VR treatment, even without a therapist, helps people overcome fear of heights

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OVERCOMING ACROPHOBIA. Afraid of heights? You’re not alone. In fact, acrophobia is one of the most common fears in the world. Now, a team of European researchers has found a new way to help people overcome their fear, no need to climb on any ledges or even talk to a therapist.

The researchers enlisted 100 volunteers for their study, all of whom had a clinically diagnosed fear of heights but were not receiving treatment for their phobia. The researchers then split the volunteers into two groups. Fifty-one volunteers served as the control, undergoing no treatment, while the other 49 had the opportunity to undergo a two-week-long virtual reality (VR) treatment regimen (47 agreed to the program, and 44 completed it). The researchers published the results of their trial in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry on Wednesday.

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Inside a $1 Billion real estate company operating entirely in VR

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Born during the aftermath of the financial meltdown a decade ago, a publicly-traded real estate brokerage called eXp Realty is establishing itself as one of the brightest rising companies in its industry—and one of the most creative users of digital technology today.

By several measures, the company is experiencing a moment of true exponential growth.

Since last October, eXp Realty’s stock price has surged more than 300 percent, and this year the company announced they had doubled their number of real estate agents in just seven months. At the beginning of the year, they had roughly 6,500 brokers, but today they have over 12,000 operating in more than 300 markets across the US and Canada. This pace of growth is unprecedented for a single national brokerage and almost unthinkable for a real estate company not structured as a collection of local franchises.

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UBS digitally clones it’s chief economist so he wouldn’t miss his meetings

Swiss Bank UBS Agrees To Turn Over 4,000 Plus Account Names

UBS Chief Economist Daniel Kalt is in very high demand. So, the Swiss investment bank decided to clone him, digitally at least. Now through a rendering captured by more than 120 high-definition cameras in over a full day of shooting, the company can have Kalt (or at least his likeness) meet with multiple clients at a time via interactive video chat, without ever even stepping foot in the conference room.

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VRgineers new pro headset XTAL features Auto eye IPD and leap motion

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The new design features a raft of professional features.

Czech-based virtual reality (VR) startup VRgineers specialises in producing high-end head-mounted displays (HMDs) for enterprise, having started with the VRHero 5K Plus. Now the company has unveiled a successor, XTAL, a pro headset with unique features.

VRFocus first reported on the new enterprise-grade headset a few months ago, with VRgineers revealing little in the way of specifications, just that the company was working on a new project.

The XTAL headset has been built around the needs of professional designers and engineers – so don’t expect to see on in Best Buy or PC World – boasting a 5K resolution, 170º field-of-view (FoV), and patented non-Fresnel lenses.

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Neuroreality: the New reality is coming. And it’s a brain computer interface

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With the release of the Oculus Rift in March 2016, the age of virtual reality (VR) truly began. VR tech had been generating buzz since the 1990s, but the Rift was the first high-end VR system to reach the consumer market, and early reviews confirmed that it delivered the kind of experience users had been hoping for.

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Disney Researchers Catch a Real Ball in Virtual Reality

The resurgence of virtual reality is still in its infancy, and while we do have very good VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, in other areas the tech is still severely lacking. Take interaction, for example, it’s very difficult to convey touching something in the virtual world with physical feedback. But what if you could interact with real world objects that appear in the virtual world?

Disney Research decided to carry out just such an experiment by asking the question: can you catch a real ball in virtual reality? The good news is, yes you can, but there’s a number of prerequisites to achieving such a simple task.

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VR, AR Headset Market Growing 58% A Year, To Reach 99 Million Devices

Driven by lower prices, new devices and an expanding array of content, the market size of virtual and augmented reality headsets is being propelled at a breakneck pace.

Total VR and AR headset shipments will see explosive growth from 10 million units last year to 99 million units in four years, based on a new tracking report.

The virtual and augmented reality headset market will grow 58% a year for the next five years, according to the new International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker.

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Now You Can Feel Wind and Temperature While in Virtual Reality

Realistic visuals and audio are essential to shaping an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience. But these researchers from the National University of Singapore believe VR shouldn’t just cater to sight and sound. For the ultimate VR experience, other senses should come into play as well.

Last year, Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team demonstrated how electrodes can be used to add a sense of taste to VR. Their latest accessory, Ambiotherm, adds another element of realism to the experience: atmosphere.

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