the exhibition, the individual layers, hidden from the final picture, are brought back to life using the Blippar app. Black crows swarm the scene before disappearing in a wave of darkness and sunny skies give way to grey clouds and transform into stunning sunsets. Beneath the ground, under the beauty of the sunflowers, poppies and bluebells lay many a lost life, and broken heart.

See the full story here: http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2016/jul/augmented-reality-exhibition.cfm

21Jul/16Off

The Hubble Cantata (live AR concert)

image-3You'll be able to see the stars—light pollution be damned—at Prospect Park on Saturday, August 6th. That's when The Hubble Cantata, a virtual reality film paired with live music, debuts as part of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. For the music, a 30-piece ensemble and a 100-person choir (as well as Met soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Nathan Gunn) perform composer Paola Prestini's music with words by librettist Royce Vavrek. For the visuals, directed by filmmaker Eliza McNitt, all 6,000 attendees will be given a cardboard VR headset, which they can use with their phones, to take an immersive look at the Hubble Telescope's images of the Orion Nebula. It'll be the first event to combine a VR space show and a live-music experience for free, organizers say.

Full story - http://www.timeout.com/newyork/blog/first-ever-virtual-reality-concert-coming-to-prospect-park-072016

21Jul/16Off

(New Zealand ratings board) The Classification Office meets virtual reality: what are the ramifications of VR technology?

While we've had a go on VR, we haven't actually examined a game yet. When examining a game, our Classification Officers will need to consider the classification criteria, including whether the game has content like sex, violence, or offensive language. Another thing to consider is the impact of the medium — in other words, is the format of the game likely to have an impact on its audience? Will this lead to a different classification?

So will VR significantly affect classifications? Would the same content played traditionally get a lower classification? It's impossible to know right now, but it's likely we'll have some idea in the coming months. In the meantime we're keeping up with VR developments.

See the full article here: http://www.classificationoffice.govt.nz/blog/blog-virtual-reality.html

21Jul/16Off

Online Fiction Becomes Chinese Cultural Force

BN-PA014_CCIRCU_P_20160720151235"Some 43% of China’s online population, or 297 million people, read novels online in 2015, according to a government report.... online literature has blossomed in China because it addressed demand for topics that traditional Chinese book publishers had largely ignored: home-grown science fiction, romance, fantasy and erotica."

Read the full story here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/online-fiction-becomes-chinese-cultural-force-1469035251

20Jul/16Off

Augmented reality technology helps soldiers navigate through danger

rtn_322007Bigham said that “mixed reality” technology, similar to what drives Pokémon GO, allows military forces to traverse dangerous terrain and unfamiliar territory like it was their own backyard. A GPS-enabled app that combines latitude and longitude coordinates with points of interest could help soldiers find food, water, gas, ammunition, Wi-Fi hotspots and even potential IED locations. Using a variety of geographical databases would help highlight everything from the highest rated places to eat and sleep to the hideouts of bad guys.

“Using facial recognition technology, you could point your phone’s camera at a crowd, tap into a biometric database and then a little bubble could pop up alerting the user if the person standing next to them is on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list,” Bigham said.

See the full story here: http://www.raytheon.com/news/feature/augmented_reality_app.html

20Jul/16Off

Augmented Reality Navigation Surgery Facilitates Laparoscopic Rescue of Failed Portal Vein Embolization

Despite the complexity of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) of the liver, no system in clinical practice today enhances the digitalized laparoscopic view to facilitate the surgery  1. Further, all robotic surgery currently in use facilitate MIS by providing “tele-manipulation” (the surgeons performs the surgery remote from the patient), without the creation of an automatically enhanced interface (augmented reality, AR) between the patient and the operating surgeon.  2 AR, however, could help to overcome the difficulties of laparoscopic surgery in general and advanced laparoscopic liver surgery specifically: loss of depth perception, decreased spatial understanding and tactile feedback in the three dimensional space of the liver, and complicated 3D anatomy without significant outward landmarks.

See the original post here: http://www.journalacs.org/article/S1072-7515(16)30681-0/abstract

20Jul/16Off

HelloVR Is Creating A 10,000 Square Mile Virtual Reality World

metaworld-e1468969716348Redwood City-based AltspaceVR on the other hand is putting a bigger emphasis on social experiences, and has done comedy nights and concerts in virtual reality, complete with avatars cheering stars like Reggie Watts.

Still, virtual worlds like MetaWorld are fascinating, if only for the fact that they give people a much more natural way to interact with each other over large distances without the frequent awkwardness of a video call. And as VR matures, one can expect these types of worlds to host all kinds of entertainment experiences, from concerts to meet and greets with Hollywood stars and bands alike.

One of the perks of working for San Francisco-based virtual reality(VR) startup HelloVR is a 24-hour campfire — a digital campfire, to be precise. It’s part of MetaWorld, the virtual world that HelloVR has been building over the past several months.

MetaWorld consists of 10,000 square miles of virtual environment, complete with meadows, trees, mountains, lakes, and yes, campfires, that will be made available to early adopters through a “Pioneer Edition” program for high-end VR headsets like the HTC Vive later this year.

See the full story here: http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/hellovr-is-creating-a-10000-square-mile-virtual-reality-world-1201817792/