AMD, Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Gaming, Hardware, Microsoft, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Microsoft CLAW VR, AMDFLAWS and more

In the second week of March, from the 9th to the 16th, more stories broke. Microsoft, AMD and Bose were all in the news for vastly different reasons, but all of these reasons were relevant to the world of VR. Or, in Bose’s case, AR. This segment, Stories You Might’ve Missed, is for news stories that broke but weren’t given articles on our site. Let’s see what we missed. Microsoft shows off prototype CLAW VR controller One of the most interesting stories to break in March was the debut of the CLAW VR controller from Microsoft. In their blog post and YouTube video (embedded above),

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Entertainment, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

How Ready Player One may impact sale of new VR products

Ready Player One, a movie directed by Steven Spielberg adapted from a sci-fi novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, is making waves. This is no secret. If you’ve spent time on the Internet lately, chances are you’ve probably heard the buzz. Whether the buzz is about its box office performance or criticisms of its poster, you’ve probably heard a thing or two. It’s a simple enough hero’s journey crammed full of pop culture love, and it seems to be something that people are enjoying. So, how is it relevant to our site, VR World? Well, a key part of Ready Player One is

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Breaking, News, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Oculus Rifts are turning into bricks: Here’s why and what you can do

Oculus Virtual Reality DK2

Are you a fan of the Oculus Rift? Statistics indicate that if you’re reading this article, you probably are. Unfortunately for fans of the Rift, their favorite VR headset stopped working today. Attempts to use the Oculus Rift in any applications have failed, meaning that these $400+ VR headsets are, as of today, effectively worthless. Oculus is scrambling for a fix to this issue, but this begs two big questions: What happened Essentially, the “signature” that allows Oculus software to run expired. Certificates exist for all kinds of things- websites, applications, etc- and they all need to be periodically renewed. In the case of code

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Analysis, CPU, Guides, Hardware, News, VR World

Meltdown and Spectre fixes: all you need to know

Remember Meltdown and Spectre? If you don’t, take a look at our article on those exploits, as they most likely make your device vulnerable. It’s been nearly two months since Meltdown and Spectre went public. In this time, manufacturers like Intel and providers like Microsoft have been rushing to provide quick, secure fixes to the exploits. Meltdown & Spectre fixes have progressed enough for us to have a better idea of what to expect from them. Where can I get Meltdown & Spectre fixes? Meltdown effects every modern Intel processor and is the most severe of the two exploits. Meltdown fixes have fortunately been rolled

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Analysis, HTC, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Amidst layoffs, HTC combines its smartphone and VR divisions

Despite HTC continuing the own the bragging rights to being one of the biggest names in VR and smartphone spaces, that still does not alleviate the financial hurdles the company has been struggling with since last year. This past week carried more changes, as Digital Trends reported HTC layoffs in their US offices, as well as a merging of their smartphone and VR divisions. This comes on the heel of Chailin Chang’s resignation as president of HTC, and according to DT, as many as 100 people could have been fired. Amidst dwindling smartphone sales, we take a look at the state of HTC’s virtual reality business. Fortunately,

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2018, Android, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, VR World

Google to release ARCore during the Mobile World Congress

2017 has been a busy one for VR/AR teams at Google, with company’s continued push into the space with Google Cardboard, AR for Pixel phones and, most recently, ARCore framework. The latter was announced mid-2017, and after all of this time in development, ARCore is finally ready to start shipping to developers and manufacturers. The framework will allow developers to more easily develop augmented reality applications for supported Android phones. While Google seems to want to make ARCore near-universal, there’s a fair chance that it will only launch for a select few devices for the time being, with the Pixel and Galaxy series being a

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Gaming, News, , Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Pluto wants to be Discord for VR

Is the world of virtual reality missing a Discord equivalent? The boys over at Pluto seem to think so. Discord is popular as a gaming-centric communication application, thanks to features like Rich Presence and in-game overlays. It’s also a free alternative to services like Mumble, while still being more feature-rich than Skype. Discord has quickly become the most prominent communication app for gamers, so how does Pluto hope to do this for VR? Put simply, by providing an in-game overlay. A big downside of virtual reality as it is now is that there aren’t many options for social networking unless you’re in an app strictly

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Mobile, News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Greenpeace uses VR to help double its sign ups

For charities like Greenpeace, increasing engagement is a top priority. Charities need donations and volunteers to function and without enough engagement, the organizations won’t have enough resources to accomplish its goals. While recognized charity powerhouses don’t need to worry too much about this worst-case scenario, it’s always good to get more people onboard. According to Paula Radley, a manager at Greenpeace, virtual reality is helping them do this in a big way. When they attend an event, they set up stations where multiple users can put on VR headsets to engage with 360 VR video of the Amazon rainforest, surviving in the Arctic and more. Greenpeace’s mobile app

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Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, Toys, VR World

Hot Wheels joins LEGO and other toys in Augmented Reality

At the 2018 Toy Fair, Mattel showed off a new augmented reality app that works with its Hot Wheels toys. Specifically, the application renders real-time 3D models of Hot Wheels Cities playsets when you aim your camera at their boxes in stores. The rendering shows the fully-assembled set, and you can even press a “Try Me!” button onscreen to send a virtual Hot Wheels car through the track. Mattel says that they will be releasing this Hot Wheels AR app in Fall 2018. They aren’t the first toy company to use this idea, either: Lego debuted a similar in-store AR app in 2016. Meanwhile, Lego AR-Studio

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Business, Companies, Gaming, News, startups, VR World

Stories you might’ve missed: $150 HTC Vive alternative, VR Twitch and Hero Vision

There are fast news days, and sometimes there are fast news weeks. Earlier this month, VR stories were coming out so quickly that we couldn’t keep track of all them! Now that we’ve caught up, we’re going to catch you up, too: here are three big VR stories you might’ve missed from earlier this month. Zeiss provides a $150 HTC Vive alternative While VR headsets have a lot to offer, the price barrier to most good VR experiences is undeniable. For PC VR, you pretty much need to shell out for a Vive or Rift…and even at their best, those headsets cost $300+. Zeiss’s entry-level VR

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Gaming, News, Sony, VR World

Want to get PlayStation VR? PSVR is $100 off until March 3rd

Sony PlayStation VR

From now to March 3rd, 2018, the PlayStation VR headset will be on sale for $100 off. This includes both the headset alone (which costs $300), as well as various bundles including certain VR games. Here’s a quick rundown on the best bundles available, as well as what to expect after the sale is over. Why is this happening? Short answer: nobody knows. Longer answer: it’s possible that Sony is gearing up for a new PSVR headset launch, or potentially their new motion controllers. While PS Move controllers provide an…acceptable VR experience, their inadequacy when compared to solutions made for VR, like the Oculus Touch controllers, has

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Analysis, Gaming, HTC, News, VR World

Developers are receiving HTC Vive Pro kits

Since earlier this month, VR developers have started receiving HTC Vive Pros so they can start optimizing around the new headset. After the HTC Vive Pro’s announcement at CES, news on the headset has been trickling out steadily. Most of this news is developer-centric: prior to this story, we learned that some developers are using the new Vive Pro hardware to enable hand-tracking applications. We've been eagerly awaiting this moment to share with you all. Announcing the arrival of the newest member of our VR HMD family… It's a Vive Pro! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/5lkK5sqh0G — Owlchemy Labs (@OwlchemyLabs) February 16, 2018 Owlchemy Labs, developers of Job Simulator

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Hardware, Mobile, News, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Qualcomm pushing mobile VR: Lighthouse-free 6DOF and exclusive Q&A

Ahead of the 2018 Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is pulling out the big guns with the announcement of their Snapdragon 845 chipset and its VR-centric features. They’re pushing these features under the wider “Xtended Reality (XR)” umbrella, which includes AR as well. With the Snapdragon 845 reference design, Qualcomm is bringing a number of features to the table. Foveated rendering, for instance, uses eye-tracking to render what you’re not looking at in low-res to save on performance. Most interestingly, Qualcomm is also hoping to provide a full, roomscale 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) VR experience. 6DOF tracks full head-and-body movements, while 3DOF only tracks the direction

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Internet, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Verizon tests 5G network at the Super Bowl through VR

Time’s arrow never stops marching forward, and neither does technological advancements. Verizon has pushed the envelope at the Super Bowl, mixing “5G” mobile network alongside VR to do some pretty incredible things, even by 2018 standards. What is 5G and what is it capable of? 5G, as its name implies, is the 5th generation of mobile network technologies. While 4G offers speeds comparable to modern home Internet connections, 5G offers speeds and latencies equal to or better than these connections. Once it actually enters the market, different networks will have different performance under 5G. However, this should lead to across-the-board improvements in mobile network performance.

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Analysis, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

BodyNav tackles movement in VR without motion sickness

Movement in VR is a hotly-contested subject. Those lucky enough to get their hands on the latest and greatest virtual reality hardware are split into multiple camps on this debate, but the biggest two of them are: Pro-analog — those who prefer traditional in-game movement methods (like analog sticks) to simulate walking, running, etc. Pro-teleport — those who prefer more VR-centric movement methods, like teleportation. If you’re interested in learning more about VR motion sickness, check out this video from Super Bunnyhop. The reason for the difference in opinions is motion sickness, which occurs when your perceived movements don’t match up with signals from your

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Analysis, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Want true ‘mixed reality’? Imverse lets you see yourself in VR

While Windows Mixed Reality was originally launched alongside the HoloLens (providing a proper mixed/augmented reality experience), nowadays it’s being used to promote headsets that aren’t all that different from a standard VR headset. If you’ve been missing a proper “mixed reality” experience, you aren’t the only one: Imverse does too, and recently they showed off a proper mixed reality demo. This rendition of “mixed reality” makes your actual human body, clothing and all, visible in VR. It does this using a combination of cameras and external sensors, alongside a standard VR headset. Imverse has presented a pretty fascinating implementation of mixed reality, and we wouldn’t

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Google bring AR Stickers to Motion Stills…to mixed reception

Google’s interest in VR is no secret. From the wildly-successful Google Cardboard (and the movement it inspired), to their push for 360 content on YouTube, it’s clear that Google thinks VR is the future. This affinity extends to AR as well, and for right now it looks like Google is looking to compete with social media giants like Snapchat in the AR arena. At the tail-end of 2017, Snapchat started pushing AR tie-ins and a full-blown Lens Studio for AR effect creation. For its Pixel phones, Google launched AR Stickers as a demonstration of the power of the Pixel camera. The app and its eponymous

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Gaming, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Get Humble’s Not-so-Humble VR Gaming Sale

Humble entered the scene of PC gaming with Humble Bundles in 2010. These were pay-what-you-want bundles of indie games, with the choice to split your payment between the developers and charities. While Humble has since grown into a more traditional Humble Store, it still has a reputation as a great place to get cheap games…and their newest VR sale is nuts. Remember our Top 10 VR Games article? Well, it turns out games from that article ended up in this sale. These games are: Fallout 4 VR – 31% off for $41.99 SUPERHOT VR – 33% off for $16.74 GORN – 25% off for $14.99 Sairento

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Analysis, News, , Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Do virtual reality and church belong together? This pastor thinks so

The fun part of the 21st century is that you never really know what two things will be combined next. Doritos tacos? Human Uber? VR church? All of the things mentioned are as real as the device you are reading this story on. And while the first two are a bit too whacky to discuss here, let me introduce you to D.J. Soto, the pastor of the world’s first virtual reality church. D.J. Soto’s mission was to create a more inclusive church, which perfectly alines with the goal of classic Christianity — to reach out to the outsiders of society. Yet Soto felt that modern religious

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News, Sport, VR World

Meet Black Box, the world’s first virtual reality gym

Exercise and weight loss has always been a prominent part of virtual reality. In fact, the health-seeking mission started even earlier, with games like DDR and consoles like the Wii. The gaming industry has always been searching for an exercise stimulating solution with occasional success stories, like the one of Job Stauffer, then-Telltale Games employee, who lost 50 pounds playing a VR game. So it isn’t surprising to see VR industry “work-out” (pun intended) innovations in the fitness space as well. A Boise-based company Black Box, started by Ryan DeLuca and Preston Lewis, is attempting to disrupt the way you exercise. The duo has created Black Box

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