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.

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.

Mall & theme park VR experience startup gears up for £5m IPO

A virtual reality (VR) experience company that supplies virtual experiences to theme parks and shopping malls is ready to go public on the AIM market, with aims to raise £5m from the listing.

The UK-headquartered Immotion uses a combination of graphics, motion and sound to create immersive experiences for consumers at venues including Legoland Boston and multiple shopping centres across the UK.

Raising the cash would see Immotion valued at roughly £20m, which would be used to fund its further...

By Mark Jones, 18 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Hardware, Platforms.

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.

Microsoft launches HoloLens ‘as a service’ with education partner

Microsoft has announced the launch of HoloLens ‘as a service’, with a subscription programme being put in place alongside UK education provider JTRS.

JTRS, which is owned by Econocom, will offer what is being described as ‘mixed reality as a service’, with customers given a HoloLens package from £260 per device, per month for two years. The service includes the device, delivery, swap warranty, and collection and recycling at the end of the term.

Alongside this, users will be able...

By James Bourne, 02 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware, Microsoft.

New report highlights recent trends and threats in the global VR headsets market

A new report by QYResearchReports.com has outlined the challenges as well as trends associated with the global VR headsets market and offered a detailed analysis of the future growth opportunities.

“Global Virtual Reality Headsets Sales Market Report 2018” aims to reinforce the decision-making capacity of readers, potential investors and new entrants in the VR headset market by offering them with financial performance reports of prominent players, their M&A strategy news, the challenges they...

By James Bourne, 25 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware, Research.

Google Chrome browser gets Oculus support

Google has extended the VR support of its Chrome browser to include Oculus hardware. The Windows version (66.03.3359.117) of Chrome will now work natively with both Oculus Rift headsets and Touch controllers.

The news was not publicly announced by either company and was discovered by a Reddit user on the Oculus subreddit. The discovery of the browser flag was later confirmed by a second user who wrote:

“Just tried...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

Tobii and Qualcomm bring eye tracking to VR/AR headsets

Qualcomm has announced that it plans to integrate Tobii’s eye-tracking technology directly into its Snapdragon 845 VR headsets. The two companies will create a full reference design and development kit for the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.

The development kit is based around the 845 processor, which was first used in the Samsung Galaxy S9 that launched in February. Qualcomm’s head mounted display will include Tobii’s proprietary EyeCore eye-tracking algorithms and hardware design.

The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Microsoft details four ways it's experimenting with haptic VR

VR has gained so much traction in the last couple of years that its futuristic, sci-fi sheen has been diminished in the eyes of a lot of consumers. Most people now expect that they will be interacting with the technology in some form within the next decade.

The area of haptic feedback, having the ability to touch and feel virtual objects, is still likely to elicit shocked gasps from consumers. Unsurprisingly, there are currently a wealth of companies racing to trying to create the killer piece of haptic...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

Apple patent filing gives clues about AR glasses

Anticipation continues to bubble about Apple’s rumoured entry into the AR hardware market. The tech giant’s experiments with the technology are common knowledge, but a new patent filing has shed more light on what direction might take.

Last week, Apple

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

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.

ABI Research: Hardware differentiation to become increasingly difficult

Differentiation between VR/AR headsets will begin to become more challenging for hardware developers as standards mature, according to ABI Research.

While early VR leaders like Google, Samsung, Oculus and HTC will continue to drive innovation over the coming years, but innovation between untethered or mobile-based headsets will begin to slow down.  

Standards (such as cross-platform support) are already beginning to emerge with organisations like the Khronos group and IEEE lending their support to a more...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 25 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Ecosystems, Hardware, Platforms.