virtual reality

Valve’s HTC VIVE headset going free to developers (at first)

Valve’s HTC VIVE headset going free to developers (at first)

While competing developer kits in the virtual reality headset market go for hundreds of dollars, Valve and HTC are taking a different approach. The first wave of HTC VIVE VR headsets are going to be free. For developers. And not just any developers - developers hand-picked by Valve. This headset is also being developed as a consumer virtual reality headset which will be released for a standard price (which we do not know at this time) at some point in the future - closer to the end of the year 2015.

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Google gave us Cardboard – Facebook gave us a science lesson

Google gave us Cardboard – Facebook gave us a science lesson

This week at F8, Facebook presented a basic plan for the next 10 years in development - both inside and outside the social network. Amongst announcements of flying internet drones and updating the Messenger ecosystem, Facebook officials handed off the mic to Oculus. While we expected that Oculus would give us some indicator of the future of the company - or their involvement with Facebook - instead we got a lesson in the science of virtual reality.

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Facebook may push Oculus to consumer hardware

Facebook may push Oculus to consumer hardware

This week Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood onstage at F8, the social network's developer conference, and spoke about Oculus VR. Zuckerberg showed how 360-degree spherical video would be making its way to Facebook's main news feed with the help of Oculus VR. This same content would be coming to Oculus Rift some time after it'd hit the main news feed. With the Samsung Gear VR (made in collaboration with Oculus VR), the company would also be showing a "Teleportation Station" to give people a glimpse of their offices from a remote location.

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Oculus Rift release in 2015 as real as The Matrix

Oculus Rift release in 2015 as real as The Matrix

This week Michael Abrash, Chief Programmer for Oculus VR, spoke about what virtual reality was, and what it'll be to you in the near future. He made a point to mention Ready Player One and Snow Crash as inspirations to him for the beginnings of Virtual Reality. He also made mention of The Matrix - his one, true inspiration for the way Virtual Reality can be interpreted as. "If you are talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see," he said, quoting Morpheus, "then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain."

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Facebook’s 10 year plan: AI, VR, and the flying web

Facebook’s 10 year plan: AI, VR, and the flying web

Facebook may be best known for providing a route for former schoolfriends to annoy you with their baby photos, but the social site is also looking to bring the next generation of internet users online and give developers the tools to lure them. A combination of virtual reality, vast data centers, newly open-sourced coding tools, and innovative and less expensive web-delivery systems like drones were all on the agenda for Facebook’s second day F8 2015 keynote, along with how to teach an artificial intelligence about Lord of the Rings.

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Open Source Virtual Reality Academia heads to Universities worldwide

Open Source Virtual Reality Academia heads to Universities worldwide

Earlier this year amid Razer's introduction of OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality) to the masses, an announcement was made for the program's approach to higher-education. This program provides OSVR virtual reality headsets to participating VR programs for students, along with software for development. Now here near the end of March, the OSVR Academia program is partnering with universities in Germany, Italy, Canada, Spain, the UK, Austria, and Poland. And the United States, of course, where 18 Universities have connected with the program in the short time it's been visible to the public.

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Ready Player One’s Steven Spielberg assignment

Ready Player One’s Steven Spielberg assignment

This afternoon it was confirmed that directorial duties for the movie Ready Player One would be given to Steven Spielberg. Easily one of the most famous movie directors in the history of the world, Spielberg will very easily give clout beyond reckoning to this science fiction project. The movie is based on the book by the same title, written by Ernest Cline, a fellow who today suggested that, due to the Spielberg assignment, he'd be having "a massive coronary" in the very near future.

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Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook teleported me and I felt nothing

Facebook raised a few eyebrows when a premature alert teased teleportation technology at today's F8 conference, but it's really virtual reality that the social network hopes to make its next killer feature. To herald the upcoming support of 360-degree virtual reality content right on your Facebook wall, the company was offering to "teleport" people from San Francisco to the company HQ in Menlo Park, courtesy of an Oculus-powered headset and a whole load of cameras. Still slightly disappointed at having put on my Star Trek uniform for no good reason, I found the reality of 360 VR might not live up to Mark Zuckerberg's enthusiasm, either.

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Mark Zuckerberg teases 360 VR video in Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg teases 360 VR video in Facebook

"Soon we're going to start supporting spherical video in newsfeed," said Zuckerberg, "and soon we're going to be supporting spherical video in VR, in your VR headset." Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed interest in VR several years ago - well before the company purchased Oculus VR. Here in 2015, it's clear that the future of Facebook includes more than just sharing text, and more than just sharing photos. Facebook will soon be sharing spherical video - not just video, but video that allows you to look around in all directions.

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Leap Motion’s Open Source Virtual Reality support gets real

Leap Motion’s Open Source Virtual Reality support gets real

Right up front - attached at the faceplate - that's where you'll find the Leap Motion tracker on the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit later this year. An announcement has been made by the Open Source Virtual Reality group that suggests Leap Motion is fully onboard - supporting the initiative and preparing their motion tracking equipment to ship with the first developer-aimed hardware later this year. This would make the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit the first VR headset to ship with Leap Motion attached - supposing Oculus VR doesn't get there first.

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Cmoar VR headset uses any smartphone to deliver more

Cmoar VR headset uses any smartphone to deliver more

We've seen many a VR headset that try to utilize the computers that we already have in our pockets, our smartphones, but almost all of those cater to a small subset of smartphones, sometimes even just one. Cmoar is yet another such VR headset, but, as you might have guessed, it is doing a few things quite differently. It does make use of smartphones for displays but it can actually accommodate any smartphone within a certain size range. It can even make room for iPhones!

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Open Source Virtual Reality gets massive with Unity and Unreal Engine

Open Source Virtual Reality gets massive with Unity and Unreal Engine

Plugins for both Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4 have been released to the public for OSVR, the Open Source Virtual Reality program. This system was first initiated by the folks at Razer, appearing at CES 2015 with a brand new OSVR Dev Kit virtual reality headset. In the very short time between then and now, they've racked up quite a few heavy-hitting partners. This system also works with Vuzix technology and has racked up partners like Ubisoft, Seven Hill Games, Homido, and castAR.

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