Thank you to everyone who came out to our May 2016 Triad Virtual Reality Meetup last night (technically June 2nd – because of Holiday)!! If you missed the meetup, you missed out on some great fun, but don’t worry we are in the process of setting up another meeting for the end of this (June) month. TVR featured a guest presenter, Michael McDowell, a local middle school math and science teacher. His presentation, titled: “The Current and Future of Virtual Reality in Education”, outlined the process through which he has begun to incorporate augmented reality as a teaching tool in his classroom. Augmented reality and virtual reality aren’t just for play, instead these leaps in technology are offering a brand new way to strengthen educational lectures.
A company called Daquri has developed countless free applications that when paired with their “markers” provide a whole new way to teach. From showing the interactions between elements, dinosaurs, space, the cardiovascular system and all of it’s substructures, to the human body as a whole. Daquri is looking to change the way the world looks at education.
NASA has created a 3-D Spacecraft app that allows users to view virtual renderings of their space rovers. These models are able to be manipulated, rotated, and the basic functions of the rovers are able to be shown and explored. This is a HUGE exciting venture as users are now able to actually see what a rover does, accompanied by small explanations by NASA.
Google has released a series of virtual tours aimed at enlightening and educating children in a classroom setting. The teacher is able to select “points of interest” on the virtual tour and the app guides the students to the point of interest. As Google describes it, “Expeditions is a virtual reality platform built for the classroom. We worked with teachers and content partners from around the world to create more than 150 engaging journeys – making it easy to immerse students in entirely new experiences.”
Want to try VR? Samsung’s giving away free Gear VR headsets again
Samsung’s giving one away for free to new Galaxy owners until June 19. It’s an extension of an offer recently made to those who purchased the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but this time it’s open to anyone who grabs a Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, or the Galaxy Note 5. Samsung’s including a bundle of games and other content worth $50.
Nintendo NX Will Be VR Compatible
The un-revealed Nintendo NX, has missed its original mass-production plan starting mid-2016 and will instead be starting up again in early 2017. But here’s the really exciting part in all of this; apparently Nintendo made that delay not only to improve the overall experience the system offers but also to include some form of VR support. If true, this could also mean that each of the three major console makers are now involved in VR. Sony of course has PlayStation VR for PlayStation 4, while Microsoft is rumored to be seeking Oculus Rift support for a new, more powerful Xbox One to release next year.
Photogrammetry Preserves Iraqi Artifacts Destroyed By The Islamic State
If you remember the George Clooney, Billy Murray film The Monuments Men that came out a few years ago then you’ll be familiar with the abhorrent practice of militant cultural destruction. Combatants in skirmishes throughout history frequently destroy the artistic, literary, musical, or otherwise culturally relevant artifacts of their opposition. This aggressive practice strips a society of its history, and can keep it from reconstructing successfully after the immediate conflict reaches its conclusion.
One such aggressor currently engaged in cultural destruction is the Islamic State, and one if its most significant victims was the Mosul Museum in Iraq. The cultural loss was tremendous, but now a new photogrammetry program known as RecoVR: Mosul is aiming to restore all of these significant artifacts to the people that deserve to benefit from it.
Photogrammetry Model of the Mosul Museum: https://youtu.be/0EazGA673fk
Hypervision: WIRED’s Look at the Mysterious Magic Leap
This is an excellent article with the most information about Magic Leap to date. Enthusiasts should digest it in its entirety at: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/magic-leap-vr/
Magic Leap: https://youtu.be/GmdXJy_IdNw
Waltz of the Wizard’s Spells Will Delight for Free on Steam
Waltz of the Wizard is a uniquely designed virtual reality experience that allows you to feel what it’s like to have magical powers. Combine arcane ingredients into a boiling cauldron, with the help of an ancient spirit trapped in a human skull, discovering spells and unleashing wizardry upon a world where everything is interactive. Visit new surroundings and find yourself in mysterious circumstances in an experience inspired by the atmosphere of films such as Fantasia and Harry Potter.
Waltz of the Wizard Demo: https://youtu.be/T09xOk1wqeo
Unity’s Awesome VR Editor Gets a Release Window & A Fresh Look
VR editors are set to change how developers actually make their games, and Unity just announced when its take on the concept is going to be released. A third demonstration of the Unity editor was held at the Unity Europe keynote in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Principal Software Engineer Amir Ebrahimi confirmed that it would be launching in Q4 2016 when he took to the stage to run through a new demo of the concept, complete with some brand new features. Ebrahimi again used the Oculus Rift paired with the Oculus Touch position-tracked controllers to head into a scene and customize it in a simple, intuitive fashion.
Unity VR Editor: https://youtu.be/ospGhrSzKe4
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