Samsung announces VR partnership with Major League Baseball

Samsung Canada has announced that it will be partnering with Major League Baseball (MLB) to provide VR experiences for fans.

The two companies will provide immersive access to players, ballparks and key moments that take place during the rest of the 2017 season.

There will be a series of over 20 videos that will be available for viewing on the Samsung VR app.

The videos will focus on the Toronto Blue Jays and their centre fielder Kevin Pillar, who will be the subject of the exclusive behind-the-scenes...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Samsung.

Intel positions itself at the head of the Blockbuster VR tie-in trend

Intel has emerged as a key player in the growing market for creating VR experiences based around major motion pictures.

The company has teamed up with Warner Bros. for VR experience based on the upcoming Nolan epic, ‘Dunkirk’. The company also worked with Sony Pictures on a VR tie-in for the critically acclaimed ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’, which was released July 7.

 “We believe personal computing is radically evolving to become capable of experiences hardly believable today,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising.

Oculus price drop: what the media is saying

The price of Facebook’s flagship VR hardware, the Oculus Rift, has been reduced for the second time this year.

In a sales event dubbed the ‘Summer of Rift’ the price of the hardware and its Touch controller has been dropped to $399. This is half the price that the bundle was being sold for five months and $100 lower then then previous price drop in March.

The announcement has prompted a deluge of reaction from the...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 11 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Hardware.

Google Blocks lets users create 3D objects in VR

Google has released a new app for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that allows users to create 3D objects easily and quickly.

The app is designed to remove the need for complex software and a specific skillset with regrads to the creation of VR and AR experiences.

In a blog post, group product manager Jason Toff, wrote:

“It’s designed to feel more like playing with children’s blocks than working with traditional 3D modeling software. Starting with a simple set of shapes, a color palette, and an...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 07 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

BBC launches VR app

BBC Taster has announced the release of a free mobile VR app for Android and iOS.

The content on the BBC Taster VR app is currently made up of a trailer from the broadcasting company’s online channel, BBC Three, as well as 360 videos from its David Attenborough-led global blockbuster Planet Earth II.

The app aims to put the BBC’s early and experimental ideas regrading immersive content in the hands of its audiences.

The content set to feature on the app will include animations, VR, interactive 360...

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

Hand gesture recognition without the need for 3D sensors

The technical aspects of bringing mobile VR have long been frustrating developers. Chief among the challenges of bringing VR to the smartphone-owning masses is how to track the motion of users without the need for bulky hardware add-ons such as sensors.  

Clay VR has launched its solution to this key problem, with its SDK for VR/AR game developers. Users of apps using SDK will be able to see their hands and use them to interact with virtual worlds, using only the phones built-in...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 05 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Apps and accessories are biggest barrier to VR/AR

A study of 3,000 consumers across the US, UK and Germany has revealed that the need for additional software, apps and hardware is currently the biggest barrier to consumer adoption of VR/AR.

The study, carried out by marketing agency Vibrant Media, asked people what they thought was preventing them from experiencing VR and AR ads.

The highest ranked barrier was the need to spend money on additional products and services.

“Content providers that require additional hardware to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 03 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising.

First enterprise-ready multi-user VR platform launched

London-based Immerse has launched the world’s first multi-user VR system for enterprise.

The platform will allow multiple users to create and share VR/3D experiences for business applications. The company is already working on a number of live projects, specialising on offering solutions in the defence, engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, energy and communications sectors.

“Our platform is specifically designed to democratise the VR experience, allowing VR content creators to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 03 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Platforms.

Kaleidoscope launches premium VR content fund

The VR industry has attracted a lot of funding over the last few years, but many creators still struggle to find funding for their projects.

Premium, high quality content is an important factor in driving consumer adoption of VR in general.

With this is mind, Kaleidoscope is launching a platform to help content creators get funding.

You can watch the platform launch video here.

The company has built up a network of creators and identified 120 potential sources of funding. These sources...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 30 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Enterprise.

Google experimenting with VR ads

Google has announced that its Area 120 internal experimental workshop is working on the possibility of showing online VR ads to consumers.

While the consumer adoption of VR has lagged behind some of the more grandiose forecasts made in previous years, Google still wants to be ahead of the curve with regards to the advertising potential of the medium.

In a blog post, the company stated:

“We heard from developers that they're looking at how to make money to fund their VR applications, so we started...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 29 June 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising.

First live VR payment experience launched

Global payment processing provider Payscout has partnered with Visa to create the world’s first VR payment platform.

The Payscout VR Commerce app features integration with Visa Checkout, allowing users to register payment credentials within the service or access their existing Visa account.

The payment system is tied to a full 360-video experience that gives consumers the opportunity to explore a virtual store, explore the merchandise and then pay without needing to remove their headsets.

“This...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 28 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

NASA testing VR wrist bands

California-based BioInteractive Technologies Inc has announced that two of its flagship VR wristbands are being tested for use by NASA.

The space agency is looking at the potential for integrating TENZR wristbands into its training programmes.

The Nasa VRLab is an immersive training facility that uses real-time graphics and motion sensors to train budding astronauts for the experience of working in a low or zero gravity environment.

The TENZR wristbands use custom sensors in the...

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

Nissan’s Star Wars VR experience wins awards

The Nissan Rogue and its accompanying Star Wars VR experience has won a Bronze Lion in the Mobile Category at the 2017 Cannes Lions International festival of Creativity.

The company won the award for ‘Battle Test: A Nissan 360-Degree Virtual Reality Experience’.

The experience, based on a battlefield scene from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was produced in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd, Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and global design agency Critical...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 26 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

HTC Vive most popular platform for developers

A survey of over 600 VR/AR professionals has revealed that HTC Vive remains the most popular platform for developers.

The 2017 edition of the annual VRDC VR/AR Innovation Report charts the industry in a year which saw significant developments, such as the release of consumer-grade headsets and the international success of Pokemon Go.

The main findings of the report are:

Developers love HTC Vive

56% of respondents listed HTC Vive as the hardware that...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 23 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Developers.

Early adopters see 5G as catalyst for adoption of mobile VR

70% of early adopters of VR/AR expect it to fundamentally change the way that consumers interact with media, education, work, social interaction and retail.

An extensive report by Ericsson, based on a survey of 9,200 consumers across the globe, found that there are a lot of people who see the technology having wide reaching  effects on everyday life.

While early adopters could be expected to...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 22 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Will enterprise rather than consumers drive VR/AR adoption?

The predicted VR boom that was being touted last year has so yet to really materialise in 2017.

Despite heavy investment, truckloads of hype and an ever-growing army of start-ups, consumers haven’t yet really warmed to the technology.

In the B2B and enterprise application space, however, VR/AR looks to be gathering momentum.

Research firm Tractica predicts that enterprise spending will outstrip consumer spending on VR/AR in the next few years.

Tractica estimates a CAGR of 60% for enterprise spending on...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 16 June 2017, 1 comment. Categories: AR, Enterprise.

NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall first ‘virtual venue’

Social VR platform Endless Riff has announced a partnership with New York venue Rockwood Music Hall to create the first ‘virtual concert venue’.

The venue, which hosts over 450 shows a month and is famed for its sound and atmosphere, will begin livestreaming events this month.

“Rockwood Music Hall has been providing music lovers a home in New York City for more than a decade, with a focus on hot, up-and-coming acts,” Ken Rockwood, Rockwood Music Hall founder and owner,...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 15 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Case Studies.

UK VR revenue to grow 76% - PwC

The VR market in the UK is set to undergo rapid growth in the coming years, according to the latest PwC forecasts.

According to the professional services giant, the UK VR industry will grow at a faster rate than any other entertainment and media industry between 2016-2021.

The new Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2017-2021 report forecasts a 76% CAGR to a value of £801 million in 2021.

If this prediction is accurate, this will make the UK VR market the fastest growing VR sector in EMEA.

A large...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 14 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise, Research.

Samsung teams up with BuzzFeed

Samsung electronics has announced a partnership with BuzzFeed and NowThis, aimed at creating ‘new and immersive’ content experiences.

The content produced through the partnership will put 360 video at reader’s fingertips, ranging from simple how-to’s to breaking news from around the world.

According to a press release provided by Samsung, both BuzzFeed and NowThis will create different kinds of content. NowThis will focus on immersive experiences such as 360 cityscapes and provide...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 13 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Samsung.

E3 2017: VR absent from Xbox One X announcement

There was a noticeable ripple of excitement throughout the VR community earlier this year when Microsoft announced that its new console offering (codenamed ‘Project Scorpio’) would feature VR support.

At E3, Scorpio was revealed to be the slightly confusingly named Xbox One X, a new 4K console that promises more power, memory and faster processing then anything on the market.

The announcement was accompanied by a torrent of game announcements and technical...

By Colm Hebblethwaite, 12 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming.