2021

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Social VR App ‘Rec Room’ Raises $145M Funding, Now Valued at $3.5B

Road to VR

Social VR platform Rec Room has sealed another big funding round to close out the year. The Seattle-based startup today announced it’s secured a new $145 million financing round, bringing the company’s total valuation to $3.5 billion. The funding round was led by Coatue Management, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Index Ventures, and Madrona Venture Group.

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A Big Update to ‘Bigscreen’ Boosts Room Sizes, Video Quality, & Quest Performance

Road to VR

Social VR hangout app Bigscreen just got a bunch of improvements in a new update available now. The update brings a range of enhancements across all supported headsets, including boosting room size to 15 people. Bigscreen is a social VR hangout app that lets users bring their PC into VR to share gaming, streaming, work or, well… anything else you can do on your PC, with friends.

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Unity’s Incredible Mixed Reality Demo is Coming to Quest in 2022

Road to VR

Earlier this year the Unity Labs team shared an incredible proof-of-concept mixed reality demo that shows the power of blending the real and virtual worlds together. Now the developers behind the project say you’ll be able to get your hands on the experiment on Quest sometime next year. At Facebook Connect at the end of October, the Unity Labs team revealed Unity Slices: Table , a proof-of-concept social mixed reality app that seamlessly connects people—both local and remote—into a shared

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Gabe Newell: Valve is Making “big investments” in New Headsets and Games

Road to VR

In a talk at an Auckland, New Zealand area high school back in May, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell revealed they’re making “big investments in new headsets and games,” something he hopes will prepare the company for a future of brain-computer interfaces (BCI). . Newell has been living in New Zealand for the past few months, which has been comparatively unaffected by COVID-19 due to strict measures in that country.

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The Future of eLearning in 2022: A Sensitive Eye for Authentic Translation and Localization

Speaker: Chris Paxton McMillin, President of D3 Training Solutions

To avoid awkward and sometimes disastrous learning content, instructional designers must use authentic translation in the right context to get optimal results. For example, even a simple phrase like “got milk” translates to “are you lactating” in Mexico. Can you imagine what a straight translation might do to your course? With over 317 million people in the US and over 6.7 billion potential customers in the world, personalizing training seems logical.

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Sony Reveals VR Headset Prototype with Display Tech That Could Wind Up in PSVR 2

Road to VR

During an online showcase today, Sony revealed a VR headset prototype with a 4K OLED microdisplay. While it appears to be a wholly different project than the upcoming PSVR 2, the company says it expects the display itself to be “used in the entertainment field,” which could include other VR headsets. Today during the Sony Technology Day showcase the company highlighted new technology from across its various businesses.

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More Trending

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Someone Spent $450K To Be Snoop Dogg’s Neighbor In The Metaverse

VRScout

How much would you pay to live next to your favorite celebrity in the metaverse? In case you’ve been living under a rock, NFTs are taking over the metaverse. At this point, it seems like everyone and their mother is investing in non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrency. This includes famed California rapper Snoop Dogg who—earlier this year—partnered with the blockchain-based 3D open-world game The Sandbox to launch his very own world inside the metaverse. ‘The Snoopverse

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Why People Can't Stop Talking About Don't Look Up

GizModo VR

If you’ve spent even a minute on the internet this week, you have surely seen something about Don’t Look Up. The Adam McKay-directed flick is Netflix’s top movie. It’s also perhaps the top reason for people s g their pants online recently. Read more.

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Facebook changes its corporate branding to Meta

TechCrunch VR

Well, it’s official. After 17 years of being called Facebook, the social networking parent company behind Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus has a new name. Facebook’s corporate entity is now Meta. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg announced the change at the company’s AR/VR-focused Connect event, sharing that the new title captured more of the company’s core ambition: to build the metaverse. “To reflect who we are and what we hope to build, I am proud to annou

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Apple Announces M1 Pro & M1 Max: Giant New Arm SoCs with All-Out Performance

Anand Tech

Today’s Apple Mac keynote has been very eventful, with the company announcing a new line-up of MacBook Pro devices, powered by two different new SoCs in Apple’s Silicon line-up: the new M1 Pro and the M1 Max. The M1 Pro and Max both follow-up on last year’s M1, Apple’s first generation Mac silicon that ushered in the beginning of Apple’s journey to replace x86 based chips with their own in-house designs.

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How to Train Employees 65% Faster With Virtual Reality

With a rapidly changing economy, Avangrid Renewables looked to virtual reality to develop a standardized form of immersive training in order to onboard and upskill technicians faster than ever before.

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I’ve paid for 5G for more than 2 years and it has been a complete waste of money

Digital Trends

I signed up for a 5G contract in 2019, and now, more than two years later and despite elaborate promises, I have not seen any benefit from it at all.

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HaptX Statement on Meta Microfluidic Glove Prototype

HaptX

Over the last decade, HaptX has pioneered the field of microfluidic haptic feedback. Our award-winning technology has been widely covered in the popular and technology press, and we’ve worked tirelessly to develop and promote the unique benefits of microfluidics as an approach to high-fidelity haptic feedback. With the longstanding dedication of our engineers, developers, and investors, we have also secured an industry-leading patent portfolio to protect our technology and products.

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Previewing a Special Quest 2 Experience Featuring Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge at Downtown Disney® District at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, California

Oculus

Meta Quest and ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s award-winning immersive entertainment studio, are offering a special Quest 2 preview of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge coming.

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VR Metaverse ‘Horizon Worlds’ Now Open, Get Started Here

VRScout

Learn how to begin crafting your own worlds and experiences in Meta’s highly-anticipated VR social platform. When Meta’s Horizon (now called Horizon Worlds) launched as an invite-only beta last year, a small group of Quest users was permitted access to the ambitious social experience and given the tools to start building their own world, play games, create safe spaces for discussions, and make new friends.

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AR/VR Simulations for Sustainable, Regenerative, Circular Cities

Speaker: Nik Gowing, Brenda Laurel, Sheridan Tatsuno, Archie Kasnet, and Bruce Armstrong Taylor

With 191 country signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement now hard at work in the race to zero carbon by 2050, much of the heavy lifting in ecosystem sustainability falls on the shoulders of the world's densely populated urban centers. This conversation considers how today's AI-enabled simulation media, such as AR/VR, can be effectively applied to accelerate learning, understanding, training, and solutions-modeling to sustainability planning and design.

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Rats Play ‘DOOM’ Using VR-Like System

VRScout

We’ve seen our fair share of bizarre VR experiments over the years, but this one might just take the cake. Last month, neuroengineer Viktor Tóth published an article entitled Rats in Doom in which he details a “VR” setup that automatically trains rodents to traverse 3D environments without the need for excessive restraints or any surgical procedures. “I built a VR setup for rodents from scratch and trained three rats in an automated fashion, without manual intervention, t

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‘Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time’ Now Fully Playable In VR

VRScout

A new mod brings the classic Nintendo 64 action-adventure game to PC VR headsets for the first time. One of the most iconic video games of all time is now available in VR thanks to a new mod by BrianMp16. This isn’t some 20-minute tech demo; it’s a fully playable Ocarina of Time VR game. You can play the entirety of the legendary campaign from start to finish, all from an immersive first-person perspective.

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This Japanese VR Headset Is Meant To Be Used In Bed

VRScout

Finally, a headset for us lazy VR users. Japanese company Diver-X recently unveiled the HalfDive, a one-of-a-kind VR headset meant to be used in bed while laying down. The device employs a variety of features completely unique from that of conventional VR headsets, including a 3D audio system, immersive haptic feedback, and a distinctive control system.

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‘Captain Toonhead’ Might Be The Most Over-The-Top VR Game Ever

VRScout

Battle flying cats, massive dinosaurs, and blood-thirsty chickens in this one-of-a-kind VR tower defense game. Coming soon to the Oculus Quest—or should I say Meta Quest— Captain ToonHead vs. the Punks From Outer Space is a VR tower defense game from developer Teravision Games that’s as outrageous as it is brilliant. Whether it be the action-packed gameplay, zany characters, or comically over-complicated plot, Captain ToonHead is truly one of the most ridiculous games we’

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Are You Still Watching? How to Create Engaging Presentations for Virtual Learning

Speaker: Richard Goring, Director at BrightCarbon

Remote meetings are here to stay - and many are BORING. If you are trying to engage your learners (or any audience), compelling content is critical. But trying to create stimulating content with the same tools you’ve always had is hard, right? Thankfully, wrong! Terrific tools in PowerPoint along with visual assets help you create the kind of dynamic content you need to capture your remote audience’s attention, with functions that allow for interactive sequences and navigation.

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ABBA Enters the Digital Realm With 3D ‘ABBAtars’

VRScout

ABBA returns after 40 years with new music and a unique concert experience featuring their de-aged 3D ABBAtars. ABBA, the Swedish pop group behind massive hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance On Me,” and “Mamma Mia” (you know that every part of that song is a hook!) is returning to the stage as digital avatars—or ABBAtars—to promote Voyage , their first new album in 40 years.

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Facebook’s Codec Avatars Look Almost Too Real

VRScout

These 3D human avatars are so realistic you can see the pores on the skin. During today’s Meta (formally Facebook) Connect Keynote event, CEO Mark Zuckerberg walked us through a series of major announcements detailing how the newly branded company is building towards its vision of the metaverse. During a conversation with Reality Labs Chief Science Officer Michael Abrash, Zuckerberg asked Abrash what it was going to take to put Meta on the path to becoming a metaverse company.

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Oculus Quest App ‘Magic Keys’ Teaches You Piano Using AR

VRScout

Learn how to tickle the ivories with this educational VR experience powered by the experimental Passthrough API. This past July Facebook released its experimental Passthrough API into the wild, allowing developers to harness the Oculus Quest’s built-in cameras to create engaging mixed reality experiences. Since then we’ve seen a variety of interactive AR games make their way to the standalone headset, from martial arts simulator Crazy Kung Fu to VR puzzler Gravity Labs.

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The Creator Of ‘Pokémon Go’ Is Building Its Own AR Metaverse

VRScout

The company is making its Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit open to any and all developers. Niantic, the developer behind location-based AR games such as Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom , today announced that it will be making its Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit available to developers around the world in an effort to build its ever-growing AR metaverse.

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Who C.A.R.E.S.!? How Learning Got Its Bad Rap & What We Can Do About It

Speaker: Treion Muller, Chief Strategy Officer at ELB Learning

Since when has learning and development (L&D) become such a negative experience with its intended learners? Could it be because learners have been conditioned by very poor learning experiences over the past two decades, combined with the kinks of technological innovation? Or is it because learning has typically been designed as a one-size-fits-all solution, despite the fact that humans are not clones?

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Bill Gates: Most Work Meetings Will Happen In The Metaverse In 3 Years

VRScout

“Most virtual meetings will move from 2D… to the metaverse” according to Gates. Earlier this week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates took to his official blog GatesNotes to lend his thoughts on a variety of hop button topics from climate change and misinformation to COVID-19 and remote coworking. In regards to the ladder subject, Gates believes that the global pandemic, combined with the rise in telecommunication technology, will drastically change the future of coworking. “Within t

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‘Cities: VR’ is a Built-for-VR Version of ‘Cities: Skylines’, Coming to Quest 2 in Spring 2022

Road to VR

Popular city-builder Cities: Skylines (2015) doesn’t offer native VR support, however the franchise is getting its first official made-for-VR game soon called Cities: VR, which will let you go hands-on as you take the reigns of your city from a new perspective. Cities: VR is being developed and published by veteran VR studio Fast Travel Games , the Stockholm-based team behind Apex Construct, The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets, and Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife.

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Quest Update Adds Mixed Reality Casting, Global Cloud Saves, & More

Road to VR

The latest update for Oculus Quest, v35, is rolling out to headsets starting today and brings with it mixed reality casting, global cloud saves, and Facebook Messenger calls in VR. Mixed Reality Casting on Quest. Update v35 is bringing mixed reality casting to both Quest and Quest 2. This feature allows you to cast the VR experience to a smartphone while seeing your real body right inside of the virtual world.

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Nreal Launches $600 ‘Light’ AR Glasses in United States via Verizon

Road to VR

Nreal, the Chinese startup behind the Nreal Light AR glasses which made a splash back at CES 2019, has now expanded to the United States, making the smartphone-tethered device available through select Verizon stores starting today. Nreal Light is a pair of AR glasses that are physically connected to a smartphone via USB Type-C to drive its graphics and provide power, making it lighter than standalone AR headsets like HoloLens 2 since it’s offloaded the need for an internal battery, chipset

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The Key to Getting the Best Out of Video-Based Practice & Coaching

Speaker: Micah Eppler, Account Executive for Rehearsal of eLearning Brothers

Did you know that companies such as Paychex, 3M, and Honeywell are getting better results by incorporating video-based practice and coaching within their L&D strategy? From sales pitches to soft skills, learners are becoming top performers by applying and validating knowledge transfer using the unique benefits of video. Whether used as a stand-alone application or integrated with a learning platform, video-based practice and coaching platforms give learners the ultimate opportunity to repeatedly