Education tech startup Nearpod raises $21 million in venture funding

Nearpod, a Miami-based edtech startup, has raised $21 million in venture funding to help teachers turn their mobile devices into a powerful educational tool.

According to a TechCrunch report, the company will spend most of its series B capital on hiring and developing more proprietary digital content for its library.

The Series B round was led by Insight Venture Partners, with...

By VR 360, 06 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware.

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.

Reaching mass...

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

Australian VR market gained momentum in 2016, research finds

A survey conducted by Australian technology analyst firm Telsyte, has showed a strong demand for virtual reality (VR) in the country. In its recently released report titled “Telsyte Australian VR & AR Market Study 2017”, the firm provides an in-depth analysis of the market.

According to the report, the VR market in Australia witnessed a strong growth in 2016, by selling 216,000 units in the calendar year. About 70% share among the sold units belonged to mobile VR. Nearly half of all device...

By VR 360, 23 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware.

The outlook for VR in 2017: Hardware, content, and going beyond gaming long term

(c)iStock.com/Rasica

Having worked through 2016 with businesses and investors on the opportunities and risks of VR, it is clear to me that we are still in the foothills of the eventual impact of VR on a range of industries and business models.  Whilst fully realising the potential of VR will take years, even decades, I can make four predictions that are likely to be true in 2017:

Computer games will be a big winner in the short term

VR in computer gaming is an attractive theme for investors because this...

By Nick Field, 10 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Ecosystems, Gaming, Hardware.

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...

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

Why China may be the next big virtual reality market

Virtual reality has already begun to change the way we buy products, consume entertainment and even the way that we educate.

The potential returns in this sector are immense, and I believe one of the biggest business opportunity created by this technology is in the lucrative Chinese market. China’s growing and affluent middle class have already embraced mobile technology and eCommerce.

They are now ready to welcome the VR revolution, creating exciting new opportunities across a range of...

By Dr Johnny Hon, 07 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Amazon UK lists pre-order page for Oculus Touch controllers

(c)Amazon screenshot

Retailers around the world are getting ready for the Oculus Touch launch - and here in the UK, Amazon has just made a pre-order page live.

The page, which is still live, says the controllers will be £189.99 and have a release date of 23 November. This is in line with another pre-order page by German retailer Media Markt which said last month the controllers would come in at about...

By Rachael Power, 06 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Google announces Daydream View apps and headset

(c)Google

Google’s announced its first Daydream-ready smartphones, as well more info on its self-made Daydream View headset.

The tech giant also confirmed 30 experiences that will be ready to go when the headset launches.

Vice president of virtual reality at Google Clay Bavor outlined the £69 Daydream View headset in further detail in a blog post this week.

The company has been working with smartphone companies, content...

By Rachael Power, 05 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Gamers will drive VR hardware adoption to over $50bn by 2021

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/stonena7)

Research from Juniper has provided insight on the expected revenues which VR hardware is expected to generate within the next five years.

While there's a question over the power of current games consoles to deliver high-caliber gaming experiences, the pre-orders for the first PlayStation VR (PSVR) sold out within minutes. Whether this indicates significant interest or lack of...

By Ryan Daws, 04 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Gaming, Hardware, Research.

Bitmore launches affordable VR viewer with bluetooth remote

UK tech product firm Bitmore has launched an upgraded version of its virtual reality headset, the Bitmore Eye VR.

Version two is on sale at the budgetable price of £19.99 and comes with a bluetooth remote control that connects to your smartphone.

As you may have guessed, it's more of a VR viewer that works with your smartphone, rather than a tethered or standalone fully-VR headset. 

While some may be content with using the Google Cardboard to experience 360 video or other VR apps and games,...

By Rachael Power, 23 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

UK consumers think VR headsets are too expensive, survey says

(c)iStock.com/golubovy

Oculus Rift launches in the UK this week, but the price may be a barrier to consumers adopting the tech, according to a survey by IT market analysis firm CONTEXT.

While 23% said they would see themselves using a headset once or twice per month, 40% said VR headsets are too expensive.

About a third of the 2,500 consumers surveyed said they would pay about £100 to £200 for a headset, and 21% said they’d pay under £100.

Rift’s price tag of £549 - and...

By Rachael Power, 21 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Microsoft 'exploring virtual reality options' for Project Scorpio

(c)iStock.com/photogearch

Microsoft said it’s exploring virtual reality options for its Project Scorpio console, due out during “holiday season” 2017.

In an interview with USA Today, Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis said the games for the console, which will support VR, will also be able to render at 4k.

“Any games we’re making that we’re launching in the...

By Rachael Power, 19 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware, Microsoft.

UK startup develops 'wafer thin' virtual reality tracking sensors for headsets

A UK based startup that’s only been around for under a year has developed a tech that tracks facial expressions in virtual reality devices.

Emteq, based in Brighton, uses artificial intelligence  (AI) and tiny sensors to read the electrical signals generated by muscle movement.

This in turn allows someone’s digital avatar, for example, to respond to the changes, without the need for face-tracking cameras.

The tech - or Faceteq, as the company’s calling it - is being developed with an...

By Rachael Power, 07 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Hardware.

Alcatel launches standalone virtual reality headset and new 360 cameras

(c)Alcatel

A standalone virtual reality headset has just been announced by budget smartphone maker Alcatel.

The VISION headset doesn’t need a computer or smartphone to work and comes with 17 millisecond latency - the lowest available, as well as a 120 degree field of vision.

There’s no price just yet but Alcatel says it’ll be “entry-level” and affordable, with CNET quoting around...

By Rachael Power, 02 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Updated Samsung Gear VR headset starts shipping

(c)Oculus 

The new and improved Samsung Gear VR has started shipping this week alongside the Galaxy Note 7, with several new games and experiences launching on the Oculus Store.

The Gear VR has had some improvements made to its existing design, including a better field of view, being made lighter and more comfortable, a larger touchpad, an Oculus button and interchangeable micro-USB port and USB-C support.

This opens the...

By Rachael Power, 22 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

HTC Vive 'most talked about headset' on social media, says Adobe report

(c)iStock.com/br-photo

The HTC Vive has overtaken Oculus Rift as the most ‘talked about’ VR headset online, according to a new Adobe Digital Insights report.

In the 2016 Gaming report, the stats showed a decrease in online mentions of the Microsoft Hololens, Playstation VR and Oculus Rift - but a 115% increase in people talking about the Vive.

The research analysed 20 million social mentions on sites like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter,...

By Rachael Power, 22 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Hardware.

Fundsurfer seeing rise in companies asking about VR/AR investment

(c)iStock.com/visualspace

The current major players in the VR headset and software space are slowly creeping worldwide. With Oculus Rift’s launch in Europe and Canada this autumn, Intel and Microsoft’s announcements to make VR experiences available on mainstream PCs and more, it’s clear access to the tech will open up for a wider net of the global population.

And where there’s enterprise, there are startups and companies wanting a slice of the action. The major players aren’t the only pieces...

By Rachael Power, 18 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Hardware.

You can start demoing Oculus Rift in the UK very soon

(c)Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift is coming to the UK, and from 20 September you may be able to demo it potentially at a local Curry’s PCWorld, GAME, John Lewis or Harrods.

It’s not known which stores and cities the Rift will be demoed, but Oculus did say it would add more locations to its list in due course.

The company announced back in May that it would roll out demos to Europe and Canada, as it offered places in Best Buy stores...

By Rachael Power, 18 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Intel announces new 'merged reality' project and Microsoft partnership

We've had virtual, augmented and mixed reality so far, but now Intel are throwing their own buzzword into the ring: merged reality.

The computing giant announced Project Alloy at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) yesterday, an all-in-one VR solution created from the ground up.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the headset will have computer and sensors integrated directly into it. It'll leverage the recently updated 

By Rachael Power, 17 August 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.