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Apple Maps Update Introduces AR Navigation



Scan surrounding buildings with your iPhone’s camera to receive more detailed walking directions.

Apple kicked off its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier today with a two-hour keynote detailing several updates to its lineup of iOS products. This includes numerous improvements to Apple Maps, from additional details like elevation and custom-designed landmarks to new road details and a variety of other upgrades.

Image Credit: Apple

This latest update also introduces AR walking directions to the navigation app. Similar to Google Maps’ Live View, the new mode lets you scan your nearby surroundings to receive more detailed GPS data delivered in the form of AR arrows layered directly over the real world, making it the perfect tool for those in need of some additional assistance while navigating a new city or unfamiliar neighborhood.

AR navigation is expected to arrive this September alongside a slew of other updates as part of iOS 15.

Image Credit: Apple

As previously mentioned, Apple Maps’ AR navigation works similar to Google Maps Live View. Originally announced back in 2018, Live View launched on Google Pixel phones back in 2019 before rolling out on iOS and a wider range of Android devices.

For more information on all of today’s announcements check out CNBC’s coverage here.

Feature Image Credit: Apple

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Facebook Developing VR Wristband That Operates via Brain Signals



Facebook is coming out with a new virtual reality wristband that can obtain brain signals and use them to enhance the level of control in its AR glasses.

Technology brand Facebook is stepping up its efforts in the augmented reality space. It is set to release a new set of AR glasses in the near future. More recently, the company has indicated that the new AR offering can be controlled with a state-of-the-art VR band.


The new wristband technology is being developed by the company CTRL-Labs, and are equipped with electromyography (EMG) for signal interpretation. It will enable the device to analyse signals coming from a user’s spinal cord. These signals are then converted into suitable actions.

Principles of humans thoughts

Facebook has given some insight into how the new technology is set to work in a blog. According to the company, the technology will basically work on the principles of human thoughts and how individuals choose how to respond to certain thoughts. After a thought is processed, a person’s brain relays on information to their body parts. Signals sent to one’s fingers tells them whether to perform actions like swiping, pinching or typing.

According to the company, the technology is centred around reading signals at a person’s wrist and noting what decisions they have decided to perform. It interprets those actions into digital instructions for the user’s device.

EMG Technology

Based on some observations, signals transmitted through the wrist are quite clear and the EMG technology can be used for precise detection of finger motion. It is a capability that can reduce the need for user inputs.

The Verge has come out with more information about the wristbands, hinting that the device will have several other features. It stated that the device could be used for tracking nerve signals sent to fingers by the brain. As a result, users can easily take advantage of something like a virtual keyboard.

The wristbands are also adaptive to how users type, and they can easily adjust how fingers move during different movements including those leading to typos. It can automatically correct errors and make suggestions regarding the right words to type.

Predict likes and interests

According to Facebook, the new technology can be customised to accommodate the different behaviours of users. This is achieved by the use of machine learning, a technology that can predict the likes and interests of users.

Tanya Jonker, Research Science Manager, Facebook Reality Labs, said that the new system is capable of learning about objects and locations, and can recognise user activities.

The technology can take note of behaviour trends of users in the past, to predict what they would be doing in the future. After analysing trends, and it asks the user whether they want to take certain actions. The objective is to make life more convenient for users.

Neuroethics programma

Facebook currently has its own neuroethics programme for evaluating security and privacy for technologies like the one used in the solution it is about to release. Yet, there is a need for individuals to trust that the data collected by the band will be secure.

Further news is expected on the wristband technology in the future.

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‘Valheim’ VR Mod Now Supports Motion Controls



Everyone’s favorite Viking simulator can now be played in VR with support for VR motion controls, including Oculus Touch and Valve Index.

This past April, a modder going by the name of u/elliotttate on Reddit released a mod for Iron Gate Studio’s Valheim, introducing unofficial VR support to the popular Viking-themed co-op survival game—sort of.

The mod, entitled ‘Valheim Native VR Mode Beta’, allows you to experience the full game in immersive 6DoF room-scale VR using a SteamVR headset, including support for cross-play with non-VR players. Unfortunately, this version of the mod did not feature support for motion controls, meaning all in-game interactions outside of menu navigation needed to be handled using a standard gamepad or via a mouse and keyboard.

I say “this version” because this week, the creator returned with a new update that introduces motion control interactions, effectively turning the in-depth Viking RPG into a full-fledged VR game.

Available now via Nexusmods, this latest update adds full VRIK support, including individual finger movements depending on the controller. Instead of pushing a button, you can now engage with the in-game world using physical actions, resulting in more immersive VR gameplay. Harvesting wood in order to build a cabin? Grab an ax and start swinging. Fighting a handful of enemies from a distance? Grab your bow and pull back on the string to release an arrow.

Valheim VR mod now updated with full VRIK and motion control support! from oculus

“The Valheim mod received a HUGE update and now has full motion control support!” states u/ellittate in a post to Reddit. “The experience will continued to be refined and polished, but it now feels quite a bit more immersive and a lot more like a game built from the ground up for VR. Now is the time to jump in if you’re fans of survival games like the Forest or Subnautica or fans of games like Skyrim VR.”

The ‘Valheim Native VR Mode Beta’ is available now to all existing owners via the Nexus Mods website. For more information visit the project’s Discord.

Feature Image Credit: Iron Gate AB

The post ‘Valheim’ VR Mod Now Supports Motion Controls appeared first on VRScout.

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Alice in Wonderland (and VR)



I visited London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum to see Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser, an exhibition on the works and impact of the titular book. Visitors tumble through the rabbit hole of Lewis Carrol’s works, from the petite drawings of a scramble of animals passing judgement, to an eclectic array of cutlery and crockery laid on dimension-bending tables. What particularly struck me was the impact of the work across culture and art movements; for example, did you know Salvador Dali illustrated Alice in Wonderland as well? Or that early 1900s America was obsessed with the story? The little nuggets of information recontextualised the story away from the Disney film, and showed me its wider influence in ways I had no idea previously.

Yet while the exhibition was excellent, it wasn’t the only reason why I was there. HTC VIVE Arts supported it with an experience created by PRELOADED, where visitors can fit into the dainty shoes of Alice. The player falls into Wonderland, drinks a shrinking potion, then meanders their way into a rose garden where they play croquet with playing cards. The colours and smooth animations painted a picturebook aesthetic, combined with a fun game at the end. Staff attended the installation perfectly, using face covers and regularly cleaning the equipment to ensure that VR headsets were good for repeated use.

It was a simple four-minute experience that paired well with the surrounding exhibition, but held back by hand-tracking glitches and a thirty-minute queue time. For veterans of VR, I would have suggested skipping it to focus on the works of art; waiting a long time in a queue for a bite-sized experience left me thinking that the time could have been used elsewhere. And while the experience itself was good, the glitches that caused my hands to scatter across the screen delayed gratification further.

But taking it for what it is, the experience works really well to complement the immersion of the visit. Most people who try it out would be seeing high-fidelity VR for the first time, and it provides a nice introduction for the interested general visitor.

Disclaimer: HTC supplied two press tickets to attend the event .

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Tom Ffiske

Editor, Virtual Perceptions

Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London. 

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The VR Job Hub: Camouflaj, Yondr & nDreams



Every weekend VRFocus gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industry, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.

Location Company Role Link
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj People Development Leader Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Outsource Art Manager Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj UI Designer Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Director of IT Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Senior QA Tester Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Senior Substance Designer Artist Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Senior 3D Artist Click Here to Apply
Bellevue, WA Camouflaj Senior Graphics Engineer Click Here to Apply
Antwerp, Belgium Yondr Full Stack Developer Click Here to Apply
Antwerp, Belgium Yondr Marketing Lead Click Here to Apply
Antwerp, Belgium Yondr Creative Developer Click Here to Apply
Antwerp, Belgium Yondr Senior Unity Developer Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Principle/Lead Environment Artist Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Principal/Lead Animator Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Technical Animator Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Senior VFX Artist Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Graphics Programmer Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Principal Artist Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams Principal Level Designer Click Here to Apply
Farnborough, UK nDreams VFX Artist Click Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham (

We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

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