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…

Yahoo Japan Invests In The Venture Reality Fund

Yahoo Japan has invested an undisclosed amount of money in The Venture Reality Fund, which is focused on making investments in virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. The two firms also aim to accelerate growth in the AR and VR industries. Yahoo! Japan, which has more 90 million daily users for its internet media,…

How Hidden Path Designed Real-Time Strategy Game Brass Tactics for VR

Mark Terrano cut his teeth as a game designer on real-time strategy (RTS) titles such as Age of Empires II. Now at Hidden Path Entertainment, he is using that experience to take RTS games into virtual reality. The company is making its next VR RTS title, Brass Tactics, as an exclusive for the Oculus Rift…

Microsoft’s Fluent Design System Aims To Tie All Its Platforms Together

Microsoft revealed a lot this week at its annual Build developer conference. But to get a better sense of how the company wants to tie all its various apps, platforms, products, services, and devices together, look no further than the newly unveiled Microsoft Fluent Design System. These design guidelines are supposed to be an evolution of the company’s Metro/Modern UI…

VR Creation Comes To Hollywood Through Uncorporeal and Radiant Images

Uncorporeal Systems, a maker of virtual and augmented reality software, and Radiant Images, a digital cinema innovator and rental house, have partnered to enable Hollywood companies to create VR and AR experiences. Radiant Images will provide studio services and production support that’s paired with Uncorporeal’s cloud software. The partnership will initially focus on deploying Uncorporeal’s…

Side-Kick VR Launches Now You See Me: Back to Macau on Samsung Gear VR

Side-Kick VR launched the virtual reality game Now You See Me: Back to Macau on the Samsung Gear VR. The title will also be on Google Cardboard later this month and on Daydream soon. It’s the first hidden object game with a major Hollywood brand in VR, and Newport Beach, California-based Side-Kick plans to focus on…

AMD Debuts a VR Experience Around Big India Movie Release

Baahubali is one of India’s biggest films, and it is getting a sequel, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, which is one of the most technologically sophisticated films ever made. It is the world’s first “trillion pixel film,” and it is getting a virtual reality experience that debuted this week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New…

How Ubisoft Crafted Star Trek: Bridge Crew Into A Multiplayer VR Game

Star Trek: Bridge Crew from Ubisoft and its Red Storm studio could be one of the most interesting social virtual reality games coming your way. This sim comes out on May 30 for Oculus Rift with Touch, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR (PSVR). It will have full cross-platform multiplayer. I was able to play a few missions…

HP Moves Into VR and AR With Investment In Venture Reality Fund

HP is putting on its headsets. One of the world’s oldest technology companies is investing in the fledgling virtual reality market by becoming an investor in The Venture Reality Fund. The exact amount wasn’t disclosed. But HP Tech Ventures, the new corporate venture arm of HP, has joined as an investor in The VR Fund, which has…

HTC Opens Up The Code For Its VR Vive Tracker

HTC is releasing tutorials and project files for studio-created Vive Tracker projects as a new resource for VR developers. The company is hoping that this will enable more developers to make their own controllers and hardware while developing for the Vive VR headset. This is the latest bid to provide innovative and immersive gameplay in…

Preorders Now Open For Insta360’s 8K VR Camera

China’s Insta360 has announced it is taking preorders for its Insta360 Pro 8K professional virtual reality camera, the Insta360 Pro, as part of its ambitions to raise the bar for 360-degree VR films. The company originally announced the 6-lens camera at CES 2017, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas in January. The Insta360 Pro…

Tech Pioneer Tony Parisi Wants VR To Change the World

Tony Parisi helped pioneer virtual reality when he worked on the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML), a tool for creating 3D environments on the web, with Mark Pesce back in 1994. Now he serves as head of AR/VR strategy at game engine maker Unity Technologies, and he talked about his hopes and fears about VR in…

Xbox Cofounder Seamus Blackley Takes R&D Post at AR Firm Daqri

Seamus Blackley, the cofounder of the Xbox, has teamed up with augmented reality startup Daqri to run a new research and development effort for them. The initial work will focus not on AR. Rather, it will look into the commercial applications related to an instant 3D printing technology that Daqri makes possible. Daqri is working…

Hollywood Studio DMG Entertainment Moves Into VR

DMG Entertainment, the Hollywood Studio that made Iron Man 3, is moving into virtual reality. Dan Mintz, cofounder of the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company, announced the launch of DMG VR, which is dedicated to entertainment that mixes storytelling with the new medium of VR. Arcturus, the first incubated company under the DMG VR umbrella, will…

The Number of VR Companies Grew 40 Percent in 2016

The Venture Reality Fund reported that the landscape of companies it tracks in the virtual reality market grew more than 40 percent in 2016. The largest area of growth was in content companies that create apps for head-mounted VR displays, said Marco DeMiroz, cofounder of The Venture Reality Fund with Tipatat Chennavasin. The fund invests…

59% of VR Developers Use Unity, But Devs Make More Money With Unreal

Unity Technologies and Epic Games are in a grudge match for the hearts and minds of game developers. And so when you ask which one of them has a bigger or a better business, you get some very different answers. I interviewed both John Riccitiello, CEO of San Francisco-based Unity, and Tim Sweeney, CEO of…

Pokemon Go Underwent Big Changes Before It Finally Released

Pokémon Go didn’t hatch out of a Poké-egg looking exactly like how we know it. Dennis Wang, director of interaction and visual design at Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs, talked Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference about designing the hit location-based game. Pokémon Go became a smash success after it launched last year for iOS and…