Pimax launches 8K VR headset

VR hardware developers Pimax has announced of their new 200° FOV 8K VR headset. The headset is set to be the most graphically advanced headset on available on the market.

The company turned heads with the release of the first 4K headset, which was recognised as the best VR product at CES Asia 2016.

The new headset looks to double the field of view to 200°, which almost matches the human view of 220°. It will also offer six time the resolution of other mainstream headsets.

According to the company,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 20 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

The Walking Dead comes to AR

AR is coming to the world of advertising in a big way. As both Google and Apple release their development tool, it is likely that consumers will begin to see a lot more AR marketing campaigns in the near future.

Which doesn’t mean that there aren’t already awesome examples of the medium at work. As fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead get ready for the season eight premiere, they can satiate their hunger with a AR app created by Trigger.

The app, which includes on-pack and in-store branding from...

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

Advrty set to release ‘immersive advertising platform’

Ad tech company Advrty is set to release the beta version of its native advertising platform for VR at next week’s XR Connects event in Helsinki.

The platform integrates immersive ads into the 3D virtual worlds created by game and app developers. It looks to solve the problem of brands and advertisers being able to connect with consumers in new and innovative ways in VR experiences, without actually taking away from the user experience itself.

Advrty want digital advertsing in VR and AR to become...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising.

VR-controlled robot disarms bombs

The narrative that robots are coming for all of our jobs often fails to mention one important fact: that there some jobs that no human really wants to be doing anyway.

One of those jobs being disarming bombs and explosives.

A robot called Taurus Dexterous, created by SRI International, has begun to remove humans from having to physically disarm and dispose of bombs, and therefore face a very real threat to their lives. While bomb disposal robots have been in use for a while now, Taurus is the first to utilise...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies, Hardware.

iOS 11 set for release on 19 September

Apple are due to release the highly anticipated iOS 11 to compatible devices on 19 September, meaning owners of recent Apple devices could have an AR-capable device before the launch of the new iPhone.

The new operating system supports Apple’s big move into the AR space, ARKit, which was released earlier this year. The AR development tool will now be available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads after the release of the new flagship smartphone.

The release of iOS 11 makes the experiences so far...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: iOS.

First VR language app immerses users in real-life situations

Anyone that has ever attempted to learn a language from scratch knows that there is a huge gulf between learning the vocabulary and the grammar, and actually being able to converse with another human being.

It is widely thought that the best way to learn how to speak effectively in another language is to throw yourself into situations where you are forced to talk with native speakers. A wide variety of apps and services have come up with their own ways of trying to simulate this kind of experience.

Could VR...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

UNICEF look to make VR/AR work for everyone

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has announced that it is seeking applications from AR/VR startups to submit their ideas for harness the technology for the greater good.

The organisation wants to focus on ‘good technology’ – that which allows people around the world better access to information, opportunities and choice, preferably in an equitable way.

Solutions that fulfil these criteria will be rewarded with seed funding and access to UNICEF’s country offices for use-case knowledge and...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Developers, Platforms.

New wave of AR capable smartphones incoming

IFA 2017 in Berlin has seen a range of players in the smartphone market unveil their latest smartphone models. There has been a common theme of amongst these releases: they all feature hardware advancements that will facilitate AR experiences going forward.  

The joint focus on introducing AR imaging capabilities indicates that the big tech players think that AR is going to go fully mainstream within the next year.

Let’s have a look at some of the different devices that were introduced to us at IFA...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Audi deploys VR into dealerships

Audi dealers in Germany, Spain and the UK will be offering potential customers the chance to experience what an individually configured will look like using VR.

The move represents the first, fully functional VR application for customer consultations at dealerships in the automotive industry.

This application of the technology is likely to make waves across any industry where customers need to improve a product before it is actually created, such as interior design. Audi is paving the way when it comes to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 06 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Acer predicts Microsoft’s mixed reality will win the VR race

Acer’s chairman Jason Chen has estimated that Micorsoft’s mixed reality ecosystem will come out on top of the VR pile in the next few years.

Chen thinks that the mixed reality market will reach 10 million units sold a year in the next half a decade, making it easily the most popular VR platform.

The company’s awesomely titled Mixed Reality Head-Mounted Display (HMD) is available for pre-order now. Like other mixed reality headsets, the device is not a full-on VR gaming platform, but it will...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Can VR help with dementia?

It seems that one of the area aside from gaming where VR and AR can have the greatest impact is healthcare. The technology’s potential to radically alter the experience of patients, increase the efficiency of training and change the way healthcare professionals interact with patients.

But can the technology actually impact the way that people are treated, and lead to healthier people in certain situations?

Many nations around the world have begun to think about the consequences of an ageing population...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 31 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies.

Google releases ARCore

Google has announced the release of its new SDK ARCore which was made available for download on 28 August 2017.

ARCore brings AR capabilities to existing and future Android phones. The release marks a subtle shift in the Google’s AR strategy, which formally began with the launch of Project Tango in 2014.

While Tango worked by loading user’s smartphones up with custom sensors, ARCore uses software to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 August 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Android, AR.

SyncThink releases VR concussion detection headset

Boston based SyncThink is looking to revolutionise the detection of concussions among athletes with the release of its EYE-SYNC headset.

The issue of concussions in sports such as American football has been growing in importance over the last few years, with concern rising over their widespread nature and the long-term damage they can cause.

For example, in July the New York Times published a study that...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies.

Adobe acquires SkyBox technology from Mettle

Adobe has announced that it has acquired SkyBox technology from Mettle, showing that the tech giant is continuing its push to position itself at the head of the VR pack.

The SkyBox toolset is designed for post-production in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC, and also compliments Adobe Creative Cloud’s existing 360/VR production tech.

With increasing numbers of brands and companies exploring the possibilities of VR, the race is on to corner the market for seamless end-to-end workflows.

The...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 25 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Firefox's new browser features VR support

Mozilla has released a new version of its Firefox browser that features WebVR support.

The concept of WebVR was first put together in 2014 by a group of Mozilla developers. The idea was to allow web users to explore virtual spaces and make it easier to create VR experiences that work across a range of devices.

The browser’s release calendar update states that: “WebVR is the big platform feature shipping in Firefox 55. Firefox users with an HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift can...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

World’s first brain-computer VR interface allows users to control VR with their minds

Neurable has built the first brain-computer interface that allows VR users to use their thoughts as a controller in virtual environments.

The prototype is attached to the back of a HTC Vive headset and is capable of reading a user’s brain signals. The thoughts have to relate to specific actions relating to the virtual activity being undertaken, which are then interpreted by the interface to trigger actions.

In a blog post, Neurable vice president Michael Thompson, explains:...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems, Platforms.

What do consumers want from virtual shopping?

Virtual reality shopping, or V-commerce, seems to rumbling ever closer on the horizon as more and more retail brands dip their toes tentatively into the waters.

Among those brands that are known to be in the early stages of planning VR strategies are The Gap and Sephora.

But what do consumers actually want from V-commerce? Do they want the technology to make the experience of shopping more exciting or engaging, or do they want it to help them make better choices and make the process more efficient?

Consulting...

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

MakeVR Pro brings CAD-based 3D modelling tools to HTC Vive

Vive Studios has partnered with Sixense, a global leader in motion tracking, to launch an affordable tool for professional 3D designers.

Availiable on viveport for $39.99, MakeVR Pro is a suite of new tools for the MakeVR content creation experience.

The new tools are for precision alignment of objects using grids and rulers, jigs, snapping, surface tracking and mirroring. The tools make it much easier to create solid-model content with posistional and rotational accuracy in their virtual workshops.

"While still a simple...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 08 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

US DoD investment in VR and AR set to increase

The US Department of Defence (DoD) is set to increase its investment in virtual, augmented or mixed reality training in the coming years, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Mobile and distributed training technologies continue to offer an important way of dealing with the training for high tempo and dynamic training situations. Frost & Sullivan belive that it is vital that industry participants focus on creating secure, robust and realistic virtual environments.

"New disruptive, innovative technologies...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Security.

Low cost VR design tool speeds design process

Gravity Sketch has released a professional grade 3D design tool that aims to reduce design time by 30%.

Available for around $40 on Occulus and Steam VR, the tool has just completed beta testing with 500 industrial designers and digital artists.

Based in London, Gravity Sketch has received funding and business support from heavy-hitters the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub and the James Dyson Foundation.

The company wants to make professional grade design available to everyone and allow...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 03 August 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Developers.