Sprint Vector, dubbed an adrenaline platformer, appears to have solved one of the issues that has been plaguing virtual reality (VR) experiences: movement. Until now, running in VR often produced disorientation and nausea. To combat this issue, many current experiences are designed with the user in a constant sitting position, or possessing limited means to “teleport” around an environment. Sprint Vector takes a different approach:
Industrial Training International (ITI), along with software developer Serious Labs, has created the virtual reality (VR) mobile crane simulator to re-invent industrial training. The companies are working on a hardware-based system that will be available in two versions, desktop and motion-base. Both configurations use an oculus rift headset, a laptop, and two anchored controllers (a total of four joysticks) to recreate the training experience. For example, it can be used to recreate the operation of a massive construction crane.
Conference organizer John Werner and Bob Metcalfe on stage
On January 17 and 18, the inaugural AR in Action conference was held at MIT Media Labs in Cambridge MA. It brought together a wide range of speakers as well as some heavy-hitters in the technical industry to discuss their thoughts on augmented reality (AR) and how it is going to change our lives in the near future. They included Bob Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, Alan Kay, a pioneer in object oriented programming and the graphical user interface, and Steve Mann, considered the father of wearable computing. The conference included 32 panel discussions (with 127 panelists), 28 stage demos, 42 floor demos, and 2 stage performances.
Many virtual reality (VR) innovations debuted at CES 2017, but HTC’s new Vive accessory, the Vive Tracker, warrants special attention. The HTC Vive Tracker is a tool that will enable motion tracking with virtually any external controller. Currently, the Vive operates through two included wand controllers that come with the headset. The Tracker will expand this. Demos at CES included a rifle, a firehose, and a baseball bat. This wide range showcases the potential of applications that Tracker can unlock in VR.
At CES, InfoTrends noted the large size of the Tracker. It is unknown if HTC plans to shrink down the device in future versions.
Beijing-based technology company, LYRobotix is bringing a new system to mobile virtual reality (VR) called Nolo VR. Nolo VR utilizes position-based tracking to monitor a user’s movement, much in the same way as Lighthouse does for the HTC Vive (or Guardian for Oculus Rift). Nolo VR plans to add motion control to the mobile VR experience, through its two palm-fitting wand-shaped controllers (typical system configuration shown in Figure below). In addition to improving mobile VR, LYRobotix is partnering with Riftcat’s VRidge software to enable remote play of Steam (Valve’s PC software vendor) VR’s library on a mobile headset.
Silicon Valley-based virtual reality (VR) company FOVE, Inc. is set to brings its first headset to the developer market in January 2017. Simply called FOVE (or FOVE 0 for the developer kit), this will be the first computer VR head mounted display (HMD) to feature eye tracking software.
For the last several years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to take a look back on what features and technologies vendors have chosen to feature in their products.
57 models were introduced between January and December of 2016. Although 57 models is a respectable number, it is a marked drop compared to the 72 models introduced in 2015 and significantly fewer than 2014 when 98 models hit the U.S. market. (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker**). Although there were fewer models released this year, there is no shortage of cameras for those looking to buy or upgrade.
We have broken out the introductions by popular features and functions, including Wi-Fi connectivity and mirrorless. Read more »
LeEco is already established in China, but is bringing its products to North America for the first time, with what it hopes to be market disruptive pricing. In November, a pair of new smartphones (Ecophones) were introduced by LeEco, the Le Pro3 and Le S3. Read more »
On October 13th, Sony will release the PlayStation VR (PSVR) virtual reality (VR) headset for the PlayStation 4 (PS4). This event will mark the first time that a major video game console company has released an official VR headset for its console system. PSVR will be the first of its kind, and its success could potentially alter the nature of the video game industry.
There haven’t been that many significant entries into the photo print market over the last several years, so it was especially notable when Amazon announced its AmazonPrints service on September 21st, which is available to Amazon Prime and Amazon Drive customers. The service is now offering photo prints in 4” x 6” ($0.09), 5” x 7” ($0.58) and 8” x 10” ($1.79) sizes, as well as two different types of photo books. AmazonPrints 8” x 11” hardcover photo book with glossy pages starts at $19.99, and an 8” x 11” premium layflat hardcover book with matte paper starts at $44.99. According to the AmazonPrints website, stationery and calendars are coming soon.