THIS WEEK’S (11/21/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (11/21/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

This week Malia and Jonathan talk about China’s enormous billion dollar VR theme park, HTC officially announces its standalone VR headset for China AND cancels their standalone headset partnership with Google, become your favorite Justice League superhero at IMAX Experience Centers, Pixar releases its VR debut with Coco, and the investment & funding wrapup...

A new billion dollar VR theme park in China gives new meaning to the word enormous. Spanning 320+ acres, a $15M gigantic Transformers statue, the East Valley of Science and Fantasy (actual name) is estimated to cost almost $1.5B and also boasts an R&D lab for VR film and media. Intriguingly enough, there will also be a “VR restaurant”-- whatever that means.

HTC just unveiled the Vive Focus, its long-awaited standalone headset, along with new mobile VR platform Vive Wave… BUT only in China. HTC also cancelled its standalone headset that was supposed to use Google’s Daydream platform along with Google’s WorldSense positional tracking system. These are big indicators that HTC’s strategy could be to focus on Asia; for content platforms they already have Viveport for desktop VR and now Vive Wave for mobile VR. // Related Stocks:  HTC Corporation ($2498.TW)

IMAX and Warner Bros. want you to virtually jump into Justice League and step into the shoes of your favorite hero. Exclusively at IMAX locations for couple weeks, the VR experience will be released publicly in December. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be a superhero? // Related Stocks:  IMAX Corporation ($IMAX), Time Warner Inc. ($TWX)

Another big Hollywood name leaps into the VR scene-- Disney Pixar’s debut into immersive content accompanies their new film Coco. Pixar sees this as the evolution of social VR: the adventure can be shared by up to 4 people in the Oculus Rift and 2 in the Samsung Gear VR.  // Related Stocks: The Walt Disney Company ($DIS), Facebook, Inc. ($FB), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd ($005930.KS)

Beautiful and innovative-- this is next-level content marketing.

 

INVESTMENT WRAPUP

Seattle, WA-based Pixvana raised $14M in Series A funding for their cloud-based platform for VR video processing & delivery, bringing the grand total of capital raised to $20M. The round was led by Vulcan Capital with participation from Microsoft Ventures and others.

Palo Alto, CA-based GridRaster announced almost $2M in seed for their rendering infrastructure for mobile VR/AR. The startup uses cloud computing methods to improve graphic fidelity for mobile VR platforms, and is already working with Osterhout Design Group who make the ODG smartglasses.

THIS WEEK’S (11/14/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (11/14/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

This week we talk about the upcoming Harry Potter AR Game, new reports of Apple dialing up work on an AR headset, now you can type in VR with a VR keyboard, there’s a crowdfunding campaign for magic shoes with tiny VR treadmills, the investment wrapup, and more...

Niantic is behind AR success stories like Ingress and a little game called Pokémon Go… and will next augment your world with Harry Potter. No launch date yet, just a tease that we’ll be casting Expelliarmus! spells from our phone sometime in 2018. 

 

Adding more fuel to the Apple augmentation speculation, reports say that Apple wants to have a working AR headset in 2019 and ship to consumers as early as 2020. The release of ARKit in September built the software foundation for a future AR headset-- which reportedly will be running rOS… the “reality operating system.”  // Related Stocks:  Apple Inc. ($AAPL)

 

In case you have never tried typing with a VR headset on, spoiler alert: it’s hard. So-- VR keyboard to the rescue! Although not a consumer product quite yet, the Logitech Bridge combines a Vive Tracker with a real life keyboard so you can not only see a virtual version of your keyboard in your virtual environment but also your own positionally tracked hands. // Related Stocks: HTC Corporation ($2498.TW), Logitech International S.A. ($LOGI)

 

Who knows if this is real or not, but I sure hope it is: an Indiegogo campaign is raising funds for the Vortrex-- shoes to walk in virtual reality. Proposed by Jamie Hyneman (yes, the bearded and beret-wearing dude from the MythBusters show), they look like space roller skates with little wheels on the back heels and treadmills that look like elf-sized conveyor belts. No word on if the $50,000 crowdfunding goal covers insurance.

 

Washington, DC–based company Floreo just raised $2.1M in seed funding to battle autism with VR. Co-founded by a husband-and-wife team who were inspired by their autistic son’s reaction to VR, the startup currently has a couple of pilot studies. Presence Capital, GC VR Tracker Fund, Mixi’s i-Mercury Fund, COLOPL VR Fund, Schoolhouse Partners and Lifeforce Capital

 

Applications are now open for the WXR Venture Fund’s first Pitch Showcase on January 6th! The WXR Fund invests in startups in the VR/AR/XR industry who are committed to equal gender representation and provides community infrastructure to support women leaders in immersive tech. Visit www.womenxr.com to learn more.

 

THIS WEEK’S (11/07/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (11/07/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

This week we talk about Amazon's augmented shopping, Google launches new platform for sharing 3D objects called Poly, Billy Corgan made a VR music video with Tilt Brush and Blocks, Google's new "Resonance Audio" wants to give spatial audio to everyone, you can find a new Star Wars VR experience in select Nissan dealerships, and the investment wrapup..

THIS WEEK’S (10/31/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (10/31/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

This week we talk about some of the best scary content out there, a VR experience just won an honorary Oscar, Jaunt launched their app on Windows Mixed Reality platform, a VR headset called Pimax just overtook the Oculus Rift as the most crowdfunded VR headset ever, and the WXR Fund (Women in XR) opens submissions to their inaugural Pitch Showcase on Jan 6th - https://womenxr.com/

VRScout Report: Discover the Best in Virtual Reality PLUS Interview w/ Cas & Chary, VR YouTubers

VRScout Report: Discover the Best in Virtual Reality PLUS Interview w/ Cas & Chary, VR YouTubers

This week's show features very special guests: two of our favorite YouTubers, Cas & Chary (@CasandChary), join us in the studio for an impromptu interview. We discuss some of the highlights of OC4, new and upcoming VR tools from Adobe, and the Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets. Based in the Netherlands, Cas & Chary were traveling in the U.S. so they swung by and shared some of their favorite VR experiences with us. Check their YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/CasandChary

 

Funding the Future of VR/AR with Amitt Mahajan, cofounder of Presence Capital

Funding the Future of VR/AR with Amitt Mahajan, cofounder of Presence Capital

This week’s episode features an interview with Amitt Mahajan, co-founder of Presence Capital-- a $10M early stage fund focused on VR and AR that launched in December 2015. We chat about Amitt’s past experience building the mobile game FarmVille for Zynga, and how that story could be a lesson to VR content creators about early-mover advantages on emerging platforms. We talk about a few of the companies in Presence’s portfolio like Baobab Studios (the seemingly omnipresent content studio), STRIVR (immersive training-- for NFL quarterbacks to Walmart cashiers), and Sky Lights (making flying on airplanes less painful)-- and the reasons why Presence invested. Amitt also addresses augmented reality, the limitations of mobile AR, and the advantages and limitations of ARKit for iOS - www.presencecap.com/  

THIS WEEK’S (10/12/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (10/12/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

In this week's news update covers all the breaking news from Oculus Connect 4, Google spends $1.1B to acquire HTC’s smartphone talent and IP, Google’s ARCore bring augmented reality to Android, Microsoft Acquires VR Social App AltspaceVR, the investment & funding wrap-up, and more….

Talking VR Content with Jenna Seiden, Head of Content Acquisition & Partnerships of Viveport at HTC Vive

Talking VR Content with Jenna Seiden, Head of Content Acquisition & Partnerships of Viveport at HTC Vive

Jenna Seiden is Head of Content Acquisition & Partnerships at Viveport for HTC Vive, and we talk about Viveport as a content platform (also in relation to HTC Vive in context of Valve’s Steam store), what defines good content, and how the company sources that content. Jenna goes in depth on the Viveport Arcade program, how she thinks about branded content, and shares some great VR experience recommendations as well - https://www.viveport.com