VR & AR News Round Up

VR & AR News Round Up

It’s that time again. Time to stop what you are doing. Sit back, put up your slipper adorned feet and peruse our round up of all things Augmented and Virtual reality.

VR Hits A Home Run

Let’s kick things off with a delve into the world of sport. The San Francisco Giants are taking their second swing at virtual reality and have partnered with Zeality to enhance fan experience.

Following a similar plan to last year, the Giants will display 360 video content at their @Cafe social media hub during home games. 2016’s VR foray allowed fans to sit in on locker room team talks and get up close and personal to players doing their thing. Zeality know with 60% of fans now having experienced VR, they need to give baseball fans something they haven’t seen before. Batter up techies.

Facebook VR Waves Goodbye to their Film Studio

Facebook’s Oculus has had a shake up this May. Story Studio, the narrative production branch of Oculus, that brought you the award winning ‘Henry’ and the emotive ‘Dear Angelica’, has been shut down.

“After careful consideration, we’ve decided to shift our focus away from internal content creation to support more external production” – James Rubin, Oculus VP

This by no means spells a pull back for Facebook in VR. With another $250 million devoted to VR content development, Mr Zuckerberg is clearly willing to splash the cash. What’s more, James Rubin, Oculus’ VP, has said that  a staggering $50 million will go solely towards bank rolling non-gaming, experiential VR content.

Heavy Metal and Bjork’s almost VR

It’s not often that the dulcet tones of Slipknot and the oh so conventional sounds of Bjork are mentioned in the same sentence. But, both these musical maestros have recently released VR music videos.

Slipknot created a live 360 video for their track ‘The Shape’. Although ‘The Shape’ is an old track, this new video release comes in honour of their YouTube channel passing one billion views – with all the atmosphere of a festival without leaving your bedroom moshpit.

Bjork also recently released a VR video…well, almost. The visually stunning ‘Notget’ video, although titled as “Notget VR”, was actually only released in 2D format. It is clear, however, that this video was made with VR in mind. In fact, it is thought to be a teaser for the fully VR, user-controlled music videos that the Icelandic songstress has been showcasing through her digital tour since last year.

 The Augmented Wolfe

What about Augmented reality we hear you ask. Well, this tech too has infiltrated the music industry.

Beatie Wolfe brings her new album ‘Raw Space’ to life with Augmented Reality. This folk singer has joined forces with Nokia Bell Labs to stream 360 degree footage from an anechoic chamber (an echoless room to you and me). From May 5th, you can experience a vinyl version of ‘Raw Space’ playing in the peaceful chamber. The idea behind this project, is to bring her record sleeve to life. On top of the 360 footage, augmented art and lyrics dance around the room as the record plays.

Patents for Days

Snapchat's video recording glasses. A woman is wearing the bright blue glasses, which matching bright blue lipstick and nails against a yellow background.

Let’s focus on the Queen of Augmented Apps, Snapchat. Snapchat has a patent application out that plans to map the world in an augmented database.

Snapchat’s release of their video-camera sunglasses last November, for many consumers fell flat. Not to be deterred, their patent depicts in great detail plans for some snazzy new specs. The glasses would consist of two displays, one that senses the world around you and the other that adds augmented dinosaurs. The perfect opportunity to insert your imagination into your surroundings.

The patent also sets out plans for other futuristic accessories. We don’t know a date for when we can expect these shades, visors, watches and “other network enabled items”. But, one thing we do know, is that the future of augmented reality will at the least be varied.

Well there you have it. A quick round up of our two tech faves. It’s no surprise that tech wizards like ourselves, are still all a buzz about AR and VR. But, from this round up, it is clear that these technologies truly are everywhere. Be it in the music industry, or on every teenager’s phone; AR and VR is for tech-muggles too.

Pebble Studios
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