virtual reality

Oculus Rift Kickstarter brings virtual reality gaming back to life

Oculus Rift Kickstarter brings virtual reality gaming back to life

This week the first Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming headset has begun, and it's already got $37,000 USD pledged right out of the gate. This project is ready to bring back to life the concept of a virtual reality headset, this time preparing it for systems across the spectrum - Windows, Apple, Linux, iOS and Android. You'll also find out-of-the-box engine integrations for Unreal Engine and Unity - and an instant full-on playable version of Doom BFG Edition.

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Early Oculus Rift prototype revealed

Early Oculus Rift prototype revealed

Anticipation for the Oculus Rift has been building ever since we were first introduced to it back at E3, and today we got a look at a very early prototype. Creator Palmer Luckey shared the image you see below, and even though it isn't the prettiest of devices, it will do a lot to get followers of the project excited. Road to VR points out that the headset in the image won't be meant for ordinary consumers - that will be the Oculus Rift 2.0, which is scheduled to launch in 2013. Instead, this first device is aimed at die-hard VR fans and developers. Have a look:

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Google Project Glass still ‘years away’

Google Project Glass still ‘years away’

It wasn't because Google was close to a final product in the least bit that they showed off their heads-up user interface-toting Project Glass glasses this week - this device is still very much in pre-pre-production. As Project Glass gains massive amounts of feedback from prospect consumers after a very well-received preview in video form (shown below), it's a harsh reminder by Google co-founder Sergey Brin today that stings the ears: an actual consumer product is "many months, if not years" from reality.

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Project Glass parody video calls Google’s bluff

Project Glass parody video calls Google’s bluff

Less than 24 hours after Google's reveal this week of the heads-up VR Project Glass, comedian Tom Scott has created a viral send-up of the glasses complete with concern for their real-life applicability. What we've got here from Scott is a video that's extremely similar to what we saw yesterday from Google, only here it's showing the pitfalls of such a system as its imagined today. Scott's version of Project Glass doesn't exactly have the same shiny ring to it that Google's does.

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HiveMind has SimCity creator aiming to turn your real life into The Sims

HiveMind has SimCity creator aiming to turn your real life into The Sims

For those of you that don't know, Will Wright is the primary designer behind such massive hits as SimCity, The Sims, and Spore - and this week he's letting us all know that we, not our avatars, will be taking part in his next opus. This game will be called HiveMind, and will be more than just a casual gaming experience. You'll be using your phones, tablets, social network identities, computers galore, and your own brain to make a move in this virtual reality space. This will be the next generation, says Wright, in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).

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Age of Wulin pre-release auction nabs $16k for a virtual sword

Age of Wulin pre-release auction nabs $16k for a virtual sword

There's no denying that the virtual world is one lucrative enough for people on both sides of the equation to dedicate their lives to it - and in no more relevant a place today than a pre-release auction of virtual goods for a game by the name of Age of Wulin, this auction selling a man a sword for $16,000 USD. Of course he didn't drop USD on this weapon, and the only physical representation of it he'll see is a plaque (generous of them!) that he can hang in his room while he uses the "real" thing in the game when it's released in the Spring of 2012. This game will also be released in the USA soon after the Chinese Beta, but it'll only be this one lucky fellow who'll be slaying his opponents with this one sword.

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University of Minnesota scientists create brain-controlled virtual flight

University of Minnesota scientists create brain-controlled virtual flight

In a move that can only be described by Punjab-esque, your Annie (1982) hero's ability to make aircraft fly with his mind is one step closer to reality now that researchers, led by Dr. Bin He of the University of Minnesota, have created an EEG-based interface that allows users to navigate a virtual helicopter with their mind. The interface is a completely noninvasive brain-computer hookup that allows the user to tell the helicopter where to go by willing it to do so.

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Apple Virtual Personal Assistant app to be a “computing paradigm shift”

Apple Virtual Personal Assistant app to be a “computing paradigm shift”

It was all the way back in February of 2010 when the folks at Siri introduced their original Assistant app for iPhone, and just one month later when their company was acquired by Apple. This week (tomorrow, as it were,) Apple is expected to release its very own version of the intelligent assistant interface with its newest iteration of the iPhone, this newest version made to work hand-in-hand with the newest iPhone's powerful A5 processor. Siri co-founder Norman Winarsky spoke with 9to5mac this week about the soon-to-be-released software, calling it world-changing and making no effort to hide the idea that it's coming soon, very soon.

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Vuzix Wrap 1200 and 1200VR offer wearable displays with sunglasses style

Vuzix Wrap 1200 and 1200VR offer wearable displays with sunglasses style

Vuzix continues to plug away at video eyewear, with its latest set, the Vuzix Wrap 1200, promising the equivalent of a 75-inch display viewed from 10 feet away. Each 16:9 eyepiece runs at 852 x 480 resolution with a 60Hz refresh rate, and supports 16-bit color as well as 2D and 3D playback. Meanwhile, a second version - the Wrap 1200VR - boosts connectivity and makes the headset ideal for virtual reality applications.

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