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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Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Event, Exclusive, Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Cutting-edge Varjo Mixed Reality coming to Augmented World Expo

At the Augmented World Expo, Varjo will be showing off their latest VR headset, set to release by the end of the year. Boasting two displays per eye, foveated rendering and high-end display technology, the new headset should impress. More important than the new VR headset, however, is their Mixed Reality add-on, planned for release in early 2019 to their Early Access Partners. We’ll cover this below. What makes the Mixed Reality add-on special? According to Varjo, the most important advantage that their Mixed Reality solution boasts over its contemporaries is video-centric technology. The Mixed Reality add-on to their headset captures real-time video with 2

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

Meet iQiyi’s new VR headset, the VR II

iQiyi is a prominent Chinese video streaming service owned by Baidu, a massive Internet conglomerate of same origin, often referred to as Google of China. This week, the company announced its intent to release a new headset – specifically, a 4K VR headset. An earlier version of this headset, the Qiyu VR II, was shown off at CES earlier this year. Since that time, iQiyi has announced a May release window, renamed the headset to just VR II, and has significantly improved its components. The current VR II now offers 8K panoramic video support, which is achieved by downsampling to the 4K display inside of

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

SteamVR adds resolution scaling feature for HTC Vive and other headsets

A common staple of PC gaming is the ability to change resolution and other graphical settings in accordance with your own machine’s performance levels. Despite how common this is in PC gaming, it’s actually surprisingly scarce in VR gaming (PC and console alike) due to the way that most VR titles are made to target a specific hardware configuration. A new feature for SteamVR hopes to alleviate this by adding a resolution-scaling feature to SteamVR. Screenshot credit: TechRadar.com The implementation of this feature opens up possibilities in two different directions. In one direction are people on the lower-end of the VR spec (GPU especially), who

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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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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, 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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Hardware, Military, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Canadian government invests in VR training technology

The Government of Canada announced this week that it has awarded a $1.1 million contract to Halifax, Nova Scotia-based IT firm Bluedrop Training and Simulation Inc. The funds are being used to procure the company’s virtual reality Rescue Hoist Simulator product. The contract comes as part of the Canadian government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program, which has seen over $126 million invested in 285 contracts since 2010. Bluedrop is currently the country’s largest provider of courseware. “Bluedrop is extremely happy that the Build in Canada Innovation Program recognizes and supports the innovative capabilities of our company,” said Jean-Claude Siew, Vice President, Technology & Simulation at

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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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Companies, CPU, Enterprise, Hardware, HP, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR)

HP muscles into VR hardware space

HP appears to be the latest hardware manufacturer to be making a strong push into the VR space, after announcing a range of developments including the pending release of a professional version of its mixed reality headset. The announcements came earlier this week at SOLIDWORKS World, a popular event for those working in the field of 3D CAD. Among the product announcements are an upgrade to the HP Z4 Workstation, the pending (March) release of the commercial-grade HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition, an HP VR Launch Kit designed for specialized VR deployment, and the extension of HP’s Device as a Service offering

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Companies, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Walmart expanding immersive retail efforts with VR studio acquisition

Walmart is making a deeper foray into virtual reality, having announced this week the acquisition and re-launch of VR studio Spatialand through it’s tech incubator, Store No 8. The news comes via a blog post by Katie Finnegan, who serves as both Walmart Global eCommerce’s VP of Incubation and Principal/Founder of Store No 8. According to Finnegan, the company had worked with Spatialand last year, to develop a proof-of-concept VR experience in conjunction with Jeremy Welt. Prior to the acquisition, Welt worked as a VR consultant for companies including Splash and Mindshow, having previously served in business development roles at YouTube and Disney. He is

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Education, Gaming, Hardware, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

Improving the feel of virtual and augmented reality

Although VR headset technologies continue to improve, with a number of new technologies slated for release this year, and with a long-rumoured Apple AR device potentially in the works, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are several more senses beyond sight and sound. And, because virtual taste technology appears to be nowhere near commercialization, and the only commercialized virtual smell technology remains in pre-order phase, sniffing virtual roses or eating a virtual slice of cheesecake are likely a long way off. Those looking for a bit more sensory engagement in virtual and augmented reality can take heart, however, because a number

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

Sony patents next-gen VR motion controllers

As reported by VRFocus, Sony has released two new patents that may indicate next-generation motion controllers. The first of these patents show off a controller with an analog stick (as opposed to a touchpad common on other VR controllers or the buttons on the PS Move wands), and a number of face-mounted buttons. The second offers finger placement tracking and refers to the controller being tracked by a head-mounted display, which could imply a new revision of the PlayStation VR headset for use with these controllers. For those who aren’t familiar with the current PSVR setup, here’s a little background information. None of the hardware

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

HTC Vive Pro adds hand-tracking and more through new cameras

The HTC Vive Pro boasts numerous improvements over its predecessor, the HTC Vive, but its new dual cameras are particularly interesting. HTC was intentionally vague about them at CES, so it left many enthusiasts speculating. According to Vive VP Raymon Pao, the cameras are stereoscopic and only have a VGA resolution. As originally developed, they were just there as a safety feature to help people stop themselves from bumping into things. Where things changed was when developers got their hands on it. Speaking to Engadget, Pao says the cameras are able to capture depth data within two meters. An unnamed Japanese developer used the dual

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, Hardware, Mobile, News, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables, Wearables

First look at Oculus Go via Twitter and Reddit

Photos of what is perhaps the most hotly-anticipated VR headset of 2018 appeared today on Twitter, only to quickly be removed — but not before at least one image ended up on Reddit. According to multiple sources, at least two developers tweeted snapshots of Oculus Go devkits that they received today, with one of those photos making it to Reddit. The Oculus Go is intended to be an ultra-affordable, all-in-one VR solution, with units pricing in at a $199 US MSRP. Distribution of devkits also suggests that Oculus is on track to deliver the headset according to their “Early 2018” timeline. Moreover, if product photos

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