Sat.Oct 28, 2017 - Fri.Nov 03, 2017

Pressure Mounts for Xbox’s Missing VR Strategy as PSVR Rakes in an Estimated Half Billion From Hardware Alone

Road to VR

VR may still be young, and adoption still low compared to the world of traditional gaming, but it can’t be ignored that mounting sales of the Playstation VR headset—effectively a very expensive accessory for the PS4—is adding up to considerable revenue. In an era where Sony appears to have a significant lead in console sales already, and with PSVR sharpening the system’s competitive edge, pressure is mounting for Microsoft to figure out its Xbox VR strategy. Moving the Needle.

Become a Resistance Mechanic in this New Star Wars VR Experience


ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm, and Nissan team up to launch Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay in select dealerships. Leia Organa needs your help. The Resistance is deep in conflict with the evil New Order and sustaining heavy damage. As a Resistance mechanic, it’s up to you to repair and maintain their crucial line-up of astromechs. Can you help keep the Resistance support droids alive long enough for our heroes to finish the job?

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Logitech Is Working On A VR Keyboard That Works With Vive Tracker


Logitech is working with developers on a solution that brings keyboards into VR using HTC’s Vive Tracker. The VR keyboard developer’s kit is being distributed to a small set of creators to make software and apps that use the capability. This BRIDGE kit, as it is called, could be a boon to apps like VR Desktop and Bigscreen, each of which already appear to be working with the system.

Can VR stop sexual harrassment?

Hypergrid Business

With all the latest news headlines about sexual harassment, Los Angeles based startup Vantage Point thinks it can make a difference with virtual reality. The company has developed a training program aimed at universities and corporations, and is now looking for funding to build a virtual reality experience around it. The crowdfunding campaign launched today on IndieGoGo , The company hopes to have a pilot out by next summer.

How Digital Transformation will Bend the Curve of the Linear Economy Toward the Circular

Speaker: Bruce Armstrong Taylor, Co-Founder & Managing Director of SmartNations Foundation, Jimmy Jia, Venture Partner at Pi Labs, Fabienne Durand, Senior Advisor to the SmartNations Foundation, & Roger Strukhoff, Executive Director of the Tau Institute

The Carbon Zero, Circular Economy, is easily the most profoundly important result of digital transformation. Industry 4.0 has a massively cumulative impact on dematerialization (in all forms) and resultant decarbonization (both emissions and embodied) throughout the economy. Join panelists Bruce Armstrong Taylor, Jimmy Jia, Fabienne Durand, and their moderator Roger Strukhoff as they discuss how bending the carbon/GHG heavy linear economy to the circular is one of the hidden benefits of digital disruption.

Designers Prototype New Approaches to VR Headset Ergonomics and Input

Road to VR

Two common types of head-mounts for VR headsets dominate the market today: the side & top strap approach, and the halo approach (which rests mostly on the forehead). Despite their abundance, there’s still a long way to go toward improving comfort, ease-of-use, and social acceptability as VR grows. Designers from industrial design firm Nonobject prototyped a range of new designs which could be viable as VR technology becomes smaller and lighter.

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Editorial: Sony And Facebook Don’t Need To Finance Shooting Virtual Humans


A trailer for Blood & Truth from Sony’s London Studio, like a preview Oculus showed earlier this month for an upcoming war title from Titanfall creator Respawn Entertainment, makes it clear that Sony and Facebook are financially supporting what its executives think gamers want to play in VR. The goal: drive the sale of more headsets by giving the likeliest consumers more reasons to buy. But are investments in bloody shooters by the industry’s largest companies really necessary?

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Stranger Things: The VR Experience announced for PSVR

Cats and VR

Netflix’s Stranger Things: The VR Experience is coming soon to PlayStation VR. The short trailer does not show any gameplay but just takes us back to the iconic Christmas lights used to talk to Will. This may very well be a port of the recent San DIego Comic Con experience in which attendees used an HTC Vive to walk through the house of Joyce Byers. At SDCC players donned a backpack PC in a roomscale environment.

Report: HTC to Unveil Standalone VR Headset at Vive Developer Conference in November

Road to VR

HTC could be showing off its standalone VR headset at the company’s November 14th Vive Developer Conference (VDC) in Beijing. As reported by YiVian , the conference has recently published promotional material featuring a veiled image of the company’s upcoming headset. To wit, HTC says it will have ‘some important announcements’ to make.

How AR is Making its Way into Crime Scene Investigations


CSIs just jumped into the future with tuServ , a new generation of policing software developed by Black Marble that uses the power of Augmented Reality via Microsoft HoloLens. AR is finding its way into all sorts of existing industries, and now the groundbreaking technology is helping law enforcement solve crimes.

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AR/VR Simulations for Sustainable, Regenerative, Circular Cities

Speaker: Nik Gowing, Brenda Laurel, Sheridan Tatsuno, Archie Kasnet, and Bruce Armstrong Taylor

Join our amazing panelists, Nik Gowing, Founder at Thinking the Unthinkable and International Broadcaster; Brenda Laurel, PhD, Principal, Neogaian Interactive; Sheridan Tatsuno, Principal, Dreamscape Global; Archie Kasnet, CEO, Regenerative; and Bruce Armstrong Taylor, The Climate 4.0 Project, to discuss how today's AR/VR and related AI-enabled technologies can be effectively applied, using data from such sources as NASA and NOAA, to both improve and accelerate urban sustainability planning and design.

Skyrim VR Will Not Feature Mod Support At Launch


Earlier this week at a private PlayStation press event in San Francisco, CA we got the chance to go hands-on with a full, updated build of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR for PlayStation VR (PSVR) and came away impressed. Previous demos were teleportation movement only and now they’ve added full, smooth locomotion features with both Dualshock 4 and PS Move controllers.

CCP makers of EVE Valkyrie, Sparc, and Gunjack to move away from VR and close down several studios.

Cats and VR

Today there was a significant restructuring to CCP games, known in the VR world for the excellent EVE Valkyrie and Gunjack games. Recently we reported on how EVE Valkyrie was transitioning away from just the VR elements and into cross platform gaming. link]. This transition may have been a look at things to come. CCP is stepping back from VR and has closed it Atlanta office responsible for Sparc and is selling its Newcastle office responsible for Eve Valkyrie.

Microsoft Joins OpenXR, Becoming a Decisive Backer in the Open, Royalty-free VR/AR Standard

Road to VR

Khronos Group , the consortium behind the OpenXR project which aims to standardize the way applications communicate with AR and VR headsets, just added Microsoft to its ranks. Among its count of members, the OpenXR working group consisted of nearly every major player in the industry except Microsoft until now.

Amazon Launches AR Shopping Feature Within App


Amazon’s AR View lets you see items inside your home. Following in the footsteps of Ikea , Houzz , and Target, Amazon is now the latest retailer to make it easier to buy items from home thanks to AR. An update to the Amazon iOS shopping app enables what the company calls AR View , a tool that lets you drop a virtual item like a toaster or chair on any flat surface in your home.

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Hands-On: Skyrim VR Without Teleportation Is Much More Immersive


The first time I tried The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR at E3 2017 earlier this year I was optimistic. For me, it was enough just to visit the world of Tamriel from inside the immersive confines of a VR headset. However, it had some major flaws. Until now the only demo we’d seen required you to teleport around the game world using PlayStation’s Move Controllers. Needless to say it was a lackluster implementation and when compared to Fallout 4 VR , the issues were even more prominent.

Vantage Point looks to eradicate sexual assault and sexual harassment, with the help of virtual reality.

Cats and VR

Morgan Mercer and the team at Vantage Point are looking to eradicate sexual assault and sexual harassment, with the help of virtual reality. The team says that existing educational programs fail in several way to truly help victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Morgan Mercer has started a crowdfunding campaign for a virtual reality tool to help people combat the issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment faced by many in campuses and the workplace.

Samsung Introduces Pro-focused ‘360 Round’ Camera for 4K 3D Livestreaming

Road to VR

Announced at the Samsung Developer conference last week, the 360 Round is the company’s new camera for creating and streaming 4K 3D content. The camera appears to be a reboot of the ‘Project Beyond’ camera that the company introduced back in 2014 but never brought to market. A total of 17 lenses (eight stereo pairs aligned horizontal, and one centered vertical lens), and 6 internal microphones allows for capturing 3D 360 video and spatial audio.

Google Launches Poly, a Home and Discovery Platform for VR and AR Content


An all-new home for your Tilt Brush and Blocks masterpieces. If you’ve been one of the creators working with Tilt Brush and Blocks, you’re probably aware of the two different galleries Google created for you to showcase your work: Sketches and Objects. But now, Google has announced Poly, a tool aimed at accelerating the development of VR/AR experiences by bringing together the Tilt Brush and Blocks display platforms.

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Poly Is Google’s Foundation For Building Virtual Worlds


Google is launching Poly, a service with a growing library of free objects for creators to incorporate into their virtual worlds. The repository immediately makes it easier for creators to publish their works from apps like Tilt Brush and Blocks, as well as find pieces to incorporate into their own designs. The service, however, is another piece of the puzzle as Google seems focused on a much grander ambition.

ILMxLAB and Lucasfilm partner with Nissan for Star Wars VR tie-in/car promotion.

Cats and VR

ILMxLAB and Lucasfilm announced a new VR experience in partnership with Nissan, Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay — Astro-Mechanic for the Resistance. Participants must play the role of an technician aboard General Leia’s ship and repair BB-8 and other astromechs. Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay is the official VR experience connected to Star Wars: The Last Jedi , and will see the debut of brand new astromechs, complete with their own unique personalities and original designs.

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Logitech Using Vive Tracker to Bring Your Keyboard and Hands Into VR for Efficient Typing

Road to VR

Logitech is creating a new system called BRIDGE which aims to make it possible to bring a properly tracked keyboard into VR while showing the user’s hands for accurate typing. Though retail plans haven’t yet been announced, the company is offering a development kit to select developers. VR promises to one day take computer productivity to the next level by letting us trade physical monitors for an infinite spatial desktop that unlocks our applications from flat windows.

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Iñárritu’s ‘Carne y Arena’ Just Won an Oscar


A major first for the VR industry. On Friday, the Board Of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it would award Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Carne y Arena (Virtually present, Physically invisible) , an honorary Academy Award, “in recognition of a visionary and powerful experience in storytelling.” This is the first time a VR experience has actually landed a statuette, following a near-miss for Google Spotlight’s Pearl last year.

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Reactive Content: The Future of Immersive Storytelling


What makes a great storyteller? What is the essence of storytelling? And how can we approach these questions in the context of immersive storytelling? These are just some of the questions at the forefront of every virtual reality company’s mind. Taking cues from traditional oral storytelling, we might say that the best storytellers modulate a story and its delivery based on the energy of the audience.

Turtle Rock Studios, the developer of Left 4 Dead just released a FREE Stranger Things edition of Face Your Fears for Gear VR

Cats and VR

Here is a surprise Halloween treat Turtle Rock Studios, the developer of Left 4 Dead and Face Your Fears for Gear VR have just launched a Stranger Things door of Face Your Fears for free on Gear VR. The latest Face Your Fears door takes you to the sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana, where you'll encounter a series of spine-tingling events in the everyday world and its uncanny reflection, the Upside Down.

Vive is Hanging onto Steam Majority Market Share By a Thread

Road to VR

According to the just-released October figures from Steam’s Hardware & Software Survey, the Oculus Rift has picked up an additional 0.71%, totalling 47.61% of the market share of VR headsets on Steam. With the price of the Rift dropping permanently to $400 last month, the headset has set its new record high for the fourth month in a row. The HTC Vive maintains a razor thin lead with 48.76% share of headsets in use on Steam.

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Jaunt Launches New App and Content for Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ Platform


The studio gets behind Microsoft’s new VR headsets with some exclusive content just as it wins an Emmy award for its Collisions experience. Jaunt has become a leading provider of software and integrated hardware to the industry since they were founded in 2013, yet their main drive is pushing the boundaries of VR as a creative storytelling medium.

Building a Playground of 3D User Interfaces


As mainstream VR/AR input continues to evolve – from the early days of gaze-only input to controllers and fully articulated hand tracking – so too are the virtual user interfaces with which we interact. We’re moving beyond flat user interfaces (UIs) from 2D screens toward a future filled with spatial interface paradigms that take advantage of depth and volume. At Leap Motion, our team is constantly pushing the boundaries of our interactive VR toolkit.

Playstation's Paris Game Show event showed a continued dedication to VR from Sony.

Cats and VR

Many gaming pundits have been saying the PSVR has been missing from Sony's long term battle strategy due to a lackluster presence at both E3 and Tokyo Game Show. Despite the over 1 million PSVR units sold and the acclaim of content like Resident Evil 7 it does not seem to get the credit that the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift get. Well it looks like Sony's strategy may be to the go to VR platform for all of Europe given the multitude of content presented today at the Paris Game Show event today.

Pimax Ends VR Headset Kickstarter With Over $4.2M and a Truly Massive Job Ahead

Road to VR

Pimax , the China-based company promising a few flavors of its high field of view (FOV) headset, has successfully completed its Kickstarter with $4,236,618, a good 21 times more than the initial $200,000 funding goal set at its launch back in mid-September. Now, Pimax’s road ahead will be defined by how they deliver on the plethora of ‘next gen’ add-ons promised to go along with 3 versions of their SteamVR-compatible headset.

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Black Eyed Peas Bring Post-Apocalyptic Marvel Comic To VR


Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles comes to VR with one hell of an impressive voice cast. Many people weren’t sure what to expect when it was announced that iconic hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas would be teaming up with Marvel for a post-apocalyptic comic book centered around an evil alien race turning gangsters, drug dealers and other violent members of society into flesh-hungry zombies.