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, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Bethesda adds Windows Mixed Reality support to Doom VFR

Gaming studio Bethesda this week released a patch for Doom VFR which adds official support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets. While it has been reported that many gamers were already successfully using MR headsets to play Doom VFR, official support should help solve any challenges in getting the game running and any glitches within its environment. The patch also added several new features, including smooth locomotion control and movement speed options, a weapon pitch option to adjust weapon angles, various features related to controllers, a fix to a discoloring issue seen on some platforms, and various other bug fixes. Deployment of the patch occurred on

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AMD, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Gaming, Hardware, iOS, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), Mobile, Mobile Computing, Nvidia, Operating Systems, Reviews, Smart Home, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Windows

VRWorld: Our Most Popular Stories of 2017

While we have recently covered our choices for the Top 10 VR/AR Stories of 2017, and while some of those stories happened to also be among the most popular amongst our readers last year, there were also a number of additional stories that proved popular. In this piece, we take at the top ten stories — based on reader popularity — in 2017. #10: Bethesda’s VR World: DOOM VFR, Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim PSVR This summertime article addressed how AAA game developer Bethesda was poised to bring a dramatic improvement to VR gaming with the then-pending releases of Doom VFR, Fallout 4 VR and

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Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Windows

Microsoft reportedly reorganizing mixed reality staff

Microsoft is reorganizing its Windows Mixed Reality team, including combining its Everyday Magic and Evoke Studios into a new organization, with resultant job cuts. The news was first reported earlier this week by industry analyst Brad Sams at Petri.com. According to Sams, the changes will see the team that developed Paint 3D, Remix3D, Mixed Reality Viewer, and other mixed reality apps (Everyday Magic) merged with those responsible for the Photos and Videos app. Reportedly, the new team will be headed by Chris Pratley. Pratley, who has worked for Microsoft since 1994, currently serves as the Corporate Vice President / Studio Manager responsible for Story Remix,

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2018, Android, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile, News, Samsung, Smartphones

CES: uSens strives to bring augmented reality to billions of users

HCI systems manufacturer uSens, Inc. announced the availability of uSensAr, a smartphone augmented reality engine, this week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. uSensAR is designed to run optimally on lower-end Android hardware, including systems with lower-resolution cameras and comparatively underpowered CPUs. “ARcore currently only serves about 30 million Android phones, which is just five percent of the entire Android smartphone ecosystem,” said Dr. Yue Fei, uSens CTO and co-founder. The company indicated their platform could expand the reach of AR technologies to an estimated two billion smartphones. “With the release of uSensAR, we are allowing developers, smartphone manufacturers, and content creators to build those

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Gaming, Mixed Reality (MR), News, VR World, Windows

Bigscreen coming to Windows Mixed Reality

For the uninitiated, Bigscreen is a virtual desktop application for VR headsets. It originally launched for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as a desktop environment for those headsets, and as of the turn of the New Year, Bigscreen is now available on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Bigscreen coming to Windows MR headsets is good news for the platform. While Windows Mixed Reality does have SteamVR support, the platform still has a way to go to become a true competitor to the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Bigscreen porting their application to Mixed Reality is a good sign, though, and with any luck, many other

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, iOS, Mobile, News, VR World

Augmented Reality FPS WAR of the AI releases on iOS

Trailblazing VR is a startup company focused on pushing forward women in the VR/AR development. Their first game is War of the AI, developed using Apple’s ARKit tools (like the LEGO game we covered a while back) and available for free on iOS. While War of the AI has a somewhat ‘dull’ name, what it does – is quite impressive. War of the AI is a first-person shooter that’s playable in augmented reality, which has been done before (with the help of peripherals, e.g. Father.io), but not quite like this. War of the AI doesn’t require any extra peripherals, and utilizing ARKit’s features, enables a full

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, News

Google dances away from Tango

Google has announced that they are moving on from Tango, their augmented reality platform, in favour of their newer ARCore platform. The announcement came via Twitter last Friday. “We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018,” the Tango team said in a Tweet. “Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore,” they concluded. Tango’s fate appears to be largely a result of software becoming more capable. While Tango required cameras and IR sensors to locate and orient itself to objects in

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Apple, CPU, Hardware, News, OSx, Virtual Reality (VR)

Most powerful Mac ever could cost you over $13,000

Those in the market for a very expensive, last-minute Christmas gift may be in luck — on December 14, Apple made its new iMac Pro available for purchase. Lauded as the most powerful Mac in the company’s history, the workstation-class iMac Pro features Xeon multi-core processors, a 27” 5K Retina display, and heaps of additional features. That this new machine is being released at the same time as a significant upgrade to Final Cut Pro X is not coincidental. This is decidedly not a computer intended for consumer audiences — it is, rather, a powerful workstation intended to provide the raw computing power needed for

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, , Tablets, VR World, Windows

Lens Studio lets anyone create AR effects for Snapchat

Snap, the company behind prominent messaging app Snapchat, has released Lens Studio, a software for producing augmented reality effects for still photos and videos. What used to be an in-house application is now in the hands of all who want to dabble in creating their own AR experiences for use in Snapchat. Lens Studio is Snap’s second app, and it’s available on Mac OS X and Windows. The release of this design platform is actually the most recent in a series of similar stories: Facebook opened its AR platform earlier this week, as well as Amazon earlier this month. With Lens Studio opening up to advertisers

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Augmented Reality (AR), Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Acer releases first Windows Mixed Reality headset in India

Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer Acer this week introduced their Windows mixed reality headset to consumers in India. The announcement came at the conclusion of the Acer-sponsored Predator League gaming event in Bengaluru. The headset, which boasts a 2880 x 1440p resolution and up to 90 Hz refresh rate, was released in North America in early October. The headset also features a 13-foot cable. Pricing in India is not yet available, although will likely be near US pricing, which is approximately 19,200 Rs. given exchange rates at the time of this article. This is, notably, the first Windows MR headset to be made available in India.

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, VR World

LEGO AR-Studio Brings Lego To Augmented Reality

LEGO AR-Studio is pretty great. There’s a bunch of reasons for this, but in light of fiascos like Battlefront II, AR-Studio successfully provides a kid-friendly experience for free, without any predatory microtransactions. That alone should earn it applause, especially when compared to the countless Android/iOS titles that exist almost solely to separate you from your hard-earned money, one dollar at a time. LEGO AR-Studio, in addition to having a good businesLs model, also seems like a genuinely fun game. It offers six popular virtual LEGO sets for people to play within Augmented Reality, and goes the extra mile by offering a variety of scripts and animations

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Android, iOS, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Axonom brings CPQ-VR solution to mobile

Axonom, a provider of software that combines Configure Price Quote (CPQ) technology with VR, yesterday announced the release of their Powertrak VR Design Viewer for smartphones. The newly-released Powertrak VR Design Viewer builds upon Axonom’s foundation in non-mobile VR solutions for product configuration, configured product visualization, and room planning. “VR hardware tethered to a machine, like the HTC Vive, is very effective on the trade show floor but mobile VR can be used both on-site and shared to decision makers off-site,” said Mike Belongie, COO at Axonom. “It’s the most economical and compelling way to distribute immersive 3D product designs and floor space planning layouts

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

Mozilla Announces Mixed Reality Development Program

Mozilla unveiled a new development program and team that will build upon their existing work to bring VR and AR technologies to the web. The program will focus on the integration of devices, headsets, frameworks and toolsets to increase flexibility in VR/AR web development. The organization indicated that although they have been working in this space for over a year, this new team was formalized only in recent weeks. In their announcement, the organization pointed out that although there have been substantial developments this year in bringing VR/AR technologies to the web, there are still gaps in terms of cross-platform compatibility. Mozilla indicates their new

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Android, Entertainment, iOS, News, Toys, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Book publisher launches traditional book-VR combo for kids

Hollywood, California-based book publisher Quantum Storey announced this week that it has launched the world’s first virtual reality book series for children. Aimed at younger kids, their “Operation YOU” series combines traditional printed books with virtual reality. The books include access to a companion Android and iOS app, as well as Google Cardboard goggles. The first title in the series, which is now available exclusively at Walmart, is entitled “Morning Nightmare.” It confronts the challenges children experience boarding school busses. According to the company, the VR app places children in the book’s environment in the first person, virtually transforming them into the book’s main character.

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Entertainment, iOS, News

Vogue and Apple Creating AR Fashion for iPhoneX

American Vogue has partnered with Apple to create an augmented reality-powered iPhone feature, available exclusively on the newly launched iPhone X on December 1. “The Vogue Effect” iMessage extension uses the front-facing camera’s Face ID to create a multi-dimensional filter like those on Snapchat and Instagram. iPhone X users need to download Vogue’s app in order to access the filters, but it can be applied directly via iMessage once installed. Arlie Sisson, vice president of emerging products at Condé Nast said: “This is experimentation, leveraging technology and pushing our creativity in new ways.It’s unexpected, but it makes sense because [leading] is what we do best.” Vogue

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Gaming, Hardware, Microsoft, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Windows

SteamVR Preview Coming To Windows Mixed Reality, Requires Higher Specs

SteamVR is essentially an extension of Steam, allowing a virtual hub for playing and purchasing VR applications. Since its release with the HTC Vive (and eventual compatibility with the Oculus Rift), SteamVR has been a favorite among VR enthusiasts everywhere. With the debut of Windows Mixed Reality headsets on PC, many were left wondering if Mixed Reality headsets could support the same software, and it looks like the answer to that question is a resounding yes. SteamVR is coming to Windows Mixed Reality headsets in an official preview state on November 15th, 2017. Full, official compatibility is somewhere further down the line, likely depending on the

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Artificial Intelligence, Business, Companies, News, Operating Systems

Robot Shibuya Mirai Becomes Tokyo Resident

Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month. The robot, Sophia, took to the stage at a conference in Riyadh this week to express her delight at being given citizenship, which she described as ‘historical. Not everyone is happy with the Sophia’s citizenship, with some describing her as

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Microsoft, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables, Windows

Microsoft Presenting Easy-To-Use Virtual Reality Experience

Microsoft is trying to nudge laptop and deskbound computers to interact with the three-dimensional world. The company on Tuesday started rolling out its latest bundle of updates to the Windows 10 operating system with features clustered around a bet that people will use their PCs to experience 3-D virtual worlds. Dubbed the Fall Creators Update, the package will make its way in waves to the more than 500 million Windows 10 users starting this week. Business users have the ability to delay updates. This technology “will forever unleash the creativity of people and organizations around the planet,” Alex Kipman, a Microsoft technical fellow working on Windows

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, iOS, News, Operating Systems, press releases, Smartphones, VR World

Overstock updated iOS app for AR

American internet retailer Overstock.com Inc. updated its iOS app on Tuesday to enable shoppers to view thousands of products in augmented reality. The new functionality makes use of ARKit, a new Apple Inc. tool that aims to simplify the process for developers to add augmented reality capabilities to their apps. “Augmented reality is changing the way people shop for furniture and home goods forever,” said Overstock.com President Saum Noursalehi. “Shoppers no longer have to guess how a piece of furniture will fit in their room, or if a pattern will match their existing design style. Instead, they can use their phones to see the exact

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