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Researchers Develop A New Virtual Reality App That Can Help Overcome Fear of Heights

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A researchers’ team at the University of Basel have recently developed a smartphone-based virtual reality application that can potentially lessen acrophobia. Currently, the researchers are conducting a clinical trial of the app to determine its efficacy. The participants for the said trial who underwent training session for four hours in total using the app have reportedly shown the training has significantly improved their capability of handling real high-altitude situations.

Fear of heights or acrophobia is a very common phenomenon. Around 5% of the general population is found to experience an enervating fear and discomfort in high-altitude circumstances. The affected people rarely take the advantage of treatment options available today, one of the major reasons being the limitation of recreating the actual height situations. To aid the treatment process, the research team led by Professor Dominique de Quervain has developed Eyesight— a smartphone-based VR exposure therapy app. Eyesight utilizes 360° images of actual locations captured using drones and creates realistic height situations. People can use this app easily on their smartphones along with a special VR headset.

Therapy from the comfort of your living room
Therapy from the comfort of your living room

Gradually raising the height 

During the virtual reality training process, users are directed to stand on elevated platforms initially raised one meter above the ground. Giving them a certain period to acclimatize themselves, the platform rises automatically. The distance of the platform is raised slowly but steadily without increasing the user’s level of fear.

The efficacy of this method is studied by the researchers in a randomized, controlled trial and the results are published in the NPJ Digital Medicine journal. A total of fifty subjects with acrophobia participated in the trial, with some of them completing the four-hour training program using the Eyesight app and the rest being assigned to the control group. During the training, the participants ascended virtually the Uetliberg lookout tower near Zurich to the extent their limitations allowed them. The researchers then evaluated the results of 25 subjects from the control group and 22 from the training group. Data shows those who have completed the training exhibit less fear and are able to reach near the top. Thus, the efficacy of the VR app is deemed comparable to that of exposure therapy.

Therapy from the comfort of your living room

Researchers were already studying the efficacy of virtual reality in treating acrophobia for almost two decades. The current results indicate that the recurrent use of a mobile-based VR exposure therapy can significantly improve the subjective behavior in height situations. People suffering from mild acrophobia will be able to download the app soon and complete the free training sessions on their own. However, researchers recommend that those who have severe acrophobia should use the app under the supervision of professionals.

The current research is one among many ongoing projects at the Transfaculty Research Platform for Molecular and Cognitive Neurosciences, headed by Professor Dominique de Quervain and Professor Andreas Papassotiropoulos. The mission of their project is to improve mental disorder treatments using advanced technology and make them widely available for everyone.

Source: https://immersive-technology.com/virtualreality/researchers-develop-a-new-virtual-reality-app-that-can-help-overcome-fear-of-heights/

AR/VR

Pimax’s Sword Lite Controllers Available in October

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It was over two years ago that Pimax began officially talking about its “Sword Series” virtual reality (VR) controllers, controllers that at the time looked to rival the Index design. If you pre-ordered a pair or are simply looking for an alternative VR controller system there’s some good news, the Pimax Sword Lite’s have finally entered mass production.

Pimax Sword Lite

Up until now if you bought one of the various Pimax headsets currently available the only controller option you’re given on the website are the Index controllers. With the Pimax Sword Lite, customers will have a second option, one that is fully SteamVR compatible supporting both 1.0 and 2.0 base stations; inbuilt finger tracking, four hours of use per charge and what Pimax calls a “special protection coating that provides a deluxe non-slip texture to the controller.”

The battery is one of Pimax Sword Lite’s most interesting features because even though four hours doesn’t sound a lot – and it isn’t compared to the weeks a single battery can last in an Oculus Quest 2 controller – Pimax has made it as pain-free as possible. First off, the battery is hot-swappable so you can pop new ones in without any interruption. Using a dual replaceable lithium battery design – a dual AA by the looks of this Reddit post – you should be able to buy cheap replacements online rather than expensive custom batteries.

As you’ll notice from the new images the Pimax Sword Lite comes with a large trackpad on each controller, one raised button and one slightly recessed button. A far more simplistic design than most rivals. Currently, it looks like Pimax has dropped the Sword Sense model which featured a more complicated array using a thumbstick, a smaller track panel and three face buttons.

Pimax Sword Lite

“Pimax team insists on serving customers as our first priority, the participation and every piece of advice from our customers has affected the Sword Lite, development thoroughly,” said Pimax Founder Robin Weng in a statement. “We can say that the Sword Lite is a product that is built and refined by all VR users around the world. Our foreign users have provided many valuable suggestions that were used in the design for the Sword Lite”.

As for availability now that mass production has begun, Pimax says the Sword Lite’s are going out to pre-order customers this month with official website sales opening in October. At the moment, Pimax hasn’t said what the final price will be.

For continued updates, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/pimaxs-sword-lite-controllers-available-in-october/

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AR/VR

FitXR is Making its Workout Classes More Accessible

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Subscription-based virtual reality (VR) fitness app FitXR wants to make its workouts as accessible as possible so that any player can participate. To that end, FitXR will be rolling out six new accessibility classes starting this week through to November for subscribers.

FitXR

FitXR has three core studios Box, HIIT and Dance which you can participate in, each offering a slightly different workout regimen. While the Box Studio already featured classes that could be played seated thanks to disengaging the squat feature, the other two did not. So these new classes address that imbalance.

There will be five new HIIT classes and one for Dance, all designed so that users with varying degrees of mobility can enjoy an engaging workout.

“Our goal at FitXR has always been to deliver an unparalleled VR fitness experience accessible by anyone, from anywhere, fit for the future of fitness,” said Sam Cole, Co-Founder and CEO of FitXR. “We realize that fitness is not one-size-fits-all, so we’re thrilled to continuously create content that is accessible to a broad range of people, regardless of their experience, goals or mobility.”

FitXR

The six new classes are as follows:

  • Class Name: Brain Boost – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 9 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 26th September
  • Class Name: Out of Breath – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate
    • Duration: 14 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 3rd October 
  • Class Name: Upper Body Sweat – Seated 
    • Studio: Dance
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 10 minutes 
    • Music: Pop 
    • Release Date: 15th October  
  • Class Name: Short & Sweaty – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 9 minutes 
    • Music: Rock
    • Release Date: 21st October 
  • Class Name: Rock It Out – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate
    • Duration: 11 minutes 
    • Music: Rock
    • Release Date: 31st October
  • Class Name: Burnin’ Up – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate 
    • Duration: 12 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 7th November

These are just the first in a planned series of accessible workouts with additional seated content to be regularly made available.

FitXR moved to a subscription-based model back in April, where after a free trial it costs $9.99 USD a month. A couple of months ago the studio confirmed it was working with Sony Music, Warner Music and more so that subscribers could workout to the likes of Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Krystal Clear and Eli Brown. As further updates are released, VRFocus will let you know.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/fitxr-is-making-its-workout-classes-more-accessible/

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AR/VR

FitXR is Making its Workout Classes More Accessible

Published

on

Subscription-based virtual reality (VR) fitness app FitXR wants to make its workouts as accessible as possible so that any player can participate. To that end, FitXR will be rolling out six new accessibility classes starting this week through to November for subscribers.

FitXR

FitXR has three core studios Box, HIIT and Dance which you can participate in, each offering a slightly different workout regimen. While the Box Studio already featured classes that could be played seated thanks to disengaging the squat feature, the other two did not. So these new classes address that imbalance.

There will be five new HIIT classes and one for Dance, all designed so that users with varying degrees of mobility can enjoy an engaging workout.

“Our goal at FitXR has always been to deliver an unparalleled VR fitness experience accessible by anyone, from anywhere, fit for the future of fitness,” said Sam Cole, Co-Founder and CEO of FitXR. “We realize that fitness is not one-size-fits-all, so we’re thrilled to continuously create content that is accessible to a broad range of people, regardless of their experience, goals or mobility.”

FitXR

The six new classes are as follows:

  • Class Name: Brain Boost – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 9 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 26th September
  • Class Name: Out of Breath – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate
    • Duration: 14 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 3rd October 
  • Class Name: Upper Body Sweat – Seated 
    • Studio: Dance
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 10 minutes 
    • Music: Pop 
    • Release Date: 15th October  
  • Class Name: Short & Sweaty – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Beginner 
    • Duration: 9 minutes 
    • Music: Rock
    • Release Date: 21st October 
  • Class Name: Rock It Out – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate
    • Duration: 11 minutes 
    • Music: Rock
    • Release Date: 31st October
  • Class Name: Burnin’ Up – Seated 
    • Studio: HIIT 
    • Level: Intermediate 
    • Duration: 12 minutes 
    • Music: Electronic 
    • Release Date: 7th November

These are just the first in a planned series of accessible workouts with additional seated content to be regularly made available.

FitXR moved to a subscription-based model back in April, where after a free trial it costs $9.99 USD a month. A couple of months ago the studio confirmed it was working with Sony Music, Warner Music and more so that subscribers could workout to the likes of Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Krystal Clear and Eli Brown. As further updates are released, VRFocus will let you know.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/fitxr-is-making-its-workout-classes-more-accessible/

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AR/VR

Ultrawings 2 Prepares for Takeoff in 2022

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Bit Planet Games has been teasing details of its aerial title Ultrawings 2 for a little while now. A few days ago the studio ended all of that hinting with an official announcement, Ultrawings 2 will be coming to Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets in early 2022.

Ultrawings 2

The original Ultrawings was a particular favourite amongst early VR fans with its mixture of simulator and arcade flying mechanics. After nearly four years in development, Ultrawings 2 is taking that gameplay up a notch with Bit Planet Games saying it’ll be “3X the gameplay of the original” with a bunch of new mission types as you progress through the open-world adventure.

Providing realistic physics and mechanics for each of the five aircraft – which includes a helicopter – you’ll be able to use your virtual hands to grab the cockpit controls or use HOTAS and gamepad controllers if they’re more to your liking. As mentioned, Ultrawings 2 is a mixture of sim and arcade flying with the studio noting: “Although the aircraft’s flight model is based off of its RL counterpart, liberties have been taken to make them uniquely fun to fly.”

Ultrawings 2 will be all about giving pilots stuff to do with hundreds of missions that should keep you in the air for 40-60 claims Bit Planet Games. These will include popping balloons with a dart pistol, stunt plane aerobatics, air-to-air combat shooting down drones in the fighter plane, and trying to land the rocket-powered glider. All of this will take place across day, night, dusk, and rainy conditions to alter the challenges.

Ultrawings 2

Combat Missions will be introduced in Ultrawings 2 in which you’ll encounter dogfighting scenarios, having to intercept bombers and sinking enemy shipping convoys using a one-handed grenade pistol.

Even with the release still months away the studio has already said it has big plans post-launch: “Ultrawings 2 is designed and built for expansion. Expect new aircraft, new gameplay (air races anyone?) and new islands.”

Bit Planet Games is currently aiming to release Ultrawings 2 for Oculus Quest, Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets in February 2022, with other platforms to be revealed at a later date. Take a look at the new trailer below, and for further updates keep reading VRFocus.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/ultrawings-2-prepares-for-takeoff-in-2022/

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