virtual reality

Samsung wants to patent magnetic VR controllers that track hand position

Samsung wants to patent magnetic VR controllers that track hand position

A newly surfaced patent indicates that Samsung could be working on new magnetic VR controllers for its Gear VR headset. The patent was filed back in December and published earlier this week, and in it we see details about controllers that utilize a magnetic field to determine the position of the user's hands. Virtual reality usage scenarios are specifically discussed in the patent, though the details mention using the controllers for multiple devices and not any single one in particular.

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Best Buy has a tempting Oculus Rift deal on offer

Best Buy has a tempting Oculus Rift deal on offer

It seems that now is an excellent time to dive into VR. Not only is HTC offering the VIVE at a discount during the Steam Summer Sale, but Best Buy has now put together a VR deal of its own. This time around, the focus is on the Oculus Rift, though what Best Buy is offering isn't really a "sale" of sorts.

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HTC Vive X welcomes 33 new startups to its accelerator program

HTC Vive X welcomes 33 new startups to its accelerator program

In pushing the virtual reality market forward, it really isn't enough just to have a VR headset or a set of demo apps and games. It isn't even enough just to have a platform to build upon. You also need the builders that will utilize that platform. Last year, HTC announced its Vive X accelerator program in a bid to grab that mindshare away from competing platforms like Facebook's Oculus. Now it is announcing the second batch of 33 startups that will get a chance to learn from HTC directly about creating virtual, augmented, and mixed reality experiences for fun and profit.

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Steam VR “Knuckles” controller has a lot of capacitive sensors

Steam VR “Knuckles” controller has a lot of capacitive sensors

One of the remaining problems with VR, AR, and MR platforms is input. All of them use one form of stick or another, and none of them currently emulate the feel of a hand moving and grasping in the real world. Valve, however, might be coming close to a solution without having to resort to gloves or exoskeletons. The "Knuckles", Valve's nickname for the next gen Steam VR controller, does this by having nearly a dozen capacitive sensors in it.

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Google VR180 cameras will make cheaper 3D VR more mainstream

Google VR180 cameras will make cheaper 3D VR more mainstream

Google has announced plans to make VR content easier to create, and it involves VR180. This new video format, according to the company, will bring about virtual reality videos that are high-resolution and that focus 'on what's in front of you.' Joining the new format will be VR180 cameras that enable anyone to shoot their own VR videos in a way that is as simple as using a point and shoot camera.

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HTC VIVE gets a price drop, free Steam gift card for Summer Sale

HTC VIVE gets a price drop, free Steam gift card for Summer Sale

The Steam Summer Sale is officially underway, but the deals don't apply to just Steam games. HTC announced today that it's discounting the VIVE for the duration of the sale as well, giving you the opportunity to save a bit of money on the admittedly expensive VR headset. HTC will also toss in a Steam gift card too, so you'll be able to take full advantage of the Summer Sale.

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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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YouTube knows exactly what 360-degree VR viewers care about

YouTube knows exactly what 360-degree VR viewers care about

360-degree and virtual reality video may be the hottest new trend in entertainment, but it turns out most people can't really be bothered to move their head. The growth in popularity of affordable VR systems, like Samsung's Gear VR and Google's Daydream, has made viewing 360-degree content more straightforward. Meanwhile, cheaper 360-degree cameras like the Samsung Gear 360 has made producing content easier too.

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iPhone Augmented Reality revealed with ARKit

iPhone Augmented Reality revealed with ARKit

Apple's next hand in the future is Augmented Reality, as evidenced this morning by Craig Federighi speaking onstage at WWDC 2017. With Augmented Reality developer kit - ARKit, they call it - developers will be influencing the way the future is seen through the iPhone and iPad. With this kit, simple computations are able to be made, for starters, including allowing the iPhone to detect a flat table surface.

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Walmart taps VR to train store employees

Walmart taps VR to train store employees

Walmart has revealed the latest method it is using to train store employees: virtual reality. The big-box retailer got the idea from observing football players using VR to train, and it has since implemented the technology into 30 of its 'Walmart Academy' training centers. The idea behind the training method is to introduce future employees and managers to situations they will encounter during the course of their job, but that they would benefit from experiencing ahead of time in a safe environment.

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Chromecast support arrives on Gear VR

Chromecast support arrives on Gear VR

Those of you with a Gear VR will probably like to hear that Samsung and Oculus have brought Chromecast functionality to the VR headset today. With this new functionality, you'll be able to stream the content you see through Chromecast, for instance allowing you to broadcast what you're currently experiencing through your TV.

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Surprise: the Windows Mixed Reality headsets don’t look totally dorky

Surprise: the Windows Mixed Reality headsets don’t look totally dorky

Microsoft is betting big on Windows Mixed Reality, and it turns out PC makers are rising to the challenge with a variety of designs shown off this week at Computex 2017. The software giant's decision not to make its own headset, following the Surface strategy, but throw the responsibility over to OEMs had led to some concern that we'd see plenty of me-too mixed reality visors clogging shelves come the holiday season. Happily, it looks like that's not going to be the case.

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