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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Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Internet, VR World

eBay announces plans for new AR tools, AI development

eBay has joined the ranks of retailers dipping their toes in the augmented and virtual reality waters, according to a Fortune report. The online marketplace announced that it is currently developing an AR kit in order to add AR features to its website later this year. One proposed feature will allow shoppers to see how an item would look or fit in its intended space–such as by overlaying the image of tires on a car–before making a bid or a purchase. Another feature will let sellers choose the proper box size when packaging merchandise by showing images of the different size options over the item

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Buying Guides, Guides, Reviews, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

New to VR? A beginner’s guide

Virtual reality (VR) produces a computer-generated environment–complete with realistic sights, sounds and other sensations–which a person can explore by wearing a special kind of headset and, in some cases, using certain props. Basically every VR experience will allow the user to feel as though they are in this simulated world and look around it, while more advanced systems allow for movement and interaction. While the ability of VR to provide valuable, realistic experiences without introducing real-world risks has found many fans across various industries (from healthcare to real estate), the most popular types of virtual reality content remain video games, movies and television. For those

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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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Google, Hardware, News, Oculus, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR)

Google’s VR sculpting software adds new features

On Monday, Google announced upgrades and several new beta features to its Google Blocks VR object sculpting software. The improvements build upon the six-month-old platform’s features, making it easier to use and also responding to feature requests from users. New items include three alternatives to the original “desert” theme modelling environment and improved snap-to-object and mesh-snapping functionality. More comprehensive features can also be enabled by users, with the caveat that they are considered in beta, and as such may have some unresolved bugs. These include: a non-coplanar face mode; a loop subdivision feature; edge, face and vertex deletion; worldspace grids; a volume insertion ruler; an

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Analysis, , Google, Hardware, Oculus, Qualcomm, Virtual Reality (VR)

The most anticipated VR headsets of 2018

Although we are likely to see incremental improvements to many popular VR headsets over the next twelve months, it appears some of the biggest VR news in 2018 may be focused on entirely new headsets from popular and less prominent manufacturers alike. Following is a summary of four pending devices that we feel are the most anticipated new headsets that will be released this year. Pimax 8K Having set a new funding record on Kickstarter for a VR project, the Pimax 8K appears ever-closer to winding up on the heads of its backers. The headset — the first to provide 8K resolution — is scheduled

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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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2018, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Google, Graphics, Hardware, News, Virtual Reality (VR)

CES: YI Technology and Google introduce VR camera

Imaging technology firm YI Technology today announced details of its YI Horizon VR180 Camera at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. The camera, created in collaboration with Google’s Virtual Reality team, is billed as an easy-to-use, stereoscopic 3D camera. The camera features seamless integration with YouTube and Google Photos, and is compatible with Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, PlayStation VR and other certified viewers. Notably, content created by the camera can also be viewed easily in 2D. “We truly believe that it should be easy for everyone to create and share virtual reality experiences,” said Sean Da, CEO of YI Technology. The camera supports 3D video at

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Education, Google, News, VR World

Google bringing 1 million VR expeditions to Middle Eastern students

It looks like nothing is immune to the spread of virtual reality. Education certainly isn’t, and as part of Google’s push for VR in education, the company is bringing its “VR Expeditions” to students in the Middle East. VR Expeditions allow virtual tours of locations all around the world, which provides a more interactive learning experience for students. To make this possible, Google is partnering with Munfarid, a VR/AR-centric Middle Eastern company. The partnership between the two has produced the VRXOne kit, which includes headsets for students and a tablet for instructors to control the experience. With the help of Google Expeditions, Munfarid plans to

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Android, Augmented Reality (AR), Google, News

Google dances away from Tango

Google has announced that they are moving on from Tango, their augmented reality platform, in favour of their newer ARCore platform. The announcement came via Twitter last Friday. “We’re turning down support for Tango on March 1, 2018,” the Tango team said in a Tweet. “Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore,” they concluded. Tango’s fate appears to be largely a result of software becoming more capable. While Tango required cameras and IR sensors to locate and orient itself to objects in

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aerospace, Artificial Intelligence, Companies, Google, Space and Science

Artificial Intelligence Helps NASA Discover New Planets

The Kepler space telescope was launched in 2009, and, since then has produced more than 30,000 signals measuring light from stars to search for possible planets in distant parts of the galaxy. With a little help of telescopic data, astronomers have found more than 3,500 planets, up from 329 known before the Kepler mission. Now artificial intelligence is helping to find even more. Last week, researchers from Google and University of Texas at Austin Christopher Shallue and Andrew Vanderburg, announced that a machine-learning algorithm had discovered two new planets, Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i. Shallue, a senior software engineer with Google’s research team Google AI, came

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Entertainment, Google, News, Videos, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

YouTube VR comes to Steam Early Access, issues ensue

YouTube is the biggest video distribution platform in the world, but it’s still prone to issues. Every major update to the site results in some backlash or another, and this often extends to YouTube implementations on other platforms as well. Today, that platform is SteamVR. So what happened? The YouTube VR application on Google Daydream lets users browse YouTube in a 3D space with full 360-degree visuals, allowing 360 videos to be watched in VR. This same application was ported from Daydream to SteamVR, and unfortunately, the Steam counterpart doesn’t seem to function quite as smoothly. For some users, the YouTube VR app outright doesn’t

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Apple, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, , Fintech, Google, Intel, Microsoft, News, Nvidia, Virtual Reality (VR)

Investors Guide: Investing in AI and AR Stocks is the New Gold

The year is coming to an end and if you were thinking about investing in tech companies – now may be the right time. The bullish market still lasts (eighth years in a row now), and this year was pretty good for investors despite the threats of a nuclear or potential trade war and/or crypto currencies rising . Through the end of November, the S&P 500 Index gained 21%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25%, and the Nasdaq Composite surged 27%. Big technology companies in the Nasdaq 100 Index, tracked by the popular QQQ ETF, have jumped 32% since January. Take AR for

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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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Artificial Intelligence, Business, Companies, Google, News

Google Built AI That Can Build Its Own AI

Back in May of this year Google announced the creation of an AI (AutoML) that is able to design better AIs. AutoML built a new AI that’s called NASNet that is used to recognize objects. NASNet outperformed its human designed counterparts and the methods used to develop it seems to be the future of advanced AI. The Google researchers automated the design of machine learning models using an approach called reinforcement learning. For NASNet, the task was recognizing objects — people, cars, traffic lights, handbags, backpacks, etc. — in a video in real-time.  The Google Brain researchers, Barret Zoph, Vijay Vasudevan, Jonathon Shlens, and Quoc Le, claim that their machine-designed model beats all state-of-the-art

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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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Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Google, News

Google: Hundreds of Millions of Android Devices Will Use AR

Google expects that “hundreds of millions” of Android devices will be capable of augmented reality (AR) uses next year, bringing a slew of potential monetization opportunities. Amit Singh, vice president of business and operations for virtual reality (VR) at Google, spoke about the company’s investment in the technology and the release of ARCore, a platform that allows developers to make AR apps for Android. During a talk at the Web Summit tech conference in Portugal (Lisbon) Tuesday he announced that there will be hundreds of millions of phones that will be AR ready. “And the current stage is … we are helping developers … build the

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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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3D, Augmented Reality (AR), Business, Companies, Google, Graphics, Virtual Reality (VR)

Google Created Poly – Both AR and VR Platform

Google is opening a new platform called Poly where people can find and distribute virtual and augmented reality objects. Built for development kits like Google’s own ARCore, or Apple’s ARKit, Poly allows anyone to upload or view 3D objects in a mobile or desktop browser. Google has been offering a number of tools to make it easier to create those 3D assets for several months now, including the development of the free Tilt Brush and Blocks solutions and their associated websites. Now, Google Poly, makes it easy for creative types both share and access a warehouse of 3D objects and scenes. The 3D objects that are uploaded to Poly are published

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