Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality News



HTC’s launches Vive Pro Eye in North America at a massive discount

HTC’s launches Vive Pro Eye in North America at a massive discount

HTC today launched its latest and greatest virtual reality headset, the Vive Pro Eye, to the North American market. The new device features Tobii eye-tracking, which gives the headset two keen features: users can navigate menus just by looking at things, and foveated rendering. Navigating menus, selecting items, or even triggering animations by making eye contact with on-screen characters sounds pretty cool, but foveated rendering is a game-changer.
Qualcomm enables ‘XR smart viewer’ augmented reality smartphone apps

Qualcomm enables ‘XR smart viewer’ augmented reality smartphone apps

Qualcomm has unveiled a new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR Smart Viewer reference design that makes it easier for hardware companies to create lightweight augmented reality glasses. Qualcomm made the announcement ahead of the Augmented World Expo (AWE) event in Santa Clara, California. With this design, AR glasses can become smart viewers for AR content that is stored on a smartphone. Inside these glasses, very little to no processing is happening. The lightweight glasses have high-resolution displays, as well as sensors that can track movement, hands, and eyes. But the glasses are connected via a wire to a smartphone or a computing puck. The processing happens in a device that is connected to the glasses, said Hugo Swart, head of XR at Qualcomm, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Oculus Venues Gives You Courtside Seats in Virtual Reality—and Forces You to Put Down Your Phone

Oculus Venues Gives You Courtside Seats in Virtual Reality—and Forces You to Put Down Your Phone

elt like some character from a canned Black Mirror episode: alone in my boxers on a Sunday night, with a bulky silver headset strapped to my face, a joystick in one hand and a Bud Light in the other. But inside the goggles, I was courtside at a Magic–Cavs game, next to a 16-year-old grocery bagger with virtual blue sunglasses and a virtual blond Afro. His online alias: Slim Shady. Last year, the NBA and Oculus ran a commercial featuring Adam Levine and Jonah Hill watching the Warriors in their respective homes while their look-alike avatars sat beside each other in VR, nodding, moving their mouths, and waving their hands.
Google announces a new $999 Glass augmented reality headset

Google announces a new $999 Glass augmented reality headset

Google has announced a new version of its business-focused Glass augmented reality headset, which it’s now designating an official Google product instead of an experiment. The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 costs $999, although, like its predecessor, it’s not being sold directly to consumers. It’s got a new processor, an improved camera, a USB-C port for faster charging, and a variety of other updates. Google still isn’t positioning Glass as a mainstream product. But it seems to be expecting greater sales of the Glass Enterprise Edition 2. The device has been moved out of Google parent company Alphabet’s X “moonshot factory” and into the Google family of products, letting Google “meet the demands of the growing market for wearables in the workplace,” according to a blog post.
Backed by LG, AmazeVR is hoping to resurrect virtual reality’s consumer dreams

Backed by LG, AmazeVR is hoping to resurrect virtual reality’s consumer dreams

For more than 100 years, entrepreneurs have come to Hollywood to try their luck in the dream factory and build an empire in the business of storytelling. Propelled by new technologies, new businessmen have been landing in Los Angeles since the invention of the nickelodeon to create a studio that would dominate popular entertainment. Over the past five years, virtual reality was the latest new thing to make or break fortunes, and the founding team behind the Korean company AmazeVR are the latest would-be dream-makers to take their turn spinning the wheel for Hollywood fortunes. Despite billions of dollars in investment, and a sustained marketing push from some of the biggest names in the technology industry, virtual reality still doesn’t register with most regular consumers.
Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users to build their own naughty lenses. Naughty America had begun to distribute Snapchat lenses to its users earlier this week. The lenses allowed Snapchat users to super-impose porn stars in various states of undress over images of their own living room, and share the results with their friends on the service.
Doctor Who's interactive episode The Runaway could be the start of "many new adventures"

Doctor Who's interactive episode The Runaway could be the start of "many new adventures"

Doctor Who might not be returning to television till 2020, but a new interactive mini-episode out today allows fans to fly the TARDIS and help the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) to save the universe. The Runaway, available for free in the UK, is an animated special that can be viewed using a range of VR headsets. Jodie Whittaker lends her voice to the episode, which sees the Doctor recruit you as her unlikely assistant in a race against time to return a strange and potentially dangerous creature called Volta to his home planet. Armed with your own sonic screwdriver, it’s down to you to help the Doctor as she faces the forces of evil in this immersive adventure.
Chinese video streaming giant iQiyi launches $300 virtual reality headset

Chinese video streaming giant iQiyi launches $300 virtual reality headset

Chinese video entertainment company iQiyi is taking the novel approach of a media platform getting into the hardware business. On Thursday, the Beijing-based firm released a new virtual reality headset, called Qiyu 2S. It’s a more affordable version of its 4K VR integrated headsetthat the company launched last year. CNBC tested out the device, and the immediate takeaway was how light the Qiyu 2S felt. The device is still heavier than a baseball cap, but at 280 grams, or 9.9 ounces, iQiyi’s VR headset doesn’t have any of the heft that other devices do. During the limited test, the peripheral also didn’t induce any feelings of sickness or discomfort. The headset is made by iQiyi subsidiary Qiyu and uses chips from Qualcomm
How Facebook plans to boost augmented reality with Spark AR

How Facebook plans to boost augmented reality with Spark AR

More than a billion people have interacted with Facebook’s Spark AR augmented reality platform. But that might mean that we’ve all had cat faces put on our heads in silly messages. Some of us are hoping that the technology will be useful for something more than that silliness. But Facebook is working hard on helping the technology grow up. It has launched its Portal smart camera that lets people hold long-distance video calls in their living rooms. It also extended the Spark AR Studio AR app creation platform to the Windows and Mac platforms. That’s all about making it easier to create AR apps — and hopefully some higher quality apps than the kind we’ve seen so far.
Google’s big VR news is that there is no VR news

Google’s big VR news is that there is no VR news

Google seems to be waking up from its VR daydream. The company’s ambitious plans to leverage the smartphones that people already own to power VR experiences went unmentioned at its I/O developer conference. After spending 2016 and 2017 making big promises for how the company would shape the mobile VR market and ensure that its Daydream platform would dominate, Google has largely abandoned its plans, letting the headsets and its VR content in the Play Store gather dust.
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