CNET: Facebook’s Project Aria is test-driving tech for AR glasses on real-world people this year. “We won’t be wearing our magic Tony Stark AR smartglasses this year, or the year after, or maybe not even the year after that. Although Facebook is already working on smartglasses with Luxottica, those won’t be world-sensing mixed reality devices yet. But Facebook’s Project Aria is ready to start mapping the real world with a head-worn sensor array being deployed to 100 or so testers in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area starting this month.”
Christian Science Monitor: Beyond the gallery wall: Art world retrains the public, virtually. “When a pipe burst in January at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, it caused a flood that shuttered the popular museum in Rockland for a few months. The crisis forced a deep dive into technology to keep audiences engaged – and it left the CMCA staff better prepared for the pandemic-related shutdown in mid-March. ‘The flood gave us a head start so that when COVID hit, we could respond rapidly and continue to offer the three-dimensional, virtual tours that we’d just produced,” says CMCA Executive Director Suzette McAvoy. “We’d also received some great feedback by then, so we were awarded a grant that has helped us move forward.’ As museums and art galleries look for the resources to stay open and preserve staffing, some are finding that a hybrid approach – part virtual, part in-person – is the best way to engage with the public.”
The Verge: Google makes NASA artifacts and prehistoric crustaceans viewable in AR. “Google has made a number of prehistoric creatures and historical artifacts available to view in augmented reality in its Arts and Culture app, the company announced today. If you want to take a closer look at the ancient crustacean Cambropachycope from your living room without having to visit Moscow’s State Darwin Museum, for example, then now’s your chance. Or how about the Command Module from Apollo 11 or Neil Armstrong’s lunar spacesuit?”
Untapped New York: New Augmented Reality App Recreates Historic NYC Buildings. “Every street in New York City is imbued with history. Each building and lot houses countless stories about the Big Apple of yesteryear and the team at Metro ARchive is developing an immersive experience that will bring those stories to life. Using augmented reality technology, the app will enable users to view historic New York City streets as they were centuries ago.”
Arizona State University: Create your own planetary adventure with ASU’s new 3D terrain app. “… the Mars Space Flight Facility teamed up recently with Assistant Professor Robert LiKamWa and graduate student Lauren Gold of the Meteor Studio in ASU’s School of Arts Media and Engineering to launch a new smartphone app called JMARS AR Viewer. In developing the app, they were assisted by ASU undergraduates Hannah Bartolomea and Shaun Xiong, and Hamilton High School student Alexander Gonzalez. Downloadable for free from the Apple and Android stores, the JMARS AR Viewer allows users to virtually project planetary terrains from Mars, Mercury, Earth and the moon onto their physical environment.”
Purdue University: Augmented reality tool shown to help surgeons remotely guide first responders in battlefield-like scenarios. “A Purdue University-led study is the first to show medics successfully performing surgery in life-like simulations of these war zones by receiving guidance from surgeons through an augmented reality headset. The work is joint with Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering and the Department of Computer Science.”
MakeUseOf: Google AR Adds 3D Insects to Its Search Results. “Google AR search results are one of the coolest new things to come out of Google’s labs in recent months. After all, who doesn’t want to have a wide variety of animals blasted into their living room on command? Starting today, Google has made its augmented reality search results a bit more terrifying with the addition of 23 3D insects.”
CNET: Fox will put virtual baseball fans in the stands for MLB games. “In an age of social distancing, Fox is figuring out how to put fans in the stands for Major League Baseball game broadcasts. In a tweet Thursday, the network showed off a video featuring virtual fans who can wear team colors, cheer, boo and even do the wave.” I dunno, I kind of like the cardboard cutouts.
Ubergizmo: Apple’s AR Glasses Could Offer Enhanced Privacy For The iPhone. “According to the rumors, Apple is said to be working on a pair of AR glasses. What the company plans on doing with these glasses is unclear, but now in a patent discovered by AppleInsider, it seems that one of the potential uses for Apple’s wearable headset could be enhanced privacy for iPhone users.”
National Geographic: Experience being a climber on the world’s tallest mountain. “National Geographic’s second augmented-reality experience on Instagram allows viewers to dress as Everest climbers and travel up the mountain with the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest Expedition that climbed the mountain last year to install the highest weather stations in the world. Viewers will be able to see their own breath as well as take and share selfies from the summit. This experience brings Nat Geo’s July issue on Mount Everest to life.”
CNET: Google Search puts AR dinosaurs in your backyard. “As 3D objects become more searchable on phones, Googling up an animal to drop into your home is becoming a thing. The latest augmented reality object to pop up: dinosaurs.”
CNET: Google’s new AR update adds depth without needing lidar like Apple’s iPad. “This week’s AR news has been focused on Apple’s augmented reality updates to iOS 14, many of which lean on the depth-scanning hardware only on the recent iPad Pro. Google announced its own AR news this week, too, and you won’t need specialized hardware to use its depth-sensing tools.”
ZDNet: Social distancing: Google’s new tool lets you see a two metre gap with AR. “Sodar draws a two-metre radius around you by placing markers in AR onto your real-world environment. Through your phone screen, you can visualize exactly where your two-metre bubble starts and ends, so that you can immediately see if someone dares come in a little too close.” This is experimental, and getting to use it seems a little Byzantine.
EurekAlert: New device simulates feel of walls, solid objects in virtual reality. “Today’s virtual reality systems can create immersive visual experiences, but seldom do they enable users to feel anything — particularly walls, appliances and furniture. A new device developed at Carnegie Mellon University, however, uses multiple strings attached to the hand and fingers to simulate the feel of obstacles and heavy objects.”
PR Newswire: Virtual Meetings Help Overcome Social Distance; Spatial Makes Platform Accessible For All With Free Service (PRESS RELEASE). “Spatial, the leading VR/AR collaboration platform that allows people to work over distance as if in the same room, today announced that in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s opening up unlimited access to its premium services to everyone free of charge, for the coming months. In addition to access via major headsets, Spatial can now be used by the masses via a web version on your desktop or iPhone/Android, allowing anyone to enter a Spatial AR/VR meeting by simply clicking on a meeting link – no downloads required. The company is also announcing a much-improved experience and general availability of Spatial on the leading all-in-one VR headset today, Oculus Quest, previously only available in private beta.”