Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: Making it easier for factory workers to telecommute

Many manufacturing jobs require a physical presence to operate machinery. But what if such jobs could be done remotely? Researchers have now presented a virtual-reality (VR) system that lets you teleoperate a robot using an Oculus Rift headset. Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Visualizing life in silico

Programming a molecular biology experiment can be similar to playing Sudoku; both are simple if you’re working with only a few molecules or a small grid, but explode in complexity as they grow. Now, researchers have made it far easier for molecular biologists to make complex biological models. Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

Sketchfab now supports ARKit, putting Tilt Brush and Oculus Medium works into the real world

If you’ve been following out Sketchfab Favs feature, you’ll know that the platform is home to nearly two million 3D models and artworks, made in apps like Google’s Tilt Brush, Oculus’ Medium, and Gravity Sketch as well as more traditional software. From today, these creations can be placed in the real world. Sketchfab has just updated its iOS app to include support for Apple’s ARKit. That means that users can select any of the creations currently live on the platform, and project it into the real world through an iPhone or iPad display. As such, animated characters can come to life inside real-world environments, and VR artists have an entirely new way to explore their work and others’. All you need to do is load up any Sketchfab model inside the app and then tap and AR icon, just like you’d tap a VR icon to view models in headsets. ARKit Read the full article…

Intel makes the case for wireless PC-based high-end virtual reality

Intel recently hosted a 100-year-old man at its virtual reality lab in Hillsboro, Oregon. Lyle Becker was a big fan of the VR flight simulator, which reminded him of the planes that he flew in World War II. That kind of first-time experience evokes a sense of wonder at the immersiveness of VR, and that’s why Kim Pallister, director of VR excellence at Intel, believes so much that VR will be a transformative medium. While VR is off to a slow start, Pallister believes that it will catch on in the long run. Intel recently pivoted away from a tech demo that it called Project Alloy, a stand-alone VR headset, to something entirely different. The first generation of VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, are connected to powerful personal computers via wires. Everybody wants those wires to go away, but how you tackle the issue matters. Read the full article…

Space Pirate Trainer launches out of VR Early Access on October 12

Space Pirate Trainer is finally poised to exit Early Access and release its 1.0 version on October 12, 2017, for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as well as on the Windows Store for Windows VR headsets (when those are available, of course). There’s a short list of introductory VR apps that I cycle through anytime I’m letting someone try out an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive for the first time. I almost always start with something super simple like Tilt Brush before moving on to things like The Lab (namely the mountain landscape and Longbow) and then into more game-like experiences such as Job Simulator. Depending on personal preference I might load up something more intense, but at some point, usually near the end, I’ll always put people in Space Pirate Trainer. The team at I-Illusions did a remarkable job with Space Pirate Trainer, crafting a game that is dead-simple Read the full article…

VRTK helps devs get started in VR with open-source dev kit

What’s becoming clear in VR development is that with the market split across Rift, Vive and PlayStation VR, the developers of some of the most successful apps like Job Simulator, Fantastic Contraption and Raw Data work hard to make their software work well across all three headsets. Even if it is hard to stand out from dozens of apps launching each week, making a virtual world available across Steam, the PlayStation Store and Oculus increases the chances of a developer finding success. Though large teams working with big budgets often turn to the Unreal world engine from Epic Games for building VR products, the very well-funded Unity Technologies is the engine most indie developers use in bringing their products to fruition across multiple systems. Unity is used by a majority of VR developers and its asset store makes it easy for developers to find cheap or free tools with which to build more immersive worlds. VRTK — Read the full article…

Amazon launches update that overhauls its Lumberyard game-dev toolkit

Amazon is updating its Lumberyard tools for game developers. The engine is adding dozens of new features to improve animations, nonphotorealistic visuals, and more. Lumberyard is Amazon’s biggest gaming project. The company has some internal development studios, but it is putting a lot of investment in building making a tool for others to use. The company is, of course, leveraging its gigantic Amazon Web Services cloud platform for Lumberyard, and its visual backbone is the CryEngine SDK that developer Crytek built for games like Crysis. The idea is to provide a powerful and scalable tool for indie and blockbuster developers that is familiar but also is built for teams to work together in a connected, online environment. But Amazon has that cloud-based development infrastructure up and running, and now it’s time for incremental improvements. That’s what today’s update is all about. “Lumberyard Beta 1.11 adds over 400 new features, improvements, and Read the full article…

Sean Ellis, hacking growth, and why Amazon’s goggles might suck – VB Engage

In this week’s episode, Travis and Stewart talk about virtual reality advertising, Intercom’s new lead generation solution, and Amazon’s smart goggles, which sound like they might be a terrible idea. Or they might be good. Stewart thinks that either way they’ll be cheap because Amazon doesn’t do premium products. In our guest interview, Sean Ellis — the man who invented the term “growth hacking” — gives us all his secrets. Well, not all of them, but a really good number of them. This is one interview you won’t want to miss if you’re interested in landing more customers and building big communities. Resources mentioned in the episode Advrty brings native ads to virtual reality Intercom launches Live Chat for Sales to generate leads at scale Amazon’s new smart goggles might make sense, if Alexa is everywhere Sean Ellis  GrowthHackers — Helping teams unlock their company’s full growth potential through a Read the full article…

GamesBeat weekly roundup: Loving the SNES Classic Edition, and conquering our Cuphead demons

Hello, and welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, the video game voice actors strike ended, Middle-earth: Shadow of War showed off its mobile version, and we tried to figure out what makes a “core” Mario game. Enjoy, and have a great weekend! Pieces of flair and roundup The DeanBeat: The wonderful diverse world of games PC Gaming Weekly: Atari searches for a market Cuphead: Watch Dean conquer his demons What makes a ‘core’ Mario game? GamesBeat Decides Is the Super NES Classic worthy of the hype? GamesBeat Decides How indie studio Accidental Queens emerged from a game jam Vainglory’s esports tournaments are about more than competition Why we’ll always love Toys ‘R’ Us: It was gaming’s first megastore PlayerUnknown’s Battleground zombies: I feel like a master necromancer Above: Commodore 64 Mini. Image Credit: Koch Media News The Commodore 64 is the next gaming classic to get a retro makeover Read the full article…

For once, Microsoft got the jump on Google and Apple with Hololens — will it last?

GUEST: Mixed reality (MR) is a new computing platform that‘s emerging from the current fields of augmented and virtual reality. MR blends the physical and the digital worlds into a single space, using a combination of cutting edge optical hardware and artificial intelligence (AI) software. Over the next 5 to 10 years, most industry analysts agree that the AR/VR market will be worth well north of $100 billion, with the vast majority coming from the AR side — in the form of consumer innovations in retail, location, or AI services. In terms of the enterprise market, that pie will be smaller, but will lean even more heavily toward AR and MR. Currently, at the forefront of the MR revolution is the Microsoft HoloLens. Microsoft has uncharacteristically been early to market in this sector, with the HoloLens dominating almost all coverage of actual deployments of the technology. Although Microsoft enjoys an industry-leading position, Read the full article…

Here’s one way to propose to the love of your life—in VR

Alex wanted to pop the question to his girlfriend Kelly at her favorite place in the world – the tree outside her grandma’s house from when she was a kid. He decided to do it with VR.  She thought she was playing a VR zombie game at Zero Latency. Little did she know that she was about to say yes to the love of her life.  Read more… More about Virtual Reality, Virtual Reality, Vr, Romance, and Love Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

IronSource launches ‘world’s first’ AR ads for mobile games

EXCLUSIVE: Augmented reality is set to become more mainstream thanks to Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore development platforms, marking the birth of a new marketing channel. And as with all shiny new objects, marketers are keen to start leveraging AR. Today IronSource — the mobile monetization and marketing company —  announced the launch of what the company says is the world’s first AR ads for games. The ads are designed and produced entirely in-house by IronSource’s Playworks Studio, a division of the company that is dedicated to using game design to create ads that both engage the audience and convert. IronSource is working with advertisers, producing the creative before using its platform to deliver the content at scale. “At this point, developers aren’t able to create AR ads on our platform themselves,” Dan Greenberg, chief design officer at IronSource, told me. “From a creative perspective, the ads are created in-house with Read the full article…

Tripp raises $4 million for mood-altering virtual reality experiences

A lot of people say that virtual reality will blow your mind. And that’s the point of Tripp, which has raised $4 million to make a VR experience that will alter your mood and your mind. Mayfield Fund led the round and contributed most of the funds for the startup, which is working on “transformative experiences.” Nanea Reeves, CEO of Tripp, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company views the experience more as a “journey” that exploits the sensory and immersive elements of VR to change the way a person feels. “We are creating a native VR experience that changes the way a person feels,” said Reeves. “You can use Tripp to select from a catalog of different feelings, like pumping you up before a workout or calming you down after work.” Tripp, based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, is working on a native VR game, or Read the full article…

AR/VR Weekly: One mega-corp to rule them all

Amazon. Apple. Google. Microsoft. These four corporations, our Chris O’Brien writes, are fighting for one thing: Controlling how we interact with tech, in every single way. Google just gobbled up HTC’s phone division. Apple’s iOS 11 and ARKit have brought augmented reality to millions of phones, and an AR-enabled game has already hit the top spot in the free-to-play listings. Microsoft is working on combining AR and VR into mixed reality, and Amazon wants you to use its Echo devices to order it all with just the sound of your voice. Sounds a bit scary, eh? I worry where AR and VR are going to fit into this … and if Apple will come out the winner here. Apple’s release of High Sierra, its latest (and free) Mac OS software update, adds virtual reality apps to its ecosystem thanks to Metal 2. Now, remember, you need some GPU heft to run VR games and Read the full article…

How an Australian VR gaming studio scored a gig with Boeing to train astronauts

For Australian game studio Opaque Space, you could say life has been imitating art recently. The Melbourne-based studio is behind Earthlight, a virtual reality game that is possibly the closest you can get to walking in space without being there, which has gotten plenty of attention from NASA. SEE ALSO: Elon Musk will give a big SpaceX talk about Mars this week. Here’s what we know Now Boeing has hired Opaque Space to help with future capabilities on a VR training system the aerospace company has developed for its forthcoming CST-100 Starliner capsule.  The spacecraft’s primary function is to transport NASA astronauts and other crew members to and from the International Space Station. Read more… More about Tech, Gaming, Space, Australia, and Science Technorati Tags: immersive, mixed reality, mr, virtual reality, vr Read the full article…

How AR development skills transfer from entertainment to the enterprise

GUEST: Augmented reality technology has emerged as a valuable tool in the enterprise, delivering actionable instructions, data and other information directly to workers via wearables devices. In fact, some of today’s largest manufacturers, like Boeing and GE, are using AR on smart glasses to improve productivity, quality and safety as they build aircraft and wind turbines. Although the number of gaming industry jobs has declined over the last two years, software developer jobs are expected to grow 17 percent by 2024, faster than most other occupations. While a career in enterprise software development may not sound very sexy — especially to young job seekers — it can be just as exciting as the entertainment and consumer tech realms, especially in the field of AR technology. Fortunately, developing AR software for industrial applications requires many of the same skills and considerations as designing for the consumer electronics industries, allowing engineers to Read the full article…

Thrustmaster launches $80 flight stick for Xbox One and PC

You can’t have idle hands if you keep them on your throttle and stick, and Thrustmaster wants to keep the devil away from your mitts if you play games on PC or Xbox One. The peripheral maker is launching the T.Flight Hotas One on October 7 for $80, and it is the first HOTAS (hands on throttle and stick) controller that works with Microsoft’s home console. You can of course also use it with Windows 7, 8, or 10. That’s right, Vista — get the hell outta here! Not a ton of Xbox One games are compatible with the T.Flight, but Thrustmaster is promising full compatibility out of the box with the space sim Elite Dangerous. Developer Frontier worked with Thurstmaster to ensure the joystick will immediately function with Elite Dangerous as part of a patch that rolled out on Xbox One today. Thrustmaster also partnered with Microsoft to design Read the full article…

Mixed reality and blockchain can work together, from retail to gaming

GUEST: AR and VR will take a few years to become mainstream. The same is true for blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency. Blockchain allows to securely exchange goods and services online independently of banks and credit card companies, and AR/VR are great visualization tools. Can the integration of two speed up the mass adoption of both? There are scenarios to combine them — let’s explore a few. New monetization models Blockchain, with its emphasis on security, decentralization, personal agency, and independence, can help small businesses and freelance content creators to keep control over production and revenue. How could a cryptocurrency-enabled system for independent businesses look like? Firstly, VR technology can enable people to access live performance — music, theatre, etc. — from the comfort of their homes and at an accessible price. Performers could connect to an online marketplace and have a control over access and pricing for their content. Read the full article…

It: Float creator shares how to make a movie VR blockbuster

GUEST: As a filmmaker and movie aficionado, watching viewers delight in VR entertainment as enthusiastically as they do hit movies is rewarding, which makes it an honor to create virtual reality experiences for beloved movie franchises. But creating VR that will pass muster with passionate fans of a blockbuster franchise is not an easy undertaking. In order to succeed with VR projects for the major studios, creators have to understand some critical rules of the game. Being associated with a revered movie franchise doesn’t guarantee the success of these experiences. Hard work goes into crafting gripping virtual reality experiences that best represent the films that inspired them and attract even more fans to the box office. It also helps to have forward thinking creative executives at the studio that are willing to take risks on this emerging technology. Working on virtual reality experiences for hit movies, such as Warner Bros. Read the full article…

Oculus now has a refund policy for the Rift and Gear VR

Oculus announced a new refund policy for games and apps purchased on either the Rift headset or the Samsung Galaxy Gear VR. Like the price cut over the summer, the policy is likely part of a strategy to lower the barrier of entry for folks who are new to virtual reality. By offering refunds, people might be more willing to give new titles a try. The policy differs for the two platforms. On the Rift, titles are eligible for refunds within 14 days of purchase and less than two hours of playtime, and on the Gear VR, they’re eligible within three days of purchase and less than 30 minutes of playtime. According to Oculus’s support page, you can go to Settings then Account, and request refunds through your Purchase History. If you want a refund but you don’t meet the policy’s listed requirements, you can still contact Oculus Support and manually Read the full article…