• Location-based VR Experience Terminator Salvation: Fight For The Future is Coming to San Jose There are only a few weeks to wait.
  • SPACES Opening San Jose Cinemark Location With Terminator VR
    SPACES Opening San Jose Cinemark Location With Terminator VR

    SPACES is opening its latest location with Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future in February at Cinemark’s Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose, California.

    The location at the Westfield Oakridge Shopping Center will offer the same Skynet encounter we enjoyed at the company’s first location at the Irvine Spectrum in Orange County, California. SPACES scans user faces to graft them virtual onto Terminator bodies for better identification of friends or family in VR.

    SPACES also automatically produces videos of player sessions which can offer something to take home or share with others from the visit. Here’s an example from our visit last year:

    IMAX VR recently shuttered its VR locations, which suffered because they didn’t offer experiences that were unique or appealing compared with what VR headset owners could do at home. SPACES, though, is similar to The VOID or Dreamscape Immersive in offering the ability to step into a world with friends for memorable moments together enhanced by powerful haptic effects. SPACES also opened a location in Tokyo late last year.

    Tickets for Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future are available now at The Cinemark SPACES is located at 925 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123 in the Westfield Oakridge
    Shopping Center.

    We’re hopeful to see more virtual worlds to visit available at SPACES locations announced throughout the year. There’s a lot of innovation going on with location-based VR entertainment, with Dave & Busters rolling out Jurassic World attractions at more than 100 locations. It is also possible that standalone headsets like Oculus Quest, which is being released in the coming months, could make these types of attractions easier for more people to enjoy.

    Tagged with: SPACES, Terminator

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  • Eminem Makes His VR Debut In Marshall From Detroit Trailer
    Eminem Makes His VR Debut In Marshall From Detroit Trailer

    Marshall Mathers, a.k.a. rapping legend Eminem, is making his VR debut soon but not in the way you’d expect. Instead of a 360 music video, the star is set to appear in the latest VR experience from Felix & Paul Studios. The first trailer for the piece just arrived.

    Helpfully, the trailer itself is shot in 360 so it gives you a proper taste. The piece, named Marshall From Detroit, takes the rapper on a tour of his home town. Speaking with Sway Calloway he talks about his life growing up in the city and how Detroit has changed since.

    If you want to watch the trailer in VR you can load up the Youtube app on a phone and slot it into a headset. Standalone headsets like Oculus Go and the Lenovo Mirage Solo also have dedicated YouTube apps.

    This won’t be Eminem’s first brush with immersive tech. At least year’s Coachella performance the rapper used AR to enhance his live set.

    Marshall From Detroit is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. The piece is directed by Caleb Slain and lasts around 21 minutes. “Our idea was to extend the blanket of intimacy offered by VR beyond the once-in-a-lifetime ride with Marshall and introduce you to a more mystic version of Detroit you could never see for yourself,” Slain said of the project to Variety. “We wanted to take the ‘reality’ out of VR and cook it down into something more unreal, but also truthful.”

    A wider release hasn’t yet been announced but most of Felix & Paul’s content makes it to home headsets.

    This year’s New Frontier line-up also includes a fascinating new experience called Embody. We tried it out earlier this week.

    Tagged with: felix & paul, Marshall From Detroit, vr video

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  • Finch Technologies Interview: Bringing 6DoF Control to Everyone VRFocus sat down with Finch Technologies' CEO Gary Yamamoto.
  • I Met Donald Duck And Goofy In Kingdom Hearts VR, It Got Weird
    I Met Donald Duck And Goofy In Kingdom Hearts VR, It Got Weird

    My biggest takeaway from Kingdom Hearts VR? My god, how do any of these characters manage with such massive feet? I’ve never really noticed it on a flat screen but, as soon as I jumped into the headset I couldn’t help but stare. There I was in front of an idyllic sunset, cozily anchored onto a tree branch with my best friends. A spectacular light show was taking place across the ocean in front of us. These are the moments you cherish, right?

    But all I could do was rudely stare at their balloon-shaped trotters. What if one of us had accidentally fallen into the water? There’d be no saving us. You’d sink like concrete and then who would save the Disney multiverse?

    Okay, this might not be the most enlightening hot take. But you’ll have to cut me some slack; I’ve never played Kingdom Hearts before and, more importantly, everything was in Japanese. Square Enix’s long-awaited Kingdom Hearts VR experience just launched as a free app in Japan. For now, it’s got two levels that last about five minutes each but more will be added later on. I find this series incomprehensible at the best of times but trying to make sense of it in another language is like some cruel form of torture.

    Still, this was a chance to meet Donald Duck and Goofy in VR. Who could resist that?

    Turns out it wasn’t as magical an encounter as I’d hoped. All I could think as I locked eyes with Goofy’s laser-intense gaze while he spoke in his slurred tone was “Please don’t eat me.” Donald, meanwhile, seemed like he was angry with me about something. I get that Donald’s entire existence is to be routinely ticked off but it would have been nice to at least get a smile out of him. It’s a bit like your inescapable memories of that guy in a battered cartoon costume at Disneyland that wants to hug you.

    In fairness, the character models for the Disney stars are incredibly smooth. Both Donald and Goofy look like their Kingdom Hearts III counterparts. I just wish we could have met under better circumstances. The Kingdom Hearts-specific cast doesn’t fare quite as well, more closely resembling PS2-era models.

    Both scenes eventually give way to musical numbers with flashes of the series’ past included. The beach sequence is pretty pleasant, like a historic fireworks show. The weird musical tunnel found in the other level is like something out of a Willy Wonka tour, though. You can’t help but wish Square had focused on creating more unique VR content rather than these forgettable slideshows.

    If it wasn’t clear by now I’d definitely recommend waiting for your native language release of Kingdom Hearts VR. The third chapter will hopefully be included in that version too. No date on the wider release just yet but we’ll keep you posted.

    Tagged with: Donald duck, Goofy, Kingdom Hearts VR

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  • GIVEAWAY: Win A Physical Copy Of Co-Op Adventure Smash Hit Plunder On PSVR
    GIVEAWAY: Win A Physical Copy Of Co-Op Adventure Smash Hit Plunder On PSVR

    Enter for a chance to win a free copy of Smash Hit Plunder on PSVR! This will be a free physical copy sent through the mail.

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  • IFL’s Arizona Rattlers to Provide AR Experience for Fans The team will license Imagination Park's XenoHolographic solution.
  • Escape H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle In VR

    Navigate a booby-trapped hotel while evading the ‘Devil in the White City’ himself in this horrifying VR game. Next year will see the release of Martin Scorsese’s Devil in the White City, a film adaptation of Erik Larson’s 2003 novel detailing the horrendous activities of H.H. Holmes, America’s first recorded serial killer. Starring Leonardo Dicaprio

    The post Escape H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle In VR appeared first on VRScout.

  • Rosetta Stone iPhone App Now Features AR Machine Learning

    The popular language-learning platform is even more intelligent with object recognition technology. If you’ve ever thought about learning a new language from scratch, but don’t have the time or money for an in-person class, odds are you’ve at least explored the idea of using Rosetta Stone. The education technology company has become the leader in

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  • Sundance 2019: Embody Tracks Movement To Center The Body
    Sundance 2019: Embody Tracks Movement To Center The Body

    Embody from Melissa Painter’s team at MAP Design Lab is being shown at Sundance 2019, featuring full body tracking with only a headset attached to the body.

    Embody’s “visual metaphors” help guide visitors back to their bodies. That might sound a bit abstract, but with no controllers or additional body attachments beyond a headset, the experience begins by freeing people of hand controllers or Vive Trackers.

    In a demo at an office in Venice, California, the team employed a very sensitive foot mat to hone in movement tracking combined with body movement data captured from a ZED stereo camera pointed at the play space. “By combining computer vision, neural net algorithms / cutting edge machine learning algorithms, the pressure sensitive mat and headset tracking, the system provides a virtual world responding to full body user inputs,” according to the company.

    We’re “thinking around how we use spatial computing as an opportunity to use technology to help enhance people’s relationship to their physical body,” Painter said. “Our goal with this was to create a shared experience where you are taken through a guided series of movements where I didn’t have to put anything on your body but a headset.”

    Pose estimation of multiple people shown on a nearby PC.

    In one of several scenes that are part of Embody, the player sees colorful petals floating all around above the ground. There’s a transparent outline of a human stepping forward and simultaneously raising both arms above the head.

    The project is an official selection at New Frontier Sundance 2019, and Embody was created in partnership between MAP Design Lab with lululemon Whitespace. It’ll be shown with Samsung Odyssey on Windows Mixed Reality.

    Sensitive foot pad for body input.

    As I start to move my arms I realize the petals around me move too, and I begin to understand that by repeating the movement of the character, as my arms swing upward the petals all around me will come to life and fly up. It is as if they are caught in the air around me by the wind of my arms cutting the air.

    Very quickly I begin to tune my movements to more closely reflect the transparent outline, and to my satisfaction the petals seem to fly up again and again in close relation to my movements. There’s a surprise at the end of the experience I don’t want to spoil too much for those who see it at Sundance, but suffice it to say there’s a powerful metaphor in centering oneself before reaching out to others.

    ZED camera for body movement detection.

    This is the same company behind MoveStudio on the Microsoft Store, an exploratory experience that starts with head movements and hand movement to manipulate the world around the player. That experience is available on Microsoft VR headsets while MAP Design Lab also built AR projects like HEROES for HoloLens and In Orbit for VR headsets, available now for free on Steam. The company is also working on Magic Leap prototypes.

    Painter is being very thoughtful in exploring the

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  • NetEase Games Reveals Western-Themed FPS Stay Silent, Sign up for Beta Test It'll only support HTC Vive.
  • HTC Vive Headsets Lineup Explained: Should You Wait For Cosmos?
    htc vive lineup

    HTC’s line-up of VR headsets is steadily growing. What’s the difference between the Vive and Vive Focus? What’s the Vive Cosmos? Which should you buy? Read on for our rundown of the current Vive line-up.

    HTC Vive

    Vive is a room scale VR headset powered by your gaming PC. At $499 it’s the most affordable headset in HTC’s lineup. It comes with two fully tracked controllers.

    The Vive cannot operate without a gaming PC, and won’t work on most laptops. It comes with two SteamVR “Lighthouse” base stations which must be set up in your room for positional tracking.

    Originally released in 2016 for $799, the OG Vive remains today as HTC’s entry level PC VR option.

    HTC Vive Pro

    Vive Pro is a premium model of the Vive, released in 2018. It has higher resolution panels for a sharper image with less “screen door effect”. It also features improved comfort and integrated audio.

    Pro supports the new SteamVR Tracking 2.0. This allows for more than two base stations to be used at once for even larger playspaces.

    It’s currently priced at $1399, or $799 for the headset only so you can upgrade from the standard Vive.

    HTC Vive Pro Eye

    At CES 2019 HTC announced Vive Pro Eye– a 2019 refresh of the Vive Pro adding eye tracking. This allows for better social VR and gazed based UIs, but more importantly it enables foveated rendering.

    Foveated rendering renders most of the view of a VR headset at lower resolution except for the exact area where the user’s eye is looking (detected with eye tracking). This allows for improved visual quality and/or performance.

    HTC didn’t reveal the price, but told us it will be launching in Q2 of this year.

    HTC Vive Focus

    Vive Focus is unlike any of the rest of the Vive lineup in that it is a standalone headset. It’s priced at $599, and for now mainly intended for enterprise.

    Standalone means that the computing hardware and storage are all built inside the headset. Focus doesn’t connect to your PC, other than for basic USB file transfers.

    It has two cameras on the front which perform inside-out tracking, so there are no base stations to set up or wires.

    The controller (there’s only one) is essentially just a rotational laser pointer. This severely limits the games available on the Focus compared to PC. However, HTC is working on 6DoF Focus controllers which may release in future.

    HTC Vive Cosmos

    Vive Cosmos is a PC VR headset launching later this year. Unlike the original Vive line it uses inside-out tracking, not SteamVR. In fact, the headset’s native platform isn’t SteamVR either- it’s the new Vive Reality System.

    Interestingly, HTC also suggested the headset could work with devices other than a PC, showing an image of a smartphone in the reveal video. The company will reveal more details “later this year”, but we expect this means it could be powered by a HTC smartphone.

    Which To Get? Wait For Cosmos?

    Since the Vive Focus controller is 3DoF-only and the product is intended for enterprise, we don’t recommend buying it yet. When

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  • Stay Silent Is A Western/Sci-Fi VR Shooter From The Makers Of Nostos, Beta Sign-Ups Launched
    Stay Silent Is A Western/Sci-Fi VR Shooter From The Makers Of Nostos, Beta Sign-Ups Launched

    Cowboys vs Aliens wasn’t even half the movie it should have been. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t bother looking it up. It’s not a good movie. Anyway, VR might just be able to redeem this promising genre mash-up with Stay Silent.

    This is a western shooter in which players are cast as the sheriff of a small town. When an alien invasion threatens to destroy all you know, you take on the hordes. You’ll wield a mix of western firearms and alien technology, including stealth gear to help you get the drop on your foes. Expect the usual mix of VR shootouts hopefully with a few new twists and turns, then.

    Stay Silent is developed by NetEase Games, the same company that’s currently working on visually-stunning VR multiplayer game, Nostos. This has also got a multiplayer focus, though can be played in solo mode too. That said we’re not too sure on the game’s structure right now. NetEase hasn’t made it clear if there’s a single-player campaign in place or if solo play is just multiplayer with AI bots.

    To that end, there’s going to be a closed beta for the game pretty soon. It’ll run from January 24th – 29th. You can sign up to take place over at the team’s official Discord channel.

    We haven’t seen any gameplay yet but we’re sure to get a good feel for the game during the beta. There are a few screenshots showing the environment which are nicely detailed.

    Stay Silent will launch ‘in the coming months’ on HTC Vive. No word about official Oculus Rift and Windows VR integration just yet.

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  • AntiLatency Could Offer the Unrestricted VR Freedom You’ve Been Looking for VRFocus spoke with AntiLatency's CEO about the company's tech.
  • Beat Saber DLC: Dev ‘Needs More Time But We’re Working On It’
    Beat Saber DLC: Dev ‘Needs More Time But We’re Working On It’

    The saga of the first Beat Saber DLC installment continues. Developer Beat Games provided the briefest of updates on the pack this week.

    In short, it’s looking like the pack will take a little longer than expected. The studio noted on Twitter that it needed “some more time to work on it before it’s ready for release. It’s not that easy as we thought, but we’re working on it.”

    We’ll need some more time to work on it before it’s ready for release. It’s not that easy as we thought, but we’re working on it. 🙂 Stay tuned for more updates. 💪

    — Beat Saber (@BeatSaber) January 21, 2019

    Just under two weeks ago the developer said the DLC was coming soon. At the time, the studio cited issues with bringing the songs to PSVR as one reason for the delay. It’s not clear if that issue is still behind the holdup or there’s something else. Either way, Beat Games asked players to stay tuned for updates on the Beat Saber DLC.

    This DLC will be the first of three planned premium packs. Each will include ten new songs of a particular theme. Beat Games says they’ll cost around $9.99 each. Beyond that, the team is also planning to add more free songs to the game. It’s also working on extras for the PC version, including a custom track maker and multiplayer.

    Beat Saber is available now in Early Access on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR. The full PSVR version launched last year and is already one of the headset’s most popular games.

    Tagged with: Beat Games, Beat Saber, Beat Saber DLC, rhythm action

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