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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Google, Intel, News, Oculus, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

NBA partnership brings immersive basketball experience to fruition

A previously-reported partnership between Intel, the NBA and television network TNT has been brought to fruition, with the release of a VR app for watching basketball games, highlights and recaps in VR. Released in time for this weekend’s NBA All Star game, the TNT VR app integrates Intel’s True VR technology to provide an immersive experience that simulates being at the arena as a spectator. Although the app is free, those hoping to watch full games will need to sign in using their cable provider credentials. The software is compatible with a range of VR platforms, and is available from the Oculus and Google Play

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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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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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Companies, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Walmart expanding immersive retail efforts with VR studio acquisition

Walmart is making a deeper foray into virtual reality, having announced this week the acquisition and re-launch of VR studio Spatialand through it’s tech incubator, Store No 8. The news comes via a blog post by Katie Finnegan, who serves as both Walmart Global eCommerce’s VP of Incubation and Principal/Founder of Store No 8. According to Finnegan, the company had worked with Spatialand last year, to develop a proof-of-concept VR experience in conjunction with Jeremy Welt. Prior to the acquisition, Welt worked as a VR consultant for companies including Splash and Mindshow, having previously served in business development roles at YouTube and Disney. He is

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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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, 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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Gaming, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), Windows

Bethesda adds Windows Mixed Reality support to Doom VFR

Gaming studio Bethesda this week released a patch for Doom VFR which adds official support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets. While it has been reported that many gamers were already successfully using MR headsets to play Doom VFR, official support should help solve any challenges in getting the game running and any glitches within its environment. The patch also added several new features, including smooth locomotion control and movement speed options, a weapon pitch option to adjust weapon angles, various features related to controllers, a fix to a discoloring issue seen on some platforms, and various other bug fixes. Deployment of the patch occurred on

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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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Education, Google, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Lenovo makes major push into education market

Lenovo this week announced that it is launching Lenovo Virtual Reality Classroom, a comprehensive VR educational system that leverages the company’s upcoming Mirage Solo headset. The move appears to mark a significant attempt by the company to make transformative inroads into educational markets. Available in the U.S. starting this April, with a fall launch slated for Canada, the Virtual Reality Classroom package includes: Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headsets; high-performance, pre-configured routing hardware; specialized content; a Lenovo tablet with specialized software for teacher use; a commercial warranty; top-tier product support; and either a custom cart or case with integrated charging (based on bundle size). The platform

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Education, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

PIXO VR releases gas meter inspection training system

VR safety training company PIXO VR today announced the release of its Gas Meter Safety Inspection VR Training system, marking the first time their VR training module has been made commercially available for utility companies. The system addresses the challenge of providing reliable, efficient training to natural gas company employees responsible for discovering problems in gas meters — something normally difficult given the many possible configurations and defects workers may need to tackle. PIXO VR says that their system can help this by more rapidly closing the experience gap between new and long-tenure workers, by putting trainees into a highly-realistic 3D simulated environment that simulates

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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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Augmented Reality (AR), Biotech, Education, News

Canadian researchers bring us a step closer to “x-ray goggles”

Students in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada are refining a new technology that allows clinicians to see inside a patient’s body using augmented reality. The system, named ProjectDR, has functionality reminiscent of fictional “x-ray goggles,” given its ability to overlay medical images onto a patient’s body while properly adjusting those images when a patient moves. The technology, which consists of infrared cameras and markers placed on the patient’s body as well as a projector, is being co-developed by graduate students Ian Watts and Michael Feist at the University of Alberta. Proposed uses of ProjectDR span a wide range of education, therapeutic, and medical applications. Pilot studies in

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Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Windows

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,

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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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Google, HTC, News, Oculus, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR)

HTC Vive Focus ships in China, may have US debut after all

Consumer electronics company HTC officially started shipping pre-ordered Vive Focus VR headsets at an event earlier this week, in what was heralded as the “world’s first on-stage in-VR customer product delivery.” The company also announced that forty pieces of VR content, including several games, are already available for the Focus. The news comes via HTC’s China Regional President of VR, Alvin Wang Graylin. The Focus is HTC’s first stand-alone headset, and is based on the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor which will power Lenovo’s Mirage Solo headset announced at CES 2018. Akin to the pending Lenovo offering, HTC’s Vive Focus also offers a 6DoF technology

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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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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), , Hardware, HTC, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Oculus, Opinion, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

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

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

Father-son duo bring VR to lacrosse training

While VR training tools are already relatively commonplace for players and coaches in many professional sports, such technologies are not often seen at the high-school, college and amateur level. When it comes to lacrosse — and as VRWorld has learned, possibly other sports in the near future — that may be changing, thanks to the father and son team at Nelson Design Group. Doug, a high school lacrosse coach with nearly two decades of experience, and his son, who is well-versed in software development, have combined their efforts to create a comprehensive lacrosse goalie practice system. Leveraging an Oculus headset, their software allows lacrosse goalies

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