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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Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Business, Companies, Entertainment, News, press releases, Virtual Reality (VR)

How Decentraland’s Blockchain Powered Model Illuminates Our Digital Future

Ownership in the digital realm has always been something of a tough nut to crack. That genius tweet you just fired off? It’s a simple copy & paste away from being stolen. Your beautifully edited photography work? Right click, save as. Even for major content providers like movie studios, production companies and publishers, controlling the flow of content proves immensely difficult. The advantage for the content creators selling on the internet, however, is that they’re able to sell their product to whomever they please, free from content restrictions, curation or fees and levies. It’s a level of commercial freedom that has established the internet as

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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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HTC, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Oculus Rift overtakes HTC Vive in Steam survey

The Oculus Rift surpassed the HTC Vive in popularity among Steam users for the first time, according to the results of the latest monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey. The survey, which scans users’ PCs for different hardware components, found that the Oculus Rift accounts for 47.31 percent of VR headset use, compared to the HTC Vive’s 45.38 percent share of the market. Last January’s survey saw the gap between the two devices closing, with the Vive representing 46.96 percent of headset use while the Oculus Rift took 46.09 percent. Now the Rift sits in first place, just edging out HTC’s product. Windows Mixed Reality is

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

VR experience recreates world’s first major photography exhibition

The National Science and Media Museum in the United Kingdom has opened a new exhibition that combines old technology with virtual reality. Entitled “Thresholds,” the immersive experience recreates the world’s first major photography exhibition. Participants are taken back in time to 1839, when one of the founders of photography, William Henry Fox Talbot, presented what was then the first substantial exhibition of the then nascent discipline. Via virtual reality, visitors are transported to a virtualized room at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, and are able to walk freely throughout the environment. Designed by British Artist Mat Collishaw, the immersive experience even allows visitors to touch

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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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Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR makes Checking Behind the Scene of Swimsuit Sports Illustrated possible

The long-awaited (especially with men population), next Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated is going to be its most immersive experience, as the spread is set to become available in VR, including on Windows Mixed Reality. Courtesy of the LIFE VR app in the Microsoft Store, Swimsuit Editor MJ Day will offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the issue was created. From a strolling the Caribbean sand beaches with Ashley Graham to a incredible sandstorm in the desert with Paige Spiranac, Swimsuit fans will now get to experience the stunning locations and go inside the shoots like never before. The issue will also feature exclusive

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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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Artificial Intelligence, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Sensory reality pods let workers de-stress in VR

Dutch startup Sensiks claims it has the answer to job stress and fatigue in the workplace, in the form of a sensory reality pod (SRP) that stimulates multiple senses to immerse its users in relaxing virtual environments. The company also mentions the ability to “recall memories from the past” using its multisensory simulations. Each pod is 240 cm tall and 140 cm wide. Workers sit inside, donning a VR headset that presents them with 360-degree video while corresponding scent cartridges release smells like burning wood and freshly-cut lawn. Other sensory manipulations involve changes in temperature, air flow, and light frequencies. Visuals may take a person to

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Microsoft, Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Microsoft develops ‘canetroller’ device for the visually impaired

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a device they call the “canetroller”, a haptic VR controller that works with the HTC Vive headset and tracker to help people with visual impairments navigate virtual environments. The canetroller consists of five parts: a cane controller that the user sweeps and taps as they would a regular cane, a brake mechanism to be worn around the waist, a slider placed between the controller and the break to impart the physical resistance generated by the brake, a voice coil that provides the controller with tactile feedback, and a tracker that monitors the controller’s position. The actual controller is shorter than normal

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

Taser manufacturer Axon bolsters VR efforts

Public safety technology company Axon announced last week that it has hired an imaging engineering team that will work from a new R&D office in Tampere, Finland. The engineers will focus on improving Axon’s wearable and in-car products, in addition to building solutions that utilize AR, VR and AI. While Axon is perhaps best known for their widely-used “Taser” electroshock weapons, the company also markets a range of other products and services, including body-worn and in-car cameras, digital evidence management solutions, and systems to assist prosecutors. “We are thrilled to bring this talented group of imaging engineers on board,” said Axon CEO and founder Rick

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Google, Intel, News, Oculus, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

NBA partnership brings immersive basketball experience to fruition

A previously-reported partnership between Intel, the NBA and television network TNT has been brought to fruition, with the release of a VR app for watching basketball games, highlights and recaps in VR. Released in time for this weekend’s NBA All Star game, the TNT VR app integrates Intel’s True VR technology to provide an immersive experience that simulates being at the arena as a spectator. Although the app is free, those hoping to watch full games will need to sign in using their cable provider credentials. The software is compatible with a range of VR platforms, and is available from the Oculus and Google Play

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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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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Internet, VR World

eBay announces plans for new AR tools, AI development

eBay has joined the ranks of retailers dipping their toes in the augmented and virtual reality waters, according to a Fortune report. The online marketplace announced that it is currently developing an AR kit in order to add AR features to its website later this year. One proposed feature will allow shoppers to see how an item would look or fit in its intended space–such as by overlaying the image of tires on a car–before making a bid or a purchase. Another feature will let sellers choose the proper box size when packaging merchandise by showing images of the different size options over the item

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Apple, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

New Apple patent describes optical system for VR headsets

Details of Apple’s new design for a wearable VR device went public last Thursday when the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application Apple filed in 2017 related to optical systems. The patent describes an “Optical System for Head-mounted Display” intended to make VR headgear more comfortable. In the application, Apple notes that VR headsets can be “cumbersome and tiring to wear” due to “bulky and heavy” lens arrangements. VR devices typically use microdisplays, requiring high magnification of visual content and thus thicker lenses between the display and the wearer’s eyes. Currently, many popular headsets overcome this issue by using Fresnel lenses–a type of

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Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

4-D goggles let virtual objects “touch” users

Researchers from the UC San Diego and San Diego State University have developed a pair of 4-D goggles intended to synchronize the feeling of being touched with visual input from a VR device. The creation is based on the neuroscience team’s new study that maps the regions of the brain dedicated to multisensory integration. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect oxygenated blood flow–an indicator of neural activity–to different brain areas to detect which ones were activated by a combination of visual and tactile input. Once they had the relevant regions localized, the team was able to gauge what timing of sights

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