philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Steam VR “Knuckles” controller has a lot of capacitive sensors

943495896_preview__cap_sense_1.1 943495896_preview__cap_sense_2The “Knuckles”, Valve’s nickname for the next gen Steam VR controller, does this by having nearly a dozen capacitive sensors in it.

...And while Knuckles still has a stick yo need to grasp, it also comes with a strap that slides over your knuckles, hence the name. This will help give users the confidence to let go of the controller when needed or grasp it with individual fingers, and you’ll probably be doing a lot of that with this controller.

The controller has at least eight capacitive sensors marked in a newly revealed documentation for the device. Each of the top four interaction points, namely, the trackpad, inner face button, outer face button, and system button, are capacitive. The trigger underneath is also capacitive. This allows the system to detect not just actual presses but also whether a finger is simply resting on the surface or even how hard the user is pressing.

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Mysterious Augmented Reality Game Silent Streets Hits Mobile

silent-streetsSilent Streets is an interactive detective mystery that combines RPG elements like side quests, character ranks and reputations with a choose-your-own-adventure mechanic.

Your mission involves interrogating murder suspects with the ultimate goal of locating a missing girl named Viola. Thanks to its monochromatic palette, Silent Streets evokes the mood of a bygone Victorian era, which is truly at fascinating odds with its augmented reality enabled gameplay. And if you haven’t got yourself a fitbit yet, there’s no need; Silent Streets comes with an in-built pedometer that tracks your movement as you meander around the real world.

Interested players can download Streets Episode 1, The Boy with the Flower Skin is out now for iOS and Android devices.

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Google is trying to get people into virtual reality by chopping it in half

camera-sectionThis makes it far easier to produce: Most normal videos could also be shot in VR180, using forthcoming camera built from companies including Lenovo, LG, and Yi are also working with Google that are slated to launch this winter.

The aim is that producers who might be intimidated or unwilling to produce proper 360-degree VR footage will be prepared to experiment with VR180.

For all the buzz, big companies aren't going to throw everything they have at VR until more ordinary people use it. But consumers are unlikely to adopt it at scale until more compelling media is available and it's easier and more accessible.

VR180 is an attempt to start to solve that impasse.

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VR Playhouse Launches Virtual Reality Training Program

The program called VR Playhouse School offers three courses that meet for three hours weekly for the duration of six weeks. Other offerings include a “360 Video Boot Camp” weekend, as well as a “360 Audio for VR” day.

Chief Executive Christina Heller said she came up with the idea for the school when people kept approaching her after conferences, asking her where they could learn about producing VR.

Classes, which will be taught by various members of the VR Playhouse team, are set to begin on July 10 at the company’s Glassell Park studio. Prices range from $275 for the daylong course to $2,000 for the six-week course.

Heller said she has geared the 10-person courses towards industry professionals in the industry who are looking to learn about VR. She hopes to eventually offer courses online.

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Intel Signs On As An Olympic Sponsor, Promising Virtual Reality And 360-Degree Video

The company says it will bring its technical prowess to the upcoming Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Some highlights:

    • Intel will offer "the first live virtual reality broadcast of the Olympic Winter Games" to immerse fans in the action.
    • 360-degree replay technology will let viewers isolate moments and watch them "from every angle at the Olympic venues."
    • Drones will put on a light show that "will create never-seen-before images in the sky."

5 Virtual Reality Travel Experiences That Are Almost as Good as the Real Thing

Once complicated and prohibitively expensive, VR hardware is now widely available from companies such as Google, Samsung, HTC, and Oculus VR—meaning immersive, cutting-edge technology that instantly plunks you into an ultra-realistic, three-dimensional world of far-flung, exotic locales is now more accessible than ever. Along with the headset, a phone and a few apps are all you need to enjoy the best of this trend, which allows you to intimately explore the minute details of a series of destinations or go on a previously off-limits adventure. Here are five VR experiences, currently available, that we're most excited about.

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The Crazy VR Goggles in HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Are Not a Prop but a Real Prototype

silicon-valley-vr-headset-avegant-glyph-6 silicon-valley-vr-headset-avegant-glyph-2And while the prototype Glyph is not technically a VR headset—as the limited field of view makes it suitable only for non-immersive media—Avegant has lately shifted their focus to the immersive HMD space, and is presently developing “a new method to create light fields” for future headsets.

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Al Jazeera Debuts First VR Documentary ‘I Am Rohingya’

BTS_03-1140x855Al Jazeera’s Contrast VR is doing just that with the release of I Am Rohingya.Jamalida’s love for dancing, passion for life, and inspiring resilience in the face of unthinkable adversity is the focus of the studio’s first virtual reality documentary. Directed and produced by Contrast VR’s Zahra Rasool and co-produced by renowned filmmaker and journalist Aela Callan, the documentary uses a mix of captivating immersive content with journalistic style storytelling to bring Jamalida’s story to life.

The documentary takes viewers on a journey through the refugee camp and into Jamalida’s small living space. Along with live footage from the Kutupalong camp, the film features animated flashbacks artfully woven into the narrative as Jamalida recounts her harrowing escape out of Myanmar. Though Jamalida—a mother to two young boys—finds small moments of joy while dancing at weddings and local celebrations, she does not sugar coat the reality of life at Kutupalong.

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Brooklyn – How Virtual Reality Is Redefining Storytelling at A/D/O

ADO_Exterior_DayIn the latest juxtaposition of VR and design, Brooklyn creative space A/D/O today announced that New Reality Co. will serve as its second artist-in-residence.

"Our goal is to inspire positive change through interdisciplinary and multisensory artistry," said Zec in a statement. "This residency will provide us with a vibrant and communal workspace, a home for Giant and Tree, and a network of artists and potential collaborators who understand and appreciate shared human experience." New Reality Co. plans to unveil Breathe in September of this year. We're waiting with bated breath.

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Pioneering a new dimension in virtual reality: The nanoscale

nanome-virtual-reality-ucsdNanome was co-founded by 2015 graduate Steven McCloskey, part of the first class to earn a degree in nanoengineering. Together with fellow 2016 management science graduate Keita Funakawa, he seized upon the idea to use virtual reality to help people grasp difficult engineering and math concepts.

The company, which has completed its first round of seed funding, is focused on building applications for drug manufacturers that will enable them to see in fine detail the surfaces of the molecules they are constructing.

Nanome incorporates detailed molecular information from scientific databases to build three-dimensional models of nanoscale materials so researchers can visualize the molecules and simulate how they will interact with target cells.

The information can help manufacturers work more quickly and with greater precision.

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