Google prototyping standalone AR headset

While VR headsets have become reasonably widespread with good retail availability, AR headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap One remain restricted to developers and other professionals due to their high asking price and limited availability. However, other companies like Apple, Samsung and now Google are all reportedly working on AR headsets. News of the Google AR headset broke this weekend, so here's what you need to know.

German periodical Winfuture.de

By William Judd, 21 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Hardware.

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.

JDI's 1001 ppi VR display expected to debut in PSVR 2

One of the best - and worst - things about Virtual Reality is that fifty years after the first HMD (head-mounted display) was created by Ivan Sutherland, it is still a rapidly evolving space. This evolution has included progress in how VR apps should be designed and used, but it has always been tempered by the limits of current available technology, particularly in terms of displays and motion tracking.

Japan Display has recently unveiled its next-generation screens for VR headsets - which...

By William Judd, 15 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

AR/VR consumer content and apps market hit $3.2 billion in 2017

The AR and VR consumer market swelled by an impressive 72% in 2017 to reach a value of $3.2 billion, according to analysis from IHS Markit.

Key factors in this growth are a steadily increasing user base that is proving happy to put more of their money into the ballooning number of content, apps and location-based VR entertainment. While VR is likely to remain a fairly niche market for the next few years, IHS Markit still sees it hitting 75.7 million users by 2021.

In terms of user numbers though, it seems...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Research.

As VR/AR market grows, legal issues and investment are top startup concerns

New research from CCS Insight estimates that the global market for VR and AR headsets will hit $1.8 billion in 2018. The company is predicting that a massive 50% growth in the device market over the next four years until it hits $9.9 billion in 2022.

At this stage, a total of 121 million units will have been sold. This growth has been mostly driven by VR headsets and a new crop of standalone devices like the Occulus Go and HTC Vive Focus are likely to continue this trend. The coming five decades will see...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 09 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Devices.

Scots council is first in UK to provide VR headsets to schools

VR is coming to the 30 primary and secondary schools of East Renfrewshire Council in Scotland as part of a new scheme. The announcement marks the first time that local government in the UK has specifically earmarked funding to provide VR hardware to schools.

The £250,000 investment will see pupils in the region gain access to VR via ClassVR headsets. The hardware, designed by educational technology company Avantis, the headsets are specially designed to provide pupils with hundreds of virtual and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices.

Bose takes innovative approach to AR with smart glasses prototype

Bose may be primarily known for their audio products like headphones and speakers, but the company is looking to make waves in to the AR market as well.

The company surprised attendees of SXSW with an announcement that it will be launching an AR platform that will be accompanied by smart glasses. Fittingly, Bose AR was described as being the “world’s first audio augmented reality platform”, highlighting the key distinction between the Bose glasses and others emerging into the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices.

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...

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.