• Adobe Acquires Allegorithmic For AR/VR Creative Cloud
    Adobe Acquires Allegorithmic For AR/VR Creative Cloud

    Adobe announced the acquisition of Allegorithmic, makers of the Substance toolset for textures and materials.

    Allegorithmic also built a hybrid VR tool demonstrated at Oculus Connect 5 that allowed easy switching between desktop and VR modes so that 3D content creators can easily get a look at their work in a VR headset with access to all the same panels and UI elements from the desktop version.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A press release announcing the acquisition references VR and AR as becoming “more critical” to brands and that the Substance tools will be integrated as part of “new offerings” in Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of subscription software tools.

    “We are seeing an increasing appetite from customers to leverage 3D technology across media, entertainment, retail and marketing to design and deliver fully immersive experiences,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president for Creative Cloud, in a prepared statement. “Creative Cloud is the creativity platform for all and Substance products are a natural complement to existing Creative Cloud apps that are used in the creation of immersive content, including Photoshop, Dimension, After Effects and Project Aero.”

    Project Aero is Adobe’s AR authoring tool. The company also built 360 video tools into its Premiere editing product and has shown other experimental VR and AR tools.

    Adobe’s creative tools are industry standard for many designers and artists, so if Substance becomes part of new Creative Cloud tools and software subscriptions from the company, the acquisition could play a part in accelerating VR and AR software creation.

    Tagged with: adobe, Allegorithmic, Substance

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  • A Fisherman’s Tale Dev ‘Really Open’ To DLC If The Game Sells
    A Fisherman’s Tale Dev ‘Really Open’ To DLC If The Game Sells

    A Fisherman’s Tale hit VR headsets yesterday. If you hadn’t heard, we really liked it. It’s a poetic bit of VR puzzling you have to see for yourself. Still, we did have one small criticism of the game: it’s really, really short. But that could change in the future.

    In an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit yesterday, developer Innerspace said it was “really open” to the idea of A Fisherman’s Tale DLC. That is upon one condition; the game has to actually sell.

    “We are really open to bring more content if the game is a success, we’d just need to find what makes the most sense gameplay and story wise,” the team’s Balthazar Auxietre wrote. He later reaffirmed that interest, adding: “we’d just need to come up with some cool new puzzle ideas!”

    As for why the game is on the short side, Auxietre said: “We would love to make longer experiences but we’re a small team with limited means and preferred to focus on quality, originality and storytelling rather than trying to make a longer game for the sake of it.”

    The studio’s John Norad also added that Innerspace felt it had “exhausted most of the interesting puzzles” with what was already in the game.

    We’d certainly welcome more content for the game, though we’d just as happily see what Innerspace is working on next. Despite its length, A Fisherman’s Tale did feel like it had said all it had to say in terms of story. But that’s not to say we couldn’t see more challenging puzzles and the like.

    Tagged with: A Fisherman's Tale, dlc, puzzle, VR

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  • Capture and Share Immersive 360° Video With Live Planet’s new VR System It has been created as an all-in-one VR video solution.
  • Microsoft Partners With VictoryVR To Bring A VR Curriculum To Schools
    Microsoft Partners With VictoryVR To Bring A VR Curriculum To Schools

    Microsoft is continuing to explore what its new mixed reality platform can do for education.

    The company revealed a partnership with VictoryVR at the Bett 2019 education event in London this week. Over the past few years, VictoryVR has been developing a standard-aligned VR curriculum for science subjects.

    As part of the deal, Microsoft is offering 25 hours worth of free VictoryVR content to schools that purchase a Windows VR headset. VictoryVR’s offerings include a virtual science book for students in grades 5 – 12. Its science units contain a variety of educational experiences such as virtual field trips and interactive games and experiences. In total it offers 240 unique VR experiences spread across 48 different units. You can see what the package includes in the video above.

    “Studies show that student engagement and retention increase as much as 35 percent when students learn with immersive and 3D technologies like VR headsets,” a Microsoft blog post reads. “The challenge lies in finding the right curriculum to get started with mixed reality – a barrier for many educators.”

    Elsewhere, Microsoft also announced that it’s bringing its Immersive Reader experience to VR. The app helps improve reading skills for people of any age or ability. Users can customize pages to specific layouts, highlighting keywords and changing spacings. “This week at Bett, we’ll be showing how Immersive Reader can work in a VR headset, benefiting anyone who requires additional focus while reading, whether they’re five or 85,” the company wrote in its blog.

    VR isn’t the only part of Microsoft’s education plans. The company’s HoloLens AR headset also offers huge potential. We’re hoping to see a new version of HoloLens debut next month.

    Tagged with: education, microsoft, VictoryVR

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  • Location-based VR Experience Terminator Salvation: Fight For The Future is Coming to San Jose There are only a few weeks to wait.
  • SPACES Opening San Jose Cinemark Location With Terminator VR
    SPACES Opening San Jose Cinemark Location With Terminator VR

    SPACES is opening its latest location with Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future in February at Cinemark’s Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose, California.

    The location at the Westfield Oakridge Shopping Center will offer the same Skynet encounter we enjoyed at the company’s first location at the Irvine Spectrum in Orange County, California. SPACES scans user faces to graft them virtual onto Terminator bodies for better identification of friends or family in VR.

    SPACES also automatically produces videos of player sessions which can offer something to take home or share with others from the visit. Here’s an example from our visit last year:

    IMAX VR recently shuttered its VR locations, which suffered because they didn’t offer experiences that were unique or appealing compared with what VR headset owners could do at home. SPACES, though, is similar to The VOID or Dreamscape Immersive in offering the ability to step into a world with friends for memorable moments together enhanced by powerful haptic effects. SPACES also opened a location in Tokyo late last year.

    Tickets for Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future are available now at The Cinemark SPACES is located at 925 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123 in the Westfield Oakridge
    Shopping Center.

    We’re hopeful to see more virtual worlds to visit available at SPACES locations announced throughout the year. There’s a lot of innovation going on with location-based VR entertainment, with Dave & Busters rolling out Jurassic World attractions at more than 100 locations. It is also possible that standalone headsets like Oculus Quest, which is being released in the coming months, could make these types of attractions easier for more people to enjoy.

    Tagged with: SPACES, Terminator

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  • Eminem Makes His VR Debut In Marshall From Detroit Trailer
    Eminem Makes His VR Debut In Marshall From Detroit Trailer

    Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. rapping legend Eminem, is making his VR debut soon but not in the way you’d expect. Instead of a 360 music video, the star is set to appear in the latest VR experience from Felix & Paul Studios. The first trailer for the piece just arrived.

    Helpfully, the trailer itself is shot in 360 so it gives you a proper taste. The piece, named Marshall From Detroit, takes the rapper on a tour of his home town. Speaking with Sway Calloway he talks about his life growing up in the city and how Detroit has changed since.

    If you want to watch the trailer in VR you can load up the Youtube app on a phone and slot it into a headset. Standalone headsets like Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo also have dedicated YouTube apps.

    This won’t be Eminem’s first brush with immersive tech. At least year’s Coachella performance the rapper used AR to enhance his live set.

    Marshall From Detroit is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. The piece is directed by Caleb Slain and lasts around 21 minutes. “Our idea was to extend the blanket of intimacy offered by VR beyond the once-in-a-lifetime ride with Marshall and introduce you to a more mystic version of Detroit you could never see for yourself,” Slain said of the project to Variety. “We wanted to take the ‘reality’ out of VR and cook it down into something more unreal, but also truthful.”

    A wider release hasn’t yet been announced but most of Felix & Paul’s content makes it to home headsets.

    This year’s New Frontier line-up also includes a fascinating new experience called Embody. We tried it out earlier this week.

    Tagged with: felix & paul, Marshall From Detroit, vr video

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  • Finch Technologies Interview: Bringing 6DoF Control to Everyone VRFocus sat down with Finch Technologies' CEO Gary Yamamoto.
  • I Met Donald Duck And Goofy In Kingdom Hearts VR, It Got Weird
    I Met Donald Duck And Goofy In Kingdom Hearts VR, It Got Weird

    My biggest takeaway from Kingdom Hearts VR? My god, how do any of these characters manage with such massive feet? I’ve never really noticed it on a flat screen but, as soon as I jumped into the headset I couldn’t help but stare. There I was in front of an idyllic sunset, cozily anchored onto a tree branch with my best friends. A spectacular light show was taking place across the ocean in front of us. These are the moments you cherish, right?

    But all I could do was rudely stare at their balloon-shaped trotters. What if one of us had accidentally fallen into the water? There’d be no saving us. You’d sink like concrete and then who would save the Disney multiverse?

    Okay, this might not be the most enlightening hot take. But you’ll have to cut me some slack; I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts before and, more importantly, everything was in Japanese. Square Enix’s long-awaited Kingdom Hearts VR experience just launched as a free app in Japan. For now, it’s got two levels that last about five minutes each but more will be added later on. I find this series incomprehensible at the best of times but trying to make sense of it in another language is like some cruel form of torture.

    Still, this was a chance to meet Donald Duck and Goofy in VR. Who could resist that?

    Turns out it wasn’t as magical an encounter as I’d hoped. All I could think as I locked eyes with Goofy’s laser-intense gaze while he spoke in his slurred tone was “Please don’t eat me.” Donald, meanwhile, seemed like he was angry with me about something. I get that Donald’s entire existence is to be routinely ticked off but it would have been nice to at least get a smile out of him. It’s a bit like your inescapable memories of that guy in a battered cartoon costume at Disneyland that wants to hug you.

    In fairness, the character models for the Disney stars are incredibly smooth. Both Donald and Goofy look like their Kingdom Hearts III counterparts. I just wish we could have met under better circumstances. The Kingdom Hearts-specific cast doesn’t fare quite as well, more closely resembling PS2-era models.

    Both scenes eventually give way to musical numbers with flashes of the series’ past included. The beach sequence is pretty pleasant, like a historic fireworks show. The weird musical tunnel found in the other level is like something out of a Willy Wonka tour, though. You can’t help but wish Square had focused on creating more unique VR content rather than these forgettable slideshows.

    If it wasn’t clear by now I’d definitely recommend waiting for your native language release of Kingdom Hearts VR. The third chapter will hopefully be included in that version too. No date on the wider release just yet but we’ll keep you posted.

    Tagged with: Donald duck, Goofy, Kingdom Hearts VR

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  • GIVEAWAY: Win A Physical Copy Of Co-Op Adventure Smash Hit Plunder On PSVR
    GIVEAWAY: Win A Physical Copy Of Co-Op Adventure Smash Hit Plunder On PSVR

    Enter for a chance to win a free copy of Smash Hit Plunder on PSVR! This will be a free physical copy sent through the mail.

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  • IFL’s Arizona Rattlers to Provide AR Experience for Fans The team will license Imagination Park's XenoHolographic solution.
  • Escape H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle In VR

    Navigate a booby-trapped hotel while evading the ‘Devil in the White City’ himself in this horrifying VR game. Next year will see the release of Martin Scorsese’s Devil in the White City, a film adaptation of Erik Larson’s 2003 novel detailing the horrendous activities of H.H. Holmes, America’s first recorded serial killer. Starring Leonardo Dicaprio

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  • Rosetta Stone iPhone App Now Features AR Machine Learning

    The popular language-learning platform is even more intelligent with object recognition technology. If you’ve ever thought about learning a new language from scratch, but don’t have the time or money for an in-person class, odds are you’ve at least explored the idea of using Rosetta Stone. The education technology company has become the leader in

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  • Sundance 2019: Embody Tracks Movement To Center The Body
    Sundance 2019: Embody Tracks Movement To Center The Body

    Embody from Melissa Painter’s team at MAP Design Lab is being shown at Sundance 2019, featuring full body tracking with only a headset attached to the body.

    Embody’s “visual metaphors” help guide visitors back to their bodies. That might sound a bit abstract, but with no controllers or additional body attachments beyond a headset, the experience begins by freeing people of hand controllers or Vive Trackers.

    In a demo at an office in Venice, California, the team employed a very sensitive foot mat to hone in movement tracking combined with body movement data captured from a ZED stereo camera pointed at the play space. “By combining computer vision, neural net algorithms / cutting edge machine learning algorithms, the pressure sensitive mat and headset tracking, the system provides a virtual world responding to full body user inputs,” according to the company.

    We’re “thinking around how we use spatial computing as an opportunity to use technology to help enhance people’s relationship to their physical body,” Painter said. “Our goal with this was to create a shared experience where you are taken through a guided series of movements where I didn’t have to put anything on your body but a headset.”

    Pose estimation of multiple people shown on a nearby PC.

    In one of several scenes that are part of Embody, the player sees colorful petals floating all around above the ground. There’s a transparent outline of a human stepping forward and simultaneously raising both arms above the head.

    The project is an official selection at New Frontier Sundance 2019, and Embody was created in partnership between MAP Design Lab with lululemon Whitespace. It’ll be shown with Samsung Odyssey on Windows Mixed Reality.

    Sensitive foot pad for body input.

    As I start to move my arms I realize the petals around me move too, and I begin to understand that by repeating the movement of the character, as my arms swing upward the petals all around me will come to life and fly up. It is as if they are caught in the air around me by the wind of my arms cutting the air.

    Very quickly I begin to tune my movements to more closely reflect the transparent outline, and to my satisfaction the petals seem to fly up again and again in close relation to my movements. There’s a surprise at the end of the experience I don’t want to spoil too much for those who see it at Sundance, but suffice it to say there’s a powerful metaphor in centering oneself before reaching out to others.

    ZED camera for body movement detection.

    This is the same company behind MoveStudio on the Microsoft Store, an exploratory experience that starts with head movements and hand movement to manipulate the world around the player. That experience is available on Microsoft VR headsets while MAP Design Lab also built AR projects like HEROES for HoloLens and In Orbit for VR headsets, available now for free on Steam. The company is also working on Magic Leap prototypes.

    Painter is being very thoughtful in exploring the

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  • NetEase Games Reveals Western-Themed FPS Stay Silent, Sign up for Beta Test It'll only support HTC Vive.