Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Meet USDZ, an AR file format from Apple and Pixar

As part of Apple’s recent ARKit 2.0 announcements, Apple also debuted USDZ, a new file format from their partnership with Pixar. We’ll dive into this below. What is USDZ? This file format is described as a “zero compression, unencrypted zip archive” by Pixar. It’s made to work with a USD runtime and doesn’t require unpacking on the user’s end. As a new file format from Apple and Pixar, it’s designed expressly for managing 3D objects in Augmented Reality. There’s a number of more features than that, but that dives into jargon-y territory we’d like to stay out of. For now, we’ll just explain what it

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

Apple reveals new ARKit 2.0 features

Apple is finally iterating on ARKit with ARKit 2.0, and this is big news for AR development on iOS devices. Below, we’ll briefly go over what ARKit is and what 2.0 is bringing to the table. What is ARKit? ARKit is Apple’s solution for AR on iOS devices. Essentially, it provides a backend and multiple features for AR on iOS applications, and it’s used as a backend for many popular iOS AR apps. While it’s possible to create non-ARKit AR applications in Apple devices (Pokémon Go being the most popular by a considerable margin), using ARKit makes things easier and provides access to a wider

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Audio/Video, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Hardware, News, Qualcomm, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Snapdragon XR1 and Google’s new VR display

This week with Stories You Might’ve Missed, we’ll be covering the announcement of the Snapdragon XR1, as well as Google and LG’s new VR display technology. If you haven’t seen these segments before, Stories You Might’ve Missed is our dedicated segment for relevant stories that we didn’t cover this past week. Below are the stories themselves, as well as links to sources so you can read more if they caught your interest. Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon XR1, their first VR/AR-centric chipset Qualcomm’s interest in XR (Xtended Reality- blanket term for AR, VR, etc) is no secret. We’ve spoken to them directly about it before. At the

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Companies, Entertainment, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Publicly Traded Companies Jumping Aboard The VR Bandwagon

You probably don’t need us to tell you that VR is the bandwagon worth jumping on for those publicly traded companies wanting to make a tidy profit. Firstly, because you already know that, but secondly because you’ve already likely seen a number of businesses making their move into the VR arena. VR is certainly the next big thing when it comes to entertainment and, while not strictly mainstream yet, it is well worth keeping an eye on a number of firms in the stocks and shares as they tunnel deeper into the market. The likes of Facebook, Alphabet and Sony are all investing billions in

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

The first VR Google Doodle, Back to the Moon, is here

Google Doodles have existed for a long time now, but just a few days ago, the very first VR Google Doodle is finally here. The Doodles serve to spice up Google’s main page every day, and in the past they’ve been quite innovative. As of May 3rd, virtual reality has come to Google Doodles. The first VR Google Doodle: Back to the Moon You can view the first Google Doodle with compatible devices. If you have a proper VR headset and want an even better experience, head here to download it for Android, iOS or HTC Vive. Back to the Moon, in addition to being

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

Stories You Might’ve Missed: JPEG XS, VR180 and more

During the first half of April, JPEG introduced the JPEG XS format and a good few other stories broke. We weren’t able to cover these at the time, but we can now: this is Stories You Might’ve Missed. Google opens their proprietary VR180 format, JPEG introduces JPEG XS First up is Google, with their VR180 format. This is a photo/video format made for use with VR headsets, allowing easy capture of photo and video at 180 degrees. With hardware supporting VR180 launching soon, it’s important that developers and manufacturers are able to utilize the technology to its fullest extent. If you want more details on

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

Oculus debuts varifocal VR headset, the Half Dome, at F8

During the second day of the Facebook F8 Conference, Oculus debuted an in-development varifocal VR headset, called the Half Dome. While this headset hasn’t yet been announced as a consumer product, one would be safe in assuming that the features on display may emerge in the successor to the Oculus Rift. The Half Dome is a prototype boasting a 140 degree FOV (wider than industry-standard 100 degree FOV), eye-tracking capabilities and varifocal displays. In most VR headsets with the feature, eye-tracking is used for a technique called foveated rendering. Foveated rendering renders what the eye is looking at native resolution, while other regions of the

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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Hardware, News, VR World

North Star from Leap Motion is the next level of AR interface

Years ago, Leap Motion made headlines when they released footage of their intuitive Leap Motion device. For those not familiar with their namesake, this peripheral allowed users to control everything on their PCs with intuitive motion controls and gestures, as seen in the video below. In the years since that video’s release, Leap has successfully released that product and used it to supplement VR controls and development. While they haven’t released anything else since, they’ve been working hard in the background on AR and VR, and through Project North Star, they’re hoping to take AR interfaces to the next level. When most people think augmented

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

Facebook F8 Day 1: Oculus Venues makes VR theater a reality

After launching their Oculus Go headset, it was the perfect timing for Oculus to show off their VR theater concept and TV service. There have been whispers abound for a while now about Oculus revolutionizing the VR format by creating a VR theater, and now we know how they’re going to do it. Meet Oculus Venues, which allows users in to view live-streamed events with a large number of other users – all done in VR, and powered by NextVR, a company known for providing sporting events in virtual reality. Venues are also partnered with various musicians, artists, and even Lionsgate, which makes a true VR

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, , News, , Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Facebook F8 Day 1: AI being used to create VR Memories and 3D Photos

Have you ever wanted to revisit your childhood home, or have 3D photos? Using the power of artificial intelligence, AR and other technologies, Facebook is making both of those things possible soon. 3D Photos is a new feature announced at Facebook F8 Keynote. These aren’t 360-degree videos or photos: rather, they are photographs that shift objects in the foreground and background as you scroll to provide the illusion of depth. It’s not an extremely-advanced feature, but it does make good use of the technology. Huh, Facebook is also working on “3D Photos” for News Feed, kind of hard to tell from the keynote screen but

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Augmented Reality (AR), HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

HTC releasing Vive Pro AR Dev Kit and Vive Pro 2.0 Kit

After releasing with just the headset, the HTC Vive Pro is now launching with a more complete 2.0 Kit and a Vive Pro AR Kit. The first of the new HTC Vive Pro kits is the Vive Pro 2.0 Kit, which includes the headset itself, two new base stations, and two of its motion controllers. Altogether, the package retails for $1399, a $600 increase from the price of the Vive Pro headset alone. The New Vive Pro 2.0 Kit is targeted at business users who want everything they’ll need in a single package, as well as enthusiasts who don’t already own an HTC Vive. More

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

Facebook F8 Day 1: Oculus Go announced for surprise release

Oculus Go is the first standalone VR headset from those at Oculus, and at the first day of Facebook’s F8 2018 conference, its surprise release date was announced. As of today, May 1st, 2018, the Oculus Go is being shipped. At a relatively low price of $199, it’s likely to be many people’s first VR device, and if it’s able to provide a good enough experience, it’ll get many more people hooked on VR. Entry-level virtual reality has always been a concern in the industry, due to the prohibitive cost of high-end VR experiences, but a $199 standalone headset from Oculus may just change the

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Google, Hardware, HTC, News, Qualcomm, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Research shows that standalone VR headsets are on the rise

Most headsets on the market today aren’t standalone VR headsets – they’re reliant on other devices in order to function. PSVR relies on a connection to a PlayStation 4 to operate, for instance, while the Vive requires a PC and the Gear VR requires a Samsung smartphone. A VR headset that can operate without being tethered to some other device is a standalone VR headset, and it turns out those are on the rise. According to a report from Business Insider Intelligence, the sales of VR headsets, in general, are expected to grow by 69% year-over-year. 30% of these headsets are expected to be standalone,

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Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, , News, , Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Facebook F8 Day 1: Instagram AR is here, VR roadmap revealed

Today at Facebook’s F8 conference, the company announced new AR camera features for Instagram. Users can use augmented reality lenses and effects while sharing photos, videos and stories. These include AR face filters, which can do such things as project shades onto your face. In addition to basic AR functionalities, the Camera Effects Platform is coming to Instagram, in a closed beta for now. Camera Effects are user-developed filters and augmented reality effects that people can easily share with others. You can even use these new AR effects just by viewing an Instagram post utilizing them. Naturally, Facebook Messenger is also receiving new augmented reality

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Buying Guides, Google, Guides, Hardware, Mobile, Mobile Computing, Oculus, Samsung, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

The best smartphones for a great VR experience

Looking for a mobile VR experience but aren’t sure which phones support it and which do a better job? Below is VRWorld’s list of the best smartphones for the greatest VR experience. What limits the selections? But before we dive too deep into it, it’s important to know what limits the selections here. There are 3 main VR platforms for mobile users and they are: Google Cardboard – Supports most modern Android devices, but has limited capabilities (no motion controls), compared to competitors. Largest overall app ecosystem. Google Daydream – Supports many high-end flagship Android devices and offers motion controls. Good app ecosystem, but smaller than

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Details of Project T288, Apple’s hybrid VR/AR headset, emerge

Recently, Shara Tibken of CNET came out with an exclusive scoop on Apple’s next revolutionary hardware release called Project T288. Project T288 looks to create what may be the ultimate VR/AR headset, then release it to the public in 2020. If what we get in two years looks anything like what these leaks entail, it’ll change everything. That Apple has a vested interest in AR is no secret. Through initiatives like ARKit, which we’ve covered before, Apple has been pushing for augmented reality development for a while now. ARKit has enabled a number of AR applications on iOS devices and has served as a natural

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Mobile, News, VR World

Snapchat’s big bet on augmented marketing

Snapchat may have debuted as a platform for impermanent messaging, but in recent years they’ve also emerged as a leader in augmented reality. Speaking to people in public about AR may raise some eyebrows, but explaining that things like their favourite Snapchat Lenses or Pokemon Go are the result of AR will instantly familiarize them. Having long embraced the new technology in its application, Snapchat is now embracing an AR marketing initiative on multiple fronts. The most prominent of these stories to come out recently is in Shoppable AR, a platform through which advertisers can use augmented reality to advertise their products within the Snapchat

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, News, Oculus, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Oculus AR rumors abound, Rift gets Google Chrome support

Is Oculus AR just around the corner? The tech community thinks so. Thanks to a small change to its Terms of Service on April 19th, many tech journalists are convinced that Oculus has an Augmented Reality-related surprise just around the corner. There are multiple stacks of compelling evidence. The one that raised alarm was the added mention of AR to Oculus’ updated documents, but since Oculus is owned by Facebook, it doesn’t stop there. Initiatives like Facebook AR Studio show a clear interest in AR from the folks over at Facebook, and the close-knit nature of AR and VR technology makes Oculus a perfect fit.

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Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Game Developer Conference (GDC), Gaming, Google, Mobile, News, Nvidia, VR World

Star Wars Ray-Tracing Demo and Google’s Maps API at GDC

In this Stories You Might’ve Missed segment, we’ll be covering the final week of March, from the 25th to 31st. Quite a few interesting stories broke in this time, so buckle up while we run you through them. (Also, Skyrim VR launched for PC yesterday if you’re interested in checking it out.) Unreal Engine shows off a stunning Star Wars real-time ray-tracing demo If the video above looks visually-pleasing, get this: it’s rendered in real-time. Visuals like this used to take hours, if not days, to render. So how is this possible? Through a technology called real-time ray-tracing. Nvidia is pushing real-time ray-tracing for its

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), News, transportation, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Apple Swift Playgrounds and how VR is hopping into cars

Image Credit: Apple Swift Playgrounds In this Stories You Might’ve Missed segment, we’ll be covering the third week of March, from the 17th to the 24th. Namely, we’ll be covering two stories that broke over this span of time, most interestingly a new module for Apple’s Swift Playground program. Apple introduces AR module for Swift Playgrounds Swift is a proprietary programming language from Apple, and Swift Playgrounds is an interactive iPad app that helps users- even children- learn to code with Swift in an easy way. The Fundamentals of Swift lesson, for instance, is a full and playable 3D game where people have to input

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