Google launches Chrome browser on VR Daydream headsets

Google has announced that Chrome, the world’s most popular browser used by 44.5% of users, is now available on its VR (virtual reality) Daydream headsets.

Announced on its blog yesterday, the search and tech giant said users of Google Daydream View and Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream can now launch Chrome directly from their homepage and interact with any webpage while in VR.

Google promises that “all the features you...

By Mark Jones, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Platforms.

Mall & theme park VR experience startup gears up for £5m IPO

A virtual reality (VR) experience company that supplies virtual experiences to theme parks and shopping malls is ready to go public on the AIM market, with aims to raise £5m from the listing.

The UK-headquartered Immotion uses a combination of graphics, motion and sound to create immersive experiences for consumers at venues including Legoland Boston and multiple shopping centres across the UK.

Raising the cash would see Immotion valued at roughly £20m, which would be used to fund its further...

By Mark Jones, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Hardware, Platforms.

ARKit app downloads hit 13 million in six months, says new analysis

More than 13 million augmented reality (AR) apps have been installed using Apple’s ARKit framework in its first six months according to data from Sensor Tower – with almost half of these coming from gaming.

The figures suggest a steady upward trend since the platform debuted in September last year. Previous analysis from one month after iOS 11 launched saw the number at around three million. Back then, ARKit-only gaming apps represented just over one third (35%) of all installs. Today, the number...

By James Bourne, 03 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, iOS, Platforms.

First platform for volumetric videos launched

A new battlefield has opened up in the VR/AR space: the race towards creating viewing experiences that centre around livestreamed, interactive holographic visuals.

The technical name for this kind of video is volumetric. This technique captures film footage in 3D in order to essentially create a fully scanned and reproduced digital copy of whatever is being filmed, which can then be sent to AR glasses or VR headsets.

The term shot back into the headlines this week when the CEO of secretive and much-hyped AR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

VR hits the slopes in the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics currently taking place in South Korea marks a big step forward for live broadcast VR content.

Intel is working in partnership with the International Olympic Committee to provide the technology needed for broadcasting VR and 360 video content. The partnership is extended up until 2024, so the Korean games are just the beginning.

The company will be streaming 30 events, both live and on-demand, throughout the games. Events being streamed include Women’s Skeleton, Men’s Downhill and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Platforms.

Vreal raises $11.7M to create the VR Twitch

Vreal Inc., the VR livestreaming and broadcast platform, has announced that it has raised $11.7 million in a Series A funding round led by Axioma Ventures.

The company is in the process of building a platform that is similar to game streaming sites like Amazon’s Twitch or YouTube, but utilising VR. Users will be able to use their headsets (although the company is primarily working with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at the moment), and be able to stand next to their favourite streamers while they...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

ABI Research: Hardware differentiation to become increasingly difficult

Differentiation between VR/AR headsets will begin to become more challenging for hardware developers as standards mature, according to ABI Research.

While early VR leaders like Google, Samsung, Oculus and HTC will continue to drive innovation over the coming years, but innovation between untethered or mobile-based headsets will begin to slow down.  

Standards (such as cross-platform support) are already beginning to emerge with organisations like the Khronos group and IEEE lending their support to a more...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 25 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Ecosystems, Hardware, Platforms.

AR app offers assistance to paramedics

Being a paramedic of an EMT is the definition of a high pressure, stressful job. Not only are you thrown into a myriad of complex situations, you also have to come up with a diagnosis of the particular patient’s problem and come up with a viable course of action. All in an environment where a wasted few seconds could make all the difference.

A new AR application for the Microsoft HoloLens is looking to ease this burden by providing paramedics with a range of diagnostic tools to help better treat...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Platforms.

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.

Google makes YouTube VR available on Steam

Already one of the main selling points of Google’s Daydream VR platform, Google has now YouTube VR available to HTC Vive users.

Steam users can now download YouTube VR right now. The company has also released a trailer for the release.   

Users will be able to browse and watch content from every channel or creator in VR, without being limited to 180 or 360 videos. The experience is similar to that of VR theatres, where users are presented with a floating screen insider of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Platforms.