THIS WEEK’S (2/13/18) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (2/13/18) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

In this week's episode, Malia and Jonathan give a sneak peek into the sold-out debut of Dreamscape Immersive's social VR experience in LA. Also, the futuristic AR eSports Tournament HADO WORLD CUP is coming to the US, Intel's new AR prototype will project your incoming texts into your retinas with lasers, Walmart acquires a VR startup, Magic Leap raises more money, 8th Wall took on $8M for their platform for mobile AR, and Vreal has raised $11.7M for their VR broadcasting platform - https://vrscout.com/podcast/

THIS WEEK’S (2/6/18) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (2/6/18) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

In this week's episode, Malia and Jonathan dig into all the recent VR/AR news--  you can immerse yourself in the Olympic action in South Korea by putting on a VR headset, and Olympic athletes are actually training for their competitions using VR. We chat about the iPhone X's facial-mapping and the power of individualized animojis, discuss the new Vive Focus standalone headset which has launched in China (and nowhere else!) while we wait for the Vive Pro to be released in the west, Light Field Lab announced a $7M funding round to develop their light field displays, VirZOOM took on $5.5M in funding to further develop their stationary VR bikes, and Positron has raised $1.4M in seed funding to progress development on its VR motion chair.

The Sundance Episode

The Sundance Episode

A combination of VRScout team coverage and live interviews with Sundance creators, this episode is a fun time. Our intro conversation features Eric Chevalier (Co-founder) and Zeynep Abes (Community Lead) from the VRScout team, and we talk about content trends at Sundance, some of our personal favorite experiences, and how Sundance has evolved over the past few years. We then segue into 3 mini-interviews featuring Eliza McNitt (lead artist on Spheres, which just set a VR acquisition record for $1.4M), Samantha Gorman (of Tenderclaws, which exhibited tenderAR), and Jake Rubin (of HaptX, which exhibited their haptic glove that lets you feel sensation in VR).

The LIVE VR/AR Conversation at the YouTube House at Sundance

The LIVE VR/AR Conversation at the YouTube House at Sundance

Welcome to a conversation that was recorded live at the YouTube House during Sundance on January 18th, 2018. We talk about past and current 360° content trends (as well as the emerging 180° format) from both the creator and platform perspectives, how the immersive media part of Sundance has evolved over the past few years, and we dive into a couple of VR videos which premiered at Sundance. Both of these two experiences are immersive companion pieces to known names in traditional entertainment: Wes Anderson and Fox’s Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in Virtual Reality) which was created in partnership w/ Felix & Paul for Wes Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion film Isle of Dogs, and Step Up: High Water - VR Edition which is an exclusive immsersive dance sequence from the YouTube Red Originals series Step Up: High Water. Featuring Brendan Handler (FoxNext), Paul Raphael (Felix & Paul Studios), Erin Teague (YouTube VR), Andy Stack (Arcturus Studios), David Luner (Lionsgate), and Julia Trost (Google VR/AR). Hosted by Malia Probst (VRScout).

Trends for VR Creators with René Pinnell, CEO of Kaleidoscope

Trends for VR Creators with René Pinnell, CEO of Kaleidoscope

René and Selena Pinnell co-founded Kaleidoscope VR as a network to support new business models for immersive art and entertainment, bringing creators and industry leaders together to develop and fund content. René comes on the show to chat about Kaleidoscope's recent industry report on emerging trends in 2018 that they predict will impact the VR entertainment industry over the next 12 to 24 months. René shares some recommendations for creators and businesses, and we discuss the four primary trends which they see influencing the industry: professionalization of funding, longer form content, Location Based Entertainment (LBE), and Augmented Reality - http://kaleidoscope.fund

THIS WEEK’S (12/19/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (12/19/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

Apple releases VR video editing tools & positions the new iMac pro for VR creators, Snap releases tool to create your own AR effects called Lens Studio, Facebook opens up its AR creation platform & tool to everyone, Nickolodeon is working on VR arcades, the investment wrapup, and more...

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

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

VR/AR NEWS

Alongside the release of Ready Player One’s film trailer, a sequel to the book has been confirmed by author Ernest Cline. Regardless if you’re in the fanboy camp or not, the trailer looks fun and should satisfy your sweet tooth for pop culture references… but what’s up with star Tye Sheridan’s leg on the the movie poster?

 

An upcoming feature film, Speed Kills, is releasing a large amount of 360° companion content-- an entire hour (although it’ll be distributed as 8 episodes). Although the actual video itself is unimpressive (and John Travolta’s immersive media debut), I found it interesting as an example of how 360° production was integrated into the traditional production process.

 

Sony recently reported that they’ve sold 2M+ PSVR units (and 70M+ PS4 consoles), and over 12M copies of PSVR games. The Japanese company also launched a small trial of a home trial program that allowed PS4 owners to trial a PSVR and then purchase it for a discount (sorry, guys-- the 1,400 demo spots filled up fast). Sony is also reportedly beta testing a virtual reality theater roomthis week with Japanese users… starting with a screening of Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. // Related Stocks: Sony Corporation ($SNE)

 

Sundance just announced their immersive lineup for the New Frontier Program, including live performances and 20 VR/AR experiences… and two Artificial Intelligence-related creative projects, a first for AI at Sundance. Some pieces we’re looking forward to are SPHERES: Songs of Spacetime by Eliza McNitt and Chorus from Tyler Hurd and Chris Milk, Megan Ellison, and Justice. Want to dive into the highlights from Sundance 2017? Listen to Ep. 43 of the VRScout Report podcast here.

 

INVESTMENT WRAPUP

CrossCut Ventures raised $125M to invest in esports and gaming, including VR and AR startups in that space. After returning 4x from their $5M initial round in 2008, this is the fourth seed fund for CrossCut-- and this $125M new fund is bigger than combining their 3 prior funds together, indicating the hot interest in the sector.

THIS WEEK’S (12/05/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

THIS WEEK’S (12/05/17) TOP5 VR&AR NEWS

VR/AR NEWS

Oculus Go, the standalone VR headset from Oculus, just started shipping to developers. First announced in October, the Oculus Go is an all-in-one headset-- meaning no mobile phone or high-end PC is required. It’s priced at an approachable $199 and will be shipping to consumers sometime in “early 2018”. It’s nice to know that developers are already getting started. // Related Stocks: Facebook, Inc. ($FB)

 

Google recently announced Poly, their library for 3D assets (that you can populate with models created by Google’s VR creator tools like Tilt Brush and Blocks). Now, they opened up Poly’s API-- so you can use Poly models across different applications, from game engines like Unreal and Unity to VR apps like Mindshow and TheWaveVR. It looks like more progress on Google’s quest to be an immersive computing service provider and platform.  // Related Stocks: Alphabet, Inc. ($GOOG)

 

Google launched Daydream Impact, an initiative teaching impact-focused organizations like the Eastern Congo Initiative how to create 360 video and loaning them equipment to get it done. But that’s not all-- Google also released a FREE 360 video training program on Coursera.   // Related Stocks: Alphabet, Inc. ($GOOG)

 

The Dutch government spent almost $60K in funding the development of waterproof VR goggles, and here’s an unexpected use case… so-called “dolphin-assisted therapy,” where you float in a pool watching 360 videos of dolphins.

INVESTMENT WRAPUP

...Williams-Sonoma just paid $12M to acquire an immersive retail visualization company called Outward.

 

$1B has been invested in VR/AR startups in Q4 of this year (yes, December just started). Already the highest quarter for funding since 2016’s Q1, the majority of the capital went to two big rounds: $502M to Magic Leap Inc. in October and $200M to Niantic in November.

 

...and the HTC Vive X accelerator has invested in 26 more VR/AR startups, and expanded their global physical footprint to 5 locations: San Francisco, Taipei, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Tel Aviv. Vive X is a $100 million program that started back in 2016, and already 80+ companies have participated.  // Related Stocks: HTC Corporation ($2498.TW