14th edition; RenderThat’s Weekly News Roundup

Welcome to RenderThat’s weekly roundup of the tech stories you need to know. This week, a startup launched a new camera add-on that will make Go-Pros go 3D. A German university announced new AR technology to help pilots navigate no matter the weather. Twitter and Sony Pictures added new executive hires to spearhead growing virtual reality and augmented reality divisions. Verizon is aiming to make live football games more interactive with AR. Want to know more about what happened in this week’s tech news? Read on to find out.

GOPRO CAMERA TURNS 3D WITH ADD-ON

A Chicago-based startup called, Fantem, is looking to bring 3D video to the camera favored by action sport enthusiasts. The company has created, Vitrima, an add-on plastic case featuring a lens that shoots separate images for each eye. These two images are then combined, and can be watched through VR headsets, effectively turning footage shot with a GoPro into 3D video. It’s the add-on devices low cost of $129 that will likely be most appealing to potential buyers.

“Not the best 3D video I’ve seen by any stretch of the imagination, but still, pretty good for a low-cost camera add on.”

AR HELMET DISPLAY LETS PILOTS SEE THROUGH CLOUDS

Augmented reality has a given a whole new meaning to the phrase, “eye in the sky” as the uses for AR keep expanding into more fields: this time, it’s aviation. Foggy weather and cloudy skies are no match for THIS AR helmet-mounted display being developed by the Technical University of Munich. It works using digital eyeglasses to process data from outside and projecting it so the pilot can see obstacles in bad weather and anticipate them in time.

“The technology combines terrain information and sensor readings to show speed, altitude and position – all displayed alongside digitally outlines of the landscape in front of the pilot’s line of sight.”

TWITTER RAMPS UP VR DEPARTMENT WITH APPLE DESIGNER HIRE

It seems the struggling social networking is flying into the virtual reality game, as they recently hired Apple designer, Alessandro Sabatelli. He will lead Twitter’s new VR and AR team in Twitter Cortex, which is made up of a team of researchers, scientists, and engineers who concentrate on machine learning and AI. After working at Apple for almost 10 years doing app user interface design, Sabatelli started his own company, which developed VR software for the entertainment industry.

“Last fall, former senior vice president of product Kevin Weil at the Recode conference briefly noted that Twitter ‘can work great in a VR device.'”

VERIZON PATENTS APP FOR SPORTS STADIUM AR

Live football games may start to look a lot like video games, thanks to AR technology that telecommunications company, Verizon, just applied to patent. Verizon wants to make a mobile AR app that lets fans in football stadiums identify players and see their stats. In order for the technology to work, players will have sensors attached to their helmets. Spectators can then track player stats in real time.

“While the patent could foreseeably be used in all professional sports, football tends to be a more future-forward and innovative sport than most (in being more open to change and technological implementation), and as such provides the ideal breeding grounds for this technology.”

SONY PICTURES LOOKS TO VR FOR FUTURE OF MOVIES

Hollywood’s VR push continues as Sony Pictures hires Jake Zim as senior VP of virtual reality. The company will count on Zim to develop a slate of narrative VR content for the film department. Sony Pictures already has a team of professions working in the space of VR production and distribution.

“Sony’s move into VR comes after Google and Imax Corp. announced plans to develop a cinema-grade VR camera and as others in this space are marching forward in preparation of virtual reality projects in the next wave of consumer entertainment.”