Items tagged with Virtual Reality

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.8"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Waving around motion controllers is cool and all, but for virtual reality to offer an deeper level of immersion, recognizing hand and finger movements would go a long way. That seems to the be the direction Oculus is headed. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a handful of pictures taken from the Oculus Research lab in Redmond, Washington, and one of them showed the billionaire whiz kid sporting a pair of prototype... Read more...
Consumers at large do not seem to be ready to embrace the concept of virtual reality, at least not at today's asking price—a high-end headset costs $599 to $799, plus there is the cost of a PC with sufficient hardware to support VR experiences. Due to low sales of Oculus Rift in Best Buy, Facebook has decided to close 200 of its 500 VR demo stations at Best Buy locations across the United States. Facebook acquired Oculus three years ago for $2 billion, or closer to $3 billion if you factor in the cost to retain employees and bonuses for reaching certain milestones. Either way you slice it, Facebook is heavily invested in Oculus and the VR category as a whole. When development on the first generation... Read more...
Co-Founder Palmer Luckey And CEO Iribe To Pay $50M And $150M Respectively ZeniMax on Wednesday won a $500 million award in its lawsuit against Oculus. Mark Zuckerberg's testimony was not enough to fully sway the jury, which sided with ZeniMax and found that Oculus executives broke a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when the Oculus Rift was in its beginning stages. However, the jury also decided that Oculus did not misappropriate trade secrets as ZeniMax alleged in its lawsuit. Oculus is on the hook for more than half of the $500 million award—it owes ZeniMax $200 million for breaking the NDA, $50 million for copyright infringement, and another $50 million for false designation. Oculus co-founder... Read more...
A new dynamic duo is forming in Silicon Valley. Hugo Barra, the former Android executive who left Google and took a position at Chinese firm Xiaomi around three and a half years ago, is returning to U.S. soil to team up with Mark Zuckerberg on his virtual reality efforts. Barra joins Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook as the new Vice President of Virtual Reality, or VPVR for short, and will lead the Oculus team. It has been an interesting journey for Barra. He surprised many in the tech industry when he traded his job at Google to go overseas to work for a mobile device firm. Barra viewed it as a "new career chapter" though one thing he did not anticipate was feeling homesick. "What I've realized... Read more...
One of the perks of being the billionaire co-founder of Facebook is being able to show up at work in t-shirt. Of course, there are times when Mark Zuckerberg chooses to dress up. Such was the case when he took the stand in a federal courtroom earlier this week to defend against allegations that Oculus stole technical information that went into the creation of the Rift headset. "We are highly confident that Oculus products are built on Oculus technology. The idea that Oculus products are based on someone else’s technology is just wrong," Zuckerberg said according to The New York Times, which noted that he wore a suit and tie when testifying rather than his typical attire of a t-shirt and jeans.Mark... Read more...
Early adopters who pounced on the Daydream View VR headset at launch for $79 should hightail it out of here, you will not want to read this next bit. Now just over a month later, Google has taken a chainsaw to the price of the Daydream View and shredded it down to $49. That's roughly a not-so-insignificant 38 percent price reduction, though for existing Daydream View who disregarded our warning, at least the initial selling price was far from being a king's ransom, especially in the VR space. By comparison (and this is by no means apples to apples, it's more like apples to a field of apple trees), the Oculus Rift runs $599 and the HTC Vive costs $799. Both are much higher end headsets, of course,... Read more...
There has been a ton of buzz surrounding virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality hardware and software. The truth of the matter is, nobody really knows if any of these technologies have legs, and if so what field they will thrive in. Developers have largely focused on gaming early on, though what about social? Oculus just launched something called "Oculus Rooms and Parties" for Gear VR owners, and it reminds me of a time when services such as America On-Line and CompuServe brought users together. "The first wave of VR was all about the magic of presence, the immersive sense of actually being inside a virtual space. The next step is to let you feel that same sense of presence with... Read more...
Nintendo of America CEO Reggis Fils-Aime was pretty lukewarm on the idea of bringing virtual reality gaming to the masses when he lasted addressed the topic, saying last June that VR technology is too expensive and the audience too small at this point in time. That might be true, but don't rule out VR gaming on the Nintendo's upcoming Switch console that is slated for release in a few months. Around the same time Fils-Aime was making those remarks, Nintendo was busy filing a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that shows the Switch being paired with what looks to be a VR headset of some sort. To be clear, this is just one part of the lengthy patent application showing a potential... Read more...
Right around nine months ago, augmented reality (AR) company Magic Leap released a one and a half minute video clip titled, "Just Another Day in the Office at Magic Leap." The company wanted to showcase what was possible with a mixed reality headset it's been working on, and admittedly the video was a pretty awesome demonstration except for one little thing—it was fake. We had our doubts it was real, noting at the time that "the demo looks a little too good be the real deal," and we were right, unfortunately. This is one of those cases where we would have been delighted to be wrong. The video, in case you missed it the first time around, features a player who has his work environment transformed... Read more...
It still remains to be seen if virtual reality experiences are here to stay of if they're a passing fad, but in favor of the former, developers are stepping up and taking advantage of current hardware solutions. That includes the Oculus Rift and its upcoming Touch motion controllers, which are slated to release next week. Accompanying them will be over 50 made-for-VR titles that leverage the Touch controllers. To be exact, there will be 53 VR titles optimized for Touch input on day one. Some will be better than others, obviously, but Rift owners who pre-ordered the Touch will find a large and varied catalog of titles to choose from, everything from basketball (NBA 2KVR Experience) and fishing... Read more...
Virtual reality (VR) is starting to slowly take off on PC and console gaming platforms, but that also means that there is plenty of fragmentation going on as each platform looks to stake its claim on early adopters. This was especially the case during the early days of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, when attempts to “unify” the gaming experience on the VR headsets by the hacking community were initially thwarted. However, as least one game publisher, Ubisoft, is looking to allow all gamers using the three major VR platforms to engage in online multiplayer sessions together. That means that PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift users will no longer be relegated to playing in their own minuscule... Read more...
The biggest barrier to VR gaming right now is cost. High end VR headsets run a pretty penny and building a PC that meets the recommended requirements can be an expensive proposition, too. That is what makes this pre-Black Friday bundle on Amazon such a smoking good deal For less than a grand, Amazon is bundling an Oculus Rift with a CyberPowerPC gaming desktop built around AMD's Radeon RX 480 graphics card! Until midnight (Pacific) the exact cost is $999 with free shipping for Prime members. Considering the Rift alone normally runs $599 and the Radeon RX 480 streets for around $200, this is a really good bargain for anyone looking to jump into VR from scratch without the sticker shock that would... Read more...
Microsoft recently announced a collaboration with several third-party hardware makers to bring affordable virtual reality (VR) headsets to Windows 10 starting at $299. These new VR headsets will be compatible with Windows Holographic, a VR shell for Windows 10 that will be included in the Creator's Update (Redstone 2), shipping to Windows 10 PCs in Spring. Microsoft plans to offer up more specifics in December, though we now know what the minimum system requirements for these headsets will look like courtesy of the company's Windows Insider program. Windows Insiders subscribed to the Fast ring can download and install build 14971, a new version that includes a "Windows Holographic First Run"... Read more...
For the past ten years, Google has made it possible to traverse and explore our planet using Google Earth. Since debuting a decade ago, Google Earth has racked up over 2 billion downloads, making it possible for people to visit places they may never have an opportunity to see in real life. Well, now Google is upping the ante with a new version of Google Earth designed specifically for virtual reality. It's called Google Earth VR and it's available to download for free through Steam. As it did with Tilt Brush, a VR painting app that lets users paint in 3D, Google VR is launching to first on the HTC Vive. Since Google points that out, we imagine there will be a version for the Oculus Rift, though... Read more...
Do you even VR, bro? That seems to be the question the computer industry at large is interested in asking, as there is a concerted effort to push VR gaming and experiences as the next big thing. It's coming from all directions, even system makers, hence the Trident from MSI. The Trident is a "complete and ready-to-go gaming system" that's being pitched as the world's smallest VR gaming desktop. Perhaps a year a go this thing would have been considered a Steam Machine, and before that it would be called an HTPC with gaming chops or simply a PC gaming console. That doesn't mean the VR moniker is unwarranted hype—to the Trident's credit, it's packing the necessary hardware and ports to meet and... Read more...
Several years ago Microsoft decided to build hardware, a decision that was met with skepticism by analysts and even a bit of anger by some of its hardware partners (Acer was especially critical of Microsoft's strategy). It turned out to be a sound decision, one that jump started the 2-in-1 product category. You could argue that, to an extent, Microsoft disrupted the landscape (for the better), and it is getting ready to do it again with finally affordable VR headsets. We're not talking about HoloLens, though Microsoft's investment in the augmented reality headset certainly steered the company to this point. What lies ahead are a series of VR headsets for Windows 10 manufactured by Microsoft's... Read more...
Sony's now an official contender in the VR gaming space with its PlayStation VR, which as the name implies is a VR headset designed for the PlayStation 4 console. Naturally, the teardown specialists at iFixIt wasted no time getting their nimble fingered mitts on one for a complete deconstruction. That's to be expected, but what we didn't expect was the level of praise they showered on Sony and its headset. "The verdict: Sony just won the war. Regardless of resolution and actual games, this thing is really well-constructed, cheap, pretty accessible, and has the entire PlayStation marketplace backing it." iFixIt said. "We were able to use one screwdriver for the whole teardown and found just a... Read more...
The biggest push in virtual reality is coming from the gaming sector with headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but there's a world of opportunity beyond games for VR. Ironically enough, Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese and widely regarded as the father of the video game industry, is spearheading an effort to tap into VR's potential in other sectors with Modal VR, an industrial-grade VR immersion platform built for businesses. Unlike the Rift and Vive, Modal VR is a wireless system that doesn't need to be hardwired to a powerful PC (not the headset, anyway). The portable hardware sets up in minutes and provides fast and accurate full-body tracking. It also supports multiple... Read more...
Let the housekeeping begin. Now that Samsung has officially thrown in the towel and given up trying to fix its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 device, all that's left is to get remaining models (including replacement handsets) off the street and call for an industry quarantine. With regards to the latter, Oculus got the ball rolling by stating in no uncertain terms that it no longer supports the Galaxy Note 7 on its platform and the Gear VR."Oculus is removing support for all Note 7 devices on the Oculus platform. Until further notice, Note 7 devices will not be compatible with the Gear VR," reads a new disclaimer on the Gear VR's product page.If you're wondering why Oculus has a dog in this fight,... Read more...
It's been known since E3 that Croteam and Devolver Digital were working on a version of Serious Sam for virtualreality, but at the time there wasn't a specific release date. Now there is—Croteam announced that Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is headed to Steam Early Access on October 17 for $40. The plan is to keep it there for around six months before releasing the full version. You'll need an HTC Vive headset to play the title, along with hand controllers. Other system requirements include an Intel Core i5-4590 processor or equivalent, AMD Radeon R9 290 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, 6GB of RAM, and 10GB of storage space. In Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope you play as Sam "Serious" Stone.... Read more...
For many of us, the allure of virtual reality headsets is the enhanced level of immersion for gaming and experiences that we might not otherwise encounter, like climbing Mount Everest. And for others, it's the possible applications in science and research that's exciting. But for Jamie Soar, a U.K. resident who's visually impaired, it's the simple act of seeing that makes VR awesome, and he got to experience the wonder of sight for the first time while wearing an HTC Vive headset. There's a wonderful write-up by UploadVR about Soar's experience, and it reminds us why we love technology so much. According to the article, Soar was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a hereditary eye disease that affects... Read more...
There are a handful of truly influential companies, firms that have changed the world and continue to do so. Apple is one of them, so when Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the next big in technology, there's good reason to listen, even if you don't agree with what he's saying. During a recent question and answer session with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch in Utah, one of the things Cook talked about was augmented reality and its path to mass adoption. Whatever your feelings about Apple, few would disagree that it's a major driver of consumer culture. Apple helped popularize the PC as a home appliance and it played a critical role in accelerating the adoption of mobile devices as everyday accessories,... Read more...
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