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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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, China, Mobile, News, US, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

China might beat the US in AR adoption, according to forecast

According to a report from Digi-Capital, China is likely to beat the United States in AR adoption. The company posits quite a few things relating to AR/VR in its study, so let’s break them down below. About Digi-Capital’s study Digi-Capital focuses on releasing detailed reports and statistics concerning the AR/VR markets and many related tech segments. Their most recent report, for Q2 2018, provides insights, interviews, and even a database on all kinds of market information. A considerable part of this report focused on VR and AR adoption, which we’ll detail below. How China could win in AR adoption, and our thoughts According to the

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, Software Programs, VR World

How Ubiquity6 is changing AR apps

A common challenge for VR/AR apps is social features, but Ubiquity6 is changing that in a big way. Progress has been made prior, to be clear. VR has gotten applications like VRChat, while AR games like Pokemon Go benefit from encouraging an outdoors, real-life MMO gaming experience. The big difference is that, until now, neither AR or VR apps have effectively managed to pull off the same kind of social experience as this. What is Ubiquity6? Ubiquity6 is an AR app that maintains consistent AR environments across multiple devices. Most AR experiences are tied to a single device, so nobody will see the same thing

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

321 Launch is an AR rocket launch app

321 Launch is an app developed by USA Today, and it provides a unique experience centering around rocket launches. 321 Launch is an app developed to take advantage of augmented reality and does so in two different-but-equally-interesting ways. There are two main functionalities available in 321 Launch application: Live Mission and Launch Simulations. Live Missions provide a live feed and commentary of current rocket launches. Unfortunately, there’s a key downside: Live Missions are only live, and you aren’t able to view archives of older launches. You’ll need to actually be using the app when the launch happens if you want to be able to view

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Business, Gaming, HTC, Intel, Mobile, News, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: HTC 5G VR, CLOVR and more

Today in stories you might’ve missed, we’ll be covering stories that broke from March 1st to March 8th that we didn’t cover in their own articles. Big names like HTC and Intel made headlines this week, and even a Kickstarter project called CLOVR got a day in the limelight as well. To find out why, keep reading! HTC CEO believes that 5G can turn any compatible smartphone into a VR powerhouse Cher Wang, founder and CEO of HTC, believes that 5G networks can turn any entry-level VR device into something comparable to an HTC Vive. Considering HTC’s authority in VR- especially with their aforementioned Vive

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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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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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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, 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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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, 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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, 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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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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