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.

ODG formulates smartglasses for emergency landings in aviation industry

Smartglass manufacturer Osterhout Design Group (ODG) has formulated an all-in-one vision and oxygen solution in the form of a heads-up display (HUD) mask that uses the same AR technology from its smartglasses to help pilots in emergency landings in an unlikely situation where the cockpit is filled with smoke.

ODG has worked with FedEx Express to develop the easy-to-use and reusable prototype mask named SAVED (Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display) for their pilots. The smartglass maker aims to market its...

By James Bourne, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

AR can help Parkinson’s sufferers through ‘freezing’

People who suffer from Parkinson’s disease can feel a lot of social fear or shame with regards to their symptoms. A recent study by Parkinson’s UK found that 40% of sufferers feel the need to try and hid their symptoms in public.

The reasons behind this are not wanting to be embarrass others (63%), the fear of being judged (34%) or thinking that their symptoms are not socially acceptable (32%). The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

VR could be big in schools, but teachers want more content

Say goodbye to school libraries that are little more than dusty rows of books. Slowly but surely, they're becoming “maker spaces” where kids learn through hands-on tools and technologies. Schools are stocking these spaces with everything from Raspberry Pis to 3D printers to LEGO building stations.

The latest technology to find its way into schools’ maker spaces? Virtual reality. Without leaving the library or classroom, students using VR can take “field trips” across the world and...

By Melissa Pelletier, 26 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

MWC2018 – Experts think VR/AR will really benefit from 5G

The theme of this year’s MWC in Barcelona may have been sustainability, but it was definitely unofficially 5G. All over the mammoth conference space, there was excited talk of how the emergence of 5G networks would affect everything from IoT to smart glasses.

In a panel on the future of immersive experiences on Monday, HTC Vive’s president of Viveport Rikard Steiber said that 5G will really enable the integration of AI into a range of services. With the spread of intelligent computers, Steiber...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 01 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Developers.

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.