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Virtual Perceptions

The Immersive Wire
Weekly analysis of the immersive industry
By Tom Ffiske // 26 August 2020
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I turned 27 recently, and celebrated with a Thai takeaway while watching Ratatouille. Don't judge me. (Too much).
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As the training world becomes virtual, we’re your trusted guide through the immersive worlds to reality. Our use case template can help you head in the right direction.
THE BIG STORY
Let's talk about Facebook Reality Labs, and why many won't care. In case you missed the announcement, Facebook is forming a unified identity for its immersive work, spanning across Spark AR, Portal, and the Oculus brand. The name encompasses all of Facebook's AR/VR team, as they build towards the 'next computing platform.'

Oh, and Oculus Connect - the annual event for the brand - is renamed Facebook Connect. *A blue broom sweeps Oculus under the carpet.*


Did the move come from nowhere? Not quite. Facebook has been evolving the brand for some time, so more people will know that Oculus is part of the Facebook family. Facebook Reality Labs is clear, concise, and encompasses all the immersive efforts in the company. 

Still, I can picture Facebook as the overbearing parent of Oculus, moulding it so it looks and acts as one with the family. It feels like the Facebookification of Oculus.

But who cares? Mostly tech-savvy developers on Twitter and Facebook, bashing the company and looking at their track record on data privacy. But most consumer shoppers who want to try VR, or are playing with Spark AR, don't mind the Facebook branding. Facebook will only notice when the money disappears; and considering how well Oculus is doing, that won't stop soon. 
OTHER STORIES
  • Facebook Connect will happen on 16 September.
    • Controversy aside, I am curious to see what Oculus, Portal, and Spark AR announcements will be made.
  • On a related note, the VR/AR Global Summit has been moved to the end of September. 
    • Why? See the first news item regarding Facebook Connect. 🤷
  • Want to ride a physical bike while carefully cycling along the edge of a cliff?
    • Me neither.
    • But if you do: REWIND created an in-store experience called Danny MacAskill’s VR Ride Out, live on the Ride Out store in Amsterdam. 
    • Text doesn't do it justice as it's a very cool experience; check out the video to see for yourself. 
  • Apple acquires VR start-up Spaces. 
  • The team at Nimest Tech made an AR AI assistant. 
  • Want to see the MIT AR graduation experience?
    • It's worth a look considering how decked the education has been in the last few months. It will never replace the real thing, but it shows a gread deal of ingenuity from its creators. 
  • SAMAHOMA MEDIA ADVISORS (yes, the company uses all-caps 🙄) is looking for independent game makers and VR projects to invest in.
    • The Insight Media Fund has already invested in five projects since the start of the year, including a couple of feature films and a VR location-based experience. 
    • Worth a peek. 
  • Want to save the enviroment... with the power of music? 
    • IONIA, the debut episode in the Rhythm of the Universe adventure series about preserving the environment with the power of music from ROTU Entertainment, hits tethered VR headsets in Q4.
  • Like cars and VR? Consider joining DSC Europe 2020 VR.
    • Event details here, and use ImmersiveWire2020 during the registration process to get 50% off. (Make sure to select the Special Promotion status before entering the code). 
  • Want to learn more about WebAR?
    • Zappar released a WebAR ebook which details key learnings and insights about the technology. Download it here
    • Disclaimer: I work for Zappar as a freelancer. 
  • We are now in VR film season, such as IFF, Venice Film Festival, and London Film Festival. 
  • Want to do some more exersise in VR?
    • A new option is RealFit, available this Friday. 
    • (I will need to do this considering I ate my bodyweight in Thai food earlier this week). 
JOB BOARD
Facebook is looking for a Product Manager. Click here for more. 
The University of Edinburgh is looking for a Research Associate in Augmented Reality. Check here for more. 
THE IMMERSIVE WIRE INTERVIEW

Charlotte Mikkelborg is a British director and producer who become known for her work directing gripping character-driven film and virtual reality. Charlotte explores immersive filmmaking, including techniques and the use of senses. The filmmaker explores her process from making a new film to driving interest in her productions.

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