• Vive Wireless Adapter Review: The Best VR Of 2018 Is Too Expensive
    Vive Wireless Adapter Review: The Best VR Of 2018 Is Too Expensive

    HTC’s Vive Pro with the “Vive Wireless Adapter” isn’t exactly wireless.

    On top of your head there is a receiver with a USB cord on the back bringing power up from a battery pack clipped to your clothing. Packaged with a Vive Pro, this add-on is also heavy, bulky, expensive and gets warm on the top of your head from regular usage. And yet, I believe the Vive Pro with Vive Wireless Adapter is the best consumer VR experience on the market in 2018.

    There are still technically a lot of wires involved with the Vive Wireless Adapter.

    The “Vive Wireless Adapter” is $360 or so with the “additional attachment kit” required for Vive Pro on top of what is currently termed the “Vive Pro Starter Kit”, costing around $1,100. That’s two first generation SteamVR Tracking base stations, two controllers, the Vive Pro head-mounted display with integrated audio, WiGig card for your PC, WiGig antenna for your PC, receiver for the Vive Pro, battery pack for your side and an extra pad for the Vive Pro to keep the heat from the receiver away from your head. All that together costs around $1,500. Plus you’ll need a PC that likely costs at least $700 to render the virtual worlds for you to play or work inside. You can cut some money from this investment by going for a regular $500 Vive instead of the Pro, but you’re still looking at around $800 in dedicated VR equipment (not including the PC) to put a single person with hand controllers in an untethered virtual space.

    Games like Beat Saber, Superhot, Creed VR and Space Pirate Trainer play better with the freedom of the Vive Wireless Adapter and Vive Pro than with any tethered headset I’ve tried, and yet we expect most or all of those games to play pretty well on the standalone Oculus Quest as well in 2019. Oculus Quest should cost only $400 per player for a similar (albeit less powerful) overall experience. This means if you skip getting a wireless Vive now in less than nine months you could buy at least two complete Oculus Quest systems for the same price.

    No wires with the $400 standalone Oculus Quest — only safety straps for the controllers. Total cost of the three complete VR systems shown in this photo should be around $1,200 in 2019.

    For a certain segment of our readers, their preference for PC as an open platform not tied to an account managed by Facebook is reason enough to never consider an Oculus-branded VR headset. And for those earlier adopters who’ve already made part of the investment in the Vive ecosystem or prefer to use a powerful PC at the core of their digital life — the wireless Vive Pro should provide the best VR experience of 2018, though we’ll admit to not having tried TPCast since CES at the start of this year.

    Even so, the first takeaway here is that the best consumer VR experience available to buy in 2018 is way more

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  • SuperData Report Predicts Oculus Quest Sales Will Pass 1 Million Sales Next Year Research company SuperData predicts Oculus Quest will be a turning point for VR.
  • Oculus CTO John Carmack Settles Legal Disputes With Bethesda Parent Zenimax
    Oculus CTO John Carmack Settles Legal Disputes With Bethesda Parent Zenimax

    Oculus CTO John Carmack posted on Twitter to announce that the long running legal disputes between himself and Zenimax are now over, and that all claims between the two parties have been released.

    The legal clash between Zenimax and Oculus first emerged in 2014, just after the Facebook acquisition of Oculus, when Zenimax filed a lawsuit claiming that Oculus used Carmack’s VR work created while working for Zenimax, and therefore the intellectual property of Zenimax, in order to develop the Rift. In fact, Zenimax claimed that an NDA that Palmer Luckey had signed as far back as 2012 would cover any of Carmack’s work.

    In 2016, Zenimax expanded their complaint, alleging that John Carmack personally copied Zenimax code to a USB stick for use at Oculus on the Rift, and that Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe had assisted this theft by lying to the press about Palmer Luckey’s inventing skills.

    The case was finally heard before a jury in early 2017, in which Zenimax asked for a total of $6 billion – $2 billion in compensation and $4 billion in damages. While the jury found that Palmer Luckey, Brenan Iribe, and Oculus violated the NDA, for which they had to pay $500 million, they also found that Carmack did not steal trade secrets as Zenimax had claimed.

    My personal legal disputes are over — Zenimax has fully satisfied their obligations to me from the purchase of Id Software, and we have released all claims against each other. (The appeal for Oculus still goes forward)

    — John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) October 11, 2018

    As a response to Zenimax’s legal claims against him, last year Carmack decided to follow Zenimax up on $22.5 million that he claimed was still owed to him from the acquisition of id Software, which he co-founded in the 90’s. id Software produced many of the most significant games of that decade, including Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake, and was acquired by Zenimax in 2009.

    Now this month, Carmack has confirmed that this dispute between himself and Zenimax is over, but mentioned that the case between Zenimax and Oculus is still being appealed. It is uncertain how the Oculus appeal will develop, but we’ll keep you updated once any news emerges.

    Tagged with: Bethesda, john carmack, legal, oculus, zenimax

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  • Low-End PCs Will Be Better Able to Hand VR With Steam VR Update HTC Vive users will be able to take advantage of a Beta feature to lower performance requirements.
  • NVIDIA Launches VRWorks 360 Video SDK 2.0 More support, faster stitching, better recording and streaming
  • Stand Up To Cancer Launches VR Films Starring UK Celebrities Stephen Fry, Danny Dyer and Olivia Colman, among others, star in VR films about cancer research.
  • Voxel Shooter Xion Rolls Out To Oculus Rift Globally, Releases Version 1.04 Make your ship. Pilot your ship. Make a lot of things go 'kaboom'.
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  • Ludenso Unveils MagiMask AR Headset & Tracking System For $99 USD

    MagiMask ditches split screen stereoscopic AR in favor of a unique full screen viewing experience. Your standard headset-based augmented reality experience utilizes split-screen stereoscopic rendering to project two identical images for each eye. This creates a sense of 3D-depth when viewed through specially-designed lenses. MagiMask, a new AR headset from Norwegian-based start-up Ludenso, hopes to

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  • RYOT, Kaleidoscope and Oculus Announces DevLab 2018 VR and AR creators can now apply to be part of the DevLab 2018 incubator.
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  • HTC Vive Gets ASW-Like ‘Motion Smoothing’ For Low Specification PCs
    HTC Vive Gets ASW-Like ‘Motion Smoothing’ For Low Specification PCs

    One of the Oculus Rift’s most helpful features is Asynchronous SpaceWarp (ASW), first introduced in late 2016. HTC Vive owners have been asking Valve, which makes the software for the HTC Vive, for an equivalent. A new feature delivered with the SteamVR Beta called ‘Motion Smoothing’ looks like it could be the answer.

    Motion Smoothing works very much like ASW. When you’re not meeting (or near) 90FPS in VR, Motion Smoothing will kick in automatically. Motion Smoothing will force the running game/app to render at 45FPS, then generate a synthetic frame in between each real frame, extrapolating from image and the headset tracking data for a total of 90FPS. Half the frames will be “real” and half “synthetic”. Whenever your graphics card has enough free resources to achieve 90FPS normally, Motion Smoothing will automatically disengage and you will return to true 90FPS.

    While Motion Smoothing appears to be a direct equivalent to Oculus’ ASW 1.0, Oculus recently announced ASW 2.0, which promises to reduce the kind of artifacts that can be seen by only using the color buffer by also using the depth buffer, which apps can send to the Oculus software. Valve have not indicated whether they are going to add this extra layer in Motion Smoothing.

    Motion Smoothing should allow lower end systems to use the HTC Vive, and for higher end systems to better run demanding games like simulators in which framerate can fall even on the strongest of PCs. When Oculus introduced ASW they added a new “minimum specification” for the computer needed to run the Rift, allowing GPUs like the GTX 1050 Ti and GTX 960, but it is not yet known whether HTC will make a similar move when Motion Smoothing comes out of beta.

    Tagged with: asw, steam, SteamVR, valve

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  • Camera IQ Launches Solution for Programmatic AR Advertising Camera IQ announces platform for end-to-end AR content for advertising.