Audi will offer you an in-car VR movie and gaming experience later this year // TechRadar
Holoride (first featured back in issue 42) recently partnered with Audi and HTC Vive to offer their in-car entertainment service within select VR headsets. Adding immersive content experiences to automobiles can certainly add a new dimension to riding in a vehicle, and we're thrilled that this partnership broadens the audience for their service.
Investigation of VRChat finds rampant child grooming and other safety issues // Engadget
Independent of the Guardian article we highlighted back in issue 63 there were several media organizations investigating abusive behavior (both to children and adults), and this exposes a darker side of the dangers faced by teens in unmoderated VR spaces.
Meta To Introduce More VR Parental Supervision Tools On Quest // UploadVR
As counterpoint to the concerns regarding children's safety online we have news of upcoming increased parental controls for linked teen accounts. This has been a long time coming, and sorely needed to help curb the very big problem minors face being in the same virtual spaces as predators and other bad actors. This will finally respect its International Age Restriction Colaition ratings, and is a good first step in online security.
Virtual Museum Bangladesh
Last year Bangladesh celebrated it's 50th year of independence, and though this isn't the most impressive VR experience we've come across it does show what a country can do to help preserve its history and open itself up to international audiences that may not be able to visit in the near future.
Auditions for our VR stage play are open! // Reddit
Performing a role in a virtual production isn't one of the things that comes to mind when thinking about VR but it's a interesting opportunity for anyone looking to expand their acting into VR. On March 25th try-outs are being held for a "whodunnit-style" interactive play. If this is something you or someone you know may be interested in auditioning you can sign up via this form.
Nintendo isn’t ready for the metaverse, but will the metaverse ever be ready for Nintendo?
You may have noticed that there are not any official Nintendo Metaverse releases, and that appears to be intentional. Like most things with Nintendo, if they don't think it's fun it's not happening. A recent Twitter thread let us see their "official" opinion on NFTs and the Metaverse. Can't say we disagree, but like anything a limitation is what you make of it, and what you do to work around it.
Penumbra and VIVE Partner To Develop Innovative VR Solutions That Help Heal the Body and Mind // VIVE
Cognitive rehabilitation and therapeutics are proving to be very good uses for VR (see last issue's news regarding cancer care), and we're happy to share another medically approved VR platform assisting stroke survivors. If you'd like to go straight to the case study and skip the synopsis follow this link.
Meta took a stand by allowing posts calling for violence to oppose Russia's current military actions as an expression of free speech, and it's no surprise that Russia has banned both Facebook and Instagram services within the country. Even with the clarification that they can't be posts calling for Putin's death this means that any users with an Oculus cannot log into their devices or access most of their libraries. This is also atop Meta not directly selling any Quests directly to that region of the world, so Quest users that paid above market to have a VR experience are in even worse of a situation.
Like most the war in Ukraine has been in our faces for the past week and had us thinking a lot about access, and though we're thinking heavily about it and other atrocities we will try not to have that become too large a focus of the newsletter. There is more going on in the world, some of it fairly good news, that we'll try to continue sharing as we all contemplate just how connected we all are.
Thank you for reading and subscribing, and we'll see you next week!
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