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

How Ready Player One may impact sale of new VR products

Ready Player One, a movie directed by Steven Spielberg adapted from a sci-fi novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, is making waves. This is no secret. If you’ve spent time on the Internet lately, chances are you’ve probably heard the buzz. Whether the buzz is about its box office performance or criticisms of its poster, you’ve probably heard a thing or two. It’s a simple enough hero’s journey crammed full of pop culture love, and it seems to be something that people are enjoying. So, how is it relevant to our site, VR World? Well, a key part of Ready Player One is

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HTC, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Oculus Rift overtakes HTC Vive in Steam survey

The Oculus Rift surpassed the HTC Vive in popularity among Steam users for the first time, according to the results of the latest monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey. The survey, which scans users’ PCs for different hardware components, found that the Oculus Rift accounts for 47.31 percent of VR headset use, compared to the HTC Vive’s 45.38 percent share of the market. Last January’s survey saw the gap between the two devices closing, with the Vive representing 46.96 percent of headset use while the Oculus Rift took 46.09 percent. Now the Rift sits in first place, just edging out HTC’s product. Windows Mixed Reality is

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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

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Artificial Intelligence, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Sensory reality pods let workers de-stress in VR

Dutch startup Sensiks claims it has the answer to job stress and fatigue in the workplace, in the form of a sensory reality pod (SRP) that stimulates multiple senses to immerse its users in relaxing virtual environments. The company also mentions the ability to “recall memories from the past” using its multisensory simulations. Each pod is 240 cm tall and 140 cm wide. Workers sit inside, donning a VR headset that presents them with 360-degree video while corresponding scent cartridges release smells like burning wood and freshly-cut lawn. Other sensory manipulations involve changes in temperature, air flow, and light frequencies. Visuals may take a person to

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Microsoft, Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Microsoft develops ‘canetroller’ device for the visually impaired

Researchers at Microsoft have developed a device they call the “canetroller”, a haptic VR controller that works with the HTC Vive headset and tracker to help people with visual impairments navigate virtual environments. The canetroller consists of five parts: a cane controller that the user sweeps and taps as they would a regular cane, a brake mechanism to be worn around the waist, a slider placed between the controller and the break to impart the physical resistance generated by the brake, a voice coil that provides the controller with tactile feedback, and a tracker that monitors the controller’s position. The actual controller is shorter than normal

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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

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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

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Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

4-D goggles let virtual objects “touch” users

Researchers from the UC San Diego and San Diego State University have developed a pair of 4-D goggles intended to synchronize the feeling of being touched with visual input from a VR device. The creation is based on the neuroscience team’s new study that maps the regions of the brain dedicated to multisensory integration. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect oxygenated blood flow–an indicator of neural activity–to different brain areas to detect which ones were activated by a combination of visual and tactile input. Once they had the relevant regions localized, the team was able to gauge what timing of sights

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Companies, CPU, Enterprise, Hardware, HP, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR)

HP muscles into VR hardware space

HP appears to be the latest hardware manufacturer to be making a strong push into the VR space, after announcing a range of developments including the pending release of a professional version of its mixed reality headset. The announcements came earlier this week at SOLIDWORKS World, a popular event for those working in the field of 3D CAD. Among the product announcements are an upgrade to the HP Z4 Workstation, the pending (March) release of the commercial-grade HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition, an HP VR Launch Kit designed for specialized VR deployment, and the extension of HP’s Device as a Service offering

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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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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Education, Gaming, Hardware, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

Improving the feel of virtual and augmented reality

Although VR headset technologies continue to improve, with a number of new technologies slated for release this year, and with a long-rumoured Apple AR device potentially in the works, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that there are several more senses beyond sight and sound. And, because virtual taste technology appears to be nowhere near commercialization, and the only commercialized virtual smell technology remains in pre-order phase, sniffing virtual roses or eating a virtual slice of cheesecake are likely a long way off. Those looking for a bit more sensory engagement in virtual and augmented reality can take heart, however, because a number

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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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, 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, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Gaming, Hardware, iOS, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), Mobile, Mobile Computing, Nvidia, Operating Systems, Reviews, Smart Home, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Windows

VRWorld: Our Most Popular Stories of 2017

While we have recently covered our choices for the Top 10 VR/AR Stories of 2017, and while some of those stories happened to also be among the most popular amongst our readers last year, there were also a number of additional stories that proved popular. In this piece, we take at the top ten stories — based on reader popularity — in 2017. #10: Bethesda’s VR World: DOOM VFR, Fallout 4 VR and Skyrim PSVR This summertime article addressed how AAA game developer Bethesda was poised to bring a dramatic improvement to VR gaming with the then-pending releases of Doom VFR, Fallout 4 VR and

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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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Analysis, , Google, Hardware, Oculus, Qualcomm, Virtual Reality (VR)

The most anticipated VR headsets of 2018

Although we are likely to see incremental improvements to many popular VR headsets over the next twelve months, it appears some of the biggest VR news in 2018 may be focused on entirely new headsets from popular and less prominent manufacturers alike. Following is a summary of four pending devices that we feel are the most anticipated new headsets that will be released this year. Pimax 8K Having set a new funding record on Kickstarter for a VR project, the Pimax 8K appears ever-closer to winding up on the heads of its backers. The headset — the first to provide 8K resolution — is scheduled

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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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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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