News

  • Beat Saber Remains Unbeatable In April PlayStation Store Charts
    Beat Saber DLC Tracklist

    If you thought any of April’s big PSVR releases might be enough to topple Beat Saber, well, you were wrong.

    Beat Games’ indie hit remained unbeatable (how did I only just think of that pun) in last months’ results. Beat Saber once again topped the charts in both the US and EU. Each list was filled out with the usual suspects like Job Simulator, SuperhotVR and Arizona Sunshine. Sales helped games like I Expect You To Die, Drunkn Bar Fight and Astro Bot find their way back into the mix too. It’s getting increasingly difficult to see anything topping Beat Saber’s now six-month reign. I for one welcome our new overlords.

    It is interesting to note, at least, that Beat Saber’s recently-released DLC pack doesn’t chart on the EU’s DLC listings. The US doesn’t list DLC, meanwhile. Beat Saber has now shipped over a million units, so it’d be interesting to see what the attach rate for this DLC is like.

    It’s a shame not to see any of April’s big releases making the cut, though. There were some great PSVR titles released last month like Ghost Giant and Falcon Age. Not making it into the top 10 doesn’t necessarily mean they sold badly, but both were deserving of listing to say the least.

    May does bring more hopeful PSVR releases, though. Most notably we’ll see Everybody’s Golf VR, Blood & Truth and Trover Saves the Universe all launching in the next few weeks. Will any of them be able to climb onto May’s software charts?

    Tagged with: Beat Saber, charts, PSVR sales

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Beat Saber Remains Unbeatable In April PlayStation Store Charts appeared first on UploadVR.

  • 2019 Programme for Sheffield Doc/Fest & Alternate Realities Exhibition Released The festival returns on 6-11 June 2019.
  • Madonna Performs Alongside AR Clones During Billboard Music Awards

    Volumetric capture adds a layer of depth to the pop legends latest performance. Earlier this month Billboard Magazine held its annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada, and while most of us are still swooning over that incredible performance by Korean demigods BTS, pop music icon Madonna is receiving her own fair share of praise

    The post Madonna Performs Alongside AR Clones During Billboard Music Awards appeared first on VRScout.

  • Nike’s iPhone App Will Use AR To Fit Shoes With Sub-2mm Accuracy
    Nike’s iPhone App Will Use AR To Fit Shoes With Sub-2mm Accuracy

    If you’ve ever tried to use augmented reality tools built with Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore to measure real-world objects, you know that you’ll be lucky to get within an inch of their actual sizes — estimates that are of no practical value when measuring, say, shoe sizes for feet. So when Nike (via CNBC) says it has developed technology that will let its eponymous app achieve sub-2-millimeter accuracy in fitting shoes, that’s a big step forward.

    This July, Nike plans to add Nike Fit technology to its iPhone app and some retail stores, using multiple tricks to properly measure any user’s foot. Using a series of photographs, combined with AI and machine learning software, the technology begins by capturing an image of the floor next to a wall and then uses AR to generate a virtual “stand here” dot so you can snap an image of your feet while standing against the wall. Thirteen data points are then used to determine the length and width of each foot, resulting in a shoe size recommendation.

    The word “determine” is more appropriate than “estimate” in this case, because the measurements are — thanks to machine training — accurate to within roughly a millimeter of actual size. That’s more than enough to properly fit a shoe to your needs, and it hints at a future in which other AR developers’ apps will be able to achieve similar measurement precision, at least when presented with solid reference points and after having been properly trained on examples.

    So is shoe-sizing really that big a problem? Nike points to research showing that a staggering three out of five people are wearing the wrong shoe size and also cites the high costs of returning merchandise to retailers. While Nike+ customers can typically return shoes for free, retailers eat shipping and restocking expenses, which indirectly drives prices up.

    Having previously used AR in promotions and to show off new styles in its SNKRS app, Nike is first adding Nike Fit to the standard Nike app and some of its U.S. retail stores; sales associates will handle the scanning for customers in stores. European locations will get the feature later this summer. It’s unclear if and when Android device users will get access to the technology.

    Update: A Nike spokesperson now says that the Android version of the Nike app is expected to be updated alongside the iPhone version in July.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat.

    Tagged with: iPhone App, Nike

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Nike’s iPhone App Will Use AR To Fit Shoes With Sub-2mm Accuracy appeared first on UploadVR.

  • The VR Job Hub: Niantic Labs, Cooperative Innovations and IrisVR You want a job, we've jobs aplenty.
  • ‘Trash Rage’ Blends VR Gaming With Environmental Education

    Sort recyclables to save the Earth in this futuristic gamified learning experience. It’s 2049 and planet Earth is a garbage-filled dump patrolled by hostile robots. Overwhelming trash from unrecycled plastics has made the planet near uninhabitable, so much so that a hostile A.I. has decided that humans don’t deserve this planet and has begun the

    The post ‘Trash Rage’ Blends VR Gaming With Environmental Education appeared first on VRScout.

  • High Fidelity VR Firm Lays Off 25%, Focuses On Virtual Offices
    High Fidelity VR Firm Lays Off 25%, Focuses On Virtual Offices

    Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity and a virtual world pioneer, confirmed that his company has laid off about 25% of its staff, or 20 people, and pivoted to social communications for workers using 3D audio.

    High Fidelity now wants to enable virtual meetings and social online communications, such as people would do in online meetings.

    In an interview with VentureBeat, Rosedale said it was a difficult thing to lay off workers. But he is excited about using 3D audio communication to enable much more fluid workplaces where workers take advantage of spatial communication and online virtual space where they work with others, all of the time.

    For High Fidelity, the big pivot is that this kind of virtual meeting does not have to take place in VR. Rather, it can be a 3D space that is viewable on a desktop computer — much like the original Second Life.

    Above: Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity.

    Image Credit: Creative Commons

    High Fidelity had previously been creating the building blocks of a VR successor Rosedale’s 2003 virtual world, Second Life. He left that company — Linden Lab — some time ago and started High Fidelity about six years ago. The idea was to build the foundations for a virtual world — what many call the “Metaverse” — in VR.

    “Many people call it the “Metaverse”: a successor to the Internet, imagined as a vast set of connected spaces made of living data, where we all spend a lot of our time in the future,” Rosedale said in a blog post today. “A place with amazing avatars, impossible vistas, used for work, school, socializing and entertainment. Sci-fi authors have written many stories about it, each with a genesis myth of how it all came to be.”

    Rosedale said the outlines of the Metaverse are forming. The combination of faster internet and the second generation of VR headsets could eventually lead to a bigger market and richer content. Standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Quest are just beginning to debut.

    But Rosedale said that the technology is still early, and the market is still small. In 2014, he said, he would have predicted that by now, millions of people would have been using VR headsets every day. But the number is now in the tens of thousands.

    Above: High Fidelity previously made entertainment VR such as a virtual dance floor.

    Image Credit: High Fidelity

    “As of today, 2019, we probably still have a few years to wait. VR headsets, even the latest ones, are still not comfortable enough to wear for very long, and still cannot be used to read and write messages, take notes, or do most kinds of work” Rosedale said. “Good AR devices are even further out, given very hard problems like high field-of-view see-through displays and smaller form factors.”

    In the meantime, High Fidelity is taking some of its social technologies and pivoting. The company itself no longer needs its expensive 19,000-square-feet headquarters in San Francisco. And it recently experimented by sending all of its staff home to communicate only via 3D audio headsets

    The post High Fidelity VR Firm Lays Off 25%, Focuses On Virtual Offices appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Erick Tseng Replaces Hugo Barra As Facebook’s VR Product Lead, Jason Rubin’s Role Expands
    Tseng Barra Rubin

    Facebook announced the shift of some of its top VR and AR managers his week. The change comes as Facebook prepares to launch two new Oculus brand VR headsets in the coming weeks with plans for AR glasses in the future.

    Hugo Barra Moves To “AR/VR Partnerships”

    “VP AR/VR Product” Hugo Barra was hired in early 2017 and helped launch the Oculus Go and Oculus Quest standalone headsets. With these projects completed, Barra is going to lead “global AR/VR partnerships”. Barra published a Facebook update stating “with our plans for future generations of VR headsets and our AR glasses roadmap now clearly defined, we are in a position to begin investing more energy and significantly expand our global partner ecosystem for the portfolio, with the goal of vastly increasing the reach of these platforms and getting AR and VR devices into the hands of more people.”

    Erick Tseng Is the New Product Lead

    Replacing Barra as VP of AR/VR Product is Erick Tseng. Tseng was Director of Product Management at Facebook for nine years and led Android product management at Google.

    Jason Rubin’s Role Expands, Mike Verdu Joins

    Jason Rubin’s role is “expanding”. He will continue to lead content, but will also be “exploring the future gaming strategies we should invest in across AR/VR and Facebook.”

    Assisting Rubin is Mike Verdu. Verdu was a Senior VP at EA’s mobile division, and had worked at companies like Zynga, EA Los Angeles, and Atari in the past. He served as product lead for games like Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.

    Verdu will be “working with developers to bring amazing games and other content to the Oculus Rift, Quest, Go, and other devices.”

    Tagged with: facebook

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Erick Tseng Replaces Hugo Barra As Facebook’s VR Product Lead, Jason Rubin’s Role Expands appeared first on UploadVR.

  • SFG Club Introduces VR Foosball to London’s Roof East There's plenty of drinks, street food and games going on at the rooftop experience.
  • Onward’s Next Update Adds ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ For Rift S And WMR Inside-Out Tracking
    onward

    If you’re an Onward player getting an Oculus Rift S or WMR headset you’re in luck- the tactical shooter’s next update will add ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ to help solve the kind of occlusion problems that can occur with inside-out tracked controllers.

    The update will also add support for the Valve Index Controllers as well as improve the game’s lighting, animations, and performance.

    Unlike externally tracked headsets, the Rift S and Windows MR headsets use their onboard cameras to track their controllers, via LEDs under the plastic of the tracking rings. Oculus use infrared LEDs invisible to the eye, while Microsoft uses visible light. The Rift S uses five cameras, whereas Windows MR headsets use two.

    The cameras use wide angled fisheye lenses so can track a fairly wide range, but if a controller is very close under the headset it will be out of that range, or even within range the LEDs will simply be too big to uniquely distinguish.

    Downpour Interactive hasn’t explained yet exactly how ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ will work, but based on the name it sounds like the game could keep your closer hand locked at the position it assumes you’d want it to be in whenever that controller’s tracking is lost due to being too close under the headset.

    Interestingly, this is an issue Oculus CTO John Carmack stated “is being worked on” in the Insight tracking software itself, and noted that he “expects improvements.”

    We tried Onward recently on Rift S. We actually found that two handed interactions like aiming with rifles and reloading worked really well with no noticeable problems, as did drawing the pistol or throwing grenades.

    The problem we did encounter was that when trying to grab items from the shoulder such as the tablet sometimes the game would read grabbing for the right shoulder as grabbing for the left. Reaching upwards first solved this, likely thanks to the top camera. Hopefully future updates to the game or Insight tracking software can solve this problem.

    Onward is one of the three games in VR League, the first and biggest VR esports league. The league is sponsored by Oculus, so Facebook has an interest in making sure the game is fully playable on the Rift S. While VR League currently uses the original Rift in tournaments, it seems likely they will eventually switch to the Rift S once it’s released, as the original Rift is now discontinued.

    Inside-out tracking greatly simplifies setup and allows for lower cost hardware. But as this update shows, its also requires some games to release patches to account for its potential limitations.

    A similar situation arose with the release of Oculus Touch and PlayStation VR in late 2016, where developers added snap turning to account for the front-facing sensors. It’s not clear yet whether there’s a similar universal solution for inside-out, but Onward’s solution gives an example that other shooter developers may follow.

    Tagged with: oculus rift s, onward, Windows MR

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Onward’s Next Update Adds ‘Virtual Gunstock Mode’ For Rift S And WMR Inside-Out Tracking appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Oculus Quest Games Livestream – Standalone VR Is Here!
    oculus quest insight

    We're back with more Oculus Quest live gameplay in today's livestream where we will dive into Vader Immortal, Beat Saber, and more.

    The post Oculus Quest Games Livestream – Standalone VR Is Here! appeared first on UploadVR.

  • 17 Startups to Feature During 2019 Vive X Demo Days The events will take place over the next few weeks.
  • Oculus Go’s Anniversary Sale Offers Savings On Top Apps & Games
    oculus go anniversary sale

    It’s now been over a year since the Oculus Go VR headset was released. At just $199 and fully standalone, the headset opened up a new category of affordable VR and freed mobile VR from the constraints of smartphones.

    In our review, we called it “impressive and important piece of hardware”. Even one year on, there is no competitor to Oculus Go at anywhere close to the same price. This is partly due to Facebook’s partnership with Xiaomi, a company with extensive experience manufacturing high quality consumer electronics at low cost.

    To celebrate this anniversary, the Oculus Store has discounts on Oculus Go apps & games. Here are some of the best currently on sale:

    Titans of Space

    Titans of Space is an educational experience which takes you on a virtual tour of the solar system and beyond. One of the first educational VR experiences, this app proves VR’s value in learning and teaching.

    Titans of Space is 40% off. The regular price of $5 is discounted to $3.

    Wands

    Wands is a 1vs1 multiplayer spellcasting dueler. Its graphics are highly impressive for mobile VR and it supports cross-platform play.

    Wands is 50% off. The regular price of $10 is discounted to $5.

    Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR

    Racket Fury is a sci-fi table tennis game with online multiplayer. While you wouldnt’t think Go’s controller would be capable of this kind of game, the developer has managed to create a compelling experience by interpreting tracking data.

    Racket Fury is 40% off. The regular price of $10 is discounted to $6.

    Gun Club VR

    Gun Club VR is a shooting range game with a large variety of weapons. Think of it as a very basic simplified mobile version of Hotdogs, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades.

    Gun Club is 38% off. The regular price of $8 is discounted to $5.

    Overflight

    Overflight is a WW2 combat flight game with online multiplayer dogfighting. Think of it as a simplified mobile version of War Thunder.

    Overflight is 38% off. The regular price of $8 is discounted to $5.

    Elevator… to the Moon!

    Elevator To the Moon is a comedic puzzle escape room adventure. It’s one of the funniest VR games to date thanks to its colorful voice acting.

    Elevator to the Moon is 60% off. The regular price of $5 is discounted to $2.

    Neverout

    Neverout is an interesting first person puzzle game, using gravity and physics mechanics. Think of it as being in the same genre as games like Antigravity.

    Neverout is 40% off. The regular price of $5 is discounted to $3.

    Death Horizon

    Death Horizon is an intense zombie shooter with lots of blood and gore.

    Death Horizon is 20% off. The regular price of $5 is discounted to $4.

    Tagged with: Oculus Go, oculus store

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Oculus Go’s Anniversary Sale Offers Savings On Top Apps & Games appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Preview: Nevrosa: Primal Ritual – Why all the Spiders? Still rough around the edges, it’s a teasing glimpse of what’s to come.
  • Within Releases First In A Series Of CNNVR News Documentaries

    From May 9th to July 6th, VR media app Within will release five unique CNNVR documentaries. First announced on May 8th, widely available VR media app Within will be home to a series of VR news stories, produced by CNNVR. Each immersive news story will contain first-hand 360-degree coverage of several different events and scenes

    The post Within Releases First In A Series Of CNNVR News Documentaries appeared first on VRScout.