AWE 2016 Addresses Rapidly Evolving VR and AR Ecosystem

This year’s Augmented World Expo (AWE) in Santa Clara was equal parts augmented and virtual reality. Curtis Hickman of The VOID presented some compelling instances in which physical and psychological misdirection are effective tools for the VR experience. Meta CEO Meron Gribetz demonstrated the sub-millimeter hand tracking accuracy of his company’s AR HMD. Jared Finder provided an update on the core tech components of Google’s Project Tango. Baobab Studios CEO Maureen Fan discussed the importance of image composition and story beats in VR. Highlights from the show floor included the latest ODG AR glasses and waveguide AR displays from Epson and Lumus. Continue reading AWE 2016 Addresses Rapidly Evolving VR and AR Ecosystem

Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

Several augmented reality devices debuted at CES this week, but Epson’s Moverio BT-200 offers one of the more complete experiences to-date. The glasses run Android 4.0 from a wired smartphone-like controller and provide a full-color image in the center of the user’s field of view. Sensors for the device include a camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone and compass. The product is not consumer ready, but priced at less than half that of Google Glass ($699.99), it is a promising platform for developers to build an app library for AR. Continue reading Epson Moverio BT-200 Making Strides Toward Immersive AR

Game Companies Announce the Immersive Technology Alliance

At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, a collection of tech companies and organizations announced the formation of the non-profit Immersive Technology Alliance (formerly S3DGA), which plans to develop games involving augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D and gesture controls. Members include Avegant, Big Blue Bubble, Electronic Arts, Epson, GameFace Labs, Technical Illusions and others. Earlier reports that Oculus VR is involved in the consortium turned out to be inaccurate. Continue reading Game Companies Announce the Immersive Technology Alliance

Epson Moverio: First See-Through 3D Head-Mounted Display

  • Epson Japan announced the Moverio this week, a see-through 3D head-mounted display that the company claims is the first of its kind.
  • “Think of it as a mix of NEC’s transparent HMD Tele Scouter and Sony’s cool 3D OLED head mounted display HMZ-T1, powered by Android OS,” reports TechCrunch.
  • Epson’s Moverio is lower resolution than the Sony HMD, but at 160g is much lighter in weight.
  • “The Moverio supports MPEG-4/MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video files, including side-by-side 3D images on its 0.52-inch displays with 960×540 resolution,” indicates the post. “It handles AAC and MP3 audio files, too.”
  • The HMD is expected to hit Japanese stores later this month at a price equivalent to $770.

Projector News: Are We Close to Affordable 4K Devices for the Home?

  • ETCentric contributors have recently submitted a number of interesting announcements related to high-end projectors for the home. The following are a few highlights:
  • Sony announced its VPL-VW1000ES with 4K resolution, 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness that allows it to project on screen sizes up to 200-inches. “During the presentation Sony showed a 4K clip from its upcoming ‘Spiderman’ flick on a VPL-VW1000ES that looked every bit as beautiful as you might imagine,” reports Engadget. Price is rumored to be less than $25,000.
  • JVC is introducing a new line of home theater projectors that features e-Shift technology, which takes 2D HD content and upconverts and scales to a 4K signal (3840 x 2160) to display at “4K precision,” twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of Full HD. The projectors are also 3D-enabled with a 2D-to-3D converter derived from JVC’s professional 2D-to-3D converter and includes user adjustments for 3D depth and subtitle geometry correction. While Sony indicated its projector would be available for less than $25,000, Engadget reports “the top of the line JVC has an MSRP of just $12k, while the cheaper model will be $7,999 when they all ship in November.”
  • Epson’s new home theater projectors feature full HD, active shutter 3D, with 1080p resolution and Bright 3D Drive Technology, which drives the panels at 480Hz, essentially doubling the image refresh rate of 240Hz panels, up to 200,000:1 contrast ratio, up to 2,400 lumens of color and white light output — and enable viewing on larger screens and in a range of ambient light conditions. “The primary difference between the $4,000 6010 and $3,000 5010 (the wireless HD-equipped 5010e will run about $3,500) is the included accessories and options: like ceiling mounts, 3D glasses and additional lens modes,” reports Engadget. “The budget 3010 ($1,600) and 3010e ($1,800) models sport a more modest 40,000:1 contrast ratio and 2,200 lumen rating, but do have a pair of built-in 10W speakers.”
  • Panasonic’s new PT-AR100U home theater projector offers 1080p resolution, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, and 2,800 lumens of brightness. “Panasonic even aims to make the PT-AR100U less fiddly than a typical projector, with a Light Harmonizer feature that senses ambient lighting and color and automatically adjusts the projector’s white balance, gamma, and sharpness to compensate,” indicates Digital Trends. Expect the projector to be available in October for under $2,000.