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Disney joins AR fray with $200 Star Wars AR headset

Disney’s VP of Advanced Development Mike Goslin revealed the AR project on stage and showed videos of several games-in-progress. The breathless crowd saw miniature rebels, Strom Troopers and Walkers battling on the rug, as well as a life-sized Storm Trooper (presumably the opponent in a duel), and the famous circular Holo Chess board from the classic Star Wars movie, replete with animated pieces. The app will presumably support other AR as well, which would make the Disney/Lenovo Star Wars headset a much much bigger play.

"If any IP can sell high-tech experiences at a premium price, Star Wars would be the one to do it," says Stephanie Llamas, VR of AR and VR Research at Superdata.

By the end of Q4 2017, it will be raining AR headsets. More are joining the fray. Yesterday, a new startup, Mira, introduced its Prism headset, which is remarkably similar to the Lenovo/Disney headset. Slide your smartphone into the slot on the head mounted display, fire up the Prism app, and play 3D chess and other games. The headset is light, and its visor is removable, attached by a magnet, making the Prism quite portable, which any mobile peripheral needs to be. Some of the demo games feature a multiplayer mode.


These are the latest VR experiences coming out of Comic-Con

Here are some virtual reality experiences that were available at San Diego’s Comic-Con. You might soon be able to get them at home, provided you own the right VR headset.

Facebook’s Oculus and Alcon Interactive have teamed up for a total of three VR experiences to prepare for and accompany the launch of “Blade Runner 2049” in October. The first one, dubbed “Blade Runner 2049: Replicant Pursuit,” premiered at Comic-Con, and was also released for Gear VR.

The “Stranger Things VR Experience” technically didn’t premiere at Comic-Con this year — Netflix actually released a 360-degree video for the show last summer already. But the video service used the event to publicly show a Vive-optimized version for the first time. There’s no word yet on if and when this version might get released for Vive owners to try at home.

Marvel first announced “Marvel Powers United VR” as a multiplayer VR game at D23 last weekend, but gave Comic-Con visitors a chance to actually play parts of the game. And the studio kept one surprise from its original announcement, only to reveal it at Comic-Con: one of the superheroes that you’ll be able to play as is Deadpool. “Marvel Powers United VR” will be available on Oculus Rift in 2018.


What is Growth Hacking and how does it work?

Growth hacking has only one objective, growth.

Growth hackers often use alternative methods and innovative ideas to capture the attention of a target audience. Since growth hackers contribute to marketing they are often confused with marketers.

While it is a similar concept, growth hackers focus on one single goal: the growth of the company.

Traditional marketers are great at promoting traditional products, such as computers, cameras, tables and chairs, anything substantial. But in today’s world it is crucial to understand that the definition of product has shifted, and is no longer restricted to a touchable object.

It can be software products that come in individual bits and pieces, websites, or even an idea.

That is why the strength of growth hackers is their focus on one single objective, growth.

Growth hacking can be a very effective business strategy for start-up companies. However, it doesn’t work for every company. For growth hacking to be successful, tests have to be completed and data has to be analyzed.

However, through the right combination of coding and data analysis, a skilled growth hacker can make innovative changes that result in explosive growth.

The world's first Twitter-inspired movie is in the works

Twitter user @artthekid tweeted the following in response to the picture of Rihanna and Nyong’o:

"Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans."

... and the crowd went wild. The tweet got close to a quarter of a million likes, one of which was Nyong’o herself, who tweeted Rihanna in response to it, saying, "I’m down if you are."

Rihanna responded, "I’m in Pit’z" (her nickname for Lupita).

Twitter went wild, tagging, begging, and cajoling a dream team of filmmakers to join the fictitious project.

Then the studios got involved, and the thing got real.

After a "dramatic negotiation session" at the Cannes Film Festival, Netflix secured a deal for the project. Even better? Issa Rae, who will write the script, told Vanity Fair that the Twitter users who came up with the original idea will be "credited and included in some form."

This movie is not just a fun idea come to life. It’s a demonstration of the genius of our interconnectedness. It’s a preview of how we can evolve as humanity - not hierarchically, but collectively.


Researchers find 'culture of nepotism' in British film industry

Broccoli, producer of James Bond movies, and Kennedy, president of the Star Wars film-maker Lucasfilm, are throwing their weight behind a plan, backed by ?20m of national lottery money, to improve diversity in the sector.
The report on film employment, whether of camera operators, riggers, props or hairdressers, shows a striking lack of diversity and “significant obstacles” to people getting jobs in the first place.

Heather Carey, an associate consultant at the Work Foundation thinktank, led the data research for the report and found major barriers. “There is a culture of nepotism and a lot of the employers we spoke to just recruit via word of mouth,” she said.

“You tend to get that a bit in certain industries but in this industry it is kind of … that’s how it’s done. If you don’t have the network it is incredibly difficult to get in and progress.”

Added to that were few opportunities for apprenticeships and the employment of people on unpaid work experience for long periods all helping to create “a pandemic lack of inclusion in this industry”, Carey said.

Kennedy said: “This initiative is meaningful for both Lucasfilm and the film industry at large. Diversity is just as important behind the scenes as it is on screen. More points of view, more perspectives, and more voices will only make films better.”


Faking 'wokeness': how advertising targets millennial liberals for profit

If television is waking up politically, with shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale, advertisements seem to be far ahead.

This all makes it seem, at least on the screen, like blue-state voters still have purchasing power – but political power and economic power are held by different groups of people. Advertisers cater to richer, progressive liberals, hoping that reflecting their values will persuade them to open their wallets.

According to Rob Baiocco, a creative executive at the BAM Connection who has worked on campaigns for Pringles and Starburst, these “issue” ads may warm the hearts of millennials but they are also “highly suspect”. He highlighted the fakery of their woke-ness: “Companies are avidly and aggressively trying to get involved in a socially responsible space, and they are doing it horribly – they are grabbing at straws.

“They are entering a complex conversation they have no right to be in, yet they are forcing their way in. These creatives are trying to make their toilet paper save the world.

“Sometimes, a Pringle is just a Pringle.”
Despite all of the limits of the woke ads – or, as some call the phenomenon, “faux woke” – and to a smaller extent, the new consumer activism, both give people a pathetic satisfaction. Watching TV, curled on the couch post-election, they can believe for a moment that they exist in an America where the Democratic shopper is the victor, a country that values tolerance and diversity and the education of girls.


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