Items tagged with Virtual Reality

There are many components to a fully realized virtual reality experience. The visual aspect is obviously the most important piece of the puzzle, but it's far from the only one. Accurate hand tracking is key as well. While hand tracking is pretty good in its current form on systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, there is room for improvement, and Oculus believes it's come up with a breakthrough of sorts. At Facebook's F8 conference this week, Maria Fernandez Guajardo, head of product management on Core Tech at Oculus, talked about a computer-vision based hand tracking system that uses a self-optimizing... Read more...
Growing up, if something broke, you took out some tools and fixed it. These days, however, things are different. It's not that consumers don't have a knack for fixing things, or desire (I believe there are many that still do), but we're living in a sophisticated electronics age with devices that are increasingly difficult to repair. It's refreshing, then, that HTC's Vive Pro bucks the trend, as revealed in a teardown analysis. More often than not, it seems when the folks at iFixIt get their paws on a premium electronic device, it's a scary endeavor for anyone sitting on the sidelines. Need an example?... Read more...
If you have been holding off buying a virtual reality headset in anticipating of newer, higher resolution models coming out, HTC has some good news. The company announced today that it is accepting pre-orders for its Vive Pro head mounted display (HMD). It's priced at $799, the same as what the original Vive debuted at, with the first batch of pre-orders slated to ship on April 5. That's the good news. The not-so-awesome news is that the pre-order price covers the headset only—it does not come with any touch controllers or base stations, nor does it include a wireless adapter. That is a major... Read more...
Motorola has been banging out add-ons called "Moto Mods" for its Moto Z phones, such as an enhanced smart speaker with Amazon Alexa integration, a pico projector, and a 360-degree camera. For its next trick, Motorola appears to be launching a virtual reality headset that is akin to Samsung's Gear VR and Google's Daydream View, but most likely built for Daydream VR in Android and marketed as a Moto Mod. The infamous inside man Evan Blass (otherwise known as @evleaks on Twitter) posted a couple of press renders of the upcoming VR headset and retail packaging. There are no details to go along with... Read more...
Qualcomm on Wednesday announced a new virtual reality (VR) reference platform based on its flagship mobile chip, the Snapdragon 845. This is the same system-on-chip that Samsung for its Galaxy S9, which is expected to be announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) later this month, which packs power computing and graphics muscle that Qualcomm hopes to leverage for VR. "We continue to deliver new advancements in technologies for our customers to utilize as they aim to capitalize on the growing standalone and smartphone VR industry," said Hugo Swart, Head of Virtual and Augmented Reality Business Group,... Read more...
In the wake of aggressive price slashing from the competition in recent months, HTC just showed the world that it is committed to VR, now and into the future. At CES, the company announced the Vive Pro, a upgraded version of the original Vive VR headset with a higher resolution and other tweaks, and a new wireless adapter that is compatible with both the original Vive and the new Vive Pro. Let's start with the new headset. The Vive Pro's biggest upgrade is the resolution—it has been bumped up to 2880x1660, or 1440x1600 per eye, which translates to 615 pixels per inch. Some were expecting... Read more...
So apparently Apple is really committed to releasing an augmented reality headset in the not-too-distant future. To accelerate its efforts, Apple has gone out and acquired Vrvana, a startup from Montreal, Canada, that ran an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign for its Totem headset. That piece of hardware never came to market, but the engineers behind it will not have a chance to contribute to something potentially bigger. Citing two unnamed sources, TechCrunch says Apple paid $30 million for Vrvana. The site also claims that when it reached out to Apple, it refused to comment, but also did not deny... Read more...
HTC today cut the cord on virtual reality hardware by introducing the Vive Focus, a standalone VR headset that does not need to be tethered to a personal computer or smartphone. The Vive Focus is a completely self-contained solution with all of the necessary hardware integrated to the headset itself, including a high-resolution AMOLED screen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC). The trade off is that the Vive Focus is not as powerful a solution as the regular Vive, which must be plugged into a relatively burly PC and delivers high-end gaming experiences. However, the Snapdragon 835... Read more...
Virtual reality is proving to be more than a passing fad. Things could have fizzled after the Oculus Rift finally came to market following a hyped up (and successful) Kickstarter run, but what happened instead is that it started a movement. Everybody seems to be jumping on board, from HTC to Microsoft. You can add Apple to the list as well, and not just because of fancy camera technologies in its newest iPhones. Apparently Apple is looking at creating a standalone augmented reality headset within the next two years.Augmented reality (AR) is a form of VR that blends virtual objects into real world... Read more...
Despite all of the hype and excitement surrounding virtual reality over the past couple of years, the market for VR has not grown at the pace Nokia had anticipated or hoped it would. As a result, the company has decided to 'optimize' its investments in VR, starting with halting development of Ozo, a 360-degree VR camera that debuted at $60,000 before receiving a price cut to $45,000. The company is also reducing its workforce as it pivots to digital health. "Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health... Read more...
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Every Star Trek fan in the world has been waiting for a real-life Holodeck to emerge. NVIDIA has gone and built one and is now inviting designers and developers to test it out. Well, sort of. NVIDIA unveiled an intelligent virtual reality platform that is capable of delivering photorealistic visuals and real-world physics, all simulated in a VR environment. Called Holodec, NVIDIA is essentially offering developers the necessary tools to build and immerse themselves into a virtual design lab. "NVIDIA Holodeck empowers designers to bring peers, partners and customers along the design journey to explore... Read more...
Owners of the ASUS ZenFone AR may be tempted to ask their friends and co-workers, "Do you even AR, bro?". Asking that question is a surefire way to solicit puzzled (and perhaps annoyed) looks, but once they see what the ZenFone AR is capable of, those dirty glances and quizzical faces will quickly morph into ones of excited curiosity, and maybe even jealously. That's because this whole augmented reality business is rather new, and the ZenFone AR is one of only two smartphones to support Google's Tango (formerly Project Tango) AR platform (Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro being the other). The ZenFone AR also... Read more...
Do not hold your breath waiting for Nintendo to fully embrace virtual reality gaming. Along with augmented reality and mixed reality experiences, VR has captured the attention of hardware makers and developers who believe that we are on the verge of a revolution in gaming. Not everyone is buying into it, though, and certainly not Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "The problem with VR is that there aren't a lot of experiences that are truly fun," Fils-Aime said at Variety's Entertainment and Tech Summit Presented by Twitch.Image Source: Flickr (Jeff Dlouhy) It is not surprising to... Read more...
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