• Magic Leap Powers MR Catwalk At London Fashion Week

    Three launches world’s first 5G mixed reality catwalk at London Fashion Week featuring Lennon Gallagher. Three’s 5G network will debut at London Fashion Week to fuel the world’s first 5G mixed reality catwalk with the hotly anticipated Central Saint Martins MA Fashion show featuring world-renowned model, Lennon Gallagher. The opening collection of the show, created

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  • LEGO Hides Some Haunting AR Secrets in its Latest Toys LEGO Hidden Side will be available later this year.
  • Lego Hidden Side Uses ‘Haunted’ Toys To Advance AR On Android And iOS
    Lego hidden AR phone mobile

    Though Apple and Google both improved their augmented reality tools for developers last year, AR didn’t have a particularly strong 2018, as consumers largely shrugged off new AR apps and hardware. But the Lego Group announced an intriguing new initiative today: a collection of eight “haunted” building sets that can be enjoyed by themselves, or paired with a new AR app that adds spooky virtual elements to explore.

    All set in the town of Newbury, the Lego Hidden Side sets will range in price from $20 to $130, with models including a bus, graveyard, and schoolhouse. In physical form, the models will be seen as they appear by day, while the AR app will show them infested with ghosts at night.

    Lego’s free Hidden Side app lets kids choose between one of two characters to explore the sets from a first-person perspective, using Android or iOS devices to discover and capture the virtual ghosts. The AR app will prompt kids to discover new parts of the real-world models, and change the AR experience as kids physically manipulate the sets.

    “At our core we focus on tactile building,” explained Lego SVP Tom Donaldson, “but AR presents opportunities to enhance physical LEGO play with new action and mastery elements. We’re breaking the mold of gaming-first AR play experiences to create a new type of play where the physical world actually influences the AR layer, instead of the other way around.”

    Lego Hidden Side builds on the Lego AR Playgrounds initiative announced at Apple’s 2018 WWDC. After showing a prototype on stage with impressive but largely cosmetic interactions between a Lego set and an iOS app, the company released Lego Ninjago AR playsets as “early experiments” to see how AR could enhance physical play.

    The Lego Group says Hidden Side will be the first time it introduces a play theme as a service, with promises to keep adding new challenges, ghosts, and randomized gameplay to the app to keep it fresh. Kids will also be able to play several small games inside the Hidden Side app without using building sets.

    The Hidden Side sets will hit stores around the world in late summer. iOS and Android apps are planned to hit the App Store and Google Play for free at the same time.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: Hidden Side, lego

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  • The VR Job Hub: Random42, Squanch Games, First Contact Entertainment and More Jobs, jobs and more jobs.
  • Kabaq Helps You Settles On A Meal With Ultra-Realistic AR Menus

    These AR holograms look good enough to eat. Part of the experience of going to a good restaurant is being presented with lots of tempting choices. When faced with page upon page of delicious and intriguing descriptions, some of us fall back on trusty favorites (my husband will order a steak nine times out of

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  • CreativeXR Finds Amazing New Uses For VR In The Arts Space
    When Something Happens Educational VR

    An audience member sits in the center of the room. He adorns an HTC Vive Pro and finds himself sitting at the end of a bed. We can see what he sees via a monitor at the back of the room. He looks toward a mirror and sees his virtual self. Leaning in for a closer look, he raises his hand to wave. Despite not wearing any extra gear or carrying any controllers, the reflection waves back.

    Opposite the participant sits a man clad in Vive Trackers. They form a makeshift motion capture suit that brings him into the virtual world. He’s imitating the audience member’s every move. It’s done with such precision that he really believes his movements are being mirrored in VR. Everyone in the room is completely silent and utterly transfixed. We’re equal parts enraptured by this small miracle and terrified that one slight noise might shatter the illusion. Without even entering VR, we’re all a part of the experience.

    It’s Creative XR’s mission to make experiences like this a reality. The UK programme is assembled by tech innovation center Digital Catapult and Arts Council England. Every year it puts out a call for artists and studios to pitch projects that go beyond gaming. Successful applicants get funding and access to resources. As this year’s application process kicks off, CreativeXR gathered 2018’s recipients in one space to showcase their latest work. Together, they make a compelling case for VR’s inclusion in the arts space.

    And that’s an important case to make. As Ben Lane, Senior Manager, Enterprise and Innovation at Arts Council says, these projects “probably wouldn’t happen” without this help.

    “It’s easy to see how these technologies can be employed in games, but the technology also has potential as a creative medium beyond this,” Lane adds. “The ability of immersive technology to provide innovative experiences for audiences – new ways of telling stories, immersing people in different environments, both real and imagined and to nurture empathy – is obviously fertile ground for artists to explore.”

    Reinvigorating History And Science

    Over the course of an afternoon, I explored that ground. I was whisked away to the edge of time and history to face truths both awe-inspiring and uncomfortable. Some projects, like All Seeing Eyes’ Immersive Histories, explore well-trodden paths for VR. The company’s build out a wooden rig to resemble a Lancaster bomber used in the second world war. You strap on a headset and find yourself in the middle of the storied Dambusters raids that saw British fighters destroy the Mohne Dam in Germany in 1943.

    It’s a cramped, atmospheric piece designed to root you in the moment. If anything it showcases the need to support these sorts of projects; I only wished it could have enjoyed the sorts of production values Oculus or PlayStation would lavish upon their portfolios.

    Speaking of Oculus projects, I found a fitting companion piece to the awesome power of Spheres in When Something Happens. This VR short from Boom Clap Play, written and narrated by poet Boston Williams,

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  • Walmart Will Set Up VR-enhanced DreamWorks Gift Shops In Parking Lots
    Walmart VR

    Walmart’s cavernous stores apparently aren’t large enough to hold the Hidden World in DreamWorks’ latest How to Train Your Dragon film. Instead, the retailer announced today that it will use its parking lots to host free five-minute VR dragon-riding experiences — and the expected significant lines of people — in an effort to spur merchandise sales at matching gift shops.

    Developed by Walmart-backed Spatial& in partnership with DreamWorks, the endeavor looks more like a theme park installation than a traditional retail experience. Visitors as young as 8 years old are allowed to participate in the action, which starts with a character greeting at an onboarding tent before moving into a VR world powered by headsets and motion VR chairs. Since the goal of the free ride is to sell merchandise, guests are led directly to a themed gift shop right after they take off the VR gear.

    A YouTube video of the experience shows fully computer-generated fantasy scenes that look as if they could be straight out of a modern video game, though kids and adults aren’t handed controllers or actually playing anything. Instead, they get to see 360-degree videos and high-resolution images with VR head tracking, all designed to elicit emotional responses.

    Walmart and Spatial& specifically expect that people will want to buy items “featuring the characters they befriended and created deep connections with during the activation,” including toys, DVDs, and video games. The immersive virtual tour of the Hidden World includes How to Train Your Dragon characters such as Astrid, Hiccup, Hookfang, and Toothless, with greetings during onboarding by Ruffnut and Tuffnut.

    “Collaborating with DreamWorks Animation and its iconic How to Train Your Dragon franchise is such an exciting way to bring Spatial&’s first ever activation to the public,” said Spatial& CEO Katie Finnegan. “Spatial& was founded based on the belief that VR will transform merchandising and retail and we can’t wait to finally share this uniquely immersive shopping experience with consumers across the country.”

    Though the collaboration certainly isn’t the first to leverage VR to sell things, it’s a particularly interesting experiment in that correlations between the experience and purchases will be fairly easy to track, and the promise of free VR experiences based on a well-liked movie franchise could be enough to draw crowds. It’s also somewhat unique in that Walmart has chosen to site the project outside of its stores — in winter, no less — rather than utilizing space inside.

    Walmart will start offering the experiences over several days at multiple stores in one city before moving on to another city. The seven-city run begins at noon February 15 in Los Angeles, California, and concludes in Bentonville, Arkansas on April 9.

    Last year, Amazon used VR to create virtual selling spaces inside Indian shopping malls where it wasn’t operating physical stores. Similarly, retailers such as Macy’s have started to use VR inside their stores to let customers browse inventory that would otherwise be too broad or large to stock locally.

    This post by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

    Tagged with: How To Train Your Dragon, venturebeat, walmart

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  • Fibrum Hosts Children’s Charity VR Event for World Cancer Day The kids got to try VR as well as face-painting and other activities.
  • Eden Tomorrow Review: Welcome To A Jurassic Slog
    eden tomorrow psvr adventure

    In our Eden Tomorrow review we take a look at a game with good intentions and some imaginative design that succumbs to its far less inspired components.

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  • QuiVr Vanguard Confirmed For Oculus Quest With Go Multiplayer
    QuiVr Vanguard Confirmed For Oculus Quest With Go Multiplayer

    Multiplayer archery game QuiVr Vanguard is coming to Oculus Quest and multiplayer is possible with players on Oculus Go.

    The game’s description on the Go store page says the title will be compatible with both headsets and allow cross-play once Quest releases.

    QuiVr is one of the most popular archery VR games available. Over the course of two years its creators built a PC version with a role-playing game progression system. A smaller arcade version of the game called QuiVr Vangaurd was more recently released by the developers. A studio called Luminary Apps is taking on the mobile version, which is the version of the game getting cross-play cooperative multiplayer on Oculus Go and Quest.

    Cooperative play between the two headsets may place QuiVr Vanguard on a short list of apps with that kind of multiplayer capability on standalone in 2019. The number of early Quest buyers who will already have Oculus Go sitting around their home could be significant. This means some Oculus Quest buyers will already have a second headset in their home to play a two-player game with a family member or friend.

    We are expecting major updates from Facebook’s Oculus at the Game Developers Conference next month. Anticipation is high for the $400 Oculus Quest headset and its 6DoF Touch controllers and we are expecting at least 50 titles to be ready for Quest launch. Some VR developers are starting to hint they are seriously considering building Quest versions of their games but we still don’t have a full list of the games coming to the headset just yet.

    Tagged with: QuiVr, QuiVr Vanguard

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  • BBC Teases 12-Minute Doctor Who VR Animated Short

    The Doctor returns to virtual reality with an original interactive short film. With the twelfth season of Doctor Who scheduled to arrive in 2020, fans of the long-running BBC series have at the very least a 10-month void to fill before they’re blessed with more time-skipping adventures from the thirteenth Doctor and her Companions. To

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  • Oculus To Host Pre-GDC Event Featuring ‘Not-Yet-Announced’ Quest Demos
    Oculus To Host Pre-GDC Event Featuring ‘Not-Yet-Announced’ Quest Demos

    GDC is just a month away and Oculus is gearing up for its pre-GDC event to show off some Rift games and unannounced Quest titles.

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  • Doctor Who: The Runaway Is An Animated VR Adventure Coming Soon
    Doctor Who: The Runaway Is An Animated VR Adventure Coming Soon

    Doctor Who fans will soon get to join an animated Doctor in a virtual reality TARDIS.

    The new project confirmed by the BBC today is a 12 minute adventure including a performance by the latest Doctor Jodie Whittaker “in animated form.” Doctor Who: The Runaway “will be available on selected VR headsets in the coming months.”

    Plot details are sparse for  The Runaway. The official description for the project says you get a chance to “be the Doctor’s champion” as you face a “deadly threat.” So, a standard Doctor Who adventure.

    Here’s our first look at the animated version:

    Doctor Who: The Runaway is an animated VR adventure coming to VR headsets.

    Doctor Who, for those unfamiliar, is one of England’s most famous and long-lasting television programs. For more than 50 years, “The Doctor” has visited earthlings on TV and taken them on adventures in the TARDIS. Whittaker recently became the 13th incarnation of the time-traveling character. Her ship — disguised as a blue police call box — is a perfect fit for VR given its larger-on-the-inside physics. Once inside, going through that doorway once more can take you anywhere and anytime. In many ways, the TARDIS is the perfect vehicle for a VR experience. So that makes the Doctor — a kind of intergalactic tour guide and friend — the perfect character to join you on such a journey.

    The project is “produced by the BBC’s digital drama team, BBC VR Hub and Passion Animation Studios.” Doctor Who: The Runaway is written by Victoria Asare-Archer and directed by Mathias Chelebourg with music from composer Segun Akinola.

    We’ll bring you updates on the project as soon as we get them.

    Tagged with: BBC, Doctor Who, Doctor Who: The Runaway, England

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  • Apex Legends’ Launch Increased Apex Construct’s Steam Views 4000%
    Apex Legends’ Launch Increased Apex Construct’s Steam Views 4000%

    When I heard the name Apex Legends, I first thought how similar it was to Apex Construct. The new free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn is of course very different to Fast Travel’s VR adventure. Still, mix-ups were bound to happen. And indeed they have.

    Fast Travel’s Andreas Juliusson recently revealed as much on Reddit. Since Apex Legends’ launch on February 4th Apex Construct has seen a 4000% increase in Steam page visitors. As Juliusson notes, you won’t even find Legends on Steam because it’s only available through EA Origin.

    And then there are the sales. Apparently, Apex Construct sold more in China over the last week than it did throughout all of 2018. Of course, Apex Construct is not Apex Legends and a lot of people only realized this after buying it. Whoops. Juliusson noted that the team expects to see a lot of refunds in the next few weeks but “our books look pretty good at the moment”.

    Apparently, a lot of recent negative Steam reviews are down to players feeling scammed. By a game that came out a year before Apex Legends. A game which clearly states it requires a VR headset. Also a game that is not a free-to-play hero shooter. You can’t make this up.

    Of course, if you have a VR headset then you could do a lot worse than accidentally buying Apex Construct. It was one of our favorite VR games of the last year. As for Apex Legends, it’s unlikely to ever see VR support. Respawn is, however, working on a VR game of its own. It won’t be related to Titanfall, though.

    We wonder if the same thing has happened to Operation Apex?

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  • Gorn Update Adds A Death Pit And Improved Campaign
    Gorn Update Adds A Death Pit And Improved Campaign

    Looking for more ways to kill people in Gorn? Really? The other 100 ways aren’t enough? Well, then you should give the new Death Pit a spin.

    This new level is the highlight of this week’s Gorn update. In this more morbid arena, you can toss enemies into a pit of spikes for a quick way to finish them off. Lovely.

    The other big addition here is an improved campaign. Developer Free Lives says its reworked progression and the unlock system to make it feel “a bit more complete”. Currently Gorn has you trying to execute certain types of kills to gain new weapons and getting a certain number of wins in the arena to unlock bosses. We’ll be interested to see how that’s changed. Expect more tweaks to the system in the future, though.

    Free Lives also says that the game is now running “much better than before” thanks to some optimization. Other additions include a new sound spatializer engine, new voice lines for enemies and the emperor and “More narrative content than anyone could realistically have expected given the nature of the game.” We’re not exactly sure how you fit a story into a game about yammering knuckleheads, but the update image above does perhaps provide some hints.

    Finally, there are improved seagulls. Yay! You can see the full list of tweak over here.

    Elsewhere, Free Lives says its “pouring blood and sweat” into the game on the road to final launch. No word yet on when they launch will finally arrive but we’ll keep you posted. Gorn remains one of our favorite VR games for wanton destruction.

    Tagged with: Free Lives, Gorn, updates

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