NEPA to Host Echo Arena LAN Event to Support Special Olympics
Echo Arena VR will host an esports LAN event from the National Esport Professional Association to help raise awareness and support for the Special Olympics. Though the event isn't set until March 2022 it's a great opportunity to raise awareness for these fantastic athletes as well as showcase what VR can provide in the way of training and physical activity.
New Virtual Reality and Game Development major will ready students to use emerging technology for communications
Ohio University is now offering a new undergraduate major starting this fall in Virtual Reality and Game Development (VRGD), putting their students in a great position to stand out in the emerging job market and able to capitalize on all of the opportunities yet to happen in the Metaverse. This is different than the fashion degree a person can earn in the UK (see issue 19), but equally as cool.
Is there room in the metaverse for indie fashion labels? Australian designers hope so | Australian fashion | The Guardian
Along with the major releases from high-end fashion brands are the smaller, independent labels also making waves in VR. There is a lot to unpack in this article and it's definitely worth a read. We also recommend the two hour panel discussion that took place last week during Melbourne Games Week if you want to get a bit deeper into fashion and its place in the virtual world.
Canon announces $1,999 5.2mm F2.8 Fisheye Lens for virtual reality applications: Digital Photography Review
VR 180 has emerged to be much more popular and accessible that VR 360 movies, and this new lens from Canon brings VR 180 capture capabilities to their new Canon EOS R5 camera. Since the camera is able to capture 8K at 30 frames per second. Though we wish it wasn't only manual focus we can see this being a good entry lens for some productions to create immersive content with a smaller investment in camera equipment.
Critical Distance | Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian just made our fall travel list with the opening of their new AR exhibit highlighting the threat to endangered whales: Critical Distance. Using Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Unity 3D, viewers can get close to life-sized orcas and using hand tracking built into HoloLens virtually "touch" the whales.
Dreamscape - A Virtual Reality Experience Like No Other
We came across an in-person VR experience that also potentially adds Columbus, Ohio to our travel list. Dreamscape (@visitdreamscape on Twitter) has been getting a lot of high praise for its experiences that some liken their depth and storytelling to something you'd see coming from Disney. If you're near any of their locations (Los Angeles, CA; Dallas, TX; Columbus, OH; or Dubai, UAE) you should try to drop in.
Manor of Escape - A Virtual Reality Escape - vrCAVE
Coming across more in-person VR experiences brings a smile to our faces, and this one is actually in our neighborhood so we'll have to give it a try. We're also intrigued by the brother team's stance on helping make VR feel less isolating, comfortable, and engaging. They also created a House of Horrors experience we enjoyed a few years back. Definitely a place to check out soon.
VR mask for comfort and hygiene – FreshVR
Disposable VR face coverings have been available for years but aren't very sustainable for home use when you want to share a headset with someone else. FreshVR has a solution for this in their comfortable, reusable face coverings. Currently available for pre-order, we'd actually like to see this as an alternative to the disposable coverings being sold today.
One More Thing
Lynx by Stan Larroque — Kickstarter
The Kickstarter for the Lynx Mixed Reality headset (AR + VR) is finally here! Long-time subscribers may recall us mentioning this interesting headset back in issue 8, and we're very excited to support a company that could truly help push AR beyond factories and industrial uses. We're not sure if we'll splurge for the fully transparent front cover version, but it sure is tempting.
This past week saw two Facebook outages that took down a lot of websites, and significantly impacted Oculus users trying to use their headsets along with other services relying on Facebook for authentication. Having architected infrastructure before it is not shocking how the problem occurred, mistakes happen, but the blind spot in not anticipating the fallout from the issue was surprising to see at a technology giant. This was not neglectful, but safeguards for preventing these kinds of outages are hopefully now in place. For more technical information about the outage, Facebook published more information that provides more details that's worth a read.
With Facebook positioning itself in a very prominent position in the way we experience VR the stability of their platform is vital to allow access to all of the virtual worlds and experiences we know and love. We hope that this gap in process gets closed, and that we can go back to thinking more about what we can do in the Multiverse rather than what processes and validation steps exist at Facebook.
Thank you for reading and subscribing, and we'll see you next week!
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