Microsoft Unveils New Devices with Emphasis on Windows 10

During a product unveiling in New York last week, Microsoft introduced new devices including a Surface Book laptop, the company’s latest Surface Pro tablet, big-screen Lumia smartphones that plug into displays for PC capabilities, and a $249 wearable fitness band. The press event also showcased Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset. While a focus on CE devices represents a shift for the software giant, hardware serves an integral role in a new corporate strategy that revolves around the Windows 10 operating system, designed to run on a variety of different devices. Continue reading Microsoft Unveils New Devices with Emphasis on Windows 10

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

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

Microsoft Details How to Shoot for its HoloLens AR Headset

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset allows video — which can be streamed over the Internet — to be viewed from any angle, combining the real world with computer-generated imagery. Whereas a digital object can be rendered in 3D and easily shown from any angle, live action isn’t so accommodating. To that end, the Silicon Valley company just came out with a document giving specific directions on how to capture and handle live action footage for use with its AR headset.

Continue reading Microsoft Details How to Shoot for its HoloLens AR Headset

Microsoft: Mixed Reality is Future of Immersive Entertainment

Microsoft used its E3 media event last week in Los Angeles to present its vision of the future of immersive entertainment with a “mixed reality” demonstration of the popular video game “Minecraft” seen through its HoloLens headset. The demonstration at the Shrine Auditorium exhibition hall lasted only a few minutes but its impact continues to resonate. Although Microsoft has provided few detailed plans, its early demos and comments made at E3 and other conferences suggest a future that is something more than a virtual or augmented reality. Continue reading Microsoft: Mixed Reality is Future of Immersive Entertainment

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

FOVE, a VR Headset with Eye-Tracking, Thrives on Kickstarter

FOVE, which claims to be the only virtual reality headset with built-in eye-tracking, has surpassed its Kickstarter goal by nearly $100,000 with 37 days left to go in the campaign. A $399 donation awards backers with a headset and development kit, and FOVE plans to deliver both by May 2016. Eye-tracking not only enables users to play games by aiming their eyes, it opens the door to foveated rendering, which reduces the computational demands on real-time processing and provides contextual feedback, avatar eye-mapping, and more. Continue reading FOVE, a VR Headset with Eye-Tracking, Thrives on Kickstarter

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

Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

Conde Nast is attempting to appeal to the online audience that does not read the company’s lifestyle magazine, so it will start expanding its online video offerings. The Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) division will produce two original scripted virtual reality series with Jaunt VR, which recently announced its planned LA studio. These new series will be released on The Scene, Conde Nast’s online video platform. CNE plans to make 2,500 videos for The Scene in the next year with the help of new content partners. Continue reading Conde Nast Plans Scripted VR Series to Attract New Audience

MergeVR to Ship VR Headset and Controller by Holiday Season

Texas-based startup MergeVR plans to launch a $129 virtual reality headset this fall that is compatible with Android and iOS devices. While Oculus VR and Samsung have partnered on the mobile Gear VR headset, it is limited to Samsung phones and no launch date for a consumer version has been announced. MergeVR CEO Franklin Lyons explains that his company’s headset works with a range of modern smartphones. “We also are the first in the industry to have a wireless motion controller built to work with mobile VR apps,” he says. Continue reading MergeVR to Ship VR Headset and Controller by Holiday Season

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

New Facebook App Intros Collaborative Video and Ad Potential

Facebook recently launched an app called Riff that enables users to create collaborative videos with their network of friends. Each finished project is a composition of short clips that are added to the video as it gets shared among friends — and friends of friends — on social media. For Facebook, Riff is another attempt to further encourage its users to watch and share video content on its social platform as part of a larger ongoing strategy to better leverage advertising opportunities.  Continue reading New Facebook App Intros Collaborative Video and Ad Potential

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

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