WaveOptics raises $26 million to improve vision for AR wearables

WaveOptics, a designer and manufacturer of waveguides for use in augmented reality (AR) wearables, has raised $26 million from existing shareholders and new investors, which was led by Octopus Ventures, one of WaveOptics’ largest shareholders and one of Europe’s most prominent venture capital firms.

The fundraising was supported by other existing shareholders including IP Group, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Gobi...

By VR 360, 13 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Research.

National Geographic provides virtual experience of natural world in new series

National Geographic wants its audience to experience the beauty and wonder of nature in a different way – with the  globally renowned TV channel joining hands with YouTube to offer its editorial content through VR.

The two companies’ partnership will be launching three new projects in 2019, of which the first leg will be a four-part immersive series about one of the last wild places on earth, the Okavango Delta,...

By VR 360, 12 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

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.

Phiar raises $3 million to develop computer vision and deep learning navigation app

Machine learning and augmented reality provider Phiar has announced a seed funding round of $3 million to develop a computer vision and deep learning navigation app for smartphones, to be launched in app stores in mid-2019. Unlike traditional GPS apps, the Phiar app displays the driver’s real-world surroundings augmented with an easy to follow painted path.

The seed round, co-led by the Venture Reality Fund and Norwest...

By VR 360, 06 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Developers, Ecosystems.

Virtual reality market has stumbled in 2018 – but the outlook remains positive

The virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) markets are undergoing something of a tumultuous time – but while the near-term outlook sees a dip, long-term growth can be found.

With only a few weeks left to go in the year, analyst firm CCS Insight has predicted that eight million VR and AR headsets and glasses will be sold in 2018. This represents a step down from the 10 million devices sold in 2017; yet the company...

By James Bourne, 05 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Platforms, Research.

Travelocity gives AR experience to mobile users within its app

Travelocity, an online travel agency, is launching its first augmented reality (AR) experience.

The agency is putting together an offering that will allow users to take a snap of travel photos and videos with the brand’s spokesperson, The Roaming Gnome, whose icon appears on-demand in 3D anywhere around the globe thanks to a new AR camera feature available in the Travelocity mobile app.

By VR 360, 26 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

BAE Systems invests £20 million in AR and AI to develop future naval combat strategies

BAE Systems has recently made an investment as part of its commitment to innovate and deliver the best systems and products to tackle evolving threats and deliver the most effective solutions to customers. The British firm will be investing £20 million in AR and AI that will be used in warships to optimise their combat ability.

The investment will see innovations that will aid naval personnel to enhance their decision...

By VR 360, 23 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Ecosystems.

GSMA launches initiative to get telecom operators up to speed with VR and AR connectivity

The GSMA has released a new industry-wide initiative that will concentrate on the development of cloud virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology.

The GSMA Cloud AR/VR Forum is supported by China Mobile, Telecom and Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT Corp., NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Telenor, TIM, Turkcell and Vodafone, and intends to motivate all parties to team up on expediting the delivery and deployment of 5G...

By VR 360, 21 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise.

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.

Research: Augmented reality can help cardiologists with complex procedures

Augmented reality (AR) offers a new platform to help physicians better visualise complex medical data, particularly before and during medical procedures. A new self-contained AR device aims to provide an immersive AR experience in which surgeons can interactively explore data in three dimensions.

Jihye Jang, a PhD Candidate at the Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (MR) Centre at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, and colleagues assessed...

By VR 360, 12 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

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.

EFF launches VR tool to help users understand surveillance technologies

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a virtual reality (VR) experience on its website, teaching people how to spot and understand the surveillance technologies that police are using on its communities.

Spot the Surveillance, which works best with a VR headset and can also work on standard browsers, places users in a 360-degree street scene in San Francisco.

The...

By VR 360, 06 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Platforms, Regulation.

Walmart deploys augmented reality to improve barcode scanner

Walmart shoppers can now use augmented reality (AR) thanks to the launch of a new tool for iOS – as the company says it wanted to do ‘so much more’ with its current mobile app barcode scanner.

The retailer has given a shot to augmented reality and has launched a new AR scanning tool in its iPhone application which will help customers with product comparisons. This AR scanner can be panned across store shelves,...

By James Bourne, 02 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.

Novarad AR HoloLens system gets FDA approval for medical use

The FDA has cleared OpenSight Augmented Reality System, making it the first AR medical solution for Microsoft HoloLens receiving 510(k) clearance for use in pre-operative surgical planning.

OpenSight renders 2D, 3D and 4D images of patients interactively, while accurately overlaying them directly on the patient’s body. The solution, in combination with the patented virtual tool technology and an integrated targeting...

By VR 360, 30 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

Resolution Games secures $7.5 million series B funding to further innovation for AR and VR gaming

Sweden-based Resolution Games has closed a $7.5 million Series B round of funding led by MizMaa Ventures.

The investment also includes new capital from GP Bullhound and Fly Forever, as well as industry thought leader and Unity founder, David Helgason. Investors from previous rounds, such as GV, Partech, Bonnier Ventures, Creandum and Sisu Game Ventures, also partook in this latest series B round.

By VR 360, 25 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Gaming.

Embracing extended reality for technology adoption and harnessing opportunities

Today, the terms augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality are used in industry very interchangeably, and there is a very thin line separating all three technologies. When we look at XR, we’re really considering it as the “umbrella technology” that these other technologies come under. Each technology holds its own promise individually for new, beneficial use cases, but they can also be coordinated to work together in new applications,...

By Raj Tiwari, 22 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Ecosystems.

Macy’s teams up with Marxent Labs in ‘largest VR rollout in retail history’

The recent collaboration between departmental store chain Macy’s and VR and AR solutions provider Marxent Labs is said to be the largest VR rollout in retail history.

About 70 of Macy’s stores across the nation have installed VR so far, and are planning to add more at 20 locations by January 2019, according to the company.

VR-influenced furniture sales have rose more than...

By VR 360, 18 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Platforms.