• Hofstra University Uses VR To Put You Face To Face With A Category 3 Hurricane

    Step just outside the eye of the storm and feel the full force of a category 3 monster.  Hurricanes – massive geophysical events that can unleash massive destruction with wind speeds over 160 miles per hour and up to 2.4 trillion gallons of rainfall per day. These storms can generate so much energy that when

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  • Mirage Solo Is A Powerful Daydream Headset Hiding Android’s Evolution
    Mirage Solo Is A Powerful Daydream Headset Hiding Android’s Evolution

    When the Oculus Rift debuted a few days before the HTC Vive in 2016, the Facebook headset cost less, was missing important features and offered less freedom to move as you like.

    Yet Rift was the more comfortable headset overall and many people bought it with the expectation that Facebook would follow through and eventually close some of those feature gaps.

    The Oculus Go standalone headset is in much the same position as Rift was when it launched, but this time it is competing not just against HTC and its more expensive Focus standalone, but also it is in stores alongside the first standalone Daydream headset powered by Google’s WorldSense tracking technology. I haven’t had significant time with Focus, so this piece instead compares Lenovo Mirage Solo to Oculus Go.


    Oculus Go feels lighter, fits more comfortably and includes the larger, more robust VR content library in comparison with Mirage Solo. I’d estimate there are roughly hundreds of decently constructed virtual worlds available on Oculus Go while there are only dozens on Mirage Solo. From these pools of ‘decent’ content, there are much fewer high quality worlds you’ll want to show friends or  revisit repeatedly. You also need a good Wi-Fi connection to watch a plethora of content from YouTube at its highest resolution on the Mirage Solo.

    Go also includes a convenient Web browser that’s easily accessible all the time. This makes it possible to access websites like Slack, Twitter and Facebook for quick check ins between visits to worlds, or you can reset the view of the browser so it is on the ceiling and you can browse the Web in bed. This browser also makes it easy to access interesting Web-based experiments and WebVR worlds.

    Overall, this means that as it ships today with features made obvious to the end user, for $250 there are more things you can do with a 64GB Oculus Go than with a $400 Mirage Solo and the same amount of included storage. While I believe Oculus Go remains the better buy for most people, after spending more time with Mirage Solo and accessing some of its hidden features — including a version of the Chrome browser -— I see there will be a subset of buyers who will find the increased expense for Solo more than worth it.

    Here’s a deeper look at how Mirage Solo works and how it compares to the less technically capable Go headset. I am continuing to test the headset and will provide updates to this post and others comparing the headsets as I learn more.

    Cross Purposes

    Both Oculus Go and Mirage Solo use Android as the underpinnings of their operating systems. But only Mirage Solo is listed as having compatibility with the Google Play Store.

    This means that — out of the box — Mirage Solo is compatible with the vast library of content on the Google Play Store. I’ve successfully tested apps like Amazon Prime Video and ComiXology on the headset, including downloading content locally for offline viewing. The apps appear to

  • Sansar Partners With Overwatch For Esports VR Streaming

    Virtual meet-and-greets, social watch spaces and exclusive Overwatch League merchandise make their way to Linden Labs’ social VR platform. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the demand for esports is on a meteoric rise. Research predicts the global economy of the industry to reach a staggering $905.6 million by the end of 2018 as

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  • The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 05/06/18
    The Biggest Rift, Vive And Windows Releases Of The Week 05/06/18

    After a busy week last week we return to a slower pace for VR releases, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting VR experiences you should be on the lookout for.

    Cave Digger, from Mekiwi Price: Free (Rift, Vive)

    This looks a little like a VR version of Steamworld Dig, and that’s a very good thing. You dive into the depths of a mine in search of precious resources before returning to the surface to cash in your findings and buy better equipment so you can travel deeper. We’re not exactly sure why this one’s free but, hey, we won’t complain.

    Silicon Valley: Inside The Hacker Hostel, from HBO Price: Free (Rift)

    Head to the set of the popular Silicon Valley sitcom in this tie-in experiences. Dig into a faithful recreation of the nerd’s world and uncover mini-games and easter eggs. This is probably only worth it if you’re a fan of the show but, if you are, it’s a pretty fun experience.

    School Fab Lab VR, from School Lab Price: $49.99 (Vive)

    This is a pretty intriguing, if surprisingly pricey experience. It allows you to visit a digital fabrication lab and test out state of the art equipment from laser cutters and 3D printers to drones and more.

    Tagged with: Cave Digger

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  • The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 05/06/18
    The Biggest PSVR Releases Of The Week 05/06/18

    A solid week of PSVR releases awaits you here. From sports to art, there’s a nice mix on non-violent VR to dig into.

    2MD: VR Football, from Truant Pixel Price: $12.99

    This is a noble attempt to bring a realistic football experience to the world of VR with full game planning and training. 2MD focuses on throwing and charging to let you fulfill your football fantasies. Use two Move controllers to make your plays and become the king of the field.

    CoolPaintr VR, from Singular People Price: $19.99

    PSVR finally gets its own version of Tilt Brush, albeit unofficially. CoolPaintr lets your paint in a 3D space using your Move controllers. Craft beautiful works of art (or horrific monstrosities, if you have my art skills) and then share them with friends. Can be played with a DualShock 4, too.

    Megadimension Neptunia VIIR, from Idea Factory International Price: $59.99

    There seems to be a new Megadimension game every five seconds, so I guess it was inevitable that there’d be a VR spin-off at some point. Actually, it sounds like this just has a special VR mode in which you meet the cast of the series and hang out with them one-on-one. It looks a little creepy, and $60 is a lot to pay for a VR mode.

    Tagged with: CoolPaintr VR

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  • Samsung Reportedly Developing Their Own Wireless AR/VR Headset

    Not so fast, Apple. It appears as though the hybrid headset market is shaping up to be the latest trend in immersive entertainment as it’s now being reported that Samsung may in the process of developing their own AR/VR headset similar to that of Apple’s recently announced device. According to The Korean Times, the South

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  • Counter-terrorism police are now training with virtual terrorists Virtual reality, augmented reality and serious games can help train people to respond to terrorism and kidnappings.
  • Sony-Backed Japan Display’s Impressive New Screens Suggest Smaller, Clearer PSVR 2
    Sony-Backed Japan Display’s Impressive New Screens Suggest Smaller, Clearer PSVR 2

    Last week Oculus provided us with a glimpse of what the next Rift could look like. Now it’s Sony’s turn to do the same.

    Japan Display, a tech group backed by Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba, this week revealed two new screens with greatly increased pixel density, specifically designed for VR headsets. As Venture Beat reports, one screen featured 1,001-pixels-per-inch (PPI) while the other boasts 803PPI.

    It’s important for VR displays to have a high PPI, as is makes the gaps between pixels much harder to spot. PSVR’s current 386PPI display, for example, works well enough but has clear black lines between pixels, resulting in a distracting ‘screen-door effect’. With more pixels packed onto the screen, the user gets a much clearer image, as you can see in the image below from Japan Display itself.

    Japan Display also notes that displays with more than 1000PPI will be essential to shrinking the size of LCD displays and thus the overall size and weight of VR headsets.

    That could mean that, if a hypothetical PSVR 2 uses the 1,001PPI option, which measures in at 3.25 inches, the headset might be smaller than the current offering for the PS4, which uses a 5.7-inch OLED display. Venture Beat also notes that the 1,001PPI display has a 120Hz refresh rate, which matches what the current PSVR is capable of, while the 803PPI option has a 90Hz refresh rate similar to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

    Both displays will be on show at the SID Display Week in LA this month, and Japan Display says to expect them in products by next March. That said, we doubt we’ll be seeing the next PSVR around that time; we likely won’t get an update there until PS5 has launched.

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  • Apex Construct Gets Free PSVR Demo Today
    Apex Construct Gets Free PSVR Demo Today

    Still on the fence about picking up Fast Travel Games’ Apex Construct? Maybe a free demo will help you make up your mind.

    A short slice of the game is now available to download for free on the US version of the PlayStation Store, and will arrive in the EU and Australia and Monday, May 14th. This demo lets players jump into the game’s first level, which introduces them to mechanics like the bow and arrow combat as well as the story. A demo for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR versions of the game hasn’t yet been announced.

    Elsewhere, Fast Travel also confirmed today that the previously-announced physical version of the game will arrive in the EU on June 8th, with a US launch coming in July. Again, this is only for the PSVR version (most PC VR games don’t get disc-based editions). After all of this is out the way, the team places to release new and free content for the game this summer.

    We’re quite fond of Apex Construct; the game offers a full single-player campaign that’s truly built for VR. Make sure to check out the demo if you have the time.

    Tagged with: Apex Construct

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  • Beat Saber Dev Calls For Original Music For DLC
    Beat Saber Dev Calls For Original Music For DLC

    Beat Saber players will be able to create their very own levels very soon, but that doesn’t mean developer Hyperbolic Magnetism isn’t on the hunt for new music to integrate more officially.

    The official Beat Saber Twitter account yesterday put out a call for original music demos. Artists can email their tracks to for a chance to have their content released as an exclusive track for the game via DLC. The studio noted that it’s not looking for remixes or mashups here (for obvious reasons): it wants original music. It’s also not clear how Hyperbolic might compensate artists for their content right now.

    As with the existing game, these tracks will serve as the foundation for a flurry of notes that will fly towards the player as they listen to them. Players must then slash these notes using one of the two lightsabers they hold in their hands, making sure colors match up and the direction of the swipe correlates with what’s shown on the note.

    Currently Beat Saber only features ten songs in its Early Access release, so it will be great to get some more official content even if we don’t yet know if we’ll have to pay for it or not. An update arriving this week will let players get to grips with an alpha version of the creator, though it won’t feature any kind of online sharing hub just yet. You’ll need to download and share levels manually to do that.

    Tagged with: Beat Saber

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  • Student Developers Bring Real-Time AR Pokémon Battles To Smartphones

    Your move, Pokemon GO… With it’s two year anniversary just around the corner, Pokémon GO has still managed to retain a fairly dedicated following despite its infrequent release of updates and lack-luster improvements. Sure there’s plenty of new generation monsters to hunt as well as an active gym scene, but the love for the groundbreaking

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  • Microsoft Introduces HoloLens Mixed Reality To The Job Site

    Microsoft teases practical MR worker tools for Hololens at 2018 Build Developer Conference. Call me strange, but of all the mixed reality demos I tried at this year’s Microsoft Build Developer Conference in Seattle, Washington, the one I actually found the most fun had me repairing an electric panel. To truly comprehend the deep sense

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  • How To Get Any Android App Running On A Daydream Standalone VR Headset
    How To Get Any Android App Running On A Daydream Standalone VR Headset

    One of the most intriguing hidden features of the first Daydream standalone headset — the Lenovo Mirage Solo — is its ability to play normal Android apps in a flat 2D window.

    You can even interact with the apps using the simple Daydream pointer controller to ‘touch’ a virtual touchscreen for app interaction. If you have a compatible USB-C dongle, you could even hook up a wired keyboard. Here’s what PUBG looks like:

    We haven’t successfully tested a gamepad yet. Also, though the 2D Netflix app appears to support downloads on the go, at the time of this testing DRM restrictions appear to keep those videos from playing properly.

    It takes a few steps to get this up and running, and the apps don’t appear in your library when you’re done. You have to launch the apps by going to a settings menu and selecting a link for the app’s Play Store store listing. You can launch the app from that page.

    Here’s what you need to do to enjoy Android apps on a Daydream standalone:

    1: Visit in a browser and log into the same Google account that is also logged into the Daydream standalone.

    2. Search for the app you want.

    3. Buy/Install the app and select the listing for “Lenovo” from the menu.

    4. The Daydream headset should start downloading the app (assuming it is connected to Wi-Fi). You can check the status by putting on the headset and pressing the bottom button on the Daydream controller.

    5. You can also check the download status in detail by clicking on it. Once the app is downloaded, you need to go to your settings from this same menu. Click the icon in the top right corner — it looks like a gear.

    Click “all settings”.

    Make sure you remember how you got to “Apps & notifications” because you’ll be visiting this menu a lot to a.) grant app permissions and b.) open your apps.

    If you have a lot of apps click “see all” apps

    If you need to grant the app permissions, do so first. Then click on the app you want to launch.

    Swipe down on the pad to get to “App details” and that’ll open up the Google Play store page.

    Click the “open” button and enjoy your Android library in VR. 

    Tagged with: Daydream, Mirage Solo

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  • Oculus Dev Relations: ‘We Don’t Want Exclusivity’
    Oculus Dev Relations: ‘We Don’t Want Exclusivity’

    At last month’s Reboot Develop conference in Croatia, Oculus encouraged VR developers in attendance to release their content on every platform, and not as exclusives to one headset.

    Matt Conte, Head of Development Engineering at the VR specialist, said as much during his talk, as reported by Talking about how to reach the broadest audience, he explained that the VR audience was still small. “There’s not as many headsets out there as we thought there might be a couple of years ago,” Conte noted. “It’s growing, and it’s actually growing at a pretty decent pace, but every decision that you make you should be thinking about: How does this get my title into the most users’ hands as possible?

    In the past, Oculus has signed contracts with developers both big and small to bring games to its platforms exclusively, but do Conte’s comments suggest the company’s stance on that matter has changed?

    “We don’t want exclusivity,” he continued. “We want VR to thrive. But VR is a niche, and you don’t want to be a niche within a niche. Ship everywhere: Oculus, PlayStation VR, Steam, mobile, if you can. Do whatever you can to get as many eyes on it as possible.”

    In the past, Oculus received backlash for signing exclusive agreements with games like Giant Cop. The number of exclusive titles the studio is pushing out is diminishing, though; last year there was almost one high-profile Rift-exclusive game released every month, but so far this year we’ve seen only a handful of Oculus Studios-published experiences. Oculus’ Head of Content, Jason Rubin, last year suggested that parent company Facebook might not be in the content creation business forever.

    That’s not to say they’re not still coming; exclusive games like Marvel Powers United VR and an untitled project from Titanfall developer Respawn are some of the biggest VR games on the horizon right now, and the company just announced Twisted Pixel’s Defector for a Rift-only release. Add to that the handful of exclusive titles that just launched on the newly-released Oculus Go and it’s clear Oculus is still doing a lot of work with exclusives. But Conte’s talk likely addressed smaller, independent developers as opposed to the larger teams Oculus is currently working with. Does that mean we’ll see less projects of that scale?

    Still E3 is coming up, so we might yet have more to hear from Oculus on the exclusive front.

    Tagged with: oculus

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  • Neat Corporation’s Budget Cuts Delayed By A Few Weeks
    Neat Corporation’s Budget Cuts Delayed By A Few Weeks

    It turns out we won’t be playing Neat Corporation’s long-anticipated Budget Cuts next week after all, but we still won’t have to wait long.

    The Swedish developer this week announced that its VR stealth game has suffered a small delay, with release moving from May 16th to May 31st for both Rift and Vive. On a Steam blog, the developer explained that this was down to “some unforeseen obstacles”, though the team didn’t provide specifics.

    “The reason is simply that we want to release Budget Cuts in a state that we’re proud of and know will be enjoyable throughout the entire game (without killing our devs in the process),” the studio noted.

    We’ve been waiting for Budget Cuts for over two years now, so two more weeks won’t kill us. The game sets players sneaking through a robot-patrolled facility using one of the most convincing and immersive teleportation mechanics we’ve yet seen in VR. We finally got to go hands-on with the game back at GDC in March and it looks like it will be well worth the wait.

    “Neat Corporation is being tight-lipped about what the later game involves, including what environments we might encounter,” Senior Editor Ian Hamilton wrote. “What I saw though in our tiny slice of the game was what I imagine most people who played the demo want — a deeper world with smarter, more reactive enemies and refinements to all of the game’s innovative user interface ideas.”

    Tagged with: Budget Cuts

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