News

  • It’s Update Central as Oculus Announces yet More Improvements to its Platform Home is going social, Avatars are looking better and much more.
  • Oculus Home Goes Social With Up To 8 People
    Oculus Home Goes Social With Up To 8 People

    Oculus is rolling out an update to its public test channel which turns Oculus Home into a social experience. Rift owners can invite up to seven friends to share their virtual home.

    The update should allow people to stream their Windows desktop to others for co-watching, much like startup Bigscreen has been doing since 2016. This sort of functionality built into the core of the Rift system and available to all users, however, could make meeting up with friends in VR both easier and more useful. (Bigscreen is useful because its service can connect people across VR headsets from different manufacturers.)

    From an Oculus blog post:

    Up to eight people can hang out in the same Home at the same time! For now, your Home is locked for editing when you have visitors over, but we’ll enable object interactivity for multiplayer in a future release.

    Look for the update in the public test channel.

    Tagged with: rift

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  • Crowdfunding Campaign Set to Launch for Tokyo Chronos Attendees at Anime Expo 2018 can get hands-on with a playable demo of VR mystery novel Tokyo Chronos.
  • Niantic Labs Reveal Codename: Neon, A Crossplatform Multiplayer AR Gaming Prototype The new Niantic Real World Platform allows for crossplatform augmented reality gaming with eight players.
  • Pokémon GO Reveals Professor Willow’s Global Challenges Now trainers around the world can join in the fun of the upcoming Pokémon Go Safari Zone and Fest 2018.
  • PayPal Explores Augmented Reality with New Patent PayPal looks to the future of retail and online shopping using AR technology.
  • Pokemon Go Creator Will Begin Offering Its AR Platform To Third Party Devs
    Pokemon Go Creator Will Begin Offering Its AR Platform To Third Party Devs

    Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore may have multi-million-user installed bases, but so does Niantic’s Pokémon Go, the first hit augmented reality game. Now Niantic plans to offer its custom AR software to other developers as the Real World Platform, and is teasing advanced features that go beyond the capabilities of Apple’s and Google’s development kits.

    Already used in Pokémon GO, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the Real World Platform is an evolving software engine that adds digital characters and shared social experiences to real-world map data. Niantic has recently bolstered the AR platform’s development team by acquiring computer vision specialist companies Escher Reality and Matrix Mill (which also has machine learning expertise).

    Matrix Mill’s machine learning will power one of the Real World Platform’s upcoming tricks — a realtime AR occlusion engine. As demonstrated, the feature enables 3D versions of Pikachu and Eevee to disappear behind real world objects and people, even as both the camera and people move. Niantic is using a machine-trained neural network to determine which objects should be considered “foreground” or “background” versus the AR characters.

    On current AR platforms, AR characters are merely superimposed on top of live camera video, so they cannot hide behind real-world objects. The reason for that is the amount of processing power necessary to make occlusion work in real time may be prohibitive on at least some current devices. The demo’s frame rate is not high enough to be fully smooth, and Niantic hasn’t said when the feature will actually come to the Real World Platform.

    Another AI-assisted feature will be object recognition. By training the platform to recognize certain items, objects in the environment could automatically trigger AR events. For instance, if the AI spots flowers in a video, an AR bee could appear.

    Last but not least, Niantic addressed shared AR spaces, which Google and Apple have recently updated their platforms to support. Niantic says that it has developed new “proprietary, low-latency AR networking techniques” to help multiple people enjoy a shared AR experience across different platforms using a single code base.

    Developers interested in applying for access to the Real World Platform can do so at this sign-up page. Niantic says it will select a handful of developers to gain access to the tools later this year.

    This article by Jeremy Horwitz originally appeared on VentureBeat.

    Tagged with: niantic, pokemon go

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  • Uncharted Creator Amy Hennig Has Left EA, Looking To Make Virtual Reality Content Confirms single player Star Wars title from Visceral Games is dead.
  • PvP VR Fighting with Virtual Fighting Championship Fighting games go VR in upcoming Early Access title Virtual Fighting Championship
  • Marvel Powers United VR Heading To Comic-Con
    Marvel Powers United VR Heading To Comic-Con

    Yesterday we finally found out the release date for Oculus Studios’ Marvel Powers United VR, launching on Rift on July 26th. Now we know when we’ll find out more about the game, though.

    Powers United will be featured during the Marvel Games Panel on July 19th at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller will host the Hall H panel that will also include a look at Marvel’s mobile games and the upcoming PS4 exclusive Spider-Man game from Insomniac. Oculus is promising to bring along a new trailer for the show.

    Hopefully that means some new character reveals are in store for the show. Yesterday Oculus announced that the king of Wakanda, Black Panther himself, was joining the fight alongside the likes of Thor and Deadpool, but there’s still so many other characters we want to be included in the game. Surely Iron Man and Captain America are going to get a spot, right?

    We’d assume the game will actually be playable there too but that’s not confirmed yet.

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  • Hands (or More Accurately Foot) on With Cybershoes A novel idea but it has its limitations.
  • Digital Catapult Launch Three Reports To Explore The UK’s Immersive Ecosystem. Providing valuable insights and data for developers to help shape the future of the industry.
  • The Pixel Crushers Talk About Escape Rooms in AR Part of the development team for ARia's Legacy discusses how to bring escapes rooms into augmented reality.
  • Watch: PSVR’s Bravo Team Becomes Less Bad With New Update
    Watch: PSVR’s Bravo Team Becomes Less Bad With New Update

    Earlier this year Supermassive Games launched a cooperative military shooter named Bravo Team on PSVR. Given that this is the team that brought us Until Dawn and its VR spin-off, Rush of Blood, we expected big things. Sadly, the game was a bit of a disappointment, with a wealth of issues holding it back. Today, though, a new patch has fixed some of those problems.

    Some of our biggest complaints about Bravo Team were to do with the game’s scaling and positioning issues. For the former, the player’s hands and weapons appeared absolutely massive in-game, which made aiming with the otherwise-excellent PlayStation Aim controller feel clumsy. Well, thankfully, that’s now fixed and the weapons and hands appear at a normal size. As you can see in the video below, it makes for a huge improvement and adds in a lot more immersion.

    We also found ourselves getting confused by the camera shifting when moving from cover-to-cover in the original game. That’s now been fixed, too, and there are plenty more points to actually take cover from, giving players much more freedom. Better yet, you can now do 90 degree turns to take out any pesky baddies you might have run past. The accuracy of aiming reticules has also been improved so you don’t waste ages trying to hit one enemy.

    Finally, there are improvements for enemy AI, including giving them more cover points. Overall it makes for a much better experience. Full patch notes are below.

    All that said, the patch can’t fix Bravo Team’s core issue, which is that it’s simply a rather straightforward and uninspired military shooter. It’s no longer the train wreck of a shooter many people thought it was upon release, though. If that’s good enough for you, then it might be worth grabbing Bravo Team in a sale.

    Movement & Cover System

    Improved existing cover points to be more easily accessible
    Added additional cover points throughout levels
    Improved camera position when transitioning between cover points
    Improved look to move feature

    Weapons

    Added more weapon pickup boxes throughout the levels
    added more weapon variety and behaviors
    Rebalanced bullet spread on various weapons
    Improved accuracy and reticules when aiming down sights
    Revised Sniper Scope

    Enemy AI

    Added more cover points for enemies to move to
    Improved enemy spawn locations
    Improved enemy behavior
    Rebalanced enemy health across all levels

    Miscellaneous

    Added ability to turn 90 degrees to the PSVR Aim controller
    Improved the scale of the weapons and the player character’s arms
    Buddy AI feedback and location information fixes
    Various bug fixes and improvements

    Tagged with: Bravo Team

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  • AR Comes to Yo-Kai Watch Augmented reality title Yo-Kai Watch World is out now in Japan.