NextVR Develops Night VR Camera To Capture Animals, Ghosts

There are a lot of different VR cameras in development but I don’t think I’ve heard of one for capturing light in extreme darkness before. NextVR, however, built one for exactly this purpose. The Newport Beach-based company is best known for its live-streaming in VR of concerts, sporting events and even political debates with proprietary…

There Will Be No Proto Awards In 2017, Return Planned In 2018

The organizers of VR’s biggest awards ceremony, The Proto Awards, say they won’t be hosting an event in 2017. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 The Proto Awards were held to recognize some of the groundbreaking efforts pushing forward the emerging medium of VR content. The event is organized by The Virtual Reality Foundation, which is…

SIGGRAPH 2017: This Controller Changes Shape To Match Virtual Objects

A new controller shown at SIGGRAPH could change shape from rigid to squishy in a demonstration that could lead to more immersive touch sensations in virtual worlds. The research from Cornell University’s Organic Robotics Lab builds on an earlier demonstration that pumped air into a Vive controller for a variety of sensations, including firing a…

SIGGRAPH 2017: Neurable Lets You Control A Virtual World With Your Mind

I’ve used my eyes to interact with a virtual world before, but startup Neurable just enhanced that experience by reading my thoughts too. At SIGGRAPH this week the Boston-based startup is showing its modified HTC Vive which include EEG (Electroencephalography) sensors along the interior of the headstrap. This is combined with eye-tracking technology from German firm…

SIGGRAPH 2017: Optitrack Reveals Tracking Puck For Full-Body VR Immersion

When I tried the latest installation of The VOID earlier this year in Utah I encountered what I think is likely the pinnacle of immersion possible in 2017, with one major limit. The VOID’s system is wireless and its relatively lightweight backpack PC actually enhances immersion because it fits with a narrative they concocted of…

NVIDIA Research At SIGGRAPH Aims To Fix VR Headset Limits

Current VR headsets can certainly make you believe you’re in a virtual world, but consumer devices can’t yet reproduce the exact way your eyes see the real world. New research being presented at SIGGRAPH by NVIDIA aims to fix that. NVIDIA Research is demonstrating two ways of addressing the vergence-accommodation conflict. For those unfamiliar, our…

HTC Announces Vive Standalone For The Chinese Market

Earlier this year HTC became an official partner with Google in producing a Daydream-based standalone VR headset under the Vive brand. Today, HTC announced it is producing a similar device for the Chinese market powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. It looks like it will access HTC’s storefront, called Viveport, to get to virtual worlds…

Within Raises $40 Million To Push Shared Virtual Worlds Further

Groundbreaking VR content company Within raised $40 million in funding to help it “push the medium of virtual and augmented reality even further,” according to a press release. Co-founder and CEO Chris Milk is one of the people responsible for popularizing the idea that VR can create “the ultimate empathy machine,” and the company’s content…

SDCC 2017: The IT VR Experience Sent A Chill Down My Spine

A creepy bus at Comic-Con greeted visitors with the promise of a “Float Cinematic VR Experience” for the upcoming September release of Stephen King’s clown nightmare IT. Games Editor David Jagneaux and I boarded the bus last weekend and found ourselves in a holding room that resembled a large drainage pipe, with only a dim…

Breaking Down The Ready Player One Movie’s First Trailer

The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s big screen version of 2011’s Ernest Cline novel Ready Player One arrived over the weekend, and we’ve started dissecting its many revelations. Now before I go too far I’ll say that I’ve only read Ready Player One once, so my memory of how the book differs from what we…

Leap Motion Raises $50 Million For Its Finger Tracking Technology

VR and AR headsets are heading to market from Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others that have a wide range of capabilities. Just last week we learned about Facebook’s plan for a $200 headset that occupies the low end of the market while Google continues work on a six degrees of freedom standalone headset. What’s unclear…

Editorial: HTC Vive Needs A Major Price Cut To Stay Competitive

Since the bombshell price drop earlier this week by Facebook’s Oculus, a number of theories have emerged regarding the Rift’s temporary $400 price tag. Is Oculus preparing a second generation and hoping to clear stock? Is Oculus struggling so much that Facebook is dropping the price of the Rift in a last ditch effort to…

How Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are Investing in VR

The BAT web companies — Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu — are using their war chests for a different take on virtual reality (VR) than their overseas competitors. Instead of building and investing in headsets like Facebook of the US, Sony of Japan and HTC of Taiwan, the Chinese trio are becoming middlemen: creating platforms and…

Investors Spent Nearly $1 Billion On Virtual World Creation Tools In Q2

Virtual world creation tools Improbable and Unity Technologies anchored investment in the AR/VR industry in Q2. AR/VR adviser Digi-Capital tracked $800 million worth of investment in the industry throughout Q2. While that sounds like a lot, this amount was centered around two major technology builders. Improbable, which is building a cloud computing platform aimed at…

Spaces Adds Facebook Live Streaming

Spaces is Facebook’s social VR experience on Rift only. It allows people to meet up in virtual reality with cartoonish avatars and draw or see 360-degree videos together, among other activities. The virtual world even allows visitors to take selfies and make calls to people in the real world over Facebook Messenger — allowing people…

Unity Rolls Out Major Update With NVIDIA VRWorks Support

Unity rolled out a major update to its development platform bringing with it a number of improvements across the board. The 2017.1 update to the Unity toolset includes highly touted features like a timeline for producing cinematic content and trailers, while also adding NVIDIA VRWorks to render VR more efficiently on recent NVIDIA graphics cards…

PSVR’s Aim Controller Adds A New Layer To ROM: Extraction

At E3 last week in Los Angeles Sony’s media showcase included a demo of ROM: Extraction paired with the PSVR’s Aim Controller — adding a cool new element to the shooter. The arcade-style shooter from First Contact Entertainment released late last year for both Rift and Vive, allowing players to throw orbs and slow down…

Valve Distributing Knuckles Prototypes To Devs In Limited Quantities

Valve confirmed to UploadVR the company has progressed to sending developers prototypes of its next generation VR hand controllers. This was to be expected but provides us with a rough sense of the advancements being pursued by the VR technology company. Recent updates from Valve, which partnered with HTC to create the Vive, The controllers…

Super Mario Bros. Level Recreated In AR By HoloLens Developer

This is so cool. Developer Abhishek Singh recreated a life size Super Mario Bros. level and played it wearing HoloLens in New York’s Central Park. He did this all dressed as Mario and he filmed it in a video that is very likely destined to go viral. Be sure to watch through to when the holes open…

GameFace Plans GF-LD Headset With SteamVR And Android Support

GameFace Labs is a company I’ve seen at countless VR events. Its CEO, Ed Mason, has frequented the VR conference circuit for years now showing off headset designs. E3 was no different as I found him in a room opposite Intel’s wireless Vive accessory — though Mason asked that I come back the next day…

Best VR Hardware Of E3 2017

Now that it’s all said and done it’s easy to see that E3 2017 just wasn’t a huge showing for VR hardware. Microsoft didn’t even mention VR at all during the reveal of the Xbox One X even though executives have suggested the system will still support it. That said, we did try out some…

Hands-On With Playful’s Mysterious New Game — Star Child

Three years ago I rushed through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center when E3 opened and headed straight for the Oculus booth to try the latest Rift development kit. I met Paul Bettner, the CEO of Texas-based Playful Corp, and inside the Rift DK2 headset I met Lucky. Lucky was an adorable fox waving…

Super Lucky’s Tale ‘Designed In A VR-Friendly Way’

We sat down with the CEO of Playful this week, Paul Bettner, and discussed a ton of fascinating subjects covering everything from the birth of the first Oculus Rift exclusive title Lucky’s Tale to the reason his company hasn’t adopted room-scale VR in a product yet. We’ll get to those answers as soon as we…