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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Business, Companies, Gaming, News, startups, VR World

Stories you might’ve missed: $150 HTC Vive alternative, VR Twitch and Hero Vision

There are fast news days, and sometimes there are fast news weeks. Earlier this month, VR stories were coming out so quickly that we couldn’t keep track of all them! Now that we’ve caught up, we’re going to catch you up, too: here are three big VR stories you might’ve missed from earlier this month. Zeiss provides a $150 HTC Vive alternative While VR headsets have a lot to offer, the price barrier to most good VR experiences is undeniable. For PC VR, you pretty much need to shell out for a Vive or Rift…and even at their best, those headsets cost $300+. Zeiss’s entry-level VR

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Gaming, News, Sony, VR World

Want to get PlayStation VR? PSVR is $100 off until March 3rd

Sony PlayStation VR

From now to March 3rd, 2018, the PlayStation VR headset will be on sale for $100 off. This includes both the headset alone (which costs $300), as well as various bundles including certain VR games. Here’s a quick rundown on the best bundles available, as well as what to expect after the sale is over. Why is this happening? Short answer: nobody knows. Longer answer: it’s possible that Sony is gearing up for a new PSVR headset launch, or potentially their new motion controllers. While PS Move controllers provide an…acceptable VR experience, their inadequacy when compared to solutions made for VR, like the Oculus Touch controllers, has

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Analysis, Gaming, HTC, News, VR World

Developers are receiving HTC Vive Pro kits

Since earlier this month, VR developers have started receiving HTC Vive Pros so they can start optimizing around the new headset. After the HTC Vive Pro’s announcement at CES, news on the headset has been trickling out steadily. Most of this news is developer-centric: prior to this story, we learned that some developers are using the new Vive Pro hardware to enable hand-tracking applications. We've been eagerly awaiting this moment to share with you all. Announcing the arrival of the newest member of our VR HMD family… It's a Vive Pro! 🌟 pic.twitter.com/5lkK5sqh0G — Owlchemy Labs (@OwlchemyLabs) February 16, 2018 Owlchemy Labs, developers of Job Simulator

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Augmented Reality (AR), Entertainment, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

VR makes Checking Behind the Scene of Swimsuit Sports Illustrated possible

The long-awaited (especially with men population), next Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated is going to be its most immersive experience, as the spread is set to become available in VR, including on Windows Mixed Reality. Courtesy of the LIFE VR app in the Microsoft Store, Swimsuit Editor MJ Day will offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the issue was created. From a strolling the Caribbean sand beaches with Ashley Graham to a incredible sandstorm in the desert with Paige Spiranac, Swimsuit fans will now get to experience the stunning locations and go inside the shoots like never before. The issue will also feature exclusive

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Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Business, Companies, Cryptocurrency, News, press releases

Kepler Provides Blockchain for AI and Robotics Ecosystem

Nowadays, we’re being witnesses of robots integrating to our society in the most, we could dare to say, beautiful manner. There are robot cooks, robot vacuum cleaners, autonomous drones or even robot pets that help disabled people doing their everyday chores. Kepler Technologies is developing the world’s first decentralized ecosystem for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics development. Like the internet, robotics will not only reveal human potentials and new innovations, but also open up the whole new world for investment opportunities – the same area that Project Kepler is trying to dominate. Kepler is working on utilizing analytics, data science, and predictive algorithms to provide investors

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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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Google, Intel, News, Oculus, Sport, Virtual Reality (VR)

NBA partnership brings immersive basketball experience to fruition

A previously-reported partnership between Intel, the NBA and television network TNT has been brought to fruition, with the release of a VR app for watching basketball games, highlights and recaps in VR. Released in time for this weekend’s NBA All Star game, the TNT VR app integrates Intel’s True VR technology to provide an immersive experience that simulates being at the arena as a spectator. Although the app is free, those hoping to watch full games will need to sign in using their cable provider credentials. The software is compatible with a range of VR platforms, and is available from the Oculus and Google Play

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Hardware, Military, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Canadian government invests in VR training technology

The Government of Canada announced this week that it has awarded a $1.1 million contract to Halifax, Nova Scotia-based IT firm Bluedrop Training and Simulation Inc. The funds are being used to procure the company’s virtual reality Rescue Hoist Simulator product. The contract comes as part of the Canadian government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program, which has seen over $126 million invested in 285 contracts since 2010. Bluedrop is currently the country’s largest provider of courseware. “Bluedrop is extremely happy that the Build in Canada Innovation Program recognizes and supports the innovative capabilities of our company,” said Jean-Claude Siew, Vice President, Technology & Simulation at

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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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Artificial Intelligence, Companies, News, Technology Security

Boston Dynamics presented upgraded SpotMini – a robot dog

We all remember Atlas, the “crazy” robot that was jumping and doing flip-overs all around. Well, now he got himself, well, a “pet” in a matter of speech. On Monday,Boston Dynamics presented a kind of a “robot dog” that is learning new tricks every day. The company, currently owned by SoftBank, showed its SpotMini bot opening a door and holding them open, using its extendable arm/neck. The all-electric droid stands 84 cm tall, features canine-like mechanics and a five-degree of freedom manipulator arm that takes its cues from a sensor suite. Among these sensors are stereo cameras, depth cameras, an inertial measurement unit and position and

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

BodyNav tackles movement in VR without motion sickness

Movement in VR is a hotly-contested subject. Those lucky enough to get their hands on the latest and greatest virtual reality hardware are split into multiple camps on this debate, but the biggest two of them are: Pro-analog — those who prefer traditional in-game movement methods (like analog sticks) to simulate walking, running, etc. Pro-teleport — those who prefer more VR-centric movement methods, like teleportation. If you’re interested in learning more about VR motion sickness, check out this video from Super Bunnyhop. The reason for the difference in opinions is motion sickness, which occurs when your perceived movements don’t match up with signals from your

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Analysis, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Want true ‘mixed reality’? Imverse lets you see yourself in VR

While Windows Mixed Reality was originally launched alongside the HoloLens (providing a proper mixed/augmented reality experience), nowadays it’s being used to promote headsets that aren’t all that different from a standard VR headset. If you’ve been missing a proper “mixed reality” experience, you aren’t the only one: Imverse does too, and recently they showed off a proper mixed reality demo. This rendition of “mixed reality” makes your actual human body, clothing and all, visible in VR. It does this using a combination of cameras and external sensors, alongside a standard VR headset. Imverse has presented a pretty fascinating implementation of mixed reality, and we wouldn’t

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

Get Humble’s Not-so-Humble VR Gaming Sale

Humble entered the scene of PC gaming with Humble Bundles in 2010. These were pay-what-you-want bundles of indie games, with the choice to split your payment between the developers and charities. While Humble has since grown into a more traditional Humble Store, it still has a reputation as a great place to get cheap games…and their newest VR sale is nuts. Remember our Top 10 VR Games article? Well, it turns out games from that article ended up in this sale. These games are: Fallout 4 VR – 31% off for $41.99 SUPERHOT VR – 33% off for $16.74 GORN – 25% off for $14.99 Sairento

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

Do virtual reality and church belong together? This pastor thinks so

The fun part of the 21st century is that you never really know what two things will be combined next. Doritos tacos? Human Uber? VR church? All of the things mentioned are as real as the device you are reading this story on. And while the first two are a bit too whacky to discuss here, let me introduce you to D.J. Soto, the pastor of the world’s first virtual reality church. D.J. Soto’s mission was to create a more inclusive church, which perfectly alines with the goal of classic Christianity — to reach out to the outsiders of society. Yet Soto felt that modern religious

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Companies, CPU, Enterprise, Hardware, HP, Microsoft, Mixed Reality (MR), News, Virtual Reality (VR)

HP muscles into VR hardware space

HP appears to be the latest hardware manufacturer to be making a strong push into the VR space, after announcing a range of developments including the pending release of a professional version of its mixed reality headset. The announcements came earlier this week at SOLIDWORKS World, a popular event for those working in the field of 3D CAD. Among the product announcements are an upgrade to the HP Z4 Workstation, the pending (March) release of the commercial-grade HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset – Professional Edition, an HP VR Launch Kit designed for specialized VR deployment, and the extension of HP’s Device as a Service offering

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Companies, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

Walmart expanding immersive retail efforts with VR studio acquisition

Walmart is making a deeper foray into virtual reality, having announced this week the acquisition and re-launch of VR studio Spatialand through it’s tech incubator, Store No 8. The news comes via a blog post by Katie Finnegan, who serves as both Walmart Global eCommerce’s VP of Incubation and Principal/Founder of Store No 8. According to Finnegan, the company had worked with Spatialand last year, to develop a proof-of-concept VR experience in conjunction with Jeremy Welt. Prior to the acquisition, Welt worked as a VR consultant for companies including Splash and Mindshow, having previously served in business development roles at YouTube and Disney. He is

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