virtual reality

New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

PCs are the favorite example of analysts, observers, and journalists of a dying breed. Ironcally, developments in the tech sector, even some in mobile, in the past year or so might be bringing the favorable spotlight back on PCs. More sophisticated virtual reality content and multimedia creation necessarily require more processing power than even the most powerful Android or iOS device can provide. Answering that call, Intel is revealing at Computex 2016 its most extreme Extreme Edition to date. The Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition boasts of 10 cores toiling away together to deliver the computing power needed for those immersive experiences.

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ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

Despite a noted slowdown in shipment and sales, smartphones remain the fastest growing device market today and outnumber PCs even. However, smartphones have ceased to be mere communication devices and have even started venturing into uncharted and indirectly related territory, like virtual reality. In order to address the nascent but growing "synthetic" reality market, ARM Holdings has announced new chips, specifically the new 10 nm FinFET Cortex-A73 CPU and the Mali-G71 GPU. While they naturally benefit mobile devices in general, they are being poised to be well-suited to address the processing needs of virtual and augmented reality applications.

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Rise of the VR-ready Backpack PC: Aorus, HP, MSI, ZOTAC

Rise of the VR-ready Backpack PC: Aorus, HP, MSI, ZOTAC

This week both HP and MSI have revealed Backback PCs - computers that act like desktops but fit on your back, preparing you for a full-range, untethered VR experience. It would seem at first as though they would be leading the way - most average citizens have never seen a Backpack PC before, right? But that's just not true - at least three different groups have made the Backpack PC a real, working model before now - but only now are we truly starting to reach a first stride.

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HTC to show off their first VR game for the Vive

HTC to show off their first VR game for the Vive

We've heard a lot about Oculus's approach to their first-party games lately. However, we haven't really heard anything from HTC about developing their own games. Since they've partnered with Valve, I'd assumed that they were leaving the first-party game development to them. However, it turns out that HTC is indeed working on their own game for the Vive.

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HTC Vive’s front-facing camera just got more useful

HTC Vive’s front-facing camera just got more useful

One thing that I love about using my HTC Vive is the front-facing camera. It might seem like a strange feature to get excited about, but when your eyes are completely covered, having a camera in front of them really helps. You can actually turn on a special mode that allows you to see a rough outline of everything around you, at certain times. This is great for grabbing a drink or a snack, without having to take off the headset.

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VR goes portable with MSI’s new backpack computer

VR goes portable with MSI’s new backpack computer

Good news, everyone! Now there's a way to finally enjoy virtual reality while one the go! No, I'm not talking about Samsung's phone-based Gear VR, or even using a headset in a really wide, open space — like a warehouse. I mean using a high-end headset, like the Rift or Vive, while it's still tethered to a powerful PC. How is this possible? MSI has a simple solution: just strap the rig to your back!

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Samsung has a 5.5-inch 4K display for VR in the works

Samsung has a 5.5-inch 4K display for VR in the works

We're still just coming to grips with the long awaited commercialization of virtual reality technology and Samsung, unsurprisingly, is already trying to push the boundaries of technology and wallets. Although it will insist it's still in the prototyping stage, Samsung showed off at the Display Week conference in San Francisco a display designed for virtual reality and boasting of a 3840x2160 4K resolution. The screen's size is 5.5 inches, which is pretty much smartphone size. Almost ironically, Samsung might have found a use for the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's 4K screen as well.

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Samsung might have a gamepad for the Gear VR coming soon

Samsung might have a gamepad for the Gear VR coming soon

As fancy and entertaining virtual reality might sound, it has a few shortcomings, primary among which is input. VR delivers an illusion of a different kind of reality, but that illusion breaks down when you start having to manipulate things. Systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive use an approximation of our hands via control sticks. The Samsung Gear VR, however, isn't as lucky. Unless you want to always feel like Cyclops touching your visor repeatedly, you will eventually end up reaching out for a gamepad. Luckily, it seems that Samsung might have made especially for the Gear VR.

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Forget room-scale VR, warehouse-scale is now possible

Forget room-scale VR, warehouse-scale is now possible

One of the reasons why I love my HTC Vive is because it allows me to move around the room. Otherwise, just standing around in the same spot tends to break my immersion. Of course, you're still limited to around 15 square feet of movement. But what if you want to roam around a much, much larger room? One company is working on just that.

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You can create a 3D avatar for the Ready Player One film

You can create a 3D avatar for the Ready Player One film

Have you ever wanted to be in a movie? Most of us will never see ourselves on the big screen, especially those of us with little or no real acting talent. However, if you have a bit of 3D modeling talent, you might just get to see your creation featured in an upcoming film.

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Oculus DRM backfires, Revive now lets you pirate games, too

Oculus DRM backfires, Revive now lets you pirate games, too

Friday, I talked at length about how Oculus seemed to be shooting themselves in the foot. This was largely in response to a new update for the Rift that included some particularly annoying DRM. This DRM checks to see if you have an Oculus Rift physically attached to your computer, and if it doesn't it prevents you from opening the game. Only a few days have passed, and their hard work has already been undone.

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Facebook acquires TBE, makes VR audio apps free

Facebook acquires TBE, makes VR audio apps free

Two Big Ears has been acquired by Facebook, making the entire "Spacial Workstation" for Cinematic VR and 360 audio free for all users. Facebook has made this software suite part of their own, offering the public a download which includes tools for three audio apps as well as their Facebook 360 encoder app and stand-alone video player. While Facebook has yet to release a VR video editor, this gets them a whole lot closer.

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