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You may have heard about the recent controversy over Facebook allowing its database to be exploited by Cambridge Analytica to produce a psychological profile of 87 million users in order to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States. That has left Oculus in an uncomfortable position: after all, it is possible to use a VR headset that is laden with many more sensors than typical computer equipment to gather unprecedented amounts of data about physical human behaviors.

So Oculus has updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, and gone on a small press tour to get the word out about the changes. They will also eventually introduce a tool that allows you to download and inspect the data they have collected from you. Facebook and Google have similar tools.

Oculus Faces ‘Existential Crisis’ In Handling Personal Data
Ian Hamilton’s report based on his interview with Oculus’ Max Cohen.

I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes.

Vive Pro Mixed Reality SDK Released

You may have noticed that the Vive Pro has two front-facing cameras placed directly in front of your eyes. None of the reviewers were able to try the cameras out, but now HTC has released a beta SDK to take advantage of them. They blog post has numerous examples showing how they can be used for what Michael Abrash termed “Augmented Virtual Reality”, where you can interact with a video passthrough of the real world, sidestepping some of the display problems faced by Mixed Reality headsets like Project North Star, Hololens, or Magic Leap.

In Other News…

Campo Santo, makers of Firewatch, have been acquired by Valve. The distributed team will be relocated to Valve’s offices in Bellevue, Washington. This is a little worrying, because it was one of the rare breed of highly successful independent game developers with a healthy culture, but it could be awesome if it means their latest project, In the Valley of the Gods, could get the SteamVR treatment.

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Google Brings WebVR to Chrome, All Major PC VR Headsets Supported
WebVR is already enabled in Edge and Firefox without a hidden preference, but far more people use Chrome so it is crucial for adoption.

Intel is giving up on its smart glasses
Barely more than two months after they were announced. This was an exciting project with its cool laser projection technology; it’s a real shame, but Intel lately has been doing a lot of halfhearted R&D work like this. For example, their Project Alloy VR headsetwas abandoned after just a year in the public eye.

iPhone & iPad Users Can Now Play ‘Star Wars’ HoloChess in Augmented Reality

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