Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Game Developer Conference (GDC), Gaming, Google, Mobile, News, Nvidia, VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: Star Wars Ray-Tracing Demo and Google’s Maps API at GDC

Image Credit: Unreal Engine’s YouTube channel In this Stories You Might’ve Missed segment, we’ll be covering the final week of March, from the 25th to 31st. Quite a few interesting stories broke in this time, so buckle up while we run you through them. (Also, Skyrim VR launched for PC yesterday if you’re interested in checking it out.) Unreal Engine shows off a stunning Star Wars real-time ray-tracing demo If the video above looks visually-pleasing, get this: it’s rendered in real-time. Visuals like this used to take hours, if not days, to render. So how is this possible? Through a technology called real-time ray-tracing. Nvidia

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

321 Launch is an AR rocket launch app

321 Launch is an app developed by USA Today, and it provides a unique experience centering around rocket launches. 321 Launch is an app developed to take advantage of augmented reality and does so in two different-but-equally-interesting ways. There are two main functionalities available in 321 Launch application: Live Mission and Launch Simulations. Live Missions provide a live feed and commentary of current rocket launches. Unfortunately, there’s a key downside: Live Missions are only live, and you aren’t able to view archives of older launches. You’ll need to actually be using the app when the launch happens if you want to be able to view

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Business, Gaming, HTC, Intel, Mobile, News, startups, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Stories You Might’ve Missed: HTC 5G VR, CLOVR and more

Today in stories you might’ve missed, we’ll be covering stories that broke from March 1st to March 8th that we didn’t cover in their own articles. Big names like HTC and Intel made headlines this week, and even a Kickstarter project called CLOVR got a day in the limelight as well. To find out why, keep reading! HTC CEO believes that 5G can turn any compatible smartphone into a VR powerhouse Cher Wang, founder and CEO of HTC, believes that 5G networks can turn any entry-level VR device into something comparable to an HTC Vive. Considering HTC’s authority in VR- especially with their aforementioned Vive

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Analysis, HTC, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Amidst layoffs, HTC combines its smartphone and VR divisions

Despite HTC continuing the own the bragging rights to being one of the biggest names in VR and smartphone spaces, that still does not alleviate the financial hurdles the company has been struggling with since last year. This past week carried more changes, as Digital Trends reported HTC layoffs in their US offices, as well as a merging of their smartphone and VR divisions. This comes on the heel of Chailin Chang’s resignation as president of HTC, and according to DT, as many as 100 people could have been fired. Amidst dwindling smartphone sales, we take a look at the state of HTC’s virtual reality business. Fortunately,

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2018, Android, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, VR World

Google to release ARCore during the Mobile World Congress

2017 has been a busy one for VR/AR teams at Google, with company’s continued push into the space with Google Cardboard, AR for Pixel phones and, most recently, ARCore framework. The latter was announced mid-2017, and after all of this time in development, ARCore is finally ready to start shipping to developers and manufacturers. The framework will allow developers to more easily develop augmented reality applications for supported Android phones. While Google seems to want to make ARCore near-universal, there’s a fair chance that it will only launch for a select few devices for the time being, with the Pixel and Galaxy series being a

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Mobile, News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Greenpeace uses VR to help double its sign ups

For charities like Greenpeace, increasing engagement is a top priority. Charities need donations and volunteers to function and without enough engagement, the organizations won’t have enough resources to accomplish its goals. While recognized charity powerhouses don’t need to worry too much about this worst-case scenario, it’s always good to get more people onboard. According to Paula Radley, a manager at Greenpeace, virtual reality is helping them do this in a big way. When they attend an event, they set up stations where multiple users can put on VR headsets to engage with 360 VR video of the Amazon rainforest, surviving in the Arctic and more. Greenpeace’s mobile app

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Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, Toys, VR World

Hot Wheels joins LEGO and other toys in Augmented Reality

At the 2018 Toy Fair, Mattel showed off a new augmented reality app that works with its Hot Wheels toys. Specifically, the application renders real-time 3D models of Hot Wheels Cities playsets when you aim your camera at their boxes in stores. The rendering shows the fully-assembled set, and you can even press a “Try Me!” button onscreen to send a virtual Hot Wheels car through the track. Mattel says that they will be releasing this Hot Wheels AR app in Fall 2018. They aren’t the first toy company to use this idea, either: Lego debuted a similar in-store AR app in 2016. Meanwhile, Lego AR-Studio

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Breaking, Hardware, Mobile, News, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Qualcomm pushing mobile VR: Lighthouse-free 6DOF and exclusive Q&A

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

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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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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Internet, Mobile, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Verizon tests 5G network at the Super Bowl through VR

Time’s arrow never stops marching forward, and neither does technological advancements. Verizon has pushed the envelope at the Super Bowl, mixing “5G” mobile network alongside VR to do some pretty incredible things, even by 2018 standards. What is 5G and what is it capable of? 5G, as its name implies, is the 5th generation of mobile network technologies. While 4G offers speeds comparable to modern home Internet connections, 5G offers speeds and latencies equal to or better than these connections. Once it actually enters the market, different networks will have different performance under 5G. However, this should lead to across-the-board improvements in mobile network performance.

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Google bring AR Stickers to Motion Stills…to mixed reception

Google’s interest in VR is no secret. From the wildly-successful Google Cardboard (and the movement it inspired), to their push for 360 content on YouTube, it’s clear that Google thinks VR is the future. This affinity extends to AR as well, and for right now it looks like Google is looking to compete with social media giants like Snapchat in the AR arena. At the tail-end of 2017, Snapchat started pushing AR tie-ins and a full-blown Lens Studio for AR effect creation. For its Pixel phones, Google launched AR Stickers as a demonstration of the power of the Pixel camera. The app and its eponymous

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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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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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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, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Cloud Computing, Companies, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, HTC, Mobile, News, Qualcomm, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: Lenovo introduces quartet of new AR and VR technologies

Lenovo used this week’s CES in Las Vegas to highlight several aspects of their 2018 product and service lineup in the augmented reality and virtual reality spaces. These announcements spanned both consumer and commercial/industrial applications, and include the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset, Mirage Camera, C220 Smart Glasses and NBD AH Cloud 2.0. Lenovo Mirage Solo and Mirage Camera with Daydream Billed as a “new take on VR consumption and creation,” this complementary product duo is targeted primarily at consumer markets. The Mirage Solo stands as the first stand-alone headset offering that is part of Google’s Daydream platform; an ill-fated offering from HTC was announced and

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2018, Android, Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile, News, Samsung, Smartphones

CES: uSens strives to bring augmented reality to billions of users

HCI systems manufacturer uSens, Inc. announced the availability of uSensAr, a smartphone augmented reality engine, this week at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. uSensAR is designed to run optimally on lower-end Android hardware, including systems with lower-resolution cameras and comparatively underpowered CPUs. “ARcore currently only serves about 30 million Android phones, which is just five percent of the entire Android smartphone ecosystem,” said Dr. Yue Fei, uSens CTO and co-founder. The company indicated their platform could expand the reach of AR technologies to an estimated two billion smartphones. “With the release of uSensAR, we are allowing developers, smartphone manufacturers, and content creators to build those

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HTC, News, Oculus, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

HTC ends year on sour fiscal note

Smartphone and VR headset manufacturer HTC ended the year with a steep decline in revenue, according to a news release issued by the company last week. The company announced unaudited consolidated revenue for December 2017 of $4.02 billion TWD (approximately $136 million USD), and total unaudited consolidated revenue from January to December 2017 of $62.12 billion TWD (approximately $2.1 billion USD). Those revenue numbers represent a 29% month-to-month decline and 36% year-over-year decline. Reports indicate that HTC’s yearly revenue marks its worst performance in over a decade. Some of the revenue decline may be due to aggressive price cuts during 2017, which saw both HTC

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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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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Entertainment, Mixed Reality (MR), Mobile, News, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: DisplayLink unveils their latest untethered VR solution

DisplayLink, a maker of graphics products including wireless VR solutions, announced that it is showcasing their newest multi-user wireless VR solution at CES 2018. The technology demo features the virtual racketball game Racket: Nx, and places participants in a mixed reality arena that boasts complete freedom-of-movement in a cable free environment. Spectators can view the competition, in real time, in mixed reality. “VR opens so many new opportunities for business, enterprise and gaming. We cut the cord last year and now we’re showcasing VR in an untethered, multi-player virtual arena,” said John Cummins, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing at DisplayLink. Wireless VR technologies are

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