IDC Projects Wearables Market to Grow 173 Percent This Year

According to IDC, 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped this year. The global forecast represents an increase of 173.3 percent over 2014. Shipments are expected to experience a 42.6 percent compound annual growth rate the next several years, reaching 155.7 million units in 2019. The demand for sub-$100 wearables from vendors such as Fitbit and Xiaomi that do not require third party apps has been particularly strong. “We expect smart wearables, those capable of running third party apps, to take the lead in 2016,” said analyst Jitesh Ubrani. Continue reading IDC Projects Wearables Market to Grow 173 Percent This Year

New ILM Team Developing Immersive VR and AR Experiences

Industrial Light & Magic has created a new division with a focus on developing virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for movie fans. ILMxLAB is planning to debut an entertainment experience based on “Star Wars” later this year. It has been working on technology for the iPad and Oculus Rift that would allow consumers to enter their favorite movie scenes and navigate through them. ILMxLAB execs indicate that the technology could launch when the J.J. Abrams-helmed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is released in mid-December. Continue reading New ILM Team Developing Immersive VR and AR Experiences

E3 Expected to Focus on AR, VR, Online, Mobile and Wearables

The 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo opens it doors in Los Angeles today following a series of press conferences from major players such as Bethesda, EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft. This year we expect to see a new emphasis on virtual and augmented reality, wearable devices, online gaming and mobile apps. At last year’s show, only six companies were dedicated to VR; this week, there will be 27. Also, 74 companies touting mobile and online gaming products will be in attendance. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile revenue is expected to nearly double to $22 billion this year. Continue reading E3 Expected to Focus on AR, VR, Online, Mobile and Wearables

Augmented Reality on Track to Transform Our Everyday Lives

Augmented reality systems with technology that overlays digital interfaces onto the physical world may eventually edge out virtual reality and significantly impact human perception. While VR products such as Oculus Rift, Gear VR and HTC’s Vive get closer to launch, timelines for augmented reality devices such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Google-backed Magic Leap remain vague. However, some believe AR is more likely to become integrated into our everyday activities and subsequently affect the way we interact, work and communicate. Continue reading Augmented Reality on Track to Transform Our Everyday Lives

AR/VR Leaders Imagine the Future at Augmented World Expo

More than 3,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors gathered in Santa Clara this week for the Augmented World Expo, now in its sixth year. The event, which has grown ten-fold since its inception, featured demos involving VR headsets, enhanced glasses, product-scanning apps and brain-scanning headbands. According to a recent Digi-Capital report, augmented and virtual reality is projected to reach $150 billion in revenue by 2020 (when AR is expected to dominate 80 percent of the market). AWE founder Ori Inbar believes “2016 will be the year of shakeups and mergers.” Continue reading AR/VR Leaders Imagine the Future at Augmented World Expo

Oculus Reveals PC Specs for Upcoming Launch of Rift Headset

Oculus is getting ready for the release of its long-awaited Oculus Rift VR headset with recommendations for PC specs and a special event on June 11. The company recommends a powerful GPU to handle rendering. The Rift will initially require a desktop PC running Windows 7 SP1 or newer, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock through a direct output architecture. Meanwhile, Oculus has halted work on Mac and Linux support while it readies the PC software for launch. Continue reading Oculus Reveals PC Specs for Upcoming Launch of Rift Headset

Oculus Rift VR Headsets Will Begin Shipping Early Next Year

Oculus VR announced yesterday that the company plans to ship its Oculus Rift headset by Q1 2016. Pricing and tech details have yet to be released, but consumers will be able to place pre-orders during the 2015 holidays. The virtual reality device, which has only been available for developers thus far, will need to be used with a PC. Both Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, and Facebook, which acquired the company last year, expected to launch the headset earlier. However, the team has faced challenges regarding some of the system’s requirements. Continue reading Oculus Rift VR Headsets Will Begin Shipping Early Next Year

NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

San Francisco-based VideoStitch is at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this week demonstrating its post-production and live streaming software for virtual reality and 360-degree video. The company has algorithms for live streaming and batch multi-camera VR rig stitching. Its software runs on Nvidia cards that work on both Macs and PCs. VideoStitch’s solution is being used by more than 1,000 production teams creating VR experiences for clients including Red Bull, Facebook, BAE Systems, ESPN, and Legendary Pictures. Continue reading NAB 2015: VideoStitch Demos Solutions for Live VR Production

Oculus Rift VR Headset Expected to Hit the Market This Year

After acquiring virtual reality startup Oculus for $2 billion last year, Facebook will finally release the much anticipated Oculus Rift VR headset. Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering for Facebook announced that the company would start shipping the device this year. The consumer release of the Gear VR, also by Oculus, is also scheduled for this fall. Facebook’s next challenge is to make VR more social. It recently introduced 360-degree spherical videos for its social network’s News Feeds. Continue reading Oculus Rift VR Headset Expected to Hit the Market This Year

No Headset Needed to Watch 360-Degree Video via Facebook

Facebook has introduced a new technology that will someday allow Facebook users to explore immersive, 360-degree videos from their News Feeds. The company unveiled the technology at its annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco this week. The content is created with a 24-camera rig, and it can be viewed in a browser or a smartphone screen without a headset. Facebook envisions users will also use an Oculus Rift headset to view the 360-degree video in the future. Continue reading No Headset Needed to Watch 360-Degree Video via Facebook

Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

We recently reported that HTC partnered with Seattle-based gaming company Valve to develop Vive, a new VR headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus. Valve is the developer behind Steam, the social platform for distributing and managing games. The Vive headset was unveiled at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and is already generating positive reviews for its tech advances, including low latency and a fast refresh rate that reduces the incidence of “Sim Sickness.” Continue reading Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Beau Cronin, co-founder of Prior Knowledge and current senior manager of predictive products at Salesforce, recognizes that VR is in the process of transforming from a specialty technology where innovation is driven by small groups of experts, to a general-purpose technology that will tap into a huge, broader market of users and hackers. In a recent article, he postulates that VR today is where the Internet was in 1993, just before Netscape. At that time there was a re-evaluation of all the rules, often done by outsiders. Continue reading Virtual Reality Poised to ‘Cross the Chasm’ to the Wider World

Avegant’s Upcoming Glyph Headset Plays Music, Movies and VR

The most recent prototype of Avegant’s Glyph video headset could possibly illustrate what the future of media consumption will look like. The headset allows users to plug in any HDMI video source to watch movies or play video games. The image is crisp because of a new micromirror projection technique that eliminates the problem of seeing individual pixels. Glyph also has a head-tracking feature so that users can immerse themselves in 360-degree video, but the real world is still visible above or below the eye line. Continue reading Avegant’s Upcoming Glyph Headset Plays Music, Movies and VR

Project Morpheus Gets Bigger Screen and Impressive New Specs

At this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony announced that its PlayStation-powered Project Morpheus VR headset has some new specs. The screen resolution has been improved to 1,920 x RGB x 1,080 and its refresh rate has been doubled to 120Hz. Project Morpheus now features a new 5.7-inch screen with nearly 100-degree field of view, and touts lower latency, at under 18 milliseconds. While no price has been revealed, the company says it plans to launch the device by the first half of next year. Continue reading Project Morpheus Gets Bigger Screen and Impressive New Specs

HTC and Valve Join Forces to Develop New Vive VR Headset

HTC is partnering with gaming company Valve to develop the HTC Vive, a virtual reality headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift. HTC claims that the HTC Vive will deliver high-quality graphics, video at 90 frames per second and remarkable audio quality to provide an unparalleled VR experience. The device also offers users the unique ability to touch those objects projected around them in augmented space. The companies plan to roll out a consumer version of the HTC Vive by the end of this year. Continue reading HTC and Valve Join Forces to Develop New Vive VR Headset

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