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, Military, News, Technology Security, Wearables

China starts with AI facial recognition in fighting terrorism

Just a few weeks before Chinese Lunar New Year festivities starts, Chinese authorities decided to take even more precaution measures. The Chinese will be making around 3 billion trips during these days and there is a new high-tech law enforcement tool that will help them feel secure. Facial recognition eyeglasses have already been tested and proven useful in Zhengzhou’s East Railway Station when they helped local police capture seven people connected to major criminal cases, and a further 26 traveling on false documents. The station, one of the busiest in China, has its own police force but it can be hard for an individual policeman to

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Artificial Intelligence, Companies, News, Technology Security

Boston Dynamics presented upgraded SpotMini – a robot dog

We all remember Atlas, the “crazy” robot that was jumping and doing flip-overs all around. Well, now he got himself, well, a “pet” in a matter of speech. On Monday,Boston Dynamics presented a kind of a “robot dog” that is learning new tricks every day. The company, currently owned by SoftBank, showed its SpotMini bot opening a door and holding them open, using its extendable arm/neck. The all-electric droid stands 84 cm tall, features canine-like mechanics and a five-degree of freedom manipulator arm that takes its cues from a sensor suite. Among these sensors are stereo cameras, depth cameras, an inertial measurement unit and position and

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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, 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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Analysis, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Want true ‘mixed reality’? Imverse lets you see yourself in VR

While Windows Mixed Reality was originally launched alongside the HoloLens (providing a proper mixed/augmented reality experience), nowadays it’s being used to promote headsets that aren’t all that different from a standard VR headset. If you’ve been missing a proper “mixed reality” experience, you aren’t the only one: Imverse does too, and recently they showed off a proper mixed reality demo. This rendition of “mixed reality” makes your actual human body, clothing and all, visible in VR. It does this using a combination of cameras and external sensors, alongside a standard VR headset. Imverse has presented a pretty fascinating implementation of mixed reality, and we wouldn’t

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

Get Humble’s Not-so-Humble VR Gaming Sale

Humble entered the scene of PC gaming with Humble Bundles in 2010. These were pay-what-you-want bundles of indie games, with the choice to split your payment between the developers and charities. While Humble has since grown into a more traditional Humble Store, it still has a reputation as a great place to get cheap games…and their newest VR sale is nuts. Remember our Top 10 VR Games article? Well, it turns out games from that article ended up in this sale. These games are: Fallout 4 VR – 31% off for $41.99 SUPERHOT VR – 33% off for $16.74 GORN – 25% off for $14.99 Sairento

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

Do virtual reality and church belong together? This pastor thinks so

The fun part of the 21st century is that you never really know what two things will be combined next. Doritos tacos? Human Uber? VR church? All of the things mentioned are as real as the device you are reading this story on. And while the first two are a bit too whacky to discuss here, let me introduce you to D.J. Soto, the pastor of the world’s first virtual reality church. D.J. Soto’s mission was to create a more inclusive church, which perfectly alines with the goal of classic Christianity — to reach out to the outsiders of society. Yet Soto felt that modern religious

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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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News, Sport, VR World

Meet Black Box, the world’s first virtual reality gym

Exercise and weight loss has always been a prominent part of virtual reality. In fact, the health-seeking mission started even earlier, with games like DDR and consoles like the Wii. The gaming industry has always been searching for an exercise stimulating solution with occasional success stories, like the one of Job Stauffer, then-Telltale Games employee, who lost 50 pounds playing a VR game. So it isn’t surprising to see VR industry “work-out” (pun intended) innovations in the fitness space as well. A Boise-based company Black Box, started by Ryan DeLuca and Preston Lewis, is attempting to disrupt the way you exercise. The duo has created Black Box

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Entertainment, News, Reviews, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Las Vegas Strip’s Big Apple roller coaster has a new VR experience option

The New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas has teamed up with German company VR Coaster to add a virtual reality experience to its Big Apple roller coaster starting Feb. 7. This development will make the 4,777-foot long Big Apple coaster the longest in the world to be equipped with VR. For an extra $5 in ride fees, riders will be able to don wireless VR headsets once they board the coaster; the storyline will take them to an alien research facility in the Nevada desert where an extraterrestrial specimen has just escaped, and as the ride begins, so does a search for

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Internet, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Supermedium creates a browser for WebVR experiences

Supermedium advertises itself as “the virtual reality browser”, but what does that actually mean? Supermedium launched on January 31st, 2018, and at the time of writing many people aren’t totally aware of it and what it has to offer… yet. So let’s explain it. First, it’s important to clarify: Supermedium is not a web browser. It is not a VR version of Chrome or FireFox. While it is an application for browsing the web, it’s not a browser in the sense that most consumers are used to. Instead, Supermedium is a virtual reality browser that allows people to find VR experiences hosted all over the Internet. These

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Entertainment, Event, News, Sport, VR World

Winter Olympics and WWE available in VR and MR

Virtual reality has changed the world of entertainment, and that isn’t limited to video games. Thanks to things like 360-degree cameras, virtual reality has found a home at live sporting events, and this year at the Winter Olympics, people will be able to watch the world’s leading athletes compete in VR. Eurosport will be capturing the entire event in VR, with apps available for Android, iOS, Gear VR, Daydream and Windows Mixed Reality. Interestingly, that isn’t the only sports-related VR announcement to come out recently. NextVR, an Oculus/Samsung-partnered service for spectating sports, has teamed up with WWE to bring your favourite wrestling matches into virtual

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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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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Intel, News, Wearables

Intel planning to launch smart glasses this year

Intel Corp.’s augmented reality division could ship consumer-focused smart glasses before the end of the year, according to reports. This chip-giant values the division at as much as $350 million, said the people, declining to be identified since the plans aren’t public. Intel is also said to be seeking multiple investors for this unit, which has been developing smart glasses that pair by Bluetooth with a mobile phone. The spectacles, according to reports, will be able to display contextual information into the wearer’s field of view with a laser-based projector that reflects off the lens and onto the retina. Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc. is making the product

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