RØDE parent company purchases SoundField, By Adam Savage

As it approches its 50th year in business, The Freedman Electronics Group – home to pro-audio brands RØDE Microphones, Event Electronics and Aphex – has expanded its portfolio with the purchase of surround sound recording specialist SoundField from broadcast equipment manufacturer TSL Products.

The deal between RØDE managing director Peter Freedman and TSL MD Chris Exelby sees Freedman Electronics take control of the entire SoundField company, which includes the current product offering as well as all IP associated with the brand.

The existing product line will continue, and all support and warranty for SoundField products will now be handled through the new operation. TSL Products will retain the upmix/downmix processing product range, which will be rebranded.

“I’m extremely excited we have added the SoundField product line to the Group,” said Freedman. “RØDE is a power player in studio and live microphones and the world’s market leader in on-camera mics, so adding a product line like SoundField – with its unique surround sound microphones and applications – to our portfolio is a real step for the Freedman Electronics Group.”

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Sony Pictures will stream live VR with Nokia’s Ozo camera, By Steve Dent

Despite its camera expertise, Sony is turning to Nokia for VR help.

Nokia made some great smartphone cameras back in the day, but we certainly didn’t expect that to lead to the Ozo, a $45,000, 360-degree 3D virtual reality camera. Now, the Finnish company will provide expertise and Ozo cameras to Sony Pictures, which will use them to create VR content. The studio will also take advantage of the Ozo Live VR broadcast capability “to transport fans to Sony Pictures events that they couldn’t otherwise attend,” the company wrote.

There are other VR rigs out there that can take higher-quality images. And it seems odd that a camera manufacturer with Sony’s professional experience would turn to Nokia, of all companies, for equipment and advice. However, Ozo does offer live VR broadcasting, real-time on-set Oculus Rift VR playback and rapid stitching from the eight cameras. With other systems, it can take ages to patch together multiple videos, meaning producers often have no idea what they shot until much later.

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Me, a Daydream View, and a 5-hour flight: My first in-air mobile VR experience, By David Ruddock

Google’s Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren’t reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.

So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn’t play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I’d downloaded from Play Movies to watch. That last one seems to be the ideal mobile use case for VR: zoning out with a good, or at least entertaining, two hours while the world around you falls away. Watching a movie in VR is immensely private and can, in theory, help you forget you’re crammed in a giant aluminum tube with several-hundred other human beings. Sounds appealing!

And I have to say, when it works, it totally is. The two hours I spent watching Star Trek: Beyond from the comfort of the Daydream View were less stressful, less distracted, and more focused on the simple joy of watching a fun movie. So, all’s well then? Mobile VR is ready for prime time as a travel gadget?

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Oculus’ VR painting app Quill will be released free next month, By Cat Ellis

Paint a story

Quill – a virtual reality painting app created by Oculus – will be available to download as a free beta in early December. The date coincides with the release of the Oculus Touch controller, which you’ll need to create your own VR illustrations in Quill.

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Microsoft’s $300 Windows 10 VR headsets will run on surprisingly modest PCs, By Ian Paul

Microsoft let slip a little more information about its plans for those affordable Windows 10 virtual reality headsets set to roll out in 2017 with the Creators Update. The Windows Insider Preview build 14971, which rolled out last week, included a new app called Windows Holographic First Run.

Similar to Valve’s performance-check utility, the app checks to see if your PC is capable enough to handle Windows 10 VR. Microsoft said the Windows Holographic First Run app wouldn’t be able to detect any hardware, but The Verge ran some tests and this doesn’t appear to be the case.

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‘Google Earth VR’ Launches on HTC Vive, A Breathtaking New Way to Know Our Planet, By Ben Lang

Google launches Earth VR for the HTC Vive for free, giving us a whole new perspective on the world.

I remember, back in 2001, how amazed I was to see Google Earth for the first time. I remember huddling around the computer monitor with friends shouting “go to New York City!” “Go to Hawaii!” “Go to the Grand Canyon!”, and with a line of text and a tap on the return key, we were there, as the digital globe spun and zoomed in smoothly to give us a previously unseen view of these exotic locales. Google Earth made the world tangible in a way we’d never known it.

15 years later, in Google’s San Francisco office, I felt that same magic. Except this time, I could not only fly from one place to another for a bird’s-eye view, I could zoom down and plant my feet on the ground with the entire Earth encompassing my view.

I don’t use the word “breathtaking” in headlines often. But when you find yourself towering over a detailed recreation of San Francisco, or standing eye-level with the top of the Eiffel Tower, or watching the Sun set and the Milky Way rise over the plateaus of Monument Valley, it’s an easy choice.

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The world’s first smartphone with built-in 360° VR Camera is here! By Vijay Prabhu

 The world’s first smartphone with built-in 360° VR Camera is here!
The world’s first smartphone with built-in 360° VR Camera is here!

VR or Virtual Reality along with AR or Augmented Reality has been prophecised to be the next big thing in tech world after Internet of Things. You’ll probably never go to Mars, swim with dolphins, run an Olympic 100 meters, or sing onstage with the Rolling Stones. But if you own a Virtual Reality headset, you can do all the above things without leaving your sofa.

Unlike real reality (the actual world in which we live), virtual reality means simulating bits of our world (or completely imaginary worlds) using special cameras, algorithms, and VR headsets or gloves. Up to now, making VR films was the domain of those who owned a special type of 360° and such software to create VR stuff. However, thanks to a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, you can also make your own VR videos.

Chinese high-tech firm Protruly has showcased world’s first built-in VR camera equipped Darling VR smartphone, at the China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen on Thursday. The Darling VR Smartphone allows owners to make their own VR videos using a special algorithm that can take 360° panorama videos and photos. the Darling VR smartphone features the world’s first 360° live virtual reality streaming camera for smartphones.

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VR Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Virtual Reality Experience, By Janko Roettgers

COURTESY OF WARNER BROS
COURTESY OF WARNER BROS

With its ability to transport you into another world, virtual reality can feel magical. The same has long been true for books and movies that capture our imagination with detailed otherworlds. So what better way to promote a movie like “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” that with virtual reality (VR)?

Warner Bros. has done just that with a new “Fantastic Beasts” VR experience, which was exclusively released for Google’s new Daydream VR headset earlier this month. The experience invites viewers to enter the study of Newt Scamander, the main character of the movie. Given that he had to leave for the U.S., he instructs the viewer to take care of three of the creatures he had to leave behind.

To do so, one has to trace a series of figures with a magic wand that is being controlled with the help of the Daydream controller as a way to visually draw spells in the air. There’s also a little bit of potion mixing involved, and one even has to grind down a few chubby roots with a mortar and pestle.

The experience was produced by Framestore, the same VFX studio that also worked on the visual effects of the actual “Fantastic Beasts” movie, which leads to a great level of visual detail throughout the entire experience. The study is crammed full with old books, scattered manuscripts and mysterious potions, and the beasts as well as their individual habitats themselves are truly impressive. Having a Thunderbird spread its wings right in front of you is quite a sight, to say the least.

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Explore the Red Planet in ‘The Martian VR Experience’ By Stephanie Mlot

Could you survive alone on Mars? PlayStation VR and HTC Vive owners will find out tomorrow.

“The Martian VR Experience,” a tie-in with Ridley Scott’s 2015 film The Martian, hits the VR headsets on Tuesday. Produced by Scott and directed by Maleficent’s Robert Stromberg, the interactive game puts viewers into the space suit of Mark Watney—a fictional American astronaut left for dead by his crew during an emergency departure from the Red Planet.

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Jaunt Announces Bi-Coastal Availability of Jaunt ONE Professional VR Camera

Expanding Rental Program Brings Award-Winning Camera to AbelCine

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jaunt Inc., the industry leader in cinematic virtual reality (VR), today announced that the award-winning Jaunt ONE camera is being made available to even more creators through an expanding rental program. AbelCine, a leading provider of products and services to the production, broadcast and new media industries, is the latest company to offer the Jaunt ONE for rent.

“Whether they’re a frequent experimenter of new mediums or a proven filmmaker dabbling in VR for the first time, we want to equip creators of all backgrounds with everything needed to bring their stories to life.”

The Jaunt ONE 24G model camera – which features 24 global shutter sensors, ideal for low-light and fast moving objects, and ability to couple with 360° ambisonic audio recording – will be available to rent from AbelCine. Creators will also have access to AbelCine’s training, workshops and educational tools for shooting in VR.

The nationwide availability of the Jaunt ONE camera, paired with access to the company’s end-to-end VR pipeline, provides filmmakers, creators and artists with the hardware and software solutions for shooting, producing and distributing immersive cinematic VR experiences.

Hardware – Rent the award-winning Jaunt ONE camera through AbelCine or Radiant Images
Software – Jaunt Cloud Services (JCS) provides the tools necessary to edit, stitch and render stereoscopic 360° footage
Distribution – Submit high quality VR content for distribution directly to the Jaunt VR app through the Jaunt Publishing program
“As we continue to open the Jaunt pipeline to the expanding community of VR creators, AbelCine is a perfect partner to not only get the Jaunt ONE camera in the hands of filmmakers, but also to educate them on the opportunities in VR,” said Koji Gardiner, Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Jaunt. “Whether they’re a frequent experimenter of new mediums or a proven filmmaker dabbling in VR for the first time, we want to equip creators of all backgrounds with everything needed to bring their stories to life.”

“At AbelCine, we are always on the lookout for cutting-edge storytelling tools, and this describes the Jaunt ONE perfectly,” said Mike Nichols, Business Development Manager. “Our clients rely on us for assistance in adopting new technologies and providing outstanding technical support on these projects. We are excited to do just this, and help our clients discover what’s possible with the Jaunt ONE.”

Creators interested in shooting with Jaunt ONE should stop by AbelCine’s booth #1149 at NAB Show NY, November 9-10 at the Javits Convention Center, where the camera will be on display.

Jaunt is also expanding its existing rental program with LA-based Radiant Images to increase the number of cameras available to their customers. For more general information on the Jaunt ONE camera and Jaunt Cloud Services, please visit:

https://www.jauntvr.com/technology/

About Jaunt Inc.

Jaunt is pioneering the future of creative storytelling through cinematic virtual reality. Founded in 2013, Jaunt is the leading developer of the hardware, software, tools, and applications to enable cinematic VR and put the power of virtual reality in the hands of today’s best content creators. In addition, Jaunt works with leading creatives – from brands to artists to filmmakers – to create cutting-edge content through its studio arm, Jaunt Studios. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company also maintains a presence in Los Angeles and produces branded and original VR content for audiences worldwide.

Jaunt’s investors include The Walt Disney Company, Evolution Media Partners, China Media Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat. 1 SE, The Madison Square Garden Company, Peter Gotcher, Blake Krikorian, and Sky (corporate.sky.com). Experience more at www.jauntvr.com.

About AbelCine

AbelCine, established in 1989, is a full service equipment and technology provider to the broadcast, production and new media industries, with facilities in New York City, Burbank, CA and Chicago, IL. Core services include equipment sales, financing, training, rental and tech services. For more information, visit www.abelcine.com.

Contacts
Double Forte for Jaunt
Lyndsey Besser, 415-500-0619
Jaunt_DF@double-forte.comjaunt