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 experience VR content on the...

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: “This tech is already...

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...

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...

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.

VR is the fastest growing skill for freelancers in Q2 2017

VR skills are becoming an increasingly desirable as more and more companies begin to invest heavily in the technology, according to freelancing website Upwork.

As the money, attention and ideas begin to flow into the VR space, there are still relatively few workers who specialise in the skills needed to produce content and hardware.

The company’s quarterly Upwork Skills Index ranks the 20 fastest growing skills amongst freelancers in the US job market. Tech-related skills make up 65% of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 02 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Data & Analytics, Developers.

HP debuts VR backpack at SIGGRAPH 2017

HP has unveiled its HP Z Backpack VR solution at SIGGRAPH 2017. The Backpack looks to provide the user with freedom of movement while in virtual experiences.

The company describes the backpack as a ‘catalyst for more powerful VR experiences across many enterprises and businesses’.

The company specifically pointed out four potential use cases for the technology:

- the deliverance of safe and effective virtual training for dangerous professions or operating...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 01 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware.

Decentraland combines VR with blockchain to create a metaverse

There are currently two extremely hyped up technologies that have experts fervently proclaiming how the they are going to change everything from education to international governance.

One is VR and the other is blockchain, or distributed ledger technology.

Blockchains are essentially decentralised networks that are both publicly verifiable and unchangeable. When a transaction is registered on a blockchain, it is registered across all computers in the network and cannot be retroactively altered.

Proponents of...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 31 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems, Platforms.

HTC announces premium VR headset for China market

HTC has announced the first Vive Standalone VR headset for the Chinese market, which will have Viveport as its official content platform.

HTC Vive hopes that the new standalone will be the number one premium device for Chinese consumers.

The Vive Standalone will make use of features of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile VR platform that was designed to support built-in VR functionality. This will allow developers to more rapidly release compelling content.

“China is the leading mobile market in the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 27 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Hardware.

Academic study explores VR’s effectiveness in marketing

Aside from gaming and training, marketing and advertising is perhaps the area where VR’s transformative potential has business tongues wagging.

The technology’s ability to immerse consumers in branded experiences or allow them to explore products more comprehensively before purchase is widely heralded, but at this point still largely theoretical.

Researchers at Milano-Bicocca University have analysed the experience users had while having a VR experience. The users tried Urban Up – Milan...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 26 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

New workflow allows spatial audio mixing in VR

German tech start-up Dear Reality has announced its Spatial Connect, a workflow that allows for the live mixing of spatial audio in VR and AR.

The mixing of spatial audio can be done with any common Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) connected to HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. By allowing developers to position and mix sound objects directly in their created environments using the device’s controllers, Dear Reality claim their system is more intuitive then using a mouse.

“If you want to mix for VR, you...

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

Pitchfork to launch VR music channel

Online music journalist site Pitchfork has announced a partnership with VR content distributor Inception.

The pair are hoping to use VR to ‘revolutionaries the market for a new generation of music fans’. The partnership wants to add a degree of interactivity and impressiveness to the music video space.  

The new channel will be found on Inception’s VR app, where users will be able to enjoy VR experiences from musicians and artists.

“Inception is a double threat — both a...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

AR moves by big players set stage for rapid growth in consumer and enterprise apps

The AR app market for both consumers and enterprises is set for rapid growth as big technology players like Apple begin to make substantial moves, according to The VR Fund.

The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm thinks that Apples’ and Facebooks recent activity is set to fuel a ‘platform war’. The firm has released its industry landscape for Q2 2017, and is predicting overall growth in the industry, as well as increased investment and international impact.

“Over the past...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 24 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands.

Immersive content coming to podcast platform

PodcastOne has announced that it will be launching a new mobile app that will allow fans to access special VR events.

The advertiser-supported podcast network, which boasts over 200 shows and 1.5 billion downloads a year, has partnered with MANDT VR to bring a loyalty program rewards that rewards users with virtual currency.

This virtual currency can then be used to access discounts and premium, such as special events in VR.  

"The launch of our new PodcastOne mobile app is a milestone for our...

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

Mira launches $99 Prism AR headset

Startup Mira is making a bold move into the AR market with its Prism headset. The headset, which is currently open for pre-order at $99, uses the iPhone as its power source.

The small price tag (roughly £75 or AU$125) is well below the $3,000 retail price of the Microsoft HoloLens. This is possible because the headset follows a similar approach to the Google Cardboard, except with the iPhone.

Mira apps run on an iPhone that is placed into the headset and in turn forms part of the...

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

Successful demonstration of VR live streaming surgery training tool

A successful demonstration has shown that medical surgery can be live-streamed in VR to help students learn.

The project was led by London-based developer Room One in collaboration with Ericsson, BT, King’s College London (KCL) and OPTO. The demonstration was held at Ericsson’s Innovation Day in Aachen, Germany.

The demonstration follows Mobile World Congress 2017, where a surgeon successfully controlled a robot arm using a connected glove. The

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 18 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.

Disney and Lenovo producing AR headset

Lenovo has announced that it is collaborating with Disney on a new AR headset.

The headset will be released in conjunction with the upcoming AR experience Star Wars: Jedi Challenges.

The product puts fans of the all-conquering space opera the opportunity to relive some of their favourite moments from the films from an entirely new perspective.

 Aside from the fact that the project exists, nothing else is known about the new headset, including whether it will be...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 17 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware.

Facebook rumoured to be planning $200 wireless headset for 2018

Facebook could be heading for an ‘iPhone movement’ if a Bloomberg report claiming the company plans a relatively cheap, wireless VR headset for 2018 are true.

The report claims that Facebook and its VR branch Oculus are betting that the new headset will popularise VR in the mind of consumers, like the iPhone heralded the smartphone age.

The plans are for the headset to retail at around...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Hardware.