University of Michigan: The Impact And Role Of Social Media At The Olympics. “In this episode of Michigan Minds, Scott Campbell, PhD, Communications and Media Department Chair and Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Professor of Telecommunications, discusses the impact and role of social media at the Tokyo Olympics. He also talks about the presence that newer technologies like 5G and augmented reality will have on spectator events.” This is a podcast, but there’s an extensive article with it as well.
BetaNews: Here’s how to watch the Tokyo Olympics in VR. “The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are shaping up to be one of the most unusual in Olympic history for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that public spectators will not be allowed at any of the events (yeah, and the fact that the 2020 Olympics are happening in 2021). And even though this won’t be the first time that Olympics content will be available in VR, it is a particularly relevant way to experience the 17 days of international matchups this year — if you still have a standard cable subscription.”
KOAA: Virtual Reality being used to curb military suicide rate. “The most recent VA and DOD numbers show 503 service and 193 family members died by suicide in 2019. 17.6 veterans died by suicide daily in 2018. So far, a thousand airmen have taken part in this VR training and 98 percent of them said they would recommend it to others according to Moth and Flame.”
Yale School of Medicine: Virtual Reality Game Is an Effective Tool for Vaping Prevention Among Teens
Yale School of Medicine: Virtual Reality Game Is an Effective Tool for Vaping Prevention Among Teens. “Yale researchers have developed an immersive, virtual reality video game that helps teens learn about the dangers of e-cigarettes and practice strategies for refusing them. E-cigarette use among youth is on the rise—they are the most popular smoking product used by middle and high school students in the U.S. Approximately half of teenagers between 14-18 years old have tried an e-cigarette at least once, while about 10% of teens vape regularly. However, many teens are unaware of the long-lasting effects nicotine can have on a developing brain.”
EurekAlert: Beautiful VR setting could reduce pain in unpleasant medical procedure. “Dr Wojciech Krajewski and colleagues at the Wroc?aw Medical University in Poland recruited 103 patients, with a mean age of 66 years, who were listed for rigid cystoscopy with just local, intraurethral anaesthesia. Some were for a first diagnosis and others required follow up having experienced the procedure in the past. Individuals were randomised to undergo classic cystoscopy or the procedure with VR goggles and headphones presenting an image of the Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland.”
National Geographic: Virtual reality travel: is it more than just a gimmick?. “Being able to step into a 3D space, be it a hotel room or museum, natural beauty spot or city street, isn’t only a useful tool at the planning stage, but a means to augment your experience on the road, and a way to relive it afterwards. VR also offers opportunities to explore with a lighter carbon footprint and, right now, while international travel remains limited, it caters to both those hungry for new horizons and travellers seeking a way to revisit favourite haunts.”
Neowin: Facebook is testing ads inside its Oculus Quest headset. “Facebook announced today that it is testing in-headset ads in its Oculus Quest virtual reality platform over the next few weeks. The company will kick off the test with Resolution Games’ Blaston along with other developers.”
Google Blog: Experiment with AR and VR made for the web. “Augmented and virtual reality are opening up the possibilities of how we interact with the world and information around us. WebXR brings together AR and VR on the web to make them more convenient and widely accessible. Today on the Experiments with Google platform, we’re launching the new WebXR collection to showcase what is possible with this technology — from helpful utilities to get things done, to playful and immersive experiences.”
Spotted on Reddit: a pandemic project called VR-Compare. From the front page: “View summaries of 81 virtual reality headsets. Click on a headset’s name to view a full specification.” Spent a few minutes with it and it’s beautifully done, especially for a solo effort.
WRAL: Virtual reality project brings back Black neighborhoods. “Imagine if you could walk through Charlotte [North Carolina]’s Brooklyn neighborhood again, gliding past the homes, businesses and churches cleared by urban renewal more than a half-century ago.That’s the mission of researchers at Johnson C. Smith University, who received a trio of grants to preserve records and histories from several former Black neighborhoods in Charlotte. Their end goal: An virtual reality experience created with historical photos and 3-D models where viewers could experience long-gone neighborhoods.”
TechCrunch: Quest for prosthetic retinas progresses toward human trials, with a VR assist. “An artificial retina would be an enormous boon to the many people with visual impairments, and the possibility is creeping closer to reality year by year. One of the latest advancements takes a different and very promising approach, using tiny dots that convert light to electricity, and virtual reality has helped show that it could be a viable path forward.”
Mashable: SXSW got canceled by the pandemic. So it built Austin in VR for 2021.. “I was in a freefall high above Congress Avenue, or some acid-dream version of it, in Austin, (definitely not) Texas, with the ‘street’ below me rapidly coming into view….This was SXSW 2021. Or, to be exact, SXSW Online XR — a partial, virtual reality recreation of the familiar streets and venues that typically play host to the annual celebration of interactive, film, and art worlds. And it was alive inside of VRChat, the popular and scrappy social platform.”
EurekAlert: 20 years of research on the use of virtual reality in education. “An analysis published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning highlights 20 years of research on the use of virtual reality (VR) in K-12 schools and higher education.”