News

  • Life In 360°: Spawning "This is the story of a creature that is doing well."
  • VR Film Follows The First Female Shaman Of The Yawanawá People

    Emmy® Award winning filmmaker Lynette Wallworth captures an Amazonian tribe as they make an historic transition to their first female shaman. 100-year-old Tata has experienced his fair share of difficulties throughout his time as Shaman of the Yawanawá people. Years of invasive missionaries and slavery by rubber trappers had nearly extinguished the Yawanawá culture, losing

    The post VR Film Follows The First Female Shaman Of The Yawanawá People appeared first on VRScout.

  • The Great C by Philip K. Dick Makes For A Cinematic VR Short Story
    The Great C by Philip K. Dick Makes For A Cinematic VR Short Story

    Entertainment One’s Secret Location is showing off its virtual reality film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story The Great C at the Venice film festival today.

    I saw the first part of the cinematic virtual reality (VR) narrative in a demo with the leaders of Toronto-based Secret Location. The full 30-minute film will debut in September, and it has a poignant storyline, a beautifully animated environment, and a moving soundtrack.

    The Great C will transport viewers to a post-apocalyptic landscape in which the remnants of humanity are ruled over by an all-powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer known as the Great C. Each year, the nearby village is forced to send a young person on a pilgrimage to appease the mysterious machine — a journey from which no one ever returns.

    The story follows Clare, a young woman who finds her life upended when her fiancé is summoned for the annual pilgrimage. Forced to leave the safe confines of her village, Clare has to decide whether to accept the rules of this harsh society or fight against the oppressive reality of her world. The film spans 20 virtual environments. I asked the developers why they decided to create a film, even though they made all of the assets necessary for an interactive VR game.

    “Our position has been how do we use the medium and try to do something unique with it, like cinematic VR,” said Ryan Andal, president and cofounder of Secret Location, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to push the medium forward enough so that it can inspire other people to take risks about what is comfortable or not comfortable in VR.”

    Andal said that The Great C’s story has a strong narrative on a single path, which makes it better as a linear cinematic story within VR. As a game, it probably wouldn’t offer enough choice for the player to change the outcome of the story.

    With The Great C, Secret Location wants to push the boundaries of cinematic experiences by utilizing film techniques in areas such as editing, composition, and story structure and adapting them for a new medium, making VR feel visceral. This cinematic language is melded with real-time, room-scale characters and environments to engage audiences in a storytelling style tailor-made for VR.

    Dick is the author behind stories such as The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — the latter of which inspired the classic movie Blade Runner. The Great C will be the first-ever adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story into VR.

    “We are fans of Philip K. Dick’s work and wanted to do something that was obtainable and fed the sci-fi fervor for VR,” Andal said. “This story was not tightly described, and that was appealing to us. There’s also an interpretation that we have on the ending that is different.”

    The title will be available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. It took about nine months or so to make The Great C.

    Toronto-based Secret Location produced The Great C with the support of the Canadian Media Fund. Secret Location was founded in 2009 as a services company. Four years

    The post The Great C by Philip K. Dick Makes For A Cinematic VR Short Story appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Journey To The Polar Regions In Subnautica Below Zero, A New Standalone Expansion The popular underwater survival videogame is getting a new stand-alone expansion later this year.
  • Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses
    Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses

    Epson has found a new use for its Moverio augmented reality glasses: flying drones with its new Epson Drone Soar augmented reality app.

    Epson is releasing the app today to make it easier for drone pilots to navigate the skies while keeping the drone in full view. That’s because you see through the glass to the drone and keep an eye on the glasses’ heads-up display at the same time.

    Creative agency YML designed the drone AR app to work with the Epson Moverio BT-300 AR glasses, and I tried it out with a DJI drone in a demo at the SF Drone School on Treasure Island. You can see what the experience was like in both videos embedded in this story.

    AR is a promising new technology with a wide array of applications, but it has been slow to take off, and so companies like Epson are putting in a lot of engineering and resources to make apps that can help with consumer adoption.

    In this case, Epson’s Moverio AR smart eyewear platform works with the Epson Drone Soar app for DJI drone pilots using the Epson Moverio AR smart glasses platform. It provides AR content, flight telemetry data, and video feed monitoring. I was able to use wear the glasses and see both the drone and an overlay on the screen at the same time. Werner von Stein, founder of the SF Drone School on Treasure Island, gave me a few pointers on how to fly. He got the drone up in the air, and then he handed the controls over to me. (Out on Treasure Island, you can fly drones freely, whereas most other urban areas there are restrictions.)

    Epson has been making Moverio AR smart glasses for seven years. A few years ago, it identified drone piloting as a good use case for the glasses. Normally, drones such as the DJI model I flew require you to insert a smartphone or tablet into the controller. But that means that the pilot has to look down to see the drone’s camera view, and then look up to see which direction the drone is actually flying. That makes it very hard to stay on a course or make a maneuver accurately, said Leon Laroue, Epson technical product manager for AR, in an interview with VentureBeat.

    On top of that, if there’s bright sunlight, all you see is glare when you look at the smartphone screen. With the Moverio glasses, Laroue clipped on some sunshades and I was able to see much better, looking straight at my drone through the glasses.

    “With our glasses and our new app, you can now see exactly where you need to fly,” Laroue said.

    Redwood Shores, California-based YML made the app exclusively for the Epson Moverio BT-300 (FPV/Drone Edition). It had to figure out how to create a user interface that worked for pilots, giving them the right amount of data in real time to assist with navigation. You can do things like adjust the camera settings, brightness, and shutter settings or toggle between transparent and first-person modes without ever having

    The post Fly A Drone With These Epson Moverio AR Glasses appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Speakers Announced For The VR/AR Global Summit 2018 Speakers at the event come from the likes of HP, Intel and Microsoft and more.
  • The Dreams Of Dali Comes To Viveport Immerse yourself within the surreal world of Salvador Dalí, now available on Viveport.
  • The Nun Uses VR To Scare Viewers In A Twisted Prank The immersive power of virtual reality is put to use to scare fans ahead of the films release.
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles And Oculus To Expand Their VR Training Program 11 new medical institutions and healthcare networks will benefit from the innovative virtual reality program.
  • How Apple’s Acquisition Of Akonia Holographics Will Redefine AR
    How Apple’s Acquisition Of Akonia Holographics Will Redefine AR

    It’s no surprise at this point that Apple is actively working on augmented reality glasses. A secretive project has been underway for years under the management of former Dolby executive Mike Rockwell, and Apple has broadly hinted that its AR ambitions extend beyond the iPhone’s and iPad’s ARKit software.

    While Apple’s acquisition of Akonia Holographics apparently took place months ago, the news just became public, and it’s an extremely important data point in understanding AR’s trajectory. After peeking at Akonia’s patent portfolio, it’s clear that the company is best known for developing holographic storage solutions — technology interestingly licensed to Nintendo and others — but its more recent work is in creating wearable “HoloMirror” optics.

    If you’re not familiar with how AR works, think of these optics as super-thin displays nestled inside otherwise transparent lenses — an overlay that lets you see the real world augmented with “holographic,” computer-generated visuals. Akonia’s technology specifically promises “dramatically higher performance” than prior solutions across five key metrics:

    full color (RGB)
    efficiency
    transparency
    high field-of-view (FOV), and
    production cost

    If you’ve been following our reporting on AR solutions such as the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap One, you’ll instantly understand why improvements on these factors are critically important. Current AR headsets are super-expensive, suffer from short battery life despite large sizes, and produce ghostly images inside small windows within your overall field of vision. AR won’t have a prayer of taking off until there’s a reasonably priced, power-efficient solution that produces colorful, natural-looking, and immersive imagery. That’s exactly what Akonia is claiming HoloMirror delivers.

    With two-thirds of 2018 now in the rearview mirror, it’s clear that AR needs an Apple-caliber shot in the arm. Looking past the extremely limited enterprise adoption of the $3,000 to $5,000 HoloLens, there’s very little evidence of consumer interest in the self-contained AR headset, and even Microsoft speaks of it as merely a step along the path to a consumer product. More recently, Magic Leap failed to wow people with its long-awaited unveil of a slightly better but much larger $2,295 alternative. Other AR devices have proved useful only for specific industrial applications — no one’s going to wear them out in public, and they’re most likely not leaving the owner’s office or home.

    Apple’s end goal with AR is to produce a wearable that looks basically indistinguishable from a standard pair of glasses, and can be used anywhere. The company’s designers are not interested in Google-like efforts to make people look like cyborgs, or Oakley-style glasses with electronic enclosures dangling from the temples. Don’t expect Tony Stark’s wire-rimmed glasses in Avengers: Infinity War — thick rims will be a necessity — but Akonia’s slim technology suggests that the lenses will be slender, yet powerful.

    It’s a safe bet that Apple will offload most of the actual computing into a separate device — an iPhone or Apple Watch, connected wirelessly — instead of trying to cram everything inside like the HoloLens. But in addition to the Akonia-developed displays, the glasses will need to house camera, tracking, high-bandwidth wireless, and battery components; micro speakers for audio cues; and a controller chip.

    My guess is that the challenges involved in making these parts

    The post How Apple’s Acquisition Of Akonia Holographics Will Redefine AR appeared first on UploadVR.

  • The VR Job Hub: New Month, New Job Opportunities See in the new month by finding your dream job working within the immersive technology industry.
  • Something For The Weekend: See In September With Oculus Sales Enjoy the first weekend of September with a number of discounts on Oculus Rift titles.
  • Highwire Games’ PlayStation VR Title Golem Still On Track For A 2018 Launch The studio have spoken out about the current state of the title.
  • Immersive Music Visualization Space Dream VR Releases Demo Explore alien worlds while enjoying your favourite music all in virtual reality.
  • The Lancaster VR Lounge Set To Open In Lancaster City This November The new 2,500 square-foot space will offer more than 200 videogames and experiences to visitors.