Tag Archives: VRFocus

Windows Mixed Reality: Hands-on with the Lenovo Explorer

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The forthcoming launch of the Windows Mixed Reality platform has birthed nearly as much confusion in the naming strategy as it has from the suggested quality of the hardware. While the specifications are up-to-scratch on paper, there’s been some doubt as to whether such a hardware agnostic approach can deliver the results demanded by virtual reality (VR) early adopters. In a hands-on with the consumer edition of the Lenovo Explorer, it does appear as though Microsoft has established a welcoming multi-purpose VR platform.

For the uninitiated, the Windows Mixed Reality platform comes in two flavours; a standard edition that can work on low specification PC hardware and the Windows Mixed Reality Ultra format, which allows the same head-mounted displays (HMDs) to use more powerful PC hardware to deliver richer VR experiences. The demonstration VRFocus experienced was clearly the latter given the software on show, but in that a direct comparison in quality to established HMDs, such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, was possible. Thankfully, the Lenovo Explorer performed very well in this comparison.

During the ‘guided demonstration’ VRFocus was presented with – which featured a virtual ‘home’ location through which the small selection of content was accessed – SUPERHOT VR was the first videogame that could be sampled. Just as with the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR editions, the reactions of the AI opponents are based upon the head movement of the player, and thus was a very appropriate experience for examining the worth of the inside-out tracking. The Lenovo Explorer performed very well in this regard; no immediate issues with loss of position or direction. Though it was only a short demonstration, the tracking did actually feel slightly superior to Oculus VR’s Santa Cruz prototype hardware.

The next part of the demonstration was a view of Machu Piccu captured with photogrammetry. The player is elevated high above the city with a view of the surrounding landscape, distant details providing a good test of the Lenovo Explorer’s screen resolution. Sadly, despite being informed that this part of the demonstration was designed for assessment of the six degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) tracking, the desire to move outside of the small sphere provided resulted in a blackout of the experience, thus making it rather irrelevant as a case study for the inside-out tracking.

Lenovo VR HMD

Instead, it fell to Space Pirate Trainer to be a compliment to SUPERHOT VR in this regard. An experience that calls for sudden movement and wide stepping will always be a superior way to assess HMD tracking over a stationary 360-degree video. The HMD and the motion-controllers performed perfectly well in the videogame which has become a standard choice for many public demonstrations of VR – undoubtedly a boon for Microsoft’s platform – providing a convincing argument for the Lenovo Explorer sitting next to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

While the quality of the videogames and experiences on the Windows Mixed Reality platform are comparable to the leading HMDs, the hardware itself is another matter. The Lenovo Explorer is smaller and more lightweight than any of the rival PC HMDs, though it also feels less durable as if made of weaker materials. With the launch around the corner it’s only a matter of time until consumers will be able to evaluate the long-term viability of the Lenovo Explorer for themselves, and VRFocus will be bringing you much more hands-on coverage of this promising new HMD.

http://ift.tt/2xroutO Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

AfterNow Releases ARKit Tool Aimed at Filmmakers

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The announcement of Apple’s ARKit toolset for augmented reality (AR) generated much excitement, with its enhanced AR capabilities prompting several companies to try out the technology. One such company is AfterNow, a specialist in AR who have created a new AR app for filmmakers.

The new app, called Blocker, is a creative tool for directors and filmmakers. It combines a director’s viewfinder with the ability to place virtual characters in order to quickly compose shots and check conditions such as lighting, angle and composition.

By combing virtual characters with real world scenery, filmmakers can better prepare for filming, getting a better idea of where to place cameras, characters and props. The current version of the app includes a director’s viewfinder, 3D content to aid in composing a scene, a lighting model that simulates shadows and colour and the ability to share images including shot information.

Users can even pick the camera they wish to use, with a selection of over 400 available, complete with the ability to adjust focal length to accurately reflect how a shot will look.

“Our goal is to pull storyboarding and shot blocking into the real world, so that it’s intuitive and expressive,” said Jesse Vander Does, the Director of Technology at AfterNow.

“ARKit from Apple is enabling developers to create more valuable and practical augmented reality applications on mobile phones,” according to Philippe Lewicki, Captain of AfterNow added.

Blocker can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for the iPhone6 and newer, running iOS11. Further information can be found on the AfterNow website.

VRFocus will continue to report on new and innovative uses for AR.

http://ift.tt/2wBLesy Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

Oculus Experiments With Love In Virtual Reality

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The question of if it is possible create real relationships over the internet or through virtual reality (VR) has been around for some time. While some people question the validity of romance or friendship created this way, for others it is a lifeline. Fall In Love VR explores this issue, attempting to use VR to foster real human connection.

Inspired by a New York Times piece ‘The 36 Questions That Lead to Love’ and a study by Arthur Aron on The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness, Fall In Love VR reinvents modern dating by putting the human aspect front and centre, aiming to create real connections between people.

The project was created as a collaboration between Oculus Studios, Tool of North America and director Kevin Cornish. Fall In Love VR allows users to use VR to be transported to a grove of trees where a group of actors wait. Using sophisticated voice recognition software, users can interact with the actors, asking and answering questions that range from casual, everyday information to personal, intimate information.

Julia Sourikoff, Executive Producer for VR at Tool of North America said: “Tool was looking to sign VR and AR Directors that were generating their own original concepts for these new mediums. The first project that Kevin pitched to us was Fall in Love, and we knew immediately that he was a creator we wanted to sign, and that this was a project we wanted to produce. We spent the next couple months in development and fundraising mode until we secured Oculus as a partner and officially greenlit the project. The rest is history!”

Fall In Love VR is available for free from the Oculus Store for the Oculus Rift.

VRFocus will continue to report on new and innovative new VR projects.

http://ift.tt/2xlJ7Go Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

D-Box and Cineplex Team Up For VR Cinematic Experience

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Canadian cinema company Cineplex have already been involved in several ventures to bring virtual reality (VR) to various locations in Canada. The latest involves immersive entertainment company D-Box, who have partnered with Cineplex to bring a VR cinematic experience to Canadians.

Customers at Cineplex’s Scotiabank Theatre in Ottawa will soon be able to enjoy a VR motion experience in one of the 10 D-Box VR motion seats that are being installed in the theatre to offer a more immersive experience.

The new VR theatre experience is expected to open sometime in Autumn 2017 and will debut with the premiere of animated VR motion experience of Raising a Rukus, an animated adventure produced by The Virtual Reality Company that tells the story of a brother and sister as they go on magical adventures along with their mischievous dog Rukus.

Virtual Reality Company Raising a Rukus Family Scene

“We entertain more than 75 million Canadians a year so integrating VR entertainment experiences into our theatres is a natural extension of what we do best,” said Pat Marshall, Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations, Cineplex. “We love bringing innovative new entertainment choices to our guests and we are pleased to work with D-BOX to bring this new, immersive VR experience to the Ottawa community.”

“We’ve been working with Cineplex since 2009 and today they have more than 80 auditoriums equipped with D-BOX motion systems, providing movie-goers with an exceptional in-theatre experience,” states Claude Mc Master, President and CEO of D-BOX. “This new venture underlines our commitment to move full speed ahead into the world of VR through immersive storytelling and offers the movie industry a reliable, manageable, secure and efficient way to create recurring revenue.”

VRFocus will bring you further news on D-Box and Cineplex VR projects as it becomes available.

http://ift.tt/2wK0GOu Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

Go on a Spiritual Journey as XING: The Land Beyond Arrives on Steam

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It’s been a long time in the making but finally today White Lotus Interactive has released its long awaited puzzle adventure XING: The Land Beyond on Steam, with full support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

XING: The Land Beyond transports you to XING, an afterlife where secrets lay in wait to be uncovered telling the truth about why you’re there and who you are. The videogame is littered with environment-based puzzles which require powers and abilities gained along the way to solve them, such as rain and snow.

Xing: The Land Beyond Screenshot 4

Because the videogame has been designed to support both virtual reality (VR) headsets and standard desktop monitors White Lotus Interactive has ensured there are plenty of control options available. Gamepads and motion controls are fully supported with VR players able to use a free movement system the studio calls ‘Reins’ because it is similar to directing a horse, which VRFocus goes into more detail in a recent preview. There’s also the usual analogue stick style with snap turning and smooth rotation options.

XING: The Land Beyond can be purchased through Steam for £14.99 GBP. There will also be a version for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR although at the time of writing the title isn’t listed on the console’s store.

For any further XING: The Land Beyond updates, keep reading VRFocus.

http://ift.tt/2ygRnXB Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

Viveport Marks First Anniversary With Revenue Share

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Viveport, the global app store for virtual relaity (VR) videogames and experience for the HTC Vive is marking its first year of operation with new features for Viveport developers and a boost the the revenue share.

Since launch, the subscription-based service introduced over 1,000 new VR experiences, along with new platforms and services, such as the Viveport Arcade Manager, a content and distribution management platform designed for managers and proprietors of location-based VR centres.

To celebrate its first anniversary, Viveport is introducing new features and enhancements, and in addition, will be forgoing its platform fee from October through to the end of December, 2017, allowing developers to keep the profits made through Viveport for the rest of the year.

The Viveport Arcade Manager will also be receiving upgrades, based on user feedback that should benefit operators, customers and developers. Developer revenue share for applications on the Viveport Arcade Manager will also increase from 50% to 7% to all developers receiving profits during the Christmas period.

The Viveport Scene SDK has also been announced, a new toolset with sill help developers create previews that can be showcased in Viveport to give customers better idea of the content available.

“From launching the first-ever subscription model for a VR app store to exceeding 1,000 titles available globally, to over 26,000 registered developers in our community, Viveport has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.” said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport. “We enter year two with exciting new features and improvements to continue our commitment to providing the best VR experience for Viveport customers and the most monetization options for developers.”

Further information can be found at the Viveport developer website.

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments for VR services and applications.

http://ift.tt/2xr0uXV Source: https://www.vrfocus.com

Dove Chocolate Bringing VR Experience to Life is Beautiful & Voodoo Festivals

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Branded virtual reality (VR) content is nothing new, yet bringing such experiences to festivals around the world has been seeing something of a significant investment in 2017. Set to make its debut at Life is Beautiful, Las Vegas, 22nd – 24th September 2017, DOVE Chocolate VR Experience is the latest application to offer attendees their first taste of VR.

DOVE Chocolate VR Experience_1

Attendees of Life is Beautiful can travel to New York City, Paris and Iceland through the DOVE Chocolate VR Experience, showcased on a Samsung Gear VR. A gif maker will also be available with attendees invited to share their gifs on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ChoosePleasure in order to enter a competition for ‘the holiday of a lifetime’. Exactly what the prize on offer (or any additional terms and conditions) are not currently known.

Following its debut this weekend, the DOVE Chocolate VR Experience will also appear at the Voodoo Festival, New Orleans, 27th – 29th October 2017.

Despite the DOVE Chocolate VR Experience being demonstrated on a Samsung Gear VR, it’s not currently been confirmed whether the title will be offered to owners of the device. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details.

http://ift.tt/2jNVYxU Source: https://www.vrfocus.com