Authors Posts by Lukemary Slade

Lukemary Slade

Lukemary Slade
Lukemary Slade is the Second Life avatar (created since March 8, 2007) of the editor in chief of, in RL a financial analyst and VR mentor always ready to talk about virtual and augmented reality, geek technologies and startups.

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    Mixer Twitch Youtube cover

    If you are a fan of video games and you are under 25 years old, it is likely that you spend more time seeing other players play than the time you spend for playing. At least think so more and more companies that are attacking YouTube, once the undisputed realm of gameplay videos but for some time undermined by Twitch and not only.

    Following Youtube and Twitch here is Mixer

    Behind Youtube and Twitch stand two of the biggest US groups, i.e. Alphabet (parent company of Google) and Amazon. Now, however, the struggle to become the reference platform for video game fans and video gameplay streamers could get really hot, since sta a third formidable competitor like Microsoft (Xbox console producer among other things) is taking the field with the new streaming platform Mixer (not to mention the interest already shown by Facebook with Facebook Live).

    Mixer can be enjoyed both through an Xbox and a device that uses Windows as an operating system and these days is launching a series of new options including a greater number of international currencies that can be used as a means of payment and different ways in which users can remunerate their favourite streamers”.

    Mixer Microsoft

    Microsoft focus on video gameplay

    In an interview to Bloomberg Chad Gibson, Mixer general manager, explained that they “see game video as this huge medium”. According to Gibson, “the portion of game watching where they are not playing is much higher”, which explains Microsoft’s interest in investing in Mixer, which already today offers the possibility for multiple players to create streams simultaneously.

    In addition there is a channel of Mixer, HypeZone, that uses artificial intelligence to scan matches of last-man-standing games, as ithe well known Fortnite, showing game final stages to thousands of viewers in streaming.


    You spend more time watching than playing

    Just 18 months after its release, Mixer attracts 20 million users a month. At the moment these kinds of platforms are drawing $500 million a year in ad revenue (with Twitch alone making up $300 million) according to Bloomberg which point out as Mixer at the moment is way behind, but the market is so small that they may have a chance to close the gap.

    If you liked this article and want to read more, continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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      Despite the limited enthusiasm with which the mass market has so far accepted virtual reality and its viewers, Facebook does not seem to want to slow down, indeed: in the latest Oculus Connect (OC5) a new version of the viewer has been announced, intermediate between the mobile Oculs Go and the top of the range Oculus Rift.

      Oculus Quest will cost 399 dollars

      Oculus Quest, this is the name of the new viewer, will be available from spring 2019 at the price of $ 399 in America (the price and release date in Italy must still be announced), that is $ 50 less than the Rift plus the Touch controller. If Rift requires a wired connection to a PC, Quest will be without cables, even if this led to choose the Snapdragon 835 as Cpu.Oculus Quest

      50 games ready for the launch

      Facebook promised that the contents available for the Rift will all have aporting” on Quest and that at the time of launch will be available over 50 video game titles including somebest sellers” like Robo Recall, The Climb and Moss.

      Among the new titles was announced Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, which will be developed on three episodes (the first already available at the launch of the Quest) and which will tell a storyuntold” from Star Wars series, which confirms itself among the most appreciated franchisees by companies engaged in the VR sector (as we already saw with Sansar).

      A good compromise between Go and Rift

      Compared to Oculus Go (currently on sale from 219 euros in Italy), Oculus Quest can be considered an enhanced version, since it preserves the design but uses a more versatile processor (Go uses the Snapdragon 821) and, ensuring the taking over of the user’s position in a space, is able to offer more satisfying immersive experiences.

      How Htc will react?

      In short: Oculus Quest fills a commercial void and could help expand the audience of virtual reality devices users. Now the competition moves are expected, starting from Htc.

      If you wanna know how it will end, keep following, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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        Switch Fortnite Bundle cover

        To join the most successful videogame of the last year, Fortnite (that at the end of June had already exceeded 125 million players worldwide), with one of the most successful videogame console, the Nintendo Switch (over 20 million copies sold, seventh best result among all consoles ever built by Nintendo) it may seem like a winning marketing strategy.

        Switch and Fortnite in bundle from October

        And in fact we did not have to wait for the bundle too long, since Nintendo announced that it will be put on sale from 5 October next, priced at $ 299.99, included 1000 V-Bucks (the virtual currency with which you can buy Battle Pass and other content)and the Double Helix Set, that is a package that includes a costume, a backpack, a glider and a pickaxe. Switch Fortnite bundle

        Nintendo plus Fortnite: is it really worthwhile?

        What few people have noticed, however, is that the offer is not so much advantageous. First of all, the bundle Switch is not customerized in any way, unlike what happened to the Pokemon bundle. Then a Switch can usually be bought on Amazon for less than 289 euros, while in Usa Best Buys offerts Switch plus four games (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) for 329 dollars.

        Predicted commercial success

        Last but not least detail: Fortnite is a free downloadable game and 1,000 V-Bucks are equivalent to 10 Us dollars worth. In short, the Fortnite Switch bundle does not seem to be an unmissable offer, yet many are willing to bet that as the Christmas season approachesespecially in the US, it could turn out to be a marketing move, particularly for increasing the number of Switches sold as a first console for kids.

        If you wanna know how this will end, please continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          Capgemini AR VR cover

          Few talk about it except among the experts, but virtual reality and augmented reality seem to really have a very promising future in business.

          According to a reasearch of Capgemini entitled “Augmented and virtual reality operations: a guide for investments” (which you can download here), 82% of companies that already use these technologies claim to have found benefits equal to or higher than expected. Capgemini benefici AR VR

          Capgemini: efficiency grows with VR and AR

          Capgemini research signals significant benefits in terms of greater efficiency and greater productivity, as well as the reduction of complexity and greater security of operations.

          Benefits that seem to interest, albeit with different degrees of intensity, both the automotive sector and the manufacturing sector in general as well as public utilities.

          Those who do not use it think to do it within 5 years

          Not only: 50% of companies that have not yet implemented these technologies plans to start exploring their potential within its own operations within the next three years.

          Added to this is that 46% of respondents believe that these technologies will be widely used by their companies within the next three years, while 38% say that their implementation will be established from 3 to the next 5 years. Capgemini ricerca AR VR

          Skills shortage slows down VR and AR adoption

          In short: if three years ago, companies wondered what AR / VR technologies could do and how they could exploit them, currently the question arises in terms of Roi (return on investment) and speed with which the software will be developed.

          Rather, point out Capgemini analysts, now there is a lack of internal expertise and a lack of sufficient back-end infrastructure that still represent strong barriers to growth.

          A key role will have internal influencers

          The conclusion of the analysts is that companies wishing to start or continue their journey in virtual and augmented reality, until a wider adoption of this technology is achieved having a key internal influencer can lead to greater awareness of the potential benefits of AR / VR technologies.

          As if to say that it could be a type of work just waiting for someone to come forward to do it. If you wanna know how it will end, keep following, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on and on, as well as on Youtube) and maybe subscribe ours newsletter!

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          Fortnite beta Android invitation

          The summer brought really many news for Fortnite, the famous game of Epic Games already talked about and whose battles are now in the Season 5. First of all since mid-August arrived Android beta release, which is added to the releases for iOS, as well as for PC, Ps4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

          How to play Fortnite on Android

          Btw be aware: you can’t download Fortnite Android beta nfrom Google Play Store, instead you need to register through Fortnite official page, log in and register to receive the invitation to the Android beta.

          Once received the e-mail with the invitation to the Fortnite Android beta you just need ot follow the instructions, download the beta and start to play on your smartphone. Fortnite Battle Bus

          Thank the bus driver

          In the latest patch (v5.30) has also been introduced the option, which has long been requested by users, to thank the driver of the Battle Bus which carries players on the battlefield at the beginning of the game.

          Nothing changes that you say hello or not, but if you want, just press “B” if you use a PC or the D button of your controller if you use a console before launching with the parachute and a message will appear on the lower left of the screen: “[player] thanked the bus driver”.

          Special events, here is High Stakes

          The special events implemented free of charge deserve special mention: the first week of September will debut High Stakes. It should introduce a new series of thematic challenges, a new totally white costume (except black gloves and a red heart on the mask that covers the player’s face) called Wild Card and the new limited-time mode Gateway. Fortnite Wild Card

          Yet many innovations coming

          The new challenges should be about the robberies, we will find out soon if this is the case. If you want to continue to be informed about games, virtual reality, geeky technologies and more, keep following, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on and on, as well as on Youtube) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          Nickelodeon started the development of a new animated series consisting in a reality show in VR / AR, so far known with the working title “Meet the Voxels”.

          Chris Young, Senior Vice President of the Entertainment Lab of the British television broadcaster belonging to the group Viacom Media Networks, so far known for its productions for children and teenagers like SpongeBob or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

          Meet the Voxel, innovative animated sitcom in VR

          The animated sitcom, which will be developed using a video game engine, marks an absolute debut for Nickelodeon in the use of cutting edge technologies of virtual cinema including real-time acquisition of the face and the whole body and propose an innovative approach to immersive narration.

          Meet the Voxels pilot will be written by Jana Petrosini and Sean Gill, already co-producers of tv series like Henry Danger, Kid Danger and Game Shakers.

          Are you ready to meet the Voxels?

          Meet the Voxels will bring kids behind the scenes of a video game world and will follow a family of video-game characters, Voxels precisely, which should be composed of Hunter, 13-year-old star of a laser-tag video game, Maude, a 16-year-old girl fighting to pop as many bubbles as she can, their younger brother Cody, who has not found his video game calling yet, Mom, a street fighter very popular in her game and Dad, a 90’s-era console game character who quit the business years ago. Nickelodeon chris young

          New generation animation work

          Chris Young‘s intention is to take the real-time technology they’ve been exploring in the Lab and marry it with a creative concept that connects with kids and their passion for video games.

          It will therefore be a new generation of animation work with many characters that can exist on multiple platforms from day one.

          New entertainment for kids

          In recent years Young has already developed a series of new forms of entertainment for young people including SlimeZone, a multi-player social VR experience that allows kids and families the opportunity to interact in a Nickelodeon-designed virtual world, The Loud House 360, a 360 degree video  wich brings viewers to explore Loud family household and The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VR Interview Experience (that debuted at San Diego Comic Con 2018), a virtual reality experience that immerses users in the Turtles’ iconic New York City world allowing them to have a conversation with Mikey and Donnie (voiced on the scene by the actors who play the roles).

          If you want to see how it will end continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          With 15 years of activity behind it, Second Life, la first generation virtual reality platform developed by Californian company Linden Lab (which later developed also Sansar, designed to be fully compatible with VR technology right from the start), remains the largest commercial success of the virtual worlds industry. Yet find some echo of it in the mainstream media (which, however, in 2007 contributed to theboom” of Second Life) it is now a rarer event than a lottery win.

          Media have no interest in virtual worlds

          The confirmation of the fact that the virtual worlds (and virtual reality technology generally speaking) still are not yet interesting for the mass market and therefore are not covered, if at all occasionally, by the mainstream media (do some reseach on Google Trends for confirmation, if you want) is due to the fact that the same difficulties are also recorded by Sansar and High Fidelity, the platform developed by the former “daddy” of Second Life, Philip Rosedale.

          Rosedale if nothing else, has not lost his ability to attract investors, having obtained 35 million dollars from a group of investors including Galaxy Digital and Blockchain Capital among other things to adopt blockchain technology for virtual currencies, asset exchanges and digital identity in High Fidelity. Rosedale High Fidelity

          Ryan Schultz: is it the fault of the echo effect?

          Of all this, namely of Second Life 15th anniversary, of the new funding obtained by High Fidelity, of the developments of Sansar, there is little or no talk on the mainstream media. Ryan Schultz, one of the most appreciated blogger interested in virtual worlds, tried to suggest the reason why.

          According to Schultz it could depend on an “echo effect”: in essence the community of virtual world enthusiasts could continue to talk a lot about it, being substantially closed to any dialogue with the outside. This would explain why Second Life has never seen, in the last decade, more than 500-600 thousand active users worldwide, although every month, tens of thousands of new users continue to register.

          mondi virtuali utenti

          Is one million users the maximum limit?

          Could it be, assumes Schultz, that the worldwide audience interested in virtual worlds is just over one million active users, coincidentally, the maximum touched by Second Life during its first years of life, in full media hype? And in this case what development will the sector have, if after 15 years more than half of them continue to prefer Second Life to any other platform, despite now virtual worlds there are at least fifty (VR mode or not)?

          Schultz’s hypotheses are the same that you have been reading for years on, where we tried to explain how this could be due to a mix of factors: an unhappynaming”, the idea that what is virtual it’s not as desirable as what is real, the lack of interest from videogames fans, a tecnologhy still too little developed and/or expensive, the attitude of mass markets to reward applications and technology whose use is as simple as possible.

          What do you think about it? Let us know and if you want to see how it will end continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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            artificial intellingence startup cover

            Bytedance, content platform creaded by Yiming Zhang in 2012, is the articial intellingence most promising startup (but we should better call it scaleup) in the world according toCB Insight and Fortune.

            Or at least this is what its financing partners believe, since Bytedance has so far rounded 3.11 billion dollars, going from being an engine which recommended the best daily news to a platform which distributes contents of different formats (texts, images, videos, articles with questions and answers and microblogs).

            startup intelligenza artificiale

            Bytedance, artificial intelligence giant

            In june 2018 the value of Bytedance, which among other things has launched or acquired a series of successful video apps including Tik Tok, BuzzVideo, Vigo Video, News Republic and, is estimated at around 30 billion dollars. Its research department on artificial intelligence, AI Lab, was founded in march 2016 and is specialized in the development of artificial intelligence app for information comprehension (texts, images and videos).

            Also in 2016 AI Lab developed together Peking University (aka Beida) Xiaomingbot, a bot with artificial intelligence capable of writing his own articles: as if to say that even journalists could have, if not days, certainly counted years. Behind Bytedance in the ranking of the most important startups dealing with artificial intelligence there is a vacuum or almost.


            SenseTime, the king of facial recognition

            The second in the ranking is in fact considered to be SenseTime, another Chinese startup founded in 2014 by Xiaolan Xu which develops artificial intelligence for use in various areas such as facial recognition, deep learning and automatic driving, however, which has so far collectedjust” 1,6 billion dollars. Currently the evaluation of SenseTime isover” 4.5 billion dollars, a fraction of that of Bytedance even though we are still talking aboutunicorns” (i.e. startups or scaleups worth over a billion dollars each).

            Face++ bet on mobile apps and video games

            In third place in the ranking of the most important startups that develop artificial intelligence there is Face++ (or Megvii), hat is once again a Chinese company, founded in 2011 by Qi Yin, Wenbin Tang and Yang Mu, which operates in the field of facial recognition and video games for mobile devices whose products allow developers to easily use state-of-the-art vision technology to develop apps and “extrasensorial” mobile games. So far Face++ reounded 608 million dollars and is worth about 2 billion dollars.


            Upstart only fourth, detached

            The first western startup in the field of artificial intelligence is only fourth in the world by value and is Upstart, Us company founded in 2012 by Anna Mongayt e Paul Gu which developed a platform that manages loans relying on machine learning technology to price credit and automate the financing process. With 585 million dollars raised so far, Upstart is valued at around 1 billion dollars.

            Italy does not invest in artificial intelligence

            The artificial intellingence speaks Chines and is more and more likely to speak it in the future: if instead of wasting time and (public) money to try to keep alive and under state control airlines and companies declined, or in useless polemics about the dignity of the work of the riders who deliver pizzas and sandwiches at home the Italian government began to invest in this sector, perhaps it would be better.

            Always that someone in thebeautiful country” concern of our future and who could control it and not just the latest feat of their favorite football players, of course. If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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            Why Apple loves AR cover

            That the great giants of technology look with interest to virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is well known, as well as that after hesitating longer than others, Apple decided to invest in a software development kit for virtual reality applicationsa, ARKit, of which at the beginning of last June a new release was announced, ARKit2, as part of the new features brought by the new iOS 12 operating system.

            Apple bets on virtual reality

            Apple seems to believe a lot to, called “a platform that allows developers to integrate shared experiences, persistent AR experiences tied to a specific location, object detection and image tracking to make AR apps even more dynamic”.

            But why did Apple, after hesitating, embrace the AR technology with great enthusiasm, even though it seems still more immature than that of virtual reality?

            Also The Motley Fool (one of the best known and appreciated American financial sites) experts asked for it, believing that the reason is simple: augmented reality applications “require a substantial amount of processing power”, since it is not trivial at all to succeed in superimposing to reality images of objects rendered realistically.

            Considerable computing power and excellent graphics performance are required, two fields in which Apple is rapidly making important progress with its own mobile chips.

            AR apps will require new hardware

            Apple: perchè ama AR (credit image Apple) If developers will acquire more experience in realizing augmented reality applicationstruly useful and compelling augmented reality applications, it might not be long before they start really pushing the limits of what current iOS hardware can do”. Rather, “most creative developers may even start clamoring for even bigger generational performance improvements”.

            The point is that augmented reality applications seem to havethe potential to raise the level of performance and capacity that customers expect from their smartphones”, which would do a lot of good to Apple according to the The Motley Fool experts,since in recent years the update cycles of Apple’s flagship products have significantly lengthened.

            Current uses don’t require more performing smartphones

            After all, there’s only so much a company can do to upgrade the user experience of viewing mobile webpages, setting reminders, playing casual games, and watching videos (that is more or less everything you can do with smartphones and tablets).

            When common use cases stop requiring new, more capable hardware, it becomes harder even for a company like Apple convince consumers to buy new devices every time.

            On the contrary, augmented reality can give rise to a completely new class of applications which would be challenging at the same time from a computational point of view and potentially attractive for the mass market.

            This, at least initially, could go back to speeding up the pace with which the typical owners of iPhones and iPads are willing to switch to new devices, for the joy of Apple.

            If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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            unity project mars cover

            If you are interested in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as well as in the possibilities that these technologies promise in the graphic field, hold fast: at the developer conference  Unite Berlin, Unity presented new tools designed specifically for augmented reality that promise to bring AR to a higher level.

            Project Mars will come by autumn

            By autumn a new extention for Unity called Project Mars (Mixed and augmented reality studio, ed) will allow developers to create AR appswhich works in and react to real wolrd”, according to Timoni West, in charge of XR reaserch at Unity Labs. “We do not want you to think only about building on a device or building on a console – explained West – we want you to think about how to create apps that actually interact in the real world”. unity motion capture project mars

            Simulation View for AR facia expressions

            Apps, added West, “that work in the way we want augmented reality to act, sensitive to the context, flexible, customizable, to work in space”. It sounds very interesting, but what does it mean in practice? For example regarding the reproduction of facial expressions in AR the Simulation View component allows developerto see how the effects work in real time through a connected camera.

            Facial AR Remote Component for iPhone X

            Whit Facial AR Remote Component, developers and creators can capture digital recordings of high quality live movements via a video camera TrueDepth on iPhone X. Unity offers 52 different blend forms to match the actor’s facial expressions with those of the animated character. The acquired recordings can then be cropped and merged in Unity Editor, reducing the number of cuts that an actor must record to get to the final version.

            Similar device also from Unreal

            Commenting on the news on Twitter, some users have remembered how Unreal had first launched a similar device. The difference is that Unity used ARKit on iPhoneX while Unreal opted for a complete professional plant with infrared cameras and markers on the face of the actor, with prices starting at 199$.

            Unity: news or relaunch of an old plugin?

            According to other users, however, Unity just relaunched an old third-party plugin (Ulsee) which costs 500$ and captures only a single face without even using all the markers.

            Btw, many developers and creatives seemed genuinely excited by the news just announced by Unreal and it is probable that we will see a new flow of content created through these devices in the coming months.

            If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on on and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

            I più letti ultima settimana / Most read last 7 days

   launches a new contest for fans of graphics that use virtual worlds as an editor for their works: Virtual Diversity. Here how to apply.