Disney and Lenovo producing AR headset

Lenovo has announced that it is collaborating with Disney on a new AR headset.

The headset will be released in conjunction with the upcoming AR experience Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.

The product puts fans of the all-conquering space opera the opportunity to relive some of their favourite moments from the films from an entirely new perspective.

 Aside from the fact that the project exists, nothing else is known about the new headset, including whether it will be...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Facebook rumoured to be planning $200 wireless headset for 2018

Facebook could be heading for an ‘iPhone movement’ if a Bloomberg report claiming the company plans a relatively cheap, wireless VR headset for 2018 are true.

The report claims that Facebook and its VR branch Oculus are betting that the new headset will popularise VR in the mind of consumers, like the iPhone heralded the smartphone age.

The plans are for the headset to retail at around...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Oculus price drop: what the media is saying

The price of Facebook’s flagship VR hardware, the Oculus Rift, has been reduced for the second time this year.

In a sales event dubbed the ‘Summer of Rift’ the price of the hardware and its Touch controller has been dropped to $399. This is half the price that the bundle was being sold for five months and $100 lower then then previous price drop in March.

The announcement has prompted a deluge of reaction from the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

NASA testing VR wrist bands

California-based BioInteractive Technologies Inc has announced that two of its flagship VR wristbands are being tested for use by NASA.

The space agency is looking at the potential for integrating TENZR wristbands into its training programmes.

The Nasa VRLab is an immersive training facility that uses real-time graphics and motion sensors to train budding astronauts for the experience of working in a low or zero gravity environment.

The TENZR wristbands use custom sensors in the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Five Key Lessons from IVRPA Vienna 2017

IVRPA 2017 was held in Vienna earlier this month and brought together over 200 360˚ and VR content creators from across the globe for four days of keynotes, workshops and social events.

Here are some of the most significant learnings from the event:

1) Brands need scale, so forget about the headset, just for now

Brands need and expect scale for their campaigns, and a key friction point is that headset experiences currently don’t deliver this.

Headset adoption will of course increase over time, but...

By Rachel Dennis, 21 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Enterprise, Hardware.

Social media powering growth of AR/VR

40 million US citizens will engage with some form of AR this year, according to an eMarketer forecast.

This represents a growth from 30% last year.

According to eMarketer, this growth is mainly being fuelled by social media innovations, particularly Snapchat Lenses, Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories.

VR usage meanwhile is receiving a boost from 360-degree videos on social media.

Augmented reality

If an ‘AR user’ is defined as an individual who engages with AR content at least once a month on...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

US VR healthcare market grew by $450 million since 2012

The VR in healthcare market in the United States has grown from $525 million in 2012 to an estimated $976 million in 2017, according to healthcare market research firm Kalorama.

The firm estimates that the VR/AR in healthcare market will continue to grow at roughly the same pace in the US over the coming years.

“The term ‘virtual reality’ is used in different contexts,” said Emil Salazar, analyst at Kalorama and author of the report.

“Broadly, virtual reality is the means or...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Research.

VR headsets ownership higher then tablets at same stage of lifecycle

Ownership levels of VR headsets are higher than those of wearables and tablets at the same stage of their lifecycle, according to research by YouGov.

The new report, called VR: A Deeper Perspective, found that 6% of the UK population currently own a headset. At the equivalent point after commercial release, only 4% owned wearables and 3% had bought a tablet.

The data suggests that VR hardware is seeing a rapid expansion in the last year. In Q4 2016, headset penetration was 3%, meaning it had roughly doubled by Q1...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware, Research.

Tackling the VR video transmission challenge

With a positive growth trajectory predicted for the VR market, hundreds of entrepreneurs and startups are pouring their brainpower into developing VR technology. 

VR UniBlock is no exception.

We started with trying to solve the interconnected sensor problem by developing a smart sensor network that allows each sensor to work independently.

Although our original development still exists, the project ultimately led us to understand the market need for smart wireless video transmission.

We quickly realized...

By Askar Khamidov, 18 May 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Hardware.

Google announces untethered VR headsets

Google has announced an expansion of its Daydream VR programme, including a new untethered VR headset.

The announcement was made at Google I/O 2017 during a talk by Google VP for VR Clay Bavor.

Bavor said: “We asked, ‘how can we take the best parts of smartphone VR and create a kind of device with an even better experience.’”

Launched in October, the Daydream View was a phone holster. The new headset will be standalone, with tracking technology called WorldSense.  A company

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 18 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Elon Musk’s AI startup training robots in VR

OpenAI, the research company set up by Elon Musk to build safe AI, has revealed a new method for teaching robots using VR.

The non-profit company, which is currently made up of 60 researchers and engineers, has released research showing that it trained a self-learning algorithm to complete a task using VR demonstrations.

The company wanted to teach the machine how to stack blocks in particular orders.

Once the algorithm had been shown how to complete the task once in a VR simulation by a human, it was...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

3D imaging tool helps home renovators see ‘through’ walls

European consumers who are looking to take on some DIY can now call on VR to help see through walls and other objects.

WalabotDIY, developed by 3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging, gives renovators ‘Superman-vision’ that allows them to see up to 10 cm into drywall, cement and other materials. No longer will there be that moment of anticipation as you drill into wall, hoping that you won’t be knee-deep in water 10 minutes later.

The app is designed to help people determine the location...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Hardware.

Microsoft introduce their own VR controllers

Microsoft has introduced a new set of VR controllers that will accompany mixed-reality headsets in the coming year.

The announcement, made during the Build 2017 keynote presentation, came with news that Microsoft will not be building its own headsets. Instead, the company will be looking to team up with a range of other manufacturers.

The controllers will be available for the incoming Acer headset. The Acer headset represents a technological step forward as it has built-in motion sensors, so does not need...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Microsoft.

Ultrahaptics completes B round investment of £17.9 million

Ultrahaptics, the mid-air haptics company, has completed its series B round of investment with £17.9 million ($23 million).

The company uses ultrasound to project sensations through the air and onto the hands of users. This allows the user to interact with virtual objects in the air, such as ‘feeling’ buttones and using gestures to interface with technology.

The company believes the technology has a number of different applications where touchless interfaces are an incoming development. The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 04 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

VR glove kickstarter lets users touch the virtual

Having gloves that use haptic feedback in order to let VR users feel the simulated physicality of the virtual environment is widely seen as an important evolutionary step in the VR ecosystem.

Now, thanks to a Kicstarter campaign launched by VRgluv, we could be about to see a leap forward.

The kickstarter aims to raise $100,000 and backers will receive a pair of the gloves at a discounted rate from the retail price of $579.

The gloves are compatible with Vive and Occulus headsets....

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

The two sides of VR: The created and scanned environments

In the world of property, VR plays two key roles.

Firstly, it is used to produce VR walkthroughs of existing properties in order to help market and sell them.

Secondly, it is used to produce a realistic and interactive architectural visualisation of proposed building and development plans.

Depending on the requirements of the project, there is a choice between two VR subcategories; the scanned environment and the created environment.

VR innovation is still in its infancy; many of its capabilities...

By Will Darbyshire, 26 April 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

Harmonic, Nokia and PCCW deliver live 360 VR sports experience

Harmonic, the global video delivery infrastructure company, has announced that its Electra VS video system was used by PCCW Global during the recent Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong King Sevens rugby tournament.

Harmonic partnered with Nokia and PCCW Global, the international division of Hong Kong telecommunications service provider HKT, to deliver 360 VR experiences live during the tournament.

The provision of 360 VR multi-camera live sports production was assisted by Ideal Systems, and combined Nokia’s OZO...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

VR market review: VR World Congress 2017

Carl Hibbert of Futuresource Consulting provided the audience with a review of the VR market and possible future trends.

The presentation started with a perhaps surprising bit of research that asked people who had already tried VR which piece of hardware they had used. 31% said Samsung VR, 15% said Playstation VR and 14% cited Google Cardboard.

Futuresource are anticipating that 90 million VR and AR units will be being sold annually around the world by 2021.

An interesting...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, eSports, Gaming, Hardware, Platforms.

NCTech unveils new VR camera

Edinburgh-based NCTech has unveiled its new LASiris VR camera at the SPAR 3D conference.

The camera combines depth capture with 360-degree imaging for 3D visualisation. The company states that it hopes the camera will put “professional grade reality capture into the hands of both technical and non-technical users”.

By lowering the barriers to adoption and allowing users to effectively create their own VR content, the company hopes to target a number of diverse sectors.

As well as organisations...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 03 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Platforms.

Facebook hires Apple veteran to head up Oculus VR team

Michael Hillman, a 15-year veteran of Apple Inc., has been hired by Facebook as the new head of hardware for Oculus’ VR team.

According to Bloomberg, Hillman has held senior engineering and design roles at his former employer.

Hillman has previously worked on the iMac desktop computer, and no doubt Oculus will be looking to use his experience of launching products as they try to take VR hardware to the commercial...

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