VR headsets ownership higher then tablets at same stage of lifecycle

Ownership levels of VR headsets are higher than those of wearables and tablets at the same stage of their lifecycle, according to research by YouGov.

The new report, called VR: A Deeper Perspective, found that 6% of the UK population currently own a headset. At the equivalent point after commercial release, only 4% owned wearables and 3% had bought a tablet.

The data suggests that VR hardware is seeing a rapid expansion in the last year. In Q4 2016, headset penetration was 3%, meaning it had roughly doubled by Q1...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware, Research.

Tackling the VR video transmission challenge

With a positive growth trajectory predicted for the VR market, hundreds of entrepreneurs and startups are pouring their brainpower into developing VR technology. 

VR UniBlock is no exception.

We started with trying to solve the interconnected sensor problem by developing a smart sensor network that allows each sensor to work independently.

Although our original development still exists, the project ultimately led us to understand the market need for smart wireless video transmission.

We quickly realized...

By Askar Khamidov, 18 May 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Hardware.

Google announces untethered VR headsets

Google has announced an expansion of its Daydream VR programme, including a new untethered VR headset.

The announcement was made at Google I/O 2017 during a talk by Google VP for VR Clay Bavor.

Bavor said: “We asked, ‘how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience.’”

Launched in October, the Daydream View was a phone holster. The new headset will be standalone, with tracking technology called WorldSense.  A company

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

Elon Musk’s AI startup training robots in VR

OpenAI, the research company set up by Elon Musk to build safe AI, has revealed a new method for teaching robots using VR.

The non-profit company, which is currently made up of 60 researchers and engineers, has released research showing that it trained a self-learning algorithm to complete a task using VR demonstrations.

The company wanted to teach the machine how to stack blocks in particular orders.

Once the algorithm had been shown how to complete the task once in a VR simulation by a human, it was...

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

3D imaging tool helps home renovators see ‘through’ walls

European consumers who are looking to take on some DIY can now call on VR to help see through walls and other objects.

WalabotDIY, developed by 3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging, gives renovators ‘Superman-vision’ that allows them to see up to 10 cm into drywall, cement and other materials. No longer will there be that moment of anticipation as you drill into wall, hoping that you won’t be knee-deep in water 10 minutes later.

The app is designed to help people determine the location...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Hardware.

Microsoft introduce their own VR controllers

Microsoft has introduced a new set of VR controllers that will accompany mixed-reality headsets in the coming year.

The announcement, made during the Build 2017 keynote presentation, came with news that Microsoft will not be building its own headsets. Instead, the company will be looking to team up with a range of other manufacturers.

The controllers will be available for the incoming Acer headset. The Acer headset represents a technological step forward as it has built-in motion sensors, so does not need...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Microsoft.

Ultrahaptics completes B round investment of £17.9 million

Ultrahaptics, the mid-air haptics company, has completed its series B round of investment with £17.9 million ($23 million).

The company uses ultrasound to project sensations through the air and onto the hands of users. This allows the user to interact with virtual objects in the air, such as ‘feeling’ buttones and using gestures to interface with technology.

The company believes the technology has a number of different applications where touchless interfaces are an incoming development. The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 04 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

VR glove kickstarter lets users touch the virtual

Having gloves that use haptic feedback in order to let VR users feel the simulated physicality of the virtual environment is widely seen as an important evolutionary step in the VR ecosystem.

Now, thanks to a Kicstarter campaign launched by VRgluv, we could be about to see a leap forward.

The kickstarter aims to raise $100,000 and backers will receive a pair of the gloves at a discounted rate from the retail price of $579.

The gloves are compatible with Vive and Occulus headsets....

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

The two sides of VR: The created and scanned environments

In the world of property, VR plays two key roles.

Firstly, it is used to produce VR walkthroughs of existing properties in order to help market and sell them.

Secondly, it is used to produce a realistic and interactive architectural visualisation of proposed building and development plans.

Depending on the requirements of the project, there is a choice between two VR subcategories; the scanned environment and the created environment.

VR innovation is still in its infancy; many of its capabilities...

By Will Darbyshire, 26 April 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

Harmonic, Nokia and PCCW deliver live 360 VR sports experience

Harmonic, the global video delivery infrastructure company, has announced that its Electra VS video system was used by PCCW Global during the recent Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong King Sevens rugby tournament.

Harmonic partnered with Nokia and PCCW Global, the international division of Hong Kong telecommunications service provider HKT, to deliver 360 VR experiences live during the tournament.

The provision of 360 VR multi-camera live sports production was assisted by Ideal Systems, and combined Nokia’s OZO...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.