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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, 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, Companies, Cryptocurrency, Graphics, Hardware, News

AMD: We are ramping our GPU production

Because of the increasing market demand, AMD said that they are planning to increase production of graphics cards which are currently in short supply. Recently they launched RX Vega GPU that you simply can not buy anymore because of the raising popularity inside of the crypto mining community. AMD admitted that their Radeon cards were also in short supply and said that the “guilty ones” were exactly the mining applications. Therefore, the company promised to increase production and said that they are hoping to satisfy the growing demand without disappointing any of its customers. “The graphics channel is very low, and we are certainly working

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Gaming, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Bethesda adds Windows Mixed Reality support to Doom VFR

Gaming studio Bethesda this week released a patch for Doom VFR which adds official support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets. While it has been reported that many gamers were already successfully using MR headsets to play Doom VFR, official support should help solve any challenges in getting the game running and any glitches within its environment. The patch also added several new features, including smooth locomotion control and movement speed options, a weapon pitch option to adjust weapon angles, various features related to controllers, a fix to a discoloring issue seen on some platforms, and various other bug fixes. Deployment of the patch occurred on

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Google, Hardware, News, Oculus, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

Google’s VR sculpting software adds new features

On Monday, Google announced upgrades and several new beta features to its Google Blocks VR object sculpting software. The improvements build upon the six-month-old platform’s features, making it easier to use and also responding to feature requests from users. New items include three alternatives to the original “desert” theme modelling environment and improved snap-to-object and mesh-snapping functionality. More comprehensive features can also be enabled by users, with the caveat that they are considered in beta, and as such may have some unresolved bugs. These include: a non-coplanar face mode; a loop subdivision feature; edge, face and vertex deletion; worldspace grids; a volume insertion ruler; an

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Education, Google, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Lenovo makes major push into education market

Lenovo this week announced that it is launching Lenovo Virtual Reality Classroom, a comprehensive VR educational system that leverages the company’s upcoming Mirage Solo headset. The move appears to mark a significant attempt by the company to make transformative inroads into educational markets. Available in the U.S. starting this April, with a fall launch slated for Canada, the Virtual Reality Classroom package includes: Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headsets; high-performance, pre-configured routing hardware; specialized content; a Lenovo tablet with specialized software for teacher use; a commercial warranty; top-tier product support; and either a custom cart or case with integrated charging (based on bundle size). The platform

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Education, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

PIXO VR releases gas meter inspection training system

VR safety training company PIXO VR today announced the release of its Gas Meter Safety Inspection VR Training system, marking the first time their VR training module has been made commercially available for utility companies. The system addresses the challenge of providing reliable, efficient training to natural gas company employees responsible for discovering problems in gas meters — something normally difficult given the many possible configurations and defects workers may need to tackle. PIXO VR says that their system can help this by more rapidly closing the experience gap between new and long-tenure workers, by putting trainees into a highly-realistic 3D simulated environment that simulates

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Augmented Reality (AR), Biotech, Education, News

Canadian researchers bring us a step closer to “x-ray goggles”

Students in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada are refining a new technology that allows clinicians to see inside a patient’s body using augmented reality. The system, named ProjectDR, has functionality reminiscent of fictional “x-ray goggles,” given its ability to overlay medical images onto a patient’s body while properly adjusting those images when a patient moves. The technology, which consists of infrared cameras and markers placed on the patient’s body as well as a projector, is being co-developed by graduate students Ian Watts and Michael Feist at the University of Alberta. Proposed uses of ProjectDR span a wide range of education, therapeutic, and medical applications. Pilot studies in

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Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Windows

Microsoft reportedly reorganizing mixed reality staff

Microsoft is reorganizing its Windows Mixed Reality team, including combining its Everyday Magic and Evoke Studios into a new organization, with resultant job cuts. The news was first reported earlier this week by industry analyst Brad Sams at Petri.com. According to Sams, the changes will see the team that developed Paint 3D, Remix3D, Mixed Reality Viewer, and other mixed reality apps (Everyday Magic) merged with those responsible for the Photos and Videos app. Reportedly, the new team will be headed by Chris Pratley. Pratley, who has worked for Microsoft since 1994, currently serves as the Corporate Vice President / Studio Manager responsible for Story Remix,

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Business, Entertainment, Gaming, News, Opinion, , Virtual Reality (VR)

Is Virtual Reality Set to Revolutionize iGaming?

Gambling is one of the oldest and most established businesses in the world. And, like many industries in the latter part of the 20th century and over the subsequent past couple of decades, the gambling world has moved and transformed online. The biggest casinos in the world don’t have a strict door policy anymore, nor do they care what shoes you’re wearing. Indeed, nowadays, the biggest casinos don’t care if you’re sat in your underwear. And that’s because the internet has revolutionized people’s relationship with betting. Poker, roulette and blackjack now take place in online halls ranging from animated simulations, to live video feeds from studios

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Google, Hardware, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

Plex brings big screen social experience to VR

This week, client-server media player maker Plex, Inc. announced the availability of Plex VR, an app that brings the company’s product suite to Google Daydream-enabled VR devices. As explained on the company’s blog, the new app allows users to view Plex Media Server content while immersed in a VR environment. Not only does this equate to a “big screen” viewing experience for video content, including 3D and 360/180 video, but it also brings real-time social features to the platform. Those using Plex VR can join up to three friends in a virtual, “sleek” apartment or drive-in movie theater to watch the same content in real-time,

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Google, HTC, News, Oculus, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR)

HTC Vive Focus ships in China, may have US debut after all

Consumer electronics company HTC officially started shipping pre-ordered Vive Focus VR headsets at an event earlier this week, in what was heralded as the “world’s first on-stage in-VR customer product delivery.” The company also announced that forty pieces of VR content, including several games, are already available for the Focus. The news comes via HTC’s China Regional President of VR, Alvin Wang Graylin. The Focus is HTC’s first stand-alone headset, and is based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor which will power Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset announced at CES 2018. Akin to the pending Lenovo offering, HTC’s Vive Focus also offers a 6DoF technology

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Cryptocurrency, Gaming, Hardware, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

MIT-hosted tech accelerator opens for second batch of applications

Play Labs, LLC and the MIT Game Lab announced this week that they are open to applications from a new round of startups who wish to participate in their “playful technology” accelerator program. Successful applicants will receive mentoring, facilities, and funding (in cash or Bitcoin) in return for common stock. The incubator hopes to receive applicants from startups developing technologies for use across a broad spectrum of industries, including finance, healthcare and manufacturing. Examples of technologies the incubator hopes to see amongst startups span the realm of digital currency/blockchain, eSports/video games, VR/AR and machine learning/AI. The program will be ran by Rizwan Virk, an MIT

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Entertainment, Event, News, VR World

VR and AR at the Sundance Film Festival

The bastion of cinema — the Sundance Film Festival — is bravely exploring the VR medium and trying to engage its audience into the new immersive experience this week in Park City, Utah. While gaming and simulations are the most common applications for virtual and augmented reality, some creators want to take these experiences in a more cinematic direction, using Sundance as the fitting platform to showcase their tech inspired entertainment. Prominent VR attractions include Awavena, a VR experience following the Yawanawa, an indigenous people based in the Amazon. There’s also BattleScar, an impressive CG animated film following a homeless teen based in a fictionalized 70’s New York,

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