This Finnish VR startup is developing a headset with human-eye resolution

Virtual reality could be about to get a lot more, well, real.

A Finnish startup known as Varjo claims to be developing a VR headset whose resolution could actually match that of the human eye.

It achieves this by mimicking the way that our vision works, a process called foveation, where our eyes will only see one small area in front of us in a high resolution; the rest, as you will probably now be noticing, is rather more blurry.

Varjo attempts to replicate this process by using two displays within the...

By Mark Jones, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Enterprise, Hardware.

New report explores greater accessibility for VR games and content

A new detailed report recently released by The Independent Game Developers' Association (TIGA) has noted how to face challenges and grab the opportunity to make VR content available to the widest audiences possible.

The report, titled ‘Accessibility and VR’, is authored by veteran video game accessibility specialist Ian Hamilton. The report covers topics that will better serve those with motor and visual impairment, understanding hearing loss relative to VR, considering simulation sickness,...

By James Bourne, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Gaming.

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.

New reports give conflicting views on how AR will influence retail

Augmented reality (AR) will be majorly adopted in the retail sector - but not in the way many have predicted, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The analyst firm said that interest in AR will be driven by the retail workforce and online shoppers.

AR experiences can be of extreme use for online customers who are unable to interact with the physical products they plan to buy. For in-store employees, AR promises to deliver operational efficiencies and increase the quality of the service...

By James Bourne, 12 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

French startup tests VR in hospitals as anesthetic replacement

A French startup is exploring the use of (VR) virtual reality in hospitals as an alternative to anesthetics for minor operations, reporting “positive” feedback from early trials.  

Healthy Mind, the brainchild of three graduates in collaboration with psychiatrists and doctors, uses virtual environments to help ease the pain of smaller operations without the use of drugs while reducing the anxiety commonly felt in hospital environments.

From “Zen gardens” to snow-capped vistas,...

By Mark Jones, 11 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Research.

Apple reveals key updates to AR developer framework ARKit

Opening its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week, Apple announced a string of updates to its AR (augmented reality) framework ARKit - a key development in a field the tech company is pitching its long-term success on.  

The update comes after Apple announced that 13 million apps had been downloaded using the framework since its debut in September 2017, with some 47% of that figure driven by a surge in the popularity of

By Mark Jones, 06 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Developers, Gaming.

AR and VR spending in Canada set to ramp up this year, says IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) Canada has announced the latest release of its IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide forecasting Canada's hardware, software and services spending on the two technologies combined is set to total C$602 million by 2018, increasing to $8 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 90%.

Consumer, healthcare, and retail, powering immersive and realistic images, sounds, and experiences that simulate physical presence in a virtual environment will lead...

By James Bourne, 04 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Ecosystems.

Advertising, search and commerce likely to drive AR expansion, says Strategy Analytics

Advertising, search and commerce are the three main segments that will drive the expansion of augmented reality (AR) beyond Snapchat and Pokemon Go, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The report was published by the analyst firm's Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) arm and titled 'Advertising, Commerce and Search Move Augmented Reality From Fun to Function'.

As the AR is still in its budding stage, Apple’s ARKit and Google S ARCore SDKs have recently allowed access to the...

By James Bourne, 30 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Does full-time ‘extended reality’ suggest an architecture for confirmation bias?

Extended-reality (XR) technologies suggest a future of cinema-calibre, interactive content that enhances our physical environment in inspirational and useful ways. The positive potential of XR is vast, and many applications are clearly beneficial, especially in vertical markets.

The experience of using an augmented-reality (AR) headset on an assembly line, for example, so as to superimpose digital content over the physical environment in order to aid performance and safety, is a finite and circumscribed user...

By Jay Iorio, 29 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Applications, AR.

Sotheby's International Realty expands real estate-focused AR app to Apple iOS

Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates has announced that its real estate focussed AR app is now available on Apple iOS devices, iPad and iPhone. 

The Curate by Sotheby's International Realty app was made available for download from the Google Play Store earlier in 2018. The roomy-powered mobile app brings a home’s virtual staging pictures from flat, two-dimensional perspectives into AR allowing home buyers to virtually furnish or decorate their homes prior to fixing a purchase...

By James Bourne, 25 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Immersive economy report suggests UK is VR/AR hotspot

A new study suggests that the UK has an oversized impact on the virtual and augmented reality spaces, with companies specialised in AR and VR generating £660 million in sales, accounting for an estimated 9% of the global market.  Furthermore, with appropriate support, this figure could reach more than £1 billion in 2018.

These impressive sales figures are the work of 1,000 companies which employ 4,500 people, which suggests there are a quite a few small businesses in the mix. However,...

By William Judd, 22 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Case Studies.

Google prototyping standalone AR headset

While VR headsets have become reasonably widespread with good retail availability, AR headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap One remain restricted to developers and other professionals due to their high asking price and limited availability. However, other companies like Apple, Samsung and now Google are all reportedly working on AR headsets. News of the Google AR headset broke this weekend, so here's what you need to know.

German periodical Winfuture.de

By William Judd, 21 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Hardware.

SteamVR Input makes VR control schemes adaptable for users and devs alike

Building games for VR is hard. As well as making sure your game is fun and interesting, you've also got to ensure that your users don't puke after they put a VR headset on. Valve can't do too much about these three issues, but they can help solve another bugbear: control schemes.

VR gamers have a wide range of input options, from traditional console gamepads and racing wheels to VR-specific controllers made by giants like Oculus or hand-assembled by enthusiasts. Even if a developer supports the...

By William Judd, 16 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Ecosystems, Gaming, Hardware.

JDI's 1001 ppi VR display expected to debut in PSVR 2

One of the best - and worst - things about Virtual Reality is that fifty years after the first HMD (head-mounted display) was created by Ivan Sutherland, it is still a rapidly evolving space. This evolution has included progress in how VR apps should be designed and used, but it has always been tempered by the limits of current available technology, particularly in terms of displays and motion tracking.

Japan Display has recently unveiled its next-generation screens for VR headsets - which...

By William Judd, 15 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

Microsoft launches HoloLens ‘as a service’ with education partner

Microsoft has announced the launch of HoloLens ‘as a service’, with a subscription programme being put in place alongside UK education provider JTRS.

JTRS, which is owned by Econocom, will offer what is being described as ‘mixed reality as a service’, with customers given a HoloLens package from £260 per device, per month for two years. The service includes the device, delivery, swap warranty, and collection and recycling at the end of the term.

Alongside this, users will be able...

By James Bourne, 02 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware, Microsoft.

New report highlights recent trends and threats in the global VR headsets market

A new report by QYResearchReports.com has outlined the challenges as well as trends associated with the global VR headsets market and offered a detailed analysis of the future growth opportunities.

“Global Virtual Reality Headsets Sales Market Report 2018” aims to reinforce the decision-making capacity of readers, potential investors and new entrants in the VR headset market by offering them with financial performance reports of prominent players, their M&A strategy news, the challenges they...

By James Bourne, 25 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware, Research.

Intel cancels its smartglasses

Numerous reports have emerged that Intel is to shut down its New Devices Group, effectively bringing its costly foray into the wearables market to a close for now. The company has made several attempts, and spent several hundred million dollars, trying to break into the wearables market.

All current employees will be relocated to other divisions within the company or laid off, according to the reports.

The New Devices Group’s last major project was the Vaunt smartglasses, which promised to use advanced...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Google Chrome browser gets Oculus support

Google has extended the VR support of its Chrome browser to include Oculus hardware. The Windows version (66.03.3359.117) of Chrome will now work natively with both Oculus Rift headsets and Touch controllers.

The news was not publicly announced by either company and was discovered by a Reddit user on the Oculus subreddit. The discovery of the browser flag was later confirmed by a second user who wrote:

“Just tried...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

VR social network vTime raises $7.6 million in series A funding round, aims to introduce AR version

Virtual reality (VR) social network vTime has secured $7.6 million in a series A funding round that will be invested in the R&D of a new augmented reality (AR) version of the app coming towards the end of 2018.

In addition, the funding will be utilised to speed up the worldwide growth of vTime as well as in product development.

Martin Kenwright, CEO of UK-based vTime, commented: "vTime offers users the most immersive and intuitive way to engage with others in VR from wherever they are. The...

By James Bourne, 17 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.