MIT develops wireless VR technology prototype

(c)MIT

You may have already heard the one about the limited supply of add-ons that will make HTC's Vive headset tetherless, but here's some better news: MIT has developed a prototype that does this for any VR headset. 

Its Computer Science and AI Laboratory (CSAIL) has recently unveiled a prottype system, MoVR, that enables untethered communication at a rate of multiple Gbps. 

The system uses high frequency...

By Rachael Power, 16 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Google set to bring virtual reality app Expeditions to more UK classrooms

Floating around the International Space Station or standing at the foot of Machu Picchu isn’t something many people will have the chance to do in their lifetime, but you certainly can with Google’s Expeditions app.

This is particularly useful for bringing to life abstract concepts and places for classroom students, and Google has seen great success with its adoption in US school.

It has already also been trialled with some UK students, and

By Rachael Power, 16 November 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Research.

You can now explore Australia and book flights from a VR app

Australian airline Qantas has launched virtual reality app Qantas VR to help travellers explore Australia before going on a trip.

The app is available for iPhone, Android, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive devices.

It showcases Australia’s distinctive landscape through a series of immersive videos, and offers two modes: split screen or Google Cardboard and 2D landscape for viewing directly on a...

By Rachael Power, 15 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Happy Finish 'significantly expands' Asia VR and AR operations

(c)iStock/Petar Chernaev

VR content specialists Happy Finish have "significantly expanded" their business in Asia, the company said. 

The marketing for virtual and augmented reality content in Asia is said to be thriving, and has experienced 91% growth driven by production capabilities in the last 12 months.

Gaming in particular is set to be a hard hitter in China according to the IDC, along...

By Rachael Power, 14 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Christmas set to double number of VR headsets in British households

(c)iStock/julief514

Virtual and augmented reality were always going to be hard-hitters this Christmas, but new research has revealed 10% of UK homes expect to have "some form" of VR tech by the big day.

The research, carried out by retailer Carphone Warehouse, said this would double the number of households in the UK who currently have virtual reality tech of some kind. 

VR tops the list of wearable tech expected to grow this year, taking the lead at 172% over smartwatches (49%) and fitness...

By Rachael Power, 11 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Vive add-on will make headset tetherless

Vive is reportedly rolling out an add-on product that will make its headset wireless, according to UploadVR

According to the publication, the VR upgrade kit is for Vive's SteamVR device and will go on sale from Vive's Chinese website at 3pm UK time. 

It's thought the product will be available to pre-order with a standard battery, cost about $220 (£175) and will ship in the first few months of next year. 

The company behind the tetherless...

By Rachael Power, 11 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Oculus launches asynchronous spacewarp this week

(c)iStock/br-photo

Oculus has launched asynchronous spacewarp (ASW) this week, meaning lower-end PCs can more easily power Rift.

The new tech is aimed at reducing system hardware requirements while maintaining content quality across a wider array of hardware.

ASW is a technique that extrapolates frames and lets VR titles run at up to half rate, while delivering a visual experience that is almost as good as 90hz rendering.

It builds on asynchronous timewarp, which was...

By Rachael Power, 10 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

John Lewis and Children in Need bring out 360 experiences

(c)John Lewis

Every year in the UK, people wait on tenterhooks to see what heartstring-pulling TV advertisements the major retailers will come out with for the upcoming festive season.

John Lewis is one company that’s outdone itself year after year. In 2016, it brought tears to many people’s eyes with Man on the Moon, something that’s quite powerful for an advertisement to do.

This year, it’s gone for a similar approach with its Buster the Boxer ad,...

By Rachael Power, 10 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Google's Daydream View released this week

If you need a welcome distraction from today’s US presidential election news, you may do well to get in line for Google’s first Daydream View headsets.

The cloth-covered VR viewers will be available from tomorrow on the Google Store, from Verizon and Best buy in the US for $79 and from EE and the Carphone Warehouse for £69 in the UK.

You will however need a Daydream-ready phone to use the headset, such as the Pixel, and

By Rachael Power, 09 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Planet Earth 2 releases extra 360 video footage

(c)BBC 

BBC’s popular world-showcasing programme Planet Earth 2 has also launched a 360 video mini-series.

The channel is giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at various locations the series covers, including the Galapagos Islands and a closer look at some snow leopards atop vast mountains.

The first series aired 10 years ago, but since then there have been massive advances in the tech used to film wildlife documentaries, including the availability of 360 video. It’s...

By Rachael Power, 09 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

Welsh firm bags deal to distribute 360 content worldwide

Watching rollercoasters, or climbers scaling jaw-dropping heights or parachute jumps are, even on static video, enough to make your palms sweat, but getting your thrills in 360 is a whole other ballgame. 

Orchard Media and Events Group, one of the first companies in the UK to own and use a Nokia OZO camera, has announced it'll be sharing its adrenaline-inducing 360 content worldwide, under a new partnership...

By Rachael Power, 08 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.

VR video revenues will hit $8.2bn by 2020, analysts say

(c)iStock/franckreporter

Video as an area in itself is becoming more and more important in today’s smartphone-driven age.

Throughout last year, mobile video plays exceeded 44%, according to Oolya, and Facebook’s video views have shot up to billions per day. Content creators are looking to create video in a variety of instances that works with as well as without sound, as many people are now watching without turning the volume up.

We can spout video stats at you all day, but the fact of the matter...

By Rachael Power, 08 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Research.

Microsoft's affordable VR headsets to start appearing next spring

(c)Microsoft

A free update to Windows 10 early next year will bring “3D and mixed reality to everyone”, claims Microsoft.

The Windows 10 Creators Update will be brought to over 400 million devices running Windows 10 in 2017, and with it Windows users can start printing, capturing and creating in 3D as well as experiencing mixed reality.

Within the update, the classic, much-loved Paint app is getting a makeover and will become Paint 3D. The art studio will connect with a new online community, Remix3D.com, where...

By Rachael Power, 07 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Developers, Devices.

Intel buys VR sports company VOKE

Virtual reality sports is set to be a big area in 2017, not least because of large tech companies like Intel getting in on the action.

The PC microprocessor company announced that it’s acquiring a business that specialises in live streaming events in virtual reality, VOKE VR.

VOKE is based in California and has been up and running since 2004. It’s proprietary paired lens and stereoscopic capture system allows viewers to see ‘realistic proportions and depth’ during live-streamed VR...

By Rachael Power, 07 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, eSports.

NFL launches VR series with Google Daydream

(c)NFL 

America's National Football League (NFL) has launched NFL Films with Google Daydream, a nine-part, 360 series of behind-the-scenes NFL content.

The series aims to give people a sense of how players, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and fans prepare for 'game day' in an immersive way.

The first episode of the virtual reality series will be available to watch via the NFL channel on YouTube on Thanksgiving Day (24 November).

Virtual reality is an emerging platform that enables content...

By Rachael Power, 04 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: eSports.

First virtual reality medical facility opens in UK

(c)Mativision

Virtual reality has already been making splashes in the medical industry, but this latest announcement takes the partnership one step further. 

The world's first virtual reality medial training facility was opened in London this week, with a live dental implant surgery broadcast via VR headsets to a groupd of senior global doctors. 

The facility was opened by Mativision, a company which has developed end-to-end tech that can stream live to VR from multiple 360 cameras. 

The...

By Rachael Power, 04 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Applications.

Go Meta launches platform for anyone to create AR experiences

(c)Metaverse

Until now, building your own augmented reality experiences would be, to most people, a seemingly achievable task.

But along comes a company who wants to ‘democratise’ this sector: Go Meta. It’s just launched its Metaverse platform, which it says will allow anyone to create their own augmented reality experiences.

It’s currently available only for iPhone users, and launched after a $2m seed funding round, which got the backing of 23 angel investors.

Users can, for...

By Rachael Power, 03 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Happy Finish start crowdfunding to launch new AI product and grow AR/VR offering

(c)iStock/Petar Chernaev

Virtual and augmented reality may be predicted to be hot news on the tech front for 2017, but there are other IT trends also sharing the spotlight, as the latest news shows. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also set to be worth $5.05bn by 2020, and rapid adoption is set to transform a range of markets, through tech such as IBM's Watson, down to personality-driven chatbots.

This is one reason why virtual reality content specialists Happy Finish has just launched AI technology,...

By Rachael Power, 03 November 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Brands.

You can now fly a drone in augmented reality

Virtual reality is clearly going to dominate Christmas lists this year, but augmented reality experiences are also clamouring to get a look in. 

While Pokémon Go is busy preparing and releasing updates to its fading-in-popularity app, others are taking the helm and launching new AR games to take a steer on the market. 

It pushes the boundaries of a remote control vehicle by combining it with one of the most talked about technologies today

In the States, children's entertainment company...

By Rachael Power, 02 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: AR.

Diesel runs 5D virtual reality experience for new flagship store

We've heard of 360 video, AR, MR, VR and even 4D, but 5D is a bit of a new one on us. However, that's exactly what fashion brand Diesel is purported to have just launched to promote its new London flagship store. 

Created by marketing agency Savvy, the experience is "5D multi-sensory virtual reality", which engages all five senses. 

Shoppers sit into what look like three furry thrones shaped like creatures, take hold of the horns in front of them and strap on a Samsung Gear VR...

By Rachael Power, 01 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Brands.