2018, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, Companies, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, HTC, Mobile, News, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Lenovo introduces quartet of new AR and VR technologies

Lenovo used this week’s CES in Las Vegas to highlight several aspects of their 2018 product and service lineup in the augmented reality and virtual reality spaces. These announcements spanned both consumer and commercial/industrial applications, and include the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, Mirage Camera, C220 Smart Glasses and NBD AH Cloud 2.0. Lenovo Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera with Daydream Billed as a “new take on VR consumption and creation,” this complementary product duo is targeted primarily at consumer markets. The Mirage Solo stands as the first stand-alone headset offering that is part of Google’s Daydream platform; an ill-fated offering from HTC was announced and

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HTC, News, Oculus, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

HTC ends year on sour fiscal note

Smartphone and VR headset manufacturer HTC ended the year with a steep decline in revenue, according to a news release issued by the company last week. The company announced unaudited consolidated revenue for December 2017 of $4.02 billion TWD (approximately $136 million USD), and total unaudited consolidated revenue from January to December 2017 of $62.12 billion TWD (approximately $2.1 billion USD). Those revenue numbers represent a 29% month-to-month decline and 36% year-over-year decline. Reports indicate that HTC’s yearly revenue marks its worst performance in over a decade. Some of the revenue decline may be due to aggressive price cuts during 2017, which saw both HTC

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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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3D, Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), CPU, Graphics, Hardware, HTC, Internet, Mobile Computing, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Smartphones gain PC-strength VR capabilities via new codec

NGCodec, a company that specializes in developing algorithms, silicon logic and FPGA implementations for cloud video processing, this week announced the availability of their potentially transformative cloud-based encoding technologies via the Amazon AWS Marketplace. The company’s RealityCodec acts as a low-delay H.265/HEVC encoder, which allows much of the processing load of VR video streams to be shifted into the cloud. The codec also boasts sufficiently low latency that it can reliably deliver VR streams to untethered, mobile, VR head-mounted displays. “We have worked diligently to bring our advanced video codecs to the Amazon Cloud and to demonstrate the potential for cloud media and virtual reality,”

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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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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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Augmented Reality (AR), , HTC, News, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR)

Facebook Spaces now available on Vive, other platforms pending

Facebook has brought its beta social VR app, Spaces, to users of the HTC Vive. First announced in April, Spaces had previously only been available to users of the Oculus Rift. Spaces is among a handful of apps that combine social media with an immersive VR experience. Using the app, users can meet in VR; go Live; play games; make video calls; and create and share 3D objects, videos, and photos. These features are identical to those available to Rift users. Interestingly, however, the Spaces app is not available via the Steam store, and is instead being offered for direct download via Facebook’s website. “VR

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Entertainment, HTC, News, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR)

Paramount and Bigscreen to offer free VR screenings of Top Gun

Virtual reality cinema company Bigscreen has partnered with Paramount Home Media Distribution to virtually screen showings of Top Gun for 24 hours, commencing at 6pm EST on December 29th. The Bigscreen experience aims to bring the movie theatre experience to home audiences, allowing them to interact in a virtual lobby and watch videos on a virtual movie screen, complete with immersive sound and lighting. “Bigscreen’s virtual reality platform offers a new way for fans to experience films in their homes,” said Bob Buchi, President Worldwide Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures. “We’re excited to be a part of this experiment using cutting-edge technology to give fans

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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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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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HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Nobel Prize-winning discoveries featured in new VR experience

Nobel Media and VR hardware manufacturer HTC Vive yesterday announced a new partnership that has culminated in the two organizations producing a VR experience entitled The Circadian Rhythm. The VR experience, which will be shown for the first time during Nobel Week, helps viewers visualize the work of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. The trio received this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of molecular mechanisms behind the circadian rhythm. The announcement marks the first time a VR experience has been produced in conjunction with that Nobel Prize being awarded. “Together, with HTC Vive, we are creating

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Gaming, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR-enabled L.A. Noire to debut next week

Following up on the recent release of new, enhanced versions of L.A. Noire on several platforms, Rockstar Games has confirmed a release date for L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files for HTC Vive. Originally slated for release in November — alongside releases of L.A. Noire for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One — the new VR variant will debut on December 15th. Gamers familiar with the original or revamped L.A. Noire will experience a game story still set in the criminal underworld of 1940s Los Angeles, but with seven cases from the original game revamped into a VR environment. Players will take a first-person

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Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Amazon launches Sumerian, a new VR/AR development platform

Amazon is one of the biggest names in tech, and this doesn’t stop with its status as a storefront. Another way Amazon has made its impact known is through its Amazon Web Services, which serve as a backend for applications worldwide. AWS offers server infrastructure and tools well beyond the scope of typical indie developers, and for this reason, it’s a favorite among enterprises and indies alike. So when Amazon makes an announcement in this space, everyone pays attention. Sumerian, software tools debuted by the retail giant, is an extension to the Amazon Web Services platform, and it focuses on the creation of virtual reality,

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

Meet The HTC Vive Focus

HTCs latest announcement is a new headset, but it’s not the Vive 2 or anything. Not exactly. The new headset is called the HTC Vive Focus, and for the time being it seems to be aimed squarely at the Chinese, so how relevant it is for Western consumers is a valid question to ask. Even without Western availability, though, the Vive Focus is still worth talking about, for multiple reasons. First and foremost is that it’s a completely standalone headset, meaning that it functions separately from any smartphone or PC. Its internal hardware boasts, among other things, a high-res AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 835

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Gaming, Holiday Shopping Guides, HTC, News, Oculus, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PSVR All Getting Black Friday Discounts

Holiday bells are jingling and everyone’s getting excited about celebrating the Winter holidays with their loved ones. A part of those festivities, at least in the United States, is to spend the day immediately after Thanksgiving engaging in free-for-all brawls in markets all over the country for Black Friday sales. Virtual reality and virtual reality gaming is not an exception from this craze. While Black Friday is still a few weeks out, many businesses are already announcing VR-centric bundles and Black Friday discounts for those who want to jump into VR gaming while saving a little bit of cash. This, in addition to the recent

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Business, Companies, HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

HTC announces arts funding initiative

Yesterday, HTC VIVE announced a new initiative to advance arts and cultural initiatives using VR technology. Called VIVE Arts, this new program will inject millions of dollars into the development of VR installations in collaboration with organizations worldwide. The new program will build upon HTC’s existing arts and cultural institution partnerships, which currently include London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Taipei’s National Palace Museum, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (French National Museum of Natural History) in Paris, Washington D.C.’s Newseum, and St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. In addition to being used in on-site VR installations, content developed under the program will be made available in the VIVEPORT app

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Breaking, Entertainment, Gaming, Hardware, Sony, VR World

Sony announces Skyrim VR hardware bundle

Those looking for a hotly-anticipated VR experience and a complete VR hardware bundle may be in luck on or after November 17th: according to Sony, not only will that date mark the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, but the title will also be made available with a hardware bundle. The PlayStation VR Skyrim VR Bundle will include the PS VR system, a PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move controllers, and a PS VR Demo Disc containing samples of 13 PS VR titles. US pricing is $449.99, while Canadians will pay $579.99 CAD. Incremental upgrades will also be rolled out with this hardware release.

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Entertainment, Gaming, HTC, News, Oculus, VR World

Indie Darling Five Nights At Freddy’s Now Playable On HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

Love it or hate it, the Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise is a pop culture sensation. Thanks to frequent releases from its single developer, Scott Cawthon, a highly dedicated fanbase, an intricate lore, and gameplay perfect for Let’s Players, FNAF exploded onto the scene a few years ago. Its influence is still felt today by a renewed interest in indie horror titles, and under Cawthon’s own encouragement, fangames for the FNAF series have been popping up for quite a while. The most recent of these, and perhaps the most impressive of them, is a partial remake of the first game in Virtual Reality, called Vive

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Hardware, HTC, News, VR World

HTC Vive Pulls Out All Stops For Halloween

HTC is one of the biggest names in virtual reality, thanks mainly to their excellent HTC Vive headset. The HTC Vive has remained a favorite among enthusiasts for quite a while and even experienced steady price dropping since its release. As some may know, the Vive was produced in collaboration with Valve, the company behind Steam. As a part of Steam’s annual Halloween sale, HTC is pitching into the action by offering a free copy of Star Trek: Bridge Crew for those who purchase a Vive through its Steam page. But it doesn’t stop there: that wouldn’t be enough to justify its own article. In

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