REWILD: An Immersive AR Nature Experience | PHORIA
A globally persistent social AR experience is very ambitious, but REWILD pulls it off in ways both technically impressive and emotionally sensitive. Fostering empathy for wildlife and human impact to the planet isn't for everyone, but if you would like to try it you can get it on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Bank of America is bringing VR instruction to its banks
Following in the successful path laid out by Walmart, Bank of America will bring VR training and continuing instruction. With over 50,000 client-facing employees the rollout of this program makes it possibly the second largest VR instructional program in U.S. history. This is a major advancement for practical applications of VR.
Minecraft Earth coming to an end | Minecraft
Microsoft has announced that it will shut down its Minecraft Earth project at the end of June 2021. The project meant to encourage exploration and collaboration in the real world, but due to the global health crisis it hasn't been possible for this to live up to its potential. Its last update was released this past January, and they have a fairly nice sunsetting plan in place, including allowing in-game currency to be transferred over to Minecraft and ways to obtain free copies of Minecraft.
The metaverse needs responsible stewardship
The prevailing business model behind most online experiences remains an advertising based one. This isn't going to change any time soon, but the disruptive interstitial and full screen takeover still remain the most popular. Perhaps it's far past time to rethink how we fund online experiences?
DoD tests VR suicide prevention training at Scott, Travis AFBs
Addressing suicide is a major health initiative, and with the suicide rate among soldiers being at a 6 year high it is fantastic to see the government working to help empower soldiers to feel comfortable reaching out to help someone in need. The goal of the VR training is removing personal barriers that would stop them from ignoring signs of mental distress that could lead to self-harm. Hopefully we'll see good data and results from this initiative.
NYPD using VR to train for active shootings and real-life scenarios
We're including this video from 2019 because of a conversation we had around VR training still being very far off and not addressing any current societal need. That idea is very much far from reality. Here we see the New York Police Department using VR to run active shooter training scenarios, providing perspective and training to help deescalate and preserve life. It may not have been a widespread program but vital train has already relying on VR for a long time.
Largest Japanese Furniture Chain Is Using Magic Leap 1 In Kitchen Showrooms
Customers of Japan's Nitori stores can soon view and interact with furniture models customized to their liking from the the company's sizeable catalog via a custom XR experience. Powered by Magic Leap, this smartly exposes customers to customizations and even furniture not on display in their showrooms. We'd be very interested in knowing how well this helped customers, and hope that we'll see data published soon.
One More Thing
Applications for Micro 3D Printing in the world of AR/VR
We'd never heard about Projection Micro Stereolithography (PµSL) before this article and now it's something we can't stop imagining what innovations will come from being able to reliably fabricate exceptionally small parts in a more cost effective way. Shrinking parts and reducing weight is one of the next important hurdles in creating the next generation of head mounted units (HMUs), and we would not be surprised if this process didn't remove some of the physical barriers blocking HMU manufacturers.
With all of the Apple VR Glasses rumors there has been a LOT of speculation on what it could be, but little info on what it will be since Apple is fairly tight on releasing any real info until they are ready. It is fun to speculate, but it really takes away from some of the actually available experiences and advances that truly deserve attention. For example this issue's One More Thing.
Being able to create the future is sadly not as tantalizing a topic as dreaming about what it could look like. The changes we're including in this issue certainly aren't as flashy as HTC Vive potentially coming out with a new headset.
We will continue to highlight stories and events that should be on your radar here, on our Twitter account, and in our directory, so be sure to take a look if you're also interested in some interesting ways people are currently using AR/VR/MR/XR.
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