VentureBeat: Will Facebook Horizon be the first step toward the metaverse?

VentureBeat: Will Facebook Horizon be the first step toward the metaverse?. “The excitement around a metaverse is growing, as it’s not just an idea from science fiction anymore. Facebook Horizon, a user-generated virtual reality world that is still in closed beta testing, might be one of the first steps toward creating one. The metaverse is the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. Facebook is building its Horizon world in virtual reality, where people can immerse themselves in a virtual space with other friends and create their own social spaces akin to game worlds.”

The Next Web: Facebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299

The Next Web: Facebook announces the Oculus Quest 2, starting at $299. “The Oculus Quest 2 is, like its predecessor, a standalone headset that can be connected with a PC via the Oculus link cable. It’s smaller and lighter, with redesigned, more ergonomic controllers. The internals are also getting an upgrade with a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, 6GB of RAM, and 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye, and the headset will support a 90Hz refresh rate.”

CNET: Facebook’s Project Aria is test-driving tech for AR glasses on real-world people this year

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.”

Beyond the gallery wall: Art world retrains the public, virtually (Christian Science Monitor)

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

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?”

The Register: The sun is shining, the birds are singing. You can shut the curtains and tour The National Museum of Computing in VR

The Register: The sun is shining, the birds are singing. You can shut the curtains and tour The National Museum of Computing in VR. “The world’s largest collection of working historic computers, kept at England’s wartime code-cracking nerve centre of Bletchley Park, has thrown open its doors – virtually – so anyone anywhere can view it. With but a click, you will be whisked away to a 3D render of the Buckinghamshire hoard, then zoomed down into the museum’s entrance lobby. From there, you can navigate the long white halls of computing history in Google StreetView style.”

Untapped New York: New Augmented Reality App Recreates Historic NYC Buildings

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

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.”

HCIL: Development of Early VR

HCIL: Development of Early VR. “In 2018, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) decided to make its video archives available online…. Between class project obligations, trying to wrangle hundreds of copyright permissions, and digitizing all of the VHS tapes, we’re happy to announce that these pieces of history will soon be accessible to view through the ACM Digital Library. This is a massive treasure trove of 300+ demos which were originally presented at the annual ACM CHI conferences from 1983–2002, and they will soon be viewable online alongside their original papers.”

Purdue University: Augmented reality tool shown to help surgeons remotely guide first responders in battlefield-like scenarios

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

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

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

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: 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.”