Apple, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

New Apple patent describes optical system for VR headsets

Details of Apple’s new design for a wearable VR device went public last Thursday when the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application Apple filed in 2017 related to optical systems. The patent describes an “Optical System for Head-mounted Display” intended to make VR headgear more comfortable. In the application, Apple notes that VR headsets can be “cumbersome and tiring to wear” due to “bulky and heavy” lens arrangements. VR devices typically use microdisplays, requiring high magnification of visual content and thus thicker lenses between the display and the wearer’s eyes. Currently, many popular headsets overcome this issue by using Fresnel lenses–a type of

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Space and Science, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

4-D goggles let virtual objects “touch” users

Researchers from the UC San Diego and San Diego State University have developed a pair of 4-D goggles intended to synchronize the feeling of being touched with visual input from a VR device. The creation is based on the neuroscience team’s new study that maps the regions of the brain dedicated to multisensory integration. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to detect oxygenated blood flow–an indicator of neural activity–to different brain areas to detect which ones were activated by a combination of visual and tactile input. Once they had the relevant regions localized, the team was able to gauge what timing of sights

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Artificial Intelligence, Military, News, Technology Security, Wearables

China starts with AI facial recognition in fighting terrorism

Just a few weeks before Chinese Lunar New Year festivities starts, Chinese authorities decided to take even more precaution measures. The Chinese will be making around 3 billion trips during these days and there is a new high-tech law enforcement tool that will help them feel secure. Facial recognition eyeglasses have already been tested and proven useful in Zhengzhou’s East Railway Station when they helped local police capture seven people connected to major criminal cases, and a further 26 traveling on false documents. The station, one of the busiest in China, has its own police force but it can be hard for an individual policeman to

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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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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Intel, News, Wearables

Intel planning to launch smart glasses this year

Intel Corp.’s augmented reality division could ship consumer-focused smart glasses before the end of the year, according to reports. This chip-giant values the division at as much as $350 million, said the people, declining to be identified since the plans aren’t public. Intel is also said to be seeking multiple investors for this unit, which has been developing smart glasses that pair by Bluetooth with a mobile phone. The spectacles, according to reports, will be able to display contextual information into the wearer’s field of view with a laser-based projector that reflects off the lens and onto the retina. Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc. is making the product

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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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Analysis, Gaming, Hardware, News, Toys, Wearables

Nintendo Labo, or how Google Cardboard changed everything

Nintendo Labo is the newest cool weird project from Nintendo. Labo is difficult to define, but perhaps the best way to describe it is an assortment of cardboard-based games and applications for the Nintendo Switch. Labo comes in kits, and there are two kits at the time of the announcement. The Variety Kit offers an RC Car, Fishing Rod, House, Motorbike and Piano. Each of these peripherals are built with a combination of Joy-cons, cardboard and the Switch itself. There’s also a Robot Kit, which creates a wearable robot suit reminiscent of the previously-canceled Project Giant Robot for Wii U. If the idea of cardboard-based

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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Dell, Hardware, HTC, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Samsung, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables, Wearables

VR Headset Price Cuts Lead to Quarterly Sales of More Than 1 Million Units

Virtual reality has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years – except it has not. Although the excitement about its potential to become nothing short of awesome has been discussed in great detail in the press, this hasn’t translated into sales. While people will gladly pay amounts close to $1,000 for smartphones that allow them to play real money online video casino games and others as fluidly as possible, they seem to be reluctant to invest a smaller amount into VR gear that has a similar – or often smaller – price. And while it would be a bit harsh to

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Auto, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), energy, Hardware, News, Wearables

CES: HiScene demos communication-focused AR glasses

HiScene, a Chinese provider of AR products and services is demoing it’s recently-launched HiAR augmented reality glasses at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The product, which is intended for fields including aerospace, power, automotive manufacturing and education, previously won an Innovation Award at CES Asia and the Red Dot Design Award 2017. Notably, the company says their product is the first mass-produced binocular AR smart glasses in China. According to HiScene, the glasses improve brightness and heat dissipation compared to earlier models, while also featuring a minimalist user interface that is particularly well-suited to augmented reality. Of further interest is that the glasses integrate

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2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Entertainment, Gaming, Hardware, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables, Wearables

CES: LUCI shows off immersion-on-demand wearable and VR headset

Entertainment experience company LUCI has unveiled their immersion-on-demand wearable and VR headset products at this week’s CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Dubbed “LUCI immers” and “LUCI alyx,” respectively, the company appears to be looking to be a transformative player in the burgeoning wearable and VR sectors. “LUCI wants to fundamentally change how people consume content by giving users the most visually stunning experience possible through wearable technology,” said Josh Littlefield, vice president of global sales and marketing for LUCI. “We want users to be amazed by the nuances of every frame, every scene and every minute detail through an uncompromised viewing experience,” he continued. The

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2018, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Mobile, News, Wearables, Wearables

CES: Lumus provides sneak peak of its AR pipeline

Lumus, a developer of transparent displays for augmented reality hardware is showcasing its latest technological innovations this week, at CES 2018. The company is demoing both its new Vision optical engine — a solution in the AR visor space — and is also providing a sneak-peak of technologies that will be used to empower a glasses-style AR device. The Vision engine boasts a top-down, 40 degree field of view at 1080 pixel resolution in full colour and daylight viewability, displayed via transparent lenses that do not distort the user’s view of their natural environment. “From ongoing discussions with tier one companies and major ODMs working

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Hardware, News, VR World, Wearables

Hardlight VR Shows Off Mark III Haptic Vest

Hardlight VR is a company focused on making their Hardlight suit a reality. The Hardlight suit is essentially a suit that can be worn over your torso and arms to provide full haptic feedback in accordance with the games you’re playing, as well as detailed arm tracking. When used alongside VR motion controllers and a full head-tracking headset like the Vive, this pretty much brings your entire upper body into VR, sensation included. Recently, Hardlight VR showed off a Mark III version of their Hardlight suit. The Mark III drops the price of the Hardlight suit down to $300 from $630. How exactly they managed

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

Magic Leap Finally reveals their AR Goggles

After a really long time of waiting, Magic Leap surprised their fans for christmas by unveiling its augmented reality goggles – Magic Leap One. Dubbed Lightwear, the goggle-style headset promises “amazing experiences that feel natural,” all powered by a hip-mounted, puck-shaped computer called a Lightpack. “Engineered to be lightweight and comfortable for hours of exploration. We’ve combined our Digital Lightfield technology with environment mapping, precision tracking and soundfield audio to produce amazing experiences that feel natural,” it says on their website. In terms of the possibilities of the Magic Leap One, it looks like it has somewhat similar AR features as Microsoft HoloLens and ARKit: digital graphics seamlessly merged

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

VR Sexy Secretary Vivi Has Been Taken Offline

A Chinese tech company pulled offline a virtual-reality avatar depicted as a flirtatious secretary in revealing clothes, designed to flirt with users,  following criticism the avatar depicts women as sex objects. The virtual-assistant avatar, named “Vivi,” was in beta testing for a virtual-reality headset device sold by iQiyi, the online streaming unit of Baidu Inc., which owns China’s biggest internet search engine. Dressed in revealing clothing, the erotic assistant was in beta testing for a virtual reality headset when she was pulled.  Shortly after, the company iQiyi, the streaming unit of Baidu, issued a swift apology for “concerns it might have raised”. Vivi used to

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

Cult bus simulator “Desert Bus” is now available in VR

What was once called “most boring”, “the worst” but also “cult” and “legendary” bus simulator Desert Bus, now got its VR version. Yes, that’s right, now you can have all the thrill of an eight-hour bus trip with no breaks in VR. It lets you experience what it’s like to be at the helm of the action, driving all the way from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada, in real time. Based on the 1998 Sega CD game Desert Bus, created by the magic and comedy duo Penn and Teller, Desert Bus VR stays true to the original game’s premise, tasking the player with driving a bus between Tucson

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Apple, Breaking, Business, Companies, News, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), Wearables

Apple Acquires VR Headset Company Vrvana

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

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