virtual reality

Google ATAP’s making a sort of smart tech magic wand

Google ATAP’s making a sort of smart tech magic wand

There was a time before computers had a controller called a mouse. There was a time before personal mobile phones had touchscreens. There was a time before humans harnessed the power of electricity to enable them to control and interact with the world around them in ways that'd be otherwise impossible. Google has a concept for a device that might launch the next generation into the future as a singular controller for the operation of all things digitally connected. It's sort of like a magic wand, and it's called the House Mouse.

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Facebook VR headset prototype looks like cool sunglasses

Facebook VR headset prototype looks like cool sunglasses

Facebook is probably one of the last Big Tech companies you'd associate with virtual and augmented reality technologies but it has actually invested a lot of its resources into VR and AR, not even counting its acquisition of VR pioneer Oculus. Of course, Facebook's ideals for VR are more on the casual and social side and its Facebook Reality Labs is working on making that technology be less obnoxious and less uncomfortable, as if you were simply wearing rather large sunglasses.

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Ready at Dawn, VR developer behind Lone Echo, joins Facebook

Ready at Dawn, VR developer behind Lone Echo, joins Facebook

In an announcement through Oculus today, Facebook revealed that it has acquired Ready at Dawn, the developer behind the hit virtual reality game Lone Echo, as well as lesser-known titles Echo Arena and Echo Combat. Facebook praised the studio, calling Ready at Dawn a 'veteran' in the game industry. Development continues on the sequel game Lone Echo II.

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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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Star Wars: Squadrons settles on key period in Empire’s history

Star Wars: Squadrons settles on key period in Empire’s history

Since the dawn of Star Wars, George Lucas's universe has expanded with stories from across the galaxy - and across time. In Star Wars: Squadrons, the gamer is dropped in to the cockpit of a starfighter at a key point in the history of the Rebellion, and the decline of the evil Galactic Empire. Much like Star Wars: Battlefront (2015), this game takes place (at least in part) just after the battle of Endor, after the destruction of the Death Star II.

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Star Wars: Squadrons release date, price, and VR cross-play revealed

Star Wars: Squadrons release date, price, and VR cross-play revealed

Today we're taking a peek at the release details of Star Wars: Squadrons. This is the newest EA Games / Motive Studios release in the Star Wars universe, centered on 5v5 dogfights in starfighters piloted by New Republic (rebellion) pilots and pilots fighting on the side of the dying Galactic Empire. Now that the Death Star II has been destroyed, and both Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine along with it - things are different, and attitudes have changed.

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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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Lenovo Mirage VR S3 standalone headset should be tougher than most

Lenovo Mirage VR S3 standalone headset should be tougher than most

It's been a little while since we last heard from Lenovo's VR arm, but today the company is back with a new headset. Today Lenovo unveiled the Mirage VR S3, an all-in-one headset it created with the help of the folks at Pico Interactive. With a 4K display and hands-free functionality that doesn't need the included paddle controller, it sounds like the Mirage VR S3 could be a very capable headset.

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Half-Life: Alyx mod lets you play without VR but at a virtual cost

Half-Life: Alyx mod lets you play without VR but at a virtual cost

Half-Life Alyx is the first major game in the franchise to come out in years but its high requirements made it a no-go for many fans of the franchise. Valve may have boosted sales of its Index VR system and perhaps other compatible VR gear but that is still a small number compared to Half-Life fans still left hanging. Unsurprisingly, there have been a few attempts at getting Alyx to run on screens that are flat as pancakes but this Pancake FPS Starter Kit looks to be one of the most promising and slightly more confusing ones.

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Half-Life: Alyx update lets you slosh wine in bottles

Half-Life: Alyx update lets you slosh wine in bottles

Virtual reality is supposed to give the illusion of being in an artificial yet believable world. Given today's technologies, however, that doesn't always look believable not just in graphics quality but also in how things move. Liquids are one of the hardest things to get right and Valve had a simple solution for those in Half-Life: Alyx that involved simply ignoring they even exist. The latest update, however, finally brings some semblance of reality and lets you play with all kinds of liquids that you might not even have access to in the real world.

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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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