• Echo Combat Livestream – Open Beta Online VR FPS Multiplayer
    Echo Combat Livestream – Open Beta Online VR FPS Multiplayer

    The Open Beta for Echo Combat is live and running until Sunday. If you have Oculus Home installed already, you may have noticed that the Echo games have undergone a bit of re-branding. Instead of Echo Combat and Echo Arena existing in the launch separately, there is now just Echo VR and when you load into the lobby you pick which game you want.

    Echo Arena is the disc-based mixture of Quidditch and Soccer that we loved last year in our review, while Echo Combat is a zero-G shooter that blends Overwatch with Echo-style movement. It’s a ton of fun as well. If you missed it, we livestreamed yesterday for over an hour, but due to server issues only played a handful of games in that time.

    We’ll be livestreaming Echo Combat on PC using Rift with Touch starting very soon (which means we’ll start at approximately 3:00PM PT) and aim to last for about an hour or so. We’re going to use Restream to hit both YouTube and Twitch at the same time!

    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). We’re also rebooting our Twitch channel too.

    Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and if you want to see more Echo Combat in the future. Comment with any feedback down below!

    Tagged with: Echo Arena, Echo Combat, livestream, lone echo, ready at dawn

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  • How AR Is Becoming More Important For Businesses
    How AR Is Becoming More Important For Businesses

    Pokemon Go! wasn’t just popular because it featured characters millions of fans throughout the world know and love. The game was so successful because it introduced augmented reality technology to the mainstream public.

    AR tech allows users to superimpose virtual elements over the real world on their device’s screen. However, it’s not just useful in the gaming industry. AR has many potential applications in many different sectors.

    Major brands like Sephora and Ikea have already used the technology to help their customers research products more thoroughly when shopping online. In the near future, it’s very likely other businesses in other industries will follow their example by partnering with a creative agency specializing in AR development. The following are just some of the ways we can expect these brands to leverage augmented reality tech to their advantage.

    Augmented Reality Makes Ecommerce More Dynamic

    Online shopping hasn’t completely replaced brick-and-mortar retail just yet. Surveys indicate that, while customers prefer to research products online, they generally like to make purchases at physical locations. This is likely due to the fact that customers want to try certain products before buying them.

    Companies like Ikea have used AR to address this problem. Ikea’s app lets users insert a virtual rendering of a piece of furniture into their surroundings, giving them a better sense of what it would look like in their home. This makes the ecommerce experience more dynamic, resulting in greater revenue from online shoppers.

    Using AR to Improve Marketing Campaigns

    AR is also poised to have a major impact on marketing campaigns. Someday soon, customers who use wearable headsets could walk through stores, with an app that highlights products from a specific brand.

    Marketers could also hide promotional deals in various public spaces that users could only find with the brand’s app. Offering users a virtual scavenger hunt would be a very smart way of using AR to fuel an experiential marketing campaign. This type of campaign would keep shoppers engaged with a particular brand while out at a mall or retail district.

    Using AR to Make Operations More Efficient

    Businesses won’t just use AR to offer customers a more dynamic experience. Behind the scenes, companies can use this technology to boost their own operational efficiency.

    Some are already doing so. For example, DHL has equipped some warehouse employees with AR headsets that highlight items they’re looking for. This significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to complete certain tasks.

    Businesses can also use AR to train employees, visualize data, and identify hazards in the workplace. Those that do are likely to reduce operational costs and enjoy the benefits of more consistent employee performance.

    That’s why it’s important to partner with AR developers now. This technology is useful because it offers practical value as well as enhancing the emotional connection customers have with a brand. By coordinating with experts, your company can find out how to take full advantage of it.

    Featured Image: AppFutura

    This is a guest post by Serena Garner from Y Media Labs. It was not produced by the UploadVR staff and no compensation

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  • Would You Exit Pursued By A Virtual Bear in This VR Training Scenario? A tech company in British Columbia wants to use VR to train people for bear attacks.
  • Rec Room Surpasses 3 Million Total Registered Users For Cross-Platform Social VR App
    Rec Room Surpasses 3 Million Total Registered Users For Cross-Platform Social VR App

    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Rec Room, overall, may be the most successful social VR app to date. AltspaceVR predates it, Bigscreen dabbles in some social features, VRChat is trying to be a completely open-ended universe, and there are lots of others, but few have the charm, accessibility, and consistently strong player base that Rec Room does. So consistently strong, in fact, that they’ve just eclipsed the three million user mark. That’s a lot.

    Cross-platform compatibility is a huge selling point. That and the developers at Against Gravity realized that people don’t just want places to go in VR, but they want things to do. That’s why they’ve created a whole suite of games to choose from including dodgeball, paintball, quest games full of dungeon crawling, and even a battle royale game. Some users have even fallen in love.

    When you consider they’ve hit that number without being available yet on mobile VR headsets at all, it’s even more impressive. Sony still hasn’t announced the three million unit mark for PSVR, so we can only assume they’re still around 2.5M and neither Rift nor Vive have announced any sales figures yet. Doing some rough math and guessing, that means that probably well over half of all non-mobile VR users have downloaded and tried Rec Room. That’s incredible penetration.

    Over three million is such a large number that I’d wager any app on any platform, VR or otherwise, would be considered a success with that number. Now we just need to wait and see how they plan to monetize things.

    As VR becomes more widespread, we expect that success to continue. The team is constantly crafting new games to play and even lets users craft their own unique, custom, amazing rooms for people to try as well.

    Do you play Rec Room? Let us know down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: Against Gravity, rec room

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  • Reports Shows Dip In VR Headset Sales Analysts expect a resurgence in sales of VR and Ar headsets due to launch of Oculus Go.
  • Foveated Rendering Doesn’t Need Eye Tracking Hardware Thanks to Some Oculus/Unreal Engine Wizardry It currently only works with Unreal Engine 4.19 and 4.20-preview versions.
  • Preview: Lems A solid puzzle title that only needs a little more polish to raise it to the next level.
  • A Taste of the Action in Gunheart A glimpse into how sci-fi FPS Gunheart works and plays.
  • Competition: Move Fast To Enter This Ludicrous Speed Prize Draw Gotta go fast...
  • Editorial: Google’s Long-Term Strategy Could Dominate VR/AR
    Editorial: Google’s Long-Term Strategy Could Dominate VR/AR

    Confidence is a prerequisite to enjoy VR’s magic. There are so many things that can go wrong wearing a VR headset and most of us know this before the goggles come down over our eyes. “Discomfort” doesn’t quite encapsulate the risk of wearing something that blocks your view of the real world. Just trying to lean on something that isn’t really there is potentially deadly. Headset manufacturers must overcome this problem to give people confidence to move freely.

    And there are so many reasons to stay in the real world too — your family, friends, and TV. Some of the world’s largest technology companies have learned over the last three years that VR headsets will never be mainstream as long as they a.) limit your movement too much and b.) block you off from your friends and family.

    The company which solves these problems in an affordable way — with zero setup required — will have a strong position in immersive computing. This article is focused on showing why Google might be best positioned to be that company.

    ‘Organize The World’s Information’

    In September 2015 I asked John Carmack, chief technology officer at Oculus, about the prospect of inside-out tracking technology (the idea that a gadget tracks its own location) for a Facebook VR headset. He said:

    “We have like 30 computer vision experts at Oculus from the different companies we’ve acquired and none of them want to just go solve this problem. They’re all working on their esoteric, kind of researchy things while this is a problem that I want solved right now. I wish somebody had spent all of this last year on it.”

    For some context, Google had acquired the creator of Word Lens more than a year before that comment was made. The developer had created an AR app which recognized text in another language on signage in the real world and replaced it with a translation in your own language.

    While the two technologies aren’t the same — and Facebook has made great progress on inside-out tracking — the acquisition of Word Lens by Google is a key example of how the company makes early investments in people and projects that will pay off in half a decade or more. Google Lens now does what Word Lens did for translation and it is available as a core part of Google’s services and apps across millions of devices. You can search a vast Google Photos library using terms like “paper” to find a document you photographed, or “swimming” for a photo of a pool party. Combine that work with other long-term multi-year efforts at Google like Johnny Lee’s Tango tracking project, and you can begin to see how the company will apply its core goal to VR —  “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

    Room Simulator

    For the game Job Simulator, Devin Reimer at Owlchemy Labs spent hundreds of hours figuring out how to build a believable cup of coffee for VR. Layer by layer he discovered aspects of reality he needed to recreate so

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  • Harvard Business Review Survey Finds Significant Growth in Enterprise Deployment of Mixed Reality Microsoft partnered with Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to produce the report.
  • Save The Lems in VR Puzzle Platform Title Developer Universe Worth Experiencing is bringing quirky puzzle-platform title to Steam Early Access.
  • Summer VR Sales Offer Big Savings On Top Titles
    Summer VR Sales Offer Big Savings On Top Titles

    Summer sales are now in place across Steam (through July 5), Oculus (through July 1) and Viveport (through July 7), with major savings on some of our favorite VR titles.

    Oculus is also offering special deals each day along with packs of top-tier experiences that can be purchased together while HTC’s Viveport is throwing free games into the company’s subscription service.  We looked through the sales on each of the storefronts and spotted tempting prices on some of VR’s most popular titles. For example, Archangel: Hellfire,  Space Pirate Trainer and Dirt Rally look like particularly good deals. If you spot any other good discounts, please share in the comments. Here’s some of the deals we spotted:

    Steam VR Discounts:

    $42 Fallout 4 VR (7/10)
    $42 Skyrim VR (9/10)
    $24 Project Cars 2
    $21 Sprint Vector (8/10)
    $20 Arizona Sunshine (8.5/10)
    $15 Rick and Morty (8.5/10)
    $15 Gorn
    $13.5 Elite Dangerous
    $12 Dirt Rally (9/10)
    $10 Audioshield
    $10 Assetto Corsa
    $7.5 Space Pirate Trainer (7.5/10)
    $6 Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes
    $6 Pavlov VR

    Oculus Store Rift Discounted Prices:

    $26 Brass Tactics (8.5/10)
    $25 Arizona Sunshine
    $18 Archangel Hellfire
    $17 Killing Floor: Incursion (8/10)
    $15 Onward
    $15 I Expect You To Die
    $14 Eve Valkyrie Warzone
    $14 Edge of Nowhere
    $7.5 Space Pirate Trainer
    $7.5 Defense Grid 2
    $7 Thumper (9/10)
    $6 Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes

    Viveport Discounted Prices:

    $22.5 Sairento VR (6/10)
    $12.5 Ultrawings (6/10)
    $12 Don’t Knock Twice (5/10)
    $10 Prison Boss VR (7/10)
    $10 Cosmic Trip
    $7.5 Townsmen VR
    $6.5 Together VR
    $4 Affected: The Manor (7/10)

    Tagged with: summer sale

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  • Tour The Historic Anne Frank House In VR

    Since opening its doors to the public in 1960, the Anne Frank House in Westerkerk, Amsterdam has become an important reminder of the horrific discrimination Frank and others faced during the WWII era. Ran by the non-profit Anne Frank Foundation dedicated to the preservation of Frank’s original hiding place and story, the 17th century canal

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  • Steam’s Summer Sale Returns Bringing Plenty Of Discounts For VR Titles So many videogames, so little time.