Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 at $3500 - but the real power is in the cloud-connected add-ons

MWC19 Microsoft has announced the launch of HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona, with the augmented reality (AR) headset being described by the company as an 'important milestone.'

The headset, which will be available later this year at a price of $3500,  has been launched with focus on three specific areas of improvement; immersion, comfort, and time-to-value. HoloLens 2 has a more than doubled field of view combined with holographic density of 47 pixels per degree of sight, alongside eye-tracking sensors and...

By James Bourne, 24 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Microsoft.

Facebook granted patent for human-eye level HMD

Facebook has won a patent for a head-mounted display (HMD) device combining a small high-resolution display with a large lower-resolution screen.

This headset incorporates eye tracking-driven foveated rendering, a process that involves rendering most of the view into a virtual world at lower resolution apart from the area directly in front of where the user’s eye is pointed.

The area in front of the eye, where a human eye perceives the greatest detail, is rendered at a higher resolution.

Unlike in...

By VR 360, 11 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

Google unveils patent for motorised VR footwear providing ‘unconstrained’ movement

Google has submitted patent documents for ‘augmented and/or virtual reality footwear’ – in a potential attempt to solve a key problem with VR around locomotion.

When does a VR world become truly virtual? Of course, put a headset on and you are in a virtual world, but you cannot walk about in it – at least not very far until reality kicks in. Google’s patent aims to enable what they describe as...

By James Bourne, 20 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

HTC launches enterprise-themed Vive Focus VR in Western markets

HTC is making its enterprise-flavoured Vive Focus virtual reality (VR) set available in Western markets, promising a variety of new applications in the process.

The launch ‘reinforces Vive’s increased commitment to bringing best-in-class design and software expertise – paired with the world’s best VR hardware – to businesses of all sizes’, in the company’s words.

By James Bourne, 09 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Enterprise, Hardware.

VR headset shipments go down year on year – but it’s only a blip, says IDC

Shipments of VR headsets went down 33% year on year, according to IDC – but the analyst firm expects this to be merely a blip as the market finds its footing.

The figures, which appear in the company’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, found declines in each of the primary markets.

Screenless viewers went down from 1 million headsets...

By James Bourne, 06 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Devices, Hardware, Research.

Magic Leap One Creator Edition is finally launched – with $2295 price tag

It has certainly taken its time – but Magic Leap has finally taken the leap and announced the availability of its augmented reality (AR) headset.

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition, in the words of the company, is ‘a spatial computing system that brings digital content to life here in the real world with us. Its unique design and technology lets in natural light waves together with softly layered synthetic lightfields, enabling creators to build unbelievably believable interactive experiences and...

By James Bourne, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Devices.

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.

VR therapy for neurological conditions to be rolled out across UK

A “pioneering” virtual reality (VR) therapy, which has proven to reduce blood pressure and pain levels among people with neurological conditions, is going to be rolled out across the UK.

According to BBC Scotland, the therapy has been trialled at the Sue Ryder neurological care centre in Aberdeen, where it has been used to support people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, MS and motor neurone disease, as well as those with brain...

By Mark Jones, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Devices, Research.

This Finnish VR startup is developing a headset with human-eye resolution

Virtual reality could be about to get a lot more, well, real.

A Finnish startup known as Varjo claims to be developing a VR headset whose resolution could actually match that of the human eye.

It achieves this by mimicking the way that our vision works, a process called foveation, where our eyes will only see one small area in front of us in a high resolution; the rest, as you will probably now be noticing, is rather more blurry.

Varjo attempts to replicate this process by using two displays within the...

By Mark Jones, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Enterprise, Hardware.

AR and VR spending in Canada set to ramp up this year, says IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) Canada has announced the latest release of its IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide forecasting Canada's hardware, software and services spending on the two technologies combined is set to total C$602 million by 2018, increasing to $8 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 90%.

Consumer, healthcare, and retail, powering immersive and realistic images, sounds, and experiences that simulate physical presence in a virtual environment will lead...

By James Bourne, 04 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Ecosystems.

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.