• Walmart Release New Online Virtual Apartment Shopping Experience Explore a curated apartment in Walmart's newest virtual reality offering.
  • The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 06/24/18
    The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 06/24/18

    Not a big week in PSVR land, but there are two smaller titles that are worth checking out. That’s especially true if you’re a puzzle fan.

    Esper, from Coatsink
    Price: $7.99

    One of the very first full VR games finally makes its way out of the Oculus ecosystem. In Esper you have telekinetic abilities that will be tested through a series of puzzles that will have you moving objects through pipes and more. It’s hardly essential but it’s a good bit of fun.

    Salary Man Escape, from RAS
    Price: $19.99

    This looks like a pretty intriguing VR puzzle game. You help disgruntled salarymen escape their boring lives by manipulating blocks that open up passages. We can’t say that this is the sort of thing that definitely benefits from being in VR, but it is at least unlike anything else we’ve seen on the platform.

    Tagged with: esper, Salary Man Escape

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  • An Augmented View of the Stars ObservEtoiles in Quebec, Canada is using augmented reality to present a unique view of the stars.
  • U.S Navy Partners With Modock, Inc To Research AR And VR Capabilities To Enhance Fleet Readiness Research and development is underway to use virtual and augmented reality to improve the U.S Navy's fleets.
  • Microsoft And Samsung To Host 48 Hour WebXR Hackathon Challenge In San Francisco All interested in developing immersive web based applications are welcome.
  • Review: Cygnus Defense Alpha Like trying to tap your head and rub your belly, this is pure multitasking gameplay.
  • 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.

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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