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  • Magic Leap CEO Interview: For $2,295, Start Living 10 Years Ahead Of Everyone Else
    Magic Leap CEO Interview: For $2,295, Start Living 10 Years Ahead Of Everyone Else

    Magic Leap is taking orders for its first product, the $2,295 Magic Leap One Creator Edition augmented reality glasses. It superimposes computer-animated imagery on the world to augment what you can see with your own eyes.

    CEO Rony Abovitz has been waiting for this day for a long time — since he started Magic Leap in his garage in Florida back in 2010. He saw an explosion of expectations and hype after Google invested more than $500 million in the company, raising expectations for AR and mixed reality.

    He used that to raise more than $2.3 billion and hire 1,500 employees. But there’s bound to be a letdown at some point, and the reality is that these kinds of big leap innovations still cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to develop and get to the market.

    The Magic Leap One Creator Edition costs less than Microsoft’s rival HoloLens AR glasses ($3,000 to $5,000), but it will cost far above typical consumer devices. Abovitz said that the initial product is for creators and enterprises, and the company is already working on future products that will show more improvements and more applicability for consumers.

    Abovitz sees Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses as the next-generation computing platform — using computer vision, light-field technology and spatialized audio, in concert with the human brain. I interviewed him today about that vision.

    Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    Above: Founder and CEO of Magic Leap Rony Abovitz.

    Image Credit: Brian Ach—Getty Images for Wired

    VentureBeat: How are you feeling about your launch today? 

    Rony Abovitz: I’m recovering from a number of days of no sleep, but feeling good. We’re really happy.

    VentureBeat: Can you tell me about some of the biggest decisions that got you to this point?

    Abovitz: Probably the biggest decision — I started up a company around robotic surgery and went public in 2008. About three years after that we were successful. Things were going well. I was pretty content and happy. I said, “I need to do something super challenging again.” I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start working late at night on my next project.

    That decision to start something new and bigger and more ambitious, to try to change all of computing, was a bit nuts. It’s like Bilbo Baggins having to step out of the Shire. Off you go and there’s dragons. But that was probably the biggest decision, just to go and do this.

    VentureBeat: It looks like there are a lot of tradeoffs you have to make given where computing power is at this point, if you want to ship something relatively affordable.

    Abovitz: I grew up with computers. There was never a time when there was no computer in my life. I just grew up seeing those decisions over time. I had a 128K Mac when I was a kid. I had one of the first Ataris. I saw all those things evolve. All the people I admired did the best they could do at that moment in time with design and compute. They

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  • AltspaceVR Lets You Build Your Own Sharable Space In Virtual Reality
    AltspaceVR Lets You Build Your Own Sharable Space In Virtual Reality

    AltspaceVR has released tools to let users create their own sharable spaces in virtual reality.

    It uses a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to place objects in a 3D space using AltspaceVR-compatible headsets — including Oculus Go and Gear VR. It’s one of the first major upgrades since Microsoft acquired the social VR platform.

    If you save the space, you can invite others to join it.

    “This is step one of a greater plan to make sure our community can help build AltspaceVR with us,” said Katie Kelly, head of engagement for AltspaceVR, in a blog post. “Today our community will have basic kits that they can use to build their environment. We’ll aim to release more kits so folks can have more options to
    customize their world.”

    You can choose a kit based on popular environments, Campfire and Origin, or make it your own. You can also attend a world-building event to connect with the design community. AltspaceVR will feature the best worlds and let you share your own world on Twitter or Facebook.

    If you want, you can host multiplayer social games in VR, import your in-world photography snaps, and include teleporters to common spaces. You can give your world a name, a profile picture, and choose a starting environment. Templates include: ​Base Worlds and SDK Playground Worlds.

    This post by Dean Takahashi originally appeared on VentureBeat.

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  • Artist’s AR Exhibit Shows Two Sides Of The Same Reality

    Adobe’s artist in residence explains how augmented reality proved to be the perfect medium to express herself.   Growing up as a Chinese immigrant in Oakland, California, Estella Tse recalls her struggle having to navigate between her strict, traditional heritage – and her more liberal American upbringing, which encouraged individualism and freedom of expression. Art,

    The post Artist’s AR Exhibit Shows Two Sides Of The Same Reality appeared first on VRScout.

  • Livestream: New VR Releases For The Week Of 08/05/18
    Livestream: New VR Releases For The Week Of 08/05/18

    Today we are starting a new series here at UploadVR: every Friday we’re going to livestream an assortment of new VR releases from that week! This means that every single Friday you can tune in over on the UploadVR Facebook page to catch an hour (or more) of freshly picked new VR content pulled directly from Steam, Oculus Home, and PSN.

    On a related note, make sure you check out our highlighted release lists of the biggest new launches on both PC VR (Rift, Vive, and Windows VR) and PSVR.

    Since this is our first edition, we’re throwing in an extra game this week from a couple of weeks ago that we’ve been wanting to showcase and never had the time for. Specifically, we plan on showing off the new VR support for the PC version of Megaton Rainfall, a quirky VR art app called Museum of Symmetry, a simple archery shooter called Dungeon Rush, Electronauts from Survios, and a handful of other titles.

    We’ll be livestreaming this week’s newest VR releases on HTC Vive today and monitoring chat using OVRdrop while in VR. The stream will be starting soon at approximately 3:30 PM PT and we’ll aim to last for about an hour or so. We’ll be livestreaming directly to the UploadVR Facebook page. You can see the full stream embedded right here down below once it’s up:

    New VR Releases Livestream For Week Of 08/05/18

    Join us for our new weekly series focused on highlighting an assortment of the week's new VR releases!For today, we'll be a VR DJ, expert archer, tourist at a wacky museum, and even a tiny little baby!

    Posted by UploadVR on Friday, August 10, 2018

    You can see our archived streams all in this one handy Livestream playlist over on the official UploadVR YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to by the way). All future and current streams will be on Facebook, which you can see a list of here.

    Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and what you want to see us do, specifically, in other VR games. Comment with feedback down below!

    Tagged with: livestream, new releases

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  • The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18
    The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18

    A healthy week of intriguing releases awaits you today. We’ve got the long-awaited VR port of a great superhero game, the latest from the developer of Raw Data and a frankly out of this world surrealist experience.

    Megaton Rainfall, from Pentadimensional Games
    Price: $15.99 (Rift, Vive)

    The excellent Superman simulator finally makes its way to PC VR. In Megaton Rainfall you must defend a procedurally generated planet from an alien invasion. Rather than having your own health bar, though, you must prevent as much damage to the cities as possible by killing enemies quickly with carefully-aimed shots. It’s a little dizzying but absolutely exhilarating.

    Electronauts, from Survios
    Price: $19.99 (Rift, Vive)

    Sprint Vector developer Survios returns with an entirely different type of experience. Electronauts is a VR music mixer that uses smart interactions to produce a strikingly natural experience. The music might not be suited to your tastes but it’s hard not to feel the groove as you start playing around with this audible feast.

    Museum of Symmetry, from Casa Rare
    Price: Free (Vive)

    This has to be one of the most unique VR experiences we’ve seen in a while. Journey through the mind of cartoonish Paloma Dawkins in this surreal tour of some incredible animations. It’s the kind of thing you should definitely check out when you have a spare 10 minutes of VR time.

    Futurejam, from 2049VR
    Price: $9.99 (Rift, Vive, Windows VR)

    This is basically Beat Saber meets Guitar Hero, except you’ve got drum sticks instead of lightsabers. There’s really no other way to describe it. If you like music-based rhythm games and you like VR, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s an Early Access launch right now with licensed tracks from “real-life house and trance artists” that will be expanded more over time.

    Tagged with: Electronauts, Megaton Rainfall

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  • Hands-On: Magic Leap One Creator Edition Is Looking Like A Solid AR Developer Kit
    Hands-On: Magic Leap One Creator Edition Is Looking Like A Solid AR Developer Kit

    I tried the Magic Leap One “Creator Edition” headset this week, after nearly five years of waiting to see what Rony Abovitz and his team have been building out in Florida.

    I am impressed Leapers shipped Magic Leap One (ML1) on the same day they announced its price and offered it for sale. I am impressed they hand-deliver this new type of standalone computer with an expert who explains how to operate it. I am impressed, and surprised, at the feeling of awe I experienced when I saw Magic Leap One’s main menu floating in between me and another person.

    My time was very limited with Magic Leap One and I focused most of that time trying to understand the visual experience of the Lightwear glasses. I used to call them “goggles” but when I broadcast live my first 15 minutes with Magic Leap One, I instinctively used the word “glasses” to talk about what you actually wear on your head. They felt light enough in my hands to be called that, I guess.

    The Lightwear headset is accompanied by the Lightpack processing unit which I put at the top of my pocket. It is wired to the glasses. I then picked up the controller, which reminds me a lot of the Oculus Go controller with an extra button.

    Magic Leap One’s menu is represented as a circle of floating spheres, anchored rock solid in place. When I first saw this, I immediately wanted small and quick digital characters darting around the room and hiding behind real-world furniture. I’ll explain more on that in a minute. One of these spheres across the room faintly glowed while appearing perfectly solid. The person behind it was slightly darker. The effect lured my eyes to the menu of spheres and gave the subtle impression the person in the background was also in the presence of these glowing spheres. I believed the spheres were floating there to a degree I never have with a HoloLens digital object.

    Despite not being properly fitted, not being instructed how to use this headset and a field of view that is “constantly distracting”, as The Verge’s Adi Robertson put it, I found myself suddenly playful with ML1. When I realized a block I made had dropped onto the floor, I sat up and leaned far over the table and peered down to the floor on the other side. As soon as my head cleared the table I saw the semi-transparent orange block sitting on the floor where I expected it to have fallen. In that type of situation, with a HoloLens, I might expect to notice the field of view restriction or some other failure of the system before finding the digital object. That’s not what I perceived with Magic Leap One — there was no break in the illusion in this one specific moment. It was a simple but powerful demonstration of Magic Leap’s technology.

     

    I didn’t spend enough time with ML1 to make up my mind as to whether long term use could

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  • The Biggest PSVR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18
    The Biggest PSVR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18

    Now this is the kind of week we like to see. Two VR experiences (one of them free!) and not a gun in sight. These two apps represent something genuinely new for headsets; no wave shooting or third-person platforming. Let’s check them out.

    We Happy Few: Uncle Jack Live, from Signal Space Lab
    Price: Free

    This is a surprise tie-in app for Compulsion Games’ long-awaited We Happy Few. It finds you thrust into the game’s dystopian world as a guest editor on a radio show. Though brief, it uses some pretty interesting techniques to immerse you in one of the most interesting gaming worlds we’ve seen in some time.

    Electronauts, from Survios
    Price: $19.99

    Sprint Vector developer Survios returns with an entirely different type of experience. Electronauts is a VR music mixer that uses smart interactions to produce a strikingly natural experience. The music might not be suited to your tastes but it’s hard not to feel the groove as you start playing around with this audible feast.

    Watch both (mixed reality and multiplayer) of our livestreams from this week.

    Tagged with: Electronauts, We Happy Few

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  • Hands-On: Riff VR Has Potential To Realize A Full Rock Band VR Vision, But Not Yet
    Hands-On: Riff VR Has Potential To Realize A Full Rock Band VR Vision, But Not Yet

    When I reviewed Rock Band VR last year, I loved what the team at Harmonix did to bring the feeling of playing a guitar, on-stage, in front of a live audience to VR headsets. I am a huge fan of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises, all of my plastic instruments still work and get used every now and then, and the track list was solid. However, it’s not a real Rock Band game without the actual full band. It was only the guitar and that left me wanting more.

    Guitar Godz came along with a Kickstarter campaign that crashed hard, so now we’re left wanting. Then I heard about Riff VR. This ambitious project aims to bring together guitar, vocals, and drums all into one VR experience. It’s not multiplayer (yet) but it all works right now in Early Access…sort of.

    Truthfully, it’s pretty janky right now. Without a physical prop to hold as a guitar it feels really strange strumming the air. I play air guitar all the time at home, but I’m not craning my neck down to try and hit floating virtual colors. It’s a strange mixture because playing air guitar is all about performance instead of accuracy, but then in Riff VR you have to be perfectly precise with hitting the right notes at the right time. The two styles don’t really meld together very well.

    And then the drums are just a beast of their own. Games like Electronauts have proved that you can accurately capture the sensation of drumming on virtual objects using haptic feedback to make it feel good, but that’s not really the case here in Riff VR.

    They’re just not that responsive and the difficulty curve compared to guitar and singing is just unreal. Actually hitting all of the notes in-time with the song requires borderline professional drumming experience and prior encyclopedic knowledge of the song. The great thing about drums in Rock Band is that, even if you’ve never heard the song before, it was accessible enough that you could follow along and feel like a drummer, even on higher difficulty settings. But the lack of really responsive controls makes it hard to get into drumming in VR here.

    Unexpectedly, the vocals are what I enjoyed the most in Riff VR. Since the game has such an excellent soundtrack of songs I already know by heart (Final Countdown by Europe, I Was Made For Loving You by KISS, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and several others) it was fun to just jump right in and belt out the words.

    I don’t have a great singing voice, but SingSpace (ironically, another Harmonix VR game) taught me that there is no shame when wearing a VR headset so I don’t even care.

    The truth of the matter is that Riff VR already has a strong foundation. Guitar and drums are just a few tweaks away from feeling really nice and if they can integrate proper LIV mixed reality support it’ll be a lot of fun for

    The post Hands-On: Riff VR Has Potential To Realize A Full Rock Band VR Vision, But Not Yet appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Austin’s Rapidly Growing VR Community

    Does Austin have the largest VR community outside of Los Angeles? This was a question I asked myself several times last summer before moving. I was familiar with Austin, Texas because of SXSW — having attended with my previous employer, Emblematic Group. But visiting the city for work was wildly different from uprooting my life. After

    The post Austin’s Rapidly Growing VR Community appeared first on VRScout.

  • Nintendo Switch Hack Reveals VR Mode – Report
    Nintendo Switch Hack Reveals VR Mode – Report

    The ever-evolving saga of if the Nintendo Switch will get VR support continues.

    Over the past few days, a group of hackers appear to have uncovered something called a VR Mode buried within Nintendo’s hybrid gaming device. Twitter user random666_kys posted the below video, which highlights the option to ‘Test VR Mode’. Keep in mind this could all be an elaborate hoax, though random666_kys has been modding the Switch for a while, and other tweets seem to back his findings up.

    https://t.co/wSPNcuuGVa
    So I just tried and a screen appeared. Interesting… pic.twitter.com/MLiKfYpokb

    — random (@random666_kys) August 8, 2018

    When you select VR mode, you’re taken to another screen that seems to be setting up VR support before the entire screen splits in two just as it would with, say, a Samsung phone when it’s running a Gear VR app. According to the modder, the message presented reads: “Please move the console away from your face and click the close button.” After pressing the screen, the user is booted back to the menu from the start of the video.

    If it’s real, this is the biggest piece of evidence yet that Nintendo could have been planning VR support for the Switch at one point, if not anymore. While the company has famously downplayed its interest in VR over the last four or so years, a patent uncovered a short while back showcased a device that could perhaps dock the Switch in front of your eyes, again just as with something like Gear VR.

    Now, before you say it, we know the Switch only has a 720p screen, which would mean some significant screen-door effect, but that doesn’t stop us from dreaming about what could be. With two Joy-Con controllers, an untethered headset and Nintendo’s beloved franchises to utilize, we’d still welcome VR on Switch with open arms.

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  • Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Is The Most Powerful Gear VR-Ready Phone Yet
    Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Is The Most Powerful Gear VR-Ready Phone Yet

    Yesterday’s Samsung Galaxy Note 9 reveal came and went without so much as a mention of Gear VR, but rest assured the new device will support the Oculus-powered headset.

    Samsung confirmed to UploadVR that the Note 9 will support the current iteration of the Gear, though it will need an adapter to fit it. The device is a slightly different size than last year’s Note 8 with a bigger, 6.4-inch screen, so this isn’t really surprising. If you already have the kit you can call 1-800-SAMSUNG to get the adapter for free.

    The Note 9’s main draw is its power, which bests any phone Samsung has put out so far. The 512 GB version of the phone boasts a mighty 8GB RAM (6GB for the 126 GB version) and is fitted with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset. That means it should run any app on the Gear VR store right now with ease and, hopefully, we’ll start seeing more visually impressive apps going forward, too.

    Elsewhere, the Note 9 is fitted with a bigger, 4000mAh battery, so you’ll be able to jump into VR for longer. Expandable storage can also give the 512GB version of the device over 1TB of space. Outside of the VR-relevant features, the new S-Pen can be used as a remote control, and Samsung’s Google Assistant alternative, Bixby, has been updated to include a more diverse range of conversational options.

    The phone launches on August 24th. The 128GB version is a staggering $999.99, while the 512GB edition costs $124.99.

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  • A.D. 2047 Is An Interactive Murder Mystery For PSVR, Rift And Vive
    A.D. 2047 Is An Interactive Murder Mystery For PSVR, Rift And Vive

    A.D. 2047 might be the most interesting VR title spinning out of the recent ChinaJoy event in Shanghai.

    Developed by Recano, the experience is more of an interactive movie than it is a videogame. After your girlfriend is involved in a serious car accident, you’ll find yourself on the hunt for a mysterious serial killer, exploring environments for clues and surviving a few close encounters with the suspect.

    Judging by the gameplay video below, A.D. 2047 has highly interactive environments and an intriguing futuristic world. There are also some interesting combat elements that look like VR’s own take on quick time events, getting you to block incoming attacks with your hands in certain ways to make well-placed shots in order to survive.

    There’s this new cinematic trailer too, which gives us a closer look at the game’s story.

    Suffice to say Recano has really caught our attention with this one. We don’t have any details about a western release just yet but we do know it’s on the way to PlayStation VR (PSVR), Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

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  • AltspaceVR Releases New World-Building Kits

    Microsoft just announced new tools to make it easier for users to build and share their own virtual spaces. In a virtual Town Hall today, AltspaceVR unveiled a suite of tools that will allow anyone to build customizable VR spaces. The two new world-building kits are based on Altspace’s most popular environments: Campfire and Alien

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  • VIDEO: Our First Hands-On Impressions Of Magic Leap One
    VIDEO: Our First Hands-On Impressions Of Magic Leap One

    We just had a chance to go hands-on with Magic Leap One and captured our introduction to the device with video showing about 15 minutes of very early impressions.

    I’ll need a little more time to digest what I experienced for a full written report but, in the meantime, you can check out the video below showing my initial interactions. I was hoping to find a way to stream or capture footage on the headset itself so that others could see the digital objects as well, but I couldn’t figure out how to activate that feature. During the last minute or so I offer a peek through the lenses. My thanks to Sivan Iram who offered to let me try the headset he purchased for himself.

    Around 10 minutes into the video I start discussing field of view and how characters might be able to keep themselves inside of it a lot of the time. During the last minute or so I offer a view through the lenses of Magic Leap One.

     

    Tagged with: Magic Leap, Magic Leap One

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  • Oculus & Chloë Grace Moretz Serve Up A Six-Course VR Meal

    Facebook’s Oculus teams up with actress Chloë Grace Moretz for an “omakase” dinner straight out of a science fiction novel. On July 31st, a group of lucky guests gathered on the rooftop of Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel in NYC where they were treated to a six-course dinner unlike any they’ve experienced before. Lead by the

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