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Category Archives: Virtual Reality

Battle zombies and killer robots in new virtual reality business coming soon to Paramus – NorthJersey.com

Posted: August 28, 2021 at 11:49 am

Paramus malls through the years | Video

Paramus' malls have been around a long time, but they've changed a lot since they've opened. Here's a look back.

Jessica Presinzano, NorthJersey.com

PARAMUS Avirtual reality business set to open in the borough will letplayersfight zombies and killer robots in a new full-body VR experience.

Sandbox VR is planning to opena Paramus location,which would be the first in the state,this October. Paramus franchise owner Jeremy Berman plans future locations in Short Hills and Edison. The virtual reality business has 13 locations in all, including in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Hong Kong.

The company gained Planning Board approval at the beginning of August to bring Sandbox VR to the second floor of the Paramus Crossroads at 305 Route 17 south. The business will be between the PGA Superstore and the PC Richard appliance store.

Paramus is the heart of Bergen County and the center of a vibrant business and residential district, said Bermanin a statement. It is a compelling location for an experiential entertainment business that attracts a diverse customer base of young professionals, companies looking for team building events and corporate outings, and will also be loved by teens looking for something fun to do and families seeking a night of fun.

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The venue will have four virtual reality rooms for gameplay and an additional party room for private events, such as birthdays and corporate events.

When people participate in a game, they will put on a VR headset, a haptic vest,a backpack and motion sensors on their wrists and ankles.Participants will be able to seefriends and family members who are with them through the VR goggleswhile they free-roam around in the room to complete the video game's mission, which could be anything from clearing out a zombie-filled mansion to participating in a space mission in the Star Trek universe.

Memory lane: Once mainstays, these restaurants in the Paramus area are now only memories

The sessions would run for about an hour and 30 minutes, with some training and setup beforehand, about 30 minutes of the virtual reality gameplayand ending with a review of game highlights.

Sandbox VR isn't the first attempt to bring virtual reality to Paramus. Asimilar business called TheVoid was supposed to open atWestfield Garden State Plaza last year, just beforethe COVID-19 pandemic began. The company defaulted on a key loan that forcedit to permanently transfer its assets,patents and trademarksto its creditor at the end of last year, according to Protocol, a business news site. The company's owner blamed the pandemic and the shutdown of malls.

Stephanie Nodais a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community,please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email:noda@northjersey.com

Twitter:@snoda11

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Seeing things virtually – The Hindu

Posted: at 11:49 am

In India, design education has kept its distance from using and applying technology. However, with the pandemic forcing education institutions to move online, they have had to create an environment that fosters its growth. This is where Virtual Reality comes into play. It offers a a robust, future-ready plug in for design education and enables a skill-intensive curriculum.

Design education has followed a learning system that is backed by physical modelling, in-person design discussions and presentations sheets mounted onto walls. Students are often taken to real sites to absorb and learn from their surroundings to reinforce classroom learning. Due to the current pandemic, all these elements have been replaced with virtual communication platforms that offer very little more than disrupted and tedious design discussions.

Bridge a gap

Immersive technology offers great potential to bridge this gap. Immersive technology enhances design understanding by allowing students to experience their creations virtually. By allowing for real-time and true-to-scale modifications and iterations, immersive technology also offers relief from tedious design processes.

This allows students to explore the realm of design freely. Various collaborative solutions also allow students to be guided by faculty through these explorations or even collaborate among themselves for group assignments.

Technological tools have become a dominant part of design due to their enhanced efficiency and ease they of use.

However, design education trains students to be profound thinkers but without the knowledge of using technology. As a result, they are often unable to put across their ideas effectively. The adoption of technologies like Virtual Reality into the curriculum is a step creates a better understanding of immersive technology and encourages students to analyse its significance in professional practice. Given the lack of access to construction sites or practising experts, the use of tools like digital twins will help students understand trends in the industry.

Obsolete systems and curriculums have led to loss of relevance, low employability and an under-skilled workforce. The use of immersive and collaborative technology in the classroom will not only help redefine both the pedagogy and the teaching methodology but also help in making the students digitally skilled and ready to revolutionise the industry.

The writer is co-creator, Trezi

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Seeing things virtually - The Hindu

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Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) Market to grow by USD 162.71 billion, Alphabet Inc.& Facebook Inc. emerges as Key Contributors to…

Posted: at 11:49 am

NEW YORK, Aug. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the latest market research report titled augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market by Technology (AR and VR) and Geography (North America, APAC, Europe, MEA, and South America) from Technavio, the market is expected to expand at a healthy CAGR of 46%.

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market by Technology and Geography - Forecast and Analysis 2021-2025

Technavio's custom research offerings with crucial business data insights including country-level impact, upcoming vaccines, and pipeline analysis

Impact of COVID-19The industry is expected to have a mixed impact due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The market will have a direct impact due to the spread. In the short term, the market demand will show at par growth due to the increase in infections and reduced economic activity.

Download a free sample report in minutes

Frequently Asked Questions:

Based on segmentation by Technology, which is the leading segment in the market?The augmented reality and virtual reality market share growth by the AR segment will be significant during the forecast period.

At what rate is the market projected to grow?The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market has the potential to grow by USD 162.71 billion during 2021-2025.

Who are the top players in the market?Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., HP Inc., HTC Corp., Magic Leap Inc., Microsoft Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Snap Inc., Sony Corp., and Toshiba Corp. are some of the major market participants.

What are the key market drivers and challenges?The increasing demand for AR and VR technology is notably driving the augmented reality and virtual reality market growth, although factors such as high development costs associated with AR and VR apps may impede the market growth.

How big is the APAC market?34% of the market's growth will originate from APAC during the forecast period.

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The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. Although the increasing demand for product launches, and M&A activities will offer immense growth opportunities, risks associated with AR and VR applications and limitations of AR and VR technology are likely to pose a challenge for the market vendors. In a bid to help players strengthen their market foothold, this augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market forecast report provides a detailed analysis of the leading market vendors. The report also empowers industry honchos with information on the competitive landscape and insights into the different product offerings offered by various companies.

Technavio's custom research reports offer detailed insights on the impact of COVID-19 at an industry level, a regional level, and subsequent supply chain operations. This customized report will also help clients keep up with new product launches in direct & indirect COVID-19 related markets, upcoming vaccines and pipeline analysis, and significant developments in vendor operations and government regulations.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market 2021-2025: Segmentation

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market is segmented as below:

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market 2021-2025: Scope

Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources. The augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) market report cover the following areas:

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market Size

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market Trends

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market Industry Analysis

This study identifies the Increasing number of M&A activities as one of the prime reasons driving the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market growth during the next few years.

Technavio suggests three forecast scenarios (optimistic, probable, and pessimistic) considering the impact of COVID-19. Technavio's in-depth research has direct and indirect COVID-19 impacted market research reports.

Gain instant access to 17,000+ market research reports by using Technavios Subscription PlatformTechnavio's SUBSCRIPTION platform

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Market 2021-2025: Key Highlights

CAGR of the market during the forecast period 2021-2025

Detailed information on factors that will assist augmented reality (ar) and virtual reality (VR) market growth during the next five years

Estimation of the augmented reality (ar) and virtual reality (VR) market size and its contribution to the parent market

Predictions on upcoming trends and changes in consumer behavior

The growth of the augmented reality (ar) and virtual reality (VR) market across North America, APAC, Europe, MEA, and South America

Analysis of the market's competitive landscape and detailed information on vendors

Comprehensive details of factors that will challenge the growth of augmented reality (ar) and virtual reality (VR) market, vendors

Table of Contents:

Executive Summary

Market Landscape

Market ecosystem

Value chain analysis

Market Sizing

Five Forces Analysis

Market Segmentation by Technology

Market segments

Comparison by Technology

AR - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

VR - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

Market opportunity by Technology

Customer landscape

Geographic Landscape

Geographic segmentation

Geographic comparison

North America - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

APAC - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

Europe - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

MEA - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

South America - Market size and forecast 2020-2025

Key leading countries

Market opportunity by geography

Market drivers

Market challenges

Market trends

Vendor Landscape

Overview

Landscape disruption

Vendor Analysis

Appendix

About UsTechnavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focuses on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions. With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavio's report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavio's comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

ContactTechnavio ResearchJesse MaidaMedia & Marketing ExecutiveUS: +1 844 364 1100UK: +44 203 893 3200Email: media@technavio.comWebsite: http://www.technavio.com/

Technavio (PRNewsfoto/Technavio)

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Augmented Reality (AR) And Virtual Reality (VR) Market to grow by USD 162.71 billion, Alphabet Inc.& Facebook Inc. emerges as Key Contributors to...

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Virtual reality can help reduce fear & anxiety in kids underdoing painful procedures: Study – Times Now

Posted: at 11:49 am

VR works so well that Children's Hospital Los Angeles now offers it routinely for blood draws | Photo credit: Pixabay 

Washington: A new study has shown that engaging in virtual reality can significantly reduce pain and anxiety in children undergoing intravenous catheter placement.

The findings of the study were published in the journal 'JAMA Network Open'.

It isn't a matter of one needle puncture. Many children coming through the doors of Children's Hospital Los Angeles are seen for chronic conditions and often require frequent visits.

Painful procedures -- like a blood draw or catheter placement -- can cause anxiety and fear in patients. The study has shown that virtual reality can decrease pain and anxiety in children undergoing intravenous (IV) catheter placement.

For nearly two decades, Jeffrey I. Gold, PhD, an investigator at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has been investigating the use of virtual reality (VR) as a technique to help children undergoing painful medical procedures.

His research has shown that technology can have powerful effects. VR works so well that Children's Hospital Los Angeles now offers it routinely for blood draws.

"Some patients don't even realize that their blood is being drawn," said Dr Gold, who is also a Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The Keck School of Medicine of USC.

"Compare that to a child who is panicking and screaming, and it's a no-brainer. We want kids to feel safe," added Dr Gold.

In his recent publication, Dr Gold's team reports the results of a study to test whether VR could prevent pain and distress for patients undergoing peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) placement.

The game is simple but requires focus and participation. Patients in one group used VR throughout the procedure, while those in another group received standard of care, which includes simple distraction techniques and the use of numbing cream.

The patients who used VR reported significantly lower levels of pain and anxiety.

"We can actually reduce pain without the use of a medication," said Dr Gold.

"The mind is incredibly powerful at shifting focus and actually preventing pain from being registered. If we can tap into that, we can make the experience much better for our kids," added Dr Gold.

But the story is bigger than that.

This is one of the first studies to analyse the effects of VR not only from the patient perspective but also from that of the clinician and the patient's family or caregivers.

All three of these groups reported a more positive experience with the use of VR. Dr Gold calls this triangulation of data -- gathering information from three perspectives in order to improve the patient experience.

"We started this as a way to mitigate pain and overall distress in children. But caregivers and healthcare providers are also reporting improved outcomes. Effectively treating the patient clearly has a ripple effect," added Dr Gold,

Consider a typical scenario in which a child has a chronic illness and must routinely receive PIVC placement.

A patient experiencing anxiety about her procedure may tense up, making it more difficult for the clinician to find a vein and insert the catheter.

If multiple attempts are necessary, a child's fear may amplify, causing a snowball effect, which in turn may impact medical adherence and ultimately long-term health outcomes.

If, on the other hand, the patient plays a virtual game while undergoing the procedure, she may relax and experience less pain, improving the overall experience for the child, the family, and the healthcare provider.

"Stress actually causes veins to constrict, but you don't need to know the physiology to know that it's better to have a relaxed kid," said Dr Gold.

The ripple effect goes further. A child's experience during a visit sets the tone for future visits.

If the experience feels traumatic, the child and family may be less likely to adhere to scheduled visits or may feel more stressed coming back to the hospital.

"We don't want a child's healthcare experience to be another adverse childhood experience," said Gold.

Adverse childhood experiences, also called ACEs, can lead to poor health outcomes.

"We care about the healthcare experience that children have," said Dr Gold.

"By reducing the fear associated with routine procedures, we prepare the child to begin treatment with a more positive outlook, and this can affect their health for a lifetime," added Dr Gold.

Additional authors on the publication include Michelle SooHoo, PhD, and Andrea M. Laikin, PhD; Arianna S. Lane, BA; Margaret J. Klein, MS, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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Q+A: The Sights and Smells of Creative Arts Therapies in Virtual Reality – Drexel News Blog

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3-D art created by a study participant. Image credit: Arun Ramakrishnan

In early 2019, Drexel Universitys College of Nursing and Health Professions and Johns Hopkins Universitys International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab) formed a collaboration to examine how art therapy can be integrated into virtual reality-based expression to enhance patient care.

Some of the latest research conducted through this collaboration focused on the benefits of virtual reality (VR) on creative expression, with the inclusion of a fragrance stimulus. Led by Girija Kaimal, EdD, an associate professor in the College, and Susan Magsamen, executive director at IAM Lab, part of the Pedersen Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the pilot study was published in late 2020 in Frontiers of Psychology.

Overall, the study showed participants responded positively to using VR for creative expressions through art making and the inclusion of the fragrance reduced negative affectsuch as feeling upset, hostile or distressed.

The researchers spoke with Drexel News Blog about the study and whats to come with VR in creative arts therapies.

Girija Kaimal (GK): The immersive environment offers a new way to being in space and allows for self-expression in three dimensions quite unlike anything in the real world. VR, although physically intangible, allows us to engage our senses in new ways, including our sense of being in space.

GK: People created things from memory, scenes of nature, as well as images that depicted aspects of their life. Interestingly, and perhaps because of the context of VR and the unique expressive tool options, there were also a lot of fantasy and playful images that we havent typically seen when participants use physical and fine arts media.

GK: The fragrance was selected to offset the fact the VR typically transports us out of the physical environment into a new visual space. The fragrance was meant to be calming, help orient and support the novel experience of being in a virtual environment.

GK: We were surprised at how invigorating the VR environment could be in terms of enhancing a range of mood states and self-perceptions of well-being and creativity. Fragrance which was a subtle diffused presence in the room seemed to help reduce negative affect (namely reduce negative mood).

Susan Magsamen (SM): What really shocked me was that the simple act of adding scent to VR did seem to impact participants art-making experience, by reducing negative emotions and improving self-confidence.

From a neurobiological perspective, we know quite a bit about the olfactory system and scents ability to evoke memories and reduce stress. But we dont have as much insight into how scent might enhance creativity.

But it makes sense that we should pursue these questions in the virtual realm. When you are designing a space in the physical world, like a restaurant or public park, you consider activation of all the senses, from the sights and sounds to the scents and textures. So, in bridging to a virtual world, we must consider all the senses at our disposal and how they might augment a VR experience targeting different therapeutic outcomes.

GK: I think it highlights the powerful role of creative self-expression, including in VR. VR studies typically have involved receptive experiences or doing activities. I am not aware of many studies that have examined the outcomes of engaging in creative expression in VR and it offers tremendous possibility for a range of populations, including those who might be intimidated or unable to use traditional art media. In addition, the positive impact of fragrance highlights the potential of the sensory system that can be harnessed further in therapeutic practices.

SM: This study demonstrates the opportunityand many questionsabout how we best adapt to virtual environments that support health and wellbeing. We launched this research well before the pandemic, but the need for digital therapeutic tools to get people access to help has exploded since then.

VR offers us new places to explore a full range of human emotionswithout ever leaving home, work, the hospital, school or any other location. This, in itself, democratizes access.

So in the near term, we need to expand sample sizes and replicate what weve observed in this pilot study. But I also hope this study catalyzes further exploration of virtual reality in service of health, wellbeing and learning. The future of research in this area is wide open and exciting.

We know VR simulates the real world, but it also has other attributes that are not fully understood. Our lab is beginning to think about how this intentional space can be better understood and used to support a range of health issues, including stress, anxiety, trauma, burnout and even depression. We are also interested in the role of VR to unleash creativity.

GK: We are excited to share this study that highlights the value of multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary collaborations and in particular the importance of self-expression (with new digital tools like in VR) for health and well-being.

Media interested in speaking with Kaimal should contact Annie Korp, news manager, at 215-571-4244 or amk522@drexel.edu.

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Time to play some games? The best virtual reality games for Linux – Linux News – BollyInside

Posted: at 11:49 am

Its possible to deep dive into the virtual reality gaming world on your Linux system. Want to explore VR games on Linux? This article takes you through the top 3 VR games available on Linux.

What are VR Games?VR games are the new-gen computer games enabled with virtual reality, in short, VR technology. It gives players a first-person perspective of all the gaming actions. As a participant, you can enjoy the gaming environment through your VR gaming devices, such as hand controllers, VR headsets, sensor-equipped gloves, and others.

Ready to get amazed? Lets start.

VR games are played on gaming consoles, standalone systems, powerful laptops, and PCs compatible with VR headsets including HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HP Reverb G2, Valve Index, and others.

A lot of VR objects are usable as they are in reality and the gaming developers are making the VR universe more and more immersive with each passing day.

Now, a little brief about VR technology. By now, you know that VR is an abbreviation of Virtual Reality. This is, basically, a computer-generated simulation where the player controls its generated objects through the limb and facial movements in a three-dimensional environment. This environment is interacted with through special equipment, like clothing having touch simulating pressure nodes and enclosed glasses with screens in front, instead of lenses.

How to Get VR Games on LinuxThe Steam store seems to be the best way to get VR games on your system. Good news: you dont need to worry about installing all the modules and software to run the game smoothly. Steam client is ready to take all the worries. So, get a Steam account by downloading the client from Steams site.

Back in 2019, it was reported that VR Linux desktops are around the corner. What about now? Xrdesktop is here for you. Xrdesktop is free to use. It lets you work with the common desktop environments, like GNOME and KDE.

The SimulaVR is a similar open-source project to check out. Top 3 VR Games Available on LinuxNow the fun part: In this section, well share the best 5 VR games to play on Linux in your gaming time.

DOTA 2VR Game Linux DOTA2DOTA 2 by Valve is a multiplayer online battleground and one of the most favorites of video game lovers. Its ruled this generations hearts for the past 8 years. DOTA 2 is a successor of Defence of the Ancients, in short, DOTA. DOTA was a mod created by the gaming community for Warcraft III of Blizzard Entertainment. A fact about DOTA 2: its the very first video game to offer 1 million USD as a prize pool. Thats huge, isnt it? It was about 9 years ago. Now DOTA 2 offers a whopping 31+ million USD to the winners. And thats not a joke. The VR component of this gaming arena is an environment worth discovering. So, get ready with your VR headset for playing DOTA 2 on Linux.

The Talos Principle VRNext up we have The Talos Principle VR. Are you into puzzle games? Then this virtual reality game by Croteam is the perfect one for you. The Talos Principle, actually, is the VR form of a critically acclaimed first-person puzzle based on philosophical science fiction brought by Croteam earlier. Its a real brainstormer as the game makes you think through all its levels in an unconventional way. Its the difficulty of the game that gets you hooked. The narrator brings elements of philosophy that spike more interest. The VR port works well by presenting us, the player, as an unknown element to its world.

LocomancerIf you like crafting and building new designs, Locomancer is to try on your Linux system. This is a toy-box-style simulator created for touch-enabled VR headsets. In this VR video game, you build train models and tracks. You can also test your creation by getting on a train ride. Lots of fun mechanics and some playing are only needed to get familiar with Locomancer. Once experienced enough with the playing, youre good to build your own. This game is somehow relatable to Noddys Toyland cartoon show of the 90s. Anyway, Locomancer is definitely a wise buy for video gamers and is always recommended by the gaming community.

Wrapping UpApart from the above video games, if you want to experience something interesting, do check out Google Earth VR. You enter the place you want to reach out and youre immediately placed there. And from there you can walk to all other places nearby and experience being in numerous cities that exist today. This piece of wander is sure to give your desired relief in your time off.

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Key Applications of Virtual Reality in Medicine – CIO Applications

Posted: at 11:49 am

VR can be used to assist medical professionals in visualizing the interior of the human body, revealing previously inaccessible areas. For example, the dissection of cadavers, which was once required of every new medical student, has given way to the study of human anatomy through virtual reality.

Fremont, CA: Virtual reality (VR) is the name given to the technology that enables a user to use a VR headset to create a situation or experience of interest within an interactive but computer-generated environment. The simulation is interactive, and it may necessitate the use of special 3-D goggles with a screen or gloves that provide sensory feedback to assist the user in learning from experience in this virtual world.

Medical Training

Current medical education has shifted away from rote memorization of facts and toward imparting skills in using facts to arrive at an appropriate management strategy when confronted with a given patient. This training consists of problem-solving skills, communication skills, and VR-based learning.

Virtual reality can be used to simulate any type of medical situation, allowing students to deal with it as if it were real life. This is followed by feedback and debriefing so that they can learn from their mistakes if any exist. Because VR systems are inexpensive and faculty are not required to be present, access is more flexible and broad-based.

VR can be used to assist medical professionals in visualizing the interior of the human body, revealing previously inaccessible areas. For example, the dissection of cadavers, which was once required of every new medical student, has given way to the study of human anatomy through virtual reality.

Treating Patients

Virtual reality is useful in pre-planning complex operations, such as neurosurgical procedures, because it allows the surgical team to walk through the entire procedure and practice their planned intervention.

This increases safety by reducing surprises. CT, MRI, and ultrasound scans are used to compile the data, which is supplemented by VR and haptics. When in surgical settings, the reconstruction looks and feels like the real patient.

Virtual reality is also important in surgical robotics, which is based on a robotic arm controlled by a human surgeon at a console. The surgeon is reliant on the camera embedded within the body to give a view of the area being operated on. However, tactile and sensory feedback is also important during surgery, and VR may provide a reasonable substitute in their absence.

Patients suffering from phobias, for example, find VR extremely beneficial, as do their therapists. To treat clients suffering from agoraphobia or acrophobia, for example, a corresponding situation may be recreated in the therapist's own center to help the client face it gradually. This is also true for post-traumatic stress disorder.

See Also:Top 10 Digital Forensics Solution Companies

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Dallas’ MyndVR and Healing HealthCare Systems Offer Virtual Escapes for Seniors and Care Home Residents Dallas Innovates – dallasinnovates.com

Posted: at 11:49 am

C.A.R.E. VRx environment [Image: MyndVR]

Dallas-basedMyndVR, a leading provider of virtual reality solutions for seniors and active agers, has partnered withHealing HealthCare Systemsto offerContinuous AmbientRelaxation Environment VRx(C.A.R.E.) to residents who use the MyndVR system at senior and memory care communities, assisted living centers, hospice care, and in the home.

Using gaze-based navigation with VR headsets, users can interact with the immersive C.A.R.E. VRx app, which blends voice-based, guided imagery with 360-degree visuals of forests, lakes, beaches, and more.

C.A.R.E. VRx environment [Image: MyndVR]

Patients using the app get a chance to meditate, focus breathing, and relax while remaining immersed in the tranquil nature environments.

Studies show that VR experiences like these can help patients heal, lower blood pressure, ward off depression, and more.

[Video still: Courtesy MyndVR]

Were excited to start offering the C.A.R.E. VRx application to our growing network of senior living communities and to families and individuals aging at home, said Chris Brickler, CEO of MyndVR, in a statement.

C.A.R.E. VRx environment [Image: MyndVR]

Were always looking to continue enhancing the lives of seniors, bringing them joy, tranquility, and adventure through virtual reality, Brickler added. This new partnership allows us to expand our content library offerings and provide even more experiences for those who are looking for a brief respite from their reality.

Healing HealthCares CEO cited the pandemics impact on seniors.

Throughout the pandemic, many older adults have remained isolated from loved ones creating feelings of loneliness and depression, said Susan E. Mazer, Ph.D., president and CEO of Healing HealthCare Systems. Studies document the positive impact that virtual reality can have on patients, and even as we emerge from the pandemic the technology will continue to play a pivotal role in the overall health, wellbeing and care of older adults.

C.A.R.E. VRx environment [Image: MyndVR]

To complement the C.A.R.E. VRx experience, MyndVR is also offering an array of aromatherapy oils matching the visual and musical content.

C.A.R.E. VRx environment [Image: MyndVR]

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These quotable North Texans inspire, inform, motivate, or simply make us laugh. Have wise words of your own? Let us know. You can also sign up here to get "The Last Word" in the Dallas Innovates e-newsletter each weekday. Friday, August 27 "Our historic bottom-line results are direct evidence of the massive move to work-from-home." Chris MacFarland CEO Masergy ...on how his companywhich was acquired by Comcast Business two days agoflourished in its "best year in history." This week, Comcast Business acquired Masergya Plano-based networking services providerto accelerate Comcast Business' effort to serve more large and mid-size companies In a

Former SMU Cox School of Business student Franois Reihaniis on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine's "Young Millionaires" issue; MyndVR offers C.A.R.E. VRx experiences to seniors; EV startup Rivian files with SEC for an IPO; U.S. Postal Service expands its Connect Local business delivery to 115 new DFW sites; and more stories from Dallas Innovates. Plus, youll find our top 10 most popular stories.

With Dallas ranked as one of the top cities in America for tech pros, UT Dallas and Fullstack have launchedfour skills training bootcamps focused on coding, cybersecurity, data analytics, and DevOps. The online bootcamps begin in November with tuition at $11,995 each.

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Dallas' MyndVR and Healing HealthCare Systems Offer Virtual Escapes for Seniors and Care Home Residents Dallas Innovates - dallasinnovates.com

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The future of ‘extended reality’ tourism is now, thanks to the pandemic – Frederick News Post

Posted: at 11:49 am

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down travel around the world, some natural, historical and cultural sites saw it as a call to redouble their efforts to embrace extended reality, both to let people tour these destinations from afar and to develop meaningful new ways for travelers to experience them on-site, in hopes of luring them back after the health emergency eased.

Extended reality is the umbrella term for technologies that allow the interaction of physical and virtual worlds, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Each has opened up many possibilities for tourism. AR allows tourists at an ancient monument to experience its past glory, for example; VR, on the other hand, allows viewers to visit a historic site or museum remotely. A more intense focus on these technologies, experts say, will be a lasting legacy of the pandemic.

When COVID-19 happened, every destination tried to offer an alternative way of communicating with its tourists, says Suleiman Farajat, chief of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority in Jordan. Because Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Jordans most important historical landmark, officials at the destination had already been planning VR-based experiences. Thus, they were able to launch the Xplore Petra app in June 2020.

Made by TimeLooper, a tech company specializing in re-creating historical locations and events, the app gives users an immersive 3D map of Petra at scale, with a birds-eye view of the entire ancient city and its landmarks. At points of interest such as the amphitheater, monastery, royal tombs and treasury users experienced life-size 3D models and panoramic photos. You can enjoy the site, regardless of your location, Farajat says.

Several other creative remote options have launched since the pandemic started:

n The Faroe Islands remote tourism tool, with which users can interact live with a local and use the latter as their eyes and ears to experience the islands.

n A VR reconstruction of the Baalbek ruins in Lebanon, created by Flyover Zone Productions, the German Archaeological Institute and the Lebanese Culture Ministrys Directorate General of Antiquities.

n The luxury tour company &Beyonds virtual safari program livestreams from game reserves in South Africa. You can also book Zoom sessions with rangers.

n A VR-based northern lights tour by the Swedish travel company Lights over Lapland.

The New York-based TimeLooper has VR apps for numerous locations other than Petra, ranging from historical and heritage sites to famous parks and museums, such as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, mining-era Breckenridge in Colorado, the Grand Canyon and a redwood canopy in California.

In the pandemic world, co-founder Andrew Feinberg says, we have worked with our institutional partners to dramatically and quickly scale up their digital presence which for many of these partners was nonexistent. He has witnessed an increasing appreciation for the benefits of a digital presence not only to attract tourists but to enable virtual field trips for schoolchildren, such as the one for Black History Month in February.

He sees great possibility for on-site visits as well: The ability to deploy 25, 30, 35 virtual reality headsets on-site at once for a synchronous experience for the visitor, that was impossible to do five years ago.

Farajats vision is to have VR/AR as one item in a digital buffet served at historical sites, which would also include projectors, holograms and lighting.

Projectors can do wonders, he says.

In fact, he believes projections could rival AR in delivering immersive experiences. An example would be work being done by LithodomosVR, using large-scale 360-degree projections supplemented with VR to bring ancient Rome and ancient Greece to life.

But while the pandemic has sped up the process, we are still probably at the very early stages of adoption of AR and VR, both in terms of the technology itself and its applications at tourist sites, says Ahmed Emara, a digital artist based in Alexandria, Egypt.

Its promising, and its something that doesnt have an equal, but [it] is not ready yet.

The technology needs to grow to a threshold of convenience to be viable, he adds.

For example, at an outdoor site with bright sunlight, mobile and tablet screens will be almost impossible to view, making AR apps useless, while moving crowds will break the AR experience.

In sites like the Valley of the Kings and all the tombs, it can get really crowded, [making it] a logistical hindrance to using this technology, Emara says.

Moreover, AR and VR applications are not socially shareable and are limited to just the person with the device, be it a pair of VR specs or a smartphone.

Another challenge is deploying technology without making local guides redundant.

In a site like Petra, where we heavily rely on tourism, the current situation is not easy because the community has no income, Farajat says. It is very important not to make the tour guides fear that augmented reality or virtual tours, or even applications and audio guides, could take their jobs away.

To prevent that from happening, he hopes that eventually it will be the tour guides themselves who sell AR/VR experiences, so they can profit from it as well.

[If] you ask me where we see this going, TimeLoopers Feinberg says, we believe that the hardware as it continues to evolve is going to ensure that these experiences are more and more accessible.

In the future, he hopes to develop tools that will allow archaeologists, educators and tourist sites to develop their own digital experiences.

That for us is where the next frontier will be.

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The future of 'extended reality' tourism is now, thanks to the pandemic - Frederick News Post

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Facebooks New Bet on Virtual Reality: Conference Rooms – The New York Times

Posted: August 22, 2021 at 3:39 pm

SAN FRANCISCO For years, the idea that virtual reality would go mainstream has remained exactly that: virtual.

Though tech giants like Facebook and Sony have spent billions of dollars trying to perfect the experience, virtual reality has stayed a niche plaything of hobbyists willing to pay thousands of dollars, often for a clunky VR headset tethered to a powerful gaming computer.

That changed last year in the pandemic. As people lived more of their lives digitally, they started buying more VR headsets. VR hardware sales shot up, led by Facebooks Oculus Quest 2, a headset that was introduced last fall, according to the research firm IDC.

To build on the momentum, Facebook on Thursday introduced a virtual-reality service called Horizon Workrooms. The product, which is free for Quest 2 owners to download, offers a virtual meeting room where people using the headsets can gather as if they were at an in-person work meeting. The participants join with a customizable cartoon avatar of themselves. Interactive virtual white boards line the walls so that people can write and draw things as in a physical conference room.

The product is another step toward what Facebook sees as the ultimate form of social connection for its 3.5 billion users. One way or another, I think were going to live in a mixed-reality future, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebooks chief executive, said at a media round table that was conducted this week in virtual reality using Workrooms.

At the event, the avatars of Mr. Zuckerberg and roughly a dozen Facebook employees, reporters and technical support staff assembled in what looked like an open and well-lit virtual conference room. Mr. Zuckerbergs avatar sported a long-sleeve henley shirt in a dark Facebook blue. (My avatar had a checkered red flannel shirt.) Since Workrooms show participants only as floating torsos seated around a wooden desk, no one worried about picking out a pair of pants.

Facebook was early to virtual reality. In 2014, it paid $2 billion to buy the headset start-up Oculus VR. At the time, Mr. Zuckerberg promised that the technology would enable you to experience the impossible.

The deal jump-started a wave of acquisitions and funding in virtual reality. Investment in VR start-ups swelled, while companies like HTC and Sony also promised VR headsets for the masses. Microsoft developed the HoloLens, which were hologram-projecting glasses.

But the hype fizzled fast. The first generation of most VR hardware including Facebooks Oculus Rift was expensive. Almost all of the headsets required users to be tethered to a personal computer. There were no obvious killer apps to attract people to the devices. Worse still, some people got nauseated after using the products.

The next generation of VR headsets focused on lowering costs. Samsungs Gear VR, Google Cardboard and Google Daydream all asked consumers to strap on goggles and drop in their smartphones to use as VR screens. Those efforts also failed, because smartphones were not powerful enough to deliver an immersive virtual reality experience.

People would always ask me, What VR headset should I buy? said Nick Fajt, chief executive of Rec Room, a video game popular among virtual reality enthusiasts. And Id always respond, Just wait.

To adjust, some companies began pitching virtual reality not for the masses but for narrower fields. Magic Leap, a start-up that promoted itself as the next big thing in augmented reality computing, shifted to selling VR devices to businesses. Microsoft has gone in a similar direction, with a particular focus on military contracts, though it has said it is absolutely still working toward a mainstream consumer product.

In 2017, even Mr. Zuckerberg acknowledged on an earnings call that Facebooks bet on Oculus was taking a bit longer than he initially thought.

Facebook spent the next few years on research and development to eliminate the need for a tethered cable connecting the VR headset to the PC, freeing up a users range of movement while still keeping the device powerful enough to provide a sense of virtual immersion.

It also worked on inside-out tracking, a way to monitor the position of a VR headset relative to its environment, writing new algorithms that were more energy efficient and did not eat through a devices battery power too quickly.

Atman Binstock, Oculuss chief architect, said there were also improvements in simultaneous localization and mapping, or SLAM tracking, which allows a VR device to understand the unmapped space around itself while also recognizing its own position within that space. Advances in SLAM tracking have helped developers build more interactive digital worlds.

The changes helped lead to the $299 Quest 2 last year, which does not require a PC or other cumbersome hardware to use and has been relatively simple to set up.

Facebook does not break out sales numbers for Oculus, but revenue from the headsets more than doubled over the first three months of the Quest 2s availability. Facebook has sold five million to six million of the headsets, analysts estimated.

That was roughly the same amount that Sonys PlayStation VR, widely regarded as the most successful VR device on the market, sold from 2016, when it had its debut, through 2020. (Sony has announced an upcoming VR system that will work with the PlayStation 5, its flagship gaming console.)

Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook Reality Labs, which oversees the Oculus product division, said Facebook had also paid tens of millions of dollars to developers to help create games and other apps for VR. Even when it was tough for all of VR in 2016, developers needed us to take some of the risk out, he said in an interview.

Oculus has also bought several gaming studios and other VR-based companies, like BigBox VR, Beat Games and Sanzaru Games, to build more virtual reality content.

With Workrooms, Facebook wants to take Oculus beyond just gaming. The service is intended to provide a sense of presence with other people, even when they might be sitting halfway across the world.

Mr. Zuckerberg sees the project as part of the next internet, one that technologists call the metaverse. In Mr. Zuckerbergs telling, the metaverse is a world in which people can communicate via VR or video calling, smartphone or tablet, or through other devices like smart glasses or gadgets that havent been invented yet.

There, people will maintain some sense of continuity between all the different digital worlds they inhabit. Someone might buy a digital avatar of a shirt in a virtual reality store, for instance, and then log off but continue wearing that shirt to a Zoom meeting.

For now, that vision remains distant. VR adoption can be measured in the tens of millions of users, compared with the billions of owners of smartphones. Facebook has also stumbled, issuing a recall this year on the Quest 2s foam pad covers after some users reported skin irritation. The company has offered new, free silicon padded covers to all Quest 2 owners.

At the Workrooms event with reporters this week, Mr. Zuckerberg spoke but had to leave at one point and rejoin the room because his digital avatars mouth was not moving when he spoke.

Technology that gives you this sense of presence is like the holy grail of social experiences, and what I think a company like ours was designed to do over time, Mr. Zuckerberg said, after the glitch was fixed and his avatars mouth was moving again. My hope is that over the coming years, people really start to think of us not primarily as a social media company, but as a metaverse company thats providing a real sense of presence.

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Facebooks New Bet on Virtual Reality: Conference Rooms - The New York Times

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