Ahead of the 2018 Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm is pulling out the big guns with the announcement of their Snapdragon 845 chipset and its VR-centric features. They’re pushing these features under the wider “Xtended Reality (XR)” umbrella, which includes AR as well. With the Snapdragon 845 reference design, Qualcomm is bringing a number of features to the table. Foveated rendering, for instance, uses eye-tracking to render what you’re not looking at in low-res to save on performance. Most interestingly, Qualcomm is also hoping to provide a full, roomscale 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) VR experience. 6DOF tracks full head-and-body movements, while 3DOF only tracks the direction
To start the New Year, two major new hardware exploits have been publicized. And people are going nuts. Since the news of these exploits has come out, AMD stock has skyrocketed while Intel’s has dipped significantly. PC hardware enthusiasts everywhere are running around screaming, and if you aren’t hyper-tuned into the world of hardware you may not understand why. Let us break it down for you. What’s happening? Two new hardware-based exploits have been publicized: Meltdown and Spectre. While both issues can be mitigated, it may be impossible to fix them outright without fundamental changes in hardware architecture from manufacturers. What is Meltdown? Meltdown is an attack
Apple recently purchased Vrvana, a startup company that developed an augmented reality headset called Totem, reports TechCrunch. Two sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed the acquisition, but Apple declined to comment and did not provide its usual acquisition statement. Apple did not deny the story, though, and several employees who were previously with Vrvana are now with Apple. The price of aquisition is supposed to be around $30 million. It sure is no secret that Apple was interested in creating an augmented reality headset, and has been looking to create one for release sometime in 2020. Now the company may have gotten a bit of a jump
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.
Facebooks very own CEO, Mark Zuckerberg introduced a new $199 headset, Oculus Go, and permanently cut the price for the flagship Rift to $399 as he talked up VR’s potential. “At every step along the way, the future is built by people who believe it can be better” he said. In a blog post, the company said the new price for its immersive headset will be available for a “limited time” as part of a summer sale. In January, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey said that even at the initial $599 price tag, the Rift headset didn’t offer Oculus a profit. This isn’t the first price drop
An assistant professor of social work at Columbia University, professor Courtney D. Cogburn and her team are hard at work at completing a project named “1000 Cut Journey”. Developed in collaboration with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, which is led by prof. Jeremy Bailenson. According to Engadget, this is the first time the experience is showcasing at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. With the use of an HTC Vive Virtual Reality headset, users are put in the body of a black man, Michael Sterling, at four different stages of his life. Titled in reference to the gruesome torture method of death by a thousand
An odyssey is an epic journey, and Samsung’s Odyssey VR headset seems to be the latest upcoming step in theirs. The Odyssey VR headset has been long time coming (since the leak of its name in early 2016), and a number of leaks have indicated that its formal announcement is coming very soon. Let’s tackle a few of these. One of the most interesting comes from WalkingCat on Twitter. Earlier this week, they managed to find and post images of what may be the Odyssey, which turns out to be a Windows Mixed Reality headset. Supporting the idea that this leak may be for the
Being online is increasingly becoming one of most prevalent functions of modern life. Every day we tweet, post statuses, watch videos and pictures, listen to music, watch series or movies, chat, game, pay bills, being paid and so on. Since the time of dial up modems, numerous companies tried and still are trying to improve the internet experience, and become able to satisfy your every need. One of such companies is Rivet Networks from Texas, and their Killer Networking technology. The company got acquired by Qualcomm and then spun off several years later, is now focusing on delivering the best experience not just for gamers,
Logtown Studios is an indie VR gaming developer that is entering the scene with Cloudborn, a first-person VR climbing title for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Those who have been following the VR gaming scene for a while will notice immediate similarities to The Climb, a game from Crytek (the developers of Crysis) utilizing the CRYENGINE to offer a realistic, Oculus-exclusive climbing title. Cloudborn takes the basic gameplay aspects of The Climb and tries to take it in a new direction by offering a larger-scaled world with stylized cel-shaded graphics reminiscent of titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Wind Waker.
Hugh Hefner, the founder and original editor of Playboy, which brought the post-war sexual revolution onto countless coffee tables around the world, died of natural causes Wednesday. He was 91. The publishing group confirmed their founder’s death. “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Cooper Hefner, Playboy Enterprises’ chief creative officer and Hugh’s son, said in the statement. Just a few weeks ago, a famous villa known as the Playboy Mansion opened the doors so
The world’s largest movie theater company, AMC, is investing in virtual reality. The company recently announced a partnership with the startup Dreamscape Immersive to bring VR experiences to North America and the U.K. As part of the agreement, AMC will be the lead investor in a $20 million series B financing round. It will commit $10 million in equity investment and will finance up to six Dreamscape Immersive VR centers within AMC cinemas and standalone locations in North America and the U.K. over the next 18 months. These locations are in addition to Dreamscape Immersive’s flagship location, which is scheduled to open at the Westfield Century
In July this year, Air France announced plans to launch an airline that specifically targets millennials, raising the question of what, exactly, that actually means. Their spin-off airline called ‘Joon’ is now eager to big-up its partnerships with the likes of Airbnb and Waynabox, allowing passengers to book experiences and trips alongside their flights. “Joon is Air France’s little sister, who breaks with tradition and takes inspiration from the new expectations of travelers to offer an experience that goes beyond the aircraft doors,” Jean-Michel Mathieu, CEO of Joon, said in a statement. It seems that there will be some great news for business class passengers on long-haul flights.
Over the past three months, Intel abandoned or canceled a large number of projects which were hailed as the “future of Intel”. By canceling its low-power mobile processors and shifting away from competing with ARM, projects are getting abandoned ‘en masse’. Last in the list of cuts were plans to create a virtual reality headset. According to a report, this semiconductor giant has shut down Project Alloy virtual reality headset initiative, in which third-party companies were to build VR headsets based on Intel’s hardware blueprints. As stated: “Intel has made the decision to wind down its Project Alloy reference design, however we will continue to
Advrty, a Swedish-based pioneer of disruptive advertising wants to offer a new avenue of monetization for virtual reality developers, which doesn’t involve full Field-of-View pop-up ads, according to Venturebeat.com. Instead, it’s a software overlay, advertising platform aimed toward designing and incorporating non-intrusive product placement. It’s still in beta. “Initially, think billboards, posters and product placements using images or video,” said CEO and co-founder Niklas Bakos. He also added that the most important thing is not to break immersion. Bakos said that their technology will be able to track where users are looking and what they’re interacting with. It is true that VR is bringing a
Swedish-based furniture manufacturer IKEA is known for not just designing and manufacturing assemble-it-yourself furniture, but for being the pioneer of its kind by letting technology inform its business. According to Wired.com, there is a new app called Ikea Place that’s not just bringing Swedish shelves and tables to life in your living room, but also lets you put your sofa on the street if you feel like doing it. Previously, IKEA already had released a Catalog app with a similar 3D visualization tool, but the user interface was tiny and it required the physical paper catalog for it to work properly. “IKEA Place makes it
A key pillar of psychiatric treatment is guided imagery. Guided imagery is the practice of, with guidance, stimulating the senses and inducing mental images for the sake of health therapy or relaxation. You often see things like this in the movies – a person visits a psychologist, is told to lay on a couch, close his or her eyes, breathe and think of something peaceful. That’s a very simplified version of what guided imagery is. Guided imagery, it turns out, doesn’t need to be done with the imagination alone. In fact, with sufficiently-advanced technologies, guided imagery can be done in a way that’s much more
The venture wing of Salesforce.com Inc., is launching a USD $50 million fund to invest in start-ups creating or deploying Artificial Intelligence, the cloud computing firm disclosed today to Reuters. Salesforce, whose software helps businesses sell, market and track customer activity (Customer Relationship Management), has been increasing its use of AI since launching its ‘Einstein’ technology a year ago, which uses automation and data-driven features. Their CEO Marc Benioff explained that ability to consult with Einstein has made him a better CEO. “I have the ability to talk to Einstein and ask Einstein everything from product areas that I should be focusing on, geographies that
Virginia Commonwealth University, or VCU for short, is the latest educational facility to install a Virtual Reality lab on their premises. This lab is known as the MHRG VR Lab (Modern Heuristics Research Group Virtual Reality Lab), and on Friday they opened their doors for the first tour of the lab by students and other university personnel. In addition to the expected implementations of VR and AR setups at the university, the new lab offered access to a device offering advanced 3-D touch and haptic feedback. Devices like this go far beyond the basic haptics offered by current VR gaming controllers, allowing users more complete
A “virtual reality” headset hand-crafted by Sir David Brewster, a Victorian instrument-maker from Dundee, Scotland – is to be offered for sale at an auction next week, according to The Times. The Brewster stereoscope gave the illusion of depth using the same optical technology as VR headsets. The device, made of walnut and satinwood, held two images side by side which, when observed through lenticular lenses, converged into a single three-dimensional image. It was developed by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, writer, historian of science and university principal. Most noted for his contributions to the field of optics, he studied the
Magic Leap Inc., a Florida-based startup that’s raised more than $1.3 billion to build a wearable computing device, is trying to raise even more cash as it readies a long-awaited debut product. According to Bloomberg, one of the organizations that are most interested in investing is no other than Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd., investment arm of Singapore’s government. As stated, they are thinking of taking part in a new financing round of more than $500 million, bringing Magic Leap valuation close to $6 billion. Magic Leap is a US startup that is working on a head-mounted virtual retinal display which superimposes computer-generated imagery over real world objects. Revolutionary approach calls