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.

Future concepts, spacewalks and drone deliveries: Airbus launches fleet of hands-on VR experiences

Aeronautics and space manufacturer Airbus yesterday released five new multi-user VR (virtual reality) experiences at Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in the UK.

Known for producing the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the A380, Airbus teamed up with immersive technology specialist Render to show off its expansive and diverse range of projects through VR, including future aircraft concepts, drone-based deliveries, and even a virtual spacewalk mission.

The five new VR experiences focus on a...

By Mark Jones, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Brands, Developers, Enterprise.

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.

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.

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.

Microsoft details four ways it's experimenting with haptic VR

VR has gained so much traction in the last couple of years that its futuristic, sci-fi sheen has been diminished in the eyes of a lot of consumers. Most people now expect that they will be interacting with the technology in some form within the next decade.

The area of haptic feedback, having the ability to touch and feel virtual objects, is still likely to elicit shocked gasps from consumers. Unsurprisingly, there are currently a wealth of companies racing to trying to create the killer piece of haptic...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

What is the scent of virtual reality?

The following article is authored by Avery Gilbert, with contributions from Jacki Morie and Saskia Wilson-Brown

Dogs are renowned for their keen sense of smell, but the human nose is no slouch. It’s capable of distinguishing more than 1 trillion different scents, according to Rockefeller University scientists.

In fact, although that’s far more than the 10,000 that decades-old research indicated, the Rockefeller University study concludes...

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.

Has MONKEYmedia solved the VR nausea issue?

Eliminating motion sickness and nausea is one of the holy grails of VR development, and Austin-based MONKEYmedia believe that they might have done it.

The small tech firm has announced the launch of its body-based navigation solution, called BodyNav. The system could be a game-changer due to one important factor: it eliminates the need for a handheld game controller.

One of the main causes of VR-induced motion sickness is a disconnect between what the user is seeing and the physical experience they are having...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Hardware.

US ski team utilise VR ahead of Olympics

The US ski and snowboard team has been using VR to prepare for the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The team has partnered with STRIVR, the company that has been working with teams in the NFL, NBA and a number of college football teams to integrate VR into their training regimens. Despite its work in a wide range of sporting environments, however, the company had never tried to come up with a solution for a downhill course.

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that are suited to VR, particularly in a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

VR industry leaders launch world’s first ‘Academic Purpose’ bundle

VR First is a global initiative that aims to enable global innovation in VR/AR by providing creators, companies and governments with state-of-the-art facilities.

Now the group, along with a team of industry leaders, have announced the launch of the world’s first VR Academic Purpose bundle. This bundle consists of hardware, services and support from key players in the industry, and is designed specifically for academic research, development and innovation purposes.

The bundle will be made available to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Research.

VIVE announces investments in 26 new VR/AR startups

HTC VIVE has announced the latest round of VR/AR tech startups to be added to its VIVE X accelerator programme. The companies that will be receiving investment and support from VIVE as part of the programme include a company building a brain control system and those developing content tools and behaviourial engines.

Through their selection into the VIVE X programme, the startups gain unparalleled access to expertise, resources, planning and network resources. The aim is to get these companies mature enough to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Developers.

Amazon moves into VR with Sumerian

The VR market just got a lot more crowded with the entry of one of the largest companies in the world.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud platform of the ubiquitous ecommerce giant, has launched a new service called Sumerian. The new service aims to provide a platform that makes the process of developing VR, AR and 3D applications easier.

Sumerian gives developers an editor that they can use to build virtual environments and populate them with 3D objects and characters. Developers can also script how these...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Developers.

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.

Logitech and HTC Vive solve the VR keyboard problem

The problem of how to use a keyboard in a virtual environment has been a tricky one for developers. The finger-operated keyboard is still the best way we have for user to input information quickly, particularly in productivity-driven or desktop scenarios, but also in games, social applications and content browsing.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the solution would to learn to touch-type so that you can still use a keyboard while wearing a headset. But, this is surprisingly difficult in a virtual...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Hardware.

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.

Reality 2.0: welcome to the hyperreal

The concept of hyperreality is rapidly gaining momentum across the film and entertainment world as viewers demand increasingly immersive experiences.

Hyperreality is the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality, especially in technologically advanced postmodern societies. A state in which what is real and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together so that there’s no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins.

More than just an idea

Looking...

By Jon Wadelton, 18 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Hardware.

TRIPP wants to help you alter your mood with VR

VR experiences can have substantial and powerful effects on the way that users think and feel. Up until now these effects have been utilised as ways of making a game better or for placing the user in the shoes of another person (as our piece on refugees illustrated).

But with TRIPP, using VR to change the way the individual feels is the whole point.

The company of “mood architects” recently secured $4 million in funding in order to create journeys that use the sensory and immersive elements of VR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Viveport celebrates first anniversary with new services and 100% holiday revenue share

HTC VIVE’s global app store Viveport is celebrating its first birthday by giving developers a host of new services as well as a limited revenue share scheme.

"From launching the first-ever subscription model for a VR app store to exceeding 1,000 titles available globally, to over 26,000 registered developers in our community, Viveport has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year." said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport.

"We enter year two with exciting new features and improvements to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

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.