• Follow in the Footsteps of the Suffragettes With the BBC’s VR Experience Make Noise Viewers need to 'make noise' to see the experience change.
  • Astro Bot: Rescue Mission Wins at the Game Awards 2018 There were no other VR related announcements during the show.
  • Google’s 6DOF Controllers Shown With Trigger And Grip Buttons
    Google’s 6DOF Controllers Shown With Trigger And Grip Buttons

    New photos of Google’s developer kit for 6DOF controllers show the complete button design, including trigger and a “grip” button right next to it.

    The controllers are part of a developer kit add-on for the Mirage Solo standalone VR headset. Google is currently accepting applications for the kit which comes with a faceplate for the headset that plugs into the side. The design uses inexpensive components to provide full freedom of movement for both hands.

    Mirage Solo, which runs apps from the Google Play store, started shipping earlier this year with only a single pointer-only controller. This Solo controller is based on the capabilities and layout from earlier phone-based Daydream headsets. This controller, however, is extremely limited because of its 3DOF tracking.

    The new developer kit for Mirage Solo relies on Google’s approach to optical tracking while the newly revealed buttons should bring the system closer to parity with similar controllers powered by technology from Microsoft, Facebook and Valve.

    We hope the kits are a sign Google is committed to developing a low-cost standalone VR headset that can compete in the same class as Oculus Quest. It is odd the controllers have both a USB-C port and a battery cover and we’re curious how easy it is to press the “grip” button by mistake. This is an “experimental” developer kit, of course, so we assume they could improve before becoming a final consumer product. Google hasn’t committed to shipping a consumer headset based on its 6DOF designs, but the company’s teams are behind some of the most popular VR software requiring natural hand interactions — Tilt Brush, Job Simulator and Blocks among them. We wonder, of course, is this kit is just a hint of the company’s continued commitment to enabling high-quality VR experiences for lower cost and easier to set up hardware.

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  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission Scores Best VR Game At Game Awards
    Astro Bot Rescue Mission Scores Best VR Game At Game Awards

    The 2018 Game Awards are well underway and the winner for best VR/AR game was just announced. No surprises here.

    Sony Japan’s Astro Bot Rescue Mission took home the prize, beating out the likes of Firewall Zero Hour, Beat Saber, Moss and Tetris Effect.

    It’s a great choice; Astro Bot is a third-person platformer that makes great use of the PSVR headset.

    “Astro Bot is not here to reinvent the wheel or claim the throne as VR’s killer app; there are enough games trying to do that already,” we said in our review. “Instead, it fuzes the thrill of seeing a virtual world come to life with the dependably engaging gameplay of one of gaming’s most beloved genres and explores what that can mean with fascinating results. It’s a refreshing reminder of just how astonishing VR can be when there’s nothing in your way, and it’s an absolutely essential experience for any PSVR owner.”

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  • Sundance New Frontier Announces 2019 Line-Up

    Sundance Film Festival has revealed their 2019 lineup for the New Frontier Exhibition. The showcase is packed with 33 projects by creators who are pushing artistic innovation across new mediums that include VR, AR, MR, and AI. Exhibited between two venues in Park City, the curated collection includes exciting projects from names like RYOT, Eminem, Reggie Watts and

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  • Felix & Paul Studios Among Those Chosen for Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier Exhibition 33 experiences have made the cut for 2019.
  • NY Times’ New AR Article Captures Lakeith Stanfield’s Balancing Act
    NY Times’ New AR Article Captures Lakeith Stanfield’s Balancing Act

    As part of its “Great Performers” series The New York Times debuted a new AR article featuring Get Out actor Lakeith Stanfield performing a balancing act.

    The AR content seems to work seamlessly on a recent iPhone or iPad with the NY Times app installed. Simply point the iPhone’s camera at the QR code on this page and it should prompt you to open the app and view the volumetric capture of Stanfield made at Microsoft’s mixed reality capture studios.

    Previously, a NY Times Styles piece featuring model Ashley Graham included an AR portion to the report.  According to a spokesperson, the news organization is planning more AR-based content in the future and they “hope to add Android support soon, when certain technology restrictions are ironed out.”

    The key thing to note here is how easily this experience can be seen on so many iPhones and iPad throughout the world. Turning a QR code into an AR experience is hardly new, but putting it so easily within the reach of millions of people is a step forward for phone-based AR’s visibility as a way of relaying information. An event in Los Angeles celebrating the Great Performers issue tonight will offer some folks the chance to see Stanfield nearly falling off the beam through the the see-through visor of a HoloLens headset.

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  • This Tech Lets You Move Virtual Objects Like A Jedi

    These are definitely the VR powers you’re looking for… It was only a matter of time. In fact, I’m a bit surprised it took this long, but researchers at Virginia Tech have put their brains to good use and come up with a way for ordinary mortals to replicate the telekinetic powers of a Jedi

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  • Bethesda to Begin Rollout of Prey’s VR Updates This Month Typhon Hunter and TranStar VR are part of the Prey: Mooncrash DLC.
  • StarVR Claims Its Headset Will Be First To Support VirtualLink USB-C Standard
    StarVR Claims Its Headset Will Be First To Support VirtualLink USB-C Standard

    A StarVR representative told UploadVR its $3200 ultra wide field of view VR headset supports the new VirtualLink VR cable standard.

    VirtualLink was first announced back in July. It is a single cable standard specifically for VR which uses the USB Type-C connector. The goal of the standard is to simplify PC VR setup and allow headsets to work on new systems with fewer ports, like laptops or mini PCs. It should also ensure that PCs meeting the standard can deliver enough information and power to upcoming headsets, potentially reducing setup or hardware issues. It is also possible the standardization of PC VR cables will also bring the overall price down as economies of scale and competition drive at the price of hardware.

    Currently Facebook’s Oculus, Valve, HTC, and Microsoft are all part of the VirtualLink consortium, but none of these companies have released a headset with a VirtualLink cable yet. It is possible, however, the ‘Rift S’ headset TechCrunch reported Oculus will release next year and the Valve first party headset our sources tell us is in the works would both use VirtualLink. NVIDIA and AMD are also a part of the consortium. AMD hasn’t announced any GPUs with VirtualLink yet, but NVIDIA’s new RTX series of GPUs all feature a VirtualLink port, and the TITAN RTX announced this week does too.

    We’ve been reaching out to representatives from StarVR to get clarity about the status of the headset and the overall organization after filings showed minority investor Starbreeze replaced its CEO during a delisting procces in Taiwan just six months after listing shares publicly. The high-end specifications of the StarVR One VR headset were first revealed in August and then its eye-popping price showed up one day in November on the developer program website for the headset. StarVR was originally “founded as a joint venture between Acer and Starbreeze”, and the representative claimed “strong demand” for its $3,200 headset but wouldn’t provide the number of units sold “as applications are still being reviewed.”

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  • Prey’s Long-Awaited VR Content Is Coming Next Week
    Prey’s Long-Awaited VR Content Is Coming Next Week

    Good news! The Prey VR content that Bethesda announced at E3 back in June hasn’t been lost in a black hole; it’s coming out next week.

    The company today confirmed that the Prey Typhoon Hunter DLC will be releasing on December 11th. While there’s a bunch of updates for the standard game here, VR fans can look forward to a new single-player escape room mode named TranStar VR. This new experience is set days before the events of the original game and casts you as TranStar employees trying to solve puzzles and make their way out of various locations first seen in the game’s campaign.

    There’s also a new museum mode that will allow you to inspect a bunch of Prey assets in VR. Meanwhile, the actual Typhoon Hunter multiplayer mode, which has players hunting for shape-shifting mimics, will be getting an update that adds VR support in early 2019.

    These new modes will be free to anyone that owns the Digital Deluxe edition of Prey or that picked up the Mooncrash DLC. The VR content will support the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR headsets. Elsewhere, Bethesda is also going to be publishing a VR spin-off of Wolfenstein next year too.

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  • Get Closer to the Formula 1 Grand Prix Action With The Dream VR Content will be released on the app later this month.
  • Giant Celebration Is Where’s Waldo? For VR With Some Neat Ideas
    Giant Celebration Is Where’s Waldo? For VR With Some Neat Ideas

    I wouldn’t have ever considered myself to be a fan of the hidden object game. Something about staring at the same image for hours on end trying to scan every detail for one specific item draws comparisons to watching paint dry. But Giant Celebration, an oddly-named VR debut from the slightly better-named Giant Cranium, makes a good case for bringing the genre to VR.

    Giant Celebration is comprised of several different dioramas located within a larger environment that you have to sift through in order to find a set of objects. One level contains a scene of a local concert set in a parker, for example, while another covers a beach-side resort set on a rooftop in a city skyline. You’ll be asked to find items like cassette players and photo frames as well as characters in specific poses. Some objectives will simply require you to highlight the hidden object whereas others will have you picking them up and putting them in the correct position.

    What works well here is the ability to scale up and down within the environment and how that changes the world around you. The the first level a cassette player is resting harmlessly at one end of the table as if it had simply been set down there. But, when you scale down to the size of the people in the diorama, it becomes a giant structure to marvel at. You also need to literally think outside the box; at one point I need to find a computer that I discover is actually buried away under the diorama as a regular household item.

    It’s not exactly earth-shattering but it does have its own charms. It’s just a shame that the game feels relatively cookie cutter, from the identikit character models to the pre-made sound effects that sound off when you find an object. Given that the entire game is static I would have loved to have seen a more detailed, vibrant world that was a joy to simply exist in in VR.

    Giant Celebration is set to launch in Early Access tomorrow on Steam with Rift and Vive support. The current build includes four levels with three difficulty settings making for a total of 12 combinations. Over the course of pre-release, Giant Cranium plans to add a better hint system (the current implementation just basically tells you where everything is) and more game modes. A custom level editor may also be on the cards.

    Expect a full launch around summer 2019.

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  • Eminem, Volumetric VR And More Lead Sundance’s 2019 New Frontier Line-Up
    Eminem, Volumetric VR And More Lead Sundance’s 2019 New Frontier Line-Up

    Over the past few years the annual Sundance Film Festival has become a staple event in the VR calendar, showcasing the latest efforts in VR filmmaking via its New Frontier line-up. The 2019 edition of the festival is coming up, and it’s set to offer the biggest slate of immersive experiences yet.

    33 projects have been selected for this year’s show ranging from short VR films to experimental AR projects and beyond. Highlighting the VR side are two new projects from Felix & Paul Studios, best known for its 360-degree content that put former President Barack Obama in VR and more.

    The first is Marshall From Detroit, which stars none other than Eminem himself. The 3D, 360-degree movie joins the rap icon on a journey through Detroit at night as he shares his own personal thoughts about the city. It’s not the first time Eminem has dabbled with immersive tech; he integrated AR into his concert experience earlier this year too.

    Next up is Traveling While Black, directed by Life, Animated’s Roger Ross Williams. It tackles the subject of restricted movement across the US for black Americans and details the rise of safe spaces within communities. Both films are around 20 minutes in length and have been produced in collaboration with Oculus, so we’d expect them to show up on headsets like the Rift and Go later down the line.

    As for the rest of the festival, there’s a new volumetric VR photobooth that gives attendees the chance to be digitized as seen in recent works like Awake: Episode One and Blade Runner: Memory Lab. Sundance says that, of these entries, nearly 50% “are directed or led by one or more women, 39% were directed or led by one or more artist of color, and 9% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA.”

    The full list of films is below, expect a program to appear later this month.

    Films and Performances

    (antiquated) Augmented Reality / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christine Marie, Producer: Nion McEvoy) — Visual intimacy, ontological form, in real-time. Pioneering the use of a non-digital, reinvented, pre-cinematic stereo imaging technique, the exquisite ensemble of dancers seems to do the impossible — reach out. The vivid choreography and score leave a lasting impression within one’s psyche created by giant, stunning, “liberated” 3D shadows. Cast: Taylor Unwin, Sandra Ruiz, Melissa Ferrari.

    Aquarela / United Kingdom, Germany (Director: Victor Kossakovsky, Screenwriters: Victor Kossakovsky, Aimara Reques, Producers: Aimara Reques, Heino Deckert, Sigrid Dyekjær) — A cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water.

    The (ART) oF BE(i)NG / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: JB Ghuman, Jr., Producer: JB Ghuman, Jr.) — A visual-sonic journey meant to expand one’s consciousness and emotional capacity through hand-crafted art and multi-dimensional storytelling. Cast: Maraqueen Reznor, Jake Shears, iRAWniQ, JB Ghuman Jr., Mayhem Miller, Hillary Tuck.

    TAKING THE HORSE TO EAT JALEBIS / India (Director: Anamika Haksar, Screenwriters: Anamika Haksar, Lokesh Jain, Producer: Anamika Haksar) — The waft of kebabs blends with the memories of an Indo-Islamic culture, fusing and playing with the dreams and subconscious landscapes of a

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  • Social Network vTime Gets an Audio Overhall With a DTS Update The update features DTS:X Game Audio.