News

  • Labrodex Studios Announces Launch Date for Scraper: first Strike Cyberpunk VR shooter Scraper: First Strike will be heading to HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality in November.
  • Jam Studio VR Releases Education & Healthcare Edition VR music application gets a new version devoted towards educational and therapeutic aims.
  • Virtual Cat Konrad the Kitten Gets Into the Halloween Spirit Konrad gets spooky with special Halloween event.
  • Unknightly’s New Village Level Looks Frightfully Tense
    Unknightly’s New Village Level Looks Frightfully Tense

    One of my major complaints with Unknightly, Portal Studios’ largely thrilling shot at Thief in VR, is the lack of variety in environments. Fortunately, the developer is addressing that with the launch of its next level.

    The next chapter of the stealth game, which is currently in Early Access, is set outside of the castle keep seen in the game’s first few levels. Here you venture into a village in search of a boat to stow away on. The trailer below makes it look like a frightfully tense affair.

    Overall it’s great to see Portal Studios continuing to update Unknightly with brand new content. We think the game’s genuinely exciting, even if there are a few rough edges that need to be straightened out. Hopefully the next major update might bring about some fixes to AI etc too.

    As for a release date, Portal Studios isn’t saying just yet, but it does promise it’ll be soon.

    Unknightly isn’t the only Thief wannabe in the house anymore, though. Yesterday we reported on the reveal of Rogan, a visually striking new stealth game that could give Portal Studios a run for its money.

    Tagged with: Unknightly

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    The post Unknightly’s New Village Level Looks Frightfully Tense appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Novarad AR System for HoloLens Cleared by FDA for Medical Use Novarad's OpenSight system have been 510(k) cleared for use in pre-operative planning in the US.
  • Collect Saints in AR Videogame Launched By Catholic Group Evangelical group hopes to encourage faith with AR Pokemon Go clone.
  • VR Haunted House Brings The Scares To The UK Hyper-Reality announced Halloween haunted house in Shoreditch, London.
  • Life In 360°: Probing the Sun Is it getting hot in here?
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 On PSVR With Cinematic Mode Is A Wild Ride
    Red Dead Redemption 2 On PSVR With Cinematic Mode Is A Wild Ride

    Earlier this year I wrote about breathtaking it was to don a PSVR headset and stare down massive colossi in Shadow of the Colossus when its remaster released on PS4 in February. Using Cinematic Mode, you can play it and any other non-VR PS4 game inside the headset on a massive screen that nearly encompasses your entire field of view. There is no head-tracking, it’s not 3D, and you can’t reach out and interact using your hands or controller at all — but it’s undoubtedly immersive.

    Then when you switch over and play a brand new game like Red Dead Redemption 2 using the feature and switch to first-person view, it’s so close to the real thing it feels unfair. I found myself so engrossed in Rockstar’s meticulously detailed world that I couldn’t help but turn my head side-to-side at various moments expecting my vision to follow inside the game world. If you’re confused on how Cinematic Mode works, it’s like this. Similar to using Big Screen and opting for the void environment.

    Just today we published an excerpt from an interview with Joel Breton, GM of Vive Studios, in which he discusses the success of LA Noire: The VR Case Files and he states that Rockstar, the studio behind that game, Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead Redemption, is “not done” with VR yet.

    Obviously this is far from confirmation that anything official is coming, but it got us curious. I received a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 early (you can watch my review right here) so I fired it up inside the PSVR headset and was honestly blown away by how it felt.

    The lower resolution sucks away some of the fidelity when compared to my 70-inch 4K HDR TV, but the all-encompassing immersion helps make up for it. Moments like in the GIF below feel so much more intense when you’re wearing a headset even if it isn’t actually VR:

    Anyway, maybe it’ll happen one day. We hope. What do you think? Would you play a game like Red Dead Redemption 2 in VR?

    Let us know down in the comments below! Red Dead Redemption 2 releases on PS4 and Xbox One tomorrow, October 26th, 2018.

    Tagged with: Cinematic Mode, Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2, Rockstar Games

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  • Build Weird and Wonderful Contraptions With Crazy Machines VR Today Only for PC currently, but there is a PlayStation VR version in the works.
  • Oculus Patents ‘Directional Beam’ Wireless PC VR Solution
    Oculus Patents ‘Directional Beam’ Wireless PC VR Solution

    With the release of the TPCast wireless adapter (for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive), and now the official HTC Vive Wireless Adapter, many have been wondering whether Oculus are working on a 1st party wireless solution for Rift, or whether they plan to incorporate wireless in the future version of Rift. These adapters are, however, very expensive, large, bulky, and the transmitter might have to be mounted on the wall to work well. This is because they transmit a high frequency (60 GHz) signal over a large field of view that generally requires line of sight to the headset.

    Narrow Beam Following Positional Tracking

    Late last year, Oculus filed for a patent on a technique that would have the wireless transmission system use the positional tracking data from the headset to send a relatively narrow beam to the direction of the headset, instead of all over the room. When the headset moves position, it could inform the transmitter of the new position over regular low bandwidth omnidirectional wireless (similar to Bluetooth) and then the transmitter would direct the high power beam at the new position.

    The advantage of this approach is that, because the transmitter only has to send the wireless signal to one spot in the room, less power should be needed overall. This idea could be used to lower cost in future wireless VR setups. The high power transmitters used in the Vive Wireless Adapter and TPCast greatly contribute to the $300 prices, so the need to find lower cost solutions is clear.

    The patent mentions that one of the possible protocols for the beam could be 802.11ad, otherwise known as “WiGig”. WiGig is an existing 60 GHz standard widely used for wireless displays such as wireless monitors, and is actually used in the HTC Vive Wireless Adapter.

    Fighting Occlusion With A “Relay”

    Another Oculus patent application adds a “relay” for when the HMD is occluded. Note that “console” is used in the technical sense, referring to the base transmitter connected to the PC.

    But what if the view between the transmitter is disrupted? Oculus applied for another patent for using an assisting “relay” in the room. When the view between the transmitter and headset is blocked, and therefore the signal is blocked, the transmitter would instead send its beam to the relay, which would act as repeater.

    Coming to Rift 2?

    In his “5 year’s from now” predictions made at Oculus Connect 3 in 2016, Oculus Chief Scientist Michael Abrash said that he expected to see wireless headsets “at the high end”, but that there is “no existing consumer electronics link that’s up to the task”. This may be why Oculus began researching a custom (and patented) wireless solution.

    Abrash also mentions that without foveated rendering (rendering at a low resolution everywhere except where the user’s eyes are looking), achieving wireless on PC would be very challenging. In Oculus’ foveated rendering patent, originally filed back in 2016, the company describes a display driver which can handle different resolutions for different parts of the image, noting “the devices may communicate

    The post Oculus Patents ‘Directional Beam’ Wireless PC VR Solution appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Enjoy the Sweet Delight of SteamVR Home’s Candy Emporium There's more than a few sweet treats on offer.
  • Oculus Teases Positionally Aware TimeWarp for Quest
    Oculus Teases Positionally Aware TimeWarp for Quest

    Maintaining full framerate in VR is so crucial that VR companies have developed special driver-level techniques to compensate when frames are dropped. On Rift, Oculus uses a technology called Asynchronous SpaceWarp (ASW), which, when framerate isn’t being met, forces the app to drop to half framerate and fills in every 2nd frame with a synthetic one extrapolated from the previous. Valve and Microsoft also have similar technologies for their respective Steam and Windows platforms.

    Where this technology would be even more useful, however, is on mobile, where due to the much lower compute power it is much harder to maintain framerate. This would be especially useful for the upcoming Oculus Quest all-in-one VR system, where the focus is games, and which Oculus is trying to encourage developers to port their PC VR games to. The Oculus Mobile (Gear VR, Go, and Quest) runtime already performs rotational reprojection (called “Asynchronous TimeWarp” / ATW), but this ignores positional head movement.

    At Oculus Connect 5, engineer Jian Zhang discussed the limits of rotational-only reprojection in a 6DoF environment like Quest, noting that it leads to positional tracking judder from the incorrect projection. He then spoke of an experimental fix in the works called ‘Motion Reprojection’, which would use the depth buffer submitted by the app each frame in order to more accurately reproject the view with respect to the user’s head position.

    Essentially, if a frame is dropped, the Quest’s software would generate a synthetic alternative frame by skewing the image in the rotational direction (which Go and Gear VR already do), and now positional direction, that the headset moved. Having the depth information from the scene allows this new positional reprojection.

    Like ASW 2.0 on Rift, ‘Depth Reprojection’ on Quest would rely on apps submitting their depth buffer each frame

    This approach would, however, not be fully equivalent to ASW on PC. Whereas ASW also takes the animation and motion of objects in the scene into account and extrapolates them (by reading the color buffer), ‘Depth Reprojection’ would only be making head tracking feel smooth – objects in the scene would still have animation judder if the app was rendering at a low framerate. CTO John Carmack stated on Twitter that doing color extrapolation like ASW is “actually more work than most mobile frames to render”, so this is unlikely to come to Quest any time soon. Zhang also noted that Depth Reprojection would not deal well with transparency such as a virtual fish tank.

    Oculus have not given any details on when ‘Depth Reprojection’ will be coming to Quest, but if it does, it would help the headset to handle complex scenes in games. Developers would still need to put serious effort into optimization to avoid animation judder, but at least a temporary drop in framerate will not make the user physically sick through head tracking judder like was seen in the Oculus DK2 days of PC VR.

    Tagged with: asw, oculus, Oculus Quest

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  • Facebook Are Building AR Smart Glasses Facebook Head of Augmented Reality Ficus Kirkpatrick confirms company are working on AR glasses.
  • Instant Musician Turns Your iPhone Into An AR Piano Instructor

    Learn how to play piano using just your iPhone and a crisp one dollar bill.  Instant Musician, previously only being available as a Microsoft HoloLens app, has now made its way to iOS, offering users a way to learn proper piano skills using their smart phones.  Using a dollar bill on your piano mantle as

    The post Instant Musician Turns Your iPhone Into An AR Piano Instructor appeared first on VRScout.