Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Meet USDZ, an AR file format from Apple and Pixar

As part of Apple’s recent ARKit 2.0 announcements, Apple also debuted USDZ, a new file format from their partnership with Pixar. We’ll dive into this below. What is USDZ? This file format is described as a “zero compression, unencrypted zip archive” by Pixar. It’s made to work with a USD runtime and doesn’t require unpacking on the user’s end. As a new file format from Apple and Pixar, it’s designed expressly for managing 3D objects in Augmented Reality. There’s a number of more features than that, but that dives into jargon-y territory we’d like to stay out of. For now, we’ll just explain what it

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, VR World

Apple reveals new ARKit 2.0 features

Apple is finally iterating on ARKit with ARKit 2.0, and this is big news for AR development on iOS devices. Below, we’ll briefly go over what ARKit is and what 2.0 is bringing to the table. What is ARKit? ARKit is Apple’s solution for AR on iOS devices. Essentially, it provides a backend and multiple features for AR on iOS applications, and it’s used as a backend for many popular iOS AR apps. While it’s possible to create non-ARKit AR applications in Apple devices (Pokémon Go being the most popular by a considerable margin), using ARKit makes things easier and provides access to a wider

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Audio/Video, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Hardware, News, Qualcomm, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Snapdragon XR1 and Google’s new VR display

This week with Stories You Might’ve Missed, we’ll be covering the announcement of the Snapdragon XR1, as well as Google and LG’s new VR display technology. If you haven’t seen these segments before, Stories You Might’ve Missed is our dedicated segment for relevant stories that we didn’t cover this past week. Below are the stories themselves, as well as links to sources so you can read more if they caught your interest. Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon XR1, their first VR/AR-centric chipset Qualcomm’s interest in XR (Xtended Reality- blanket term for AR, VR, etc) is no secret. We’ve spoken to them directly about it before. At the

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Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, Exclusive, Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Cutting-edge Varjo Mixed Reality coming to Augmented World Expo

At the Augmented World Expo, Varjo will be showing off their latest VR headset, set to release by the end of the year. Boasting two displays per eye, foveated rendering and high-end display technology, the new headset should impress. More important than the new VR headset, however, is their Mixed Reality add-on, planned for release in early 2019 to their Early Access Partners. We’ll cover this below. What makes the Mixed Reality add-on special? According to Varjo, the most important advantage that their Mixed Reality solution boasts over its contemporaries is video-centric technology. The Mixed Reality add-on to their headset captures real-time video with 2

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, China, Mobile, News, US, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

China might beat the US in AR adoption, according to forecast

According to a report from Digi-Capital, China is likely to beat the United States in AR adoption. The company posits quite a few things relating to AR/VR in its study, so let’s break them down below. About Digi-Capital’s study Digi-Capital focuses on releasing detailed reports and statistics concerning the AR/VR markets and many related tech segments. Their most recent report, for Q2 2018, provides insights, interviews, and even a database on all kinds of market information. A considerable part of this report focused on VR and AR adoption, which we’ll detail below. How China could win in AR adoption, and our thoughts According to the

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, Software Programs, VR World

How Ubiquity6 is changing AR apps

A common challenge for VR/AR apps is social features, but Ubiquity6 is changing that in a big way. Progress has been made prior, to be clear. VR has gotten applications like VRChat, while AR games like Pokemon Go benefit from encouraging an outdoors, real-life MMO gaming experience. The big difference is that, until now, neither AR or VR apps have effectively managed to pull off the same kind of social experience as this. What is Ubiquity6? Ubiquity6 is an AR app that maintains consistent AR environments across multiple devices. Most AR experiences are tied to a single device, so nobody will see the same thing

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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Hardware, News, VR World

North Star from Leap Motion is the next level of AR interface

Years ago, Leap Motion made headlines when they released footage of their intuitive Leap Motion device. For those not familiar with their namesake, this peripheral allowed users to control everything on their PCs with intuitive motion controls and gestures, as seen in the video below. In the years since that video’s release, Leap has successfully released that product and used it to supplement VR controls and development. While they haven’t released anything else since, they’ve been working hard in the background on AR and VR, and through Project North Star, they’re hoping to take AR interfaces to the next level. When most people think augmented

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, , News, , Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Facebook F8 Day 1: AI being used to create VR Memories and 3D Photos

Have you ever wanted to revisit your childhood home, or have 3D photos? Using the power of artificial intelligence, AR and other technologies, Facebook is making both of those things possible soon. 3D Photos is a new feature announced at Facebook F8 Keynote. These aren’t 360-degree videos or photos: rather, they are photographs that shift objects in the foreground and background as you scroll to provide the illusion of depth. It’s not an extremely-advanced feature, but it does make good use of the technology. Huh, Facebook is also working on “3D Photos” for News Feed, kind of hard to tell from the keynote screen but

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Augmented Reality (AR), HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

HTC releasing Vive Pro AR Dev Kit and Vive Pro 2.0 Kit

After releasing with just the headset, the HTC Vive Pro is now launching with a more complete 2.0 Kit and a Vive Pro AR Kit. The first of the new HTC Vive Pro kits is the Vive Pro 2.0 Kit, which includes the headset itself, two new base stations, and two of its motion controllers. Altogether, the package retails for $1399, a $600 increase from the price of the Vive Pro headset alone. The New Vive Pro 2.0 Kit is targeted at business users who want everything they’ll need in a single package, as well as enthusiasts who don’t already own an HTC Vive. More

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Augmented Reality (AR), News, Space and Science, VR World

AR being used to project medical images on the body with ProjectDR

Augmented reality has been staying in the news lately, and today ProjectDR is the reason why. As consumers grow more accustomed to the technology, more innovations in AR are being found and being pushed on the cutting-edge of science and hardware development. Apple’s huge announcement aside, this week also gave us a smaller but just-as-interesting story. Meet ProjectDR. ProjectDR is a system from the University of Alberta, which projects medical images (X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, etc) onto the body of a patient. In the demonstration video above, this is being shown on a realistic mannequin, and these images move in real-time with the rotation of

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Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, , News, , Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Facebook F8 Day 1: Instagram AR is here, VR roadmap revealed

Today at Facebook’s F8 conference, the company announced new AR camera features for Instagram. Users can use augmented reality lenses and effects while sharing photos, videos and stories. These include AR face filters, which can do such things as project shades onto your face. In addition to basic AR functionalities, the Camera Effects Platform is coming to Instagram, in a closed beta for now. Camera Effects are user-developed filters and augmented reality effects that people can easily share with others. You can even use these new AR effects just by viewing an Instagram post utilizing them. Naturally, Facebook Messenger is also receiving new augmented reality

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Details of Project T288, Apple’s hybrid VR/AR headset, emerge

Recently, Shara Tibken of CNET came out with an exclusive scoop on Apple’s next revolutionary hardware release called Project T288. Project T288 looks to create what may be the ultimate VR/AR headset, then release it to the public in 2020. If what we get in two years looks anything like what these leaks entail, it’ll change everything. That Apple has a vested interest in AR is no secret. Through initiatives like ARKit, which we’ve covered before, Apple has been pushing for augmented reality development for a while now. ARKit has enabled a number of AR applications on iOS devices and has served as a natural

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Mobile, News, VR World

Snapchat’s big bet on augmented marketing

Snapchat may have debuted as a platform for impermanent messaging, but in recent years they’ve also emerged as a leader in augmented reality. Speaking to people in public about AR may raise some eyebrows, but explaining that things like their favourite Snapchat Lenses or Pokemon Go are the result of AR will instantly familiarize them. Having long embraced the new technology in its application, Snapchat is now embracing an AR marketing initiative on multiple fronts. The most prominent of these stories to come out recently is in Shoppable AR, a platform through which advertisers can use augmented reality to advertise their products within the Snapchat

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, News, Oculus, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Oculus AR rumors abound, Rift gets Google Chrome support

Is Oculus AR just around the corner? The tech community thinks so. Thanks to a small change to its Terms of Service on April 19th, many tech journalists are convinced that Oculus has an Augmented Reality-related surprise just around the corner. There are multiple stacks of compelling evidence. The one that raised alarm was the added mention of AR to Oculus’ updated documents, but since Oculus is owned by Facebook, it doesn’t stop there. Initiatives like Facebook AR Studio show a clear interest in AR from the folks over at Facebook, and the close-knit nature of AR and VR technology makes Oculus a perfect fit.

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Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Game Developer Conference (GDC), Gaming, Google, Mobile, News, Nvidia, VR World

Star Wars Ray-Tracing Demo and Google’s Maps API at GDC

In this Stories You Might’ve Missed segment, we’ll be covering the final week of March, from the 25th to 31st. Quite a few interesting stories broke in this time, so buckle up while we run you through them. (Also, Skyrim VR launched for PC yesterday if you’re interested in checking it out.) Unreal Engine shows off a stunning Star Wars real-time ray-tracing demo If the video above looks visually-pleasing, get this: it’s rendered in real-time. Visuals like this used to take hours, if not days, to render. So how is this possible? Through a technology called real-time ray-tracing. Nvidia is pushing real-time ray-tracing for its

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), News, transportation, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Apple Swift Playgrounds and how VR is hopping into cars

Image Credit: Apple Swift Playgrounds In this Stories You Might’ve Missed segment, we’ll be covering the third week of March, from the 17th to the 24th. Namely, we’ll be covering two stories that broke over this span of time, most interestingly a new module for Apple’s Swift Playground program. Apple introduces AR module for Swift Playgrounds Swift is a proprietary programming language from Apple, and Swift Playgrounds is an interactive iPad app that helps users- even children- learn to code with Swift in an easy way. The Fundamentals of Swift lesson, for instance, is a full and playable 3D game where people have to input

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Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

321 Launch is an AR rocket launch app

321 Launch is an app developed by USA Today, and it provides a unique experience centering around rocket launches. 321 Launch is an app developed to take advantage of augmented reality and does so in two different-but-equally-interesting ways. There are two main functionalities available in 321 Launch application: Live Mission and Launch Simulations. Live Missions provide a live feed and commentary of current rocket launches. Unfortunately, there’s a key downside: Live Missions are only live, and you aren’t able to view archives of older launches. You’ll need to actually be using the app when the launch happens if you want to be able to view

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Gaming, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Indeed shows increasing demand for VR and AR game development

Indeed.com boasts itself as the world’s #1 job site, and many people would agree with you. Because of Indeed’s size and scale, you can make a lot of interesting points by analyzing job posting and hiring trends through Indeed. A blog post from Indeed themselves has highlighted a number of gaming-centric trends on its site, but especially AR and VR. According to Indeed’s blog post, virtual reality and augmented reality jobs have shot up by 93% since 2015. This is a staggering increase over just three years, and with the release of Ready Player One and constantly-improving VR hardware, this number is sure to increase.

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

VR Square, a VR theme park, is opening in Seoul

Image Credit: Korea Bizwire In Seoul, South Korea, a new VR theme park is opening. It’s called VR Square. We’ve covered a great number of stories concerning VR parks, but what sets VR Square apart is that this one is smack-dab in Seoul- its Hongdae neighborhood, in particular. The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Creative Content Agency are responsible for making this project happen, likely in hopes of drawing people from all over the world to their VR facilities. VR Square has a lot to offer, from basic VR headset setups to full room-scale experiences like the one seen

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