TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Google Glass has been mostly kept in the shadows for now, with developer signups at Google I/O, and a social media contest the only way of a mere mortal getting their hands on Google's wearable tech.
But it looks like this is changing, with Google+ going nuts with reports that Glass Explorers are receiving e-mails from Google, allowing them to invite a friend to grab Google Glass if they join the program. Did your eye just flinch with anticipation? There are some requirements, though. You have to be a US resident, at least 18 years old, and be capable of picking up your hardware in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.
Google told Engadget that a "small subset of Explorers" have received the invite-a-friend e-mail, in hopes of expanding their program. Google went further, asking five film schools to help find out how Glass can be used for everything from character development to production. The five film schools are:
- The American Film Institute
- California Institute of the Arts
- Rhode Island School of Design
- UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
- University of Southern California
How many hours did you put yourself through in Atari's 1984 classic, Paperboy? I know I rode through that game for countless hours, and it looks like I might just do it again with Globacore's new title.
Globacare are a creative technology company who specialize in large multi-touch displays, and have unveiled a new work-in-progress, first-person homage to Paperboy, Paperdude VR. Paperdude VR uses Oculus' VR headset, Rift, as well as Microsoft's motion sensor, Kinect. You can see in the video above that player rides on a stationary bike, attempting to throw newspapers into peoples' mailboxes.
Paperdude VR is a great concept, something that might just keep gamers a bit fitter than they are now. Constantly peddling your bike in a game is sure to keep gamers a bit fitter. The more I see on Oculus Rift, the more I want it.
Oculus Rift developer forum user Teddy0K has made a first-person, cover-based shooter using Oculus' Rift VR headset in conjunction with Razer's Hydra motion controller.
Teddy0K shows us in the video (above) that the Hydra wand is attached to the gamer's chest, while the Hydra joystick is placed in your hands and used as your weapon, as well as controlling your forward and backwards movement within the game. The motion-controlled rig allows gamers to perform in-game actions such as ducking behind cover and blind firing over it.
What we see, is an updated version of Teddy0K's HydraDeck Demo. Teddy wrote on the developer forum: "The position tracking adds a tonne to the immersion of being in a virtual world. Please be careful when playing this demo, lots of people try to support themselves on the crates when they try to stand up or when leaning up against a column, but find there is nothing there!"
It looks like Samsung's upcoming smartwatch has been unveiled, kinda, with the wearable device showing up on Zauba. It was listed as a "Samsung mobile accessory (for R&D purpose)."
We have no more information other than that sliver, but Samsung-dedicated site SamMobile confirmed through their own sources from Samsung Germany that they had received a smartwatch prototype. The same source says that Samsung Germany have already gotten their hands (or is that wrist?) dirty testing the device.
Samsung Germany is reportedly the only company that has received the prototype, with rumors suggesting we could see the Samsung SM-V700 unveiled at IFA later this year.
I truly do love Oculus Rift, and I think it's going to change the entire face of technology and gaming as we know it in the years to come. But, what are developers doing with it right now?
Well, one developer, Intuitive Aerial, have used the virtual reality headset to control a real-life drone. The first flight of Oculus FPV, gives a user the Rift headset, where they see a birds-eye view of the drone. This isn't just a virtual reality headset anymore, it's almost like you're physically flying in the air, kind of like Superman, but a drone.
The drone itself is carrying a laptop to give the users on the ground communications to Oculus' Rift, so it's stuck to just using Wi-Fi at the moment. This means they're locked down to a 50-100m radius, but this will only improve with time. Give me real-life Superman, now.
I've used Oculus Rift HD and I really just don't want to go back to normal reality, but I guess I have to. Oculus VR, the company behind Oculus Rift, and IndieCade are teaming up for a three-week long gaming event called VR Jam.
VR Jam will get developers together in order to create content for Oculus Rift. VR Jam starts on August 2, and ends on August 25 with two categories to compete in. The first of which is 'Selected Developers' and the second, 'Open Call.' Selected developers will compete against hand-picked teams of 10, while Open Call pits any independent developer to register and compete.
Oculus VR and IndieCade will don their judging hats, with winners being announced on September 19. Games will be scored by their innovation and virtual reality design. As for prizes, there will be more than $50,000 in total with a $10,000 prize for the winners of either category. Registration, rules and everything else you need to know about VR Jam is available on Oculus VR's website.
A new report this morning is suggesting that Samsung is ready to beat Apple to the punch on releasing a smartwatch. Patently Apple is claiming that Samsung will show off its very own smartwatch in September ahead of the annual IFA trade show which is held in Berlin, Germany.
Dubbed the "Samsung Gear," the smartwatch will be shown off during a press conference in which we will also see the Galaxy Note III unveiled. Although the report cites no sources, we do know that Samsung is developing a smartwatch, and we've even seen leaks of the device's supposed interface. If Samsung does debut the Gear a little over a month from now, it will beat Apple in the smartwatch race by more than a year, which puts it in a very good position for market dominance.
Virtual Reality Insanity are going to blow gamers' minds away by opening up a VR gaming bar in Melbourne, Australia
PAX Australia 2013 - When I go out to a bar, I generally drink, like most people do - but would you want to go to a bar and enjoy some virtual reality gaming? Well, Virtual Reality Insanity are hoping you do, as they are opening up a new VR gaming bar in Melbourne, Australia.
We're currently in Melbourne, Australia for PAX AU 2013, and our first meeting was with VR Insanity, where we got to use Oculus Rift in Team Fortress 2. It was my first test with Oculus Rift, and I was blown away. Later in the day we had a meeting with Oculus VR themselves, but this was our first toe in VR water. Team Fortress 2 was phenomenal on Oculus Rift, something that I soon hope to play much more when Oculus release Rift to the public.
As for the VR gaming bar, VR Insanity are going to open up a 6v6 VR gaming bar, which will include Oculus Rift, Onmi, Razer Hydra controllers and more. It's going to be quite kick ass, as there'll be tournaments and matches versus your friends, all in virtual reality. We hope to attend the opening night of this, and should have some content if we get to that point.
PAX Australia 2013 - I have been waiting since Oculus first reached Kickstarter to try out their Rift VR headset, and today my day came. We first went to another booth and tried out the 720p Developer Kit version, which we'll have a video uploaded shortly on.
The first story I wanted to write from PAX AU was about Oculus. We had a 2:30PM meeting but turned up 30 minutes early by mistake, but the Oculus guys were happy to accommodate us. We were sitting there, in one of the smallest booths at PAX AU and while it's small, it had heart and soul, and most of all: passion. We were introduced to Joseph Chen, who is head of Product at Oculus, who mentioned that Nate (the Vice President of Product at Oculus VR) would be on-hand soon.
We were been greeted with the Full HD 1920x1080 version of the Oculus Rift, which is different to the HD 1280x720 version of Rift which is found in the form of the Kickstarter backed Developer Kits. These devices are much higher resolution, but as we were told, are more like 'alpha' units.
I'll be attending PAX AU on Friday, where I'll finally get some hands-on (or is that heads- and soul-on) with Oculus' Rift VR headset. I'll be using the Full HD version, which I'm quite excited about.
But, for now, the company have said that they're going to be releasing Rift to consumers at $300. Most people will look at that and think it's expensive, but consider the price of a Full HD 27-inch monitor, which is around the same price, and it doesn't seem so bad. Moving onto multi-monitor setups, which are even more expensive, it makes Oculus' Rift look like a much better alternative.
During an interview with Edge Online, Oculus' CEO, Brandon Iribe noted how he hopes it would influence how we play games in a better way than next-gen consoles. He talked about the way that Rift will reach the market, acknowledging that "the lower the price point, the wider the audience." It's true, but getting it cheaper than $300 will be hard.