Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

VR, MR and AI features to play prominent role at Sundance Film Festival

Next year’s Sundance Film Festival will see a very prominent role for VR, MR and AI-centric productions, based on a media release by the Sundance Institute. More than twenty films, experiences and installations variously utilizing AI, MR, and VR technologies will be part of the upcoming festival, which runs from January 18 to 28, 2018, in Park City, Utah. The productions have been fostered as part of Sundance’s New Frontier initiative. Launched in 2007, it is directed at curating productions “at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology.” This latest production batch follows from an open call for VR work earlier

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, News, Oculus, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Oculus files patent application for curved display in VR headsets

According to multiple sources, Oculus has filed a patent application for a VR headset that uses curved displays. The application was filed in August, but was published by the WIPO at the end of November. Although it is unclear whether the patent will be granted, and additionally unclear as to when a curved-display Oculus headset may be manufactured, the technology would help resolve a number of issues with VR headsets using conventional flat displays. First, using a curved display can simplify the construction of VR headsets; while standard flat-panel displays require sometimes quite sophisticated lens systems to account for optical distortion, a curved display can

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Companies, News

You can now customize your new BMW i with ARKit

BMW is first brand to offer a configurator through Apple’s Augmented Reality app using ARKit with iOS 11. The BMW i Visualizer app allows you in that way, to select and customize a life-sized version of the BMW i3, i3s, or i8 car while in any location. Now customers in select markets can use their iPads and iPhones to to view real-size 3D renderings of BMW i cars like the i3 and i8. While the app is available in 17 countries already, there’s support for over 21 languages offered through it. “Our products are highly emotional vehicles which customers need to experience,” said Andrea Castronovo, BMW Group

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Companies, Entertainment, , News, Oculus, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

Facebook’s Oculus Home gives you your own VR mancave

Facebook’s VR subsidiary started offering a pre-release version of Oculus Home, a virtual room that you can outfit pretty much however you want. Think of it as a computer-generated IKEA catalog which now turns to a fully customizable environment that you can decorate with furniture and various interactive objects. You’ll have a catalogue of several hundred items to pick from, but some will need to be unlocked by completing in-game achievements or other challenges. You will also be able to visit friends’ space, and Oculus says it’s working on a real-time hangouts feature for multiple users to build together. Oculus announced that Rift Core 2.0

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Education, Entertainment, News, Smartphones, Tablets

With Parker AR Bear kids learn through play

I guess many of us remember Tamagotchi or Furby. Those first tech-enhanced toys were already then thought of as a “parents nightmare”. They were blinking, beeping (often in the middle of the night), they needed batteries and sometimes they were a cause of a humongous amount of child tears (when mum accidentaly washed it). However, nowadays it’s easier to live (at least for parents). Parker: Your Augmented Reality Bear is a new iPad and iPhone-enhanced toy from Seedling. This charming bear is fully squeezable with no caveats: it doesn’t have any wires or batteries inside, and it won’t make a peep or start to glow

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HTC, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Nobel Prize-winning discoveries featured in new VR experience

Nobel Media and VR hardware manufacturer HTC Vive yesterday announced a new partnership that has culminated in the two organizations producing a VR experience entitled The Circadian Rhythm. The VR experience, which will be shown for the first time during Nobel Week, helps viewers visualize the work of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. The trio received this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of molecular mechanisms behind the circadian rhythm. The announcement marks the first time a VR experience has been produced in conjunction with that Nobel Prize being awarded. “Together, with HTC Vive, we are creating

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Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming, iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, VR World

LEGO AR-Studio Brings Lego To Augmented Reality

LEGO AR-Studio is pretty great. There’s a bunch of reasons for this, but in light of fiascos like Battlefront II, AR-Studio successfully provides a kid-friendly experience for free, without any predatory microtransactions. That alone should earn it applause, especially when compared to the countless Android/iOS titles that exist almost solely to separate you from your hard-earned money, one dollar at a time. LEGO AR-Studio, in addition to having a good businesLs model, also seems like a genuinely fun game. It offers six popular virtual LEGO sets for people to play within Augmented Reality, and goes the extra mile by offering a variety of scripts and animations

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Business, Companies, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Huawei’s VR Controller Seen In FCC Filing: Headset Closer Than We Think?

A Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei may not have extensive mainstream penetration in the West like Apple and Samsung do, but in 2016 they hit #9 in revenue for tech companies around the world. A lot of their success is based in China, and they often trade places with Apple as the 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Huawei is a big name in the industry, to say the least. That they’re working on a Gear VR-styled headset has been known for a while: journalists at Road To VR went hands-on with a Huawei VR headset at CES 2017 earlier this year. Now, they’re developing their

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Military, News, VR World, Wearables

Apple Manufacturer Quanta Partners With Lumus For AR Displays

Quanta Computer Inc. is a manufacturing partner for Apple and many other hardware manufacturers in the PC/smartphone space. They’re one of the most important companies that consumers have never heard of. Recently,  they reached out to Lumus, an Israel-based business that designs displays for AR glasses and headsets. If you recall Google’s “Glass” project from a few years back (which included very limited shipments of Google Glasses), Lumus works on similar hardware and has been doing so for quite a while. In 2008, they sold the PD-18, one of the first AR glasses of its kind, and just a few years later they started producing hardware

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, News

Starbucks Partners with Alibaba in Opening AR Roastery

China has surpassed U.S. as Starbucks‘ fastest growing market and also the second largest with opening one store in China every 15 hours. Starbucks already operates more than 3,000 stores in the country and 2,000 more by 2021. Focusing on China, Starbucks opened its 30,000 square-feet store, that is now their biggest cafe in the world, in Shanghai.  Customers at  this beautiful outlet settled on the West Nanjing Road shopping strip, now can watch beans being roasted, sample high-end brews and use a Starbucks augmented-reality digital app to interact with the store. The Shanghai Roastery will also be the first of Starbucks’ 27,000 locations worldwide,

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Education, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

Aquinas Training releases new VR “microsimulation” platform

Connecticut-based continuous learning software company Aquinas Training has this week unveiled their new Microsimulation Engine. Recently demonstrated at the NYVR Expo, the software simulates the types of pressures individuals experience in high-stress business presentation environments, such as boardrooms or auditoriums. The new microsimulation platform builds upon the company’s existing learning reinforcement product. The latter is intended to address the tendency for individuals to forget much of what they have learned shortly after attending training seminars. A core feature of the new product is easy customization; the company indicates that this flexibility means they can substantially cut development time and cost for VR simulations. According to

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Gaming, News, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR-enabled L.A. Noire to debut next week

Following up on the recent release of new, enhanced versions of L.A. Noire on several platforms, Rockstar Games has confirmed a release date for L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files for HTC Vive. Originally slated for release in November — alongside releases of L.A. Noire for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One — the new VR variant will debut on December 15th. Gamers familiar with the original or revamped L.A. Noire will experience a game story still set in the criminal underworld of 1940s Los Angeles, but with seven cases from the original game revamped into a VR environment. Players will take a first-person

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Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, VR World

Mapbox Acquires Fitness AR

Mapbox, an open-source location data platform for mobile and web applications, recently acquired Fitness AR. For those who aren’t familiar with Mapbox, you’re probably familiar with the applications that utilize it: Lyft, Snapchat, and other popular apps all use Mapbox’s location services to power their applications. Fitness AR, meanwhile, is an iOS application that utilizes Apple’s ARKit, a framework for the development of augmented reality applications on iOS devices. Even prior to being acquired by Mapbox, Fitness AR made use of Mapbox to display map terrain within its application. This isn’t the only business that Mapbox has acquired in recent memory. In fact, it’s not

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Cryptocurrency, Entertainment, Gaming, News, press releases, Virtual Reality (VR)

Gameflip ICO Is Now Live with Target of 15,000 ETH

Following an oversubscribed and successful pre-ICO last month, Gameflip, the veteran Silicon Valley gaming marketplace, has officially launched its highly-anticipated ICO. Crypto and global media have been buzzing about Gameflip, which has been highlighted as a prime example of a successful Silicon Valley startup turned ICO. Gameflip’s digital goods marketplace has 2+ million gamers with millions of USD in transactions each month. With FLIP, its digital token and ecosystem, Gameflip is extending its proven marketplace onto the blockchain — creating significant value for gamers and game publishers. With 2 million registered gamers and 500,000 active monthly users, Gameflip is already the industry’s most comprehensive digital goods

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

Foundry upgrades Cara VR toolset

Creative software developer, Foundry, this week announced the launch of Cara VR 2.0, the latest version of its virtual reality plug-in toolset for its Nuke digital compositing application. The software combination helps VR producers work more efficiently when producing VR and 360 video content. Nuke is used by many professional studios, including Digital Domain, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation, Framestore, Weta Digital and Industrial Light & Magic. “To fully realise the potential of VR, we need to enable content creators to build experiences that are more immersive than anything before,” the company said in a media release. “The

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Entertainment, News, Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

BBC striving to bring VR to the mainstream via new studio

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced ambitious plans to expand the scope of their VR content production. The broadcaster says that it has now formed a studio dedicated to virtual reality, enabling it to build upon its previous VR content. The BBC’s previous VR efforts have included We Wait, addressing the global refugee crisis; The Turning Forest, a fairy tale based in a magical forest; and Trafficked, a 360-degree documentary regarding human trafficking in Mexico. Concomitant with this week’s announcement was the wide release of A VR Spacewalk, an experience based on NASA and European Space agency training programs. While A VR Spacewalk had

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Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Amazon launches Sumerian, a new VR/AR development platform

Amazon is one of the biggest names in tech, and this doesn’t stop with its status as a storefront. Another way Amazon has made its impact known is through its Amazon Web Services, which serve as a backend for applications worldwide. AWS offers server infrastructure and tools well beyond the scope of typical indie developers, and for this reason, it’s a favorite among enterprises and indies alike. So when Amazon makes an announcement in this space, everyone pays attention. Sumerian, software tools debuted by the retail giant, is an extension to the Amazon Web Services platform, and it focuses on the creation of virtual reality,

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Enterprise, News, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Varjo Alpha Prototype VR Headset: What You Need To Know

If you haven’t heard of Varjo Technologies yet, there’s a good chance that’ll soon change. The Finnish startup is working on an advanced VR headset, built from modified Oculus Rift’s and other components, and is aimed at professional users. The Varjo Alpha Prototype (a work-in-progress name) offers a 1080p display for each eye, with a 35-degree horizontal FOV for each. There is also a “context display”, which offers a 100 FOV view and runs at 1080 x 1200 at 90hz refresh rate. According to Varjo, the refresh rate on these headsets may eventually go as high as 120hz, for true-to-life motion. While the headset may

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Entertainment, News, Wearables

Through AR App You can now have your own unicorn

Did you ever wanted to know what it feels like to live with fairy-tale creatures that no one else can see? Syfy just might have the right show for you, and an augmented reality app to boot. We’re just a week away from the premiere of Happy!, SYFY’s (Full disclosure: SYFY WIRE‘s parent company) new series adapted from the comic book series by writer Grant Morrisson and artist Darick Robertson. The series follows Nick (Christopher Meloni), a former cop turned hitman who has descended into a self-destructive lifestyle. After a near death experience, he encounters an imaginary flying unicorn called Happy! (voiced by Patton Oswalt), who engages him in

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

PIXO VR demos new emergency responder training platform

PIXO VR, a virtual reality safety training company, has unveiled their new training platform for emergency response personnel. The platform was demonstrated during the Emerging Technologies Symposium for Emergency Solutions at Concordia University Portland, Oregon, earlier this month. At the conference, teams of first responders worked to contain a virtual oil truck fire within a PIXO VR-created virtual environment. According to the company, virtual reality simulations of this type has many advantages over conventional field training techniques, in terms of safety, repeatability and cost. These constraints on standard training techniques can leave first responders ill-prepared to best handle emergency situations. “Training in virtual reality allows

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