Facebook Unveils Plan to Share Revenue with Video Creators

Facebook, which just achieved a milestone of more than a billion daily users, has announced plans to share revenue with Facebook video content owners and launch a news app. The moves are aimed at keeping users on the platform as long as possible, and its competitors have the same goal in mind: Apple has its newsreader Apple News, partnering with The New York Times; Twitter Moments links tweets in a traditional story format; and Snapchat Discover app showcases stories from publishers including CNN, Vice, People and National Geographic. Continue reading Facebook Unveils Plan to Share Revenue with Video Creators

Digital Hollywood Panel Discusses Interfaces and Future of VR

An all-star panel of futurists and inventors featuring John Underkoffler, CEO & chief scientist, Oblong Industries; Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity and founder of virtual world “Second Life;” Berkeley academic Jack McCauley, founder & president of McCauley Labs and a co-founder and chief engineer of Oculus; and Richard Marks, director of PlayStation Magic Lab looked above and beyond the introduction of VR to articulate an array of visions and technical challenges yet to be mastered. The panel took place at Digital Hollywood and was moderated by ETC project manager Philip Lelyveld. Continue reading Digital Hollywood Panel Discusses Interfaces and Future of VR

SMPTE 2015: VR, AR Open Annual TV/Film Engineering Show

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers opened its annual conference in Hollywood with a day devoted to the technical and artistic challenges of virtual reality and augmented reality, otherwise known as mixed reality. AMD lead architect for VR and advanced rendering Layla Mah gave the keynote address, detailing the technical parameters that will allow VR to become a commercial reality: an untethered device capable of one petaflop (a quadrillion floating point operations per second) among other criteria. Continue reading SMPTE 2015: VR, AR Open Annual TV/Film Engineering Show

Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

For box-office hit “The Martian,” 20th Century Fox and its Fox Innovation Lab developed a VR experience that will debut as a commercial release in the first half of 2016. The VR experience relies on Oculus headsets but will also be available with other devices. The experience is based on the lead character of the movie, putting viewers into the challenges faced by astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. Filmmaker Robert Stromberg said the “thrilling” experience aims to provoke a wide range of emotions including anxiety and success. Continue reading Fox Innovation Lab to Debut Virtual Reality with ‘The Martian”

Magic Leap Demonstrates Its Augmented Reality Technology

Magic Leap, the Florida-based company that raised $542 million from Google, Qualcomm and others last year, demonstrated how it plans to marry the real world with virtual, computer-generated content. Magic Leap demonstrated its technology at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive conference in Laguna Beach, California with a concept video that shows the user interacting with a tiny robot gimbal hiding and ducking behind the legs of a real table. The user also brought up a virtual solar system in the real office environment. Continue reading Magic Leap Demonstrates Its Augmented Reality Technology

Digital Hollywood: Reality Lab Demonstrates Live VR Broadcast

Reality Lab gave a technology demonstration of Quantum Leap, the code name for a VR recording device with 16 cameras and proprietary technology that enables it to render real-time video instantly, without post production, on a Samsung Gear VR running Oculus Connect software. Company founder Halsey Minor calls Quantum Leap, which was featured at a Digital Hollywood luncheon, capable of “the first live VR broadcast.” Minor reports that his company plans a music concert VR shoot in the next six months. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: Reality Lab Demonstrates Live VR Broadcast

Digital Hollywood: VR/AR Today and Five Years In the Future

VR experts at a Digital Hollywood panel described the challenges with virtual reality today and predicted how it’ll progress in the next five years. Moderated by iCinema Ventures founder Bruce Greenberg, the panelists were upbeat about future prospects at the same time they warned of the pitfalls, including how VR ubiquity could lessen its value. The conversation eventually focused on the tensions between hardware manufacturers enabling the VR experience and content creators working within technical limitations. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: VR/AR Today and Five Years In the Future

Digital Hollywood: VR for Live Events in Music, News, Sports

Virtual reality for live events is a reality, not just for music, news and sports but red carpet events, revealed Variety editor David S. Cohen, who hosted one covering the debut of “Guardians of the Galaxy” recently. He noted the difference between the three genres under consideration. “Sports are a live play. News is perishable but doesn’t always have to be live. Music is more evergreen.” At Digital Hollywood, experts shared the most exciting opportunities and most concerning pitfalls of VR content. Continue reading Digital Hollywood: VR for Live Events in Music, News, Sports

GoPro and USC Ink Deal to Use Cameras for Film, Games, VR

In GoPro’s first ever deal with an educational institution, the camera company and USC School of Cinematic Arts announced that USC students will receive help to distribute, monetize and promote content created with GoPro camera equipment. As part of the deal, GoPro will donate 150 cameras and accessories, and GoPro camera technology will be incorporated into the school’s filmmaking curriculum — including education, workshops and one-on-one tutoring — this fall. The cameras will also be used for gaming and VR. Continue reading GoPro and USC Ink Deal to Use Cameras for Film, Games, VR

DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

DirecTV just released its first virtual reality app, BKB VR, which stands for Big Knockout Boxing. Not for use with live games, BKB VR will display the event held on June 27 at Las Vegas’s Mandalay Bay, which was recorded in 360-degree video. Available for Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR headsets, BKB VR can be downloaded on Google Play for Android phones and the App Store for iPhones. The fight footage is also available via Samsung’s Milk VR service and the Oculus Store. Continue reading DirecTV Launches First VR App to Promote Big Knockout Boxing

Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Vrse, a virtual reality content company headquartered in Los Angeles, recently brought on former Rdio chief executive Drew Larner as its chief operating officer. The company has also drawn investment from Andreessen Horowitz, Live Nation, Vice Media and Annapurna Pictures. It’s all about creating content that goes beyond gaming, notes chief executive Chris Milk. To that end, the company plans to produce its own content, through Vrse Works, and distribute its own and others’ through the Vrse app for VR headsets. Continue reading Vrse Envisions a Cinematic Future for Virtual Reality Content

Hardware Partners to Introduce “Oculus Ready” Certified PCs

Oculus is joining with a number of hardware partners — including Alienware, AMD, Asus, Dell, Intel and Nvidia — to introduce “Oculus Ready” PC systems optimized for the Rift. Starting at price points under $1,000, PCs featuring the certification are expected to hit the market next year and could be a major step toward the consumer adoption of virtual reality. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe previously hinted that a complete Rift system, including a PC, would run about $1,500. Founder Palmer Luckey recently added that the Rift headset alone will cost more than the $350 developer kit. Continue reading Hardware Partners to Introduce “Oculus Ready” Certified PCs

New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

The FLYBi automates many of the operational tasks that often frustrate drone users. In addition to standard features (remote control, companion app, 12MP camera, 1080p video, on-board Wi-Fi), the FLYBi has the ability to take off, hover, land — even return and change batteries — with little or no interaction by the pilot. VR goggles aid in operation, thanks to a camera unit installed on a gimbal and connected to the head-tracking unit. The FLYBi also features a 1.8-inch display with anti-glare glass and a wrist-worn remote, one of the first wearable drone controllers. Continue reading New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

Oculus Conference Puts Spotlight on Virtual Reality Content

At the Oculus Connect 2 developers conference, the company, now a unit of Facebook, focused on its efforts to increase the amount of content available for VR headsets, several of which are slated for launch in early 2016. That’s because a dearth of content is seen as a stumbling block to consumer adoption of VR when it becomes widely available. The conference unveiled newly inked deals for streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix, the popular “Minecraft” game and movies including “The Hunger Game” series. Continue reading Oculus Conference Puts Spotlight on Virtual Reality Content

Consumer Edition of Samsung Gear VR to Arrive Black Friday

During Oculus Connect in Hollywood yesterday, Facebook’s virtual reality developer conference, Samsung SVP Peter Koo announced that the new Gear VR headset co-developed by Oculus and Samsung will ship in November, in time for Black Friday, for $99. Consumers can expect a lighter, more comfortable Samsung Gear VR that is compatible with smartphones including the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. The previous $200 version for developers was only compatible with the Note 4 and Galaxy S6. Continue reading Consumer Edition of Samsung Gear VR to Arrive Black Friday

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