mixed reality

HoloLens 2 Developer Edition lands in the US, platform expands globally

HoloLens 2 Developer Edition lands in the US, platform expands globally

Oculus has taken up the majority of the VR news of late, though not always in a positive light thanks to parent company Facebook. It isn't the only game in town, of course, but HTC's Vive has mysteriously gone a bit silent. And then there's the realm of mixed reality, where VR and AR collide. Microsoft's HoloLens, technically an AR system, is pretty much still the biggest player and it has just announced two major updates that aim to bring its mixed reality platform to more users and more developers.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator VR close beta is now open for sign-ups

Microsoft Flight Simulator VR close beta is now open for sign-ups

For simulator fans, the latest iteration of the well-aged Flight Simulator could be the franchise's biggest release yet and in more ways than one. The complete set of launch assets spans 10 dual-layer DVDs and that's not yet including the updates that will be released in the months and years to come. It may also be the first of its line to finally reach virtual reality utopia now that the technology is pretty much ready. And if you are similarly ready with the hardware, you can try your luck in signing up for a closed VR beta tester now.

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Nreal Light AR glasses launch bundled with Galaxy Note 20 5G

Nreal Light AR glasses launch bundled with Galaxy Note 20 5G

If you're any kind of an augmented or mixed reality enthusiast, you might now finally have a reason to buy Samsung's new Galaxy Note 20. That is, if you leave in South Korea. Almost like a proverbial unicorn, AR glasses that don't look like bulky headsets have repeatedly been promised but never delivered, that is until now. Nreal, who promised to democratize mixed reality gear, is finally launching its Light smart glasses but with a couple of caveats, including spending more than $1,300 for the experience.

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Magic Leap bets on ex-Microsoft exec to turn mixed reality tide

Magic Leap bets on ex-Microsoft exec to turn mixed reality tide

Magic Leap has found itself a new CEO, with the beleaguered augmented reality company looking to a former Microsoft exec to help turn itself around. Long the darling of Silicon Valley investors, Magic Leap promised a mesmeric world that blended reality with digital graphics, but its first hardware fell well short on the delivery.

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HTC VIVE XR Suite promises to get you ready for the Next Normal

HTC VIVE XR Suite promises to get you ready for the Next Normal

The past five months have seen a lot of sudden changes to how we interact with each other both socially and professionally. There has been an increase in the use of the Internet and computing devices, including smartphones, for work and to keep in touch with friends and families. HTC, however, notes that all these sudden innovations still make humans slaves to flat, two-dimensional screens. It is for that reason that it is launching a couple of XR apps to take that experience to the third dimension, calling it the Next Normal of computing.

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HTC Vive to support XR Viewers powered by Snapdragon phones

HTC Vive to support XR Viewers powered by Snapdragon phones

It seems that the VR and AR pendulum is swinging back to the smartphone side of things. Headsets started out as hulking boxes strapped to your head and wired to a computer but, thanks to Google, some got the idea of shoving a smartphone into that box instead and calling it a day. Realizing the limitations of phones, headset makers like HTC moved away towards standalone devices but may now be moving back to smartphone-powered gear, this time for XR glasses.

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Google Sodar app practices social distancing in an odd way

Google Sodar app practices social distancing in an odd way

Remember the joke about there's an app for almost anything and everything? Apps have become so common that it's no longer a joke. It's our reality already. So when an app that lets you practice social distancing pops up, it's not really a surprise. But, as with anything related to Google, it isn't just a simple instructional or informational app. Instead, Sodar shows you just how far you should keep people away, at least as long as you're looking down on your phone.

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HP Reverb G2 looks to be top-tier VR headset of tomorrow

HP Reverb G2 looks to be top-tier VR headset of tomorrow

The HP Reverb G2 represents a team-up of HP, Valve, and Microsoft, to create a virtual reality / mixed reality headset that'll top the rest. This device works with one 2K x 2K resolution per eye, and rolls with a 114-degree field of view. This headset is wired, worked with Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR, and MSFT spatial audio - as well as HP Labs newest spatial audio format.

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Qualcomm promises 5G smartphone-powered XR Viewers really soon

Qualcomm promises 5G smartphone-powered XR Viewers really soon

When consumers hear of 5G and its blazing fast speeds, most will probably think about Netflix and downloads. 5G's full potential, however, isn't limited to just that, of course, and it can enable a whole host of new experiences, including everyone's favorite AR/VR/XR. It's no surprise then that Qualcomm is pushing smartphones powered by its 5G technologies to drive the next wave of lightweight XR headsets that it says will finally arrive sometime within the next year.

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AR experiment uses AI to cut and paste real-world things into Photoshop

AR experiment uses AI to cut and paste real-world things into Photoshop

Augmented or mixed reality experiences often involve placing virtual objects alongside real-world things as seen through glasses or on phone screens. Doing the reverse, that is, placing real-world objects into digital canvases and in real-time, isn't so common and not that easy either. That, however, is the almost magical accomplishment that AI programmer and UX designer Cyril Diagne accomplished, letting you "cut and paste" real-world things into a Photoshop canvas.

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Microsoft HoloScreens will add real virtual monitors to your PC

Microsoft HoloScreens will add real virtual monitors to your PC

There's still some debate on whether more computer screens make people more productive or distracted but some who believe in the multi-screen lifestyle are often limited by physical space or budget constraints. What if there was a way to extend your screen workspace without actually buying or even just adding new monitors? That seems to be the problem that Microsoft's new HoloLens app will be trying to solve, allowing users to add additional monitors to their desktops or laptops, except these monitors float like ghosts in virtual space.

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Magic Leap lays off employees in shift from consumers to enterprise

Magic Leap lays off employees in shift from consumers to enterprise

Augmented reality, or mixed reality as some would call it, has always been touted as the future of computing more than its sibling, virtual reality. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook has been more supportive of AR efforts than VR, though it is mostly limited to iPads and iPhones so far. Mixed reality headsets are almost impossible to come by if you're a consumer, even if a well-funded one. If you were hoping that Magic Leap would be the one to commercialize AR for good, however, its latest announcement will probably sound more like a death knell that a business-saving strategy.

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