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Samsung's Gear VR headset is now available for purchase in the US, for $199. The Gear VR had Samsung and Oculus VR, the makers of the Oculus Rift, collaborating together. One thing that the Gear VR does differently, is that it requires Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 4 smartphone in order to work.
Coined as the "Innovator Edition", Samsung are confidently displaying this fact on their purchase page with reports claiming as the customer you must agree you understand that this is a "device targeted specifically to developers or early adopters of technology." It's not too big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, just a precaution put in place by Samsung to cover their back should anything go wrong.
Last seen at IFA 2014, news outlets reported very positively of this new device besides the fact that it needs a Note 4 for operation. It's a little disappointing that you need to tie this up with another Samsung product for use, especially when compared with the Oculus or 3D HEAD that are both said to be operable without any added features.
Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are making the virtual reality version of the Batcave so that you can check out Batman's underground crib in VR, with the help of the Oculus Rift.
The Dark Knight's VR Batcave is based on classic '90s cartoon series called 'Batman: the Animated Series'. The VR interaction will also be made compatible with other VR devices along with Oculus Rift. The company that will be responsible for this project is Otoy, but the series' original producer Bruce Timm is also involved in the project.
Warner Bros' Sam Register said "We are continuously exploring new and exciting ways to tell stories and share experiences with audiences around the globe, and we're excited to be working with Otoy on this cutting-edge adaptation from Batman: The Animated Series". He continued, "More to the point: It's super-cool, eye-popping stuff, and fans are going to love it. We can't wait for them to have the chance to see the Batcave from the show again - for the very first time."
VIA has installed two interactive digital signs for advertising use into two busy bus stops in Taipei, Taiwan. Toyota teamed up with VIA to advertise their latest Yaris vehicle, using an augmented reality advertisement, shown below.
The interactive signage works by using two video cameras streaming live footage of the intersection in front of it, onto the screens, and once someone walks past it within range of the built-in motion detector, the Yaris advertisement is played over the top of the live stream. The two ads are now live in Taiwan, with the first at the Dunhua-Nanjing bus stop in front of Asia World, and down the street at the Bade-Nanjing stop.
Some cinemas in the United Kingdom have announced a blanket ban on Google Glass just days after the smart specs arrived in the country.
The Cinema Exhibitors Association, or CEA, represents 90 percent of all the UK's cinemas, and has just announced it will request customers do not wear Google Glass at all. "Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not," spokesperson Phil Clapp said in an interview with the Independent. Vue, one of the biggest chains in Britain, said that moviegoers will be asked to take off Glass once the lights dim.
But, the Press Association reports, a Google spokesperson believes the ban is down to a lack of understanding about Glass. "We recommend any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts," a spokesGoogle said. "Broadly speaking, we also think it's best to have direct and first hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has unveiled a Web-savvy augmented reality campaign to help identify and eradicate the invasive lionfish. Using AR technology from Aurasma, the FWC hopes to keep Florida residents engaged - and that could lead to more reports and interaction. The first 250 people to use the Report Florida Lionfish app to file an online report will receive a free t-shirt and app that brings the shirt to life.
All collected data will be available to the public, along with data sharing policies to help other conservation agencies in the area.
"It's kind of kitschy but it will make an impact," said Amanda Nalley, FWC spokesperson. "I think it's going to be something really cool. It's a great way to reach out to people who are already immersed. We want to get as much information out and make it as easy as possible. We want people to be able to access information while they are out hunting and fishing."
The ARC4 augmented reality software was recently introduced by Applied Research Associates (ARA), as the most advanced, wearable software available. Developers ensured ARC4 is able to seamlessly integrate with heads-up displays, using virtual graphic icons and messages overlaid with the regular environment. ARC4 is suitable for consumer, military and enterprise environments, including logistics and operations, immersive training, or team coordination.
"ARC4 will change the way you see and interact with the world around you - the same way the smartphone changed the way you communicate," said Dave Roberts, ARC4 lead engineer, in a press statement.
In early 2014, it was predicted that the mobile augmented reality market would surpass $1 billion annually by 2015 - and momentum continues to pick up as both software and hardware developments accelerate. It's possible the overall AR market could increase 30 percent each year over the next four years, and that number could rise further as consumers become more comfortable with the virtual augmented reality environment.
I can only imagine that driving a tank with a very limited field of view is a difficult thing to do. The Norwegian Military is looking at using technology to make navigating tanks easier for the crew. The tech the military is eyeing is the Oculus Rift VR headset.
The headset is being looked at as a way to give the tank driver 360-degree vision around the tank. Currently the Norwegian military is testing prototypes of the headset. The plan is in the future to add other items to the virtual view making it easy to see what is going on with the tank systems and where the driver is going.
The Epson Moverio BT-200 augmented reality smart glasses can now be purchased with a $699.99 price tag, and while the headset may not be stylish, could end up being a great tool for use in the enterprise space.
Epson first showed off the Moverio BT-200 during CES in January, and added intrigue by including two screens. The company says using the glasses is the equivalent of looking into an 80" HDTV right in your face, and requires a handheld touchpad to use.
"Moverio BT-200 is Epson's second-generation smart glasses and incorporate much of the feedback provided by both the AR developer and end-user communities," said Anna Jen, Epson America New Ventures/New Products Director, in a press statement. "With these improvements, Moverio BT-200 is poised to deliver an AR experience that will revolutionize workflow, training and repair in the enterprise environment."
Augmented reality isn't a new technology, but its growing emergence has given developers and retailers an innovative manner to approach customers.
Startup companies such as Blippar, Daqri, Layar, Sayduck, and Waygo are developing niche augmented reality apps and services - and bigger companies are dumping more research funds into seeing how to integrate AR into customer offerings.
Moving forward, the regular augmented reality market is expected to grow 30 percent year-over-year during the next four years - and the mobile augmented reality will top $1 billion annually by 2015 - as consumers, developers, and companies willing to try using augmented reality.
If nothing else, augmented reality should see critical growth among businesses trying to help employees become more efficient. Smartphones, tablets, and head-mounted displays are opening the door to augmented reality, though software and app development aren't immersive enough to get most business decision makers to pull the trigger.
However, as head-mounted displays become more familiar - along with increased smartphone and tablet saturation - companies are able to test augmented reality apps. For example, decision makers hope employees in the field, at the office, or on production floors can use augmented reality to enhance work flows and day-to-day operations.
The mobile augmented reality industry is expected to top $1 billion annually by 2015, as more businesses embrace the emerging technology. Analysts have pegged the industry with an estimated growth of 30 percent per year over the next four years, though cost and functionality will also need to increase.