AxonVR raises $5.8m to develop its haptic VR product

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Haptics is big news in virtual reality. Sure, we can mentally ‘feel’ like we are in a different time, place or world with a headset on and some controllers - but what about physically feeling it, too?

This is where AxonVR steps in. It’s just completed the largest round of funding a haptic VR company has ever made, $5.8m and its investors include former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, as well as NetEase and the Virtual Reality Company.

The funds will be used to develop the...

By Rachael Power, 19 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Oculus' Medium experiences lets you create 3D printed, sculpted objects out of thin air

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Imagine a world where you can sculpt something with your bare hands, but without tools or materials - and then print those very objects in 3D so that they become real.

It’s quite incredible how just a few years ago, this may seem like pure science fiction, but in just 12 months, virtual reality is enabling us to create art out of thin air.

This is what Oculus’ new experience for Touch, Medium, allows people to do. It’s free when you buy and set up your Touch controllers from the...

By Rachael Power, 16 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Kickstarter campaign to fund Bristol-based VR centre gets underway

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A Kickstarter campaign for a virtual reality centre - including a cafe and bar - in Bristol is up and running.

Jack Munns, who has a quantum photonics PhD, came up with the idea while travelling around Europe with his girlfriend.

“During the trip I plotted and planned my business venture and am confident in my ability to make it a (virtual) reality,” he wrote in his Kickstarter biography.

Munns is asking for £12,000 investment from crowdfunding, and will seek a smaller...

By Rachael Power, 15 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Why virtual reality may be the antidote to 'post-truth' and clickbait

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If 2016 is the year of post truth, where appeals to emotion are more influential than objective facts, is it then paradoxical to say that it has also been the year where truth has become king?

People are now being given the opportunity to see objective facts through virtual reality technology, being affected emotionally and being allowed to make up their own mind based on experience rather than an election campaign...

By Ashley Cowan, 13 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Autograph Collection Hotels commission 'look before you book' VR experiences

The power of virtual reality to provide a 'look before you book' experience in the travel industry has become more obvious over the last few years. From Experian's 2016 Future of Travel report to Thomas Cook's use of VR in its stores, the medium has been doing some great work for both tourism and helping people decide whether they really want to visit a particular place. 

And now, hotel chains are getting in on the act, too. 

The first we've heard of to use VR in this way is the...

By Rachael Power, 12 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

How virtual reality can have an impact on manufacturing

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Virtual reality can bridge the gap between a mundane 2D experience on screen and a real one. Although its initial impact has been felt in entertainment, niche areas like manufacturing can also benefit if implemented correctly.

Some giants, such as Ford and BAE, have already adopted VR in their manufacturing process; rather than having to build a physical model to see how change might impact a design, they build a VR model, explore it and see how changes to the model or the environment make an...

By Dr Kevin Curran, 08 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

FT and Google launches 360 experience of 'hidden' Dublin

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The Financial Times (FT), in collaboration with Google, has launched their latest VR project, Hidden Cities: Dublin.

Released as a dedicated website, the Hidden Cities series provides an engaging experience, allowing viewers to discover fresh perspectives on some of the world’s cultural and political capitals.

The series concept was created by Adam and Eve DBB and developed in conjunction with the FT. In addition, VR production...

By Rachael Power, 08 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Review: Leap Motion's hands-free VR

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While in the throes of an 'almost real' captivating VR story with castle stones and attackers approaching from below, we should be able to reach out with our hands, grab an arrow and shoot, right? 

Well, if you have ever experienced one of these wonderful VR escapes, you know that our hands are always occupied with a strange controller.  But, wouldn’t it be great if someone could figure out how to make the virtual world recognise our natural hand movements so we can...

By Benjamin & Judie Ram, 08 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Norwegian Airlines launches new 5D VR experience in London

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VR production studio Visualise has launched a new virtual reality experience for Norwegian Airlines and Boeing at Westfield Stratford City.

The 5D virtual reality activation has been created to promote Norwegian’s low-cost to the US on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The pop-up at The Gallery featuring the experience is open unti 14 December. 

For the Norwegian Airlines experience, Visualise has produced an immersive two-minute 360 video aboard the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which is...

By Rachael Power, 07 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Samsung Canada develops VR experiences to help people with common fears

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The power of virtual reality experiences to change how we think about many different aspects of life is already being harnessed.

It’s being used to treat phobias, conditions, alleviate or distract from pain - and now, to treat common fears.

Samsung Canada has developed two experiences based around common fears to help people overcome something that might be holding them back.

The two fears they have chosen are public speaking...

By Rachael Power, 06 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Brands may be using VR customer service by 2020, Oracle survey says

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Virtual reality customer service is a real possibility, and could be used by companies to resolve issues as soon as 2020, says tech giant Oracle.

New research, ‘Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?’, claims that 78% of brands could be using this by that date, with AI-powered chatbots being the other most-used emerging tech being brought in to reduce waiting times and cut costs. 

Oracle asked 800 senior businesspeople in brands across France, the Netherlands, South...

By Rachael Power, 06 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Pepsi MAX launches football-based 360 video ad

Ah, the underappreciated art of a football volley; something that you can now celebrate and be part of in 360 video.

If you're a fan of the beautiful game, then this latest 360 brand experience is probably one for you. Pepsi MAX has partnered with Weve and Celtra to present Volley 360, celebrating Pepsi's partnersip with the UEFA Champion's League. 

The mobile marketing campaign is representing a trend amongst marketers; not simply that of using 360 video, but of finding inventive ways to stand...

By Rachael Power, 02 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Santas get to grips with new tech in VR training school

It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, nothing was stirring - except Santa, who was busy playing Minecraft on his Samsung Gear VR. 

Santa and virtual reality is really not a pairing you would put together, but then again 2016 is a year of many surprises. 

And indeed, Santas from all over the UK have been attending a VR Santa Training School from Carphone Warehouse, to get to grips with virtual reality technology before they head to grottos, stores and shopping centres ahead of...

By Rachael Power, 30 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

RT releases 360 experience from International Space Station

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Most of us will only ever dream of getting a real bird's eye view from the International Space Station (ISS), but thanks to 360 video, you can at least get a taster of what the astronauts see.

Russian news agency RT (previously Russia Today) sent a 360 camera into space, which cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko used to capture a view of the Earth from the ISS.

The Space360 experience is presented by RT, who has worked with Russian space agency Roscosmos...

By Rachael Power, 29 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Oculus gives 11 content creators Launch Pad scholarships

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Oculus has given 11 virtual reality content creators a share of $250,000 in funding to develop unique VR experiences.

The 11 are winners of Oculus’ first ever Launch Pad group, and will receive a share of the scholarship.

Since the project was launched, Oculus has worked with over 100 developers to deliver virtual reality experiences that “more accurately represent its global audience”.

The...

By Rachael Power, 24 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Happy Finish 'significantly expands' Asia VR and AR operations

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VR content specialists Happy Finish have "significantly expanded" their business in Asia, the company said. 

The marketing for virtual and augmented reality content in Asia is said to be thriving, and has experienced 91% growth driven by production capabilities in the last 12 months.

Gaming in particular is set to be a hard hitter in China according to the IDC, along...

By Rachael Power, 14 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Vive add-on will make headset tetherless

Vive is reportedly rolling out an add-on product that will make its headset wireless, according to UploadVR

According to the publication, the VR upgrade kit is for Vive's SteamVR device and will go on sale from Vive's Chinese website at 3pm UK time. 

It's thought the product will be available to pre-order with a standard battery, cost about $220 (£175) and will ship in the first few months of next year. 

The company behind the tetherless...

By Rachael Power, 11 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Oculus launches asynchronous spacewarp this week

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Oculus has launched asynchronous spacewarp (ASW) this week, meaning lower-end PCs can more easily power Rift.

The new tech is aimed at reducing system hardware requirements while maintaining content quality across a wider array of hardware.

ASW is a technique that extrapolates frames and lets VR titles run at up to half rate, while delivering a visual experience that is almost as good as 90hz rendering.

It builds on asynchronous timewarp, which was...

By Rachael Power, 10 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

John Lewis and Children in Need bring out 360 experiences

(c)John Lewis

Every year in the UK, people wait on tenterhooks to see what heartstring-pulling TV advertisements the major retailers will come out with for the upcoming festive season.

John Lewis is one company that’s outdone itself year after year. In 2016, it brought tears to many people’s eyes with Man on the Moon, something that’s quite powerful for an advertisement to do.

This year, it’s gone for a similar approach with its Buster the Boxer ad,...

By Rachael Power, 10 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Google's Daydream View released this week

If you need a welcome distraction from today’s US presidential election news, you may do well to get in line for Google’s first Daydream View headsets.

The cloth-covered VR viewers will be available from tomorrow on the Google Store, from Verizon and Best buy in the US for $79 and from EE and the Carphone Warehouse for £69 in the UK.

You will however need a Daydream-ready phone to use the headset, such as the Pixel, and

By Rachael Power, 09 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.