Virtual reality (VR) produces a computer-generated environment–complete with realistic sights, sounds and other sensations–which a person can explore by wearing a special kind of headset and, in some cases, using certain props. Basically every VR experience will allow the user to feel as though they are in this simulated world and look around it, while more advanced systems allow for movement and interaction. While the ability of VR to provide valuable, realistic experiences without introducing real-world risks has found many fans across various industries (from healthcare to real estate), the most popular types of virtual reality content remain video games, movies and television. For those
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
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,
Top 10 AR/VR Stories of 2017
Although 2017 has come and gone, its impact on the augmented/virtual reality industry will undoubtedly be felt for decades to come. While it remains to be seen if 2017 will be recognized as the year AR/VR finally made its first real push into the mainstream, there were a veritable plethora of events that occurred last year that will continue to influence the industry. After substantial contemplation, we have picked what we at VRWorld believe to be the Top Ten VR/AR Stories of 2017. Here they are, counting down from #10: #10 – Pimax 8k First discussed by VRWorld last January, the Pimax 8k would go
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.
Microsoft Prepares VR Partnerships for Windows 10 Holographic Edition
Last winter Microsoft announced that the company started working together with its PC hardware partners to develop headsets that support a mixed mode, between virtual and augmented reality. These headsets run a new version of Microsoft’s software called Windows Mixed Reality, a version of Windows that natively supports both augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. At the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, or IFA, the biggest annual consumer electronics trade fair in Europe which started last week, this software giant took the center stage. They said that they will include their “Windows Mixed Reality” in the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (available from Oct 17).
UL (Futuremark) Launches PCMark 10
Several years ago, the testing giant UL acquired a legend of PC benchmarking, Futuremark Oy. Fast forward to Computex Taipei 2017, and the release of what is perhaps the most important productivity benchmark on the planet, one that influences government and business purchases, as well as influence the consumer. Unlike Intel-related BAPCo, no one can doubt the sheer lack of bias coming from UL. Ladies and gentlemen, the time has finally come for “PCMark 10”. As the name says, PCMark is Futuremark’s family of benchmarks designed to measure overall system performance through tests that are based on real-world applications and activities. Given the number of
Is Microsoft Surface Laptop a Disappointment?
During its newly established EDU event, Microsoft announced Windows 10 S (S for Student, not for Superman), a new Surface laptop and several partner PCs. The goal of new EDU strategy is to win back schools across the country. Years ago, Microsoft dominated schools with affordable Windows PCs, taking a back seat when Apple rebuilt itself with the iMac and then MacBook. Just as Apple started to run out of steam, Google came to the front with its cloud-driven Chromebooks. Now when the things are changed Microsoft wants to take back the throne, and once again have a prime place in the classroom, where it
Top Five Articles You Should Read This Thursday
Welcome to this week’s edition of Top Five Thursday. What’s new around the globe: Sky is the limit for the upcoming drone with a 100 megapixel camera! https://www.slashgear.com/dji-and-hasselblad-team-for-a-100-megapixel-camera-drone-25483279/ “This new 100-megapixel aerial solution is a combination of three products: the DJI M600 Pro drone, the aforementioned Ronin-MX Gimbal, as well as Hasselblad’s H6D-100c camera. When combined, these products enable drone operators to capture very high resolution photos from the sky. The camera boasts a large 53.4mm x 40mm sensor, among other things, for superior low-light performance.” NVIDIA Starts to Focus on VR in Gaming with a new bundle for GeForce GTX cards http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/nvidia-offers-geforce-gtx-oculus-bundle-with-3-free-games.html “There is “no better
Will “Windows as a Service” Model be successful for Microsoft?
Ever since Microsoft came out with the Windows 10, Redmond has been positioning this Operating System (OS) as the final direct release, with all the future versions being built off this foundation. Microsoft is trying to capture back market share which PCs have lost to mobile computing. Microsoft allowed for program compatibility and ecosystem support blunders with Windows 7 Mobile, Windows 8 Mobile, Windows 8 x86, and Windows 8 ARM (RT). The company let its Windows ecosystem to become fragmented, removed backwards compatibility, and many of its consumer developers moved away from Microsoft to focus on iOS and Android OS created by Apple and Google
Microsoft Unveils ARM-based Windows 10 With Full X86 Compatibility
Four years ago, Microsoft was lead by Steve Ballmer, caught in a whirlwind of the “tablet tsunami” and eroding market share. The company wanted to ditch its traditional desktop apps in favor of new touch-based apps for tablets which featured ARM processors. A half-hearted project named Windows RT was born. “Windows on ARM” project debuted on Microsoft’s first Surface RT device featuring NVIDIA Tegra processor. It was a bold and confusing attempt to force people into a new world of touch apps, but Microsoft made the fatal mistake of providing something that looked like Windows but didn’t function like Windows. Windows RT couldn’t run traditional desktop apps, but
Microsoft Finalizing Its HoloLens, VR Headset Specifications
In just a few days time, Microsoft will host WinHEC, its annual hardware / platform conference. This time around, the location is Shenzhen, China – also known as the hardware design capital of the world. Intel has 600 people here working on hardware form factors, while the similar story is with Microsoft and a few other known global players. 2017-2018 hardware strategy will evolve around two things: Microsoft HoloLens and “Microsoft VR”. The first device will be built and branded as Microsoft, while the latter will be a specification for the selected partners – Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo. Should the VR headsets from the partners take
Cube i7 Book 2 Intel Tablet with Windows 10
After a recent review of Onda OBook 20, we were wondering what are further developments in the world of affordable tablets and convertibles. Onda’s dual boot feature was quite intriguing, but being based on Cherry Trail meant the performance was somewhat lagging even behind the Qualcomm Snapdragon processors (in case of Android OS). After some digging, we discovered the Cube i7 Book 2 tablet/laptop. Amazingly, it isn’t all that more expensive than the Cherry Trail-based Obook. Decision to name the product “I7” in order to bring attention to the processing side would pay dividends if the Cube I7 actually featured Intel’s Core i7 processor. Instead, this
Review: Onda OBook 20 Plus Dual OS Tablet
There are many Windows 10 tablets on the market. Labeled as “transformers”, “2-in-1s” or “convertibles” – they mostly pack a decent specs list. The same can be said for Android tablets. However, it seems the two operating systems mentioned do not satisfy their customers and it isn’t surprising to see dual boot tablets coming out of Far East. Of course, there are some technical issues related to the compatibility, but devices such as Onda OBook 20 seem to solve such problems. The design of the device is slick and thin. Back of the OBook 20 features a clean plastic back-plate in an champagne color. Front
Microsoft Pulls an Apple with the New Surface Products
At the annual Surface event, this time dubbed as the Windows 10 event, Microsoft showed us its new, really good looking and innovative devices, as well as software tidbits that we are really happy to see. The company showcased Windows 10 Creators Update, a new update that is expected to become available in April 2017. Windows 10 Creator’s Edition features Paint 3D, better gaming (including 4K and in-game broadcasting) features, a new photo and video sharing feature, as well as Augmented Reality (HoloLens) and Virtual Reality (Windows VR) updates. This is the update that was formerly known as “Redstone 2”, with Insiders Preview to follow later this
Microsoft Windows VR Headset Devices Coming in April 2017
Microsoft product lineup surprised everyone today, but the biggest surprise was planned for VR fans. The company revealed a range of Windows VR headsets alongside its upcoming Windows 10 update known as “Redstone”. This update will come to market as the Windows 10 Creator’s Edition, scheduled for April 2017. This new hardware platform will be manufactured respective partners: Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and HP. Not only are these devices cheaper than the Oculus Rift and Vive, but Microsoft says they’re better too. “These headsets will be the first and only to ship with inside-out, six degrees of freedom sensors,” said Terry Myerson, Executive VP of the Windows
Technology Tricks Bring VR to 500 Dollar PC Level
Bulky, expensive hardware, technical glitches and questionable content are certainly the key barrier to mass adoption of AR and VR technology. Mass adoption is needed in order for any technology to became pervasive. With VR, that adoption is even more important as digital immersion can be overwhelming. As far as gaming content goes, it takes several years to create a big game, if you are being backed by a large publisher. To close the circle – when compared to the global gaming market, market for premium VR gaming is small. Oculus and HTC are both promising numerous experiences that will push those boundaries, such as Top
Microsoft Windows 10 Holographic Edition to Run on 2017 PCs
Following the troublesome release of Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, which “bricked” tens of millions of webcams around the world, Microsoft is turning its attention to “Windows 10 Holographic Edition”. Unlike the HoloLens stand-alone computer, Holographic Edition will run on PCs, targeting discrete VR HMDs such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and a numerous upcoming headsets based on OSVR and Intel’s own Project Alloy. However, we would not advise you to expect rosy marketing statements to come true, promising Windows 10 Holographic Edition to run: “on an inexpensive and tiny Intel NUC at 90 fps.” Because that ‘tiny and inexpensive’ NUC is a 600 dollar Skylake-S based NUC6i7KYK, and secondly –
See the Microsoft Windows 10 Holographic Concept Video
Microsoft decided to take a calculated risk and leave the Virtual Reality market to Facebook (through Oculus and Samsung) and HTC with their dedicated headsets Gear VR, Rift and Vive. Their focus is on Augmented Reality, or simply put – “Mixed Reality”. The term MR is expected to replace AR quite soon, and Microsoft’s latest video demonstrates they clearly don’t want to be associated with AR as well. The video shows the vision of how can productivity be increased by introducing the collaboration/co-location effect between different users on separate locations. All future users of HoloLens should need is a collaborative suite (perhaps Microsoft’s own HoloOffice?). We certainly hope
Did Microsoft Fix its Biggest Mistake?
Microsoft is ending its ‘free Windows 10’ upgrade program. Ever since the company announced the availability of Windows 10 and a free upgrade for the older versions, the company was adamant it will only offer free upgrade program ‘for a limited amount of time’. That free upgrade program ends on July 29th, 2016. While there is a loophole that can keep your systems running on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 and still get the Windows 10 upgrade, discovered thanks to ZDNet: “When you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, the Windows 10 setup program checks your current activation status and reports the result to the activation