TechCrunch: Google open sources Tilt Brush VR software as it shuts down internal development . “…the folks at Google announced they had ended active development of Tilt Brush, a VR painting app that was one of virtual reality’s early hit pieces of software. The app allowed users to use virtual reality controllers as brushes to construct digital sculptures and environments. While the company will not be pushing any new updates to the app, they did announce that they will be open sourcing the code on github for developers to build their own experiences and customizations.”
The Hill: How VR is bringing Black history to life for middle schoolers across America. “It’s a lot easier to bring down a statue than it is to put one up. But the Movers and Shakers of NYC found a way to cut through some of the red tape using a piece of technology most Americans have in their pockets. Using augmented reality, a new app allows students, teachers and the general public to learn Black history and pay tribute to the people who are often left out of textbooks. In addition to a catalog of monuments to women, people of color and the LGBT community, the Kinfolk app contains a digital archive of Black, Indigenous and Latin history.”
Engadget: The Sundance Film Festival makes a giant leap into VR. “Like most major events over the last year, the esteemed Sundance Film Festival is going virtual. But it’s going beyond just letting you watch films at home. Sundance is building an extensive virtual reality platform for all attendees, which can be accessed with or without a VR headset. You can think of it as an evolution of the festival’s experience highlighting groundbreaking VR and new media projects with its New Frontier exhibition. Now, Sundance is transforming itself into a virtual reality destination.”
Ubergizmo: Virtual Reality Helped A Husband Meet His Deceased Wife One More Time. “In a new documentary on MBC, one of South Korea’s major broadcasting networks, it showed how the use of VR helped a husband meet his deceased wife one more time, where he also got to interact with her through VR and speak to her. According to the man, 51-year old Kim Jung Soo, he had expressed his hopes at seeing his wife again, and this experience allowed him to do just that.” I recommend you do not look at the video accompanying this article unless you’ve got a supply of tissues.
ABC News: German regulators launch new Facebook investigation over VR. “The Federal Cartel Office, or Bundeskartellamt, said it had initiated abuse proceedings over Facebook’s plans to require users of the latest Quest 2 virtual reality glasses produced by Oculus to register with a Facebook.com account.”
ScienceBlog: Creating A Realistic VR Experience With Normal 360-Degree Camera. “Scientists at the University of Bath have developed a quick and easy approach for capturing 360° VR photography without using expensive specialist cameras. The system uses a commercially available 360° camera on a rotating selfie stick to capture video footage and create an immersive VR experience.Virtual reality headsets are becoming increasingly popular for gaming, and with the global pandemic restricting our ability to travel, this system could also be a cheap and easy way to create virtual tours for tourist destinations.”
Essex County Standard: University of Essex researchers launch innovative VR theatre study. “RESEARCHERS from Essex University are leading on an innovative study to explore the social impact of virtual reality theatre. A team from the uni, led by Dr Abigail Webb and Dr Rebecca Warren, are working with LIVR, an online library for immersive theatre content on the research. They hope to find out how immersive theatre, or shows viewed from home on VR a headset, impacts on viewers.”
Nice, some of these I didn’t know about. Axios: Recreating racism in VR to fight real racism. “New virtual and ‘augmented’ reality technology is allowing users to experience 1960s civil rights marches, the agony of segregation for Black Americans, or life in a Japanese American internment camp.”
Museums Association: Online game enables users to curate Birmingham Museums collections. “The trust has formed a partnership with the recently launched online game and art platform, Occupy White Walls, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enable players to collect and curate their own exhibitions in a virtual world. The collaboration means that users can access an initial 200 pieces from Birmingham Museum and Gallery’s art collection to curate, design and build digital art exhibitions. The available collection includes some of the city’s most famous artworks, such as The Last of England by Ford Madox Brown and Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.”
Mashable: Google’s Australian addition to its mobile AR puts koalas in your house . “Google has added eight Australian animals to its collection of mobile AR creatures, allowing users to size up animated 3D renditions of the country’s native fauna. It’s an entertaining little update, and a good tool to help you determine which ones you could take in a fight.” Well, um, that escalated quickly.
University of Bristol: Interactive virtual reality emerges as a new tool for drug design against COVID-19
University of Bristol: Interactive virtual reality emerges as a new tool for drug design against COVID-19. “Bristol scientists have demonstrated a new virtual reality [VR] technique which should help in developing drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus – and enable researchers to share models and collaborate in new ways. The innovative tool, created by University of Bristol researchers, and published in the Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, will help scientists around the world identify anti-viral drug leads more rapidly.”
Engineering and Technology: Review: V&A’s Curious Alice VR experience. “Ahead of the opening of its much-anticipated Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition in March 2021, London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum has released a VR experience: Curious Alice. This is not a dodgy reconstruction of its existing galleries or upcoming exhibition; it is a creative little companion piece well suited to the medium and offering a brief escape from reality.”
ScienceDaily: New virtual reality software allows scientists to ‘walk’ inside cells. “The software, called vLUME, was created by scientists at the University of Cambridge and 3D image analysis software company Lume VR Ltd. It allows super-resolution microscopy data to be visualised and analysed in virtual reality, and can be used to study everything from individual proteins to entire cells.”
Gizmodo: Google’s Daydream VR Is Officially, Really, Finally Dead. “If you happen to be one of the few people who still use Google’s Daydream VR platform, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s officially dead. (If you didn’t know Daydream was a thing, that’s totally OK. I forgot it was, too.) Spotted by Android Authority, Google recently issued a service update for Daydream letting any lingering users know the software is no longer supported.”