Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality News


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.
Review: The Oculus Quest Is Virtual Reality's Best Bet Yet

Review: The Oculus Quest Is Virtual Reality's Best Bet Yet

Satisfying virtual reality experiences are unlike anything you’ll experience on your living room TV. Unfortunately, satisfying VR experiences are, for the most part, dependent on additional hardware. That makes it nearly impossible to just grab a headset and start playing, and elevates the price of admission by a few hundred dollars at minimum. That’s not true of the Oculus Quest. The Facebook subsidiary’s newest portable headset ditches the wires and expensive hardware found on other high-end VR hardware, cramming it all into a self-contained headset with motion-tracking controllers. If the Quest is able to build up a library of quality VR games and experiences, it could turn into the coolest game console you’ll ever own. But it could also be the most painful game console you’ll ever own.
Facebook wants to bring your entire body into virtual reality

Facebook wants to bring your entire body into virtual reality

Facebook is working on full-body virtual reality avatars that look and move just like real people, in hopes of making the technology feel even more engaging and immersive. The company is making and animating anatomically correct models of the human skeleton and overlaying muscle and skin, it announced at its annual F8 developer conference Wednesday. It is tracking how humans move in real time and replicating their movements in VR. The company is also reconstructing and simulating the actual clothing a person is wearing, using physics-based software to figure out how clothing should move virtually when they do things such as dance or stretch.
HoloLens 2 Development Edition arrives as Unreal Engine 4 support dated

HoloLens 2 Development Edition arrives as Unreal Engine 4 support dated

Microsoft has revealed a new HoloLens 2 Development Edition, offering coders a swifter way to get into mixed reality app and experience creation. The package is based around HoloLens 2, the second-generation of augmented reality headset which Microsoft announced back at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year. Smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than the original HoloLens, the updated version also improves on its functionality. Microsoft has expanded the mixed reality field of view, for example, so that digital objects can occupy more of the real-world scene. Higher resolution displays, meanwhile, along with new sensors were also added.
Researchers use virtual reality, GIS data to enhance trail management

Researchers use virtual reality, GIS data to enhance trail management

BLACKSBURG — A team of Virginia Tech researchers has transformed Torgersen Hall on campus into the Appalachian Trail. Using augmented reality, GIS data and 3D printing, people who manage the internationally known footpath can utilize technology to improve its management, researchers and stakeholders said during a workshop meeting at Tech this week. The researchers and trail managers are especially interested in protecting its majestic views. Earlier this week, the Tech researchers from the Center for Geospatial Information Technology showed off their tools to a group of people from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the National Park Service.
Verizon partners on smallest mixed reality glasses for 5G

Verizon partners on smallest mixed reality glasses for 5G

Verizon is partnering with under-the-radar mixed reality hardware company ThirdEye Gen. The partnership will make ThirdEye Gen Verizon's first official smart glasses partner for 5G mobile edge computing. ThirdEye is having a moment after being granted two technology patents for its OLED displays and low-latency data streaming architecture. "It's a very exciting time for the company right now, announcing our first major partnership with a leading wireless provider and being granted two patents we've been working hard on for the past five years," said Nick Cherukuri, Founder of ThirdEye Gen. "We are honored to be the first MR glasses company to partner with Verizon to develop advanced 5G use cases that will bring about a new era of hands-free human interaction."
New 'Peaky Blinders' VR Game Characters Will Use A.I. To React To You

New 'Peaky Blinders' VR Game Characters Will Use A.I. To React To You

A virtual reality video game for the British crime drama "Peaky Blinders" will use artificial intelligence to guide how characters respond to your "gestures, movement, voice, sound and body language," according to a statement from show distributor Endemol Shine Group and developers Maze Theory. The United Kingdom's Audience of the Future Programme announced today that the novel approach to game A.I. would receive government funding. Business Secretary Greg Clark said in a statement that, "This backing will also give our home-grown talent the opportunity to lead the way in creating and using virtual and augmented reality technologies, remain at the cutting edge and create thousands of highly-skilled jobs."


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