• Preview: In&Out – Keeping the Party Going With Some Social VR Oculus Go’s local VR multiplayer expands to a second screen.
  • Synaptics Announce Technology for 2K VR Displays VR displays of 2K per-eye with up to 1,000 PPI may be possible wit new technology from Synaptics Incorporated.
  • Oculus Rift/HTC Vive Gap Widens In August Steam Hardware Survey Results
    Oculus Rift/HTC Vive Gap Widens In August Steam Hardware Survey Results

    August’s Steam hardware survey results are now in, and the Oculus Rift takes its biggest leap over the HTC Vive yet.

    Last month’s survey showed less than a 2% difference in the usage of the two leading PC VR headsets on Valve’s gaming platform, but that gap grew to just under 4% in August. Vive came in with 42.58% of the total share (down from 44.35% last month) and Rift took home 47.11% (slightly up from 46.18%). Valve also deemed Rift the most popular VR headset in use on its platform by 0.35%. Could the launch of Oculus’ Marvel: Powers United VR bundle have given the headset a boost in any way?

    It looks like Microsoft’s Windows VR headsets will have had a part to play in that gap widening, as its share jumped from 6.41% to 7.18% this month too. This category covers a broad range of devices, many of which are regularly put on sale for prices well below the $499 Vive and $399 Rift, which has no doubt been helping them creep up the chart since launch last year.

    The Hardware Survey is an optional survey that collects data about the hardware customers are using. Given that it’s opt-in and requires users to actually use their headsets instead of simply saying they own them, it’s by no means a definitive way of telling which VR headset is in the lead, though it does give you a hint as to some overall trends. Since launching in early 2016 neither Oculus nor HTC has provided official sales data for their respective headsets.

    September brings a handful of big releases like Zone of the Enders 2 to Rift and Vive, though nothing that looks like it could really boost headset sales. All eyes will be on Oculus Connect 5 at the end of the month to see what Facebook’s VR team introduces to the future of VR hardware.

    Tagged with: htc vive, oculus rift

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  • Skyfront VR Developer Talks Maps, Customisation and Leaving Early Access Skyfront VR developers say the title is almost ready for full release, what can players expect from the final version?
  • Sony CEO on VR: ‘You Will See The Change And Improvement’
    Sony CEO on VR: ‘You Will See The Change And Improvement’

    Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida is confident that issues with current VR headsets will be improved upon in the future.

    Speaking to The Independent at the IFA technology conference in Berlin last week, Yoshida outlined many of the common problems with early VR headsets like the company’s own PlayStation VR (PSVR), noting that the tech was “still evolving” at the moment. He noted that the inability to see the world around you when in VR could be “a little bit dangerous” and that motion sickness was still prevalent.

    “So there is a lot of room of room to improve in VR experiences and you will see the change and the improvement,” Yoshida said.

    Yoshida’s comments weren’t specific to PSVR itself, but his words were certainly relevant to the headset, which features a limited 180 degree tracking system for its motion controllers. We’ve got our fingers crossed that the company is planning to improve upon that feature and many, many others in a successor to PSVR, if the company ever decides to make one. The Sony-backed Japan Display Inc already showcased a hugely promising new VR display at the SID Display Week earlier in the year.

    Also during the interview, Yoshida noted that mixed reality technology was “one potential evolution of VR”, likely referring to headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens and the recently-launched Magic Leap One. That makes us wonder if Sony has any of its own experiments going on in that space right now and if they could at all be linked to the PlayStation brand. As PS4 enters the later stages of its lifecycle and speculation about a possible PS5 begins to ramp up we’ll be very interested to see where the company also takes this tech.

    Tagged with: PSVR

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  • Virgin Atlantic Turn to AR For Training Cabin Crew Cabin crew can familiarise themselves with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner before they ever get on board.
  • Virtual Reality Surgical System Comes to Children’s National Hospital A cutting-edge VR system has been gifted to a children's hospital in Washington D.C.
  • Life In 360°: Spawning "This is the story of a creature that is doing well."
  • VR Film Follows The First Female Shaman Of The Yawanawá People

    Emmy® Award winning filmmaker Lynette Wallworth captures an Amazonian tribe as they make an historic transition to their first female shaman. 100-year-old Tata has experienced his fair share of difficulties throughout his time as Shaman of the Yawanawá people. Years of invasive missionaries and slavery by rubber trappers had nearly extinguished the Yawanawá culture, losing

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  • The Great C by Philip K. Dick Makes For A Cinematic VR Short Story
    The Great C by Philip K. Dick Makes For A Cinematic VR Short Story

    Entertainment One’s Secret Location is showing off its virtual reality film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story The Great C at the Venice film festival today.

    I saw the first part of the cinematic virtual reality (VR) narrative in a demo with the leaders of Toronto-based Secret Location. The full 30-minute film will debut in September, and it has a poignant storyline, a beautifully animated environment, and a moving soundtrack.

    The Great C will transport viewers to a post-apocalyptic landscape in which the remnants of humanity are ruled over by an all-powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer known as the Great C. Each year, the nearby village is forced to send a young person on a pilgrimage to appease the mysterious machine — a journey from which no one ever returns.

    The story follows Clare, a young woman who finds her life upended when her fiancé is summoned for the annual pilgrimage. Forced to leave the safe confines of her village, Clare has to decide whether to accept the rules of this harsh society or fight against the oppressive reality of her world. The film spans 20 virtual environments. I asked the developers why they decided to create a film, even though they made all of the assets necessary for an interactive VR game.

    “Our position has been how do we use the medium and try to do something unique with it, like cinematic VR,” said Ryan Andal, president and cofounder of Secret Location, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to push the medium forward enough so that it can inspire other people to take risks about what is comfortable or not comfortable in VR.”

    Andal said that The Great C’s story has a strong narrative on a single path, which makes it better as a linear cinematic story within VR. As a game, it probably wouldn’t offer enough choice for the player to change the outcome of the story.

    With The Great C, Secret Location wants to push the boundaries of cinematic experiences by utilizing film techniques in areas such as editing, composition, and story structure and adapting them for a new medium, making VR feel visceral. This cinematic language is melded with real-time, room-scale characters and environments to engage audiences in a storytelling style tailor-made for VR.

    Dick is the author behind stories such as The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — the latter of which inspired the classic movie Blade Runner. The Great C will be the first-ever adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story into VR.

    “We are fans of Philip K. Dick’s work and wanted to do something that was obtainable and fed the sci-fi fervor for VR,” Andal said. “This story was not tightly described, and that was appealing to us. There’s also an interpretation that we have on the ending that is different.”

    The title will be available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. It took about nine months or so to make The Great C.

    Toronto-based Secret Location produced The Great C with the support of the Canadian Media Fund. Secret Location was founded in 2009 as a services company. Four years

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  • Journey To The Polar Regions In Subnautica Below Zero, A New Standalone Expansion The popular underwater survival videogame is getting a new stand-alone expansion later this year.
  • Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses
    Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses

    Epson has found a new use for its Moverio augmented reality glasses: flying drones with its new Epson Drone Soar augmented reality app.

    Epson is releasing the app today to make it easier for drone pilots to navigate the skies while keeping the drone in full view. That’s because you see through the glass to the drone and keep an eye on the glasses’ heads-up display at the same time.

    Creative agency YML designed the drone AR app to work with the Epson Moverio BT-300 AR glasses, and I tried it out with a DJI drone in a demo at the SF Drone School on Treasure Island. You can see what the experience was like in both videos embedded in this story.

    AR is a promising new technology with a wide array of applications, but it has been slow to take off, and so companies like Epson are putting in a lot of engineering and resources to make apps that can help with consumer adoption.

    In this case, Epson’s Moverio AR smart eyewear platform works with the Epson Drone Soar app for DJI drone pilots using the Epson Moverio AR smart glasses platform. It provides AR content, flight telemetry data, and video feed monitoring. I was able to use wear the glasses and see both the drone and an overlay on the screen at the same time. Werner von Stein, founder of the SF Drone School on Treasure Island, gave me a few pointers on how to fly. He got the drone up in the air, and then he handed the controls over to me. (Out on Treasure Island, you can fly drones freely, whereas most other urban areas there are restrictions.)

    Epson has been making Moverio AR smart glasses for seven years. A few years ago, it identified drone piloting as a good use case for the glasses. Normally, drones such as the DJI model I flew require you to insert a smartphone or tablet into the controller. But that means that the pilot has to look down to see the drone’s camera view, and then look up to see which direction the drone is actually flying. That makes it very hard to stay on a course or make a maneuver accurately, said Leon Laroue, Epson technical product manager for AR, in an interview with VentureBeat.

    On top of that, if there’s bright sunlight, all you see is glare when you look at the smartphone screen. With the Moverio glasses, Laroue clipped on some sunshades and I was able to see much better, looking straight at my drone through the glasses.

    “With our glasses and our new app, you can now see exactly where you need to fly,” Laroue said.

    Redwood Shores, California-based YML made the app exclusively for the Epson Moverio BT-300 (FPV/Drone Edition). It had to figure out how to create a user interface that worked for pilots, giving them the right amount of data in real time to assist with navigation. You can do things like adjust the camera settings, brightness, and shutter settings or toggle between transparent and first-person modes without ever having

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  • Speakers Announced For The VR/AR Global Summit 2018 Speakers at the event come from the likes of HP, Intel and Microsoft and more.
  • The Dreams Of Dali Comes To Viveport Immerse yourself within the surreal world of Salvador Dalí, now available on Viveport.
  • The Nun Uses VR To Scare Viewers In A Twisted Prank The immersive power of virtual reality is put to use to scare fans ahead of the films release.