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.

Facebook debuts web-based VR news feed content

Facebook has launched a new feature that will allow people to access VR experiences through their normal news feeds.

Promotional experiences for the forthcoming Jumanji film and the British Museum were among the first to be posted.

The announcement follows on from the April 2017 release of React VR, a library and JavaScript framework for developers to help them build multi-channel VR experiences. React VR was used to build the initial experiences that appeared in user news feeds under the category of ‘360...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Platforms.

Record broken for largest wireless synced VR screening

WeLens has set a new record for the largest number of people wirelessly synched into a single VR viewing in one location.

The tech startup managed to allow 425 viewers at a Conversation International event to watch the VR film Under the Canopy together. The film, which was directed by filmmaker Patrick Meegan, was made in co-production with Jaunt and Conversation International transports viewers into the Amazon rainforest.

The company was founded in 2016 with the aim of making immersive technologies like VR more communal....

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

Mirra sees itself as the Squarespace of VR

 

One thing that can put people off trying their hand at VR and AR is the mountains of coding that needs to be done. For many people, the technical skills needed to make their ideas a reality is impediment enough.

But what if you could create virtual environments without having to input a single line of code? Well, that is what Mirra is aiming to do.

Availible as a public beta, Mirra is a 3D design tool and platform as a service that wants to help people create and distribute immersive environments in a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Developers, Platforms.

Mastercard unveils AR retail experience

Global payments giant Mastercard has teamed up with ODG and Qualcomm to create new “AR experience” that will give shoppers more information about potential purchases, as well as facilitating mobile payments.

The experience will be the first time that the company’s Masterpass digital wallet and identity check mobile will be mixed with iris authentication to provide safe payments.

“We are seeing major shifts in how commerce is conducted, as people lead increasingly connected, digital...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Platforms.

Google Chrome VR lets users browse the internet in virtual reality

You can now browse the web in VR using Google Chrome.

The release of Chrome 61 means that Daydream VR users can browse websites using their headsets and experience VR through WebVR. The new chrome is the latest stable build of the company’s Google browser.

Chrome team member François Beaufort announced the news in a post on Google+:

“…this allows users to view and interact with any website in VR, follow links between pages, and move between 2D and immersive viewing for sites that support WebVR. “Users...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 26 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Platforms.

UNICEF look to make VR/AR work for everyone

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has announced that it is seeking applications from AR/VR startups to submit their ideas for harness the technology for the greater good.

The organisation wants to focus on ‘good technology’ – that which allows people around the world better access to information, opportunities and choice, preferably in an equitable way.

Solutions that fulfil these criteria will be rewarded with seed funding and access to UNICEF’s country offices for use-case knowledge and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers, Platforms.

Firefox's new browser features VR support

Mozilla has released a new version of its Firefox browser that features WebVR support.

The concept of WebVR was first put together in 2014 by a group of Mozilla developers. The idea was to allow web users to explore virtual spaces and make it easier to create VR experiences that work across a range of devices.

The browser’s release calendar update states that: “WebVR is the big platform feature shipping in Firefox 55. Firefox users with an HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift can experience VR content on the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

World’s first brain-computer VR interface allows users to control VR with their minds

Neurable has built the first brain-computer interface that allows VR users to use their thoughts as a controller in virtual environments.

The prototype is attached to the back of a HTC Vive headset and is capable of reading a user’s brain signals. The thoughts have to relate to specific actions relating to the virtual activity being undertaken, which are then interpreted by the interface to trigger actions.

In a blog post, Neurable vice president Michael Thompson, explains: “This tech is already...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems, Platforms.

Decentraland combines VR with blockchain to create a metaverse

There are currently two extremely hyped up technologies that have experts fervently proclaiming how the they are going to change everything from education to international governance.

One is VR and the other is blockchain, or distributed ledger technology.

Blockchains are essentially decentralised networks that are both publicly verifiable and unchangeable. When a transaction is registered on a blockchain, it is registered across all computers in the network and cannot be retroactively altered.

Proponents of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 31 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Platforms.