HTC announces premium VR headset for China market

HTC has announced the first Vive Standalone VR headset for the Chinese market, which will have Viveport as its official content platform.

HTC Vive hopes that the new standalone will be the number one premium device for Chinese consumers.

The Vive Standalone will make use of features of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile VR platform that was designed to support built-in VR functionality. This will allow developers to more rapidly release compelling content.

“China is the leading mobile market in the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Hardware.

Mira launches $99 Prism AR headset

Startup Mira is making a bold move into the AR market with its Prism headset. The headset, which is currently open for pre-order at $99, uses the iPhone as its power source.

The small price tag (roughly £75 or AU$125) is well below the $3,000 retail price of the Microsoft HoloLens. This is possible because the headset follows a similar approach to the Google Cardboard, except with the iPhone.

Mira apps run on an iPhone that is placed into the headset and in turn forms part of the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Successful demonstration of VR live streaming surgery training tool

A successful demonstration has shown that medical surgery can be live-streamed in VR to help students learn.

The project was led by London-based developer Room One in collaboration with Ericsson, BT, King’s College London (KCL) and OPTO. The demonstration was held at Ericsson’s Innovation Day in Aachen, Germany.

The demonstration follows Mobile World Congress 2017, where a surgeon successfully controlled a robot arm using a connected glove. The

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 18 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Disney and Lenovo producing AR headset

Lenovo has announced that it is collaborating with Disney on a new AR headset.

The headset will be released in conjunction with the upcoming AR experience Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.

The product puts fans of the all-conquering space opera the opportunity to relive some of their favourite moments from the films from an entirely new perspective.

 Aside from the fact that the project exists, nothing else is known about the new headset, including whether it will be...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Facebook rumoured to be planning $200 wireless headset for 2018

Facebook could be heading for an ‘iPhone movement’ if a Bloomberg report claiming the company plans a relatively cheap, wireless VR headset for 2018 are true.

The report claims that Facebook and its VR branch Oculus are betting that the new headset will popularise VR in the mind of consumers, like the iPhone heralded the smartphone age.

The plans are for the headset to retail at around...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Oculus price drop: what the media is saying

The price of Facebook’s flagship VR hardware, the Oculus Rift, has been reduced for the second time this year.

In a sales event dubbed the ‘Summer of Rift’ the price of the hardware and its Touch controller has been dropped to $399. This is half the price that the bundle was being sold for five months and $100 lower then then previous price drop in March.

The announcement has prompted a deluge of reaction from the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

NASA testing VR wrist bands

California-based BioInteractive Technologies Inc has announced that two of its flagship VR wristbands are being tested for use by NASA.

The space agency is looking at the potential for integrating TENZR wristbands into its training programmes.

The Nasa VRLab is an immersive training facility that uses real-time graphics and motion sensors to train budding astronauts for the experience of working in a low or zero gravity environment.

The TENZR wristbands use custom sensors in the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Five Key Lessons from IVRPA Vienna 2017

IVRPA 2017 was held in Vienna earlier this month and brought together over 200 360˚ and VR content creators from across the globe for four days of keynotes, workshops and social events.

Here are some of the most significant learnings from the event:

1) Brands need scale, so forget about the headset, just for now

Brands need and expect scale for their campaigns, and a key friction point is that headset experiences currently don’t deliver this.

Headset adoption will of course increase over time, but...

By Rachel Dennis, 21 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Enterprise, Hardware.

Social media powering growth of AR/VR

40 million US citizens will engage with some form of AR this year, according to an eMarketer forecast.

This represents a growth from 30% last year.

According to eMarketer, this growth is mainly being fuelled by social media innovations, particularly Snapchat Lenses, Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories.

VR usage meanwhile is receiving a boost from 360-degree videos on social media.

Augmented reality

If an ‘AR user’ is defined as an individual who engages with AR content at least once a month on...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

US VR healthcare market grew by $450 million since 2012

The VR in healthcare market in the United States has grown from $525 million in 2012 to an estimated $976 million in 2017, according to healthcare market research firm Kalorama.

The firm estimates that the VR/AR in healthcare market will continue to grow at roughly the same pace in the US over the coming years.

“The term ‘virtual reality’ is used in different contexts,” said Emil Salazar, analyst at Kalorama and author of the report.

“Broadly, virtual reality is the means or...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Research.