Samsung to use AR at Mobile World Congress product launch

Samsung is planning to use AR to wow attendees at next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona when it unveils its new smartphones. However, details both of the phones and the promotional tactics planned have been leaked ahead of the event.

The company recently released its Unpacked 2018 app on the Google Play Store. The app is intended to for registered and invited users at events, and also for people that want to view the live stream of the MWC event.

It seems that Samsung didn’t...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Samsung.

MIT and Cornell combine AR with 3D printing

A joint project from MIT and Cornell is looking to change the prototyping game by combining AR with robotic modelling and 3D printing.

The Robotic Modelling Assistant (RoMA) allows users wearing an AR headset and using two handheld controllers to build 3D models with a computer programme. A robotic arm gets to work building a skeletal model using a 3D printer mounted on its hand.

Project leader Huaishu Peng described the benefits of the project as allowing users to “integrate real-world constraints into...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Magic Leap reveals elements of its business plans for the next few years

After seemingly hoovering in investment without giving much away about what it was actually up to for years, the last few months have seen a flood of Magic Leap-related news activity.

Just before Christmas, the company finally unveiled its highly-anticipated AR headset.

Now, CEO Rony Abovitz has revealed a few key aspects of the company’s strategy going forward. The comments were made at the Code Media conference.

So, with Magic...

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

Accenture: VR will “close the gap of physical distance” between businesses and customers

Accenture is predicting three years of rapid disruption as a range of new technologies mature in the enterprise space. The company’s Technology Vision 2018 report highlights AI, “extended reality” and advanced analytics will be turbo-boosting a whole host of innovative products and services, and changing the ways that customers interact with companies.  

The company surveyed 6,300 businesses and IT executives across the world.

With regards to VR/AR, Accenture believes that the biggest...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise.

First platform for volumetric videos launched

A new battlefield has opened up in the VR/AR space: the race towards creating viewing experiences that centre around livestreamed, interactive holographic visuals.

The technical name for this kind of video is volumetric. This technique captures film footage in 3D in order to essentially create a fully scanned and reproduced digital copy of whatever is being filmed, which can then be sent to AR glasses or VR headsets.

The term shot back into the headlines this week when the CEO of secretive and much-hyped AR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

BBC Earth launches VR experience

Its safe to say the BBC’s Blue Planet II series was a landmark TV event. The spectacular nature series was the most watched programme of 2017 in UK, and its currently stunning audiences around the world.

The series not only highlights the very cutting-edge of camera technology and filming techniques, it has also sparked interest in the state of the world’s oceans and the teeming variety of wildlife that lives there.

BBC Worldwide and Google have teamed up to give viewers itching for more immersion...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

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.

VR hits the slopes in the Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics currently taking place in South Korea marks a big step forward for live broadcast VR content.

Intel is working in partnership with the International Olympic Committee to provide the technology needed for broadcasting VR and 360 video content. The partnership is extended up until 2024, so the Korean games are just the beginning.

The company will be streaming 30 events, both live and on-demand, throughout the games. Events being streamed include Women’s Skeleton, Men’s Downhill and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Platforms.

Vreal raises $11.7M to create the VR Twitch

Vreal Inc., the VR livestreaming and broadcast platform, has announced that it has raised $11.7 million in a Series A funding round led by Axioma Ventures.

The company is in the process of building a platform that is similar to game streaming sites like Amazon’s Twitch or YouTube, but utilising VR. Users will be able to use their headsets (although the company is primarily working with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at the moment), and be able to stand next to their favourite streamers while they...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

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.

Walmart looking to bring VR to stores

Walmart’s technology incubator, Store No 8, has announced that it has purchased VR startup Spatialand. The acquisition is part of the retail giant’s strategy to bring VR experiences to its stores.

Spatialand is a software platform that helps developers create virtual experiences. The company will now design and build products for Walmart’s stores and website.

In a blog post on its website, Store No 8 said that its principal Katie Finnegan will serve as Spatialand’s interim chief...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

The New York Times moves in to AR

The New York Times (NYT) is set to release an AR app that will allow future issues of the newspaper to include AR enhanced articles.

The publication said in a statement that it wants to use the technology to extend “stories beyond the inches of a screen, by digitally adding objects into your space at real scale.”

The company said that AR can give those digital objects “provocative explanatory value, because you can get close to them.”

The NYT announcement comes less than a month after TIME released an

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

NHS to offer VR treatment

A new project is looking to offer mental health patients in the UK an innovative psychological therapy on the National Health Service (NHS).

The project brings together the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the NHS, universities, as well as charities and companies. NIHR has awarded the project £4 million to use VR to help guide patients safely through situations that they find troubling.  

The project will be the first time that the technology has been utilised by the NHS.

The treatment...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 02 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies.

Google set to bring AR functionality to Chrome

Google looks set to take the next step in its effort to gain cross-platform AR superiority with a new product, currently title Article, with integrates AR into the Chrome browser.

In a blog post on its website by members of the Daydream WebXR team, the company says the move would help bring AR to “as many users as possible”:

“We've been exploring how to bring augmented reality to the web platform, so someday anyone with a browser can access this new technology.” 

Article is...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 01 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Using MR to ‘see through’ patient tissue in operations

A team at Imperial College London have demonstrated how mixed reality can be used in complex reconstructive lower limb surgery.

The team used a Microoft Hololens to overlay images of CT scans showing the position of bones and key blood vessels onto an actual patient’s leg. This essentially allows the surgeon to ‘see through’ the limb while performing the procedure.

The key benefit of leveraging the technology in this way is to allow surgeons to better locate and reconnect important blood...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 31 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Microsoft.

StubHub brings AR to ticket purchasing

Sports fans looking to get a ticket to the one of the world’s most spectacular sporting events in the world will soon be able to use AR as part of their purchasing journey.

Live market marketplace StubHub is leveraging AR as part of the Super Bowl 2018 ticket buying process. Prospective event-goers can use their phones to preview their game day experience in Minneapolis, getting a feel for everything from the parking facilities to the view of the field from different areas of the stadium.

With tickets...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Scientists use VR to identify areas of brains involved in memory

Neuroscientists at the University of California have used VR to gain new insight into how different areas of the brain are involved in the distinct parts of the memory organisation process.

The findings are detailed in a study published in the Nature Communications journal by graduate student Halle Dimsdale-Zucker. Dimsdale-Zucker and her colleagues used a virtual environment to show participants virtual objects.

When the subjects were then asked about the objects, the team was able to view activity in different areas of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

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.