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Elizabeth Hospice Implements VR Programme to Deal with COVID 19 Circumstances

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Virtual reality (VR) technology is being used by a large number of hospices and palliative care institutions around the world. The technology is helping them alleviate pain, keep anxiety under control, and reduce concerns related to isolation among those afflicted by chronic conditions. The Elizabeth Hospice started using virtual reality technology for extending a helping hand to patients in isolation. It has plans of continuing the immersive experience even after the pandemic.

The Elizabeth Hospice in California has recently joined forces with MyndVR for launching a new virtual reality programme to facilitate better symptom management and aid patients combat social isolation issues. The use of VR is proving to be crucial for such purposes.

Laury Bliss, Chief Strategy Officer, The Elizabeth Hospice, remarked that the healthcare organisation was initially aiming to offer more support to patients who are Isolated due to COVID-19. According to Bliss, a decision was taken to prolong the VR efforts after receiving positive feedback. The hospice has also received positive feedback from assisted living communities and nursing organisations along with requests to continue the use of the technology.

The Elizabeth Hospice is a provider of palliative and grief assistance services and hospice, serving patients in the Southwest Riverside and San Diego counties. It offers virtual reality experiences to establish connections with patients under circumstances that force them to stay isolated. VR enables care patients to travel across international destinations, explore art galleries, visit famous landmarks, and do more, from the comfort of their homes.

Southwest Riverside County and San Diego County both have nearly 15% of their populations represented by people who are 65 and above, according to data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to Bliss, the findings suggest that palliative care and hospice patients gain benefits from experiences that distract them from their chronic conditions. Immersive experiences improve their level of happiness and cut down the feeling of isolation. Patients feel a lot more relaxed and report a higher level of well-being following VR sessions.

The VR programme was launched following several studies that showed how effective virtual reality can be for alleviating pain, anxiety and fear in adults who are affected by chronic ailments, based on a Journal of Pain Research report.

Virtual reality enables patients to revisit some of their favourite memories, explore new places, and take part in experiences such as visiting zoos, skydiving, national parks and more. The family members of patients can also become part of these immersive experiences by using iPad devices.

Chris Brickler, CEO, MyndVR, spoke about the VR tool’s efficacy, saying that virtual reality technology is an impactful medium with considerable potential for helping to improve the quality of life for older patients. He explained that the VR technology developed by MyndVR is suitable for patients who want relief from anxiety, pain and effects of isolation. Elaborating further, he said that patients are able to get past their physical limitations and discover amazing experiences that they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise.

The virtual reality sessions for patients at the Elizabeth Hospice are conducted in the presence of counsellors, volunteers and other personnel.

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Source: https://immersive-technology.com/virtualreality/elizabeth-hospice-implements-vr-programme-to-deal-with-covid-19-circumstances/

AR/VR

Retro Shooter Amid Evil Is Getting A VR Version

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Publisher New Blood Interactive is working on a VR version of its popular retro-style shooter, Amid Evil.

A teaser clip from the game was shown during New Blood’s section at yesterday’s PC Gaming Showcase, and developer Andre Elijah has since shared a better look below. The clip shows a player flipping an axe in-game before using it to split an enemy in two. Check it out below.

Amid Evil VR Confirmed

Oh hey our new game is officially unveiled at #E32021

Amid Evil #VR!!!

Thanks so much to @DaveOshry of @NewBlood for not blocking me after I spammed him for 18 months to let my team at one of my fav games of all time, Amid Evil by @Indefatigable https://t.co/b6tD937XK4 pic.twitter.com/57PifgU5w9

— ȺNDRE ΞLIJAH (@AndreElijah) June 13, 2021

The original version of Amid Evil, developed by Indefatigable, was released in 2019. In the game, players travel across seven worlds, each with its own unique weapon, to battle demonic forces. The game is heavily influenced by classic 3D shooters like Quake, and has a visual style to match.

The VR version of the game has reportedly been in development for a while, but New Blood isn’t ready to reveal much more information just yet. It’s not clear if this will be an update to the original game or a separate release, for example. The original game is also getting a full prequel called Amid Evil: The Black Labyrinth, and it’s not clear if this could be getting VR support too.

Platforms haven’t been specifically confirmed, though Elijah did hint at the possibility of a Quest 2 version. It’s too early to definitively say where it will end up, but PC VR headsets are likely a safe bet.

We’ll let you know more about the game as soon as we have it. Are you looking forward to Amid Evil VR? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/retro-shooter-amid-evil-is-getting-a-vr-version-60c732f312a3ba655bf1fcbb?s=rss

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AR/VR

Survival Horror Shooter Dead Effect 2 Gets Surprise App Lab Release On Quest

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Well this is unexpected. BadFly Interactive’s Dead Effect 2 VR has launched on Oculus Quest via App Lab.

The game launched on the service last week for $19.99. As the name suggests, Dead Effect 2 VR itself is a full port of the original game. The VR edition launched in 2017 on PC VR headsets after a stint on early access and was pretty popular at the time, offering a rare full, single-player campaign-driven experience.

Here’s a trailer from the game’s original launch on PC. Obviously don’t expect the same level of visual fidelity out of the Quest version.

In the game, you fend for yourself on a spaceship overrun with all types of monsters. It’s a fairly simple shooter, but it’s enriched with RPG mechanics and a range of different weapons. There’s enough meat to it that we’re surprised to see it launch on App Lab rather than the official Oculus Store.

App Lab does allow developers to release their content on Quest without having to pass Facebook’s own rigorous curation standards. But this means the game isn’t actually visible from the main Quest store itself – you have to find them via direct links elsewhere.

Will you be picking up Dead Effect 2 on App Lab? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/survival-horror-shooter-dead-effect-2-gets-surprise-app-lab-release-on-quest-60c732f312a3ba655bf1fcba?s=rss

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Our Favorite VR Game Announcements From E3 2021

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The Upload VR Showcase returns with new information on 18 killer VR games.

Yesterday, Upload hosted its third annual E3 VR Showcase as part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming event, revealing a generous amount of new information for 18 VR games on Oculus Quest, PlayStation VR, and SteamVR headsets. This includes everything from new gameplay trailers for highly-anticipated titles such as Larcenauts and Green Hell VR to long-awaited updates for popular experiences like Demeo and Blaston.

For those who missed out on yesterday’s event, we’ve put together a small recap of our favorite announcements for your viewing pleasure. For a full list of yesterday’s reveals, check out Upload’s full recap here.

Green Hell VR – PCVR Gameplay Trailer

We were over the moon when we heard that developer Incuvo Games was developing a VR port of Creep Jar’s brutally realistic survival crafting game Green Hell for PCVR headsets.

For those unfamiliar with Green Hell, this psychological survival-horror experience drops you in the center of the Amazon rainforest where you’re tasked with surviving everything from tropical diseases to deadly wildlife using only your wits and whatever tools you can craft using the natural environment.

This latest trailer showcases even more of Incuovo’s upcoming VR jungle simulator, including the ability to craft temporary shelter using various resources scattered throughout the environment as well as the games crafting and backpack storage systems.

Green Hell VR is scheduled to launch later this year on Oculus Quest and PCVR headsets. According to the developer, the Quest version of the game will differ from the PCVR release due to technical limitations, though details are sparse at the moment.

Blaston & Demeo – New Updates

In addition to new details regarding unreleased games, the Upload VR Showcase also shined a light on several exciting updates coming to existing VR titles, including Resolution Games’ Blaston and Demeo.

Originally released on Oculus Quest and PCVR headsets this past October, Blaston will be receiving a new update on June 21st that will introduce a slew of new content to the multiplayer slow-motion bullet hell game. This includes a brand new single-player mode, token system, and arena just to name a few. The update, referred to as “Crackdown,” will also expand the Blaston universe with the introduction of Scrapper Street, a new location complete with robots, flying cars, and other lore-expanding elements.

We also received fresh updates on “Realm of the Rat King,” a brand new campaign heading to Resolution’s smash-hit VR dungeon crawler, Demeo. While we still know very little about the highly-anticipated expansion, this latest trailer confirmed an official release date of June 28th.

Rhythm Of The Universe: Ionia – Release Date Trailer

Brought to us by ROTU Entertainment, Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia is an upcoming VR puzzle game with an environmental twist.

According to the developers, Ionia will be the first of seven upcoming chapters designed to immerse players in a captivating experience that combines environmental conservation with musical theory. We still know very little about this mysterious game at the moment, other than the fact that part of its proceeds will go directly to Wildlife Warriors, a non-profit conservation organization founded by the late great Steve Irwin.

It looks like we’ll have to wait until the games launch in Q3 2021 to find out more.

Township Tale – Oculus Quest Announcement Trailer

Available now on PCVR headsets via the Alta game launcher, Township Tale is an ambitious RPG experience built from the ground up for VR headsets.

In this uniquely crafted VR role-playing adventure, players are tasked with revitalizing an abandoned village by swapping between various jobs, each of which featuring their own unique interactions designed to immerse you in said role. As a blacksmith, for example, you’ll mine valuable resources and craft powerful weaponry. As a warrior, you’ll defend the village from various threats. Other professions include archer, cook, woodcutter, etc. As you progress, you’ll unlock the ability to customize your character, collect new inventory, and craft unique equipment; all of which can be taken with you between servers.

The latest trailer offers new information on the long-awaited Oculus Quest release. Township Tale will arrive on standalone VR headsets on July 15th for $9.99 with optional in-game purchases.

Larcenauts – VOD Gameplay & Roadmap Trailer

Revealed this past May, Larcenauts is an upcoming team-based PvP game coming soon to the Oculus Quest. Similar to class-based multiplayer titles such as Overwatch and Apex Legends, this fast-paced VR shooter lets you select from a roster of diverse characters, each with their own unique pros and cons, as you battle a team of six other players throughout a series of objective-based game modes using customizable weapons and powerful abilities.

This latest trailer shows off one of the more unique characters featured in the game, VOD, a brawler-class specialist armed with two incredibly powerful fists capable of dealing massive amounts of close-quarters damage. In addition to its elastic arms, VOD also features several ranged attacks, making it one of the more deadly specialists in the game; when used correctly that is.

Yesterday’s trailer also teased a series of exciting updates scheduled as part of the developers’ official roadmap, including two-handed aiming, manual reload, private lobbies, new maps and game modes, and immersive playlists just to name a few.

Larcenauts is scheduled to launch on Oculus Quest and PCVR headsets later this summer.


As stated previously, the announcements listed above are just a small handful of the total number of reveals made during Upload’s VR Showcase event. For more information on all of yesterday’s announcements, visit here.

Feature Image Credit: Resolution Games

The post Our Favorite VR Game Announcements From E3 2021 appeared first on VRScout.

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Frequent run-ins with Indian government complicates tech giants’ plans

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Elevate your enterprise data technology and strategy at Transform 2021.


(Reuters) — Another spat between India’s government and U.S. big tech has exacerbated disillusion among firms which have spent billions to build hubs in their largest growth market, to the extent some are rethinking expansion plans, people close to the matter said.

The government on Saturday said Twitter had not indicated compliance with new rules aimed at making social media firms more accountable to legal requests, and therefore risked losing liability exemptions for content posted on its platform.

Twitter joins compatriots Amazon.com, Facebook, and Facebook-owned WhatsApp in long being at loggerheads with the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over data privacy bills and policies some executives have called protectionist, but tension has escalated in recent weeks.

Police visited Twitter last month to notify it of a probe into the tagging of a political tweet as “manipulated media”, and in February interrogated an Amazon official about the potentially adverse social impact of a political drama. Meanwhile, WhatsApp is challenging the government in court over rules it said would force it to access encrypted data.

“The fear is there,” said a senior tech industry executive in India. “It weighs both strategically and operationally.”

There are no indications the increasing run-ins have led to the delay or cancellation of planned investment.

Still, three senior executives familiar with the thinking of major U.S. tech firms said perceptions of India being an alternative, more accessible growth market to China are changing, and that longstanding plans for India’s role in their operations are being reviewed.

“There always used to be these discussions to make India a hub, but that is being thought through now,” said one of the executives, who works at a U.S. tech firm. “This feeling is across the board.”

Four other executives and advisors also expressed concern about rising tension. All declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter and because discussions were private.

Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp and India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology did not respond to requests for comment.

Misinformation

The government has argued that its rules are needed to stem the spread of misinformation that can spark violence – such as in 2017 when kidnapping rumours shared on message apps including WhatsApp led to lynching. It also said the rules are necessary to hold large technology companies accountable for practices that hurt domestic businesses or compromise customer privacy.

India is a massive market for U.S. tech giants. It is the biggest market for both Facebook and WhatsApp by user numbers, showed data from Statista, and third for Twitter. Amazon has committed as much as $6.5 billion to invest in the country.

To attract small businesses through WhatsApp, Facebook last year invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Industries‘s media and telecommunications arm, Jio Platforms.

Alphabet’s Google also pumped $4.5 billion into Jio last year from a newly created $10 billion fund earmarked for investment in India over five to seven years.

Compliance

The government has tried to balance attracting high-tech investment with nationalist policies aimed at protecting local businesses and, critics say, advancing its political agenda.

A border confrontation with China prompted it to effectively ban Chinese social media apps, including TikTok and WeChat.

The government has also forced foreign firms to store data locally against fierce lobbying, and its promotion of a domestic payment card network prompted Mastercard to complain to the U.S. government about the use of nationalism.

In 2019, compliance issues with new regulations saw Amazon remove thousands of products from its e-commerce platform. The e-tailer is separately facing scrutiny by the Competition Commission of India for its retailing practices.

Twitter publicly refused to comply with some government demands to remove content, a stance which some industry executives said may have aggravated its current situation.

WhatsApp has gone to court rather than comply with a new law requiring social media firms to trace the origin of dangerous or criminal posts on their platforms. The message app operator said it cannot comply without breaking encryption, while observers said yielding could prompt similar demands in other countries.

At the same time, WhatsApp has faced regulatory delays that have limited its payment service to just 4% of its 500 million customers. Nevertheless, it is pressing ahead with hiring for a service it has called a “globally significant” opportunity.

Government officials have shown little patience for objections. IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said any robust democracy must have accountability mechanisms, such as the ability to identify the originator of messages.

“A private company sitting in America should refrain from lecturing us on democracy when you are denying your users the right to effective redressal forum,” Prasad said in an interview with the Hindu newspaper published on Sunday.

Still, continued antagonism could imperil Modi’s ambition of making India a go-to investment destination.

“It’s a question of what you would develop in a three-to-five-year horizon,” said another executive familiar with the thinking of U.S. firms. “Do you do that in India or do you do that in another country. That’s where the conversation is.”

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Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/06/13/frequent-run-ins-with-indian-government-complicates-tech-giants-plans/

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