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  • Pimax Apologizes For 8K Delays, Intends To Ship To All Backers By Month’s End
    Pimax Apologizes For 8K Delays, Intends To Ship To All Backers By Month’s End

    Chinese VR company Pimax is looking to begin the year with a clean slate, starting with an apology for Pimax 8K delays.

    Just ahead of this week’s CES event in Las Vegas, Pimax took to its forums to apologize to its Kickstarter campaign backers. In 2017 the company raised $4,236,618 to manufacture a high-end VR headset with an 8K resolution. Pimax initially said headsets would ship in May 2018. Numerous delays stopped that from happening. Some backers pledged as much as $10,000 to get multiple headsets. The company’s silence on the matter has made some backers restless.

    “We are extremely sorry for the delays with Kickstarter campaign,” the team wrote in a forum post. “Please accept our sincere apologies for being overly optimistic and providing only sporadic official communications.”

    Moving on, Pimax explained that it had produced a total of 4,650 headsets thus far, but managing to ship out 2,027 units to backers. One of the main reasons for the delay is due to raised quality standards following feedback from initial backer reports.

    “We know that our backers and customers have high expectations for quality products so we instituted a series of new systems to both insure  the best quality but also for QA reports to properly flow to the production and assembly teams for adjustments to reduce the incidence of any issues that are discovered,” the post reads.

    Pimax also cited issues with packaging materials and customer service as other reasons for the delay.

    Going forward, the company pledges to be more transparent with its shipping. It also wants to expand its QA team to be able to test a total of 280 headsets per day.

    So, when will you get your headset? The company hopes to complete production in mid-January and finishing shipping “by the end of this month.”

    We’ll see Pimax at CES this week so we’ll look to update you further asap.

    Tagged with: 8k, kickstarter, pimax, Pimax 8K

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  • Pre-orders Open for the $15K Insta360 Titan VR Cinema Camera The camera features 11K resolution from eight lenses.
  • CES 2019: HTC Vive CES Press Conference – How To Follow And What To Expect
    HTC Vive CES Press Conference 2019 vive Pro

    CES is the first big event of the year for VR fans. We’re not too sure what to expect from this year’s show but you can be sure that there’ll be news at the HTC Vive CES press conference today.

    HTC’s latest showcase will kick off at 1pm PT in Vegas today. In the past the company hasn’t streamed its shows and we wouldn’t expect this to be any different. We will, however, be on-site to bring you the latest updates. Expect breaking headlines from our home page, hopefully followed up with some hands-on time with new kit.

    Last year’s press conference saw HTC announce its Vive Pro headset. We’re hoping for some equally big announcements in 2019. HTC is certainly teasing some kind of exciting reveal, but what is it?

    The truck is loaded and we’re excited be on our way to #CES2019. The cases are packed with some new gear we can’t wait to unbox for you. Keep tuned to @htcvive social media during CES for announcements, news and daily coverage. #HTCVIVE #VIVEPORT pic.twitter.com/lkwKE7plPw

    — HTC VIVE (@htcvive) January 3, 2019

    Vive Gl…something

    In the image above you can see a blurred logo, though the letters seem to resemble at least a G and an L. Some people say this might mean ‘Vive Gloves’, suggesting HTC is working on gloves for VR input. My personal favorite suggestion is ‘Vive Glados’ for a new VR Portal game but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

    Vive Cosmos

    The more common theory is that this pertains to the ‘Vive Cosmos’ trademark the company filed last year. HTC may well have altered the lettering in the image as a red herring. We have plenty of ideas about what Cosmo could be. It might be a new PC VR headset using inside-out tracking. Or it could be HTC’s consumer-level standalone headset to compete with Oculus Quest. Or it could be something entirely different and we’re getting too carried away just thinking about it.

    Third Party Hardware

    HTC has gradually begun positioning itself as a VR service provider as much as it is a hardware maker. Its new Vive Wave OS is being used in a handful of third-party VR headsets already. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more announcements of this kind today.

    New Software

    It’s not all about hardware, of course. Last year at the HTC Vive CES press conference the company revamped its Viveport digital store with a VR interface. Viveport was a big focus for HTC in 2018 and we’d expect to see more improvements in 2019. We’d also like to hear about what’s new from Vive Studios.

    Tagged with: CES, htc vive, HTC Vive Cosmos, HTC Vive Pro, press conference

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  • VRHealth to Make its Medical Platform Available for use at Home Patients will be able to use Oculus Go to send data to doctors.
  • CES 2019: Nvidia RTX 2060 Is VR-Ready With VirtualLink For $349
    Nvidia RTX 2060 VirtualLnik

    Nvidia just kicked off CES 2019 with the reveal of its latest GPU, the RTX 2060 VR-ready card.

    As the name suggests, this is the lower-end entry into the new 2000 line of graphics cards. But it’s no slouch; the card boasts 6GB of GDDR6 RAM and also enables real-time ray tracing. That’s the fancy new feature that provides more realistic lighting in games like Battlefield V. On stage at the show, CEO Jensen Huang noted that the card was even faster than last generation’s mid-range offering, the 1070 Ti. Of course, that all means that the card is ready and waiting for VR headsets and all at the welcome price of $349.

    And, yes, the card comes with a VirtualLink port. That’s essentially a USB-C port intended for use with next-generation PC VR headsets for faster, more accessible connection. The other RTX cards also feature this port, so its inclusion isn’t a big surprise.

    That’s not all from Nvidia’s show, though. The company also introduced a new line of RTX laptops. This consists of over 40 different models that house RTX cards. Again, we’d expect these to be capable of running PC VR headsets given that last generation’s laptops could.

    On a final note, Huang also added that there have been four million VR-ready headsets sold “in the past several years.” He didn’t specify metrics for that milestone (we don’t know if he was including PCs with AMD hardware, for example). Huang also mentioned that there were now over 3,800 VR games on Steam.

    With the Nvidia RTX 2060’s introduction, we have what is probably going to be Nvidia’s full consumer-level GPU line for the next few years. Which 2000 card do you plan on getting, if any?

    Tagged with: CES, nvidia, pc vr, RTX 2060, VirtualLink

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  • 4 Million PC VR Headsets Sold Claims NVIDIA Not a bad figure if accurate.
  • NVIDIA Announces the new Geforce RTX 2060 It'll be out next week.
  • Oculus Rift Price Seemingly Cut In UK & Canada, Now £349 / C$449
    Oculus Rift Price Seemingly Cut In UK & Canada, Now £349 / C$449

    If you’re in the UK or Canada, the Oculus Rift seemingly just got cheaper. The price is now listed as £349 in the UK and C$449 in Canada Oculus website. Previously the price was £399 / $529.

    The price is not listed anywhere as a sale and no other countries are reduced, leading us to believe that this is a permanent price cut. However, Facebook hasn’t made an official statement calling it as such. It’s possible this is just a listing error or unmarked sale.

    Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time the Rift’s price has been cut. The headset (with an Xbox controller for input) went on sale in early 2016 for £599, with the Touch controllers launching later that year for £199, making both together £798.

    In March 2017 the headset was reduced to £499 and controllers to £99, making the bundle £598.

    In 2017, the Rift was reduced to £399

    Summer 2017 saw the introduction of the current single box SKU with the headset and controllers for £499, with an introductory sale of £399. The £499 price only lasted for a matter of weeks, however. In October at the Oculus Connect 4 conference the £399 price was made permanent.

    We’ve reached out to Facebook to confirm this isn’t a listing error or unmarked sale. We’ve also asked whether price cuts are planned for other countries. We’ll update this article with their response.

    Tagged with: 2019, facebook, oculus rift, pc vr, price cut

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  • 3dRudder’s Foot Controller to Support PlayStation VR in April The controller will be compatible with 30+ titles at launch.
  • Tetris Effect, Moss, Beat Saber and More up for Game Developers Choice Awards VR titles have seen several honourable mentions in other categories.
  • Facebook Board Member Marc Andreessen: VR Will Be About “1000 Times Bigger” Than AR
    marc andreessen

    Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen stated that he beleives that VR will be “like 1000 times bigger” than AR. The entreprenuer, who is also a member of Facebook’s board of directors, made the comments on his company’s bi-weekly podcast.

    This is the opposite of the view stated by many tech leaders and visionaries today. As Andreessen put it: “In the Valley right now, this is a very contrarian view.”

    At OC5, Facebook outlined the differences in engineering of AR and VR

    The venture capitalist explained his reasoning by pointing out that most people’s real life surroundings aren’t particuarly interesting, so the appeal of the reality they could live in VR will outweigh the advantage of overlaying content into their real world.

    To be clear, Andreessen isn’t saying AR won’t be compelling. This was a statement in support of VR, not one against AR. The venture capitalist was careful to state that he believed AR “has tons of potential applications, both at work and at home”.

    Full Comments

    “So I’m big believers I think VR is going to be like 1000 times bigger. In the valley right now this is a very contrarian view. Because the general theme you hear in the valley is that AR is going to be bigger than VR, and it seems like obviously AR should be bigger than VR because obviously if you can do things overlaid over the real world, that should be inherently more interesting than having to construct a synthetic world.

    I just think that that’s only true for people who live in a very interesting place in the real world. But only something between like 0.1% and 1% of people on Earth live in a place where they wake up every morning and they’re like ‘Wow, there are so many interesting things to see’. Most people don’t live in a place like that. And so for everybody who doesn’t already live on a college campus or in Silicon Valley or in a major city, the new environments we’re going to be able to create in VR are going to be inherently be much more interesting (than the physical environments). And there’s going to be a lot more of them to choose from, and so it’s going to be amazing.”

    Source: a16z Podcast | Talent, Tech Trends, and Culture

    Tagged with: facebook

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  • Gary Oldman To Narrate David Bowie AR Experience

    The Oscar-winning actor will lend his voice to an augmented tour highlighting the infamous musician. Next Tuesday marks the 72nd birthday of late english singer-songwriter David Bowie, whom passed away nearly three years ago in his NYC apartment after an ongoing battle with liver cancer. Despite his crippling affliction, the legendary musician still managed to

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  • Vuzix Will Ship $1,000 Consumer Blade AR Smart Glasses In February
    Vuzix Will Ship $1,000 Consumer Blade AR Smart Glasses In February

    Following last year’s release of an enterprise version of Blade, a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that resemble traditional sunglasses, Vuzix confirmed dates and pricing for its consumer model. Previously referred to as “Blade General,” the retail version of Blade is available for preorder today at $1,000 and is shipping in 4-6 weeks.

    Unlike some AR headset rivals, Blade isn’t designed to operate wholly on its own, instead relying on an Android phone or iPhone for data services. Wearers are able to see the real world through their lenses, augmented with a rectangular waveguide display that produces a bright, floating color image that’s easy to view.

    The screen enables users to view emails, images such as restaurant menus, text messages, media player controls, and map navigation instructions, all of which can be addressed using frame-side controls and, in some cases, multilingual voice commands. Vuzix is now promising both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. Additionally, an integrated camera can record 8-megapixel photos and 720p videos.

    Blade is powered by a quad-core ARM CPU and a customized version of Android OS, with integrated gyroscope hardware for basic head tracking. It uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless communications and has a microSD port to store content.

    Vuzix has been working to define an audience for Blade since debuting the hardware at CES in 2017. It now expects that the retail version of Blade will appeal to workers whose hands are otherwise occupied, as well as disabled users who struggle to use conventional smartphones. The retail model will support prescription lens inserts at a premium of approximately $200.

    Apart from third-party app support, which at the moment appears to be quite limited, the biggest question marks for Blade are battery life and whether consumers are willing to spend so much for relatively basic “AR” functionality. More information will likely be shared ahead of the product’s wider availability in February.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: Blade, Vuzix

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  • Sensor Tower: Pokémon Go Made 35% More in 2018 Than 2017
    Sensor Tower: Pokémon Go Made 35% More in 2018 Than 2017

    Pokémon Go made almost $800 million in global revenue in 2018, according to market analysis firm Sensor Tower. That is up 35 percent compared to 2017.

    Pokémon Go debuted in June 2016, and it became an immediate hit. The location-based mobile game’s popularity fell off a bit after that blistering start, but developer Niantic has been able to build a massive player base with constant updates, including the addition of more Pokémon and new features (such as trading and trainer battling).

    Niantic’s free-to-play game had a strong December to close out the year, with player spending reaching $75 million for the month. That was up 32 percent from the $57.2 million Pokémon Go made in December 2017. This was likely thanks to the December launch of player battles, something the community has been clamoring for.

    U.S. leads in spending

    U.S. players spent the most money on the game, contributing $262 million, which is 33 percent of that $800 million total. That is the same percentage as 2017. Japan was close behind with $239 million, which is 30 percent of the global total. That is up from the 25 percent that Japan accounted for in 2017.

    Pokémon Go’s total revenues since launch now stand at $2.2 billion. Sensor Tower notes that it’s possible the game hits the $3 billion mark in 2019.

    This post by Mike Minotti originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: niantic, pokemon go

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  • Community Spotlight: Your Best Predictions For VR And AR In 2019
    Community Spotlight: Your Best Predictions For VR And AR In 2019

    Community Spotlight is a new article series in which we highlight some of the best comments and predictions from our community over the week.

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