News

  • New Sony Patent Reveals PlayStation VR Motion Sickness Technology The company is looking to help reduce the impact of motion sickness on users of virtual reality experiences.
  • Killing Floor: Incursion Dev to Publish VR Stealth Experience Espire 1: VR Operative The title is scheduled to arrive in 2019.
  • Dreamscape Immersive Aims For Global Expansion, Takes On Two New Senior Vice Presidents The makers of Alien Zoo are looking at the bigger picture.
  • Walmart Buys 17,000 Oculus Go Headsets For Worker Training
    Walmart Buys 17,000 Oculus Go Headsets For Worker Training

    Walmart and VR startup STRIVR are expanding a partnership and distributing Oculus Go headsets for worker training at every store.

    The roll out should see 17,000 Oculus Go headsets distributed to Walmart stores for employee training — four going to every Supercenter and two heading to each Neighborhood Market or Discount Store before the year is out. The standalone VR headsets can be used with more than “45 activity-based modules” for training Walmart associates in “new technology, soft skills like empathy and customer service, and compliance.”

    Walmart kicked off its program with STRIVR last year after the startup showed early adoption with athletic training through scenes captured from the real world and shown in a VR headset. A quarterback could get extra play repetitions without leaving the house and a skier could train for the Olympics without needing to be on the mountain.

    With Walmart, the company pilot tested this summer training associates how to load the new “Pickup Tower” which allows customers to pick up online orders without interacting with another human being.

    “VR is allowing associates to be trained before the towers are even installed – no teachers required,” a Walmart blog post reads. VR is said to boost “confidence and retention while improving test scores 10 to 15 percent,” according to Walmart’s Andy Trainor, who directs training.

    The latest effort could introduce 1 million Walmart store workers to standalone virtual reality powered by Facebook. The 17,000 headsets, at roughly $200 each, is an investment of less than $3.5 million in hardware plus STRIVR’s training program. That isn’t exactly a large expense for an operation of Walmart’s scale, so if this project is successful we might see other companies following suit.

    And if employees actually enjoy the training via VR headset? Facebook just showed workers at the largest employer and retailer in the United States why one might want to buy an Oculus VR headset. Come 2019 when a different class of standalone arrives capable of playing must-have games like Beat Saber and Superhot, Walmart might have a lot of employees ready to speak to customers from personal experience.

    That’s certainly one way to get one billion people into VR I hadn’t considered before.

    Tagged with: STRIVR, walmart

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  • Start-Up Firm Illumix Reveals Technology for Dynamic AR Videogames Silicon Valley start-up company announces AR technology that dynamically reacts to user environment.
  • Oxford VR Secure £3.2 Million In Funding To Bring Clinically Validated VR Treatments To Market The spinout of the University of Oxford will use the funding to bolster growth.
  • UK Competition for Immersive Content By UK Organisations Launching Soon UK organisations have a chance to apply for a share in up to £8m of funding thanks to a competition by Innovate UK.
  • Zurich-based WayRay Receives $80 Million From Porsche, Alibaba, More, To Bring AR To Automobile Industry More investment, this time even more significant.
  • Pixar Magic: How Magnopus Brought The Wonder Of Coco To Life In VR
    Pixar Magic: How Magnopus Brought The Wonder Of Coco To Life In VR

    “Pixar originally didn’t want to do the project because they didn’t think we could hit the quality bar that they found acceptable,” said Ben Grossman, Co-Founder of Magnopus. “We had to prove ourselves.”

    And they did just that. Magnopus is a visual effect and experience company founded by people that have decades of experience, awards, and creativity. The Google meta description for their website explains that they aim to “tell stories without borders” and the “What” page of the site states that they’re “creating the impossible by any means necessary.”

    What better way to do that than with the immersive power of virtual reality?

    Greatest Work

    “All new employees at Magnopus are told that, regardless of the problem or how new they are, that they have the power to raise their hand and say that something isn’t good enough,” said Grossman.

    From what I’ve heard in talking to people from Disney and Pixar, that’s very much along the lines of the same ideas those companies preach. Walt Disney himself once famously said, “Whatever you do, do it well,” and that feels like it’s ingrained into the DNA of not only Pixar and Disney as companies, but Magnopus as well. They may not be the household name that Pixar is, but it doesn’t mean that their work isn’t of award-worthy quality already.

    In fact, Magnopus has already earned three different Emmy award nominations for its projects in the VR arena (Mission: ISS, Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab, and Coco VR) and it’s only a matter of time before one of them takes home the prize.

    “Our secret sauce is all the projects that you haven’t seen,” said Alex Henning, another Co-Founder of Magnopus in an interview. “Being willing to iterate a lot and to try a lot of things early, to fail fast as it were and build up our knowledge as quickly as possible by tackling real world challenges.”

    During our chat Grossman told me that “Magnopus” is a portmanteau of the Latin words for “greatest work” (Magnum Opus) and they’ve built their entire company around that mantra. And they’re focusing so heavily on VR because they see it as the future of entertainment — at least until something better comes along.

    “We want to take people beyond the movie theater,” said Grossman. “We founded Magnopus right around when Oculus was getting out of Kickstarter and started out very quietly. We’ve stayed quiet. All the time people spend talking at conferences is time not spent actually pushing things forward. You could just go build it.”

    Each of Magnopus’ three major VR projects to date (listed above) have been about not just replicating things you can see elsewhere, but rather putting you inside of an experience that transports you. Instead of re-enacting or watching a scene from the recent Blade Runner film, the Memory Lab experience gives you total freedom. Instead of walking through the land of the dead as Coco, you actually become one of the skeletons with full customization in a multiplayer sandbox environment. And Mission: ISS

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  • Valve Unveils Third Evolution Of Knuckles Controllers

    The EV3 devkit features an improved battery life, better ergonomics, and an overall stronger design. In an official blog post made earlier today, Valve revealed its Knuckles EV3 devkit, the third iteration of the companies original 2016 design. A smaller upgrade when compared to the massive changes brought on by the EV2 model, this latest

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  • Apprentice.io Secures Multi-Million Dollar Series A Funding US AR and A.I. firm looks to the future,
  • First-Person Angry Birds Game Announced For Magic Leap One

    One mobile gaming’s most prolific franchises arrives on the Magic Leap One this fall. Since the launch of its first game in 2009, popular mobile franchise Angry Birds has received an astonishing 17 different releases, 4 spin-off games, a comic book series, even an animated film voiced by a cast of A-list celebrities.  Now the

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  • Size Up Your Baggage With Kayak’s new AR Feature Don't get caught out at the airport again.
  • ‘Firefox Reality’ Web Browser Now Available On Oculus, Viveport & Daydream

    Mozilla Firefox arrives on VR & AR headsets as an open-source, cross-platform browser tailor built for immersive content. Earlier this year the Mozilla Corporation announced plans for a powerful new version of their popular Firefox browser tailored specifically for web-based mixed reality content on standalone VR & AR headsets. We’ve since been waiting five grueling

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  • Slime Rancher to Get Free VR Update This Fall The VR version will have unique elements to the original.