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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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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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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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, Amazon, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Internet, Microsoft, Mobile, Mobile Computing, News, Smartphones, Wearables

CES: Rokid unveils AR glasses prototype

AI and robotics firm Rokid has unveiled a prototype of its planned augmented reality product, Rokid Glass, this week at CES. The company, better known for its home assistant products (that bear similarities in looks and functionality to Amazon’s Alexa Dot and Google’s Home Mini), appears to be making its first foray into the augmented reality space. Reportedly, the glasses will operate as a standalone headset, but also provide functionality to connect to smartphones or other devices via Bluetooth or WiFi to bolster processing power and network range. The glasses run a variant of Android 6.0 — suggesting it may eventually leverage Google’s ARCore to

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2018, Augmented Reality (AR), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Hardware, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Samsung, Smartphones, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: NextVR announces realism-boosting upgrades

NextVR, a leading provider of systems for broadcasting live sports and music events in virtual reality, yesterday previewed several upgrades to its technology platform. The announcement was made in conjunction with the opening of CES 2018 in Las Vegas. In what was billed as a “sneak peek,” NextVR unveiled three major initiatives: introducing Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) technology; improving fidelity of transmitted content; and adding augmented reality to their platform. NextVR is currently compatible with the Samsung Gear VR headset or Google Daydream View combined with an appropriate smartphone, PlayStation VR, or Windows Mixed Reality system. “VR is the most demanding visual medium ever

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Analysis, Augmented Reality (AR), News, Smartphones, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR and AR shipments to grow 517% by 2021

Market intelligence firm IDC sees substantial growth in store for the VR and AR markets, with shipments expected to reach 59.2 million headsets by 2021, up from 9.6 million this year. These projects come in IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker” research report, published last week. The firm notes that low-cost, screenless VR viewers (e.g. headsets that utilize smartphones) have dominated the market to date, but sees this category losing market share going forward, with a shift into tethered and standalone VR/AR solutions. According to their report, screenless viewers will represent less than 15% of the total VR/AR market in 2021, with

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, OSx, Smartphones, , Tablets, VR World, Windows

Lens Studio lets anyone create AR effects for Snapchat

Snap, the company behind prominent messaging app Snapchat, has released Lens Studio, a software for producing augmented reality effects for still photos and videos. What used to be an in-house application is now in the hands of all who want to dabble in creating their own AR experiences for use in Snapchat. Lens Studio is Snap’s second app, and it’s available on Mac OS X and Windows. The release of this design platform is actually the most recent in a series of similar stories: Facebook opened its AR platform earlier this week, as well as Amazon earlier this month. With Lens Studio opening up to advertisers

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Education, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Space and Science, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

University of Toronto grad student first to use VR in biochemistry research lecture

A University of Toronto graduate student is seemingly the first to utilize virtual reality in helping to present research findings during a biochemistry research lecture. PhD student Aidin Balo and his PhD supervisor Professor Oliver Ernst delivered a lecture to 200 people in 2016 at a conference in Berlin, which had the audience use cardboard-based tools in conjunction with their smartphones to immerse themselves in a VR experience. That experience, which was assisted by Autodesk, helped the audience visualize, in real-time, changes to the eye’s pigment in response to light. The lecture and VR experience were later presented to a larger audience at ShanghaiTech University.

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets

“High-touch” fashion industry sees advent of AR technologies

The traditionally “high-touch” fashion industry is among the latest to embrace augmented reality, with the advent of Code and Craft’s new AR Product Catalog tool. The mobile app, which utilizes Apple’s ARKit technology, allows fashion vendors to showcase their collections in an augmented reality environment. The company says the technology allows them to replace the traditionally expensive sample interaction process with a “life-like 3D online showroom experience.” Women’s apparel brand Maggy London International is the first to pilot the new technology. Notably, the AR experience of the product catalog is also integrated into their ERP system, which allows viewers to access key product information such

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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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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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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), iOS, Mobile, News, Smartphones, Tablets, Virtual Reality (VR)

Mozilla Announces Mixed Reality Development Program

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

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Entertainment, Mobile, News, Smartphones, VR World

Stranger Things Season 2 Gets An AR Snapchat Tie-In

Did you hear? Stranger Things Season 2 is out, and Snapchat has apparently implemented a full AR tie-in for its release. Snapchat has offered various filters for some time now, but with the addition of world lenses (made late last year), the application is now capable of light augmented reality experiences. Most world lenses for Snapchat aren’t very interactive and are just a way to line up a cool Snap or two. The new Stranger Things-themed world lenses, however, allow you to interact with the iconic lights from Joyce Byers’ living room. Tapping different items in the AR recreation of this location from Stranger Things,

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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, iOS, News, Operating Systems, press releases, Smartphones, VR World

Overstock updated iOS app for AR

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

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