augmented reality

Mattel readies to launch Google Cardboard View-Master

Mattel readies to launch Google Cardboard View-Master

It seems that Mattel has gotten into the habit of resurrecting defunct products and giving it a 21st century twist. Just recently it has made the creative yet formerly dangerous "Creepy Crawlers" ThingMaker and turned into a still creative but safer 3D printing ecosystem. Now it is the venerable View-Master's turn. Partnering with Google, Mattel has transformed the toy into a more sophisticated and tech savvy toy by remolding the View-Master into a customized Google Cardboard that promises to deliver educational virtual and augmented reality experiences for kids and students.

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Google’s VR headset: AR, eye-tracking, wireless (or wired)

Google’s VR headset: AR, eye-tracking, wireless (or wired)

Google's play in the virtual reality environment is about to get a lot more focused. Inside a virtual reality headset the likes of which the world has never seen before, Google will deliver an entirely unique experience. Sources close to the company have described multiple areas of innovation Google has been exploring, leading to a headset that's a combination of the best parts of Google Glass, Google Cardboard, and Android in general. This headset will take on Samsung, Oculus, and any and all other combatants.

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Apple’s VR team is real, here’s who they are

Apple’s VR team is real, here’s who they are

Apple's latest acquisition once again tips their involvement in the virtual reality industry. Apple has been tipped - and essentially confirmed - to have acquired FlyBy Media, a group that has their hand in Indoor Mapping, Automotive (autonomous navigation), Drones (autonomous flight), and both virtual reality and augmented reality. They've worked with Google on Project Tango, a futuristic smartphone-based 3D-mapping system that'll tie in with virtual reality in the near future.

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How Apple’s VR hire leads to a gesture-controlled car

How Apple’s VR hire leads to a gesture-controlled car

Apple reported to hire Doug A Bowman, a virtual reality specialist, 3D interface specialist, and computer science professor at Virginia Tech. Bowman is also Director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech, and primary investigator for the 3D Interaction Group at Virginia Tech. This group participates in a "worldwide community of scholars and researchers in VR, AR, and 3D UIs". It may be that Apple is dipping their big toe into the virtual reality universe - or it could just be that Apple is thinking about how to make their Apple Car a unique proposition indeed.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought to life in “Holo Cinema” by ILMxLAB

Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought to life in “Holo Cinema” by ILMxLAB

ILMxLAB will be bringing a new "Holo Cinema" Star Wars experience to Sundance that'll transport users to a galaxy far, far away with projections. We've seen just glimpses of this technology before, ILMxLAB here working with their own software tool Zeno to create such magnificent feats of graphics greatness as the squid-face of Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean. With Zeno and ILMxLAB's own virtual production renderer, common citizens will be able to virtually step into Star Wars - without the need of a full virtual reality headset.

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HP Sprout Pro hands-on: 3D-scanning PC action on another level

HP Sprout Pro hands-on: 3D-scanning PC action on another level

This week the folks at HP have revealed the HP Sprout Pro, a new version of the first HP Sprout revealed last year. This new version rolls with a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor inside (the newest and most top-class), and you'll have top-end graphics as well. This version of the device is aimed a bit more at the education market, coming with Skype for Business and software that lends itself to scanning documents on the fly.

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Microsoft HoloLens will be totally wireless, last 5.5 hours

Microsoft HoloLens will be totally wireless, last 5.5 hours

While many companies are investing in virtual reality, Microsoft has taken a more augmented reality approach with the HoloLens. As exciting as the spiel and demos may look, few details are known about the headset. That is, until Microsoft Technical Evangelist Bruce Harris went on stage at an event in Tel Aviv to reveal some juicy tidbits about HoloLens, like how there might not be a wired version of the headset at all. Plus, the possibility that there will be a version 2.0 when all the manufacturing pieces fall in place.

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Why Google’s Project Tango is a total game changer

Why Google’s Project Tango is a total game changer

Lenovo announces a Lenovo Tango device, using Google Tango software and cameras that understand space and motion to create a next-gen phone. Today we're going to have a peek at a variety of ways in which Google's Project Tango is both mind-blowing and revolutionary. Inside this software and hardware combo, you'll see how your smart device (smartphone or tablet) will soon allow you to map your whole world, from the inside to the outside. From there, the fun begins.

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These Lumus displays could fix HoloLens’ big problem

These Lumus displays could fix HoloLens’ big problem

Field of view might be the Achilles' heal for augmented reality devices like Microsoft's HoloLens, but better optics might be incoming to address that. Lumus brought its latest stereo-vision AR headset prototype, the DK-50, to CES this year, complete with two transparent eyepieces that give a digital upgrade to a significantly larger portion of your vision.

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HTC Vive Pre steps into AR land with front-facing camera

HTC Vive Pre steps into AR land with front-facing camera

No, Vive Pre isn't the retail name of HTC's and Valve's virtual reality headset. The "Pre" there actually means "pre-release". What HTC is, in fact, announcing is the second generation of the developer edition of the Vive gear, both the headset as well as the controllers, featuring not just new designs but new abilities as well. In particular, the headset gets a new integrated outward front (outward) facing camera that lets it blend virtual and actual reality, taking the Vive into the realm of augmented reality and slightly closer to Microsoft's HoloLens.

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Reality Editor AR app connects IoT devices by drawing lines

Reality Editor AR app connects IoT devices by drawing lines

The number of Internet of Things devices, basically appliances and electronics that can connect to networsk like the Internet, are growing month after month. But each IoT trinket is veritably like its own island that may or may not have bridges to other islands. Wouldn't it be nice if you could all get them to tak to each other like good friends? While there are certainly some attempts to do just that, the best and coolest way would be to simply draw virtual lines between them, which is the premise and promise of MIT Fluid Interfaces' Reality Editor.

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Microsoft HoloLens streams Halo 5 from Xbox One

Microsoft HoloLens streams Halo 5 from Xbox One

Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality headset continues to get more and more interesting; just recently we saw it used in interactive car shopping, now we're seeing it used to stream Halo 5 gameplay from an Xbox One. The company seems to be letting HoloLens developers share short clips of the headset in action on Twitter under the hashtag #MadeWithHoloLens, and program manager Varun Mani may have the most impressive of all, with a 30-second peek at Halo 5 running on a virtual screen on his living room wall.

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