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The world is becoming 360

The jury's out on whether it's a good idea to point your phone's camera at the eclipse, but there's another way to use your phone to watch it: Grab your VR headset. Time's YouTube channel began showing a 360-degree livestream of the eclipse at around 8:30 a.m. PT on Monday. Just fire up the app on your phone, head to that channel at the appropriate time and tap the Google Cardboard icon to switch over to the VR view. Then drop your phone into any compatible headset. If you miss out, you can watch later using the LifeVR app, which is available for Android and iOS, or the Samsung VR channel. (cnet.com)



VR is closer to reality and it's getting cheaper


A recent price drop of the Oculus Rift VR headset has rather forced HTC's hand to lower the price of its VR headset as well, pushing it from US $799, down to US $599. While HTC was quite keen to say that the price cut does not come as a response to Oculus Rift price cut, we are quite sure that this forced HTC to drop the price and offer the Vive VR for a more affordable US $599. HTC says that the company is the leader in the VR market and that the price cut is part of the plan to reach the mass market. Some HTC reps also noted that this sale is not about clearing the stock for another product as they expect this version of the Vive to stay in the market "well into 2018". (fudzilla.com)


https://youtu.be/rDXbYDr4Pm8



Facebook never behind


As Facebook pivots focus to offering more video content ” last week, it officially announced its TV-like premium video service Watch "building out more robust video editing capabilities for content creators and marketers is a smart move that might give it a competitive edge against rival platforms like YouTube. AR, in particular, appears to be Facebook's next big focus when it comes to providing tools for developers, and Fayteq's editing specialty fits squarely into those ambitions. Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled its Camera Effects Platform, which provides a suite of tools for artists, designers and developers to build AR apps for Facebook. The Fayteq acquisition might extend those AR integrations to video, and comes as yet another bid to put a dent in Snapchat, which has helped popularize AR in the mainstream through its virtual selfie and world lenses filters. Apple is yet another major tech player eyeing AR as a signifcant piece of is future business, especially on mobile, and also recently introduced an AR video editing app called Clips. (marketingdive.com)



News is on top of it too


But CNN and Volvo hope to up the ante during next Monday’s solar eclipse. The news broadcaster and automaker collaborated on four pieces of branded content that will live-stream Aug. 21 on CNN.com, CNN’s mobile apps, the Oculus headset and CNN’s Facebook Live 360 channel. Each stream will feature a different influencer – Explorers Club President Richard Wiese, “The Martian” author Andy Weir, Egyptologist Kara Cooney and former astronaut Cady Coleman – trekking to an eclipse viewing location. That 360-degree content will also feature interactive commercial breaks shot in 360-degree video and 4K VR, showcasing Volvo’s luxury XC60 SUV – which conveniently comes with a 360-degree camera. “We shopped this idea around to different [networks] and some had the technology, but [lacked] the scale or the newsworthiness,” said John Militello, director of marketing innovation and strategy for Volvo. “We had partnered with CNN before on media, and knew we didn’t just want to create an ad. We wanted to add value.” (adexchanger.com)



The developers


New photonics-led technologies from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute indicate that there are almost no limits in VR and AR worlds, as it prepares to show them at leading broadcasting and electronics fairs in Europe, next month. The research organisation says that both subjects “are still in the hype phase”, but require further development in relation to production, image capture and streaming. Therefore the HHI has further developed its established technologies before it presents them to interested expert visitors and curious tech fans alike at IBC in Amsterdam, and IFA in Berlin. OmniCam-360 with closed sphere and live stitching In the field of high-resolution recording and rendering of 360-degree scenes around a viewpoint suitable for presenting highly realistic impressions, HHI has over recent years further developed and refined its OmniCam-360. It enables, for example, sport or musical events to be rendered in an Ultra High Definition panorama up to 360 degrees around a viewer. (optics.org)



Future is 360


There’s great optimism associated with the promise of VR, and revenues from this industry are  expected to reach $13 billion  in this year. Despite the optimism, widespread adoption of VR has  remained elusive . For real estate, however, the potential of VR is becoming a reality quickly. VR is a newcomer to a real estate industry heavily focused on customer experience and ease of access. There exist many pain points in real estate that VR solves for renters and investors. These include buying or renting a property sight unseen, touring homes with potential renters, envisioning fix and flips, and so much more. In short, VR is changing the real estate world. Here are some of the ways that investors and tenants will be affected — for the better. (uploadvr.com)


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