Immersive News Round-Up August 2019 (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of August’s Immersive News Round-Up!  If you read part 1 you will know how action packed the month began!  So this time I thought it would be helpful for you if I categorised this blog into sections.  I will call-out that this is subjective to what I would term as items belonging to each category so scan the other areas in case something of interest to you is hiding elsewhere because of my sorting skills!!!

Alrighty then, let’s go []-)

Immersive Market News:

Holographic content company investment success via Tipatat

VR is a turning point for the Spa & Wellness industries via Forbes

Rec Room is now accessible via iPhone and iPad via Shawn Whiting

6D.ai are partnering with Qualcomm to create shared experiences between HMD & Smartphones for the first time (including ability to support android devices now!) via 6D.ai

AltspaceVR comes to Oculus Quest on 12th September via AltspaceVR

SideQuest has more active users reported than that of the Rift.  Developers and players alike are flocking to this store for content via SideQuestVR

Respects:

Nate Mitchell, last remaining co-founder at Oculus leaves via Nate Mitchell

MRTV YouTube Kickstarter campaign is a success 

Jaroslav Beck (Co-Founder of Beatsaber) gives back to the community via Jaroslav Beck

AR Content:

6d.ai 3D model advancements via Matt Miesnieks

Can you tell the difference between a real sandwich and an AR one via Helen Papagiannis, Ph.D

Interesting use of LightSpace AR app to retrace your steps via Bobby Carlton

VR Content:

No Man’s Sky released in VR via Loki Eliot

West World Awakening comes to VR via West World HBO

Community member Phased Dragon manages to get Google Lens to work inside VR via Educators In VR

Immersive Art & Design Content

Rec Room Marker creations via Shawn Whiting

Rec Room 2D art Contest via Shawn Whiting

VR Chat user created space via Lakuza

VR Artists share their processes via Kent Bye

VR Dev:

How to build virtual worlds as a new form of self expression via Ryan Schultz

Google Sign language AI turns hand gestures into speech via Optomize Ltd

VRTK version 4 needs your support via The Stone Fox

Oculus Insight AI Tracking explanation video via Oculus

VR Hardware:

VR treadmill via Evan Kirstel

Feel Real sensory mask breaks their silence with an update via Feel Real

Sad news that the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t support the Samsung Gear VR Headset.  This could see the beginning of the end for the Samsung Gear VR.

In the same article, from UploadVR, the same scenario has happened with the new Google Pixel 3a not supporting Daydream either.

VR Events:

This month I attended & presented in virtual reality Disneyland thanks to Chuck Webster’s Disney Data Analytics & Immersive tech event in Altspace!

Bigscreen releases a Modern Cinema with launch party via Bigscreen VR

Lindsey Stirling performs live as a virtual reality avatar thanks to WaveXR via Andy Fidel 

Opportunities:

HTC Vive The Global Accelerator Program accepting applications until the end of September

Panel opportunity to showcase use cases in enterprise & beyond via Myra B

Unity Student Ambassador Program accepting applications via Unity

Showcase your Start-Up at SXSW Pitch 2020.  Deadline 15th November via Amy Peck

Podcasts & Talks

John Carmack appears on the Joe Rogan Podcast via John Carmack

XR for Business – publishing 3 podcasts a week now so you are spoiled for choice here!

Further reading/resources:

Using Immersive Tools & Spatial Networks (Social VR & Social AR) for Education & Remote Teaching by Andy Fidel

Walmart CEO says that VR Training saved lives in El Paso shooting via Stanford VR

Female Disruptors Site Launched via Navah Berg

Research:

How do we further advance the science of therapeutic VR? via Brennan Spiegel, MD

Bit of personal news as well from me – I’m a published author!

How VR helps with Mental Health via Kier Simmons

Other news:

Women who are long serving, respected, talented and admired in the gaming/tech industry have made serious accusations of sexual harassment & assault dating back several years.  The Gaming industry is experiencing its own ‘Me Too’ movement.  Sadly the virtual reality community is not untouched as Oculus Co-Founder, Michael Antonov, is also accused too.  This is NOT OK.  Although I am pleased to see the reactions of the entire community coming together to comfort and support the brave women who are voicing what happened to them.

A number of job vacancies this month have started to specify a need for virtual & augmented reality market awareness for their candidate required skills via Suzanne Lee & Cameron Brown

Phew – fantastic to see so much hard work, collaborations and progress happening across the industry!  I’m seriously going to have to figure out how to anchor sections in this blog or perhaps even break these fortnightly blogs down into sub sections eg go back to a category a page again!!!

Thanks for reading!  Take care and see you again in 2 weeks time []-)
Suzanne

Immersive News Round-Up July 2019

The Immersive Industry, like the weather, is heating up!  It’s been a while since I created and published a News Round-Up blog post but this month, or last week really I have noticed a spike of activity that I feel is worth sharing with you all.

(Accelerator) WXR Accelerator closes at the end of this month
If your XR/Spatical Computing or AI company has a female founder or gender diverse leadership team then you should check out this 12 week accelerator opportunity out!

I’ve followed this initiative from the beginning, my 1st blog with Suzanne Showcasing VR was about attending the live pitching session for the 1st Cohort in AltSpaceVR! I applied for the 2nd Cohort myself and would recommend submitting an application because even if you are rejected you receive valuable feedback that helps you to improve.

(VR Content) Amazon launches Prime Video VR for Oculus Go, Quest & Gear

(VR Content) Rejected Oculus Quest game, Jigsaw360, becomes the 1st paid side-loaded Quest game.

(Social VR) Bigscreen VR releases 50+ new free VR channels plus has 6000 users registered for the live streaming of the SpaceX Dragon launch

(Social VR) Oculus Venues comes to Oculus Quest with new events such as Tenacious D live in concert

(VR Gaming) World Cyber Games VR Championship – 18th-21st July 2019

(Dev) Launch of Nreal’s platform in beta for developing mixed reality experiences

More information can be found using this link

(Accelerator) Oculus Launch Pad applications are open
For more information and to apply check out this link

(Book) Creating Augmented & Virtual Realities book released

(Events/SocialVR) I co-hosted Sharing Memories in Virtual Reality with Andy Fidel in AltSpaceVR

(Art) Rosie Summers publishes her amazing Tiltbrush ‘My Reality’ masterpiece

(Funding) Knight Foundation offers $750k in Grants for Immersive Tech in the Arts

More information and to apply please see this link

(Tools/Dev) Gravity Sketch now available on Oculus Quest

(Podcast) XR Business with Alan Smithson and Tony ‘SkarredGhost’ Vitillo

Listen to this inspiring podcast to hear more about the XR/Spatial Computing market and the wonders of haptics using this link

(Soon to Launch) VR for Education’s Engage platform to coming to the Oculus Quest

I had the honour of trying it out prior to the public Quest release and made a virtual tour for you!

Where can I learn more about immersive technologies and content creation?

As a virtual and augmented reality enthusiast I appreciate the importance of learning about creating immersive content.  If I were new to the field, I imagine it would be difficult to know where to even start searching for courses or where to go to start learning from the community.  Your location can be a pivotal factor when it comes to choosing what and where you can learn the skills required for creating VR and AR content.

I’ve tried to break things down by geographical location to help signpost some recommended courses in those areas.

Scotland:

I’m from Scotland and we have a few choices:
Glasgow School of ArtGames and Virtual Reality degree and Serious Games and Virtual Reality degree.  Taught by Dr Paul Chapman and Dr Matthieu Poyade who are pioneers in the field and I have huge admiration for them both.

WebXR Workshops Scotland – I have to confess that I co-host these events with the amazingly talented teacher Danilo Pasquariello.  I’m a student here too and the information that we are taught is fantastic and also welcoming to beginners with no coding experience!

Check out the link for further information on these meetups and get booked in for the next event!

Or if the location is a barrier for you then you may wish to check out Danilo’s Online Udemy course.

Canada:

I was excited to recently find out that Canada is launching it’s first Virtual and Augmented Reality Certificate courtesy of Lethbridge College.  I am a huge fan of Lethbridge College and Mike McCready in particular.  I first met Mike via Twitter as organiser of the Merging Realities – World’s First Full Day Conference in VR.  I attended that last year and you can read my blog about it here.  Ever since then I have watched Mike’s growth in the immersive space from communicating with the community online, learning and sharing his progress through his own VR Degree learning journey, joining the ARVRA Association as the President of the Alberta Chapter, continuing the Merging Realities in 2019 (making it an annual event) and the most recent Lethbridge College Virtual Reality Global Forum event alongside Inventures Canada which is taking place on 6th June 2019 in VR.

Suffice to say that you are in safe hands learning from Mike and the Lethbridge College team!!!  The beauty and appeal of this course is that it is only a 1 year duration which will be spent focusing on 4 areas:  fundamentals, experiential, spatial and application.  Perfect!  I really wish I was closer to the location as this is a course I would seriously consider taking myself!

Here’s the link for those of you wishing to view more details of this incredible course

Online:

If you are unable to attend these then you are in luck as I have some online courses that I can recommend for you too.

Udemy

I completed VR and 360 Video Production which was great for providing you with rules to follow for shooting 360 videos.  It was common sense stuff thrown in with a few hidden gems of knowledge nuggets that I personally hadn’t considered so that was time well spent for me.

They also have another Google AR&VR course on there called Introduction to Augmented Reality and ARCore.  I haven’t studied that but perhaps it’s worth a look.

Getting Started with Augmented Reality from the Insitut Mines-Telecom was my first encounter with creating AR.  Although I found it hard to follow in the beginning as a complete newbie, my projects did come together towards the end.  There’s nothing more exciting than seeing something you learned about online becoming a physical application in front of your very own eyes!

Udacity

Introduction to Virtual Reality by Google VR.  I completed this course myself and found it quite informative, even if you already know the basics.  Udacity also offer Nanodegrees in VR too.  I haven’t enrolled in that yet but I have heard nothing but praise for them so be sure to check that out too.

Unity

Of course, there are tutorials on Unity directly that you can learn from.  These were useful but incredibly dry to follow, however, for introducing you to the basic UI, components and physics then this is a great starting point.  Considering you have decided to use Unity that is.

If Unity is your game engine of choice then I want to give a shout-out to Awesome Tuts as I have completed an online Udemy course that they taught as well as follow them on YouTube and Facebook for their lessons alongside extremely helpful developer community.

Not forgetting the VRToolkit by TheStoneFox which is full of useful tutorials!

Unreal

As well as learning with Unreal directly through their tutorials (I haven’t tried learning this game engine yet).

Lynda.com

There’s a few on Lynda.com that I completed too nothing that springs to mind other than anything that includes Craig Barr.  I would recommend his courses and weekly news.

Circuit Stream

Circuit Stream offer taster classes and I found their lecturers to be easy to follow and friendly.  They offer full programmes as well but I haven’t completed any of those yet.

That’s all the courses that I know something about or have completed myself.

Newsletters

I would also recommend signing up to the VRARA Association newsletter so you are given information on when their free webinars are held alongside any updates.

Tony Skarredghost is such a talent and enjoys experiential immersive work.  You should sign up for his newsletter to receive weekly news round-ups.

Podcasts

FReality – a weekly podcast that is also streamed to YouTube that talks about hardware and game experiences across the vr spectrum.  Hosted by popular VR YouTubers/Twitch Streamers: Nathie, Mike (Virtual Reality Oasis), Rowdy Guy and Zimtok5.

The Virtual Reality Podcast – Hosted by Steven Sato, Alex Chaucer, James McCrary and Amanda Fox.

Voices of VR – presented by host Kent Bye where he interviews a wide selection of immersive technology community members.

Finally I learn a lot of information via AltSpaceVR through their many Social VR events.

I hope this is a helpful guide to get you started.  It would be great to hear your thoughts or connect with you on Twitter to share our learning journeys together []-)

Until next time!
Suzanne AKA TheHappyLass