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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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Enterprise, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Pico Interactive and uSens join hands

Headset manufacturer Pico Interactive, Inc. and HCI system developer uSens., Inc. have established a partnership that will see the Pico Goblin all-in-one VR headset incorporate uSens’ hand-tracking technology. The announcement came at this week’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas. “uSens and Pico already have a long-standing relationship, originating from developing custom business solutions together,” said uSens CTO and co-founder Dr. Yue Fei. “We are excited to formally work together into 2018 to bring our HCI solutions to their user base, as we see all-in-one and mobile headsets as the driving force behind growth in the VR market,” he continued. The partnership will see uSens’ 26DOF

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2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Entertainment, Gaming, Hardware, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables, Wearables

CES: LUCI shows off immersion-on-demand wearable and VR headset

Entertainment experience company LUCI has unveiled their immersion-on-demand wearable and VR headset products at this week’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Dubbed “LUCI immers” and “LUCI alyx,” respectively, the company appears to be looking to be a transformative player in the burgeoning wearable and VR sectors. “LUCI wants to fundamentally change how people consume content by giving users the most visually stunning experience possible through wearable technology,” said Josh Littlefield, vice president of global sales and marketing for LUCI. “We want users to be amazed by the nuances of every frame, every scene and every minute detail through an uncompromised viewing experience,” he continued. The

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2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, News, Samsung, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: LooxidVR headset will track your eyes and brain

Tech startup Looxid Labs announced this week that it was awarded a Best of Innovation Award in CES 2018’s Virtual Reality category for its LooxidVR headset. Previous winners in the category have included Samsung, for their Gear VR headset, and Google, for their Tilt Brush 3D/VR painting system. LooxidVR is a mobile-based VR headset, similar in design to Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Daydream View, with the added features of having embedded EEG sensors and eye-tracking cameras. The result is that the headset can empower tracking its wearer’s brain activity, eye movement and pupil dilation. “It is really encouraging to see our technology and potential

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Entertainment, Mixed Reality (MR), Mobile, News, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: DisplayLink unveils their latest untethered VR solution

DisplayLink, a maker of graphics products including wireless VR solutions, announced that it is showcasing their newest multi-user wireless VR solution at CES 2018. The technology demo features the virtual racketball game Racket: Nx, and places participants in a mixed reality arena that boasts complete freedom-of-movement in a cable free environment. Spectators can view the competition, in real time, in mixed reality. “VR opens so many new opportunities for business, enterprise and gaming. We cut the cord last year and now we’re showcasing VR in an untethered, multi-player virtual arena,” said John Cummins, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at DisplayLink. Wireless VR technologies are

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2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Graphics, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: YI Technology and Google introduce VR camera

Imaging technology firm YI Technology today announced details of its YI Horizon VR180 Camera at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The camera, created in collaboration with Google’s Virtual Reality team, is billed as an easy-to-use, stereoscopic 3D camera. The camera features seamless integration with YouTube and Google Photos, and is compatible with Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, PlayStation VR and other certified viewers. Notably, content created by the camera can also be viewed easily in 2D. “We truly believe that it should be easy for everyone to create and share virtual reality experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology. The camera supports 3D video at

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2018, Artificial Intelligence, Auto, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Entertainment, Hardware, Intel, Internet, Mobile, News, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Intel CEO Krzanich keynote highlights AI and VR

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich used Monday’s CES 2018 keynote to highlight how data is changing our work and personal lives, while simultaneously pushing forward technological innovation both at his company and within the larger technology sector. His keynote also specifically addressed Intel’s new initiatives in the VR space. “Data is going to introduce social and economic changes that we see perhaps once or twice in a century,” Krzanich said. “We not only find data everywhere today, but it will be the creative force behind the innovations of the future. Data is going to redefine how we experience life – in our work, in our homes,

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Samsung, Smartphones, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: NextVR announces realism-boosting upgrades

NextVR, a leading provider of systems for broadcasting live sports and music events in virtual reality, yesterday previewed several upgrades to its technology platform. The announcement was made in conjunction with the opening of CES 2018 in Las Vegas. In what was billed as a “sneak peek,” NextVR unveiled three major initiatives: introducing Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) technology; improving fidelity of transmitted content; and adding augmented reality to their platform. NextVR is currently compatible with the Samsung Gear VR headset or Google Daydream View combined with an appropriate smartphone, PlayStation VR, or Windows Mixed Reality system. “VR is the most demanding visual medium ever

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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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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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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR and AR shipments to grow 517% by 2021

Market intelligence firm IDC sees substantial growth in store for the VR and AR markets, with shipments expected to reach 59.2 million headsets by 2021, up from 9.6 million this year. These projects come in IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker” research report, published last week. The firm notes that low-cost, screenless VR viewers (e.g. headsets that utilize smartphones) have dominated the market to date, but sees this category losing market share going forward, with a shift into tethered and standalone VR/AR solutions. According to their report, screenless viewers will represent less than 15% of the total VR/AR market in 2021, with

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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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China, Companies, Entertainment, News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

VR Sexy Secretary Vivi Has Been Taken Offline

A Chinese tech company pulled offline a virtual-reality avatar depicted as a flirtatious secretary in revealing clothes, designed to flirt with users,  following criticism the avatar depicts women as sex objects. The virtual-assistant avatar, named “Vivi,” was in beta testing for a virtual-reality headset device sold by iQiyi, the online streaming unit of Baidu Inc., which owns China’s biggest internet search engine. Dressed in revealing clothing, the erotic assistant was in beta testing for a virtual reality headset when she was pulled.  Shortly after, the company iQiyi, the streaming unit of Baidu, issued a swift apology for “concerns it might have raised”. Vivi used to

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Apple, CPU, Hardware, News, OSx, Virtual Reality (VR)

Most powerful Mac ever could cost you over $13,000

Those in the market for a very expensive, last-minute Christmas gift may be in luck — on December 14, Apple made its new iMac Pro available for purchase. Lauded as the most powerful Mac in the company’s history, the workstation-class iMac Pro features Xeon multi-core processors, a 27” 5K Retina display, and heaps of additional features. That this new machine is being released at the same time as a significant upgrade to Final Cut Pro X is not coincidental. This is decidedly not a computer intended for consumer audiences — it is, rather, a powerful workstation intended to provide the raw computing power needed for

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Education, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Space and Science, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

University of Toronto grad student first to use VR in biochemistry research lecture

A University of Toronto graduate student is seemingly the first to utilize virtual reality in helping to present research findings during a biochemistry research lecture. PhD student Aidin Balo and his PhD supervisor Professor Oliver Ernst delivered a lecture to 200 people in 2016 at a conference in Berlin, which had the audience use cardboard-based tools in conjunction with their smartphones to immerse themselves in a VR experience. That experience, which was assisted by Autodesk, helped the audience visualize, in real-time, changes to the eye’s pigment in response to light. The lecture and VR experience were later presented to a larger audience at ShanghaiTech University.

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Augmented Reality (AR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

AirBNB exploring augmented and virtual reality

In a recent blog post, hospitality service company AirBNB discussed the role of augmented and virtual reality in their business. Citing the expansion of VR and AR technologies, the company sees opportunities to make travel easier and more engaging. On the pre-trip side, AirBNB indicated they are exploring ways to “allow people to connect with their destination, host, and co-travelers.” This could include more immersive location preview technologies, such as 360 degree photos and 3D scans — empowering prospective renters to immersively view properties. Further into the future, the company sees the possibility of weaving together VR experiences to allow customers to “share more than

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Augmented Reality (AR), Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Acer releases first Windows Mixed Reality headset in India

Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer Acer this week introduced their Windows mixed reality headset to consumers in India. The announcement came at the conclusion of the Acer-sponsored Predator League gaming event in Bengaluru. The headset, which boasts a 2880 x 1440p resolution and up to 90 Hz refresh rate, was released in North America in early October. The headset also features a 13-foot cable. Pricing in India is not yet available, although will likely be near US pricing, which is approximately 19,200 Rs. given exchange rates at the time of this article. This is, notably, the first Windows MR headset to be made available in India.

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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

VR, MR and AI features to play prominent role at Sundance Film Festival

Next year’s Sundance Film Festival will see a very prominent role for VR, MR and AI-centric productions, based on a media release by the Sundance Institute. More than twenty films, experiences and installations variously utilizing AI, MR, and VR technologies will be part of the upcoming festival, which runs from January 18 to 28, 2018, in Park City, Utah. The productions have been fostered as part of Sundance’s New Frontier initiative. Launched in 2007, it is directed at curating productions “at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology.” This latest production batch follows from an open call for VR work earlier

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Hardware, Opinion, startups, VR World

VR pen project’s developer and development status short on details

A seemingly impressive VR development that came out of “stealth mode” this week remains short on details. Drawboard, which according to its Twitter account is based in San Francisco, appeared rather suddenly on the web last week. Its website is seeking pre-orders for a pen to be used in VR, offering features such as six degree-of-freedom, sub-millimeter tracking; 512 levels of pressure sensitivity; USB charging; and tactile feedback. The pen apparently “works with Windows Mixed Reality headsets or Rift/Vive via Leap Motion,” and will be available in a “limited production run” in early 2018. However, the current state of the product’s development is unclear, as

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