VR social network vTime raises $7.6 million in series A funding round, aims to introduce AR version

Virtual reality (VR) social network vTime has secured $7.6 million in a series A funding round that will be invested in the R&D of a new augmented reality (AR) version of the app coming towards the end of 2018.

In addition, the funding will be utilised to speed up the worldwide growth of vTime as well as in product development.

Martin Kenwright, CEO of UK-based vTime, commented: "vTime offers users the most immersive and intuitive way to engage with others in VR from wherever they are. The...

By James Bourne, 17 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR, Brands.

ODG formulates smartglasses for emergency landings in aviation industry

Smartglass manufacturer Osterhout Design Group (ODG) has formulated an all-in-one vision and oxygen solution in the form of a heads-up display (HUD) mask that uses the same AR technology from its smartglasses to help pilots in emergency landings in an unlikely situation where the cockpit is filled with smoke.

ODG has worked with FedEx Express to develop the easy-to-use and reusable prototype mask named SAVED (Smoke Assured Vision Enhanced Display) for their pilots. The smartglass maker aims to market its...

By James Bourne, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, AR.

ARKit app downloads hit 13 million in six months, says new analysis

More than 13 million augmented reality (AR) apps have been installed using Apple’s ARKit framework in its first six months according to data from Sensor Tower – with almost half of these coming from gaming.

The figures suggest a steady upward trend since the platform debuted in September last year. Previous analysis from one month after iOS 11 launched saw the number at around three million. Back then, ARKit-only gaming apps represented just over one third (35%) of all installs. Today, the number...

By James Bourne, 03 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AR, iOS, Platforms.

Immersv seals $10.5 million series A funding to accelerate VR advertising

Immersv, a provider of interactive advertising virtual reality (VR) platforms, has announced the completion of a $10.5 million series A round of financing.

The company says the funding builds on a year of ‘significant product and market momentum’, with Immersv recently signing programmatic deals with a variety of demand side platform (DSP) and supply side platform (SSP) providers. Immersv also lists Mountain Drew, Nissan, and the Hawaii Tourism Bureau as brands who have executed successful...

By James Bourne, 23 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands.

Global spending on AR and VR set to double each year for next five years, says IDC

IDC’s latest ‘Worldwide Semiannual Augmented and Virtual Reality Spending Guide’ shows a 100%, or more, growth prediction in the worldwide revenues for the AR/VR market by 2021.

The total spending on AR/VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, at CAGR of 113.2%.

The US will be largest spender in the AR/VR category with a total of $3.2 billion, followed by APAC (excluding Japan) (APeJ) with $3 billion and Western Europe with $2...

By James Bourne, 15 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystems.

Getty Images partners with Jaunt to augment its virtual reality offerings

US stock photo agency Getty Images has entered into an exclusive global distribution partnership with virtual reality (VR) company Jaunt that has the largest library of high-quality cinematic VR content in the industry.

Through this partnership, Getty Images users will be able to access Jaunt’s immersive 360° stereo video experiences through its website along with Getty Images’ collection of over 25,000 360 photographs. It will also enable leading content creators to deliver the one-of-a-kind...

By James Bourne, 20 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Data & Analytics, Ecosystems.

IDC: VR and AR shipments soaring year on year despite ‘cautious’ consumer approach

Global shipments of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets ‘continue to soar’ year over year with 2.3 million units shipped in the most recent quarter, according to new figures from IDC.

The analyst firm, through its Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker, found Samsung shipped the most devices in Q117 at just under half a million (489,500) at a market share of 21.5%. Sony, with 429,000 and a market share of 18.8%, came in second, with HTC (190,900,...

By James Bourne, 05 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Devices, Ecosystems.

BMW tops most engaging 360 video campaign list

(c)iStock.com/sndr

BMW is king of the 360 video brand experience, according to new data from Socialbakers.

The figures, which represent the top UK Facebook Live 360 Videos from 2016, sees the German car manufacturer take three spots in the top 10 including the gold medal position with a video from December which secured more than 14,000 interactions and 3.5 million views.

The top three videos generated more than 10,000 interactions each. Cadbury came second with a 360 tour video of the ‘Obey Your...

By James Bourne, 18 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Awareness of VR technologies high in US but uptake still low, report argues

(c)iStock.com/sam_ding

86% of US respondents in a study from digital and video advertising provider YuMe say they are aware of virtual reality technologies, yet less than one in five have taken the plunge – with cost the primary stumbling block.

The study, which polled more than 800 US respondents between the ages of 18 and 54, found only 16% own or use an ‘immersive technology device’ – in other words, either a mobile VR device, a 360 degree camera, or a desktop VR system.

This...

By James Bourne, 09 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands, Ecosystems.

Finch to showcase kit at CES to “accelerate mobile VR revolution”

Picture credit: "CES 2016", by "Sungsil Hwang", used under CC BY NC / Modified from original

As the new year begins, it’s not a surprise that the vast majority of news will be around the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and this particular piece of news has come out before the event has even begun.

Virtual reality start-up Finch will showcase its Mobile Virtual Reality (VR) Kit based...

By James Bourne, 03 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Hardware, Platforms.

ABBA to reunite for ‘new entertainment experience’ through VR

Picture credit: Universal Music Group

Swedish pop group ABBA has joined hands with world-renowned entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller and Universal Music Group to give their millions of fans a new entertainment experience by utilising the latest virtual reality technology.

Fuller, who first came to prominence through managing the Spice Girls, has his latest business which been quietly investing in virtual reality technologies, developing hyper-realistic digital humans in the field of...

By James Bourne, 28 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Platforms.

Stanford VR simulation takes users to the “ocean of the future”

(c)iStock.com/MelanieMaya

Researchers from Stanford University have developed free science education software that spreads awareness on the pressing issue of ocean acidification, a process where coral and other marine systems get corroded by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience is a virtual reality software that takes users on a virtual tour of the ocean of the future which then fast-forwards to the end of the century when many coral reefs are predicted to...

By James Bourne, 24 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems.

First government-backed VR alliance launches in Beijing

(c)iStock.com/Sky_Blue

China’s virtual reality industry is set to enter a significant period in 2016, as the country has got its first official, government-backed organisation called the Industry of Virtual Reality Alliance (IVRA), which will work towards the development of the VR ecosystem in the country.

The alliance will help promote technology innovation and the formulation of industrial standards, bridging hardware, software, content, platforms and industrial applications of the VR.

The IVRA is...

By James Bourne, 06 October 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Enterprise.

SeaWorld to offer VR roller coaster as part of 2017 attractions

(c)iStock.com/NataliaZelenova

Entertainment and theme park company SeaWorld Entertainment has unveiled a wide range of new attractions, events and shows for 2017, including a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster ride.

The additional rides are at all three of the company's theme parks, with the VR experience in Orlando, Florida. The company will spend around $175 million in the additions.

The Kraken VR roller coaster will be its first digitally-enhanced ride experience, transforming its popular Kraken roller...

By James Bourne, 28 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Ecosystems.

Why VR, AR and mixed reality are the ‘fourth wave’ of consumer computing

(c)iStock.com/shannonstent

If we take the PC, the internet, and mobile as the first three waves of consumer computing, then what comes next? According to a report from research firm Digi-Capital, it’s virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

The proclamation, which appears in the analysts’ latest Q216 augmented and virtual reality report (subscription required), argues that while VR has two distinct forms,...

By James Bourne, 12 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Hardware, Research.

Nintendo insists more research in VR needed as Pokemon GO tops gaming charts

(c)iStock.com/Nicescene

Gaming giant Nintendo has given a ringing lack of endorsement towards VR in its latest shareholders’ annual general meeting, arguing it still needs to do more research before ploughing ahead.

Shigeru Miyamoto, senior managing director and creative fellow at Nintendo, told shareholders last week when quizzed over whether ‘serious research’ on virtual, augmented and mixed reality will be taking place: “For VR in particular, we are continuing our research, and...

By James Bourne, 11 July 2016, 0 comments. Categories: AR, Brands, Gaming.

GoPro looks further towards VR with latest product offerings

(c)iStock.com/Anna Bruykhanova

GoPro has shed light on some of its latest product offerings, including the publishing of high resolution virtual reality content.

GoPro VR, a platform to share and view content, is available on the web, free mobile app, or experienced on a mobile head-mounted display. The platform allows users to enjoy 360˚ video and converts the screen of a user into a virtual portal that puts on display original content from GoPro and a global community of artists.

The display, at NAB in Las...

By James Bourne, 28 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications, Ecosystems, Platforms.

GREE sets up investment fund to boost growth at young virtual reality companies

(c)iStock.com/allanswart

Mobile social company GREE has put in place the GVR Fund, an investment pot that functions as a bridge between strategic investors to give early stage virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) companies the opportunity to boost growth.

The fund will be managed by GREE VR Capital and will invest in gaming and non-gaming software and content companies. To date, the fund has invested in two companies: VRChat, a platform that allows users to create, publish, and...

By James Bourne, 25 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, M&A.

“A soaring example” of VR as gaming’s future: CCP launches two Oculus Rift titles

Picture credit: EVE: Valkyrie/YouTube

Games house CCP Games has announced the launch of EVE: Valkyrie and Gunjack, both aimed at the VR markets for the Oculus Rift platform on PC.

Both games were specifically developed for VR, with Valkyrie as a multiplayer dogfighting shooter while Gunjack is a VR arcade shooter.

EVE: Valkyrie is an award-winning game built from ground up for virtual reality. It allows players to take on the role of a spaceship pilot in the middle of combat. The game has already won rave...

By James Bourne, 22 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: eSports, Gaming.

AOL agrees to acquire VR content studio RYOT

(c)iStock.com/laflor

AOL has announced its agreement to acquire the Los Angeles-based media company and virtual reality content studio RYOT.

With this acquisition, RYOT will join The Huffington Post, another AOL property, to deliver linear video, award-winning films, VR and 360-degree content. It will provide the online news publication immediate access to its VR production arm and its expertise in Academy Award-nominated documentary film expertise.

RYOT will add its VR and 360-degree capabilities to 15...

By James Bourne, 21 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, M&A.