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AxonVR Rebrands as HaptX and announces Haptic Gloves

AxonVR have previously been involved in virtual reality (VR) technology with its patents for wearable haptic technology for interfacing with VR. The copmany has now rebranded and announced a new line of haptic gloves.

AxonVR have officially rebranded at HaptX, and has announced its first product, the HaptX Gloves, haptic wearable devices that allow VR users to experience realistic tactile feedback. The gloves feature over 100 points of tactile feedback, and are capable of up to five pounds of resistance per finger, with sub-millimetre motion tracking.

“HaptX Gloves are the result of years of research and development in haptic technology,” said Jake Rubin, Founder and CEO, HaptX Inc. “What really sets HaptX Gloves apart is the unprecedented realism they deliver. Our patented microfluidic technology physically displaces the skin the same way a real object would when touched, closely replicating its texture, shape, and movement.”

“We’ve reviewed the wearable haptic solutions out there, and the HaptX prototype provides the most realistic feedback by far,” said Dr. Jeremy Fishel, Chief Technology Officer of SynTouch, the leading tactile evaluation company. “HaptX marks a fundamental breakthrough in our industry’s ability to simulate touch.”

“Enterprise and entertainment users require a higher level of immersion than today’s VR controllers can deliver,” said Joe Michaels, Chief Revenue Officer at HaptX. “HaptX Gloves will allow our customers to get more out of their VR applications—whether they’re administering virtual training, designing three-dimensional objects, or developing a VR game.”

“This name change reflects our company’s dedication to delivering realistic touch through advanced haptic technology,” added Rubin. “HaptX Gloves are a huge step toward our long-term goal to deliver a full-body haptic platform, ushering in a world where virtual reality is indistinguishable from real life.”

HaptX Gloves are planned to begin shipping to certain selected customers in 2018.

VRFocus will bring you further information on HaptX as it becomes available. Source:

Tencent’s QQ-AR Technology Helps Justice League Achieve $60m at Chinese Box Office

DC Comics and Warner Bros. have recently released Justice League in cinemas. While the film has received a mixed response from critics the film itself hasn’t done too bad at the box office, especially overseas. Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings Limited, has announced that due to the film partnering with its QQ-AR technology, this has seen the release achieve box office sales over RMB 400 Million (approximately $60.3 million USD) in China.

Using the augmented reality (AR) technology of QQ-AR, fans can enter the virtual world of Justice League by simply using the scanning feature on thier mobile devices to capture immersive content. In addition, the QQ doll (seen below), a custom image that was created for the film using QQ-AR technology, has become a popular cartoon figure on Chinese social networks.

Justice League Branded Doll

Justice League isn’t the only film to utilise QQ-AR’s unique publicity value. Spider Man: Homecoming also supported the technology, with Tencent claiming 11 million users had been gained because of the AR scanning feature.

QQ-AR has been designed as an open platform allowing anyone, including those without any experience in AR development, to create their own AR experience.

During the course of 2017 Tencent has been making ever bigger strides into the field of AR and virtual reality (VR). In July Elite Dangerous creator, Cambridge-based UK developer Frontier Developments announced that it had sold a nine percent stake in the company for £17.7 million GBP. Then a month later Tencent invested in another UK studio, Liverpool-based independent developer Milky Tea, the team behind Coffin Dodgers VR.

As for the Justice League on western shores, Warner Bros. will be bringing Justice League VR: The Complete Experiencto customers in December, supporting HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and PlayStation VR. You’ll be able to play through missions a one of five characters, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Justice League, reporting back with any further VR/AR updates. Source:

Dispatch’ Expertly Weaves a Tale of Grizzly Murders in VR Through the Sound of 9-1-1 Calls

Dispatch (2017), a new episodic story from VR pros Here Be Dragons, launched on Oculus Rift and Gear VR yesterday. Following a small-town police emergency dispatcher named Ted (voiced by Martin Starr), you experience the story through a sort of half-imagined, half-real version of the grizzly events he’s privy to.

One of the unique features in Dispatch is its minimalist art style, which leaves a lot of room for the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own imagination. After all, as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, Ted only has the sound from the phone to drawn upon, so every slam or creak of a door is potentially a clue to what’s happening on the other end of the line.

Writer and Director Edward Robles said in an Oculus blog post announcing the experience’s release that from the very beginning he was intent on creating something minimalist, “reducing the details of everyday life to the most evocative.” Highly reliant on positional audio, you’re essentially following along with Ted as he recreates the grizzly scenes of violence in his mind. Despite its visual sparseness, the effect Dispatch has on you is pretty visceral.

Martin Starr, also known for his role as Gilfoyle in Silicon Valley, delivers the action with his patently monotone voice, acting as a sobering backdrop to the violence at hand.

Dispatch is told across 4 episodes, offering the first episode for free, which lasts about 5 minutes. The full four episodes however costs an additional $3, adding about 10 more minutes of overall time to the entire story.

Here’s how Here Be Dragons describes Dispatch:

What begins as a domestic violence call quickly cascades into a host of attacks across town, and the local police are struggling to keep up. Every new call sheds light on Ted’s inner torments and pushes him closer toward danger. Police dispatchers are trained to see with sound. Every door slam, tire screech, and piercing scream paints a picture in their minds. The visual world of Dispatch unfolds inside Ted’s imagination as he wades through the soundscape, advising terrified callers and listening for clues. Ted yearns to be at the scene of the crime, to be given the chance to really help someone. He’s about to get what he wished for.

You can read the full interview with Robles here, where he describes a little more about the creative process, and working with Starr to fill in the role as Ted. Source:

Modigliani VR Comes to Tate Modern

In an effort to promote virtual reality (VR) to as wide a field as possible, HTC Vive announced back in June that its was collaborating with Tate Modern in London, UK, on an exhibition celebrating the work of artist Modigliani. The Tate has now launched its highly anticipated Modigliani exhibition ahead of the official public opening tomorrow.

Set to be the most comprehensive Modigliani (1884-1920) exhibition ever held in the UK, Tate Modern brings together a dazzling range of his iconic portraits, nudes and sculptures.

The VR experience The Ochre Atelier, is a reimagining of Modigliani’s studio in Paris, allowing visitors to see where the artist lived and worked during the final months of his life. The VR room comprises nine HTC Vive head-mount displays (HMDs), right in the centre of the exhibition, where guests can listen to narrated first-hand accounts from Modigliani’s friends and commentary from Tate’s experts. Each of the over 60 objects featured in The Ochre Atelier has been carefully researched and authentically modelled by 3D artists and modellers at Preloaded, from a packet of cigarettes to the way the windows would have opened to let in light.


Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be working with VIVE to bring a new and exciting digital experience to our visitors. We are always looking to push creative boundaries and we think this will be a fantastic opportunity to give the public a different and in-depth understanding of this much-loved artist through new technology.”

“We’re proud to be partnering with Tate Modern on the next project of our Vive Arts program, which empowers artists to create and consumers to experience art and culture in new ways with HTC Vive,” said Joel Breton, VP of Vive Studios. “Modigliani VR: The Ochre Atelier challenges the way we interpret the work and influences of an artist through virtual reality, and marks an exciting step forward for technology’s role in enriching the narrative of gallery exhibitions.”

Tate Modern’s Modigliani exhibition will be open to the public from 23rd November 2017 – 2nd April 2018. For any further updates keep reading VRFocus. Source:

Starbreeze ‘Dedicated’ to VR Game Development

In a recent livestream discussing Starbreeze AB’s Q2 report, 1st January – 30th September 2017, CEO Bo Andersson Klint and CFO Sebastian Ahlskog discussed the recent virtual reality (VR) partnerships the company had entered into and the future of Starbreeze’s involvement in the medium. Klint assured investors that despite a push for new hardware, Starbreeze remains committed to VR software development.

“We are investing in creating substantial value for our shareholders. In order to more clearly demonstrate our ambitions, we published new financial goals ahead of the listing on Nasdaq Stockholm,” explained Klint during the livestream. “One of our targets is to achieve revenues of at least SEK 2 billion in 2020, not including PAYDAY 3. The majority of the revenues will be generated by our own game development. We also see tremendous growth potential in a continued expansion of the publishing game portfolio, new platforms like VR and new geographical markets.”

When going into specifics relating to VR, the representatives of Starbreeze explained that partnering with a hardware manufacturer for StarVR allowed the company to dedicate more resources to developing software for that and other formats.

“The questions we are asked most often about our VR ventures is why we – a game company – should engage in hardware production and how we can compete with other tech giants. Starbreeze remains fully committed to its virtual reality expansion and the answer is twofold. One, we firmly believe virtual reality is one of the emerging techs that is here to stay and we aim to be one of the future key stakeholders in creating immersive experiences, now and in the future.

Secondly, we found that while the consumer market was alluring, the B2B market has great potential where we have an opportunity to take a strong position. Finding the right partner to bring the product to market has been key, and with our collaboration with Acer and through the creation of the StarVR joint venture, we’re well positioned to take market share in the B2B space.

Payday-2-VR---2We remain dedicated to our VR venture. We are looking to be smart about our investments and make sure we get maximum benefit from all of them. We have driven design and technical innovation within the framework of our VR partnership with Acer. The time is now right to gear up the investment in the joint venture company and get the headset onto the B2B market and into VR centers. This phase is capital intensive and Acer will be taking on a larger share of the financing and, accordingly, a larger stake in the joint venture.

With Acer as our strategic partner and with their financial muscle, we can focus our resources on our core business – content is still king.”

Starbreeze has of course just launched a beta testing phase for Payday 2 VR, which has been very well received by HTC Vive players. A future update to incorporate Oculus Rift is also expected, but no date has yet been given. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Starbreeze’s investment in VR, both hardware and software. Source:

Freedom Fighter’ AR App Will Connect Baltimore With its Past and Civil Rights Leader Dr. Lillie May Carrol Jackson

Filmmaker Taura Musgrove saw The Last Goodbye , a virtual reality (VR) documentary led by Gabo Arora by Lightshed. The documentary followed Pinchas Gutter, a Holocaust survivor and takes the user to the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland. With the help of room-scale VR, the experience takes the viewer on a tour of the camp and Pincha’s experience as a child there. The compassion and empathy felt by viewers is what Musgrove wanted to tap into when she created her augmented reality (AR) experience. Gabo Arora tells VRFocus about how with his guidance Musgrove and John Hopkins University were able to create an app that could bring the new youths in touch with their historical past in Baltimore.

Freedom Fighter is an AR app built with Apple’s ARkit that uses geofencing to bring users face-to-face with a volumetric AR model of American Civil Rights leader Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson. The app works only with geofencing, meaning that users can only access the content in the exact physical space where the content is made to be displayed. A little like Pokemon Go, you have to physically walk to a location to get access to certain items. Musgrove hopes that Freedom Fighter will not only connect Baltimorians with the history of their city, street corners and significant historical figures but also also show them where certain events took place with geofencing.

So if you were to download the app on an iPhone, you would physically have to walk to certain street corners in Baltimore and take out your iphone. All these locations you have to walk to, are of historical significance in the history of Baltimore and have been affected by the riots in 2015 or are in urban decay. You would hold up your phone for example and see the old National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) appear as well as an AR model of Dr. Jackson. She would then proceed to tell you about herself, the history of this corner and its significance.

Dr. Lillie May Carroll Jackson is a herald of American Civil Rights. As head of the Baltimore chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for thirty-five years, she pioneered the organization of ordinary citizens, black and white, to protest lynching, educational segregation, and police brutality. Arora, the executive producer of Freedom Fighter explains that Baltimore suffered riots in 2015, the origin of the Black Lives Matter movement and a hotbed of activism and solutions for racial and social justice. The younger generation however seem to have forgotten Baltimore’s civil rights activists and the importance of certain locations in the history of America.

The app has not been released yet, but when it is, it will be completely free to download. making it accessible to let viewers experience firsthand Dr. Jackson’s leadership, vision and strategy for activism. Arora talks about potentially bringing this into history classes in Baltimore as well as helping sustain black businesses in the community by collecting points through the app. To find out more watch the video below. Source:

Fan-Created ‘xkcd’ VR Tool Lets You Make Your Own xkcd-style Webcomics in VR

Created by Winnipeg-based indie studio The Campfire Unionxkcd VR lets you become a character from Randall Munroe’s popular webcomic and create your very own stick figure-based stab at the comic’s famously acerbic humor.

Built as an entry at the Winnipeg Winter Game Jam and xkcd Game Jam this past weekend, the comic-creation tool lets you set up a cell, use props and act out the part of one of 8 xkcd characters. Essentially using the VR headset and controllers for motion capture (both Rift and Vive are supported), you can create a moving comic, or take screenshots of the action for your own xkcd-inspired work.

While the xkcd VR experience is a tribute to Munroe’s comic, and isn’t an official app by the artist himself, it completely nails the font, props, and characters of the comic.

You can download the experience for Rift and Vive here.


  • Be one of 8 xkcd characters (VR as mocap)
  • Choose from 12 props
  • Make speech bubbles with a virtual keyboard
  • Compose wide, regular or narrow comic cells
  • Switch between light and dark themes
  • Take screenshots to make your own comics
  • Switch between comic and mirrored view on 2nd screen output Source:

Mozilla Announced Plans for Web-Based Social VR

Earlier this year Mozilla, creators of the Firefox web browser, announced its plans to make mixed reality (MR) more accessible by using WebVR to bring MR to a wider audience. The company are now planning on expanding this concept by bringing enabling social MR in a web browser.

Bringing a social aspect into virtual reality (VR) and MR has been the goal of several companies, including Valve and Facebook, aiming to dispel the idea of VR/MR an inherently isolating. Mozilla’s project, titled Social 3D Web, is aimed at allowing users to connect, socialise and collaborate without barriers.

Mozilla Social Mixed Reality

Mozilla has long been critical of the ‘Walled Garden’ approach used by companies such as Facebook, and has presented the idea of a virtual space where connecting with another person is a simple and intuitive as sharing a link, regardless of what software or device involved.

A dedicated team has been formed to work on Mozilla’s Social Mixed Reality platform, which will be using the WebVR and A-Frame set of libraries and APIs in order to build a platform that allows users a consistent experience, letting the same avatar, settings and tools follow the user so they never have to learn a new user interface from scratch when engaging with Social 3D Web.

To support the creation of this platform, Mozilla are investing in open source components and services which will allow A-Frame developers to create rich Social MR experiences as a showcase of the platform’s capabilities.

Mozilla has opened up its Github repositories in order to invite the community to provide feedback to the process and begin contributing to the creation of this new platform. The specific areas that Mozilla is currently focussing on are:

  • Avatars and Identity

  • Communication

  • Entities

  • Tools

  • Search & Discovery

For those who are interested in getting involved, there is a Social channel on the WebVR Slash which is collaborating on these new features. There are also five Github repositories to browse which can be found below:

VRFocus will bring you further news on Social 3D Web as it becomes available. Source:

VR Experiences to Introduce Your Family to Virtual Reality Over Thanksgiving

The turkey is in the oven, the cranberry sauce is in the can, and your VR setup is in the box ready to be shown off to the family at Thanksgiving. Since you’ll be doing a fair bit of VR evangelizing on the big day, an important question remains before you can plug your unwitting relatives into ‘the final computing platform’: what do you show off first?

Assuming you aren’t actually hosting Thanksgiving, undoubtedly the easiest VR systems to lug around would be the selection of mobile VR headsets currently on offer, namely Google Daydream and Gear VR. With a little careful planning though, you can pack up your PS4 console and PSVR, or your entire Vive/Rift/Windows VR system—just make sure the house has adequate space (and and electrical outlets!) for room-scale gaming. Unless otherwise requested, you should probably also keep sessions short and simple for VR newcomers.

Here’s a few recommendations for getting Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Ted, Aunt Rachel and your little cousin Skippy McDingus into VR for the first time:

Gear VR

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Smash Hit


Oculus Video

  • Smash Hit (2016)With its constant forward motion and a simple objective (smash the glass), almost anyone can understand Smash Hit. The game’s futuristic setting and great soundtrack also help give off the “woah, I’m in the future” vibe.
  • Minecraft (2017)Little Skippy will do and learn anything to play Minecraft in VR. Set up a station in the corner, put on a 10-minute timer and get all the Little Skippies taking turns.
  • Oculus Video: Load up a movie and toss your Uncle Ted in for his own private cinema. Yes, Ted. You can watch *other things* too.
  • WithinLet’s face it – most 360 video is crap. Within however offers a wide selection of curated content that looks pretty darn good considering both mono and stereoscopic (3D) 360 video still isn’t where it needs to be technically speaking. Still very much worth a gander.


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Mekorama VR


LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR

Fantastic Beasts
  • Mekorama VR (2017)A quiet puzzler for Aunt Gracie, Mekorama VR tasks you with guiding a wibbly little robot pal through a series of 3D puzzles – of course with ever-increasing difficulty.
  • Bait! (2017): Somebody in your family loves fishing. I’m not even going to make up a pretend name. (also on Gear VR)
  • LEGO BrickHeadz Builder VR (2017): Ok. So it’s not Minecraft, the delightful little building app comes in second place with the ability to build LEGO structures without the need for clean up.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017): While pretty thin in the gameplay department, the overall “wow” effect is big with this little Harry Potter Universe game that lets you explore the film’s world and even do a little magic too.


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Fruit Ninja VR

The original PlayStation VR Demo Disc | Photo by Road to VR
  • Farpoint (2017): While it’s an intense trip for sure thanks to the immersiveness of holding the PS Aim controller while actually having to locomote across the map, there’s somebody in the group who’ll appreciate the ability to walk distant planets and shoot the ever-living shit out of the native inhabitants.
  • Allumette (2016): Sit grandma down for a story about a young orphan girl who lives in a fantastical city in the clouds. It’s a tear jerker for sure, so make sure to give gamgam a big hug from us all.
  • Fruit Ninja VR (2016)Just like the popular mobile game, Fruit Ninja on PSVR is easy to understand. Fruit goes up. Fruit gets sliced. Have a competition to see who can get the highest score!
  • PlayStation VR Demo Disc 2 (2017): PSVR’s updated demo disc is jam-packed with upcoming games and crowd favorites. Most are short enough to plug in a person for a quick 10-20 minute play session. Oh, and definitely play Moss.

Rift & Vive (and Windows VR)

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Google Earth VR

Space Pirate Trainer

Bigscreen Beta

Coco VR
  • Google Earth VR (2017) – Oculus and SteamVR: The controls may take some explaining, but giving a loved one the opportunity to travel, especially if they aren’t physically able, is going to really be a special moment. Travel the sights, and revisit distant places you never thought you’d see again in the flesh.
  • Space Pirate Trainer (2016) Oculus and SteamVRHan Solo doesn’t have anything on your Auntie Rachel. While it’s fundamentally just a wave shooter, it’s by far one of the best-looking and feeling out there.
  • Bigscreen Beta (2016) Oculus and SteamVR: Pop on a video and get your relatives reeling at the future possibility of never having to buy a TV ever again.
  • Coco VR (2017) – Oculus: Pixar’s first VR experience is absolutely astounding. Ideal for the first timer of any age, the experience can last anywhere from 15-30 minutes per player. check out our hands-on here. Vive and Windows VR headset users have had varying levels of success with with Revive, so it’s definitely worth a poke.

Don’t Miss

The post VR Experiences to Introduce Your Family to Virtual Reality Over Thanksgiving appeared first on Road to VR. Source:

Volkswagen Introduce Digital Reality Hub

One of the major advantages of virtual reality (VR) for business and enterprise use is how it enhances the collaborative process by allowing colleagues to work together despite being physically far distant. Car manufacturer Volkswagen are exploring this with the use of its new Digital Reality Hub.

Volkswagen have created a working group called the Digital Realities team, which encompasses twelve brands under the Volkswagen banner, including Skoda and Audi and 120 sites around the world. The aim of the group is to allow its members to exchange ideas and information in order to ensure the Volkswagen Group is moving in the right direction.

“Our aim is to ensure that employees, brands and sites are better networked by deploying the latest innovative developments,” says Digital Reality group leader Frank Jelich, “We therefore benefit from close cooperation between the best experts from the entire Group.”

The Digital Reality Hub combines several Group VR applications and tools into one platform. The hub allows real locations, such as factory production lines, to be created 1:1 in the virtual environment. The Digital Reality hub allows for efficiency savings by allowing designers and engineers to trial optimisation measures. It also saves time and money that would otherwise be spent in time consuming and expensive site visits.

Mathias Synowski, VR user from Group Logistics, adds: “We can take part in workshops at other sites virtually or get support from experts from other brands virtually when implementing optimizations. It makes it much easier to work as a team every day and saves us a lot of time.”

Heike Münstermann from the Strategy and Factory Concepts division works on overseeing the introduction of the technology developed by the Digital working group into series production. She says VR and AR are becoming increasingly important is business: “Virtual reality and augmented reality will have a huge impact on how we work in the future, and as such there will be new health issues for us to consider. The systems for assessing physical and psychological stress need to be further developed for these applications. The cognitive processing of innovative technology also needs to be assessed.”

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments in VR for industry use. Source: