virtual reality

Google Android VR tipped to take on Oculus, Samsung Gear VR

Google Android VR tipped to take on Oculus, Samsung Gear VR

Google already has one foot in the virtual reality train but Cardboard is more like a tentative, hobbyist contraption more than a serious, longer lasting consumer product. Well, that is about to change, according to the usual people familiar with the matter. Google is allegedly working on a new virtual headset along with an accompanying "Android VR" platform, that will also use smartphones as the display and processing power. In other words, it will be a direct jab at Samsung's Gear VR, jointly made with Oculus, now part of Google's rival Facebook.

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AltspaceVR brings its social platform to Samsung Gear VR

AltspaceVR brings its social platform to Samsung Gear VR

AltspaceVR is an interesting take on making the virtual reality experience a more social, shared one between friends. One way to think of it is like a Second Life, the online shared world where people can customize avatars and personal spaces, but updated for the future of virtual reality. Now entering the world of AltspaceVR has become a lot more mobile friendly, as their app has come to the Samsung Gear VR.

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Goblin VR folds flat, fits in your pocket

Goblin VR folds flat, fits in your pocket

Amongst the many mobile VR headsets available in the wild today is a new "Goblin VR" headset, built to Google Cardboard Standard 2.0 and able to fold flat to fit in your pocket. It's simple. It's light. It's made of materials you will feel slightly less silly wearing on your face. It'll work with your iPhone and your Android as well, for devices with displays up to 6-inches diagonally - so your phablets can come to play.

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HTC Vive Pre user manual details first steps with VR headset

HTC Vive Pre user manual details first steps with VR headset

The HTC Vive Pre headset, one of the newer virtual reality products that take users to different worlds, has been detailed in its user manual. The manual is available now from HTC's own website, and it brings with it all the details new users will need to know to get started. Among the more boring details, including things like putting it on, the user manual details how to arrange your room to accommodate VR gaming.

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VR Curation or: How to Avoid Another Google Glass

VR Curation or: How to Avoid Another Google Glass

As Virtual Reality headsets become available to the public, we've set out to address the many issues that come with launching a platform. Not just a platform - not just hardware - but a whole ecosystem of pieces of hardware AND software. Developers and users, manufacturers and social participants. There's a lot at stake here - and a lot of people with their livelihoods on the line. What's it going to take to keep this environment in order? Curation!

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Virtual Reality Done Wrong: Making it Look Terrible

Virtual Reality Done Wrong: Making it Look Terrible

Today we're going to discuss how not to present virtual reality to the public. The images you see at the top of this article are wrong. They're bad. Skeptics of this platform see these images and remain skeptical. People who love virtual reality look at these images and see how goofy they look when they have virtual reality headsets on. It may have worked in the 1980s when ads were extremely strange - but it's not going to work here in the present.

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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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5-million+ Google Cardboard VR headsets now in the wild

5-million+ Google Cardboard VR headsets now in the wild

Today Google has announced that more than 5-million Cardboard VR headsets have been shipped. That's after 19 months, and includes a wide variety of ways and means: viewers sold by 3rd-part retailers as well as all give-aways and promotions with partners are included. That'd be with the Star Wars / Disney promo, NFL/Visa, Legendary Picture, The New York Times, and etcetera. So while Samsung may have the only consumer-level VR headset on the market for sale today, Google is certainly running a big part of the entry-level interest initiative for virtual reality in general.

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Tim Cook’s VR comment

Tim Cook’s VR comment

This afternoon during Apple's financial Q1 2016 earnings call, Tim Cook was asked one question about VR. When asked about whether or not virtual reality devices in 2016 were a niche product, Tim Cook had the following to say: "I don't think [VR] is a niche, it's really cool and has some interesting applications." That's it. Does this mean Apple is investing in virtual reality hardware and applications? Not necessarily, but it certainly doesn't discount that idea.

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Samsung dives deeper into VR, opens New York studio

Samsung dives deeper into VR, opens New York studio

If you thought that Samsung's Gear VR headset, which was made together with Oculus, was just a temporary distraction for the Korean consumer electronics company, you might have just been proven wrong. At Sundance, one of the most notable film fests in the world, Samsung took the opportunity to announce that it is opening up a studio in New York, located where Samsung's US marketing team already works in, with the sole purpose of creating immersive experiences. In short, VR content that will most likely blossom this year. Or at least fans and believers of VR would like it to.

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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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