VR hits the slopes in the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics currently taking place in South Korea marks a big step forward for live broadcast VR content.

Intel is working in partnership with the International Olympic Committee to provide the technology needed for broadcasting VR and 360 video content. The partnership is extended up until 2024, so the Korean games are just the beginning.

The company will be streaming 30 events, both live and on-demand, throughout the games. Events being streamed include Women’s Skeleton, Men’s Downhill and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Platforms.

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.

VR headset shipments top 1 million per quarter for the first time

It seems that VR sales are not showing the signs of slowing that were predicted, as headset sales for Q3 2017 broke 1 million for the first time.

According to independent analysts Canalys, Sony took the lead with Playstation VR shipping over 490,000 sets. Oculus followed behind in second place with 210,000 Rift headsets shipped, and HTC took third with 160,000 Vive units sold.

Together, Sony, Oculus and HTC dominate the VR hardware market, taking a up 86% of the total market in Q3 2017.

The widely reported...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 28 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

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.

Leeds university warns of risks to children from VR

While the benefits of VR for the medical and therapeutic industries is being hotly touted, less attention has been given to the effects that immersive experiences could have on the development of children.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have conducted research that points to some potentially troubling conclusions. The team have issued a warning that they believe that continued use of VR headsets could trigger eyesight and balance problems in young children.

The study was performed on a group of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

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.

VR in healthcare and medicine to grow to $285 million in 2022

VR has opened up a range of new possibilities for services and treatments in the healthcare industry, and the industry is expected to experience significant growth in the next five years.

The immersive experience created by VR is already being used in a variety of ways by healthcare professionals, from pain and stress management therapy to training and simulation.

ABI Research forecasts that VR services in the medical and healthcare segment is about to explode in value from $8.9 million in 2017 to around $285...

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

HP debuts VR backpack at SIGGRAPH 2017

HP has unveiled its HP Z Backpack VR solution at SIGGRAPH 2017. The Backpack looks to provide the user with freedom of movement while in virtual experiences.

The company describes the backpack as a ‘catalyst for more powerful VR experiences across many enterprises and businesses’.

The company specifically pointed out four potential use cases for the technology:

- the deliverance of safe and effective virtual training for dangerous professions or operating...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 01 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

IDC: VR and AR shipments soaring year on year despite ‘cautious’ consumer approach

Global shipments of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets ‘continue to soar’ year over year with 2.3 million units shipped in the most recent quarter, according to new figures from IDC.

The analyst firm, through its Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, found Samsung shipped the most devices in Q117 at just under half a million (489,500) at a market share of 21.5%. Sony, with 429,000 and a market share of 18.8%, came in second, with HTC (190,900,...

By James Bourne, 05 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Ecosystems.

VR market to be worth $37 billion by 2020, says SuperData

The emerging VR market will grow by $4.9 billion this year, according to SuperData.

The growth will be driven primarily by hardware, with software beginning to bring in more revenue. SuperData estimates that the market will be worth 437.7 billion by 2020.

The company says that ‘like most new technologies and platforms, VR has had a rocky, but predicable, start’.

The report states:

“Supply constraints limited access to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Research.

HTC opens up VR Vive Tracker code

Developers will now be able to access project files and tutorials for the Vive Tracker

The company states that it wants to ‘make it even easier to get started working with your Tracker project’.

By releasing the new project code, it is hoped that developers will be able to use the tracker in new ways and get projects up and running quicker.

The Vive Tracker is a plug and play motion tracker that can be...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices.

Editorial: Increasing the appetite for VR with the right content

VR was everywhere at this year’s MWC, but the industry still has some work to do when it comes to increasing consumer appetite.

According to IBB Consumer Research, just 16 percent of surveyed consumers are interested in VR and 13 percent do not know what it even is. Of those who are interested in VR and own equipment, 44 percent received their headset as a gift or part of a bundle, 30 percent spent up to $99, 20 percent between $99 and $500, and just 6 percent spent more than $1000.

By Ryan Daws, 03 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Gaming, Hardware.

HTC plans to enter the mobile VR arena

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/monkeybusinessimages)

With its handset business continuing to falter, HTC is banking on making a success of mobile VR to improve the company’s outlook.

HTC is best known for its smartphones, but their recent flagships have failed to stand out amid tough competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and LG. Last year, HTC’s profits dropped almost 80 percent ahead of their next flagship release.

Where HTC has managed to carve itself a place is...

By Ryan Daws, 15 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

Microsoft indicates "thousands" of HoloLens units have been sold

(Image Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft launched the developer version of HoloLens last year for a cool $3000, but until now the company has not indicated how many units have been sold. Roger Walkden, Microsoft's Commercial Lead for HoloLens, has now given us some idea after saying “thousands” have been shipped.

Bearing in mind HoloLens is still expensive and designed for developers at this stage, even a thousand units would be impressive. Microsoft...

By Ryan Daws, 27 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices, Microsoft, Platforms.

Honda and Dreamworks try out in-car VR entertainment experience

(c)Honda/Dreamworks

Honda and Dreamworks Animation have partnered up to demo a new augmented and virtual reality content and solutions test bed for an in-car experience.

The experience, Honda Dream Drive, uses a VR headset to immerse passengers in a VR world triggered by the movement of the car. A proof of concept version of the expeirence will be demoed at this year's CES in Las Vegas.

Dreamworks and Honda have created a software development kit. which fuses live telematics data to feed in-vehicle...

By Rachael Power, 04 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices.

Finch to showcase kit at CES to “accelerate mobile VR revolution”

Picture credit: "CES 2016", by "Sungsil Hwang", used under CC BY NC / Modified from original

As the new year begins, it’s not a surprise that the vast majority of news will be around the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and this particular piece of news has come out before the event has even begun.

Virtual reality start-up Finch will showcase its Mobile Virtual Reality (VR) Kit based...

By James Bourne, 03 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware, Platforms.

Microsoft's affordable VR headsets to start appearing next spring

(c)Microsoft

A free update to Windows 10 early next year will bring “3D and mixed reality to everyone”, claims Microsoft.

The Windows 10 Creators Update will be brought to over 400 million devices running Windows 10 in 2017, and with it Windows users can start printing, capturing and creating in 3D as well as experiencing mixed reality.

Within the update, the classic, much-loved Paint app is getting a makeover and will become Paint 3D. The art studio will connect with a...

By Rachael Power, 07 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices.

Developers in the UK can now pre-order Microsoft's HoloLens

(c)Microsoft

Developers and commercial bodies in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia can now pre-order Microsoft’s mixed reality HoloLens kit.

It’ll set you back $3,000 (over £2,700) and ship in late November, but at last, developers this side of the pond can now try out Microsoft’s MR offering.

HoloLens launched in the US for commercial partners and...

By Rachael Power, 12 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices.

HP and HTC launch Vive-ready bundle

(c)HTC

HTC and HP have partnered up to produce the Vive Ready HP Computer Bundle, meaning a full system, headset included, will cost you just under £1,500. 

The bundle consists of a VR-ready HP ENVY 750-470na alongside a full Vive VR system in a brushed-metal finished. 

It also comes packaged with a USB drive, which contains hardware set up instructions and required software allowing for a one-click installation.

The HP ENVY has some pretty...

By Rachael Power, 11 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Devices.