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


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


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


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,


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


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


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


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


Business, Companies, Gaming, News, startups, VR World

Stories you might’ve missed: $150 HTC Vive alternative, VR Twitch and Hero Vision

There are fast news days, and sometimes there are fast news weeks. Earlier this month, VR stories were coming out so quickly that we couldn’t keep track of all them! Now that we’ve caught up, we’re going to catch you up, too: here are three big VR stories you might’ve missed from earlier this month. Zeiss provides a $150 HTC Vive alternative While VR headsets have a lot to offer, the price barrier to most good VR experiences is undeniable. For PC VR, you pretty much need to shell out for a Vive or Rift…and even at their best, those headsets cost $300+. Zeiss’s entry-level VR


Gaming, News, Sony, VR World

Want to get PlayStation VR? PSVR is $100 off until March 3rd

Sony PlayStation VR

From now to March 3rd, 2018, the PlayStation VR headset will be on sale for $100 off. This includes both the headset alone (which costs $300), as well as various bundles including certain VR games. Here’s a quick rundown on the best bundles available, as well as what to expect after the sale is over. Why is this happening? Short answer: nobody knows. Longer answer: it’s possible that Sony is gearing up for a new PSVR headset launch, or potentially their new motion controllers. While PS Move controllers provide an…acceptable VR experience, their inadequacy when compared to solutions made for VR, like the Oculus Touch controllers, has


Analysis, Gaming, HTC, News, VR World

Developers are receiving HTC Vive Pro kits

Since earlier this month, VR developers have started receiving HTC Vive Pros so they can start optimizing around the new headset. After the HTC Vive Pro’s announcement at CES, news on the headset has been trickling out steadily. Most of this news is developer-centric: prior to this story, we learned that some developers are using the new Vive Pro hardware to enable hand-tracking applications. We've been eagerly awaiting this moment to share with you all. Announcing the arrival of the newest member of our VR HMD family… It's a Vive Pro! 🌟 — Owlchemy Labs (@OwlchemyLabs) February 16, 2018 Owlchemy Labs, developers of Job Simulator


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


Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Business, Companies, Cryptocurrency, News, press releases

Kepler Provides Blockchain for AI and Robotics Ecosystem

Nowadays, we’re being witnesses of robots integrating to our society in the most, we could dare to say, beautiful manner. There are robot cooks, robot vacuum cleaners, autonomous drones or even robot pets that help disabled people doing their everyday chores. Kepler Technologies is developing the world’s first decentralized ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics development. Like the internet, robotics will not only reveal human potentials and new innovations, but also open up the whole new world for investment opportunities – the same area that Project Kepler is trying to dominate. Kepler is working on utilizing analytics, data science, and predictive algorithms to provide investors


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.