Sat.Apr 25, 2020 - Fri.May 01, 2020

Mozilla Hubs Cloud is the foundation of the free metaverse

The Ghost Howls

Virtual events and meetings are the topic of the moment. As a consultant, I am receiving many requests for remote collaboration tools now during the lockdown, and with my partners Massimiliano Ariani and SIDI , I am also hosting some workshops in VR. For this reason, I gained a good expertise in immersive collaboration tools, and one of the VR platforms that I love the most in this sense is Mozilla Hubs.

Unity 301

Cheating The Physical World: How AR Allows Retail To Become Digital First


How will modern retail adapt to a post-COVID-19 world? Retail in early 2020 will see a decade of digital transformation compressed into a year due to COVID. But how can digital replace the physical? We are physical beings. We need physical goods to live our daily lives. There’s no replacing this. But we have been forced into a situation where augmented reality is necessary for us to cheat our physicality.

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Valve Ends SteamVR Support For macOS


Valve just ended SteamVR’s support for macOS. ‘Legacy builds’ will continue to be available. SteamVR is Valve’s PC-based virtual reality platform, supporting Windows and Linux. Mac owners can continue to use the latest versions of SteamVR by installing Windows as a secondary OS. Facebook’s competing Oculus Rift platform hasn’t supported Macs since early development kits, which preceded the Rift.

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Quest & Rift S Stock Check – Headsets Shipping as Early as Tomorrow as Stock Appears to Return

Road to VR

Between high demand and manufacturing interruptions due to the Coronavirus, Oculus Quest and Rift S have been in extremely short supply, often commanding a 150% price premiums (or more) in aftermarket sales. Those looking to pick up an Oculus headset may not have to wait too much longer; a global stock check by Road to VR appears to indicate that stock for Oculus headsets is slowly returning.

How to get started with WebXR in Unity

The Ghost Howls

WebXR is a technology with enormous potential, but at the moment it offers far worse tools to develop for it than standalone VR , where we all use Unity and Unreal Engine. Mozilla, that is doing a lot for the immersive web , has so decided to develop a WebXR exporter for Unity , to let all Unity developers create WebXR experiences with the tool they already know well. This project dates from 2 years ago , but recently the WebXR plugin has been improved and updated.

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Bigscreen VR Launches On-Demand Content In Response To Increased Traffic


Bigscreen continues to grow by launching on-demand movies and events. Since its launch on PC VR headsets back in 2016, socialVR entertainment platform Bigscreen has seen thousands of people from all around the globe jumping into VR to enjoy 3D films like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Interstellar alongside both friends and total strangers. It’s been a huge success for the company, for movie fans, and socialVR in general.

More Trending

‘Bigscreen’ Partners with Funimation to Bring 30+ Popular Anime Films On-Demand

Road to VR

Bigscreen , the social VR viewing platform, launched on-demand video a few days ago, letting users rent and view a library of 2D and 3D movies whenever they wanted. Now the studio revealed that they’ve partnered with Sony’s anime distribution company Funimation to bring some of the biggest names in anime to its rapidly expanding on-demand service.

Cleanbox Technology kills coronavirus on your VR headset

The Ghost Howls

LBVR will be for sure the industry that will be impacted the most by coronavirus. No one will want to put on his face a device that has been on the face of many people before, because it would be too risky. The times when at exhibitions you put on headsets used by thousands of people before and never cleaned are over.

Pro NFL Players’ First Endorsement Deal Is A Lineup Of VR Products


“The Lamar Jackson Experience” will include an at-home VR experience, arcade games, and a live activation. For professional athletes, their image is their brand. Often times the endorsements they make and products they sponsor can be just as important as what they do on the field, perhaps even more so. So when the 2019 NFL MVP decides that the first official endorsement deal of his career will be a suit of custom VR products and activations, you tend to take notice.

New AI Tool Turns Any Song Into A Custom Beat Saber Map, And It Really Works


Community created custom maps have long been a staple of Beat Saber, the untouchable king of VR rhythm games. However, a new tool that utilizes neural networks and artificial intelligence might change the entire custom map scene. Beat Sage , which released last week, is able to generate a custom Beat Saber map out of any song on YouTube. Not only that but, with the right song, it actually works shockingly well.

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‘Alien: Isolation’ on Sale for $2 for a Limited Time, One of VR’s First Great Games

Road to VR

Alien: Isolation (2014) was one of the first truly good games to get support for PC VR headsets. If you’re wondering why everyone is still crazy about years later, it’ll only take you $2 to find out. Thanks to Steam’s one-day ‘Alien Day’ sale, the landmark survival horror game Alien: Isolation is on sale for $2 , making for a 95% discount off the original $40 price tag.

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The XR Week Peek (2020.04.27): Magic Leap’s new course, Fortnite rocks with concerts and much more!

The Ghost Howls

Another busy week has passed by, and here in Italy we just got the news that lockdown measures will start to loosen from next week, but the road to go out as we wish is still long. Anyway, I’m very busy at home, and I’m working on a new secret project with the startup Beyond The Gate. We’re looking for a Unity dev for a freelance gig lasting 1–2 months, ideally from Italy or a nearby country (for easier management). You can read the Job description here.

Assemble 3D Puzzles In VR With Puzzling Places On Oculus Quest


Volumetric 3D capture adds a whole new dimension to the classic jigsaw experience. Available now free on Oculus Quest headsets, Puzzle Places offers a fresh take on the conventional jigsaw experience, allowing users to assemble an intricately-detailed three-dimensional VR scene captured using volumetric photogrammetry—a unique form of 3D capture which involves taking a large number of photos and stitching them together to form realistic 3D models.

Arizona Sunshine’s Final Expansion Launches On Quest Today


And so the circle is complete; the very last story expansion to Arizona Sunshine launches on Oculus Quest today. The Damned, which we first revealed for PC VR and PSVR headsets at last year’s E3 VR Showcase, is now live (or soon will be) on Facebook’s standalone headset. As the name suggests, this expansion is set on an enormous dam. Taking place before the original game, you play as a US Special Forces agent that must reactive the facility’s generators.

‘Puzzling Places’ is a 3D Jigsaw Puzzle for Quest Featuring Stunning Photogrammetry Scans

Road to VR , the team behind the photogrammetry-based VR experience Realities (2016) , today released a prototype version of their latest creation, a 3D VR jigsaw puzzle game for Oculus Quest called Puzzling Places. The studio is currently seeking funding to eventually bring a full-feature version to the Oculus Store, however in the meantime the studio has made the prototype game available for free on SideQuest , the unofficial sideloading app store for Oculus Quest.

Helping COVID-19 First Responders With XR

Tech Trends VR

ThirdEye Gen believes its technology could help save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. The X2 MR Glasses weigh just 300 grams and claim to be the world’s smallest Mixed Reality glasses. Nick Cherukuri, CEO of ThirdEye Gen, says the devices can give front-line medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients access to critical life-saving data and communicate with emergency rooms and command centers in real-time.

Shelter In Place Offers Free VR Minigames To Those Under Lockdown


The open-ended sandbox offers over a dozen rooms to explore. UnnamedVR launched back in 2019 as an open-ended sandbox game that let explore a virtual mansion and play a bunch of short mini-games, including basketball, darts, and archery. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the game has been renamed Shelter in Place and is now available as a free download as a part of a broader effort to help people stay entertained during the quarantine.

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Echo Arena Oculus Quest Open Beta Coming Soon, Watch A Full Match Now


Echo Arena on Oculus Quest should be launching an open beta soon for its zero-g virtual sport. Ahead of the launch of the free multiplayer Oculus Studios project from Ready At Dawn we’ve gotten into the closed beta and captured video of a full match. Overall the game seems to be shaping up incredibly well on the Oculus Quest and I had a ton of fun.

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Mojo Vision Raises an Additional $51M to Fund Smart Contact Lens Development

Road to VR

Mojo Vision announced it has raised more than $51 million in a Series B-1 investment round, something the company says will be used for further development on Mojo Lens, its smart contact lens.

Report: Managing the Supply Chain With AR

Tech Trends VR

Todd Maddox gives a neuroscience perspective on how Augmented Reality can help optimize industrial processes. In manufacturing, the supply chain manager is responsible for the flow of goods and services, including all processes that transform raw materials into final products. One critical aspect of this is inventory management.

VR Haircut Experience Is Actually A Message About American Capitalism


Find out how the strange VR styling game came to be. With hairdressers and barbers staying home to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, quiffs are growing into mullets, pixie cuts are becoming shags, and afros are turning into, well, slightly larger afros. People are literally protesting the quarantine because they want a haircut, but maybe what they actually need is VR and a healthy dose of reality.

Offset To Perform Live In VR Via Oculus Venues This Week


Streaming live performances of your favorite artists has been one great way to keep entertained during this period of self-isolation. But, later this week, you’ll be able to join friends to stream Offset inside VR. Supersphere VR is bringing Offset and Friends to Oculus Venues on April 29 at 4pm PT. The rapper will be broadcasting into the VR venue, joined by artists like Young Thug, Rich the Kid and SAINt JHN. The show was conceived to help raise money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Wireality is an Experimental Haptic Feedback Device Using Shoulder-mounted Strings

Road to VR

Carnegie Mellon University researchers published a paper recently that proposes a novel VR haptic feedback device, which unlike strictly hand-worn haptic devices, lets you feel objects in VR with a measure of ‘positional’ resistance. Researchers Cathy Fang, Yang Zhang, Matthew Dworman, and Chris Harrison call it Wireality. It’s basically a self-contained, shoulder-worn device that allows you to feel resistance in your hands and fingers when you encounter larger obstacles in VR.

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Is Augmented Reality the Next Big Thing in the Toy Industry?


Augmented reality has many incredible uses. One of its many applications lies in the toy industry. More and more toymakers have been developing AR toys lately. We’re not talking about video games such as Pokémon Go. We’re talking about gameplay that bridges tangible toys with virtual play. So, what does this mean for the toy industry? Is augmented reality its next big thing? Let’s find out. How Augmented Reality Toys Work.

Upcoming VR Parkour Game STRIDE Looks A Lot Like Mirror’s Edge


The freerunning-inspired VR platformer arrives on headsets Summer 2020. STRIDE is an upcoming VR parkour action game from developer JoyWay in which players must save a city under quarantine from a vicious gang war. In order to save its citizens players will embark on a dangerous mission filled with high-flying stunts, intense gunfights mixed with hand-to-hand combat, and a plenty of slow motion.

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Walking Dead Dev: VR Physics Standardization Will Lead To ‘Second Generation’ Games


The creators of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners belives its work with VR physics, along with other projects, will lead to a “second generation” of VR games. Skydance Interactive chief technologist and co-founder Peter Akeman said as much in a recent interview with VentureBeat (see below). “Let’s take three titles that just launched and do physical things,” Akeman said.

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John Legend, Tinashe to Play Live Shows in Social VR Platform ‘Wave’

Road to VR

Wave isn’t your garden variety social VR platform. With an emphasis on virtual raves, replete with immersive visualizations and regular live performances, it’s become the de facto concert platform for VR users. Now Wave says it’s bringing more artists this summer via its One Wave concert series, which will include artists such as John Legend, Tinashe, Jauz, Galantis, and more.

To Engage Remote Audiences, XR Technology Is More Vital Than Ever


The world is living with the effects of COVID-19 , both physically and mentally. People are shut inside in self-quarantine and self-isolation, making it difficult for many workforces and industries to continue functioning. Industries across the world are feeling the effects of the pandemic and are now scrambling to find ways to adapt. While events continue to escalate, every industry is looking to work remotely in ways they never considered before. That includes XR technology.

Echo Arena Open Beta Launches On Oculus Quest Next Week


Ready at Dawn’s zero-g sports game will be available free to all users until its official release. After two closed alphas and a single closed beta, Echo Arena will finally be available to all Oculus Quest users beginning next week as part of a free open beta which will run from May 5th until the titles official launch later this year.

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Espire 1 Adds New Weapons, Challenges, Improved Load Times In Upcoming Update


Enjoyable VR sneaker Espire 1: VR Operative is soon to get its next big update with plenty to talk about. Next week on May 5, PC VR and Oculus Quest players will be able to download the Assimilation Update. Headlining the patch is the addition of 14 new challenges, which include some new weapons to sample, too. Challenges include new combat and traversal-based trials as well as four new Intel ops, where you’ll have to gather documents and data before reaching an extraction point.

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Rhythm-shooter ‘Pistol Whip’ to Launch on PSVR This Summer

Road to VR

Pistol Whip (2019) , the VR rhythm-shooter from Cloudhead Games, has been available on Oculus Quest and SteamVR-compatible headsets since late last year. However it seems PSVR owners will soon be able to get into the stylish shooting action too.