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  • John Carmack: ‘I Intend To Stay At Facebook After Oculus Quest Launch’
    John Carmack: ‘I Intend To Stay At Facebook After Oculus Quest Launch’

    With yesterday’s news that Brendan Iribe has parted ways with Oculus, two of the VR company’s key figureheads have left in the past 18 months. However, another major player doesn’t appear to have any plans to follow suit.

    Replying to UploadVR’s Ian Hamilton on Twitter, Oculus CTO John Carmack confirmed that he doesn’t intend to leave Facebook following the upcoming launch of its latest headset, Oculus Quest. The kit is coming next spring for $399.

    I do intend to stay at Facebook past the launch of Oculus Quest. https://t.co/a4T9BLK4A3

    — John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) October 22, 2018

    Both Iribe and Oculus co-founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey left Facebook under the shadow of a 2017 courtroom battle between their company and ZeniMax Media. The latter claimed that Carmack himself had stolen technology from ZeniMax-owned Bethesda when moving from one of its studios, id Software, to Oculus in 2013. Oculus has since halved the $500 million jury decision it was ordered to pay ZeniMax to $250 million, while Carmack last week announced that he had settled his own personal disputes with ZeniMax, launched following the courtroom drama.

    Another Oculus co-founder, Nate Mitchell, is staying with the company to head up its PC team, though we haven’t heard from other key players such as Michael Abrash.

    Since joining Oculus, Carmack has primarily concerned himself with the development of the company’s mobile headsets and compatible apps, including Gear VR, Oculus Go and now Quest. He dedicated a good portion of his talk at last month’s Oculus Connect 5 keynote to the latter device, which is Facebook’s first to support inside-out tracking.

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  • Oculus Rift Discontinues Support for Movie Rentals and Purchases You'll still be able to watch them until 20th November.
  • Bait! Developer Resolution Games Secures $7.5 million in Series B Funding Round The studio is now valued at $87.5 million.
  • Original Samsung Odyssey Down to $350 As Odyssey+ Supposedly Launches
    Original Samsung Odyssey Down to $350 As Odyssey+ Supposedly Launches

    Yesterday we reported that Samsung had finally revealed its long-rumored Samsung Odyssey+, an upgraded version of its Windows VR headset. At the time, we didn’t know when the headset was actually due to release. Well, it’s actually available now. Or at least Samsung says it is.

    The company listed an October 22nd release date for the device in a recent blog post announcing the headset. Apparently it’s available via both Samsung’s online store and the Microsoft store. The only problem is we can’t actually find it on the latter platform and the former doesn’t allow us to purchase it, either. No doubt availability will crop up online in the coming days and weeks, so best keep your eyes on both outlets.

    Odyssey+ will also be coming to Korea, China, Hong Kong and Brazil at a later date, though once again Samsung isn’t listing Europe for release. The original Odyssey never came to the region and it looks like the same will be true here, but we’ve reached out to Samsung to confirm this.

    Finally, there’s good news if you were thinking of getting the original Odyssey; it’s down to $349.99 on the Microsoft Store, which is an absolute bargain for its inside-out tracking system and 1440 x 1600 display resolution. What you won’t be getting is Samsung’s new anti-screen door effect (SDE) filter, which gives Odyssey+ users a clearer image inside the headset. We haven’t seen the filter applied within the headset itself yet, but the prototype display we viewed earlier this year was at least promising. The kit’s a little lighter, too, for what it’s worth.

    Elsewhere in Samsung land, the company recently confirmed that it’s working on a hybrid VR/AR device. The Samsung Odyssey++, perhaps?

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  • Crytek Details What to Expect When The Climb Arrives For Oculus Quest It'll be a launch day title for the standalone headset.
  • Neon Wasteland Is A Gory Animated AR Comic Book
    Neon Wasteland Is A Gory Animated AR Comic Book

    We’ve seen plenty of ideas for how comic books can be reimagined in VR, but what about AR? Neon Wasteland has one interesting approach.

    Created by Rob Shields, Neon Wasteland is a cyberpunk-themed book that uses markers in a real comic to bring the panels to life through your iOS or Android smartphone. Simply point your phone at the pages and you’ll see animated versions of the illustrations, including gory head explosions and slick action sequences. It reminds us a little of will.i.am’s Masters of the Sun.

    Better yet, you’ll be able to make choices within the app that actually change the course of the comic’s story and alter the panels you see. Set in the year 2088, Neon Wasteland depicts a world in which many humans have sort immortality through a digital metaverse and those that remain must survive on a ruined Earth.

    Outside of the book, the free app will also offer bonus features allowing you to explore environments in more detail and even interact with characters from the story.

    Neon Wasteland has already surpassed a Kickstarter crowd-funding goal of $4,275 for its first issue (it’s raised $6,055 at the time of writing). You can get a digital copy of the book, which is expected to ship in May 2019, for $10, whilst a physical version is going for $15. The latter also comes with a limited edition print that will also include AR animation. Backer pledges reach all the way up to $1,000, which includes a Hardcore edition that gets you in the book.

    The idea behind this is definitely interesting, though we can’t help but think it will have more use once the tech reaches head-mounted AR devices like HoloLens and Magic Leap. Hopefully Neon Wasteland can find its way there in the future, too.

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  • TeamViewer Announces New Augmented Reality Capabilities TeamViewer introduce TeamViewer Pilot, an AR solution for remote support.
  • Oculus Co-Founder Said To Be Leaving Facebook Brenden Iribe announces departure from Facebook as rumours circulate of cancellation of Oculus Rift 2.
  • Oculus Rift No Longer Supports Movie Rentals And Purchases
    Oculus Rift No Longer Supports Movie Rentals And Purchases

    Did you know you could rent and purchase movies through your Oculus Rift? Like normal, big blockbusters and the like? Well, you could… until yesterday.

    Amid news that former CEO Brendan Iribe was parting ways with the company, Oculus sent out an email to Rift owners letting them know that they would no longer be able to purchase and rent movies on their headset. Anyone that purchased any such content over the past two and a half years will have that money reimbursed, which probably tells you how many people actually used it.

    The email sent to Rift owners reads: “Over the years, we’ve seen how people use VR for everything from gaming to movies, and it’s become clear that while people love to stream immersive media on other devices, Rift is used primarily for gaming. These insights inform how we support new and existing features and apps across the platform.”

    Movie rentals and purchases were first introduced for Gear VR at an Oculus Connect keynote a few years back, allowing you to watch the latest releases on a virtual screen. It’s not clear if this closure also extends to Gear VR, but Variety reports that they are being kept alive on Oculus Go. We’ve reached out to Oculus to clarify.

    Either way, there’s still plenty to watch on your Rift, be it 360-degree videos or full VR movies as well as traditional content from apps like Hulu.

    Are you upset at the loss of movie rentals and purchases on Rift? Or did you ever even buy anything?

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  • Fantamstick Launches Multiplayer Educational AR App Math Ninja AR – Battle With Boxes launches on iOS.
  • The Fourth VR Diversity Initiative Displays the Potential of Practical VR Workshops Tech and VR novices learned how to film 360, design in VR and build in VR software Unity in a single day.
  • Bait!, Angry Birds AR Dev Resolution Games Raises $7.5 Million
    Bait!, Angry Birds AR Dev Resolution Games Raises $7.5 Million

    It’s more good news for Resolution Games, the VR and AR developer co-founded by Candy Crush Saga creator Tommy Palm.

    The company today announced that it has raised $7.5 million in a series B round of investment led by MizMaa Ventures with participation from GP Bullhound, Fly Forever and Unity founder David Helgason. Previous investors also contributed to the recent round, which brings the Sweden-based developer’s total funding to $13.5 million.

    The studio says it will use this money to “expand its portfolio” of games for both VR and AR hardware.

    Resolution has had a pretty busy few years, starting out with a free solitaire game on Gear VR before launching its popular Bait! fishing series, which has enjoyed VR and AR entries and even a minigame inside Facebook’s Spaces social VR platform. Since then the studio has released Google Daydream titles like Wonderglade and Narrows but, more recently, launched an AR version of Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise on the Magic Leap One.

    “With the amount of interest we’re seeing from the industry around our titles, coupled with the exciting new platforms like the Oculus Quest coming to market, we foresee larger volumes of players and a viable multiplayer market,” Palm said in a prepared statement. “Needless to say, these are exciting times.”

    It sounds like we might be seeing some Resolution titles on Quest, then.

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  • Fraunhofer Demonstrates VR Microdisplay Prototype European R&D firm shows how the future of VR might involve microdisplays.
  • Epson Demonstrates Use of Moverio AR Smart Glasses At PhotoPlus Expo Epson will be showcasing how Moverio AR smart glasses can be used for drone photography.
  • Community Download: What Would You Want Out Of A Rift 2?
    Community Download: What Would You Want Out Of A Rift 2?

    Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate.

    Tons of technology companies around the world are actively working on VR whether it be from a software or hardware perspective. HTC has already released both the standard Vive and Vive Pro headsets and even Sony did a small update to the PSVR — as well as Samsung’s new iteration of the Gear  VR. Facebook has stayed awfully quiet about future Rift plans, though.

    After the announcement that Brendan Iribe is officially leaving Oculus, rumors swirled about the cancellation of a ‘Rift 2’ PC-based VR headset. Facebook has since stated that future versions of Rift are still coming, but didn’t provide any details beyond that.

    Oculus has always been notoriously tight-lipped about not only sales figures, but also its product roadmap. At Oculus Connect 5 we learned a bit about the company’s long-term vision in regards to a three-pronged approach with the Oculus Go, Oculus Quest, and Oculus Rift.

    Ultimately, the question boils down to this: What would you want out of a Rift 2 or the next version of the Rift? As a consumer, what would you prefer — waiting longer for a bigger upgrade (foveated rendering, built-in wireless, wider FOV and higher resolution) or would you rather have a small upgrade in the near-term that only improves things marginally, like the Vive Pro.

    Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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