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.

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.