Theme Parks Look to Game IPs for New VR, AR Experiences

Theme parks have a history of adding mobile games and apps such as “Club Penguin Island” and “Disney Magic Kingdom” to allow visitors to continue their experiences outside the park and encourage return visits. Now, augmented reality and virtual reality are opening the door to other game experiences that may make a transition from peoples’ homes into shared immersive environments in the theme park. Currently, VR gaming, with spending set to exceed $7 billion in 2018, is the most popular use case for the new technology. Continue reading Theme Parks Look to Game IPs for New VR, AR Experiences

Reviews: With Touch Controller, Oculus Rift Is Now Complete

After months of anticipation, Oculus finally rolled out its Touch controller — years after PlayStation unveiled its Move controllers in 2010, and even after Vive began shipping two motion controllers. But reviewers who’ve gotten their hands on the Touch are giving it a thumbs-up, saying that its addition now “completes” the promise of the Rift VR headset for a sophisticated and satisfying VR experience. Among Touch’s features is that it tracks the positions of the user’s hand in 3D space. Continue reading Reviews: With Touch Controller, Oculus Rift Is Now Complete

Google Expands Access to its Educational VR Field Trip App

Google has released a beta Android app for its Google Expeditions Pioneer Program that allows educators to bring their students on a virtual reality field trip. The VR content includes immersive educational experiences in locations such as Machu Picchu, Mars, the Great Barrier Reef and Buckingham Palace. Students use Google Cardboard headsets to view the content while the teacher can use a tablet to guide their students through the location and monitor where each student is looking. Continue reading Google Expands Access to its Educational VR Field Trip App

New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

The Alton Towers theme park in the United Kingdom will open a new attraction this spring that combines the movement of a roller coaster and the immersive experience of a VR headset. The ride is called Galactica and it is designed to make riders feel like astronauts. People will climb into the seats, put on the headset, and go on a space journey complete with real g-forces and visuals that exaggerate the movement of the coaster. The “world’s first virtual reality roller coaster” will open in April. Continue reading New Roller Coaster at UK Theme Park Utilizes VR Headset

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Industrial Light & Magic Creates VR/AR Projects in ILMxLAB

Earlier this summer, we reported that Industrial Light & Magic was launching its new ILMxLAB division to develop virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for movie fans. The experimental division has now shown off three of its VR and AR proof of concept projects. In addition, ILMxLAB houses a team from Walt Disney Imagineering that’s working on futuristic Disneyland attractions. None of it would be possible without ILM’s unique blend of creative staff, cutting edge technology and years of expertise. Continue reading Industrial Light & Magic Creates VR/AR Projects in ILMxLAB

Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

Microsoft demonstrated the practicality of its HoloLens augmented reality technology at last week’s Microsoft BUILD developers conference. While it may not be as exciting as stepping into an immersive experience with virtual reality, the technology opens the door for some compelling practical applications, whether that involves educating medical students or building virtual models of rocket ships. Possibilities for business and the home is what may help augmented reality catch on and improve people’s lives. Continue reading Microsoft’s HoloLens AR Technology Designed for Productivity

Hollywood Veterans Team Up for New Virtual Reality Projects

With several consumer virtual reality headsets expected to hit the market this year, studios are scrambling to develop compelling VR content designed for the new devices. Virtual Reality Co. is a firm started by Hollywood players that has been working with notable filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott to bring their cinematic skills to the VR space. These directors are eager to explore the new format, but are weary of the pitfalls that plagued 3D technology. Continue reading Hollywood Veterans Team Up for New Virtual Reality Projects

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