Fable’s forty-minute VR experience, Wolves in the Walls, based on the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean, launches on Oculus Quest today. It’s free for Rift and Quest users. The company also announced today that the star of Wolves, an AI-driven character named Lucy (voiced by Cadence Goblirsch), is going to be extending her presence to the real world via social media platforms, emails, texts, voice, and Zoom calls. Users can sign up to be her friend. A real-world friend. “It’s not like virtual Instagram star Lil Miquela, who pushes content at you. And not like a voice assistant. …

Nreal, the Chinese creator of highly anticipated augmented reality smartglasses, announced a December 1st launch of its Nreal Light in Japan with KDDI. Following a successful introduction in Korea with LG this summer, pre-orders for Nreal Light can now be made on their Japanese telco partner KDDI’s online store. The Nreal is compatible with 5G smartphones including the Sony Xperia 5 II and Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

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Front view of the new Nreal Light Augmented Reality smartglasses.NREAL

Nreal’s booth at CES 2020 was mobbed. Developers are clamoring for the developer kit, which is hard to come by and over $2000. The Nreal Light is what the Magic Leap could have been, had they made different decisions, which is why founder Chi Xu, a former Magic Leap engineer, was sued in US court by his former employer. …

The seventh Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit (EWTS) is next week, October 20–23rd. Conference organizer BrainXchange is calling the online edition EWTS Everywhere. In a story about the conference last year, we noted the hand-picked nature of the 1,000+ attendees, who made up a who’s who of innovation executives from large industrial enterprises in verticals like aerospace, transportation, energy, and manufacturing. “Having the right people is more important than the number of people at this tightly focused conference,” BrainXchange COO Andrew Ferguson said. Wearable augmentation, from wrist scanners, exoskeletons, and head-mounted displays were on display in Dallas last year allowing attendees innovative tools for connecting people to computers, and machines, and making this connection as seamless and invisible as possible. That and the serendipitous connection of attendees seems impossible to replicate online. …

Zapbox, the “cardboard of AR,” has morphed into a plastic headset that enables a 6DoF “pass-through” Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences using almost any smartphone, and it’s now available via Kickstarter. When the original Zapbox launched in 2016, the company glibly described their $40 paper viewer as “Magic Leap for super cheap.” Back in 2016 there was no AR Kit/Core plane detecting technology for smartphones, so they had to use paper markers to anchor their AR content to the physical world.

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Zapbox is back as a 6DoF caddy with a head mount and controllers. Zappar

We’re not generally fans of Kickstarter campaigns, having repeatedly backed products that turn out to be nothing more than the sea monkeys advertised in the back of vintage comic books. In this case, we’re going to go out on a limb for Zappar, because the new Zapbox is a pass-through device. Your view of the physical world is directly through the smartphone camera, where it can mix in digital content more seamlessly. …

Today, HaptX, Virginia Tech, and the University of Florida won a $1.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop the first program to bring force feedback to upper and lower limbs in virtual environments, ForceBot. Founded in 2012 by Jake Rubin and Dr. Robert Crockett, HaptX started with a vision they strikingly captured in an image of the full body haptic system Rubin envisioned for virtual reality (VR). The company has taken a serious detour through reality, productizing haptic gloves for VR and robotic telepresence. …

Venues (formerly Oculus Venues) will present a new multimedia show in VR by two-time Grammy Nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki tonight (Wednesday night, September 30th, at 6 pm PST). The show is produced by Supersphere for Oculus Quest users, who can register here to reserve a seat at the show tonight.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — SEPTEMBER 20: DJ/producer Steve Aoki performs onstage during the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES

Steve Aoki is a world-famous DJ and music producer known for his wild multimedia dance shows, which sell out all over the world. …

Last week, Dreamscape Immersive announced the creation of Dreamscape Learn, a VR education platform now in development with Arizona State University. Over one hundred fifty designers, coders, and educators will work collaboratively to create immersive learning curricula on the Tempe campus. The first course, an entirely immersive approach to introductory biology, takes place inside of Dreamscape’s signature VR adventure, which will serve as a virtual laboratory for students to explore, observe, and solve problems. …

Rikard Steiber says he started GoodTrust after his friends fell victim to COVID-19 and he saw just how hard it is for families to take control of their digital assets and memorialize them on social media. When people die today, they don’t leave behind shoeboxes of pictures. It’s a new problem of our new digital lives, waiting for a new solution. Just as we leave instructions for worship and burial, so we must now account for the vast online inventory that can be built in a lifetime.

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Digital Death Services Goodrust

Steiber says a private survey commissioned by the company showed 90% of U.S. adults responded that they do not know what happens to their digital assets (emails, photos, social media, online banking, sites/passwords) when they pass away. Over 150,000 people die each day. It is a trillion-dollar business. Good Trust is part of a wave of solutions emerging to address our “digital remains.” A recent study predicts that some 250 million people will die on Facebook in the next 20 years or more than 30,000 people per day. …

On Wednesday, September 15th, Loom.ai, whose avatar technology appears on eighty million Samsung phones, launched LoomieLive Pro, a desktop app that brings cartoon avatars to Zoom, Meet, Teams, and other video conferencing platforms. We’ve been using it to surprise students and amuse colleagues in situations where some levity might brighten an otherwise typical Zoom call. This fall, you can use it for free.

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With the founders of Loomie Live in VR Charlie Fink

Loom.ai was founded in 2016 by Dreamworks animation executive Mahesh Ramasubramanian (CEO) and his childhood friend, co-founder Kiran Bhat, who had been working at Lucasfilm. Their goal was to bring face tracking, avatar animation, or avateering, to smartphones. The SF-based company has raised $5.9 …

Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim), a global developer of game-based military simulation and training software, was awarded £768k through the £800m Defence Innovation Fund with the British Army to build a massive photorealistic virtual reality (VR) training world called Virtual Reality in Land Training (VRLT). VRLT uses out-of-the-box terrains with the BISim’s proprietary game engine to enable hundreds of soldiers to participate in massive multi-role free-roaming, mounted and unmounted simulations.

Bohemia Interactive is a Prague based video game developer and publisher founded by Marek Španěl in 1999. The studio released its first game in 2001, a military shooter titled Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. When the United States Marine Corps asked them to develop realistic simulations to train soldiers in the early 2000s, a new division called Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) was created. BISim was later spun off and became a standalone business entity based in Orlando, Florida. …


Charlie Fink

AR/VR Consultant, Columnist, Author of the AR-enabled books “Metaverse, A Guide to VR & AR” (2018) & “Convergence” (2019). http://forbes.com/sites/charliefink

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