Oculus Rift promised us the future of VR. Here's what really happened.

The Oculus Rift celebrates its one-year anniversary this week, following its commercial debut on March 28, 2016. Happy birthday, Oculus, your growing pains are showing.  But the awkward baby steps toward making virtual reality mainstream have not been with without some wins.  SEE ALSO: Oculus Rift’s ‘Robo Recall’ is the game VR has been waiting for After years of hype beginning in 2012, and clunky developer prototypes leading up to the consumer version, the attractively designed Oculus Rift still required a relatively expensive PC and an Xbox controller to run the limited array of software available for the device. Predictably, that meant only the most enthusiastic consumers bought into the long-awaited coming of consumer-ready VR.  Read more… More about Gear Vr, Oculus Rift, Oculus, Virtual Reality, and Vr Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

The next-gen 'Gear VR' comes with a motion controller

Samsung revealed their newest ‘Gear VR’ headset, designed for the Galaxy S8. The biggest change to the device is the inclusion of a motion controller. Read more… More about Real Time Video, Real Time Video, Real Time, Real Time Video, and Real Time Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

High Fidelity uses Limitless VR to enable users to create 3D avatars

Limitless specializes in tools that make it easy to create animated characters and stories in virtual reality. And that work is paying off today through a partnership with High Fidelity, a virtual reality world creation platform founded by the creator of Second Life, Philip Rosedale. Bellevue, Wash.-based Limitless has created a platform that makes it easy to craft interactive characters who respond to human voice, gestures, and social cues inside VR. And High Fidelity is creating a place where users can create their own VR environments, as well as the characters inside them. Please check out our GamesBeat Summit 2017 event taking place from May 1 to 2 on the inspiration between science fiction, tech, and games. Use Deantak code for 20 percent off. Insomniac’s Ted Price will be one of our speakers. Limitless will integrate its interactive character technology, part of the Limitless VR Creative Environment used to create the interactive Read the full article…

Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy S8, and it's beautiful

The new Galaxy S8 and S8+ from Samsung look stunning, and offer new features like facial recognition and a more powerful processor. Read more… More about Mashable Video, Vr Camera, Vr Headsets, Vr Headset, and Vr Experience Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Samsung updates Gear 360 camera with slimmer design, 4K and live video support

More than a year after introducing its 360-degree camera, Samsung is updating it so it’s “cuter” and meets the needs of creators. The latest incarnation now has a slimmer design that makes it look like a miniature Kuri robot, an improved camera that can now record 4K video, iOS support, and livestreaming capability through YouTube. Samsung has not released pricing for its next-generation Gear 360 camera nor when it’ll go on sale, but it’s possible that the device could run about the same as its predecessor at $350. Above: Samsung’s second-generation Gear 360 camera Image Credit: Ken Yeung/VentureBeat A competitor to the Ricoh Theta, 360fly, I-mmersive’s Veye, and Kodak’s SP360, the Samsung Gear 360 isn’t necessarily geared towards hardcore professionals — rather those who want to show a comprehensive view of what’s going on, be it a sporting event, family gathering, or destination. Unlike the first generation which had a few Read the full article…

Oculus software update harnesses power of new Gear VR controller

In recent months, I’ve done a fair bit of complaining about the deficiencies of mobile virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear VR versus higher end options, but some of those complaints were erased on Wednesday.  Samsung has finally taken the wraps off the updated Gear VR controller, and along with the new input device Oculus has added several major updates to the mobile version Oculus Home, the software that powers the Gear VR experience.  SEE ALSO: Oculus Rift’s ‘Robo Recall’ is the game VR has been waiting for I had a chance to preview some of the new features rolling out Wednesday and the first thing you’ll realize is that the opening menu has been reorganized and is now called Oculus Explore, streamlining the process of browsing for new VR apps in Oculus Home.  Read more… More about Virtual Reality, Vr, Samsung Gear Vr, Gear Vr, and Oculus Powered Read the full article…

Guitar Godz VR launches Kickstarter campaign to be Rock Band’s virtual reality rival

Flow State Media has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for a music virtual reality game Guitar Godz VR. The San Francisco company says that the game is the next evolution of rock music games, as it allows players to step on stage in fully immersive VR. The game merges lives concert images with a live VR experience that lets you live the rock star fantasy of performing in front of thousands of fans. The company is seeking to raise $500,000 in a one-week campaign that will close on April 4. Please check out our GamesBeat Summit 2017 event taking place from May 1 to 2 on the inspiration between science fiction, tech, and games. Use Deantak code for 20 percent off. Insomniac’s Ted Price will be one of our speakers. The game will compete with Rock Band VR, which launched on March 23 on the Oculus Rift VR headset. In the Read the full article…

SpinMagic lets you draw on augmented reality images on your iPhone

Adtile Technologies has launched SpinMagic, an augmented reality app for the iPhone that lets you turn your smartphone into a virtual paint brush. San Diego, Calif.-based Adtile said that SpinMagic can capture your spatial 3D movement and enable you to share it in photos or seven-second videos through messaging and social media. You can modify the 3D images that you capture using the drawing and effects tools. The company said that SpinMagic takes the fun of VR drawing tools like Microsoft Paint, Oculus Medium or Google Tilt Brush without a headset and makes it available on your iPhone for free. SpinMagic allows you to draw shapes in 3D on your phone and add them to images and videos. Above: SpinMagic is Adtile’s AR app on the iPhone. Image Credit: Adtile While virtual reality and AR apps are abundant, Adtile believes SpinMagic is unique because it is so easy to use Read the full article…

Amazon eyes VR and AR homewares stores to show you products in your virtual home

Augmented reality and virtual reality are still in their infancy in terms of non-gaming applications, but a new tip hints that Amazon may be about to change all that.  We already know that Amazon is keen to go wide with brick-and-mortar bookstores and grocery stores, but a new report from the New York Times says the e-tailer is looking at doing the same with appliances and furniture. SEE ALSO: Amazon launching physical bookstores in Chicago, San Diego, Portland, report says Citing a “person briefed on the discussions,” the report claims that VR and AR are being looked at as possible features of a chain of Amazon homewares stores.  Read more… More about Lowes, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Vr, and Amazon Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Game pioneers Jason Rubin and Ted Price discuss the lessons of early VR games

Ted Price and Jason Rubin were pioneers at the start of the console video game business. Price started Insomniac Games in 1994, making games such as Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank. Rubin cofounded Naughty Dog, maker of titles such as Crash Bandicoot, in 1986. Now they’re pioneering another new medium for games, virtual reality. Price is still at Insomniac, which is working on a new Spider-Man game and published two VR titles last year. Rubin is head of vice president of content at Oculus Studios, Facebook’s own VR game studio. Price and Rubin did a fireside chat about a month ago at the elite gaming event, DICE Summit 2017, in Las Vegas. It may seem like old news, but I’ve finally had a chance to revisit the talk, which offered some good advice for VR entrepreneurs. It was a discussion full of lessons for making VR live up to its Read the full article…

GamesBeat weekly roundup: Mass Effect: Andromeda’s tired face, and Brian Fargo’s retirement

Welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, Super Mario Run finally come out on Android, Yooka-Laylee’s developers deal with the fallout of a popular YouTuber’s racist remarks, and Red Dead Redemption is coming to PC … as a Grand Theft Auto V mod. Please check out our GamesBeat Summit 2017 event coming May 1-2 on the inspiration between science fiction, tech, and games. Use Deantak code for 20 percent off. Enjoy, and have a great weekend! Pieces of flair and opinion The DeanBeat: Bouncing between the vast worlds of Zelda and Mass Effect: Andromeda Self-driving car expert and Project Cars exec to speak at GamesBeat Summit 6 ways to invest in augmented reality Is Mass Effect: Andromeda a success or a failure? GamesBeat Decides How to test Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch Watch a Guardian ignore Link to fight a Stone Talus in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Read the full article…

A Designer Creates the Most Unusual Virtual Pet Ever in Scifi Short Strange Beasts

Magali Barbé’s very well-done short Strange Beasts runs just over five minutes long, so it doesn’t take too long to get to the twist. But the pacing is just right, and the perfectly-deployed graphics are distracting enough to make the main character’s truly unusual viewpoint on reality a surprise at the end. Read more… Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Method speeds testing of new networking protocols

Researchers present a system for testing new traffic management protocols that requires no alteration to network hardware but still works at realistic speeds — 20 times as fast as networks of software-controlled routers. Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Oculus put March Madness in VR but not on Rift

It’s that time of year again, when people who have never dribbled a basketball suddenly start foaming at the mouth with NCAA basketball bracket fever, and now they can obsess over the game in virtual reality as well.  For the second year in a row, the NCAA has teamed up with Oculus to offer the free NCAA March Madness Live app, which attempts to immerse users in the excitement of the annual college hoops tournament.  SEE ALSO: Super Bowl LI was a bad moment for VR But like so many other sports apps being offered for Samsung Gear VR users via Oculus app, for some reason, they decided to skip offering a version of the app for the people who dropped hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars more to set up higher end Oculus Rift systems.  Read more… More about Gear Vr, Oculus Rift, Oculus, Virtual Reality, and Vr Powered Read the full article…

The Future of Ghostbusters Is Uncertain, But Ivan Reitman Has a Plan

At Ghost Corps, the Ghostbusters office on the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles, franchise co-creator Ivan Reitman admits the most recent film was a disappointment. And yet the Ghostbusters are not dead, and do not need to be busted themselves. Not by a long shot. Read more… Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Nerdy dad uses virtual reality to let daughter ride family cat

The same dad who rigged an HTC Vive and Ricoh Theta 360-degree camera to let his daughter explore her dollhouse is at it again. This time, the VR dad has cranked up the tech-meets-cute factor by introducing the family cat.  Strapping the 360-degree camera to the back of the very patient feline, VR dad Toby Newman was able to give his daughter an idea of what the world looks like from the point of view of the family pet.  It’s not particularly groundbreaking technologically, but it’s nevertheless another clever idea for other VR dads out there looking to bring their kids along for the ride as they dive deeper into their new VR obsession. #catvision  Read more… More about Ricoh Theta, Htc Vive, Cats, Virtual Reality, and Vr Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Disney experiment lets you catch real objects while in VR

We’re still getting used to the immersive magic virtual reality offers, but a new experiment from Disney Research pushes the technology into another realm: interaction with real objects while in VR. A demonstration of the experiment was revealed on Monday via video (below) that shows a VR headset wearer accurately catching a real ball thrown at him. However, the VR headset wearer can’t see the real ball. Instead he’s reacting to a virtual ball that is tracked to correspond to the real-world object. SEE ALSO: Oculus Rift’s ‘Robo Recall’ is the game VR has been waiting for The tracking was accomplished using the OptiTrack Flex 13 motion capture camera, which tracked the ball as well as the catcher’s hands and head at roughly 120 frames per second. Although it’s not readily apparent in the video, the hardware is an Oculus Rift headset and the team used Unity software to render Read the full article…

The emerging business strategies for monetizing virtual reality

A lot of people love the experience of virtual reality, but not many have figured out the business side of it. The fledgling medium for games, entertainment, and many other applications has sprouted a lot of startups, but not much revenues yet. But where there’s investment, there’s likely to be profits. Or so the VR believers say. We explored how to make money in VR in a panel at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Nelson Rodriguez, director of games industry marketing at Akamai, moderated the panel. The panelists included Dean Takahashi, lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat (yes, me); Mihir Shah, CEO of Immersv, a mobile VR advertising network; and Arnaud Dazin, cofounder of ADVR. Here’s an edited transcript of our panel. (And check out our panel on monetizing VR from last year’s GamesBeat event.) Above: VR panel, left to right: Dean Takahashi, Mihir Shah, Arnaud Dazin, and Read the full article…

Watch This Guy Catch a Virtual Reality Ball That Turns Out to Be Real

When you strap on all of the gear required for a modern, immersive, virtual reality experience, you’re all but completely blind to the real world. But interacting with real world objects can often enhance a virtual experience, so Disney’s researchers came up with a way to let users catch a real ball without leaving a… Read more… Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…