Virtual reality

Compound’s Mike Dempsey on virtual influencers and AI characters

In films, TV shows and books — and even in video games where characters are designed to respond to user behavior — we don’t perceive characters as beings with whom we can establish two-way r

Snagging Pearson’s AR assets and $1 million in cash, GIGXR is ready for its close up

Meet GIGXR, the new owner of all the assets of Pearson Immersive Learning Group, a subsidiary of the education and media publishing giant, Pearson. Formed specifically to roll up Pearson’s virtu

The new new weird

Neo-Pentecostal gangs in Brazil, driving out other faiths at gunpoint. A mob of 100 lawyers attacking a hospital in Pakistan to revenge themselves on violent doctors there. Anti-vaxxers, neo-Nazis and

Startups Weekly: Chinese investors double down on African startups

In this week's newsletter: China's pivot to Africa, another big scooter funding and a new entry to the unicorn club.

A chat about UK deep tech and spin-out success with Octopus Ventures

New research commissioned by UK VC firm Octopus Ventures has put a spotlight on which of the country’s higher education institutions are doing the most to support spin outs. The report compiles

BMW’s magical gesture control finally makes sense as touchscreens take over cars

BMW has been equipping its cars with in-air gesture control for several years and I never paid attention to it. It seemed redundant. Why wave your hand in the air when there are dials, buttons and tou

VR/AR startup valuations reach $45 billion (on paper)

Despite early-stage virtual reality market and augmented reality market valuations softening in a transitional period, total global AR/VR startup valuations are now at $45 billion globally — include

With $15M round and 100K tablets sold, reMarkable CEO wants to make tech ‘more human’

The reMarkable tablet is a strange device in this era of ultra-smart gadgets: A black and white screen meant for reading, writing, and sketching — and nothing more. Yet the company has sold 100,000

Facebook’s plan for our post-web future

Let us connect some dots. Five years ago, Facebook acquired VR pioneers Oculus for $2 billion. This week, it snapped up neural-interface pioneers CTRL-Labs for somewhere north of $500 million, and ann

The portrait of an avatar as a young artist

In this episode of Flux I talk with LaTurbo Avedon, an online avatar who has been active as an artist and curator since 2008.

Hackers to stress-test Facebook Portal at hacking contest

Hackers will soon be able to stress-test the Facebook Portal at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest, following the introduction of the social media giant’s debut hardware device last year. Pwn2Ow

YC’s latest VR bet is a team building a cyberpunk anime MMO

There are niche startups and then there are VR companies going after fans of the “cyberpunk fantasy anime aesthetic.” Ramen VR is one of only a few virtual reality startups that Y Combinat

Minecraft to get big lighting, shadow and color upgrades through Nvidia ray tracing

Minecraft is getting a free update that brings much-improved lighting and color to the game’s blocky graphics using real-time ray tracing running on Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics hardware. The new

The renaissance of silicon will create industry giants

With the end of Moore’s Law, new semiconductors are required for a cloud-native, data-dominated, AI-powered, IoT world. The rise of new players will put silicon back into Silicon Valley.

The Knight Foundation launches $750,000 initiative for immersive technology for the arts

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is looking for pitches on how to enhance and augment traditional creative arts through immersive technologies. Through a partnership with Microsoft the found

Location-based virtual reality goes to the mall as The Void plans a rollout in 25 more locations

The Void, a developer of immersive virtual reality entertainment centers, is partnering with the multinational, multihyphenate mall developer Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield to build 25 new locations around

Nvidia recreates the Apollo 11 landing with real-time ray tracing

It’s the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing, and Nvidia is using the anniversary to show off the power of its current GPU technology, using the RTX real-time ray tracing, which

How autonomous vehicles and hyperloop are scooting along

Will transportation technologies become the industry disruptors many pundits suggested they would?

Drifting champion tackles Goodwood with VR, 5G and one tiny startup’s tech

Stunt driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. took a Lincoln MKZ through its paces at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, drifting the vehicle and taking it up a signature hill climb. Except Gittin wasn’t in the c

Researchers create first mind-controlled robot arm that works well without surgery

Carnegie Mellon researchers working with peers from the University of Minnesota have made a big breakthrough in brain-computer interface (BCI) and robotic technology: They’ve developed a way for
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