BBC Earth launches VR experience

Its safe to say the BBC’s Blue Planet II series was a landmark TV event. The spectacular nature series was the most watched programme of 2017 in UK, and its currently stunning audiences around the world.

The series not only highlights the very cutting-edge of camera technology and filming techniques, it has also sparked interest in the state of the world’s oceans and the teeming variety of wildlife that lives there.

BBC Worldwide and Google have teamed up to give viewers itching for more immersion...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

Will healthcare be where the killer VR apps will emerge?

Virtual reality (VR) technology offers new opportunities for clinical research, assessment, and intervention. Since the mid-1990s, VR-based testing, training, teaching, and treatment approaches have been developed by clinicians and researchers that would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver using traditional methods.

During this time, a large and ever maturing scientific literature has evolved regarding the outcomes and effects from the use of what we now refer to as Clinical VR. This term subsumes VR...

By Skip Rizzo, 13 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems.

VRidge emulator allows Mobile headsets to run PC VR games

 

VR startup RiftCat has developed technology that allows VR headsets the capability to run PC VR games. The VRidge emulator works by making a user’s computer recognise their phone as a HTC Vive headset.

The system works through connecting two apps, one on the user mobile and one on the desktop. When the two apps connect, the user’s mobile VR headset can be used to play whatever games are on the desktop.

The two apps can be connected through a USB or over a wifi connection, meaning that the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Hardware.

Thred begins innovative AR trail in Australia

Australian company Thred Ltd will be trailing its flagship AR app, Sweep, at the University of Sydney and UNSW.

The company is one of the first to create a successful combination of location-based messaging and AR experiences. The Sweep app is a geo-locked chat app that allows users in the same area to chat to each other, such as asking people in a bar for drink recommendations or asking to be notified when happy hour is ending.

Users will then be able to access exclusive, location based AR content. The aim...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

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.

Vive Studios and Immersion launch VR interior design app

Vivie Studios, the content development arm of HTC Vive, has partnered with Immersion to launch interior design app, TrueScale.

The app is able to simultaneously create 2D floor plans, 3D mockups and room-scale VR environments. Users can design their apartments or offices and then experience and explore their design in VR to make sure that it is exactly what they are looking for before committing to actually creating it.

Interestingly, the app makes use of US-based ecommerce site Wayfair’s 3D model API,...

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

Adobe launches immersive tool to edit sound in VR

Adobe has announced Project SonicScape, a prototype tool that allows VR/AR editors and developers to better edit sound within 3D environments.

Demoed at the company’s Adobe Max conference, the tool allows developers and editors to visualise ambisonic audio within a spherical VR video using coloured bubbles. This way of visualising sound data in this way makes it easy to align sound with specific parts of the video.

An Adobe spokesperson told TechCrunch:

“Project SonicScape takes the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers.

VR heat maps offer detailed insights for architects, designers and retailers

For those that are in charge of designing spaces that are going to be used for commercial and public activities, VR looks set to greatly enhance the design process. Utilising the technology, designers and retailers can tailor their designs by virtually walking through them, changing colour schemes and materials as they go.

Now, Yulio technologies, has given architects, designers and retailers another VR tool to help them optimise their designs for the people that are actually going to use the spaces they...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Enterprise.

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.

Release of ARKit leading to surge of consumer interest in AR platforms

You can call it the ‘Apple effect’ and it may just be about to launch AR into the mainstream.

Following the launch of the iPhone 8, iOS 11 and the new ARKit platform, it is clear that Apple is predicting big things for AR.

And where Apple goes, hordes of eager consumers tend to follow. When you add this to the fact that Google has also recently released its ARCore platform for Android developers, it is clear that consumers will be seeing a lot more AR in the coming months.

New research also shows...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

First VR language app immerses users in real-life situations

Anyone that has ever attempted to learn a language from scratch knows that there is a huge gulf between learning the vocabulary and the grammar, and actually being able to converse with another human being.

It is widely thought that the best way to learn how to speak effectively in another language is to throw yourself into situations where you are forced to talk with native speakers. A wide variety of apps and services have come up with their own ways of trying to simulate this kind of experience.

Could VR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

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.

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:...

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

VR is the fastest growing skill for freelancers in Q2 2017

VR skills are becoming an increasingly desirable as more and more companies begin to invest heavily in the technology, according to freelancing website Upwork.

As the money, attention and ideas begin to flow into the VR space, there are still relatively few workers who specialise in the skills needed to produce content and hardware.

The company’s quarterly Upwork Skills Index ranks the 20 fastest growing skills amongst freelancers in the US job market. Tech-related skills make up 65% of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 02 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Data & Analytics, Developers.

Immersive content coming to podcast platform

PodcastOne has announced that it will be launching a new mobile app that will allow fans to access special VR events.

The advertiser-supported podcast network, which boasts over 200 shows and 1.5 billion downloads a year, has partnered with MANDT VR to bring a loyalty program rewards that rewards users with virtual currency.

This virtual currency can then be used to access discounts and premium, such as special events in VR.  

"The launch of our new PodcastOne mobile app is a milestone for our company,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

Google Blocks lets users create 3D objects in VR

Google has released a new app for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that allows users to create 3D objects easily and quickly.

The app is designed to remove the need for complex software and a specific skillset with regrads to the creation of VR and AR experiences.

In a blog post, group product manager Jason Toff, wrote:

“It’s designed to feel more like playing with children’s blocks than working with traditional 3D modeling software. Starting with a simple set of shapes, a color palette, and an...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

BBC launches VR app

BBC Taster has announced the release of a free mobile VR app for Android and iOS.

The content on the BBC Taster VR app is currently made up of a trailer from the broadcasting company’s online channel, BBC Three, as well as 360 videos from its David Attenborough-led global blockbuster Planet Earth II.

The app aims to put the BBC’s early and experimental ideas regrading immersive content in the hands of its audiences.

The content set to feature on the app will include animations, VR, interactive 360...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Brands.

First worldwide directory of VR locations released

New and exciting VR experiences are sprouting up all over the world. Most of the time, however, it can be near impossible to keep up unless you have insider knowledge or very cool friends.

VRNISH, the world’s first VR directory looks to solve this problem. Imagine touching down in a new city, opening up the app and being presented by a map showing you all of the potential VR-related fun you could have.

VRLINES, the company behind the app, hopes it will contribute to VR’s emergence into the mass...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

How virtual worlds are teaching better lessons

When virtual reality (VR) content is experienced using a VR headset the outcome is a virtual world. In that world, the possibilities are limited only by the imagination. This approach has given education an opportunity to leapfrog existing teaching practice by providing educationally beneficial immersive experiences.

The first among these is that VR allows students to be absolutely captivated by the teaching. All teachers want their students to fully concentrate on their lesson. But teachers know that...

By John Stokoe, 02 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Ecosystems.

How Aceable aims to integrate VR into driver education

Most people may think of gaming when they think of VR, but it is in the realm of training and education that has the potential to propel the technology into mainstream acceptance.

Aceable, a mobile education company, has released a driver education app that utilises 360 videos for students to practice real-life driving situations. The app focuses on teens and situations that they may not be prepared for, such as being distracted by text messages and checking blind spots. The use of VR allows aspiring drivers...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 02 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.