28 September 2018, issue 179

Swipe Right on Empathy

Headline of the Week: Are virtual relationships in our future?
Deep Dive: Fostering empathy is't just for VR - AR is in the running too!
Hardware & Ecosystem: Report shows large-scale AR is taking off.
New Releases: Pixvana will not let you edit VR from inside the mask.
Worth a Thousand Words: 11 cool uses of AR in broadcasting.
The Breakdown: Will inside or outside the mask win?
The Light Side: Who needs to legalize shrooms when you have VR?

Headline of the Week

Swiping Right on Virtual Relationships

"Today, most people are more interested in Magic Leap’s new Angry Birds VR game thanthe ways in which VR can aid struggling relationships, but the report is full of interesting nuggets on how tech, like teledildonics (Internet-connected sex toys), is transforming intimacy."

There's something a little seedy about teledildonics that probably isn't fair, but there's a lot more to the idea of bolstering relationships with VR than just long-distance sex. Internet dating has taken over as our prime way of meeting people, and we have to consider how VR and AR will impact that. Hopefully for the better.

Deep Dive

AR Can Foster Empathy — and Games Can Take Advantage

"BUZZZZZ! THUMP. Down goes another tree in virtual reality. The sole witness of this was the participant in our VR study who used a remote control with haptic feedback to cut the tree. As the participant leaves, our research assistant intentionally spills water. The participant rushes to help — but how many paper towels does she take?"

We all know that virtual reality fosters empathy, but this researcher posits that the same might be true of augmented reality. There's not a lot of actual facts to back that up, unfortunately, but his arguments about the potential power of AR games to draw in wider crowds and take advantage of that social power is great.

Hardware & Ecosystem

Report Shows Huge Potential in Large-Format Displays

"When corporate teams need to collaborate in virtual worlds, they prefer CAVEs and domes to head-mounted displays," says Ben Delaney, Chief Analyst at Greenlight Insights. "These large display systems can provide 3D imagery, and make it much easier to share insights conversationally, and by pointing and gesturing."

We'll talk a little more about the differences and strengths of large-format displays vs head-mounted displays in our breakdown. Unfortunately the report is only available to paying customers, but some insights are available in the article about the report.

New Releases

Edit VR Content While Wearing a Headset

"Perhaps the most notable update to SPIN is the ability to edit VR content while wearing an Oculus Rift headset. It lets users perform natural gestures and actions with their hands to move media, add editing effects, and create linear stories. Pixvana says this is the industry’s first set of tools that allow for editing in a VR native environment."

Does anyone remember that photo we posted a year or so ago, where one of our engineers had taped a headset to his computer screen so that he could do some VR dev work? He would probably have loved to get his hands on this software!

Worth a Thousand Words

11 Times Augmented Reality Was Used To Create Hyperrealistic Immersive Broadcasts 

"Where virtual reality forces users into its own completely fabricated environment, AR allows simulations to merge with reality in the here and now. As such, the technology is ideal for broadcasters wishing to bring the outside world directly into their studios and on to our screens."

I love the littel cyclists on the table!

The Breakdown

Is the Future of IR Inside or Outside the Mask? 

"It is easy to believe the world around us is real. But it’s possible that it’s a dream or a very complex computer simulation. Maybe we’re all plugged into a very powerful computer that is providing us with a virtual reality experience that makes us think we’re somewhere else. If the simulation is really good and looks like the real world, we might not know we’re in a simulation."

Let’s be honest: we all kind of hate computer screens.The glowing hurts our eyes, the blue light messes with our circadian rhythms, and sitting down for eight hours is the health equivalent of smoking a pack a day (or maybe it isn’t, depending on who’s funding the study). Immersive reality is supposed to change all that.


The Light Side

The Psychedelic Future of VR

"How can virtual reality enhance our mood and even induce altered states of consciousness? Will cyberdelics or digiceuticals soon replace physical plant and chemical substances? What are the implications for the war on drugs, cognitive liberty, and the future of society?"

If you happen to be in SF you can attend this event, but even if you aren't, it's a fascinating thought experiment. Could VR ever really replace the effect of drugs? And if it could, what about the addiction that goes along with that?