Mozilla unveiled a new development program and team that will build upon their existing work to bring VR and AR technologies to the web. The program will focus on the integration of devices, headsets, frameworks and toolsets to increase flexibility in VR/AR web development. The organization indicated that although they have been working in this space for over a year, this new team was formalized only in recent weeks. In their announcement, the organization pointed out that although there have been substantial developments this year in bringing VR/AR technologies to the web, there are still gaps in terms of cross-platform compatibility. Mozilla indicates their new
Hollywood, California-based book publisher Quantum Storey announced this week that it has launched the world’s first virtual reality book series for children. Aimed at younger kids, their “Operation YOU” series combines traditional printed books with virtual reality. The books include access to a companion Android and iOS app, as well as Google Cardboard goggles. The first title in the series, which is now available exclusively at Walmart, is entitled “Morning Nightmare.” It confronts the challenges children experience boarding school busses. According to the company, the VR app places children in the book’s environment in the first person, virtually transforming them into the book’s main character.
American Vogue has partnered with Apple to create an augmented reality-powered iPhone feature, available exclusively on the newly launched iPhone X on December 1. “The Vogue Effect” iMessage extension uses the front-facing camera’s Face ID to create a multi-dimensional filter like those on Snapchat and Instagram. iPhone X users need to download Vogue’s app in order to access the filters, but it can be applied directly via iMessage once installed. Arlie Sisson, vice president of emerging products at Condé Nast said: “This is experimentation, leveraging technology and pushing our creativity in new ways.It’s unexpected, but it makes sense because [leading] is what we do best.” Vogue
SteamVR is essentially an extension of Steam, allowing a virtual hub for playing and purchasing VR applications. Since its release with the HTC Vive (and eventual compatibility with the Oculus Rift), SteamVR has been a favorite among VR enthusiasts everywhere. With the debut of Windows Mixed Reality headsets on PC, many were left wondering if Mixed Reality headsets could support the same software, and it looks like the answer to that question is a resounding yes. SteamVR is coming to Windows Mixed Reality headsets in an official preview state on November 15th, 2017. Full, official compatibility is somewhere further down the line, likely depending on the
Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month. The robot, Sophia, took to the stage at a conference in Riyadh this week to express her delight at being given citizenship, which she described as ‘historical. Not everyone is happy with the Sophia’s citizenship, with some describing her as
Microsoft is trying to nudge laptop and deskbound computers to interact with the three-dimensional world. The company on Tuesday started rolling out its latest bundle of updates to the Windows 10 operating system with features clustered around a bet that people will use their PCs to experience 3-D virtual worlds. Dubbed the Fall Creators Update, the package will make its way in waves to the more than 500 million Windows 10 users starting this week. Business users have the ability to delay updates. This technology “will forever unleash the creativity of people and organizations around the planet,” Alex Kipman, a Microsoft technical fellow working on Windows
American internet retailer Overstock.com Inc. updated its iOS app on Tuesday to enable shoppers to view thousands of products in augmented reality. The new functionality makes use of ARKit, a new Apple Inc. tool that aims to simplify the process for developers to add augmented reality capabilities to their apps. “Augmented reality is changing the way people shop for furniture and home goods forever,” said Overstock.com President Saum Noursalehi. “Shoppers no longer have to guess how a piece of furniture will fit in their room, or if a pattern will match their existing design style. Instead, they can use their phones to see the exact
Independent developer The Chinese Room is releasing its first-ever virtual reality game. “So Let Us Melt” is a Sci-Fi parable about a machine lost in a paradise of its own making. This video game development studio is best known for working on experimental first-person games, such as the Half-Life 2 mod Dear Esther, and co-developing its full-fledged remake. Dear Esther was the studio’s hit, coming out as a mod back in 2008, a year after The Chinese Room was formed. From there the group released Korsakovia, another mod, and the survival horror game Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. The studio’s growing visibility and size culminated in Everybody’s Gone To Rapture, a 2015 exploration game created in collaboration with Sony’s Santa
Amazon, hoping to replicate the success of its Echo device, is poised to extend its eyes and ears into every part of your life with the launch of new voice-controlled and camera-equipped Alexa devices designed for bedrooms, living rooms and even your car. Amazon prides itself on its almost pathological focus on what its customers want, rather than what its competitors are doing. But its new Alexa products are clearly a response, at least in part, to new smart speaker offerings from Google and Apple. Amazon is betting that it can defend its franchise by using an old trick – aggressive pricing – and by finding ways
At the very first event in Steve Jobs Theater at its new headquarters, Apple Inc. announced a series of devices, including the new smartwatch “Watch Series 3”, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (realistically, these are iPhone 7S and 7S Plus) refreshments, and the king of the event – a $1000 iPhone X (pronounced ten), with X marking 10th anniversary since iPhone 2G came to market. All three phones are powered by a powerful A11 Bionic SoC processor, bringing a set of next-generation features to all three phones, with Augmented Reality and FaceID perhaps being the most impressive ones. Augmented Reality, in that way, superimposes digital
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).
Microsoft demonstrated today that the company is keeping its flagship product in touch with the advances in computer hardware. The company announced new version of Windows 10 Pro, named Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. This OS is slated to arrive with the Fall edition of Windows Creators Update. With AMD and Intel releasing 32- and 28-core processors, reporting as much as 128 cores/threads in a 2P (dual socket) configuration, the question how will Microsoft follow the breakneck pace of CPU and GPU wars. New Windows 10 Pro represents a highly tuned version of operating system, focusing on reducing system latency and increasing responsiveness as much
The race to be the key Augmented Reality company is on. While some companies are promising the world, some are working in secret to address as much population as possible, and make the experience interactive and appealing to the masses. Mira, an AR startup from Los Angeles completed its seed round and announced pre-orders for its Prism AR headset for palatable $99. What could make the difference for the Prism AR headset is its software platform: unlike numerous Android-powered devices, Mira is focusing solely on Apple iOS devices, and interactive element between persons wearing Prism AR headset and users that can see the AR content through
Xiaomi is slowly opening itself and their products to the west. The Chinese smartphone giant is expanding its availability on global markets thanks to its e-tailers. One of their leading partners is turning out to be GearBest, who recently sent us the Xiaomi Mijia MI SPHERE 360 Camera. I took the camera to the city of Varazdin in Croatia and checked the real world performance. Given the price of mere $255, can Xiaomi’s 360 degree camera offer the ultimate price / performance ratio? First off, I have to admit that setting the camera was a real pain in the behind, trying to figure out how to install phone
In a bid to cross the chasm between Augmented and Virtual Reality, Microsoft is starting to push the new buzzword: mixed reality. In the April 11th, 2017 update for Windows 10, called “Creators Update,” the company is bringing the mixed reality to the masses. While Hololens Development Edition was Microsoft’s first venture into augmented reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR or MxR), a number of other companies have joined Microsoft to put out their own virtual reality (VR) headsets, including the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. On Tuesday, Microsoft is hitting back. Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update will have several new mixed reality features, enabling the users to
It’s the gaming revolution that had everyone talking in 2016, but are we really moving towards a virtual reality (VR) world? Well, according to research from Deloitte, VR is now a “billion dollar niche“. Reviewing the state of the market and making predictions on its potential progress back in 2016, the accounting and professional services firm calculated that hardware sales of $700 million would be bolstered by $300 million in content sales. As impressive as this and similar assessments have been, VR isn’t quite the full package. As is often the case, Apple users have been forced to watch from the outside in recent months.
In today’s world, where everything can be ordered online, more and more people are starting to get skeptical about what will arrive once the package arrives at their doorstep. We order things from eBay, Amazon, Gearbest and a bunch of other sites and take a risk that the object of purchase will not be what you hoped for. This concern is spreading especially through online ordering of bulkier items, such as furniture. iStaging is a VR/AR app that positions furniture in the real world environment, enabling perspective correct positioning. This Android and iOS app can help you to show you how furniture looks in real life
After our review of OnePlus 3 and 3T, and a little disappointment in the VR department, we decided to look for a phone with that can mix a good price with a better screen. After discussing with several vendors and their retail / e-tail outfits, we came across a few good ones. If the price point is set around $500, we came to conclusion that in that price bracket, there are just two really good phones with high quality displays. First one is ZTE Axon 7, and the third one, the topic of this first look is Xiaomi Mi6. Although this phone has not been released yet
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
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