Meet the Global VR Challenge winners

A new initiative to explore and celebrate the best VR games dev talent and concepts has drawn to a close this year at the ChinaJoy gaming show. 

The Global VR Challenge was run by Bath-based Steel Media and Chinese VR company DeePoon. 

VR talent from all over the world took part in the challenge, which ended in a competition in which 16 finalists (10 from outside of China) battlede it out to scoop the top prize.

All finalists got a range of VR hardware and some got a share of the $35,000 cash prize...

By Rachael Power, 01 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Gaming.

Does the emergence of mainstream VR lie in niche markets?


Here we are, at last. The long awaited mainstream virtual reality emergence is now very close.

The key elements of this emergence are, of course, stunning recent hardware devices and the efforts of the VR industry to promote these products.

But beside the ambient VR games trend, will the full emergence come from VR niche markets?

Beyond the 'wow' effect

Anyone having recently experienced an high end VR headsets have been hit by the wow effect. Most of the real time 3D experienced...

By Nicolas Augustin, 01 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Facebook's Surround 360 camera blueprints now available on Github


Facebook’s banking on 360 video in a big way, so much so that it’s released blueprints for its Surround 360 camera on Github this week.

The rig consists of 17 cameras and sits on an aluminum chassis for stability and to stop overheating from overuse. At a push - provided you’ve got all the right materials - can be physically built within a four hours, with the OS taking a little bit longer to get up and running.

But you’ll need a budget of around $30,000 to build...

By Rachael Power, 27 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

How to create realistic experiences for virtual reality environments

(c) Cipriani

Virtual reality is attracting a lot of attention at the moment and as the hype grows so does the expectations of consumers. A survey conducted earlier this year showed that 28% of respondents thought that high quality content was important to ensuring a good VR experience.

For VR to really succeed and take off, the industry needs to address challenges such as improving the development of accessible and high quality...

By Warren Lester, 22 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

You can now pre-order the OSVR HDK 2

Razer is now taking pre-orders via its website for its second Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) hacker development kit.

If Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are a bit too pricey for you, but you’re looking for a VR experience that’s on par and doesn’t break the bank, then this is a good bet.

The HDK 2 for OSVR was announced at this year’s E3 gaming convention, and is essentially a £399 headset featuring custom designed lenses for...

By Rachael Power, 22 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

VR and AR will be 'game changing', software developers say


Gamers, shoppers and healthcare professionals are getting excited about virtual and augmented reality, as we well know by now from the numerous studies into the area.

But what about the demographic that will be working most closely with the tech - developers?

According to a study by Packt Publishing, a portion of respondents to their recent survey of 11,000 developers worldwide say VR and AR will be “game changers” to their respective industries.


By Rachael Power, 19 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

AMD launches affordable VR graphics card


AMD has unveiled its Radeon RX 480 graphics card, which boasts the “world’s most advanced graphics technology” with Polaris architecture.

It’s offering value for money, starting at $199 for the 4GB card and $239 for 8GB and is aiming to democratise virtual reality with its future proof tech. They'll be available in the UK in the likes of Maplin and Currys, both for under £200.

PC partners Alienware, HP and Lenovo, along with VR developers EA,...

By Rachael Power, 29 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers.

Oculus removes headset-checking DRM


Oculus has gotten rid of a headset-checking DRM that meant HTC Vive users couldn’t access its content.

In a game of back-and-forth, earlier this year Oculus released an update which blocked a patch, Revive, used by Vive players to access Oculus games and apps.

In response, the Revive creator launched a workaround which bypassed the patch - but that’s not the only action...

By Rachael Power, 27 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Presence in VR: How to provide a superior experience


When it was introduced at Google I/O 2014, the Cardboard headset was a great way to deliver a bite sized VR experience on iOS or Android mobile phones.

At this year’s I/O conference, Google announced Daydream – a platform for high performance mobile VR built on top of Android N with optimizations called Android VR Mode.

We are very excited about Daydream bringing high performance VR to the Android ecosystem and in this article, we'd like to...

By Alex Voica, 24 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Ecosystems.

Make way for the first generation of indy VR creators


Back in the 70’s and 80’s “low budget virtual reality” would have been considered an oxymoron; a reality which can barely be imagined.

The hardware and software needed to produce even the lowest level of VR was in the hundred thousands of dollars, sometimes in the millions (in 1990, the price tag was between $250,000 - $500,000).

The independent filmmaker was out of the VR equation. VR was the realm of scientists, multi-million industries, armies and...

By Eran Amir, 22 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Vrse raises $12m, rebrands to 'Within'


VR content and tech producing startup Vrse has completed a $12.6m series A funding round this week, and is changin its name to Within. 

The funding round included investors from 21st Century Fox, Live Nation and Vice Media, according to Crunchbase.

Another big change for the company - which has worked with U2,  Vice and the New York Times - is that its app is launching on HTC Vive and Oculus and will also come to PSVR. 


By Rachael Power, 17 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

The Foundry launches new modelling system for VR game designers

Creative software developer The Foundry has launched MODO 10.1 this week, a procedural modelling system that offers enhanced workflows for creating real-time content for games and virtual reality.

It's the second installment of three in the MODO 10 Series and works side by side with MODO’s direct modeling toolset. It also provides the ability to easily exchange data with external game engines, such...

By Rachael Power, 16 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Steam releases VR play space measurements


Steam has released some useful play space information for VR developers, based on two months' worth of stats from Oculus and Vive usage. 

Play space is the area that people need to keep clear from floor to ceiling, when playing a VR game. In addition, VR developers must keep their interactive objects between this specific area. 

Before, Steam's been reluctant to say what exactly the optimum play space is as it only had speculative data. 

It turns out 81% of...

By Rachael Power, 06 June 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

ARM to beef up 2017 smartphones’ virtual and augmented reality capabilities


Smartphones are set to get a VR and AR capability boost in 2017, with ARM announcing its new graphics processing unit and processor.

Nearly all smartphones on the market are powered by ARM processors, and performance of devices has increased 100 x since 2009.

To make way for the advent of widespread adoption of VR - where smartphones will be...

By Rachael Power, 31 May 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices.

New research report assesses Oculus Rift and overall VR market

(c) Ames

Analyst house Research and Markets argues in its latest note the much-awaited VR headset Oculus Rift has finally begun shipments, with the first pre-orders expected to have been delivered earlier this month.

Oculus rose to fame with its Kickstarter campaign in 2012, bringing in nearly 10,000 backers, raising $2.4 million and playing a key founding role in the currently fledgling but fast-rising VR market.

Now a Facebook company, Oculus has delivered its first headsets to the...

By James Bourne, 20 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Gaming.

Reflections on Mobile World Congress: Enterprise apps coming to new form factors


Even with a show as large as Mobile World Congress (MWC), with over 100,000 attendees, it was pretty clear that a lot of companies are pushing forward to win a share of two related markets; virtual reality (VR) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

MWC saw a large number of VR headset announcements from Samsung, LG, HTC, Oculus, Google, Epson, Gear VR, and Fujitsu – which was specifically focused on enterprise applications. A primary driver for a somewhat global network upgrade to 5G...

By Chris Hazelton, 20 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers, Ecosystems, Enterprise.