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Digital Trends' Keith Nelson investigates why it is that the NFL is still not set to offer full-length live games in VR this year. Nelson speaks to representatives from the NFL, NextVR and Voke. Among the proposed reasons for the delay offered by the NFL are that smartphones don't have vivid enough displays yet for their 4K footage, and they're also not convinced that anyone will be willing to wear one of the current VR headsets for the three-hour length of a full pro game. There is also trepidation regarding how to clearly present and intercut gridiron action in the VR space. – DT

Paris startup Hypersuit's VR "exoskeleton" allows a gamer to move more freely and even fly in the VR world. A Hypersuit user lies in and spreads out in a flying position, with their arms free to move about. Founder Gregoire Arcache says the inspiration for the Hypersuit sprouts from "the oldest dream of mankind and the frustration of using VR sitting in a chair." The company, which showed off the tech at CES 2017, is hoping to ship its product by June. – VB

Game programmer and lecturer Robert Yang isn't so sure about VR's potential to generate empathy, and says many of the touted experiences resemble "empathetic tourism." Evidence of this can be seen, Yang says, in a 2015 Psychology Today study. Researchers found that experiences simulating poverty actually diminished empathy towards the poor, as players viewed their situation as a result of poor choices that could potentially have been avoided. Yang feels VR is inherently a condescending medium, as it implies that empathy is so hard for humans to grasp that they need a technologically advanced headset to get them there. (The interview with Yang is part of Haaretz's longer piece on VR's potential in helping bring about world peace.) – HAARETZ

Virtual- and mixed-reality firm Spaces has raised $6.5 million in its latest round of funding. Leading the funding is China's theme-park giant Songcheng Performances Development Co. Ltd., who announced a $30 million joint venture with Spaces last summer to develop VR and MR elements for existing rides. This brings the amount of money raised by Spaces to $9.5 million, after last year's seed round. The company was launched last year by veterans from DreamWorks Animation's VR branch. – VARIETY

"The People's House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama" is a Facebook 360 project that highlights nine iconic locales inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The eight-minute piece, narrated by President Obama, was produced by Emmy winners Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus. In his narration, Obama says, "We're just renters here... What we wanted to do is make sure everybody felt they had access to the White House." – ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST


 
Baidu Inc, the Chinese search engine firm, has dedicated an augmented reality lab in Beijing in hopes of revitalizing shrinking profits. The lab, with a staff of 55, will focus on using AR marketing to boost revenues. Andrew Ng, the scientist in charge of Baidu's AR, AI and deep learning departments, says, "There are few content formats where the content is evergreen. AR will be like that." (AR is still going through its "regulatory teething phase" in China, with Pokemon Go still not launched in the country.) – REUTERS

Archaeologists have designed a VR recreation of a burial site from the ancient Plain of Jars landscape in Laos. The VR version will allow closer study of the fragile location, where undetonated Vietnam War munitions make digging a dangerous proposition. The recreation is based on a combo of drone footage and excavation records. Archaeologist Louise Shewan, the project's co-leader, says the goal is to preserve an exact record of each step of a five-year investigation of the site. – FOX NEWS

FROM THE FORUMS
At the Virtual Reality and the Metaverse forum, member RLN85 posts, "Truly immersive life-like VR systems require 4 million pixels, which is 3-4 times the resolution of today's VR systems. Discuss." 

Andybak responds, writing, "They need a heap more than that. NPCs still look like creepy mannikins and most human-like movement is still firmly in the uncanny valley. Textures are still underwhelmingly low resolution. Foliage is a series of 2D billboards at different angles. Lighting is mostly baked limiting the amount of scenery that can be interacted with. Fluids, cloth and soft bodies generally are still at the 'cool gimmick' stage. If you're talking about simulating reality - resolution is the last of your problems."

Brontosauross adds, "Yes, you'd need that high a resolution, but even if they plonked that in our current headsets it wouldn't be life-like."

Parlancex says, "After experimenting with supersampling in ED on my Rift I can say that even though it's completely impractical today due to GPU performance limitations, 4x SS looks amazing in VR, approximately equivalent in DPI to a 1440p monitor 30" monitor, so you could obviously still go beyond that. That said, I couldn't even break 30 fps at 4x on a Titan X Pascal, so..."

And boop66 writes, "Give it two years."
FROM THE MAILBAG
Last time around we asked readers, "Do you think Apple is going to come out with AR glasses? Does this sound like promising technology?" Here are some of the most interesting responses we received. 

Reader Alan writes, "Re: Apple VR/AR. I'm pretty sure they will do something but the details/timing are uncertain. There is plenty of time for them to 'do it right' so they will probably take their time and be later in releasing than most expect. There is a huge opportunity to leverage an HMD/glasses offering w/ other products like phones or laptops, similar to the Apple Watch. I could see buying a pair of AR glasses and a laptop-like processing unit (with no/optional/detachable display?) that are tightly integrated (wireless?) This is pure speculation on my part but if I were Apple that is what I'd do if I could pull it off well."

And Joe shares some thoughts he initially posted at Linkedin: "Robert Scoble and quite a few other heavy hitters in the AR/VR space have hinted at Apple’s next phone being a ground-breaking (potentially transparent) MR device. Personally, I’m skeptical as these devices would need multiple cameras/sensors for room scale tracking, better batteries, and heavy on-board compute capacity for real-time, high-quality MR experiences (which, with the exception of the Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro, is still in the early stages). Definitely something that we can expect in the future but not sure 2017 is the year."
JOBS IN VR
Neverpart VR is looking for a Virtual Reality Artist. (Palo Alto or Virtual)

Emblematic Group wants to hire a Unity 5 Generalist - VR. (Los Angeles, CA.)

Google is looking for a User Experience Researcher for Daydream. (Mountain View, CA)

Capti Productions is scouting for a Virtual/Augmented Reality Developer. (Austin, TX)

Oculus is looking for a Research Intern, Full Body Capture and Reconstruction. (Sausalito, CA)
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