Android, Entertainment, iOS, News, Toys, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Book publisher launches traditional book-VR combo for kids

Hollywood, California-based book publisher Quantum Storey announced this week that it has launched the world’s first virtual reality book series for children. Aimed at younger kids, their “Operation YOU” series combines traditional printed books with virtual reality. The books include access to a companion Android and iOS app, as well as Google Cardboard goggles. The first title in the series, which is now available exclusively at Walmart, is entitled “Morning Nightmare.” It confronts the challenges children experience boarding school busses. According to the company, the VR app places children in the book’s environment in the first person, virtually transforming them into the book’s main character.

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Apple, Augmented Reality (AR), Hardware, Rumors, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

More hints emerge about Apple’s AR effort

While the web is perennially rife with speculation about Apple’s plans to develop a hardware device in the AR/VR space, a somewhat under-the-radar story out of Taiwan may shed a bit more light on the company’s plans. As reported by the Nikkei Asian Review, one of Apple’s supply chain partners, MacBook and Watch assembler Quanta Computer, hinted during their most recent earnings conference call that they may be playing a significant role in the development of an augmented reality device. Reportedly, such a device built by Quanta would be released no later than 2019. Although Quanta executives did not state for whom they would be

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

Meet The HTC Vive Focus

HTCs latest announcement is a new headset, but it’s not the Vive 2 or anything. Not exactly. The new headset is called the HTC Vive Focus, and for the time being it seems to be aimed squarely at the Chinese, so how relevant it is for Western consumers is a valid question to ask. Even without Western availability, though, the Vive Focus is still worth talking about, for multiple reasons. First and foremost is that it’s a completely standalone headset, meaning that it functions separately from any smartphone or PC. Its internal hardware boasts, among other things, a high-res AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 835

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Gaming, Hardware, Microsoft, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Windows

SteamVR Preview Coming To Windows Mixed Reality, Requires Higher Specs

SteamVR is essentially an extension of Steam, allowing a virtual hub for playing and purchasing VR applications. Since its release with the HTC Vive (and eventual compatibility with the Oculus Rift), SteamVR has been a favorite among VR enthusiasts everywhere. With the debut of Windows Mixed Reality headsets on PC, many were left wondering if Mixed Reality headsets could support the same software, and it looks like the answer to that question is a resounding yes. SteamVR is coming to Windows Mixed Reality headsets in an official preview state on November 15th, 2017. Full, official compatibility is somewhere further down the line, likely depending on the

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Gaming, Holiday Shopping Guides, HTC, News, Oculus, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PSVR All Getting Black Friday Discounts

Holiday bells are jingling and everyone’s getting excited about celebrating the Winter holidays with their loved ones. A part of those festivities, at least in the United States, is to spend the day immediately after Thanksgiving engaging in free-for-all brawls in markets all over the country for Black Friday sales. Virtual reality and virtual reality gaming is not an exception from this craze. While Black Friday is still a few weeks out, many businesses are already announcing VR-centric bundles and Black Friday discounts for those who want to jump into VR gaming while saving a little bit of cash. This, in addition to the recent

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Companies, Intel, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World, Wearables

Intel and TNT partner to bring VR to basketball broadcasts

Chipmaker Intel and US-based television network TNT this week announced a partnership that will bring virtual reality to NBA fans, beginning with the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. The companies intend to use Intel’s True VR camera technology to enable fans to watch NBA games from multiple perspectives. This will allow viewers to virtually place themselves in a range of vantage points, including high in the stands and at courtside. Intel and TNT indicated this will provide an opportunity for those who cannot attend games in person to have what is essentially an in-the-stadium experience. In their announcement, the companies also said they will be using

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VR World

Google releases new SDK for immersive audio

In an effort to assist developers in creating more immersive audio experiences in AR/VR environments, Google has today released a new spatial audio SDK called Resonance Audio. Building upon their Google VR Audio SDK, Resonance Audio is intended to provide improvements in modelling of complex sound environments, audio performance, and cross-platform functionality. Moving beyond basic 3D spatialization, Resonance Audio allows developers to fine-tune aspects of their sound sources — including controlling the direction of acoustic wave propagation. This allows, for example, a virtual guitar to sound quieter when positioned behind it rather than in front of it, or for it to be louder when facing

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Companies, Education, Entertainment, Google, News, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Discovery and Google collaborate on immersive VR experiences

This past Friday, Discovery Communications and Google launched the first chapter of Discovery TRVLR, a collaboration that they herald as a “groundbreaking new immersive series,” which aims to provide a 360-degree cross-cultural experience. This new content is viewable by using the Discovery VR app. The app supports a range of mobile and VR platforms, including the new Google Daydream View headset and Google Cardboard. To date, the app has been downloaded over four million times. Each new chapter of Discovery TRVLR will explore a different continent, and immerse viewers in the rituals, traditions, quests, and environments of those regions. A total of 38 episodes will

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Breaking, Entertainment, Gaming, Hardware, Sony, VR World

Sony announces Skyrim VR hardware bundle

Those looking for a hotly-anticipated VR experience and a complete VR hardware bundle may be in luck on or after November 17th: according to Sony, not only will that date mark the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, but the title will also be made available with a hardware bundle. The PlayStation VR Skyrim VR Bundle will include the PS VR system, a PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move controllers, and a PS VR Demo Disc containing samples of 13 PS VR titles. US pricing is $449.99, while Canadians will pay $579.99 CAD. Incremental upgrades will also be rolled out with this hardware release.

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Back to School, Biotech, Companies, Education, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Technical and industrial VR applications improve safety

Although many tend to focus on gaming and entertainment when thinking about VR technologies, virtual reality is proving transformative in technical and industrial applications, too. Three recent announcements illustrate how VR can directly improve safety: Osso VR In October, the US Department of Education announced the winner of their EdSim Challenge, which saw 249 immersive simulation submissions vie for a grand prize of $430,000 in cash and prizes from IBM and Microsoft. Osso VR won this year’s competition with a surgical training system that allows new surgical techniques to be practiced on virtual patients. Michael E. Wooten, a deputy assistant secretary at the US Department

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

Logitech develops tangible solution to VR keyboard input

Logitech yesterday announced the availability of the BRIDGE developers kit, an SDK intended to assist application developers with the challenge of effectively enabling text entry in virtual reality environments. The kit, designed to work with the HTC Vive, includes a Logitech G gaming keyboard, a Vive Tracker to enable proper keyboard positioning, and associated software. The software interfaces with the HTC Vive Tracker to seamlessly integrate a virtual keyboard (complete with key animations) and the user’s hands into any SteamVR app. “The developer’s application does not need to manage anything; the overlay appears automatically as soon as the associated Vive Tracker is turned on,” explained

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Augmented Reality (AR), Companies, Entertainment, Game Reviews, Gaming, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Sony unveils several new Playstation VR titles

As we previously anticipated, Sony announced a number of new titles on Monday for their now one-year-old Playstation VR platform. The announcements push the number of games available for the platform ever closer to the three hundred mark. Following is a brief overview of the titles unveiled Monday: Megalith Produced by Destructive Games, this is billed as “an action-packed hero shooter that transforms you into a titan, letting you use your massive size and firepower to compete with others in a quest to become a god.” Bow to Blood Developed by TribeToy, gamers will use VR to serve as “captain of a powerful airship,” set

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Biotech, Education, News, VR World

Technique using VR reduces phantom pain in paraplegics

New findings announced today by Swiss neuroscientists working at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) appear to be a breakthrough in treating phantom body pain in those suffering from paraplegia. This research is especially significant because such pain is completely resistant to conventional drug therapy. In their study, now published in the journal Neurology, researchers created a bodily illusion for their subjects, using a VR setup including a pair of dummy legs, a camera, and virtual reality goggles. “We tapped the back of the subject near the shoulders and the subject experienced the illusion that the tapping originated from the paralyzed legs,” explained Polona Požeg,

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

Is VR Safe For Children? Leeds University Warns Against It

We’ve covered VR and how it relates to health quite a few times before, but this is one of the first times in recent memory that we’ve covered a negative concern. As covered by The Guardian, researchers at Leeds University have performed a study on twenty children aged between 8 and 12. These children were tasked with playing a virtual reality game for 20 minutes, after which they were physically examined for signs of problems with eyesight, nausea and so on. The results indicated a short-term disruption in “stereo-acuity”, which describes the ability to perceive depth. At least one child also suffered a brief case

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Business, Companies, Sony, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Lucky Sevens From Sony Coming Monday

Looks like Sony is feeling pretty bold. At the upcoming Paris Games Week event, Sony will be unveiling 7 new games for the PS4, and at least a few of them are very likely to be PSVR titles. Proudly boasting in their blog post that “E3 was just the beginning”, Sony announces a livestream starting at 8 AM Pacific Time where they’ll provide updates on 21 games and announce seven new titles for PS4 and PSVR. Starting from 9 AM Pacific Time, they will cover these titles in detail with trailers and in-depth looks at each of them. If you aren’t in Paris, don’t worry: there

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Entertainment, Gaming, HTC, News, Oculus, VR World

Indie Darling Five Nights At Freddy’s Now Playable On HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

Love it or hate it, the Five Nights At Freddy’s franchise is a pop culture sensation. Thanks to frequent releases from its single developer, Scott Cawthon, a highly dedicated fanbase, an intricate lore, and gameplay perfect for Let’s Players, FNAF exploded onto the scene a few years ago. Its influence is still felt today by a renewed interest in indie horror titles, and under Cawthon’s own encouragement, fangames for the FNAF series have been popping up for quite a while. The most recent of these, and perhaps the most impressive of them, is a partial remake of the first game in Virtual Reality, called Vive

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Hardware, HTC, News, VR World

HTC Vive Pulls Out All Stops For Halloween

HTC is one of the biggest names in virtual reality, thanks mainly to their excellent HTC Vive headset. The HTC Vive has remained a favorite among enthusiasts for quite a while and even experienced steady price dropping since its release. As some may know, the Vive was produced in collaboration with Valve, the company behind Steam. As a part of Steam’s annual Halloween sale, HTC is pitching into the action by offering a free copy of Star Trek: Bridge Crew for those who purchase a Vive through its Steam page. But it doesn’t stop there: that wouldn’t be enough to justify its own article. In

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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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Exclusive, Gaming, HTC, Interviews, Oculus, VR World

Interview With Joseph Johnson, Owner of a Colorado Springs VR Arcade

After looking into local VR arcades in my area, I found one- Epic VR– based in the nearby Citadel Mall of Colorado Springs. After a brief email exchange with the owner of the place, I scheduled an interview with him in the middle of October. VR arcades offer quite a lot for people who can’t afford to buy full-fledged gaming setups and VR headsets, but still want to dip their toes into the next level of immersion in gaming. For this reason, I decided that an interview with the local owner of a VR arcade could prove educational, both for myself and for you, our

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Entertainment, News, Oculus, Samsung, VR World

Blade Runner 2049 Receives “Memory Lab”, A New VR Tie-In App

Ah, Blade Runner. Not only is Blade Runner one of the most influential films of the 80s, it’s also one of the greatest fathers of modern sci-fi. The importance of science fiction to the advancement of technology is difficult to understate: not only are almost all of our greatest technical advancements inspired in some way by retro science fiction stories of old, but even modern sci-fi serves to inspire new generations of geeks and nerds the world over. Blade Runner was praised back then for its excellent character exploration and world-building, and because of that an exploration of the world of Blade Runner in VR

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