• HumanEyes Rolls Out Camera That Shoots In 360 Degrees & VR180

    The Vuze XR Dual Camera from HumanEyes Technology shipped out to its first customers in late November. Jim Malcolm, the General Manager for North America at HumanEyes, was previously involved with both the launching of one of the world’s first digital cameras as well as one of the first 360-degree cameras on the market. Now, he

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  • Starship Commander: Arcade is all Talk in This Conversational Adventure The action is basic but it’s the voice recognition that shines.
  • Caltech Scientists Use AR To Help The Blind Navigate

    Scientists at Caltech are using AR to give objects in a room a voice, allowing the visually impaired to hear their surroundings. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people around the globe live with some form of vision impairment. 217 million of those people having moderate to severe

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  • ‘Odin’ Is A 4K SteamVR Headset From Russia, Launching ‘Summer 2019’
    ‘Odin’ Is A 4K SteamVR Headset From Russia, Launching ‘Summer 2019’

    Russian startup DEUS will be showing off their new SteamVR compatible headset called ‘Odin’ at CES2019.

    The company intends to release an ‘Odin Pre’ version of headset in February. This ‘Pre’ model is aimed at businesses and developers, and will ship with a 3DoF controller for an estimated price of $1100. A refined consumer version with 6DoF controllers is planned for Summer 2019, but the price is currently TBA.

    The headset features dual 2160×2160 LCD panels providing a total resolution of 4320×2160 (4K×2K)- higher than any headset currently on the market. DEUS claims its fresnel lenses provide a field of view of 110°, the same as the HTC Vive.

    The consumer version of the Odin will use the VirtualLink USB-C cable standard, while the Odin Pre will use DisplayPort.

    While Odin uses photodiodes and laser base stations for tracking, this actually not SteamVR “Lighthouse” Tracking. Instead, the company developed their own similar system which they call ‘Horus’. DEUS claims that Horus base stations have a wider projection angle than Lighthouse, and that just the two included stations can cover 200 square metres (roughly 45×45 feet). The company also tells us that Horus supports an infinite number of base stations for larger playspaces.

    In Q2 2019 the company will demonstrate its 6DoF controllers for Odin, using the same Horus tracking system as the headset. The controllers somewhat resemble Oculus Touch, but with trackpads instead of thumbsticks. These 6DOF controllers will be included with the consumer Odin shipping in Summer.

    The headset is SteamVR compatible, meaning it should be able to play most (if not all) VR games on Steam. Buyers of the Pre version will however need to wait for the 6DoF controllers to play most Steam titles.

    The USA, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China have dominated the VR hardware space so far. DEUS hopes it can add Russia to that list. But developing and shipping consumer electronics is incredibly challenging. While the company has delivered earlier development kits over the past few years, it has not yet demonstrated the ability to do so at scale. But if it can meet the challenge, the Odin may be a worthy addition to the high end PC VR market.

    Tagged with: odin, russia, SteamVR

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  • Viveport Unwraps Some Christmas Treats for Subscribers The festivities start in a few days.
  • Borderlands 2 VR Dev Explains Why the Game Ditched Co-Op
    Borderlands 2 VR Dev Explains Why the Game Ditched Co-Op

    It’s just a few days now until Borderlands 2 VR graces PSVR headsets everywhere, bringing pretty much the entire original game into VR. As developer Gearbox has said from the start, though, there is one crucial feature missing in this version: co-op. Borderlands 2 VR is a single-player only experience, which has come as disappointing news to some, but Gearbox has finally explained its thinking behind this decision.

    In a recent gameplay commentary video with IGN (which you can see below), Borderlands 2 VR lead designer Jacob Lavender talked a bit about why the team took co-op out of the game. “What we do want, is that when you pick up BL2VR, it’s still the same story, but it’s completely different gameplay,” he explained. “And we wanted to give you that experience that’s like “Hey, I’ve played through this but now it’s different, it’s new, it’s fresh.””

    That’s why the game is fitted with new features, like the BAMF system that slows down time to allow you to get in extra shots at your enemies. “And with single-player, that was one of those things that gave us that opportunity to put in things like BAMF time and teleportation and to really pump those up 11 and make it as strong as you possibly could be,” Lavender added. “To make you a complete, total badass, moreso than you’ve ever been before because we didn’t have to worry about it messing up the balance of the game.”

    Will these new additions make up for the lack of co-op play that has previously defined the Borderlands experience? The jury’s still out on that, but we’ll have our full verdict later this week when the game goes live.

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  • Cross Platform Multiplayer Shooter Slightly Heroes is Out Now Go one-on-one in this Pixar-inspired shooter.
  • PSVR’s Falcon Age Continues To Look Stunning In New Trailer
    PSVR’s Falcon Age Continues To Look Stunning In New Trailer

    This new trailer for PSVR exclusive Falcon Age is comprised of a lot of footage from the first one, but the game continues to look so promising that we don’t really care.

    As the name suggests, Outer Loop’s new adventure has players raising a falcon from birth, teaching it to fetch and hunt as well as keeping it healthy by feeding and taking care of it. In this trailer, we see a bit more of the game’s crafting mechanics, which will have users growing their own garden of ingredients that they can then combine to make a meal for their feathered friend.

    We also see another look at the game’s combat, which pits players against an evil army of robots. We’ll be super interested to see how this portion of the game plays out even if we’re mainly excited about growing a bond with our new pet in Falcon Age. The game’s due to arrive sometime in 2019. I mean you can fist bump your new buddy. ‘Nuff said.

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  • Underground VR FPS Echoes Nears Kickstarter Funding
    Underground VR FPS Echoes Nears Kickstarter Funding

    It looks like Echoes, a new VR shooter from a Spanish indie developer, will be making its way to a headset near you soon.

    Rogue Titan Games launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the game, which we originally wrote about earlier this year, back in November. With over two weeks to go before the campaign ends, it’s raised well over half of its modest $10,079 goal, meaning there’s every chance the developer pulls it off.

    Echoes is set in the near future in which life on earth is under threat. The player journeys underground in search of salvation but ends up coming up against a twisted brand of monsters. The game mixes shooter gameplay with stealth and survival elements and has employed some careful considerations for VR, like an ‘augmented reality’ interface.

    If funding comes in the developer hopes to have the PSVR version of the game out by April 2019. An $18 Early Bird pledge will get you a digital copy of the game on PS4 or Windows (the latter is expected to arrive later in 2019). Both editions will feature optional VR support.

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  • VRgineers Will be Upgrading the XTAL Headset for CES 2019 The lenses are getting an overhaul for improved image quality.
  • Waveguide Manufacturer WaveOptics Raises $26m in New Funding Round The investment will be used to scale business and support international expansion.
  • Rift Developers Can Now Grant Custom Oculus Home Items As Achievements
    Rift Developers Can Now Grant Custom Oculus Home Items As Achievements

    Developers of Oculus Rift games sold on the Oculus Store can now grant custom Oculus Home items as achievements. Users can decorate their virtual homes with these achievements and even show off them off to friends.

    Facebook first announced this feature at Oculus Connect 5 back in late September. Since then it’s been trialed with Superhot VR, Moss, Echo Arena, Job Simulator, OrbusVR, and Arizona Sunshine. From today, all Rift developers can create and grant 3D models as achievements.

    Of course, achievements aren’t the only way to get custom items for your Oculus Home. Back in June, Oculus started allowing users to import their own 3D models into Home. Shortly after, the company added an ‘Export to Home’ feature to the Oculus Medium sculpting app.

    Like with user-created custom items, custom developer items must be in the glTF file format. glTF is a free open standard from the Khronos group, the same organization behind Vulkan and OpenXR. Items can include looping animations, but the total file size must be under 15MB. They also have to be tied directly to achievements; you can’t grant players extra rewards for anything not linked to the system right now.

    Achievements as actual items in VR may make earning them much more compelling for gamers. In the past, showing off your achievements meant a friend scrolling through a 2D list on your profile or exhibiting them as framed posters inside Home. But now you can show them off in much more personalized ways when inviting a friend around to your virtual home. You can pick one up and hand it to them, if you really want to boast.

    Tagged with: Developers, Oculus Home, oculus rift

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  • Liam Payne Set To Star In MelodyVR’s First Live VR Concert
    Liam Payne Set To Star In MelodyVR’s First Live VR Concert

    Since its launch on Oculus Go earlier this year the MelodyVR app has mainly focused on building out a library of concerts recorded in 360 degrees for people to watch back in VR. Attending a live concert without having to leave your home has always been one of VR’s big promises, though, and the service is set to provide just that next week with the help of former One Direction star Liam Payne.

    MelodyVR is set to host its first livestream on December 19th, broadcasting Payne’s headline show in London at a secret location. He might be best known for the larger boy band, but Payne’s been going his own as a solo act ever since the group went on indefinite hiatus in 2016 (bet you never thought you’d read about this on UploadVR?). He’s bound to perform his new single, Polaroid, at the show but he’s also been known to perform a One Direction song or two in his own sets from time to time.

    MelodyVR will be giving away a limited number of tickets to attend the show in person but, for everyone else around the globe, you’ll be able to watch it inside Go and Gear VR. You’ll get to experience the show as if you were there in person with none of the mosh pits (okay maybe there won’t be any mosh pits at a Liam Payne concert). Payne is set to release more content on the platform throughout 2019.

    Concerts have been livestreamed in VR before, but MelodyVR’s platform will allow users to switch between different cameras during the show to get the view they want, be it front row seating or a more panoramic landscape. If you’re interested in watching along you’ll need to boot up the app at 8PM GMT (about 3PM ET/12PM PT) on Monday, December 19th.

    MelodyVR is still due to release on other VR headsets like PSVR and Oculus Rift in the near future.

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  • XTAL Ultra High-End VR Headset Adds Neurable’s Emotion Analysis
    XTAL Ultra High-End VR Headset Adds Neurable’s Emotion Analysis

    A new partnership between Neurable and VRgineers adds the former’s “brain sensors” to the ultra high-end XTAL VR headset.

    We tried out Neurable last year, a system which places EEG (Electroencephalography) sensors along the interior of a VR headset’s strap to gather data from contact with the skin around the brain. Combining that information in real-time with eye-tracking could allow the system to identify, measure and analyze the emotion and intent of the person wearing the headset. The XTAL VR headset from VRgineers includes eye tracking, so adding the EEG sensors and using Neurable’s analysis software might offer customers with very large budgets more capable analysis and training tools than consumer grade systems like Rift and Vive.

    “We anticipate that this will be an enterprise-grade device, built for professional designers and engineers who require superior visual quality and highly accurate, reliable analytics,” Neurable CEO Ramses Alcaide explained in an email. “We’ve seen a lot of traction in three main areas: high-consequence simulation training for industrial applications, design feedback in AEC use cases, customer research for retail.”

    VRgineers claim,”Neurable’s unique ability to overcome the signal-to-noise issues of traditional non-invasive” brain-computer interfaces “enable them to deliver on the promise of truly useful BCI technology for enterprise and consumer applications.”

    The expected use cases for the system make sense for the XTAL headset, which starts around $5,500 for its ultra-high end features which include a higher resolution panel, expanded field of view and integrated Leap Motion hand tracking. There’s no word yet on when the headset with Neurable integration will be available, or how much it will cost.

    The military is investing nearly half a billion dollars in Microsoft-built HoloLens AR headsets to help soldiers become more effective while Walmart purchased 17,000 Oculus Go VR headsets this year to train the workforce at every store. If businesses are able to realize savings (or increased profits) by implementing VR training, then the high up-front cost of a headset like XTAL is likely still worth the investment. While we tried XTAL earlier this year and Neurable last year, and came away impressed by aspects of both demos, we haven’t tried a demo with both of these technologies implemented together.

    “VR is a medium that relishes in data. Making sense of all of that data both from an input/output perspective is very important,” Alcaide explained. “Eye-tracking allows systems to parse a user’s virtual reality experience (i.e. when and where they are looking) while BCI provides data on the internal experience of the user (e.g. change in cognitive state state). With both data streams, we can extract powerful behavioral insights from virtual reality not available otherwise. It’s not enough to just see where a user is looking. We need to know what kind of changes are going on while they do so. Similarity, it’s not enough to just know general changes in state. Being able to programmatically associate the two data streams is how we bring value to these new types of applications.”

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  • LEGO Playgrounds: A Mixed Reality Portal Of Innovation

    Have you ever wanted to jump through a mysterious portal and travel to a brand new universe where you loose all sense of space and time? LEGO Playgrounds, LEGO’s latest AR app-based channel, allows you to do precisely that. The LEGO Playgrounds portal is one of the latest LEGO digital innovations; a connected play experience

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