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Wallace & Gromit’s AR Adventure ‘The Big Fix Up’ Out Now

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Last year Aardman Animations and Fictioneers announced that beloved duo Wallace & Gromit would be making their way into augmented reality (AR). Today, Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up has arrived for mobile devices so that players can help fix up the duo’s home town of Bristol, UK.

Providing a narrative-driven experience with AR gameplay, Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up is their first new adventure in a decade. The iconic characters have started a new business venture, Spick & Spanners, and you’re the company’s new employee.

Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up is voiced by award-winning British actors including Miriam Margolyes and Jim Carter with Ben Whitehead playing Wallace. The AR app can be used both at home or outside to aid the pair, with in-character phone calls, extended reality (XR) portals, and comic strips all part of the experience.

“We are really excited to launch The Big Fix Up, the first release from our new Fictioneers studio. We believe it’s a first-of-its-kind experience, part of our vision to harness multiple technologies, media types and formats to tell enhanced, collaborative and immersive stories in real-time,” said Scott Ewings, Venture Lead at Potato and co-founder of Fictioneers in a statement. “With The Big Fix Up, we have created a new, rich and multi-layered experience, where, for the first time ever, YOU can become part of Wallace & Gromit’s story. This will be the first of many releases using the Fictioneers platform.”

Wallace & Gromit have innovation, gadgets, and technology at the comedic heart of their world. Working with Fictioneers to create The Big Fix Up has been a perfect fit, allowing us to bring the duo’s fantastic fictional contraptions right into our audiences homes using the latest real technology,” adds Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit at Aardman.

Fictioneers is a collaboration between Potato, Sugar Creative and Tiny Rebel Games. The group used 3D mapping platform Fantasmo to bring Bristol’s city centre to life as well as Unity’s AR Foundation toolkit.

Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up is freely available now on iOS and Android devices in the UK, US and Canada. For further updates from Fictioneers about its latest immersive content, keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/wallace-and-gromits-ar-adventure-the-big-fix-up-out-now-600583dd212dcd866d9212b8?s=rss

AR/VR

Microsoft Mesh to Enable Shared Experiences Across XR Platforms

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Microsoft Mesh

Today see’s the start of Microsoft Ignite, its online virtual event which has started with an XR bang. Taking to AltspaceVR’s virtual stage was Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman to announce Microsoft Mesh, its new mixed-reality (MR) platform which aims to make shared holographic experiences effortless across multiple devices.

Microsoft Mesh

Showcasing Mesh by hosting the keynote in the social app, Kipman welcomed various speakers including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, director James Cameron, Niantic CEO John Hanke and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté as viewers tuned in from around the world, in both VR and via other devices.

The platform is powered by Microsoft Azure, its cloud-computing service, benefiting from its enterprise-grade security and privacy features. The core focus of Microsoft Mesh is to enable multi-user XR, where companies and consumers can take a device with a Mesh-enabled application and swap ideas, learn or simply socialise. It’ll support 3D models for users to interact with, whilst a full suite of AI-powered tools will enable avatar creation. spatial rendering and more.

“This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning,” said Kipman in a blog post. “You can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together.”

Microsoft Ignite, Alex Kipman and John Hanke
Alex Kipman and John Hanke at Microsoft Ignite

“Our part of this is the work of stitching the digital and physical worlds together, connecting the bits and atoms so these experiences can be possible using the Niantic platform,” Hanke said. “But social connections are really at the heart of everything we do, and Microsoft Mesh innovations just enrich that.”

Microsoft Mesh will work on HoloLens 2, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus headsets, PCs, Macs and smartphones so its not restricted to one particular platform. While an official launch date has yet to be confirmed, a collaborative preview of the Microsoft Mesh app for HoloLens is available and access can be requested for a new version of Mesh enabled AltspaceVR. Eventually, Mesh will be integrated within Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

As further details are released for Microsoft Mesh, VRFocus will keep you updated.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/03/microsoft-mesh-to-enable-shared-experiences-across-xr-platforms/

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Pokémon GO Demo Shown on HoloLens 2 at Microsoft Ignite

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Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

During today’s Microsoft Ignite event, in collaboration with Niantic Labs, the companies showcased what the possible future of Pokémon GO could be. They demoed a prototype of the augmented reality (AR) videogame on HoloLens 2 for the first time.

Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

Currently just a proof-of-concept, the demo was part of Microsoft’s Mesh announcement to build shared experiences in mixed reality (MR). In the video which firmly pointed out that what was being shown wasn’t for consumer use, Niantic CEO and Founder John Hanke strolled through a park with various Pokémon running around his feet.

Using HoloLens 2’s hand tracking he then brings up his left hand which activates a menu UI, giving three options; a Poké Ball, Fruit and Pokémon, the latter offering a list of his available creatures. Selecting Pikachu, Hanke goes onto feed the famous yellow character some fruit before continuing with the presentation which doesn’t involve a battle, unfortunately.

It’s a tantalising look at the future of arguably the most popular AR title, where players no longer have to look at their phone screen because it’ll all appear in a set of AR glasses. That’s going to be some way off as devices like HoloLens 2 aren’t for consumer use, yet the next generation of smart glasses could well achieve that.

Pokemon Go HoloLens 2

“We’re committed to leveraging and expanding our platform to build real-world AR experiences for as many devices as possible and reaching a diverse set of players no matter their physical location,” says Hanke in a blog post. “We’ve only scratched the surface. We know the years ahead to be filled with important achievements which will serve as waypoints in AR’s journey to become a life-changing computing platform.”

AR is viewed by many companies as the future of mobile computing, offering hands-free access to a digital world that interacts with the real one, whether that’s for gaming, work or any other use case. And it’s these kinds of partnerships that help to build that groundwork. As Niantic and Microsoft continue to announce more from their collaboration, VRFocus will keep you update.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/03/pokemon-go-demo-shown-on-hololens-2-at-microsoft-ignite/

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Microsoft Announces Mesh, a Foundation for Building Multi-user XR Applications

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Today during the Microsoft Ignite developer conference, the company announced Mesh, a new cloud-based service which Microsoft says will streamline the creation of multi-user XR applications.

Soon to be offered under Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing arm, Mesh is a foundation for building multi-user XR applications. The tool will offer developers a framework for connecting users into shared instances which support spatial voice communication, cloud-based asset management, persistent scenes, and a common avatar system. While the service is primarily geared toward immersive applications, it can also support non-immersive access points like web browsers or smartphones.

The company compared Mesh to Xbox Live, which functioned as a toolkit for building networked multiplayer games in the early days of online multiplayer on Xbox. Like Xbox Live, Mesh is designed to accelerate the development of multi-user XR applications by providing ready-made solutions for common needs, like networking, spatial voice communication, and object synchronization & interactivity.

Fortunately, Microsoft says that Mesh will be a platform independent service, meaning developers that take advantage of it will still be able to distribute their applications wherever they’d like (be that on Steam, Oculus, HoloLens, or elsewhere).

To demonstrate its capabilities, the company has created a Microsoft Mesh demo application which will be available through the Microsoft Store. The application functions like a collaborative virtual workspace where users can come together to view, discuss, and annotate shared 3D assets. Users inside the app are represented by the Mesh avatar system which allows for avatar customizations to be shared between Mesh-enabled applications.

Image courtesy Microsoft

One such application is Altspace, Microsoft’s social VR app. The company says it has rebuilt the app to take advantage of Mesh, including the Mesh avatar system. That means if you change your avatar in Altspace, you’ll see the same changes seamlessly synchronized to the Microsoft Mesh example app as well. Microsoft says it plans to build Mesh-enabled immersive capabilities into Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 services as well.

Microsoft seized the opportunity to show off the new Mesh-enabled Altspace by hosting the Microsoft Ignite keynote fully in virtual reality for the first time, allowing users from around the world to connect remotely to see the immersive event live. During the virtual keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Technical Fellow Alex Kipman appeared as high resolution scans of themselves while making the presentation.

Image courtesy Microsoft

We don’t know yet exactly when Microsoft Mesh will become available to developers, nor what the pricing model will be, though we’ve reached out to the company for additional information.

The post Microsoft Announces Mesh, a Foundation for Building Multi-user XR Applications appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/microsoft-mesh-announcement-multi-user-xr-service/

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Microsoft & Niantic Show Off Multiplayer ‘Pokémon Go’ Prototype on HoloLens 2

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If you’ve been dreaming of a proper immersive AR experience from Pokémon GO, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft and Pokémon Go developer Niantic are experimenting with the idea. Today during Microsoft Ignite, the companies showed off a proof-of-concept for a multiplayer version of Pokémon Go running on HoloLens 2.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the newly announced Microsoft Mesh, Niantic CEO John Hanke took to the Microsoft Ignite keynote stage to show off a proof-of-concept version of Pokémon Go running on HoloLens 2. In the demo, Hanke was at a park with a handful of Pokémon while another player appeared remotely to battle.

The companies were careful to say that the demo “does not represent a consumer product,” but said it highlights “a new collaboration that will build on Microsoft’s and Niantic’s mixed and augmented reality capabilities.”

The demo was also designed to highlight the capabilities of Microsoft Mesh, a new service from the company which aims to accelerate the development of multi-user XR applications.

“Niantic’s mission is to create technologies that allow people to socialize and explore the world together, whether that’s kids using Pokémon Go to explore their neighborhoods with parents or friends, or thousands of people gathering at parks for festivals,” Hanke said. “Microsoft Mesh offers a whole new way of doing that. This notion of bringing my virtual friends along with me as I go out and walk and explore the world—I just love that concept and I’m really interested to see what we can do with that.”


This story is breaking. Check back for more info as it comes in.

The post Microsoft & Niantic Show Off Multiplayer ‘Pokémon Go’ Prototype on HoloLens 2 appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/pokemon-go-hololens-augmented-reality/

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