Authors Posts by Lukemary Slade

Lukemary Slade

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Lukemary Slade is the Second Life avatar (created since March 8, 2007) of the editor in chief of Mondivirtuali.it, 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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    Also Intel makes its moves in augmented reality (AR) business, with Intel Vaunt, a “minimalist” smart glass model which intends to do a very simple thing: give you the informations of your smartphone directly in a corner of your view.

    Kept to a minimum, that’s it Intel Vaunt: sure, it isn’t about a little thing, since Intel’s AR glasses are a footstep in ahead in comparison to the old Google Glass, never really become a successful gadget. Intel Vaunt

    No relations to Hololens or Spectacles

    Btw they remain for sure distant from products like HMicrosoft’s Hololens or Snap’s Spectacles, which unlike the Intel Vaunt reiterated the idea of filming surroundings thanks to an integrated camera.

    A pretty common saying in the business remembers to “keep it simple, stupid”, i.e. if you wanna create a successful product or service, you have to keep it as simple as you can, therefore Intel’s smart glasses could have a good spread, also because they will be connected, through bluetooth, to a smartphone.

    Do we really need Intel Vaunt?

    Btw, if we were to be critical, who really need to wear AR glasses to read informations on its smartphone, maybe just because it’s in his pocket?

    Is not enough to use your hands, take your phone and read the message? Or, altenatively, use a speakerphone, or a voice command, so to access to informations?

    The next thing is: Intel Vaunt projects images directly on the retina of the one who wear them thanks to a very low power laser beam 400 x 150 pixels, integrated in the frame and therefore invisible from the outside.

    What do you bet that people who believe that vaccines hurt will start to shout to the dangers poses by a gadget that “could damage the sight”? Intel Vaunt

    Apps and services development remains crucial

    In short, wishes to Intel and hopefully also these gadgets will find soon developers able to realize really useful and interesting apps, because the key to successfully technology adoptino often doesn’t lye in product itself, but in functions and services it gives access.

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

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      Minecraft is still grinding record-high numbers: according to Helen Chiang, General Manager of the franchise related to the virtual world created by Mojang (now part of Microsoft group) in December 2017 global sales of the vide ogame exceeded 144 million.

      Minecraft: 74 million active users in December

      Moreover, always in December, Minecraft exceeded 74 million active users, wich is the new all-time record for teh game, even if Chiang did not state the breakdown per platform (you can play Minecraft on almost every old or new consoles besides on tablets and smartphones). top 10 videogames

      It’s the second best-selling video game ever

      Being a sandbox game developed since 2009 (advance orders were accepted from June 13 of the same year) and sold since 2011 with a few significant changes implemented since then, they are quite impressive numbers, allowing Minecraft to securely retain the second ranking of the best-selling ever video games leaderboard.

      Only Tetris outpaced Minecraft

      In this leaderboard the “legendary” Tetris (170 million copies sold) ranking first, while for the third ranking the challange stay open between Gta 5, wiht about 85 million copies sold, and Wii Sports (just below 83 million). Way behind oll the others, with Super Mario Bros, the best known Nintendo‘s title just over 40 million copies sold.

      If you loved this article, share it with your friends and continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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        What’s cooking for virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) after the conclusion of 2018 edition of Las Vegas’ Ces? Nothing revolutionary, but a lot of news regardin improvements in existing products.

        Htc updates the Vive

        Htc, first of all, announced an updated release of its viewer Htc Vive, i.e. Htc Pro, that will have 3K definition (overcome from that of Pimax 4K, Pimax 5K and the next Pimax 8K VR headsets), an integrated audio, a SteamVR v2 tracking system, two front camera so that you can use it for AR and a better confort. ces 2018 htc Also controllers should be improved even if we still don’t know if they will be an evolution of the Vive Knukls or of the Vive Wands. Vive Pro will be on sale by the end of this quarter, while the bundle with controllers and the Lighthouse tracking system will be launched by the second quarter. By the third quarter should be on sale also a wireless adapter for the Vive Pro.

        Oculus Rift lands in China

        Oculus Rift announced a partnership with Chinese group XiaoMi for manufactoring Oculus Go. XiaoMi will launch a the same time an Oculus Go “clone” for the chinese market, based on the Mi VR platform, to be named Mi Standalone.ces 2018 oculus rift In this way Oculus Rift (owned subsidiary of Facebook, which Bejing govenrment doesn’t like) will be able to finally land in China, a market from wich so far it has been excluded.

        Google and Lenovo started a partnership

        Google for its part has already started a partnership with Lenovo that will allow the chinese manufacturer to enter in the VR “standalone” headsets market with its model Lenovo Mirage Solo. This headset will use Google Worldsense technology to offer a 6 DOF tracking (but controllers will have just 3 degree of freedom).

        Lenovo Mirage Solo is based on the Google’s Daydream smartphone an altough it weights more and at the moment has lower performances than an Htc Vive, it will have a price under 400 dollars when it will be on the market, by the end of the second quarter.ces 2018 google lenovo Please note that Google and Lenovo partnership gives life also to a camera for 3D, 360 degree 4K camera, the Lenovo Mirage Camera, thanks to which you’ll be able to realise VR movies sharable on Youtube.

        Intel NUC VR compatible

        Among other “big names” at Ces 2018, Intel announced NUC8i7HVK, a compact micro-pc, carried out in cooperation with Amd, which allows to achieve VR experiences at 90 Fps. Beyond the use of i7 core series Cpu, NUC8i7HVK will use Radeon Vega M graphics card. NUC pcs have been used for many years by enterprises for instance to realise interactive kiosks: shall we see VR experiences increasingly common during trade fairs and events?

        Hollywood likes Sansar

        Last but not least: Linden Lab was at Ces 2018 to present the latest news about Sansar, particularly Ready Player One, a virtual location carried out in collaboration with Intel, Warner Bros and Htc which recreate the Aech garage you can see in the latest Steven Spielberg movie (“Ready Player One”, taken by the omonymous novel of Ernest Cline).ces 2018 sansar This location will open officially March 30, 2018 at the debut of the movie all around the world; this is the second time Hollywood and Linden Lab cooperate, after the Star Wars memorabilia exhibition opened to mark the debut of “Star Wars the Last Jedi” and it shows as VR virtual worlds like Sansar can have an increasingy relevance in the area of advertising: if you are good in graphics, let start to study.

        Of course these were not the only news at Ces 2018. If you wanna know more about these theme, please continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          Pimax 8K VR cover

          The first high definition virtual reality headset, Pimax8K VR, with a 4K scree for each ocular, won’t be available at the end of January but, as many already suspected, no earlier than next summer.

          Pimax announces shipment delay

          The news was annouced by the chinese startup Little Pine Technology (ie. Pimax), which thanks to a successfull crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter was able to collect about 4.25 million dollars for the development of the headset, the best result ever reached by a VR headset project on Kickstarter (Oculus Rift reached 2 million dollars, a previous campaign of the same Pimax 2.45 million).

          6,000 backers to support development

          Precisely Pimax announced that its high definition VR headset will be shippet to the 5,946 “backers” not before the second quarter 2018. “We prefer to make it right, so won’t rush“, startup justified. There was no reactions sso fa from Pimax fans, which means that no one really was waiting for a delivery by the end of January.

          Pimax 4K headset prices go down

          It was not the first time, btw, that delivery date skidded: on Kickstarter at first Pimax suggested November 2017 like estimated delivery for some “updates”, then January 2018, at least for the Pimax 5K VR, an evolution of the Pimax 4K VR launched in 2016, whose price was cut for Christmas at 299 dollars. Pimax 4K

          Chinese startup raises funds

          Meanwhile the chinese startup at the beginning of December raised 100 million yuans (about 15 million dollars) in a “Series A” round lead by two chinese groups, O-Film and Tianma Bearing Group. In this instance the result is in line with those of Oculus Rift, in 2013 (a “Series A” round of 16 million dollars).

          Will it end as for Oculus Rift?

          Shortly after Oculus Rift raised other 75 million dollars with a “Series B” round, to be then bought by Facebook for 2 billion dollars in 2014: who knows if also Pimax will become an “unicorn”, ending with being bought by some big player on the base of a multimillion evaluation?

          Keep in touch with Mondivirtuali

          If you wanna know, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          minecraft story mode season 2 finale cover

          Minecrat Story Mode, a good mix

          Do you remember Minecraft Story Mode (MCSM), the episodic adventure game published by Telltate Games in partnership with Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, sold to Microsof (despite some doubts) for 2.5 billion dollars?

          We talked about at its launch and when the last chapter (the fifth of the series) of the first season was published, pointing out how MCSM was a good mix between game and linear storytelling, an “hybrid” between television and virtual worlds model.

          3 adds on after season one

          To be true, as already discovered video gamers, after the first season (“Season Pass”) Jesse and his friends lived three more adventure during 2016, published like “adds on” of Season One (episode 6, “A Portal to Mistery”, episode 7, “Access Denied” and episode 8, “A Journeys’ End?”).

          These three episodes, as a whole known as “Adventure Pass”, concluded indeed the first season and it seemed they could conclude the whole series.

          Will this season be the last one?

          But not: this year were published other 4 episodes of the second season (until now known just as “Season 2”), which chronologically is set up around 5-7 years after the adventures of the first season, “Hero in Residence”, “Giant Consequences”, “Jainhouse Block” and “Below the Bedrock”, as always beginning from just before the summer.

          These days even the second season ends with a fifth episode, “Above and Beyond”. Waiting for you to be able to find it in the shops, here is is the teaser of the fifth episode, Season Two, of Minecraft Story Mode.

          Will this one really be the last adventure for Jessy and his companions? If you wanna know, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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          Sansar Star Wars cover

          Here we are: Star Wars, The Last Jedi is finally on the screens of theaters all over the world, and its promotion now embrace also online communities of virtual worlds fans as that of Sansar, the new VR platform of Linden Lab (the Second Life developer) where December 9 opened the first exhibition of Hollywood Art Museum, a “a unique collection of Star Wars production pieces”. Sansar Star Wars exhibition

          Star Wars on Sansar, a geek dream

          This virtual exhibition includes the very first drawings made for the film franchise and never-before-seen production art from the original trilogy by Lucasfilm alum as Joe Johnston, Ralph McQuarrie, Phil Tippett, Drew Struzan, Colin Cantwell and more.

          Museum curator, director Greg Aronowitz, introduced personally the Star Wars collection at the opening, giving the chance to those present to meet him, albeit virtually. I mean, like a geek’s dream come true.

          Touring the exhibition you feel really to be inside a museum but someone didn’t like it too much, re-opening the debate, never completely finished, whether virtual worlds ought to be intended as perfect reproductions of reality or if wouldn’t be more exciting to take fully advantage of the possibilities offered by technology so to create “your world, your immagination” to remember the original Second Life’s claim. Sansar Star Wars exhibition

          Virtual worlds are too real?

          People so far shown to appreciate more the first choice, differently from what has happened for video games where in addition to real-like plots and setings were successful even totally fantastic environments (just think about World of Warcraft, rather than video games devoted to the stories of Middle Earth).

          Yet more than a voice argued in favour of greater immagination at least when you go to recreate locations tied to fantastic content: wouldn’t it have been more engaging look a the Star Wars art works on Tatooine or on Lando’s Cloud City, or inside Death Star, instead of a museum lounge (even if themed as a Star Wars movie set)?

          Tell us what do you think, meanwhile continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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            Prices dropped from reality

            The whole world seems gone crazy for crypto currencies in general and Bitcoins in particular, whose value continued for months to go up restless being at the moment I write this article around 13,808 US dolallars for a Bitcoin (updating: 14,305 US dollars a few hours later the pubblication of this article, ed).

            Please note that even if although I always deal with topics related to the most interesting geek technologies, nd blockchain (on which crypto currencies are based) surely it is, I just can’t imagine to have to write an article of the craziness tied to Bitcoins, but so it is.

            Seven years ago, they were worth just 10 $ cents each

            Remembering that 4 years ago Bitcoins touched a first historical record around 980 US dollars for Bitcoin, while 7 years ago you could have bought a Bitcoin for just 10 US dollar cents, you can have a faint idea of the speculative bubble which now distinguishes the evaluations of this cryptocurrency, which is a totally virtual currency.

            Many economic players however accept Bitcoins like a real legal tender, regardless of the risk a day governments can ban the use of them, being too obvious the risk that crypto currencies in general favour on a world scale tax avoidance and money laundering. Rolls Royce for bitcoins

            Rolls Royce for sale, but only in Bitcoins

            One of the latest examples of this “irrational exuberance”, which is likely to downsize even the Ponzi scheme realized by Bernie Madoff some years ago, it is the request made by the lucky owner of a Rolls Royce to be paid only in Bitcons by the possible buyer.

            The singular request was made by a man of Manchester who is the owner of a Rolls Royce Ghost 2010, with less than 50 thousand kilometres, with golden body, for which he asks (on Autotrader‘s sit) 117,995 punds (about 156 thousand dollars) and the more days pass, the less Bitcoins will be necessary to buy the car.

            The right question to ask

            Many sites already wandering: should you have Bitcoins enough, will you exchange them with this car? But probably the answer is wrong, since if you had changed a dollar in Bitcoins seven years ago now you could almost take the car home with that sum and still make the deal of your life, because even if you sell it the next day as scrap you will have back your dollar multiplied some thousand times.

            So the right question is: should you have a golden Rolls Royce nearly new, would you be willing to sell it for less than 12 Bitcoins? If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, also through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube too) and maybe subscribe our newsletter!

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              architechture in VR cover

              Maybe virtual realilty  is missing its deadlines in the gaming sector, perhaps it will be necessary to wait some big name lik Apple get right into the battle zone to see a mass adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality devices, but for sure in the business sector technical possibility of virtualization are taking a lead increasingly concrete.

              Virtual reality for dream houses

              The possibility to have a virtual property inspection before the works for its building or conversion start, for instance, is literally transforming in the United States  (but not only) the way architects work.

              One of the most common problems when you build or convert a property is a vision of the buyer that doesn’t succeed in being transferred to the planners and the team that it will concretely realize the work, with stresses for both sides.architettura in VR Since bealding a “dream house” is no easy feat, despite what real estate reality shows showcase, trying to minimize misunderstanging and to relieve stresses surely is a key point in the structure of a project.

              So more and more architects and interior designers are increasing their reliance on virtual reality devices to let their clients virtually “walking throught” a property before construction works start.

              Unique visual experience

              Sure, as points out Ignacio Rodriguez, IR Architects Ceo, on Venture Beat, traditional 2D drawings and 3D models already offer a wide visualization array, but wearing a virtual reality headset allows you to enjoy of a unique visual experience that enable the buyer to walks through property as it will be once ended, before breaking ground. architettura in VR Some of the highest-level VR programs let you open the doors, turn on a light switch, change lights, not to talk of the detail of textures that allow the customer to imagine in the details how the property will be once completed the works. This way interventing even before they start to modify what doesn’t convince the buyer.

              Less stresses and costs

              This is particularly important for those involved with interior design, since the buyer can see textiles, colors, clarances and every detail whereby property will come true.

              This way you can cut quite every misunderstanding and choose consciously the solution more responsive to buyer’s need, avoiding waste of time, costs increasing and frustrations.

              So, if the way for finding a virtual or augmented reality consumer “killer application” seems to be still pretty long, in the business sector VR is proving to be an effective and efficient technology, whose use has spread more and more especially in the case of building or convertion of luxury houses.

              If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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                On social media where you can find Mondivirtuali.it and in general on the web the discussion whether virtual reality and augmented reality are disapponiting  last year‘s expectations or not and if some behaviour seem to conceal some basic insecurities, the claims made by supporters of the “VR/AR revolution” seem anyway interesting and are worth supporting.

                You can’t make a buck with VR

                As explains on Facebook Massimo Morselli (VR-Italia), “when assessing a market you have to consider trends, not earnings” and since “headsets are sold, people want them and you would be able to sell more if they were cheaper, which will be as time goes by”, everything is ok, despite some indie producer’s problems, as in the case of CCP Games.

                Especially because the fact that producing VR video games doesn’t make to earn “we already known and knew, or should have knows, also the developers”, that’s why “the one who develop VR at the moment can only invest, in experience and visibility; you can’t earn unless you develop very low cost titles and you are one of the one per cent titles which is a commercial success”. videogiochi VR

                So many positive signals

                Rather, goes on Morselli, we are plenty of positive signals for VR such as the decision of Facebook to invest 2 billion dollars to buy Oculus RiftValve‘s committment to create a whole VR ecosystem and the analogous decision of Microsoft, which also has induced tens of hardware producers to develop headsets based on its own specific.

                Or the record registered by Pimax which offered on Kickstarter a high end headset, really expensive, cashing 4 million dollars in 45 days (twice what Oculus Rift obtained at times).

                OpenXR becomes the standard

                All the subjects mentioned above, of which Mondivirtuali.it have spoken in these months, have also joined OpenXR to create a single, great VR platform and are subjects, points out Morselli, able to make investments over 5 ro 10 years with no problems, if they think is worth.

                As for this last point, still the interest doesn’t seem to have declined for VR nor for AR despite the latter is still something that “doens’t exist” at least as retail products, because still too behind in developing.

                Apple will launch AR device in 2020

                Apple, in particular, for a long time appeared hesitant regarding VR and AR, seems really to bet on a device for augmented reality as possible “breakthrough” product to succeed the iPhone and aims to develop technology by 2019, so that to be able to ship the first release as early as 2020.

                The development timeline “is very aggressive and could still change” referred a source to Bloomberg, stating that Apple’s AR device will have its own display and run on a new chip and operating system (“rOS”).Tim Cook Apple VR AR

                Cook: AR less isolating than VR

                Btw, confirming that doubts which we have many times reported nare not so rare among worldwide business community, Apple’s Ceo, Tim Cook, considers AR less “isolating” than VR and as potentially revolutionary as were the smartphones a few years ago.

                In a recent conference call with financial analysts Cook stressed: “put simply, we believe AR is going to change the way we use technology forever”. A trust that Cook has never shown toward VR.

                A new release of ARKit is coming

                Waiting to see what it will throw out of the cylinder in a couple of years, already in 2018 Apple should release a new version of ARKit software, that outside software developers use to create AR apps for the latest iPhones and iPads.

                If you wanna know how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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                virtual reality cover

                Virtual reality days are already numbered? Judging by gaming sector signals, but not only, it seems possible.

                There are increasing doubts as what can really be the future of virtual reality platforms like Sansar or High Fidelity. The problem could be associated with the negative value attributed by most people to the very concept of virtuality. Eve Online

                CCP Games (Eve Online) cost cutting

                The latest announcement that shook, adversely, virtual reality sector has come from CCP Games, developer of the famous MMO Eve Online, which has announced the closure of two of its studios, the Newcastle one, that gave birth to Eve: Valkyrie, and the Atlanta one, that was focused on the development of virtual reality games, together with stopping to develop further VR projects.

                According to the company, basically, virtual reality didn’t get as much players as to pay back the high development costs and the same Eve: Valkyrie is actually a desert virtual world, despite the launch last September of Eve: Valkyrie – Warzone expansion with new maps and new equipment that you can play, in the multiplayer mode, cross-platform and cross-dimension (i.e. even if the player has not a VR headset). Sansar VR Cult

                Sansar and High Fidelity at risk?

                Will Sansar have the same fate? Many people wonder whether Linden Lab will have financial resources and skills enough to fully develop Sansar (having also decided to develop its own graphic engine instead of using Unreal or Unity) and to promote to the extent that it won’t look like a desert.

                This applies all the more to High Fidelity, right now lagging behind in development. But it’s not just gaming to give warnings: as pointed out blogger and well-known Second Life “residentWagner James Au, also the “VRporn” sector does not seem to register any significant rise in the users number, still an extremely tiny fraction of the sector’s worldwide traffic.

                For instance, regarding the famous Pornhub site you can estimate there are no more than 50 thousand daily users attracted by VR content, in the face of about 26 million daily users on average as a whole. Spectacles Snapchat

                Google and Snapchat disappointed by AR

                Thus two of the presumed growth “drivers” for adopting VR technology look like they’ve more trouble than estimated. Viewers‘ price ceertainly had so far an adverse impact, but beyond that there is a feeling (also confirmed by the fundamental failure of projects AR-related like Google Glass or Spectacles Snapchat) that users don’t like to have to wear on their faces devices which alter reality.

                At the end the trouble with all is “virtual” will precisely be that fact that most of people continue, rightly or wrongly, to consider virtualiy a negative value, as explained years ago a poll by Mondivirtuali?

                If you wanna know and discover how this will end, continue to follow Mondivirtuali.it, even through our account on Twitter and our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is also on Flickr, on Pinterest, on Scoop.it on Paper.li and also on Youtube).

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