Items tagged with virtual-reality

Activision Blizzard recently announced that it would be laying off 800 workers, even though it had generated a near record in quarterly revenue. The company noted that despite the big revenue for the quarter, it hadn't lived up to its potential. Another company in the gaming segment has announced layoffs, albeit on a much smaller scale: Valve. Valve has announced that it will shed 13 workers, some of them working in its virtual reality segment. Valve has acknowledged the layoffs and stated that the workforce reduction doesn't mean that the company is planning any drastic changes in direction. Valve's spokesperson told Variety that it was not abandoning virtual reality. The spokesperson noted... Read more...
The first hints we get that new products are incoming frequently surface in software updates for existing products. A recent software update for the Oculus devices for PC users has dropped a hint that Oculus has a new headset in the works called the Rift S. Rumors suggest that the device will have better resolution than the current Oculus Rift and feature an inside-out tracking system akin to what is used on the coming Oculus Quest headset. When perusing the PC software, Upload VR says that it found a setting in the user interface code that allows PC users to select between 50Hz and 60Hz room lighting along with an option for auto-selecting between the two. The description for the setting read... Read more...
Qualcomm has unveiled a new virtual reality development kit at GDC 2018 that should help usher in better performing headsets and devices for mobile use. The new VR development kit includes a wireless, standalone VR head mounted display and a new SDK. The hardware the VR dev kit leverages is the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform. "In virtual reality, content is important to an immersive experience, so we’re excited to grant developers access to our new Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform through development kits that will help them create truly immersive experiences," said Hiren Bhinde, director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We built the new Snapdragon 845 Virtual... Read more...
Owners of the Oculus Rift VR headsets who tried to play a game yesterday found that the headsets weren't working. The reason for the non-functioning devices was unknown at the time. The error that users were seeing on their headsets stated, "Can't Reach Oculus Runtime Service." Oculus admitted there was an issue not long after complaints started rolling in and stated that it was working on a fix. It turns out that the problem was that Oculus forgot to renew its security certificate. That expired security certificate caused the Rift app to crash and prevented access to the VR software. The fix involved the issue of a new security certificate from the Oculus Rift website that wasn't expired. Oculus... Read more...
If you have been kicking yourself for missing out on the deals that were offered on the PlayStation VR during the holiday season, you can make it up to yourself this weekend. Sony has announced that it will be offering $100 off the price of the PlayStation VR standalone headset, Doom VFR Bundle, and the Skyrim VR Bundle. The sale will start on Sunday, February 18 and will run through Saturday, March 3, giving you a couple weeks to cough up the dough and get into VR gaming on the PS4. The PS VR standalone headset will sell for $199.99. Note that price is the headset only. If you want a fuller package you will need to spend the $299.99 price for the PlayStation VR Doom VFR Bundle. That bundle includes... Read more...
Black Friday is tomorrow, the day when people around the country scurry around to buy stuff at a discount. If you want to get someone on your Christmas list or even yourself into VR gaming as cheaply as possible, the Oculus Rift just got a new price cut that might be appealing. Back in July the Oculus Rift with touch controller got a price cut to $399 for a limited time, making it much more affordable but this Black Friday sale cuts another $50 off that price. The deal can be had directly via the Oculus store from now until November 27 and you will get the Oculus Rift, Oculus Touch controllers and two sensors for the price. There is a "while supplies last" caveat, but third-party retailers... Read more...
Sony has been offering PlayStation 4 gamers who want to get in on virtual reality action one of the more affordable headsets out there courtesy of the PlayStation VR. It has announced that an updated PS VR headset is in the works and the new device will have model number CUH-ZVR2. The design of the new version has been updated to enable stereo headphone cables to be integrated into the headset and a slimmer and more streamlined connection cable. The updated Processor Unit supports HDR pass through so that users can watch HDR-compatible content on their TV without having to disconnect their Processor Unit that lives between the PS4 console and the TV. The headset does have to be turned off for... Read more...
If you were one of the Intel fans looking forward to the Project Alloy VR headset that was to be an open reference design from Intel, the project has been officially cancelled. The reason cited by Intel for not pursuing the project any further was lack of partner interest. If you missed the hubbub about Project Alloy, it was first announced back in August of 2016. Project Alloy was to be an untethered, merged reality headset with its own compute power, graphics, and RealSense modules integrated. The entire headset would have been self-contained needing no smartphone or computer to operate. Think of it as an Intel-flavored Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and you get the general idea. One big plus for... Read more...
As more and more people move to adopt virtual reality (VR) for gaming, the hardware market is beginning to heat up. In July, the Oculus Rift VR headset was slashed from $599 down to $399. HTC also chopped the price of the Vive VR headset by $200, bringing the cost of entry to a permanent $599. Sony is used to being one of the cheaper points of entry for the VR world with the PlayStation VR headset, and now the company has announced a price cut on the device. With the price cut in place, the PS VR headset and PlayStation Camera can now be had in a new bundle for $399 in the U.S. and $499 CAD. Sony says that the move essentially throws in the PlayStation Camera at no charge, and this will... Read more...
KFC has a new employee training tool in the works that locks trainees, who want to learn to fry up chicken with the secret recipe in a room, and doesn't let them leave until they learn the process. The good news for trainees is that the room is virtual, but it is still doesn't make it any less weird. KFC released a trailer for the virtual training experience called "The Hard Way: A Virtual Reality Training Experience" and the fast food joint says that this will actually be used to train new workers. The training experience is said to be high on production value and more like a game than training. However, it does outline the basic steps for frying chicken. The trailer gives a horror/survival... Read more...
Now that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are here, virtual reality is finally starting to spread. Let's cross our fingers that ocular herpes doesn't follow suit. We're not pulling that worry out of thin air—Twitter user @Drfit0r posted a screenshot of VR developers having a conversation with a game studio about ocular herpes "going around VR headsets" at events where people demo them. Public events where people share gadgets and gizmos are breeding grounds for germs, which is one reason why you often see people carrying around little bottles of hand sanitizer. But just as germs can spread from game controllers, smartphones, and other handheld items, they can also hitch a ride on VR headsts and land... Read more...
A few weeks back, we gave you our initial take on the retail-ready HTC Vive virtual reality kit. While we were able to explain the Vive’s specifications, setup, configuration, and give some opinions on the experience, at that point, we hadn’t had the kit long enough to form any solid, concrete opinions. We had experience with multiple versions of the Vive throughout its development cycle, but we thought playing with the retail version for only a few days wasn’t enough time to truly understand it, so we held off on making any final recommendations. We have, however, worked with the Vive for a number of weeks at this point, experimented with a slew of software and applications, and gave a handful... Read more...
The Oculus Rift hype train is just getting rolling but is already checking its brakes. We reported yesterday about privacy concerns that have been raised by early recipients. Now, it looks like some preorder customers have a little longer than anticipated wait time before delivery. The Rift has already seen a few delays since its original Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. However, as the first preorders are shipping, production hangups are evidently still persisting.  Oculus has been reportedly sending out emails notifying customers of an unexpected component shortage which has impacted shipping dates for some customers. John Cena shirt not included - Credit: Wikimedia The email includes... Read more...
We've been hearing about modern virtual reality (VR) for what seems like forever, but with some leading headsets soon to launch, 2016 is shaping-up to be a pivotal year for the technology. That being the case, if you think you've been hearing about VR quite a bit up to this point, to quote Bachman Turner Overdrive, "You ain't seen nothing yet." The biggest concern most VR enthusiasts have currently is the lack of content, or at least the lack of high-quality content. It's hard right now to find the great stuff amongst all the lackluster demos and use cases, although the situation will of course improve as time goes on and the technology matures. One start-up, Wevr, wants to make sure that... Read more...
NVIDIA held a press conference last night where it unveiled its latest autonomous driving technologies, like the next-gen Tegra and Pascal-powered Drive PX 2, but representatives from the company were also setup off-site talking about updates to their SHIELD Android TV device and various VR initiatives. We’ve got video from the press conference posted here, and Paul covered the details of NVIDIA’s new VR Ready program. We can report that the SHIELD Android TV will be receiving an Android Marshmallow update in the not-too-distant future, complete with an updated and more customizable UI, better speech recognition, and some nuts-and-bolts updates like HDMI-CEC support than can both turn a... Read more...
Earlier this year, Samsung announced its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset around this time last year, and promised an immersive virtual reality experience for users. In early December, Samsung opened the floodgates by releasing the Gear VR Innovator Edition, which was available to purchase at a steep price of $199. $199 is a lot to ask of people who want to just dip their toes into the VR experience. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Google Cardboard which can be had for around $10 or so — there has to be a comfortable middle ground. Thankfully, Samsung is showing us the way with a new Gear VR headset which is shipping in November. It will be priced at a more wallet-friendly $99 and will... Read more...
The tech industry seems to be on a virtual reality kick here recently, and we’ve seen companies like Google (with YouTube 360-degree videos) and GoPro (with the 16-camera Odyssey virtual reality rig) fully embrace immersive viewing technologies that put you at the center of the action. Today, Facebook is the latest to give Internet users a new way to experience content by bringing 360-degree videos directly to the News Feed. Facebook users can experience 360-degree videos on Internet browsers using your typical notebook or desktop computer, and via mobile devices like iPhones and Android smartphones. Using a traditional Internet browser, you can drag the cursor to change the angle of the video.... Read more...
News on the Oculus front has been coming in at a rapid pace in recent weeks. We’ve learned that the Oculus Rift will ship to consumers in early 2016, we’ve seen a look at the device in its final form, and we’ve learned about minimum system requirements (OS X and Linux users are SOL at this point). Today, we’re learning that Oculus’ deep-pocketed parent company Facebook has purchased British firm Surreal Vision, whose software can map our real world and turn it into a “living” virtual environment. “We are overhauling state-of-the-art 3D scene reconstruction algorithms to provide a rich, up-to-date model of everything in the environment including people and their interactions with each other,”... Read more...
Just a few years ago, 3D TVs were all the rage in the consumer technology space, and now it appears that the new focus is on virtual reality. VR headsets are coming out of the works like the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR, and now Leap Motion is looking to make the VR experience more immersive with its hand-tracking technology. While you have been able to attach a Leap Motion sensor to a VR headset in the past, it made for a clumsy and bulky experience — not to mention that you had to purchase two separate devices and a $20 mount. However, Leap Motion announced today that is has partnered with Razer to integrate its technology directly into Open-Source Virtual Reality Hacker Development... Read more...
John Carmack’s former employer, Zenimax, went after the industry veteran last week claiming that important code that he used in helping to build the Oculus Rift VR headset is actually IP owned by Zenimax. The company also stated that it provided VR technology to Oculus VR’s Palmer Luckey and others over the past couple of years in support of the Oculus Rift’s development. Carmack fired back on Twitter and Oculus VR denied the claims at the outset, but the company now has an official response. We present it in bulleted form because that’s how Oculus VR sent it to us. -There is not a line of Zenimax code or any of its technology in any Oculus products. -John Carmack did... Read more...
If you were one of the early believers in the Virtuix Omni virtual reality treadmill, your faith will finally be rewarded when the company ships a unit to your front door starting in July. The earliest adopters who secured their treadmills back during the halcyon Kickstarter days will be the first in line, but even if you preorder now, you’ll get yours as early as September. Virtuix has missed its initial planned ship date of March 2014, but considering what the company is trying to do with this VR treadmill, that’s not such a bad miss. The device promises to let you run, jump, squat, and otherwise move through virtual worlds, and it’s designed to be paired with the Oculus Rift... Read more...
This isn’t about cool virtual reality games anymore. When the news first broke of Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, the knee-jerk reaction from many fans of the Oculus Rift was to feel betrayed that this grassroots tech company, funded in part by its individual supporters, was going to be part of a huge, lumbering entity that mines data and sells it. People were worried that the Oculus Rift would no longer be “cool”, like if your favorite band signed up to exclusively write commercial jingles. But with some time to process things more, it’s clear that although the above is still true to an extent, this is about ideology in the age of data more than... Read more...
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