philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


CTO on Future of the StarVR Headset: Roomscale Tracking, Input, Eye-tracking, and More

ManuHeadshot-325x202Marquez also reaffirmed plans for integrated eye-tracking in StarVR to allow the headset to automatically detect and set IPD (hardware and software adjustment) and support foveated rendering.

Marquez also elaborated on the positioning of the StarVR headset, saying that “for the moment we play pretty firmly in the location-based and enterprise market,” adding that the company has no plans at this time to make StarVR into a consumer headset.


What Do UK Internet Users Want from Virtual Reality? (market research data)

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AppliedVR Brings Therapeutic Virtual Reality Content To Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

AppliedVR, an industry leader in improving the healthcare experience with scalable therapeutic virtual reality (VR) content, today announced its partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a leader in providing high-quality healthcare, to introduce the technology in its Spine Center, Department of Surgery and Orthopaedic Center.

AppliedVR helps healthcare patients throughout their journey by developing and acquiring validated therapeutic VR content and making it easily accessible. The company's main products were developed in partnership with Cedars-Sinai. The first product suite, Pain RelieVR, offers highly immersive VR games that divert the patient's focus away from the procedure or recovery process. The first product, Guided Relaxation, in the Anxiety RelieVR suite, was developed with psychologists and leading academics, and is used to help transport a patient using VR from the medical environment, to a peaceful scenic place, to relax and learn mindfulness and acceptance-based techniques, and manage stress and anxiety.

"VR is entering an 'age of utilization' in healthcare, with hospitals and surgery centers seeking new ways to increase patient satisfaction, better manage pain, and reduce hospital stays.

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Research Suggests Students Learn More When Working Together in Virtual Reality Games

In the research project led by Ph.D. candidate Gabriel Culbertson, 48 students were recruited to play two versions of the game. In one group, students were connected via a chat interface with another player who could, if they wanted, offer advice on how to play. The second group played a version of the game in which they were definitely required to collaborate on quests.

The research group found the students in the second so-called “high-interdependence” group spent more time communicating and, as a consequence, learned more words.

The research then expanded to a larger group of 186 Reddit users who were learning Japanese. After reviewing gameplay logs, interviews and Reddit posts, they found that those who spent the most time engaged in the game learned more new words and phrases.

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Screen-Shot-2016-06-20-at-3.47.47-PMHere They Lie begs the player to feel a looming sense of dread from the off-kilter game and its world’s malevolent inhabitants, rather than relying on unabashed, cheap scares. It’ll probably be hellish to experience in VR, but if our own nightmares are anything to go by, it’ll be possible to withstand. It’ll just take a helluva a lot of courage to do so.

Experience the surreal horrors of Here They Lie when it’s out for PS4 and PSVR in Fall 2016.

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New tool for virtual and augmented reality uses ‘deep learning’

A new system, DeepHand, uses a “convolutional neural network” that mimics the human brain and is capable of “deep learning” to understand the hand’s nearly endless complexity of joint angles and contortions.

“We figure out where your hands are and where your fingers are and all the motions of the hands and fingers in real time,” Ramani said.

A research paper about DeepHand will be presented during CVPR 2016, a computer vision conference in Las Vegas from Sunday (June 26 )to July 1 (

DeepHand uses a depth-sensing camera to capture the user’s hand, and specialized algorithms then interpret hand motions. (A YouTube video is available at

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World’s first digitally playable book with Augmented Reality and 3D animation released

playablebook-inA Danish company has released the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Little Mermaid – A Magical Augmented Reality Book, where a 3D animated game universe pops out of the book’s pages when explored with a mobile device.

Many book industry experts insist that the technology is poised to define an new genre in publishing.

Books & Magic (Copenhagen, Denmark), a team primarily consisting of fathers, launched The Little Mermaid as a new children’s book genre that merges digital gaming and linear storytelling from a physical book. The book looks like any other book except it’s digitally interactive.

The colour images can be recognized by the app, which opens a three-dimensional window to the book’s universe, so the characters seem to “come alive.” Also, if the child listens to the details of the text, it’s easier to solve the puzzles in the digital universe.

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Facebook Users Can Now Use Reactions In Virtual Reality For 360-Degree Videos

https-blueprint-api-production-s3-amazonaws-com-uploads-card-image-124772-fbvr22222-jpgOculus announced on Wednesday the launch of Facebook Reactions for 360-degree videos on its platform for those who use a Samsung Gear VR headset to view posts on the social network.

The feature allows the Gear VR wearer to "like" or react to the video using Facebook's six emojis that include: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

Adding the ability to use Reactions when viewing Facebook 360-degrees provides a way for Gear VR users to comment to video posts since no typing is involved when in virtual reality.

To react to a post, the Gear VR viewer simply has to look at the Like button for a few seconds for the Reaction list to pop up, similarly to how web users hover with their mouse to enable this feature for the web.

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#CannesYouFeelIt – Wired Co-Founder Kevin Kelly On The ‘Inevitability’ Of Virtual Reality

Talking about the immersive nature of VR and the need to understand ‘presence’, a term used by enthusiasts to describe the sensation of really being somewhere else, Kelly said that “vision alone is no longer enough”, and that tactile response were 50% of the experience.

Finally he suggested that the commercial benefits and interests associated with VR were huge, and that the companies running the VR platforms would become the biggest in the world thanks to the huge amount of data they will be able to collect.

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FCC chairman visits Stanford for virtual reality lesson

Bailenson favors a scenario where users download 3-D content of an environment to a local computer, and the only data sent over the internet is the tracking information of the user’s body actions – where you look, what your hands touch, where your feet walk. Sending small packets of tracking data would lessen the burden on the network and also allow for faster, smoother response times, improving the immersive feeling of the experience.

Another area of concern for Wheeler was privacy, from both user-to-user and user-to-business perspectives. Virtual reality can provide the illusion of privacy, Bailenson said, but sophisticated users – or computers – can actually infer a lot of personal details from data collected in virtual spaces.

“Virtual reality technology is becoming incredibly immersive, to the point where we’ve shown that your brain processes it in much the same way it does real-life experiences,” Bailenson said. “We absolutely need to consider how this medium will affect people.”

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