TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Virtual reality is booming right now, and the overall market is expected to reach $15.89 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 63.18 percent from now until 2020, according Marketsandmarkets.
Oculus VR, Sony, HTC and Valve, Microsoft, and other manufacturers are currently developing VR hardware, with consumers anxiously waiting for more consumer choices. With Sony and Oculus admitting they are "sharing notes" with one another regarding VR, the two frontrunners in the hardware market could help drive interest in the market.
Most of the attention on VR is dedicated to video games and movies, but the technology will likely be disruptive for the medical, industrial, education, retail and marketing, and other verticals. VR will grow to be even more competitive, but opportunities exist as there are new large scale collaborations, partnerships and agreements among software and hardware developers.
If you want to pre-order the Pebble Time smartwatch, you can get it at Best Buy for $199.99. The Best Buy online store has the device, supported by most Apple iOS and Google Android devices, available in three different colors: white, black, and red.
Pebble didn't disclose an official launch date, but the Best Buy website says consumers will begin receiving the products on July 20. Those who contributed to the Pebble Time Kickstarter effort already received their watches, and Pebble is ready to expand sales to anyone interested.
"We're seeing pretty strong demand. We're just focused on making awesome products and getting them into people's hands and on their wrists," said Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble, in a statement published by CNBC. Pebble remains committed to its "grassroots" strategy in regards to marketing, as the company matures.
Fove hopes its virtual reality technology, which uses eye-tracking technology, is able to give users a more realistic VR experience. The company's VR headset uses eye-tracking technology as the primary user interface, which is able to follow a wearer's pupils using infrared light.
As the company develops its hardware, Fove hopes the ability to use eye-tracking won't be just for video games - but in the medical world. For example, designers were able to collect data related to eye contact and eve avoidance among people suffering from Asperger's Syndrome. But let's not forget how eye-tracking can be utilized for gamers:
"From an immersion point of view, if you deal with VR characters that are completely unaware of your gaze, it creates an unnatural, even unnerving experience," said Lochlainn Wilson, co-founder of Fove, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review. "We can bridge that uncanny barrier."
Virtual reality proved to be extremely popular during E3, with much attention on developments for the Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus. Sony is expected to launch Morpheus sometime during the first half of 2016 for consumers, and Sony said its on schedule.
"In terms of development, it's going very well," said Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment, in a statement to Engadget. "The hardware is near-complete."
Now that Sony says the team has hardware development locked in, there is more attention towards software development.
There is no question that virtual reality headsets could drastically change the gaming world - but if the Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus, and other products want instant success, there must be appealing content to win us over.
"You're in a store and you're looking at a display, and here's all the head-mounted displays and then it costs $200 or $300," said Tony Christopher, CEO of Landmark Entertainment Group, in a statement published by NPR. "Why would you ever buy it when you don't know why you're buying it? You wouldn't."
I've tested the Oculus Rift DK1 and DK2 in a number of different games, and the potential is clearly there. Playing a game like Skyrim, and walking through the towns - or engaging a bandit with a melee character - is spectacular. I've played a few racing games and flight simulators using DK1, and there is just so much potential here.
The Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University has the unique research task of seeing how virtual reality can be used so humans are able to improve our relationships in the real-world. The lab has studied VR for more than 10 years, but the past few years have provided great opportunities with the emergence of Oculus, Project Morpheus, and other hardware platforms.
The gaming potential for VR is huge, but there are other tasks that could be used to help educate and inform the public. One task is using VR so we can experience what it's like to be a refugee living in an active conflict zone, which would help improve human empathy. Another topic of focus is geared towards training and simulations that can be utilized prior to real-world work experience.
"Virtual reality is an experience. Your brain is saying to you 'This isn't real,' but the back of your brain says 'Wow, this feels real to me,'" explained Jeremy Bailenson, director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab, in a statement to CBS News. "We like to say the brain is not yet evolve to know that a virtual experience is not real."
There are plenty of smartwatches, fitness bands and other wearables that we can choose from, though it looks like manufacturers are still fighting to get casual consumers to spend.
There are a few different barriers that must be addressed, such as the following: lack of persuasive uses, no killer apps, limited functionality, and style, according to a recent Business Insider Intelligence consumer survey.
When asked why they don't have interest in a smartwatch, 51 percent of those surveyed said they simply don't see the point of owning one. Perhaps providing a killer app could help woo new users, and that would essentially kill two birds with one stone.
Crytek has just announced the released of CryEngine 3.8.1, something that includes support for OpenGL rendering, Linux support, and it's now compatible with the Oculus Rift.
When it comes to the Oculus Rift support in CryEngine 3.8.1, Crytek said: "You asked about it, and we listened: Just in time for the announcement of Crytek'S new VR title "Robinson: The Journey" at this week's E3, we are putting support for the Oculus Rift HMD (Head-mounted display) into EaaS users' hands. We've included a small demonstration level, aptly titled the "VR_Demo" level. This showcases some information on how you can approach setting up your levels for VR, some of the implications and the immersive benefits of using VR".
The latest version of CryEngine also includes a voxel-based volumetric fog system, 8-weight GPU vertex skinning, POM self-shadowing, GameZero, support for 3ds Max 2016, Maya 2016, and MotionBuilder 2016, and "much, much more".
Gamers unsure if they are ready for virtual reality or augmented reality had a great chance to learn more about the booming technology during E3 2015. Both the Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus received a lot of attention, while Microsoft also was on-hand to show off HoloLens.
During E3, gamers were able to test out the Oculus Touch controllers, along with the Oculus Rift system. They could try several games on the Sony PlayStation 4 using the Project Morpheus VR headset, offering an actual gaming experience.
Microsoft announced HoloLens in January, and used E3 to help users familiarize themselves with the AR platform. The company showed "Project X-Ray," which let virtual bug-like monsters emerge from the world - or look at a Minecraft world displayed right in front of them.
Huawei has been forced to delay the launch its debut smartwatch, caused by an unknown problem in China. The smartwatch, powered by Google Android Wear, will be released in the United States and Europe sometime during Q3 - and suspected issues stem from Google services used in China.
"We're experiencing some problems with Google's Android Wear [the watch's operating system] in China," Yang said, in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal. "It's a new product."
It looks like Huawei will leave the hardware specifications alone for the watch: 1.4-inch AMOLED (400x400) display, 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, 512MB RAM, and 4GB of storage capacity. The watch is just 11.3mm thick and is powered by a 300 mAh battery.