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.

US ski team utilise VR ahead of Olympics

The US ski and snowboard team has been using VR to prepare for the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea.

The team has partnered with STRIVR, the company that has been working with teams in the NFL, NBA and a number of college football teams to integrate VR into their training regimens. Despite its work in a wide range of sporting environments, however, the company had never tried to come up with a solution for a downhill course.

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that are suited to VR, particularly in a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Hardware.

HTC Vive partners with World Economic Forum

HTC Vive has announced that it will be partnering with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to promote the VR/AR for Impact initiative. The pair will be showcasing content at the UN Sustainable Impact Hub at WEF 2018 in Davos.

The initiative was originally launched by HTC at WEF 2017 and looks to use over $10 million to help fund VR and AR content and technologies that will create a positive impact and change in line with the aims of the UN’s sustainable development goals.

HTC Vive will...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 23 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems.

VRidge emulator allows Mobile headsets to run PC VR games

 

VR startup RiftCat has developed technology that allows VR headsets the capability to run PC VR games. The VRidge emulator works by making a user’s computer recognise their phone as a HTC Vive headset.

The system works through connecting two apps, one on the user mobile and one on the desktop. When the two apps connect, the user’s mobile VR headset can be used to play whatever games are on the desktop.

The two apps can be connected through a USB or over a wifi connection, meaning that the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Hardware.

Dell partners with Meta to bring AR to industries

Dell will become the first authorised reseller of the Meta 2 Augmented reality Development Kit, in a partnership aimed at giving enterprises the tools they need to make effective use of AR.

The development kit is designed to provide commercial companies with a range of tools for AR business deployment, particularly those operating in healthcare, manufacturing and construction.

"There continues to be tremendous potential for VR and AR across various industries and in addition to building technology...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Deloitte predicts a big year for AR

Deloitte is predicting that over a billion smartphone users will use their smartphones to access AR experiences at least once in 2018.

The professional services giant estimates that 300,000 million users will become monthly smartphone AR users, with tens of millions making and sharing content weekly.

As part of its latest Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2018 report, the company thinks that 2018 will be a huge year for AR. As AR-compatible smartphones become the norm, thousands of apps...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 18 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Arcona and Advir.co partnership combines VR, programmatic advertising and blockchain

A new partnership between blockchain-based AR platform Arcona has partnered with VR programmatic company Advir to help monetise advertising in VR.

The partnership brings together three distinct areas: VR/AR, programmatic advertising and blockchain technologies.

Arcona is an ecosystem based on blockchain (or distributed ledger technology) that looks to link the real and virtual worlds together, by layering mixed reality over real locations. The company uses GIS data to break the world into areas and places,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Thred begins innovative AR trail in Australia

Australian company Thred Ltd will be trailing its flagship AR app, Sweep, at the University of Sydney and UNSW.

The company is one of the first to create a successful combination of location-based messaging and AR experiences. The Sweep app is a geo-locked chat app that allows users in the same area to chat to each other, such as asking people in a bar for drink recommendations or asking to be notified when happy hour is ending.

Users will then be able to access exclusive, location based AR content. The aim...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

Google joins the standalone headset battle with Mirage Solo

CES 2018 has been defined by wireless VR headsets, with HTC and Oculus both announcing their entries into the battle.

Google has also announced that is will be looking to release its own wireless, standalone headset based on its Daydream VR platform. The Mirage Solo is being created in partnership with hardware manufacturer Lenovo.

Google’s first headset, the Daydream View, required a smartphone.

The headset is powered by WorldSense, which tracks your movements without the requirement for external...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Vuzix Blade AR glasses create a buzz at CES

The Vuzix Blade AR glasses look like it could be the breakthrough in the AR devices space that the industry has been looking for since the failure of Google Glass.

Vuzix has been showcasing the Alexa-enabled glasses at CES, and claims that they will be delivering a developer version in the coming months.

Through its partnership with Amazon means that the device is the first pair of AR glasses to be integrated with the ecommerce giant’s voice-based digital assistant. The price is currently set at $1,000...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 10 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

HTC and Oculus unveil new headsets at CES

Both HTC and their arch rivals Oculus have both unveiled new VR headsets at CES 2018.

HTC showed off its updated Pro version of its Vive headset while Oculus announced a new partnership with China’s Xiaomi that will result in a standalone headset.

The Vive Pro increase the total resolution to 2880 by 1600 pixels, with equates to a 78% increase on previous models. This will be provided by two OLED screens. The other headline feature is the integration of high-performance headphones with a built-in...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 09 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Looxid Labs wins CES 2018 innovation awards for mobile VR eye tracking system

Looxid Labs, a US startup working on user emotion recognition system for VR has won a CES 2018 Best of Innovation Award for its mobile-based VR headset.

The company picked up the prestigious award, which puts them in the group as previous winners Tilt Brush and Samsung Gear VR, for its LooxidVR product. The mobile-based VR headset that is similar to the Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream view, but it contains some potentially revolutionary tech.

The headset is embedded with EEG sensors and eye tracking cameras that are...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

AR app offers assistance to paramedics

Being a paramedic of an EMT is the definition of a high pressure, stressful job. Not only are you thrown into a myriad of complex situations, you also have to come up with a diagnosis of the particular patient’s problem and come up with a viable course of action. All in an environment where a wasted few seconds could make all the difference.

A new AR application for the Microsoft HoloLens is looking to ease this burden by providing paramedics with a range of diagnostic tools to help better treat...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Platforms.

TwoEyes Tech mimics human physiology for more comfortable VR

A new VR camera developed by startup TwoEyes Tech takes the innovative step of using two fisheye lenses that are arranged 65 millimetres apart to capture 360 videos.

If the design sounds familiar, that’s because it closely mimics how your own eyes are set up. The company has based the way they capture video data on the way our eyes provide a view of the world around us in the hope that it facilitates a more comfortable VR experience for users.

The two fisheye cameras are placed the average distance...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 03 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Magic Leap unveils AR system

After years of silence and speculation, not to mention billions of dollars in investment, Magic Leap is set to release its first product in 2018.

The company has released the first images of the hotly anticipated Magic Leap One headset, and announce that it intends to launch the product as a developer kit first. The Creator Edition will be available in early 2018.

The Magic Leap device is an AR headset that makes use of the company’s Digital Lightfield technology, which is claims seamlessly merges...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 21 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Facebook opens up Spaces for HTC Vive

Facebook has implemented a major change of strategy with regard to its VR Spaces app. The social media giant has surprised many by announcing that its VR chat app, which is still in beta and free, will support its biggest rivals: HTC Vive and SteamVR.

The announcement, made by a Facebook VR exec on 19 December, is a reverse of the message that Oculus has been giving out for over a year. The company had solidly maintained that all of its major games and apps would remain as exclusives to Oculus hardware.

There...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Platforms.

Google ends Tango AR platform

Google has announced that it is officially calling time on its high-end smartphone AR platform Tango, in order to focus on its mass-market focused younger sibling ARCore.

Support for Tango will officially end on 1 March 2018.

In a tweet on 15 December, the Project Tango account said:

“Thank you to our incredible community of developers who made such progress with Tango over the last three years. We look forward to continuing the journey with you on ARCore.”

Tango was introduced in 2014, and was an...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 19 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Google makes YouTube VR available on Steam

Already one of the main selling points of Google’s Daydream VR platform, Google has now YouTube VR available to HTC Vive users.

Steam users can now download YouTube VR right now. The company has also released a trailer for the release.   

Users will be able to browse and watch content from every channel or creator in VR, without being limited to 180 or 360 videos. The experience is similar to that of VR theatres, where users are presented with a floating screen insider of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Platforms.

$2.5 billion invested in AR/VR in 2017

2017 has been a bumper year in terms of investment for the AR/VR sector, and the pace of money coming in has picked up substantially in the last quarter.

According to the latest figures in Digi-Capital’s Augmented/Virtual Reality Report and Deals Database, startup leaders across 27 AR/VR sectors raised $1 billion in capital in Q4 2017. This brings total investment in 2017 to $2.5 billion in 2017, meaning that a whopping two-fifths of the total investment in the sector has come in October and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Research.

Airbnb developing a VR property viewing solution

Airbnb is in the process of developing a VR/AR feature that will let users get a feel for rental properties.

The company wrote in a recent blog post that it wants to add 3D scans and 360 photos to its website, in order to allow people to get a better sense of the actual scale and layout of a property. VR has been on the company’s radar for at least year, with VP of engineering Mike Curtis saying in 2016 that the technology could be used to forge a closer connection between the company and its...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.