Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality News


University of Washington Researchers Demo Ability to Generate 3D Augmented Reality Content from 2D Images

University of Washington Researchers Demo Ability to Generate 3D Augmented Reality Content from 2D Images

After joining Google and Huawei in underwriting the UW Reality Lab at the University of Washington in January, it appears Facebook is already seeing a return on its donation.According to results published earlier this month through Cornell University's arXiv service in a paper titled, "Photo Wake-Up: 3D Character Animation from a Single Photo," a team of Facebook and University of Washington researchers have developed a method of generating animated 3D models in augmented reality using only a photograph.
Titanic VR Developer VR Education Release Learning Platform ENGAGE

Titanic VR Developer VR Education Release Learning Platform ENGAGE

Thanks to its IPO in March which raised £6 million GBP, VR Education Holdings not only managed to fund projects like Titanic VR, but also further develop its proprietary VR education platform, ENGAGE. Today, the company has announced the launch of version 1.0 for commercial useThis initial release of ENGAGE supports HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headsets with devices such as the Oculus Go, Vive Focus and Google DayDream to be added in the new year.In development since 2015, ENGAGE has been designed to overcome certain aspects of online courses and traditional learning methods. The platform allows for virtual face-to-face education and training in a variety of environments regardless of the geographical location of the user, with one of its key components being the ability for educators and trainers to use the software to create their own VR lessons and presentations.
Smartglasses Maker North Picks Up Intel's Vaunt Patents

Smartglasses Maker North Picks Up Intel's Vaunt Patents

When wearables startup North officially unveiled its Focals smartglasses in October, the stylish frames strongly resembled, in form and function, Intel's canceled Vaunt smartglasses.Now, North's Focals may be about to have even more in common with Vaunt, as the startup has acquired the patent portfolio behind Intel's shelved project.On Monday, North CEO Stephen Lake revealed, in a report from The Verge that his company, formerly known as Thalmic Labs, has purchased about 230 patents and applications, along with related "technology and assets," that would bring North's total patent arsenal to more than 650.
VR more engaging than video and textbooks when it comes to the classroom

VR more engaging than video and textbooks when it comes to the classroom

Virtual reality (VR) is the most engaging and emotionally positive learning method in comparison to textbook learning and video. VR shows great potential to supplement or replace traditional learning methods and create new experiences according to researchers at the University of Warwick.VR headsets are the most stimulating form of learning method according to researchers at the University of Warwick. It was closely followed by textbook learning, then video.Three groups of students were assigned to three different types of learning: fully immersive VR environment, traditional textbook-style materials, or 2-D video of the VR environment. They all learnt about the same subject (biology), and had their learning, emotional response, and learning experience measured.
Chicago mayor wants to legalize marijuana, open casino to deal with city's pension crisis

Chicago mayor wants to legalize marijuana, open casino to deal with city's pension crisis

CHICAGO – The outgoing mayor of Chicago wants to legalize recreational marijuana and open a casino to help address a growing pension crisis in the nation’s third largest city, a source close to the mayor said Tuesday. Rahm Emanuel, who is set to leave office in May, will propose both measures in a major address on Wednesday, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly before the mayor’s address. Also Tuesday, aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The New York Post that Cuomo was readying a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in that state. It's already allowed in California, so If Emanuel and Cuomo are successful, it would be available in each of the nation's three largest cities: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
How VR Is Being Used to Help Children With Learning Disabilities, Autism

How VR Is Being Used to Help Children With Learning Disabilities, Autism

The United States Department of Education is betting on virtual reality to help students with high-functioning autism and learning disabilities in schools across the country. This month the Office of Special Education and Programs announced its investment of $2.5 million toward a new program that will use VR to nurture social skills in students with disabilities – an extension on earlier funding for versions of the program designed for desktop and tablets in 2011. The project is called VOISS: Virtual Reality Opportunities to Implement Social Skills, and is developed by researchers at the University of Kansas’ Center for Research on Learning and Department of Special Education – a collective of academics and Ph.D.s who are treading the waters that intersect virtual reality and education. In addition to students and teachers participating in the project, KU researchers will work in collaboration with educational leaders at the Ohio Center on Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities and a team of computer scientists at Western Illinois University. 
Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert submits $4.6 billion proposal to save Sears

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert submits $4.6 billion proposal to save Sears

The fund run by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, ESL Investments, submitted a $4.6 billion proposal on Thursday to help save the bankrupt retailer with the purchase of 500 stores. Sears Holdings, which owns Sears department stores and Kmart, filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15. In previous court filings, it has said it was in talks with ESL about a "going concern bid" that could help the company emerge from bankruptcy. The offer outlined Thursday included up to $950 million in cash through an asset-based loan facility, a "credit bid" of $1.8 billion and the assumption of roughly $1.1 billion in liabilities. The liabilities assumed include gift cards, points from its Shop Your Way loyalty program and protection agreements from Sears Home Services. Other funds include additional cash, notes and the rollover of cash collateral.
Bright spots in the VR market

Bright spots in the VR market

Virtual Reality is in a public relations slump. Two years ago the public’s expectations for virtual reality’s potential was at its peak. Many believed (and still continue to believe) that VR would transform the way we connect, interact, and communicate in our personal and professional lives. It’s easy to understand why this excitement exists once you put on a head mounted display. While there are still a limited number of compelling experiences, after you test some of the early successes in the field, it’s hard not to extrapolate beyond the current state of affairs to a magnificent future where the utility of virtual reality technology is pervasive.
Pokémon GO Maker Niantic Looks to Smartglasses Future with Investment in AR Display Maker DigiLens

Pokémon GO Maker Niantic Looks to Smartglasses Future with Investment in AR Display Maker DigiLens

The company behind augmented reality's first real gaming hit, Pokémon GO, is quietly making moves toward supporting the rapidly growing smartglasses space that may one day move its content away from smartphones and tablets and onto AR lenses positioned on your face. On Friday, augmented reality display maker DigiLens announced that it has closed a Series C funding round from Pokémon GO developer Niantic and Diamond Edge Ventures, the investment subsidiary that Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation (MCHC) launched in July.
CRISPR scientist in China claims his team’s research has resulted in the world’s first gene-edited babies

CRISPR scientist in China claims his team’s research has resulted in the world’s first gene-edited babies

In what would represent a dramatic and ethically fraught escalation of CRISPR research, a Chinese scientist from a Shenzhen university claims he has succeeded in helping create the world’s first genetically-edited babies. Dr. Jiankui He told the Associated Press that twin girls were born earlier this month after he edited their embryos using CRISPR technology to remove the CCR5 gene, which plays a critical role in enabling many forms of the HIV virus to infect cells.


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