2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

CES: Meet the HTC Vive Pro

Thanks to their critically-acclaimed Vive headset, HTC became one of the biggest names in virtual reality two years ago. The Vive Focus, a standalone headset, was announced in 2017 but didn’t quite satiate people’s hunger for a Vive successor. Fortunately for the world of VR, HTC is pulling out the big guns at CES 2018 with the new Vive Pro. The biggest improvement from the Vive to the Vive Pro is in the display. The original HTC Vive boasted a 2160 x 1200 resolution with 1080 x 1440 per-eye. The Vive Pro’s display comes in at a whopping 2880 x 1600 resolution, with 1440 x 1600

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Education, News, VR World

VR blindness simulator accurately represents vision loss

Let’s face it: chances are if you’re reading this that you aren’t blind. If you are blind, you may be reading this via a screen reader or another application. In 2015, 2.3% of American adults were reported to have a visual disability. While this ranges from outright blindness to other issues, this translates to a not-insignificant amount of the population suffering from visual impairment. If you have perfectly-good eyesight and have ever wanted to place yourself in their shoes, now you can. Davis Vision has put out a Vision Loss Simulator which can be operated on a desktop web browser, a mobile 360-degree experience or

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

VR used to educate on Australian bushfires

In Australia, authorities have released a VR experience designed to educate citizens about the dangers of bushfires. “Bushfires”, for the non-Aussies out there, are essentially just wildfires. However, most of Australia is covered by forest (the bush), and this, combined with high temperatures, means that bushfires are a very present safety concern for Australians. However, some people may not be experienced with bushfires or know what to do when they happen. To combat this, authorities released a Bushfire Virtual Reality Experience on Facebook to provide a simulated version of a bushfire and to walk viewers through three different scenarios. While you could probably accomplish the

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AMD, ARM, Breaking, Intel, News, Technology Security, VR World

Intel’s Greatest Mistake: Meltdown, Spectre and Why Your CPU Is In Danger

To start the New Year, two major new hardware exploits have been publicized. And people are going nuts. Since the news of these exploits has come out, AMD stock has skyrocketed while Intel’s has dipped significantly. PC hardware enthusiasts everywhere are running around screaming, and if you aren’t hyper-tuned into the world of hardware you may not understand why. Let us break it down for you. What’s happening? Two new hardware-based exploits have been publicized: Meltdown and Spectre. While both issues can be mitigated, it may be impossible to fix them outright without fundamental changes in hardware architecture from manufacturers. What is Meltdown? Meltdown is an attack

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News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Drop Coming Soon To Rift And Mixed Reality

Drop is a 360-degree VR environment that allows people to browse the web in VR. The main appeal of the program is the ability to organize different browser windows and tabs in a 3D environment. This stands in contrast to vanilla web browsing on a PC or tablet, offering only a 2D plane for a few tabs. Depending on resolution and screen real estate, this usually means that only 2-4 tabs can comfortably be used at once. According to Russel Ladson, Drop Software’s CEO, users spend an average of 26 minutes in Drop. Most of these users are also people who use VR for six or

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

Kopin Bringing Their OLED Microdisplays To VR/AR Headsets

A long time ago, the machine you’re using to read this article would’ve been large enough to fill an entire room. Moore’s Law dictates that as time goes on, processing power increases and physical size decreases. Just as this applies to the smartphone in your hand or the PC on your desk, this also applies to Virtual Reality headsets and display technologies. Meet Kopin. Kopin manufactures what they call OLED microdisplays. These are essentially tiny OLED screens with huge resolution numbers. Their “Lightning” microdisplays, for instance, boast 2048 x 2048 resolution (per eye) at a 120 Hz refresh rate. This is well beyond the HTC

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

Scanning Solution Creates VR Avatars In Ten Minutes

ICSpace is a virtual fitness environment from researchers at the Bielefeld University’s Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology. (Or CITEC for short.) As a blend of VR and AR technologies focused on fitness, ICSpace aims for realism to accomplish its goals. The most interesting part of ICSpace, however, is how it captures virtual avatars. Virtual avatars are nothing new to gamers, and are common in apps like VRChat as well- but more often than not, these avatars have little resemblance to their real counterparts. ICSpace changes that by using a setup of 40 DSLR cameras to photograph the user from all angles. Using these photographs, ICSpace can

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News, VR World

Virtual Reality Being Used To Rehabilitate Prisoners In Colorado

Just before the turn of the New Year, VICE News visited the Fremont Correctional Facility in Colorado to interview six inmates. These inmates are a part of an early-release program for people who were sentenced as juveniles and have served twenty or more years of their sentence. The length of these sentences, alongside the age of the convicted, means that these inmates may not be prepared to deal with the modern world. Smartphones, for instance, are a staple of modern life. For a teenager convicted in the 80s or 90s, however, devices like that are completely alien. Even less technically-advanced tasks, like doing laundry at

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Gaming, Mixed Reality (MR), News, VR World, Windows

Bigscreen coming to Windows Mixed Reality

For the uninitiated, Bigscreen is a virtual desktop application for VR headsets. It originally launched for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as a desktop environment for those headsets, and as of the turn of the New Year, Bigscreen is now available on Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Bigscreen coming to Windows MR headsets is good news for the platform. While Windows Mixed Reality does have SteamVR support, the platform still has a way to go to become a true competitor to the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Bigscreen porting their application to Mixed Reality is a good sign, though, and with any luck, many other

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Education, Google, News, VR World

Google bringing 1 million VR expeditions to Middle Eastern students

It looks like nothing is immune to the spread of virtual reality. Education certainly isn’t, and as part of Google’s push for VR in education, the company is bringing its “VR Expeditions” to students in the Middle East. VR Expeditions allow virtual tours of locations all around the world, which provides a more interactive learning experience for students. To make this possible, Google is partnering with Munfarid, a VR/AR-centric Middle Eastern company. The partnership between the two has produced the VRXOne kit, which includes headsets for students and a tablet for instructors to control the experience. With the help of Google Expeditions, Munfarid plans to

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

Meet The Rift, An AR/VR Adventure Park

The Rift is an AR/VR Adventure Park, based in Malaysia. It’s a large, indoors area offering all kinds of different augmented reality and virtual reality installations, from basic VR gaming installations to things a little more advanced. For instance, an AR rock-climbing game and Zero Latency, a free-roaming VR shooter. What’s on offer at The Rift may be reminiscent of a VR arcade (like the one I interviewed an owner in), and it even offers a few standard arcade titles. Where it sets itself apart is in its sheer size and number of attractions, many of which utilize different AR and VR technologies. There’s a

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Hardware, News, VR World, Wearables

Hardlight VR Shows Off Mark III Haptic Vest

Hardlight VR is a company focused on making their Hardlight suit a reality. The Hardlight suit is essentially a suit that can be worn over your torso and arms to provide full haptic feedback in accordance with the games you’re playing, as well as detailed arm tracking. When used alongside VR motion controllers and a full head-tracking headset like the Vive, this pretty much brings your entire upper body into VR, sensation included. Recently, Hardlight VR showed off a Mark III version of their Hardlight suit. The Mark III drops the price of the Hardlight suit down to $300 from $630. How exactly they managed

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Augmented Reality (AR), News, VR World

New Pico Neo VR Headset With Vive Wave Support Coming Soon

The original Pico Neo headset was, well, pretty forgettable. It was an Android gaming-centric VR headset that bundled all of its hardware into a small, SNES-esque gamepad, and decent tech specs. It released in 2016 to little fanfare, but now the Pico Neo is making a comeback with a truly standalone VR headset. The new Pico Neo comes with the same Snapdragon 835 chipset, but now has full head tracking and is compatible with Vive Wave, like the upcoming HTC Vive Focus. In addition to Vive Wave/Viveport support, the Neo headset will also have access to the Pico Store to download VR games and applications. Interestingly,

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Education, News, VR World

Guangzhou Zoo Introducing Virtual Reality For New Year’s

The Guangzhou Zoo is the largest of its kind in South China, and is a prominent attraction for locals and tourists alike. There’s plenty to be seen at the Guangzhou Zoo, but among its most popular attractions are its pandas. Just like museums are taking advantage of emerging technologies, the Guangzhou Zoo is looking to embrace Virtual Reality in the coming days. Guangzhou Zoo has been open for 60 years now, but even at their age it’s never too late to introduce new technology. On January 1st, 2018, Guangzhou Zoo will be introducing Virtual Reality to its zoo. Specifically, this will manifest in the form of

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, iOS, Mobile, News, VR World

Augmented Reality FPS WAR of the AI releases on iOS

Trailblazing VR is a startup company focused on pushing forward women in the VR/AR development. Their first game is War of the AI, developed using Apple’s ARKit tools (like the LEGO game we covered a while back) and available for free on iOS. While War of the AI has a somewhat ‘dull’ name, what it does – is quite impressive. War of the AI is a first-person shooter that’s playable in augmented reality, which has been done before (with the help of peripherals, e.g. Father.io), but not quite like this. War of the AI doesn’t require any extra peripherals, and utilizing ARKit’s features, enables a full

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News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

LG’s VR Headset Named: What You Need To Know

At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) earlier this year, LG debuted a new VR headset. This headset was a SteamVR-powered prototype with an OLED display, a 110 degree field of view and a 90 hz refresh rate. Aside from the previously-mentioned tech specs, this headset also boasts a unique “visor” form factor, which allows much better display adjustments…up to and including flipping the display off without needing to remove the headset. Specs aside, Mobiel Kopien stumbled upon an LG trademark for something called the LG UltraGear. The UltraGear is a VR headset, according to the trademark. It stands to reason, then, that the UltraGear is the

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Apple adds VR features to Final Cut Pro

Apple this week announced a significant upgrade to its pro video editing app, Final Cut Pro X. Released contemporaneously with the new, high-performance iMac Pro, the application introduces a variety of new features, including 360-degree VR video editing and support for full-resolution 8K video. Also upgraded are Apple’s Motion and Compression applications. Motion is Apple’s companion app that is used for creating and editing motion graphics, titling, and composting, while Compressor is intended for video and media compression. Among the new VR-specific features in Final cut Pro X are 360-degree 2D or 3D titles; VR-specific blurs, glows and other effects; controls to assist in editing

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, , Tablets, VR World, Windows

Lens Studio lets anyone create AR effects for Snapchat

Snap, the company behind prominent messaging app Snapchat, has released Lens Studio, a software for producing augmented reality effects for still photos and videos. What used to be an in-house application is now in the hands of all who want to dabble in creating their own AR experiences for use in Snapchat. Lens Studio is Snap’s second app, and it’s available on Mac OS X and Windows. The release of this design platform is actually the most recent in a series of similar stories: Facebook opened its AR platform earlier this week, as well as Amazon earlier this month. With Lens Studio opening up to advertisers

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Entertainment, Google, News, Videos, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

YouTube VR comes to Steam Early Access, issues ensue

YouTube is the biggest video distribution platform in the world, but it’s still prone to issues. Every major update to the site results in some backlash or another, and this often extends to YouTube implementations on other platforms as well. Today, that platform is SteamVR. So what happened? The YouTube VR application on Google Daydream lets users browse YouTube in a 3D space with full 360-degree visuals, allowing 360 videos to be watched in VR. This same application was ported from Daydream to SteamVR, and unfortunately, the Steam counterpart doesn’t seem to function quite as smoothly. For some users, the YouTube VR app outright doesn’t

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

Doctor Who Comes to Virtual Reality

Doctor Who is one of the most massively-popular franchises out there, with a legacy spanning decades of TV and other media. Earlier this year, BBC released a web application called “Doctor Who Time Vortex 360“, which served as an interactive game that fans could play in their browsers. Time Vortex 360’s concept was controlling the TARDIS as it hurtled through space and time, and Time Vortex VR seems to follow the same concept. In addition to serving as a port to VR with extra features, Time Vortex VR is available on most popular headsets. All Daydream and Cardboard headsets are compatible, as well as the

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