virtual reality

Opportunity abound: walking on Mars virtually with NASA

Opportunity abound: walking on Mars virtually with NASA

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover has been rolling around the surface of the red planet for 11 years. To celebrate, the craft has sent back a panorama image viewable by you in full definition right this minute. To get up close and personal with the surface of Mars, NASA has also been collaborating with Microsoft over the past few weeks and months, having an early peek at their new Windows Holographic system with Microsoft HoloLens - making walking on the planet's surface much more of a "real" experience than ever before.

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Microsoft HoloLens will take NASA scientists to Mars — virtually

Microsoft HoloLens will take NASA scientists to Mars — virtually

Microsoft’s HoloLens is a pretty neat concept, and already showing a lot of promise. Via a headset and virtual environment, we’d be able to do all kinds of things like assemble or design something to be 3D printed, and it certainly has a lot of gaming angles. As far as virtual environments go, there might be no cooler one than mars, and that’s what NASA and Microsoft have in mind. Using HoloLens, NASA wants to let Earth-bound scientists work in space — virtually.

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This is Microsoft HoloLens

This is Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft has revealed its first virtual reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, delivering what the company calls "holograms" but what we perhaps know more as augmented reality. The headset, which resembles an oversized pair of ski goggles, overlays digital graphics onto the real world using transparent lenses and Windows 10. With the headset, Microsoft says, everything from gaming, through streaming media in apps like Netflix, to productivity apps, Skype video calling, or even creating virtual 3D objects in the new HoloStudio app - think Paint for the 21st century - are possible in a full standalone wearable computer.

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Windows Holographic: Windows 10’s augmented reality

Windows Holographic: Windows 10’s augmented reality

Forget what you know about Virtual Reality and the way Windows is generally used to make it happen. This week Microsoft have revealed Windows Holographic, a system which will place Windows all around your environment, over everything. "A few years ago we started asking ourselves - could we make things simple so technology would just disappear?" said Microsoft's Alex Kipman, "Until now we've immersed ourselves in the world of technology, but what if we could take technology and bring it into our world?"

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British Army uses Oculus Rift for recruitment with virtual tank

British Army uses Oculus Rift for recruitment with virtual tank

Virtual reality headsets are still a little ways out from reaching mainstream consumer adoption, but they're certainly finding use in more and more unexpected places. For example: The British Army has begun a new recruitment drive that uses the Oculus Rift to put users inside a tank during a live fire exercise. The headset is just part of an elaborate set up that aims to have people feel like they are truly riding in a heavily armored vehicle. The first such recruitment demonstrations for the public began on Friday in London.

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Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota and Oculus are teaming up to make driving safer — for teens. The joint venture bring a Toyota-branded driving simulator for Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program to the VR headset, which puts those learning to drive behind the wheel of a real car (stationary, of course), but uses VR to immerse them in a driving environment. In being behind the wheel of a real car with virtual distractions and difficult situations, the hope is that teens will be more comfortable behind the wheel when they do venture onto the real road.

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Oculus Rift Crescent Bay hands-on with 3D Audio

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay hands-on with 3D Audio

We entered the room Oculus VR had prepared for us not knowing exactly what we were in for. Not the Samsung Gear VR - surely not - that's already nearly a consumer product. Instead, Oculus had a padded room ready for us. Not because the SlashGear team is ready for straight jackets, but because this demonstration required that we be in as quiet an environment as possible. This demonstration - of the newest Oculus Rift headset prototype Crescent Bay, beyond the DK2 - required that we stand on a platform 4 feet by 4 feet wide in the center of a room that was perhaps 12 feet square. We were dropped immediately into a series of demonstrations.

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Virtuix Omni eyes-on: walk into VR

Virtuix Omni eyes-on: walk into VR

Ever feel like jumping into the game and taking over? It's somewhat made possible now with Virtuix Omni - a VR gaming platform that integrates you, the player, into the game. Fascination and astonishment was the vibe that surrounded the gaming booth at CES 2015. Launched on Kickstarter back in 2013, Omni has annihilated their $150,000 goal with over $1 million dollars in funding. Omni was on the floor last year at CES still in development stages, but this time it's here and ready to be picked up. Check out how this VR platform left impressions.

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Immersis wants to beat Xbox to IllumiRoom VR gaming

Immersis wants to beat Xbox to IllumiRoom VR gaming

"This is just a model, the real thing will be much bigger," Immersis' enthusiastic booth team helpfully points out about its diorama, a tiny stem of 3D print-out to represent the immersive projector tech it's hoping will score it a place in living rooms. They're not kidding around, either: assuming the Kickstarter due to open later this year gets traction, the final Immersis VR projector will tower over the back of your couch, spraying the walls around your TV with an expanded gaming experience. It's not the first time we've seen attempts to break out of the TV bezel, but Immersis' approach is particularly ambitious.

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