In the emerging virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) space, one company’s name is continually discussed, and usually with great interest. I personally heard the name “Magic Leap” long before hearing about StarVR, the Meta 2, or even the HTC Vive. Yet while the name is everywhere, information is lacking. Going to Magic Leap’s website does not help matters. Users are treated to elaborate videos showcasing amazing demonstrations. It appears to be AR with the quality of high-end VR – yet nowhere is even a headset present.
Last March, UBM Tech expanded the virtual reality (VR) presence at its annual Game Developers Conference (GDC). The increased focus on VR turned out to be a trial run for the company. Following attendance and industry feedback, UBM Tech has decided to branch VR off into its own, dedicated conference. The first standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) has been announced for later this year.
At this year’s Electronic Arts Expo (E3), which took place in Los Angeles, California from June 12 to 16, virtual reality (VR) dominated the headlines. It can often be said that a technology is only as good as its applications. This year’s E3 was marked by the entry of major video game companies into the VR arena. Those waiting to see where the killer apps for VR would come from might have finally gotten their answers.
At the Computex 2016 trade show, recently held in Taipei, Taiwan, Microsoft unveiled ambitious new goals for its Windows Holographic operating system (OS). Windows Holographic will no longer be confined to the Microsoft Hololens. Instead, it will usher in “mixed reality,” which is defined as the combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Microsoft will accomplish this by opening Windows Holographic to the emerging VR market, allowing the OS to run on devices like the HTC Vive. This move will also allow a multitude of third-party developers to create apps for Windows Holographic. This announcement translates into a massive expansion for the developing Microsoft platform.
For those who want to experience virtual reality (VR), there are two options currently available. The first involves using a phone and a headset (the Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard). This option is freeing but limited, as the user is bound by the computing and processing power of their mobile phone. The second involves attaching a wired headset to a PC (the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). The computing “power” of this option is limited only by the user’s computer. That said, consumers opting for this option will need to forfeit their freedom by tethering their bodies to anchored PCs (breaking the VR immersion by having to constantly be aware of wires). HP plans to offer a third option, one with the power of the PC and the freedom of mobile. This option is called the Omen X VR Pack.
Google I/O 2016 – Google wasted no time starting its software-developer conference with a bang. Unveiled were several new updates, including a new version of Android, currently dubbed Android N. More impressive than even a comprehensive Android update, however, was the unveiling of Google Daydream, the company’s newest mobile virtual reality (VR) platform, which includes a new headset, controller, and app store interface.
The first quarter sales numbers are in, and Samsung has posted a 12% gain from where the company was one year ago. This comes at the same time that Apple reported its first ever decline in the sales of the iPhone. Samsung has given credit to its increased sales to the early launch of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. With the strong first quarter, the obvious question becomes: “Can Samsung continue this pace?” Read more »
The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East was held on April 22-24 in Boston, and has been growing since its inception in 2010. Initially solely focused on video gaming, the conference has expanded to include other new technologies. Virtual reality (VR) has been at PAX for at least the past three years, but always with a disclaimer: “VR is coming.” This year, the message had changed: VR is here. Read more »
On November 8, more than 1 million New York Times newspaper subscribers received an interesting gift with their Sunday paper – a Google Cardboard viewer. Google Cardboard is a simple device, made up of corrugated cardboard and a pair of plastic lenses, which turns any Apple or Android smartphone into a virtual reality (VR) viewing system.
The Augmented World Expo (AWE) was held June 8-10, in Santa Clara, California. The show organizer, AugmentedReality.org, expected more than 3,000 attendees, with just over 100 exhibitors and a series of presentations and discussions featuring more than 200 speakers and panelists.
Cameras, imaging, and display technologies are important components of many Augmented Reality (AR) applications, and we are following the AR market as part of InfoTrends’ new Imaging Innovators Service.
We were unable to make it to AWE 2015 in person, but my colleague, Ed Lee, and I were invited to teleport to the event, using a robot-like video device called a BEAM*. Read more »