philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Marvel is getting its own virtual reality game and it’s called Powers United VR

Disney’s D23 Expo covers all aspects of its entertainment empire, and today the studio revealed that virtual reality is coming to the Marvel universe. Marvel Powers United VR is being made by Oculus and Sanzaru Games, and will let players step into the shoes of characters like The Hulk, Captain Marvel, or Rocket Raccoon.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the game will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift headset and Touch controllers. One of the big selling points is that it’s actually going to be a co-op experience. Multiple players can team up, each taking on the role of a different Marvel character, to play together in joint missions.

See the full story here:


The Beauty Of Virtual Reality

virtual-reality[PhilNote: these are the main bullets from the story about the meditative and psychological value of VR.]

I find virtual reality to be a great tool to get in touch with one’s self.

In the virtual world, you are anonymous

When you begin to play any game, you jump into another universe and forget about your daily routine in everyday, physical life

Anonymity can give you a renewed sense of power

The bliss of the game—and enjoying yourself for the sake of experiencing a pleasing experience

In the virtual space, there are no resentments or doubts

Playing in the virtual world lets the mind and body connect with new potential

See the full story here:


Emmys: Nominations Reflect Virtual Reality Growth

missioniss_screenshots-01_-_h_2017This year also marked the first nomination for a Facebook Live broadcast as well as the first original Snapchat show.

A trio of VR projects on Thursday were nominated for outstanding original interactive program: Mission: ISS, a virtual visit to the International Space Station, produced by Oculus and Magnopus; Dear Angelica, which reflects on the way we remember loved ones, directed by Pixar alum Sascha Unseld via Oculus Story Studio, the recently shuttered VR content creation arm of Oculus; and The People's House – Inside the White House With Barack and Michelle Obama, a tour of the White House from Felix & Paul Studios, along with Oculus
 and Samsung.

In the category for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media within a scripted program, Emmy voters nominated three VR productions based on popular series: The Mr. Robot Virtual Reality Experience (USA, Universal Cable Productions, Here Be Dragons, Esmail Corp. and Anonymous Content), Stranger Things VR Experience (Netflix and CBS Digital) and The Simpsons' Planet of the Couches (Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox, Google Spotlight Stories).

The interactive categories, often a mixed bag of digital, linear and experimental projects, also handed out nominations to Amazon for its Resistance Radio project, a companion to its alternative history drama series The Man in the High Castle. Nominated for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media within a scripted program, the project offers up a series of fictional radio broadcasts. The Discover Westworld website, a promotion for the HBO drama that nabbed 22 total Emmy nominations on Thursday, also was nominated in the same category.

Meanwhile, in the category for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media within an unscripted program, there were two nominations that were the first of their kind. Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU With Tom Hanks has become the first Facebook Live broadcast to receive an Emmy nomination, and comes a little more than a year after the live feature rolled out on the social networking giant.

That category also yielded the first nomination for an original Snapchat show, The Voice on Snapchat. The show, a companion series to the popular NBC competition show and one of several originals that the app has commissioned over the last year, streams on Snapchat's Discover platform and is set to return with a new season on Sept. 25.

See the full story here:


Apple’s billion devices give augmented reality edge over Google

920x920Apple last month lifted the lid on ARKit, the company’s first foray into this field. The tool lets developers build applications for iPhones and iPads.

Google revealed Tango, its AR software system, back in 2014, with the latest iteration showed off this January. Unlike ARKit, it requires infrared depth perception sensors, and there are currently only two mobile phones available with the technology: Lenovo Group’s Phab 2 Pro and Asustek Computer’s ZenFone AR. Apple’s ARKit uses the iPhone’s existing hardware, such as the camera and gyroscope, to achieve similar ends.

The crux of the problem for Google is fragmentation. When it updates its Android mobile operating system, hardware makers and cellular network operators are often slow to send the new software to phones. That means the latest features, like Tango, reach only a fraction of Android’s more than 2 billion monthly active devices. Eighty-six percent of Apple’s mobile devices run the latest iOS software, compared with 11.5 percent of Android devices that run the newest Android OS.

“The reason Android can’t compete with ARKit is that the original equipment manufacturers would need to effectively standardize their camera” systems, Miesnieks said.

For Apple, ARKit is the foundation for a later, but larger push into AR-infused devices. The company has a team of engineers working on smart glasses, and the next iPhone will likely include front- and rear-facing 3-D sensors when it’s released this year, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and others have predicted.

See the full story here:


You can now drink augmented reality cocktails at City Social bar in London

1440-2 1440Just when you thought mixology couldn't get any more preposterous, we give you... augmented reality cocktails. (Not to be confused with virtual reality.) But actually, gimmicks aside, the new "Mirage" cocktail menu at Jason Atherton's City Social bar in London, which has been two years in the making, is well worth a try. Rather than make the animations the focal point of the cocktail experience, which might have been rather tiresome after drink two, the team at City Social has kept them ornamental, like a garnish. Most importantly, the tech doesn't compromise the quality of the drinks. They're still stellar.

See the full story here:


Every Major Seattle Accelerator and Incubator, Listed


This initiative is focused on interactive media, whether games or tech. Startups in the VR or AR field can benefit from the greater Seattle area’s interactive media industry, and Reactor functions as a great community hub for any stage in the sector, from concept to launch.

The Seattle accelerator is now accepting applications over here.

See the full list here:


GoPro selects ten brands to be first to use the Fusion spherical camera

maxresdefaultThe company selected nine organizations and one travel blogger to be the first to receive the camera company’s spherical camera. This pilot program clearly shows that GoPro expects the Fusion to be mainly used by professional content creators and brands instead of moms and dads at waterparks. And that’s probably the best.

This list includes Golden State Warriors, USA TODAY NETWORK, FOX Sports, AccuWeather, Digital Domain, Getty Images, Legend 3D, Inc., Rapid VR, RYOT, and travel vlogger Louis Cole (FunForLouis).

The sales pitch is editors can then select the most interesting bits around the track using just one camera. Traditionally, multiple cameras would have to be aimed at each direction, but with the Fusion, it captures everything.

See the full story here:


Slate Launches Weekly Facebook Live Talk Show Produced in Virtual Reality (EXCLUSIVE)

shutterstock_480909829-e1473914951983Slate is launching a new weekly Facebook Live show, with a twist: “Conundrums” is being produced entirely in virtual reality, with actors and other celebrities joining Slate Culture Editor Dan Kois in the virtual world with the help of more-or-less lifelike avatars.

First up Thursday is Carrie Preston, who is known for her roles in “True Blood” and “The Good Wife.” Kois will spend some 25 minutes quizzing her on a series of conundrums. Is it better to have loved and lost, or not loved at all? Should one fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

Preston will have one minute for each of these questions, and the Facebook Live audience will be able to chime in with real-time comments. Oh, and there may be virtual beer drinking in a nod to series sponsor Sixpoint Brewery.

Of course, one could conceivably also produce a show like “Conundrum” with a Skype or Facetime chat. But Turner argued that the result wouldn’t be the same without VR. “It creates a kind of intimacy that feels very different from a video call,” she said. “It feels like you are in a new space together.”

See the full story here:


Atheer Acquires SpaceView to Create a Richer Augmented and Mixed Reality Experience

Atheer, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise class Augmented Reality solutions for industrial enterprises, today announced the acquisition of SpaceView. This acquisition will give Atheer customers enhanced ways to visualize and place 3D virtual objects in the real world, creating richer Mixed Reality experiences.

Founded in Portland, Oregon, SpaceView's technologies allow organizations to combine their digital and physical work spaces and, as a result, fundamentally transform the way their mobile industrial professionals work.

See the full story here:


Amazon patents at-home augmented reality technology (Images) Inc. has patented augmented reality technology that can be controlled with gestures.

The patent describes cameras, computers and projectors that display an interactive scene on a physical surface.

"The projected content may include electronic books, videos, images, interactive menus, or any other sort of visual content," Amazon said in its patent filing. "Various types of cameras and sensors may be used to capture images representing the scene and a person's hand within the scene."

The patent builds on two related patents awarded to Amazon in December 2015.

See the full story here: