Samsung Gear VR

Oculus Venues brings VR to live locations

Oculus Venues brings VR to live locations

This isn't the first time anyone's tried to use VR for a live event - but it might be the most important. This week the folks at Oculus revealed their intent to bring LIVE events to the Oculus Go and Gear VR. No word yet on if this bit of functionality will come to the most powerful of the bunch: Oculus Rift.

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Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Mobile VR: What it needs to succeed

Last week, the Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo launched, both standalone mobile versions of virtual reality platforms. This week at its I/O developers conference, Google will undoubtedly make a case again for its Daydream VR platform, be it powered by smartphones or standalone, almost the poor man's VR experience. None of these are entirely new. From the Google Cardboard to the Samsung Gear VR, mobile VR has been around for as long as "desktop" VR has and yet, unlike its bigger cousin, it has failed to gain long-lasting traction and support. That despite being potentially more affordable. Why has it failed and what does it need to survive and thrive? Here are some points to consider.

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Samsung Gear VR gets its own original video series

Samsung Gear VR gets its own original video series

A new wave of standalone VR headsets are coming but long before these, there was Samsung's Gear VR. Powered by Oculus, the Samsung-specific platform has seemingly languished by the wayside, filled with nothing more than what can probably be best described as tech demos. In an attempt to show that it means business, Samsung has launched its Pilot Season initiative to fund and help indie filmmakers create VR content, which has so far yielded six episodic original series exclusive to the Gear VR.

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Plex adds Oculus and Gear VR support to its virtual reality app

Plex adds Oculus and Gear VR support to its virtual reality app

Plex's virtual reality app now supports Oculus and the Gear VR, expanding it beyond its former Daydream limitation. The Plex VR app was announced in January, enabling Daydream users to watch content using their virtual reality headset, including co-watching with a friend who is represented in-screen via an avatar. Those same features still exist, but they're now available to more headset owners.

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Bigscreen Gear VR brings social viewing, PC streaming soon

Bigscreen Gear VR brings social viewing, PC streaming soon

Samsung’s Gear VR has been left by the wayside. While technically powered by Oculus, the smartphone-based version is different enough that it doesn’t enjoy the same richness of content as the main Oculus Rift. Samsung itself doesn’t seem to be that enthusiastic about it either. Hope, however, might come from outside, with third-party VR developers Bigscreen announcing their big intention to bring almost exactly that same experience to the Gear VR and, later on, other mobile VR platforms as well.

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Star Wars VR Droid Repair Bay just revealed Last Jedi models with ILMxLAB

Star Wars VR Droid Repair Bay just revealed Last Jedi models with ILMxLAB

The folks at ILMxLAB revealed a new VR experience today with Lucasfilm and Nissan in tow. The application is Star Wars: DROID REPAIR BAY : Astro-Mechanic for The Resistance, and it includes a few odd droid models we've never seen before. As this is the post-Return of the Jedi era of Star Wars, this means we're seeing lots of BB-unit droids and a new mechanic droid well advanced beyond what's seen in the first three movies.

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Gear VR PhoneCast app lets you use some 2D apps in virtual reality

Gear VR PhoneCast app  lets you use some 2D apps in virtual reality

Virtual reality is fun and entertaining but hardly useful when it comes to getting real-world things done, it isn’t of much help. At least with the current state of technology. In the meantime, however, users can have an approximation of productivity in virtual reality by having their non-gaming software brought before their eyes. That is exactly what the Samsung PhoneCast VR app is trying to do by making some “2D”, a.k.a. flat, regular, and boring apps, available on the Gear VR headset.

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Settlers of Catan makes jump from board game to VR

Settlers of Catan makes jump from board game to VR

Fans of the hit strategy-based board game Settlers of Catan will soon be able to enjoy the classic title in a whole new way using some of the latest technology: that's right, virtual reality. The VR game developer Experiment 7 has announced that it's adapted the game for headsets with the help of the original team behind Catan, and will be released for the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR this holiday season.

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Note 8 accessories: New Gear VR with Controller, and more

Note 8 accessories: New Gear VR with Controller, and more

Samsung doesn't just have a brand new smartphone for you today, it also has a batch of new Galaxy Note 8 accessories, too. Launching alongside the Android phablet is an updated range of Note 8 cases, shells, QWERTY keyboard sleeves, and a new Gear VR with Controller. However, if you're an existing Galaxy S8 or S8+ user, some of the accessories you already have might play nicely with the Note 8, too.

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Blade Runner 2049 Replicant Pursuit – launching at SDCC

Blade Runner 2049 Replicant Pursuit – launching at SDCC

Almost every other movie these days has a virtual reality tie in. It’s almost unavoidable considering how popular VR is. That’s especially true if the film in question is fantasy or, better yet, sci-fi. With the San Diego Comic Con kicking into full gear this week, there is no better time to promote such virtual reality experiences. Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to a sci-fi cult classic, is no different, and Oculus is only too happy to bring Gear VR owners an appetizer of what’s to come later this year.

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X Games will have its first livestreamed VR events next week

X Games will have its first livestreamed VR events next week

ESPN has announced that for the first time ever, the X Games will have events livestreamed on VR, something that will be done in collaboration with Samsung. The livestreaming VR events will be available only on the Gear VR platform, and they'll take place for the inaugural X Games in Minneapolis. Gear VR users in 48 countries will have access to the livestreamed VR events, which will include skateboarding and BMX.

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Gear VR may soon identify you based on your head and face shape

Gear VR may soon identify you based on your head and face shape

Imagine putting on a virtual reality headset, only for it to personally recognize you, no interaction necessary. Such functionality may be making its way to Samsung's Gear VR headset, at least according to a patent that recently surfaced. This new patent details a means by which the Gear VR headset could know who is wearing it by analyzing the pressure points on the surfaces in contact with the wearer's face and head.

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