philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


The Virtual Reality Company’s New Animated Series Raising a Rukus Gets New Premiere Date and 2D Trailer

rukus-3The Virtual Reality Company‘s original animated virtual-reality series Raising a Rukus is set to premiere at the IMAX VR Centre in Los Angeles on May 19 — and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at a new trailer of the series.

Raising a Rukus follows two siblings and their mischievous dog Rukus as they travel to different worlds and embark on various magical adventures together.

“We’ve all seen animated stories before, but for the first time, we’re actually immersed in this world with the characters,” VRC’s co-founder and chief creative officer Robert Stromberg previously PEOPLE.

Each episode of the show will last 12 minutes and will feature branched narration, allowing viewers to follow the story from the perspective of the brother and sister.

Following the premiere, the experience will continue to rollout throughout the summer on Gear headsets and through special events.

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Amusement Park Pits Guests Against Each Other in Augmented Reality Warfare

The game calls for users to declare allegiance to one of the park's five roller coasters, each personified by an animated avatar. The factions then battle each other through augmented reality mini-games and trivia, which earn points for the alliance and virtual "dominance" of the park. The mini-games are triggered through various visual elements scattered about the park.

"Extended Experiences are the future of entertainment," said Amy Steele, VP of development at Holovis, the game's developer, in a news release. "This is where every element is connected together allowing guests to discover hidden narratives and gamify what are traditionally passive moments.

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Air New Zealand is Trailling AR in-flight

The airline's latest initiative to stay ahead of the curve is giving travellers a sneak peek into the future of inflight service, Robocop style. The airline has been working with information technology service provider Dimension Data on software for Microsoft's augmented reality viewer HoloLens. Unveiled during Techweek NZ, the futuristic headset could support cabin crew as they carry out their inflight duties by aggregating and displaying key customer information directly in front of them.

That means they'll receive data such as a traveller's preferred meal and drink, the time since your last refreshment, onward travel and loyalty membership details. The programme is even sophisticated enough to detect the emotion of the customer by picking up on visual and audio cues.

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Virtual reality pornography could be available in thousands of European hotels room within six months

nintchdbpict000185830544“The EU has always been light years ahead of the US in terms of a more mature and progressive attitude towards sex,” Alvarez said.

“Because of the proliferation of iPads and smartphones, the hotels have taken a major hit on in-room adult movies purchases, which were a massive income stream at one point.

“I believe every male guest will want to try out an adult movie in VR.”

The Sun Online has seen correspondence which shows Alvarez and his associates at other adult companies have begun talks with a firm that provides content to 6,000 hotels across Europe, with the scheme expected to begin in the autumn.

This company, which we have decided not to name, already offers lonely travellers to chance to watch very naughty “adult content”.

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Google Is Building a New Virtual Reality Headset

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 04: A journalist uses Google's Daydream VR headset during an event to introduce Google hardware products on October 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Google unveils new products  including the Google Pixel Phone making a jump into the mobile device market. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 04: A journalist uses Google's Daydream VR headset during an event to introduce Google hardware products on October 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Google unveils new products including the Google Pixel Phone making a jump into the mobile device market. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images)

The search giant said Wednesday that it’s creating a new VR headset that, unlike most of its rivals, does not require a personal computer or a mobile phone to use. Google announced the new VR headset during its annual Google I/O conference for developers in Mountain View, Calif.

Google’s vice president of virtual reality products, Clay Bavor, said that the new yet-unnamed new VR headset would be “easy to use,” in contrast to many VR headsets that take time to set up and must be connected by a wire to a computer.

By building an all-in-one device, Google has configured the headset's underlying technology to solely focus on helping it display compelling virtual reality environments without any trade-offs, he explained.

Google’s current virtual reality headset, the Daydream View, must be connected to an Android-powered smartphone to function and is not capable of fully tracking a person's movements.

Bavor said Google’s new VR headset would be available to the public later in the year.

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Why Google’s CEO Is Excited About Automating Artificial Intelligence

screen-shot-2017-05-17-at-1.57.09-pmAI software that can help make AI software could accelerate progress on making computers smarter.

Deep learning teaches software to be smart by passing data through layers of math loosely inspired by biology and known as artificial neural networks. Choosing the right architecture for a neural network’s web of math is a crucial part of making something that works. But it’s not easy to figure out. “We do it by intuition,” says Quoc Le, a machine-learning researcher at Google working on the AutoML project.

Last month, Le and fellow researcher Barret Zoph presented results from experiments in which they tasked a machine-learning system with figuring out the best architecture to use to have software learn to solve language and image-recognition tasks.

On the image task, their system rivaled the best architectures designed by human experts. On the language task, it beat them.

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Half of SteamVR Tracking Course Attendees Using Tech for Non-gaming

steamvr-tracking-course-2-768x432In August of last year, Valve created the SteamVR licensing program to allow any developer to create their very own SteamVR tracked object. At that time, Valve partnered with Synapse, a Seattle-area product development firm, to provide a mandatory training program for all SteamVR licensees. Road to VR met with Synapse’s electrical engineering program lead and SteamVR Tracking instructor, Doug Bruey, to talk about the tracking system and how it will be used by companies in the future.

From his experience teaching the SteamVR Tracking course, Bruey has an inside view on what companies are doing with the technology and when we might begin to see the fruits of their labor.

We had 15 courses with 149 attendees from 113 different companies.

It was really varied. I would say it’s 50% from gaming, but from the earliest classes we saw people from a variety of different markets. We’ve seen people from the automotive industry, advertising, athletics, gaming, computers, education, hospitals, industrial training and farming. We’ve had a couple different NASA contractors come through who were working on training simulations and setups for astronauts. There’s usually a pretty big part of the class that will be working on gaming and gaming accessories but the other half will come from other markets that you may not have expected.

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Oculus Research Reveals “Groundbreaking” Focal Surface Display

Oculus Research, the VR and AR R&D division of the company, today announced a new display technology that they’re calling the “Focal Surface Display.” The display aims to improve the vergence-accommodation conflict that plagues today’s VR headsets.

Focal surface displays mimic the way our eyes naturally focus at objects of varying depths. Rather than trying to add more and more focus areas to get the same degree of depth, this new approach changes the way light enters the display using spatial light modulators (SLMs) to bend the headset’s focus around 3D objects—increasing depth and maximizing the amount of space represented simultaneously.

All of this adds up to improved image sharpness and a more natural viewing experience in VR.

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VR Society: ‘Art of VR’ to Open at Sotheby’s New York

the_martian_vrThe Advanced Imaging Society’s Virtual Reality Society aims to raise public awareness of virtual reality through "The Art of VR," a two-day festival taking place June 22-23 at Sotheby’s New York. The event will feature speakers, including filmmakers Doug Liman and Maria Bello, as well as virtual reality experiences for applications such as museums, dance, theater, film and travel.

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15-City Virtual Reality Tour Launched To Promote New Alien Movie

Regal Entertainment Group teamed with AMD, Alienware and Fox to provide a VR experience in 15 cities, inviting consumers to immerse themselves in an alien world, of sorts.

The VR demos are timed around the May 19 release of the latest alien movie, ‘Alien: Covenant.’

The VR video, with full audio, was produced and directed by Ridley Scott, the famed Alien franchise director.

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