HTC and Oculus unveil new headsets at CES

Both HTC and their arch rivals Oculus have both unveiled new VR headsets at CES 2018.

HTC showed off its updated Pro version of its Vive headset while Oculus announced a new partnership with China’s Xiaomi that will result in a standalone headset.

The Vive Pro increase the total resolution to 2880 by 1600 pixels, with equates to a 78% increase on previous models. This will be provided by two OLED screens. The other headline feature is the integration of high-performance headphones with a built-in...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 09 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Facebook opens up Spaces for HTC Vive

Facebook has implemented a major change of strategy with regard to its VR Spaces app. The social media giant has surprised many by announcing that its VR chat app, which is still in beta and free, will support its biggest rivals: HTC Vive and SteamVR.

The announcement, made by a Facebook VR exec on 19 December, is a reverse of the message that Oculus has been giving out for over a year. The company had solidly maintained that all of its major games and apps would remain as exclusives to Oculus hardware.

There...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Platforms.

Airbnb developing a VR property viewing solution

Airbnb is in the process of developing a VR/AR feature that will let users get a feel for rental properties.

The company wrote in a recent blog post that it wants to add 3D scans and 360 photos to its website, in order to allow people to get a better sense of the actual scale and layout of a property. VR has been on the company’s radar for at least year, with VP of engineering Mike Curtis saying in 2016 that the technology could be used to forge a closer connection between the company and its...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

BBC launches VR Hub

The BBC has announced the launch of a VR department, called VR Hub, that is going to invest in the creation of virtual content.

The BBC has been experimenting with the medium for a number of years. Among the experiences already released include putting users in the shoes of refuges in We Wait, and taking them back to the Easter Rising of 1916. These experiences have all been made available on Oculus Rift, Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR.

The BBC’s first experience on HTC Vive,

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 04 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Platforms.

VIVE announces investments in 26 new VR/AR startups

HTC VIVE has announced the latest round of VR/AR tech startups to be added to its VIVE X accelerator programme. The companies that will be receiving investment and support from VIVE as part of the programme include a company building a brain control system and those developing content tools and behaviourial engines.

Through their selection into the VIVE X programme, the startups gain unparalleled access to expertise, resources, planning and network resources. The aim is to get these companies mature enough to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Developers.

Amazon moves into VR with Sumerian

The VR market just got a lot more crowded with the entry of one of the largest companies in the world.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud platform of the ubiquitous ecommerce giant, has launched a new service called Sumerian. The new service aims to provide a platform that makes the process of developing VR, AR and 3D applications easier.

Sumerian gives developers an editor that they can use to build virtual environments and populate them with 3D objects and characters. Developers can also script how these...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Developers.

Nokia halts VR camera activities citing slow market growth

Nokia has taken the decision to discontinue its OZO VR camera and hardware production line, due to what it perceives as slow market growth.

In a press release, the company stated that:

“In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 10 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Why So Many Doubters? Riding the VR Hype Cycle

From the moment Mark Zuckerberg handed over $2billion for Oculus Rift, the starting gun sounded for the latest trip around the VR hype cycle.

VR is not a new technology. The earliest incarnations have been traced all the way back to around 1860 in the form of panoramic paintings. By 1930, the first flight simulator using a version of the technology was sold to the US military to improve pilot skills. The first head mounted display was developed in 1960, first VR goggles hit the shelves in 1987, Lawnmower Man...

By Robert Kendal, 11 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Enterprise, Hardware.

Audi deploys VR into dealerships

Audi dealers in Germany, Spain and the UK will be offering potential customers the chance to experience what an individually configured will look like using VR.

The move represents the first, fully functional VR application for customer consultations at dealerships in the automotive industry.

This application of the technology is likely to make waves across any industry where customers need to improve a product before it is actually created, such as interior design. Audi is paving the way when it comes to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Immersv seals $10.5 million series A funding to accelerate VR advertising

Immersv, a provider of interactive advertising virtual reality (VR) platforms, has announced the completion of a $10.5 million series A round of financing.

The company says the funding builds on a year of ‘significant product and market momentum’, with Immersv recently signing programmatic deals with a variety of demand side platform (DSP) and supply side platform (SSP) providers. Immersv also lists Mountain Drew, Nissan, and the Hawaii Tourism Bureau as brands who have executed successful...

By James Bourne, 23 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands.