Oculus Start Is Facebook’s New Program To Help Small Dev Teams

Oculus is launching a new program targeting self-funded independent developers, promising developer kits, beta tools and a direct line of communication with Facebook’s VR experts. Developers who have already released VR software, but might have been overlooked or unable to grab the attention of Oculus, could use the Oculus Start program as a way to…

Fable Studio Emerges From the Ashes Of Oculus Story Studio

Members of the ground-breaking Oculus Story Studio team are announcing a new company, Fable Studio, with a premiere this week at the Sundance Film Festival of the final project born at Facebook. Wolves In The Walls is about an interactive little girl named Lucy and it was what Oculus Story Studio was working on when…

Eye-Tracking Is Both Incredibly Important And Very Risky

At CES last week one of my first demos was with Tobii and its eye-tracking technology. I left the demo convinced that once you’ve tried a VR headset with eye-tracking included you’ll never want to wear one without it again. Google, Facebook and Apple all purchased eye-tracking companies over the last few years because these…

Sketchfab Launches Store For 3D Objects

Startup Sketchfab is taking one of its biggest steps yet today and launching features so that users can buy and sell 3D objects. The company is supporting the industry standard glTF as its download format, which should make it easy for creators to take the objects purchased from the site and import them into creativity…

NextVR’s Resolution Upgrade Is A Game-Changer

Newport Beach-based NextVR offered a trio of updates as CES announcements last week. The first announcement was that the company is planning gradual support for full freedom of movement. The second was that the company will be streaming WWE soon. The third update was, in my opinion, the biggest of all — a resolution bump…

CES 2018: The 5 Biggest VR Tech Updates

We’re recovering today from the mad dash that was CES 2018 in Las Vegas. We weren’t able to see everything running back and forth between the Las Vegas Convention Center, The Venetian, and elsewhere in the city, but we nonetheless saw some incredibly interesting VR demos in our three days there. Not everything we tried…

CES 2018: Hands-On With Vive Pro And Its Megapixel Upgrade

HTC revealed the Vive Pro at CES this week and we went hands on with the upgraded headset in a pair of demos. Games Editor David Jagneaux tried the Sansar Ready Player One experience and I tried a super high-end racing simulator by CXC Simulations. With a stated total resolution of 2880 x 1600, we…

CES 2018: Oculus Partners With Xiaomi, Keeps Oculus Store Out Of China

Oculus is partnering with Xiaomi for Oculus Go while helping the Chinese company launch a cousin to the low cost standalone headset that doesn’t have the Oculus Store or Oculus Home. Facebook, which purchased Oculus in 2014 for roughly $3 billion, is blocked in China and the Oculus Rift isn’t sold there. So this looks…

CES 2018: Tactical Haptics Shows New Reconfigurable Controllers

For several years Tactical Haptics has been showing different concepts for controllers that offer a sense of touch for your hands while wearing a VR headset, and the company’s latest iteration is debuting this week at CES in Las Vegas. The new design can be reconfigured to match different VR experiences. The idea is that…

CES 2018: NextVR Is Adding Full Movement Freedom To Its Broadcasts

Newport Beach-based NextVR will start using its cameras to capture reality in such a way that viewers in VR will be able to move around the scene in any way. NextVR was an early startup working to develop camera rigs and streaming tech to capture reality and deliver it to VR headsets live anywhere in…

Oculus Seeks Patent For Convertible HMD Powered By Phone Or PC

A patent published today but filed in 2016 shows an Oculus concept for a convertible head-mounted display that can be powered by either a PC or phone. The patent application 20170364144 from Oculus is listed as invented by Yury Anatolievic Petrov. It covers a head-mounted display said to receive “video input from a stationary computer in…

Bigscreen Is Hosting Top Gun 3D Screenings Dec. 29-30

Bigscreen is partnering with Paramount Pictures for Top Gun 3D screens later this month. Starting at 3 pm Pacific on Dec. 29 you can watch Top Gun for free in Bigscreen. According to the startup, there will be “multiple showtimes in a 24-hour period between December 29th and December 30th.” You can pick up Bigscreen…

Facebook Launches Spaces For HTC Vive

Facebook’s social VR app Spaces is now available for HTC Vive. The app previously came to Vive unofficially through the Revive hack but this is official support from Facebook itself. Interestingly, however, the app is available as a direct download from Facebook’s website — bypassing Valve’s Steam store as part of its distribution. Rift and…

Rec Room Gets Clubhouses You Can Have Friends Visit

Seattle-based Against Gravity released an enormous update to Rec Room that adds clubhouses you can customize and have friends visit even when you’re not online. The update represents a huge step for the cross-platform app available for Rift, Vive, PlayStation VR and Windows-based VR headsets (through Steam). Now, visitors to Rec Room can express themselves…

Bigscreen ‘Big Rooms’ Update Adds A Killer New Feature

A new “Big Rooms” update to desktop sharing app Bigscreen will allow a host to share their computer screen with dozens of people in VR. Since it launched in March 2016, Bigscreen offered rooms where up to four people could share their desktops with each other. Some major updates shipped since then, including high quality…

Dreamscape Raises $30 Million For Location-based VR

Los Angeles-based Dreamscape Immersive says it closed a $30 million Series B financing round. The location-based VR company was previously backed by 21st Century Fox and Warner Brothers, among others. Those investors also participated in this round, which was led by AMC Entertainment. New investors include Nickelodeon, Majid Al Futtaim, VRSense Solutions Limited, and Image Nation…

Watch Baobab’s Asteroids! Now On Any Platform

Baobab Studios’ second VR creation, Asteroids!, is now available across all platforms. The company’s debut project (Invasion!) brought visitors to an ice-covered lake where a cute little bunny encountered some bumbling aliens. This follow up episode takes visitors inside the alien ship for a more intimate look at these creatures as they deal with various…

Mindshow Adds Sharing For Crowdsourced VR Cartoon Creation

Free VR improvisation software Mindshow is adding a major feature today — sharing. So performances in Mindshow can be added to or remixed by others. For those unfamiliar, Mindshow is an innovative app which unlocks your acting skills to animate a wide range of characters. Sharing was a feature on Mindshow’s roadmap for a long…

Gunjack 2 Comes To Gear VR As CCP Winds Down Efforts

Eve: Valkyrie launched as a seemingly perfect fit for the Oculus Rift in March 2016. The effort by CCP Games to build a compelling seated VR experience that would see space pilots using a gamepad to shoot down ships for hours at a time was one of VR’s earliest and biggest releases. A smaller effort…

New Ready Player One Trailer Explains The Egg

Half a trillion dollars. That’s what the winner gets by finding the easter egg hidden inside the OASIS. The new trailer just debuted for Steven Spielberg and Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, which hits theaters March 30. Check it out below. From director Steven Spielberg comes #ReadyPlayerOne – in theaters March 30. Watch the new…

Wipeout VR Coming To PlayStation VR In Early 2018

Sony revealed it is offering a free update to its Wipeout Omega Collection in early 2018 that will add VR to the racing game. The Omega Collection released earlier this year as a collection of three different games — Wipeout HD, Wipeout HD Fury and Wipeout 2048. The addition of VR to the game is…

Virtual Reality Holiday Gift Guide 2017

There are more head-mounted displays on the market than ever before with tons of games and accessories available. This gift guide outlines the headsets, accessories and games you should look for with each of the major VR systems available this year. Also be sure to check out our breakdown of the market for VR headsets…

Antilatency Gets $1 Million More For Positional Tracking Tech

Startup Antilatency, which raised $2.1 million earlier this year for its positional tracking technology, received an additional $1 million from the Russia-based Skolkovo Foundation. The money will be used to further improve and develop Antilatency’s positional tracking technology which could be useful for location-based VR setups. The system uses a camera and low-profile strips with…

Oculus Story Studio’s Final Project Premieres At Sundance

Earlier this year Facebook shut down Oculus Story Studio, its internal division meant to lead by example and explore storytelling concepts within VR. The group was composed of top notch creators from studios such as Pixar and they built three VR stories, each of which were engrossing and impactful. In retrospect, Lost, Henry and Dear…

High Fidelity Embraces Blockchain For Economy And Ownership

Social VR startup High Fidelity is adding a blockchain-based economy and ownership system. I recently met in VR with High Fidelity co-founder and CEO Philip Rosedale, whose prior experience with Second Life has informed his thinking as the company explores digital currency and how to support a VR economy.  Today the company is announcing the…

You Can Beta Test VR Game Show Kiss or Kill

UploadVR.com editor-in-chief Tal Blevins and I recently tried a round of Kiss or Kill, a VR game show and trivia game that was hosted by Nicholas Robinson, the CEO and co-founder of the game’s creator RLTY CHK. The game sees players racing to answer trivia questions, with the ability to bonk your competitor on the head…

Using iPhone X With Maya For Quick And Cheap Facial Capture

Can the iPhone X become a fast, cheap and simple facial capture system? About a month ago Cory Strassburger at Kite & Lightning received an iPhone X from Apple. Within a day, he was testing out software working with its TrueDepth camera and ARKit. He wanted to see if it could be used for their…