Vive Studios and Immersion launch VR interior design app

Vivie Studios, the content development arm of HTC Vive, has partnered with Immersion to launch interior design app, TrueScale.

The app is able to simultaneously create 2D floor plans, 3D mockups and room-scale VR environments. Users can design their apartments or offices and then experience and explore their design in VR to make sure that it is exactly what they are looking for before committing to actually creating it.

Interestingly, the app makes use of US-based ecommerce site Wayfair’s 3D model API,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 26 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

Microsoft and University of Washington bring Minority Report to reality

In case you don’t remember Minority Report, the 2002 film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, the film featured a police officers using immersive interfaces to record and manipulate crime scene data.

At the time, the idea seemed to the far future of sci-fi. But 15 years later, it looks like the technology could be with us sooner then we think.

Entered into Micorsoft’s Design Expo 2017, students from the University of Washington Interactive Design Program are envisioning the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft.

Walmart showcases its vision of VR as the future or retail

Store No 8, the technology incubator of retail giant Walmart, has showcased a number of incoming technologies it feels are set to revolutionise retail in the coming years at its recent innovation gala.

VR took a prominent place among the pioneering tech, highlighting the importance the company thinks immersive experiences are set to have in the retail landscape.

The event showcased experiences produced from five VR developers, all of which are focused on using VR to solve different problems in the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 23 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Hardware.

Adobe launches immersive tool to edit sound in VR

Adobe has announced Project SonicScape, a prototype tool that allows VR/AR editors and developers to better edit sound within 3D environments.

Demoed at the company’s Adobe Max conference, the tool allows developers and editors to visualise ambisonic audio within a spherical VR video using coloured bubbles. This way of visualising sound data in this way makes it easy to align sound with specific parts of the video.

An Adobe spokesperson told TechCrunch:

“Project SonicScape takes the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers.

Magic Leap has now raised $1.8 billion – but still hasn’t revealed what it’s working on

Magic Leap, the mysterious still-in-stealth company that is developing an AR headset, has announced that it has raised $502 million in Series D equity funding.

This means that the company, which was founded in 2011, has now secured over a gargantuan $1.8 billion in funding. What makes all of this so interesting is that the company has yet to give any public indication of what it is doing or what the end product might be like.

The latest round of funding was led by the Singapore investment firm Tamesek...

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

VR to usher in the age of ‘empathy training’

Businesses are built on relationships between employees and customers, but it is the quality of those relationships that can be the difference between growth and stagnation.

A business that cannot create and sustain positive relationships with the people it relies on to give it money is not likely to last long. This has led a lot of companies to try and give their employees the tools they need to build fruitful relationships.

Now, it looks like VR could be a crucial tool in empathy-building game.

Empathy...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise.

Oculus hopes $200 headset will take VR mainstream

Oculus has announced the company’s first standalone VR headset, the Oculus Go. Significantly the new headset is going to be priced at $199 USD.

On its website the company states:

“This all-in-one device makes VR more accessible that ever and represents a huge leap forward in comfort, visual clarity, and ease-of-use.”

The company is joining the race towards creating VR hardware that is affordable enough to hook in the average consumer with a bit of spare cash. Making the headset standalone is...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Oculus partner with Immerse to provide training for world’s largest logistics company

VR’s potential for enterprise training has been well-touted. The technology is about to take a big step into actual real-world use cases with a big new partnership with DHL.

The world’s largest logistics company has announced that it will working with Oculus and British VR startup Immerse to build what it hopes will be a pioneering ‘virtual learning world’.

The global initiative was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and VR leader Hugo Barra at the Oculus Connect 4 conference...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise.

VR brings our 30,000-year old Homo sapiens ancestors back in 3D for the first time

VR animation by Visual Science

Technology continues to bring the history of our planet and our species into dazzlingly sharp relief. What before was a murky and often hard to conceptualise swamp is fast becoming a beautiful and detailed panorama.

Now, Visual Science is using VR to bring us face to face to with our distant ancestors. Partnering with the RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, the company has reconstructed the faces of the Sungir...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Nokia halts VR camera activities citing slow market growth

Nokia has taken the decision to discontinue its OZO VR camera and hardware production line, due to what it perceives as slow market growth.

In a press release, the company stated that:

“In digital media, the slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities. The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 10 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Ericsson: TV is the main focus of consumers as VR takes off

Ericsson, the multinational networking and telecommunications service company, is predicting that VR will go mainstream in just two years’ time.

The company’s eighth annual ConsumerLab TV and Media Report took data from around 20,000 online interviews from across 13 countries. The results show that in the mind of most consumers it is video-on-demand (VOD) that is going to fuel the rise of VR.

The report estimates that by 2020, half of all viewing will be done on a mobile screen and a third of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 09 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Hardware.

VR in healthcare and medicine to grow to $285 million in 2022

VR has opened up a range of new possibilities for services and treatments in the healthcare industry, and the industry is expected to experience significant growth in the next five years.

The immersive experience created by VR is already being used in a variety of ways by healthcare professionals, from pain and stress management therapy to training and simulation.

ABI Research forecasts that VR services in the medical and healthcare segment is about to explode in value from $8.9 million in 2017 to around $285...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

VR heat maps offer detailed insights for architects, designers and retailers

For those that are in charge of designing spaces that are going to be used for commercial and public activities, VR looks set to greatly enhance the design process. Utilising the technology, designers and retailers can tailor their designs by virtually walking through them, changing colour schemes and materials as they go.

Now, Yulio technologies, has given architects, designers and retailers another VR tool to help them optimise their designs for the people that are actually going to use the spaces they...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Enterprise.

PlayStation announces new VR headset

Sony has announced a new model of its PSVR headset that, while not big on headline-grabbing innovations, does contain a number on interesting new features.

The aim of the new headset seems to be one of streamlining things and removing some unsuccessful parts of the previous model rather than fully updating the VR headset.

The updated model, called CUH-ZVR2, is set to reach Japan on October 14, with a wider North American release set to follow at a date to be confirmed.

The announcement on the PlayStation site...

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

TRIPP wants to help you alter your mood with VR

VR experiences can have substantial and powerful effects on the way that users think and feel. Up until now these effects have been utilised as ways of making a game better or for placing the user in the shoes of another person (as our piece on refugees illustrated).

But with TRIPP, using VR to change the way the individual feels is the whole point.

The company of “mood architects” recently secured $4 million in funding in order to create journeys that use the sensory and immersive elements of VR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

AMC aims to bring room-scale VR in theatres by 2019

AMC Entertainment, the largest theatrical motion picture exhibitor in the world, has invested $10 million into VR startup Dreamscape Immersive, to open six VR centres in North America and the UK.

The company has also committed another $10 million to finance VR content productions with the LA-based startup. Dreamscape Immersive is focused on room-scale installations and real-time motion tracking.

The six new VR-locations will be in addition to Dreamscape’s flagship location in Los Angeles, which is due...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Gaming.

Google Chrome VR lets users browse the internet in virtual reality

You can now browse the web in VR using Google Chrome.

The release of Chrome 61 means that Daydream VR users can browse websites using their headsets and experience VR through WebVR. The new chrome is the latest stable build of the company’s Google browser.

Chrome team member François Beaufort announced the news in a post on Google+:

“…this allows users to view and interact with any website in VR, follow links between pages, and move between 2D and immersive viewing for sites that support WebVR. “Users...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 26 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Platforms.

Intel cancels Project Alloy

Intel has announced that it is officially ended its Project Alloy initiative. The project, which aimed to be the first truly wireless VR headset, with no need for cords, controllers or a separate PC, was meant to be shipping a reference design to its partners in the second half of this year.

Although the company has remained tight-lipped on the reasons for cancelling the ‘merged reality’ headset, but there has been speculation that the decision was made due to lack of interest from partners.

In a statement made...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 25 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Viveport celebrates first anniversary with new services and 100% holiday revenue share

HTC VIVE’s global app store Viveport is celebrating its first birthday by giving developers a host of new services as well as a limited revenue share scheme.

"From launching the first-ever subscription model for a VR app store to exceeding 1,000 titles available globally, to over 26,000 registered developers in our community, Viveport has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year." said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport.

"We enter year two with exciting new features and improvements to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Release of ARKit leading to surge of consumer interest in AR platforms

You can call it the ‘Apple effect’ and it may just be about to launch AR into the mainstream.

Following the launch of the iPhone 8, iOS 11 and the new ARKit platform, it is clear that Apple is predicting big things for AR.

And where Apple goes, hordes of eager consumers tend to follow. When you add this to the fact that Google has also recently released its ARCore platform for Android developers, it is clear that consumers will be seeing a lot more AR in the coming months.

New research also shows...

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