Thu.Mar 14, 2019

Facebook Bets On Realistic Face Tracked Avatars As Key To VR’s Future


Dozens of people are working at Facebook Reality Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on research into ultra-realistic avatars that could redefine communication in the 21st century.

YouTube Stories Adds A Twist To AR Selfie Filters


YouTube introduces real-time face filters powered by machine-learning, but there’s a catch. Everyone has a unique story to tell, and now YouTube creators will have the ability to make their stories even more unique through a Snapchat-esque AR selfies.

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Google Spotlight Stories VR Movie Team Shutting Down – Report


Google’s Spotlight Stories division gave us VR gems like Pearl and Age of Sail. Sadly, though, it appears the search engine giant is shutting the team down this week. Word comes by way of Variety. The site got hold of an apparent email from Spotlight Stories executive producer Karen Dufilho.

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Spatiate Brings Multi-User Augmented Reality Painting to Magic Leap One

Next Reality AR

While painting in augmented reality is not a groundbreaking pursuit, the ability for Magic Leap One, iPhone and iPad, and Android users to collaborate remotely on virtual artwork would be.

Google Closes The Door On Its ‘Spotlight Stories’ VR Film Studio


Pour one out in remembrance of Google’s Oscar nominated, Emmy award-winning platform. In an official statement released yesterday by Google, the company confirmed the termination of their popular immersive film program, Google Spotlight Stories, after an impressive six years of AAA VR storytelling.

Beat Saber Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 DLC Review: Fantastic Collection Of New Songs


Today is the day that Beat Saber finally gets a big influx of new music. Ever since the original game came out in Early Access on Steam almost a year ago with just 10 songs, the release schedule has been a slow trickle of one-off releases.

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Beat Saber Officially Surpasses One Million Copies Sold


Today Beat Games announced that its viral sensation VR game Beat Saber had officially sold one million copies across all platforms including PSVR, Steam, and Oculus Home. The news comes on the same day that its first official pack of paid DLC was released, Music Pack 1 in partnership with Monstercat. “In February we reached 1M sold copies across all platforms,” said Michaela Dvorak, Head of Marketing at Beat Games in a statement to UploadVR.

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Zero Latency Upgrades VR Attraction Platform With Hardware From Microsoft & HP

Road to VR

Zero Latency, creator of a leading VR attraction platform, is now deploying their ‘gen 2’ VR hardware.

How Facebook’s Outage Affected Oculus And VR Developers


Facebook’s server infrastructure had the longest outage in its history this week. The social network, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were all affected. Since the Oculus platform is hosted on Facebook’s servers, it was also affected. Users. Users were unable to download or install Oculus Store apps. Multiplayer games using the free Oculus networking system like Dead and Buried and The Unspoken no longer functioned.

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‘Beat Saber’ Gets First Paid Music Pack, Update Brings Previous PSVR Exclusives to PC

Road to VR

Beat Games today released Beat Saber’s long-awaited first DLC music pack, an effort created in partnership with electronic dance music record label Monstercat. A new update on PC also brings it up to speed with the PSVR version, now featuring full mode and track parity between both platforms.

VR Awards 2019 Opens Nominations Process To Find The Best In VR


Fancy winning yourself a shiny trophy for your latest VR app or product? Then best get your nominations in for the VR Awards 2019. The UK-based show is set to return later in the year. The Nomination process for the event just opened.

Netflix-style Viveport Infinity Subscription to Cost $13 Per Month, or $99 Per Year

Road to VR

HTC today announced that Viveport Infinity , the upcoming Netflix-style VR game & app subscription service, will be available for $13 a month, or $99 annually starting on April 2nd. If you subscribe now though, it could be a lot cheaper than that.

Viveport Infinity To Increase Developer Revenue Share At Launch Next Month


The next phase of HTC’s VR subscription service, Viveport Unlimited, arrives very soon. The company announced today that Viveport Infinity launches on April 2nd 2019. It’ll cost $12.99 a month or $99 a year. We had already spotted this price in some fine print earlier this month. A two week free trial period will also accompany the launch. Infinity offers full access to a suite of over 600 apps and games.

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Rebellion’s Brutal ‘Sniper Elite’ Series is Getting Its First Made-for-VR Game

Road to VR

Sniper Elite is coming to VR. The gritty sniper-focused shooter developed by Rebellion Developments is known for its brutal depictions of long range sniper combat and stealthy action.

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Astro Bot Scores Best Game Nod At 2019 BAFTA Games Awards


The usual suspects are representing VR at this year’s BAFTA Games, but they’re nominated in surprising categories. The UK’S BAFTA Games Awards are one of the few that haven’t yet implemented a VR/AR category. But VR is there in force in the 2019 nominations. Sony’s beloved PSVR platformer, Astro Bot Rescue Mission , leads the pack.

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Viveport Infinity release date set for April 2 as pricing is revealed


Back at CES 2019, HTC announced a new initiative that turns Viveport into what is essentially the Netflix for VR games. Dubbed Viveport Infinity, this new subscription service will allow unlimited access to all of the VR games hosted on Viveport.

Monstercat’s Out of the Bag: ‘Beat Saber’ Music Pack Now Available on Rift


Confirmed earlier this week by Beat Games, indie VR sensation Beat Saber just dropped the Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1—available now on Rift

Google is shuttering its Spotlight Stories VR studio


It seems that Google is doing some Spring cleaning and it’s not looking good for its employees and ventures. It was recently reported that Google was cutting down on the number of people working on its laptops and tablets and now something more drastic is happening on the VR front.

Talk: Art-Based Research for Immersive Media


Last fall I gave a talk at UNCSA for their Future of Reality Summit hosted by their Media and Emerging Technology Lab, which is now online: [link]. I had a great time at the event, and also got to teach a couple classes and see what film students are up to these days! It’s a good way to stay grounded in how fast things change.