Penrose Studios Raises $10 Million For AR/VR Entertainment

Penrose Studios has raised $10 million in a new round of funding for its augmented reality and virtual reality entertainment. That’s a beefy round, considering that part of the company’s market, VR, has fallen out of favor with investors. But San Francisco-based Penrose Studios has set itself apart with animated VR films such as Allumette, which aims…

Watch Amazon’s VR Kiosks Transform The Future Of Shopping

Amazon announced that it has opened virtual reality kiosks in 10 shopping malls to promote its Prime Day shopping event. Now you can see the Amazon VR experience for yourself. Prepare to be impressed: It’s significantly more elaborate than expected, and shows how a top retailer is transforming the future of shopping. Rather than taking the obvious retail angle and…

Full-Body VR Haptic HoloSuit Shipping This November

If you’ve ever felt that your body would be a better controller in virtual reality than a joypad or wand, you’ll understand why Kaaya Tech’s HoloSuit just reached its funding goal on Kickstarter. Offered in multiple versions, the wearable haptic controller uses a considerable array of sensors to control VR apps, and promises to start shipping this…

What Sony’s PlayStation 4 ‘End-Of-Life’ Means For PSVR And PSVR 2

When Sony executive John Tsuyoshi Kodera told investors this week that the PlayStation 4 is entering the “final phase of its life cycle,” there were two ways to parse the news. You could disbelieve it — it’s a mistake, an overstatement, or likely to change — or assume that Sony was dead serious and already planning for the PlayStation…

Researchers Use VR To Train AI Drones, Cutting Autonomous Vehicle Crashes

MIT researchers have developed a technique to train fast-moving autonomous AI drones using VR-enhanced environments, reducing crashes and thereby the need for repairs or replacements. Known as “Flight Goggles,” the system will be detailed at this week’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia. Flight Goggles enables autonomous vehicles to see and learn from…

Oculus Adds Paid DLC To Mobile Store, Promises Rift Support ‘Soon’

Post-release downloadable content has become so commonplace in games that today’s digital stores need to support it. Now that the Oculus Go is in stores, Oculus has announced that it’s implementing standalone DLC in its Mobile Store for the Go and Samsung Gear VR, with Rift support “coming soon.” DLC’s major benefit for Go and Rift developers will be the…

Sega’s Space Channel 5 VR Will Come To U.S. As Kinda Funky News Flash

Sega’s beloved Dreamcast rhythm game Space Channel 5 is coming to virtual reality, and a tweet now confirms that a U.S. version — “Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash!” — will see its debut at the Los Angeles VR event VRLA. Developer Grounding says that it will offer 15 minute demos of the VR experience on May 5 and…

VRstudios Makes A Compact VR Experience With VRcade Atom

VRstudios has made location-based entertainment virtual reality arcades for big commercial venues in the past, but now the company revealed the VRcade Atom, a more compact VR booth with a smaller footprint that doesn’t require an expensive facility. The VRcade Atom is a commercial wireless VR system built for location-based entertainment (LBE) arcades, and it costs less…

Pimax 8K VR Headset Delayed Again, Refresh Rate Drops To 80Hz

Several months after delaying “the world’s first 8K VR headset,” developer Pimax has revealed that its Pimax 8K has been postponed again — and apparently downgraded in performance, as well. Not surprisingly, the company’s Kickstarter backers aren’t thrilled by the news, which suggests that the headset will now arrive significantly after its originally promised delivery date. Pimax…

The Horror Of The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Comes To Virtual Reality

A book recently conveyed to me the horrors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast. But I can only imagine how much more powerful this history lesson could be if conveyed through virtual reality. That’s the ambition behind The Day the World Changed, a haunting new virtual reality film being shown this week at the 2018 Tribeca Film…

TheWaveVR Raises $6 million For Social VR Music And Arts Platform

Some virtual reality startups are having trouble getting the attention of investors, after the first wave of VR headsets failed to live up to the hype. But TheWaveVR has been able to raise $6 million in venture funding for its social VR platform and community for VR music and visual arts experiences. TheWaveVR turns concerts into social VR experiences…

VR And AR Gaming Jobs Are On The Rise According To Indeed

Virtual reality and augmented reality represent areas of opportunity. VR failed to live up to the wildest promises when the new systems launched in 2015. But the number of job postings for VR and AR have risen 93 percent since 2015, with 17 percent of that growth happening in the past year. Those jobs are…

VR And AR Gaming Jobs Are On The Rise According To Indeed

Virtual reality and augmented reality represent areas of opportunity. VR failed to live up to the wildest promises when the new systems launched in 2015. But the number of job postings for VR and AR have risen 93 percent since 2015, with 17 percent of that growth happening in the past year. Those jobs are…

Apple Patent Could Transform Self-Driving Cars Into Mobile VR Entertainment Hubs

In recent weeks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published Apple patent applications for several fascinating virtual reality concepts, but the latest one takes the cake: Apple has <a href=”http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?docid=20180089901&PageNum=25&IDKey=AE3F8EE95563&HomeUrl= to patent a VR system for autonomous cars that radically transforms the car’s interior and exterior environments, making the ride more fun for passengers. Though the…

WebXR API Could Be A Huge Opportunity For Mixed Reality

Last May I pointed to WebVR games as one of the VR industry’s biggest potential sweet spots for generating widespread traction because the combination of VR, games, and the open web represents a giant industry intersection. The web is unparalleled in its capacity to get VR games in front of end users, and get them playing, since…

Job Simulator Co-Creator Alex Schwartz On Making Hit VR Games Look Easy

Alex Schwartz, the CEO of Owlchemy Labs, has made virtual reality look easy. His company’s debut game, Job Simulator, is one of the big hits among VR games. Owlchemy followed that with Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, and now it is working on Vacation Simulator. And while other VR game companies are struggling to get by, Owlchemy has…

5G’s Secret Weapon Will Be Low Latency, Empowering Next-Gen VR

As the 2018 Mobile World Congress wound down this week, next-generation 5G wireless technology was clearly the show’s biggest story, promising dramatically faster data speeds. But 5G’s secret weapon will actually be ultra-low latency, a concept that’s easily understood but hard to market. Verizon, Vodafone, and Huawei have spent the past month demonstrating how low latency will radically improve wireless video,…

MWC 2018: SK Telecom Will Demo 5G Social VR

South Korea’s largest mobile provider — SK Telecom — announced today that it will debut “social virtual reality” and multiple 5G demonstrations, including “hologram AI,” at its 2018 Mobile World Congress booth next week. The demos will run from February 26 to March 1 in Barcelona, Spain. Illustrating the gulf between 4G and 5G speeds, SK Telecom will show how…

High Fidelity Takes Us Dancing In A Virtual Reality Club

I’m looking forward to Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film based on Ernest Cline’s virtual reality sci-fi novel Ready Player One. In one scene in that 2011 tome, a group of hackers gather to dance in a virtual night club. They float in the air and bump and grind to pulse-pounding music as a masked DJ looms over the crowd….

High Fidelity Takes Us Dancing In A Virtual Reality Club

I’m looking forward to Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film based on Ernest Cline’s virtual reality sci-fi novel Ready Player One. In one scene in that 2011 tome, a group of hackers gather to dance in a virtual night club. They float in the air and bump and grind to pulse-pounding music as a masked DJ looms over the crowd….

RealWear Raises $17M For Industrial-Grade Wearable AR Device

RealWear has raised $17 million for its AR wearable device aimed at workers in construction and other heavy industries. Vancouver-based RealWear is already shipping its hands-free HMT-1, which is mounted via a band that goes around your head or safety helmet. It’s a wearable device, but RealWear CEO Andy Lowery calls it a “head-mounted tablet,” since…

Why Starbreeze Studio Is Pursuing A ‘Crazy’ Vision For Arcade-Scale VR

Sweden’s Starbreeze Studios made its name as the publisher of games such as Pay Day, Pay Day 2, Dead by Daylight, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. And now the company is also expanding into virtual reality hardware with its StarCade headset. Built in partnership with Acer, Starbreeze is providing high-end VR technology to IMAX, the high-end movie…

How The Future Group Is Redefining Live Game Shows With Mixed Reality

Game shows have been losing younger audiences for some time. The Future Group wants to change that by making game shows more interactive with mixed reality technology. The Oslo, Norway-based startup — which raised $20 million in venture funding — teamed up with FremantleMedia (maker of the Idol TV shows) to create Lost in Time, a new game show that uses…

Despite The ‘VR Desert’ Developers Can Still Find Ways To Survive

Virtual reality developers aren’t making as much money as they expected. Just ask Vander Caballero, founder of Minority Media, creator of the VR game Time Machine VR. Montreal-based Minority Media, which also created the groundbreaking PSN title Papo Y Yo in 2012, created the dinosaur undersea adventure game that launched on the Oculus Rift and HTC…

Making Payments From Inside VR Just Got A Lot Easier With Payscout

Payscout has launched an application that enables easy payments inside virtual reality experiences. At the Money20/20 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Payscout unveiled Payscout VR Commerce, which enables consumers to shop and purchase physical products while still in VR. The Payscout VR Commerce app is integrated with Visa Checkout (VCO), which allows users to register payment credentials within the…

MIT Accelerator Play Labs Announces Class of 13 AR/VR Startups

Play Labs, a summer accelerator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced its first batch of 13 startups that are developing augmented reality and virtual reality technology. The focus of the startups will be to develop “playful tech” in a variety of industries. The initial companies are focused on AR and VR, as well…