Oculus has just unveiled its latest prototype VR headset, something it calls Half Dome. The new headset has an interesting twist in the world of VR HMDs by using varifocal displays.
These new displays move up and down depending on where you're looking in the VR world, with a tease of eye-tracking technology from Oculus in their new Half Dome prototype VR headset. Right now all VR headsets have trouble displaying items close to your eyes in a good way, with these new varifocal displays showing them much sharper and in more clarity.
Oculus has a wider 140-degree field of view compared to the Rift with its smaller 110-degree FOV, which lets you see more at the corners of your eyes in your peripheral vision. Even with all of the new tech on-board, Half Dome is the same physical size and weight of the current Rift headset.
Facebook and Oculus have announced something surprising during their F8 developer conference: Oculus Venues. Oculus Venues is a new app that Oculus made in-house that will handle live sporting events, comedy shows, and concerts that are shot and broadcasted in VR.
Facebook and Oculus partnered up with multiple companies to include content from the likes of NextVR, who have been streaming sporting events with its own partnerships with companies like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and WWE.
NextVR CEO David Cole explains: "Oculus Venues is a bold move to provide profound social VR engagement and we are honored to deliver such an important part of this new product release from Oculus. NextVR has built a passionate fan base around leading VR content experiences. Venues will satisfy our fans who want to enjoy this type of content on a massively social scale".
Oculus Venues will launch on both the Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets on May 30.
The rumors of Apple working on their own AR/VR headset have been around for years, but the most exciting rumors of their purported headset have just arrived, teasing dual 8K displays.
CNET is reporting that Apple's purported 'T288' headset rocks dual 8K displays (one 8K display per eye) but unlike Mashable who seem to not know how resolutions and pixels work (they said "Most impressive is the resolution it reportedly packs: an 8K display per eye, for a total resolution of 16K. That would be an insane amount of pixels") it is 'just' 8K per eye (7680 x 4320).
The site reports that Apple's purported headset would "connect to a dedicated box using a high-speed, short-range wireless technology, according to a person familiar with the company's plans. The box, which would be powered by a custom Apple processor more powerful than anything currently available, would act as the brain for the AR/VR headset. In its current state, the box resembles a PC tower, but it won't be an actual Mac computer".
Leap Motion has teased the future of human-computer interfaces with their new Project North Star, a prototype headset that some of the virtual world, overlayed in the real one.
North Star is a full augmented reality platform that Leap Motion says "allows us to chart and sail the waters of a new world, where the digital and physical substrates exist as a single fluid experience. The first step of this endeavor was to create a system with the technical specifications of a pair of augmented glasses from the future. This meant our prototype had to far exceed the state of the art in resolution, field-of-view, and framerate".
Inside, North Star rocks two low-persistence 1600x1440 displays at 120FPS with a huge 100-degree field of view. Leap Motion includes a "world-class" 180-degree hand tracking sensor that is "a system unlike anything anyone had seen before".
The Vive VR headset will turn two years old on April 5, and HTC is celebrating with a batch of free VR games.
Having played VR quite a bit on my Vive headset I notice that there's a third cost barrier outside of the PC gaming hardware and headset cost: the cost of the games themselves. Most VR games are about $20-30 a pop and offer limited, smaller-slice interactive experiences. Which is actually fine in terms of content, but the content-price ratio doesn't exactly match up sometimes. So I try to snag up any free games I can when I can.
If you're like me, then you're in luck: the Vive team is giving out $50 in free games from April 5-8 on its Viveport platform, as per an official Vive blog post. The games themselves don't look amazing, but if done right any VR game can be fun.
HTC has bowed to tons of feedback and will offer an Vive Pro bundle that includes sensors and controllers for $1099.
In a recent blog post, Vive General Manager Dan O'Brien confirmed the Vive Pro was essentially meant to be an upgrade for existing Vive owners rather than an entry-level option for new buyers, and that's why the company initially offered the $799 headset-only SKU.
Following a big hubbub over the $800 headset's pricing without the extra peripherals needed to actually make it work, the company will sell a Vive Pro Starter Kit for $1099. For comparison's sake the original HTC Vive launched in 2016 for $799 but included two controllers and lighthouse sensors for room-scale VR. The main selling point of the Vive Pro is its upgraded 1440 x 1600 resolution alongside built-in audio, the latter of which is missing with the original headset.
"After reading your feedback, we've realized we created some confusion that we want to address today. First, we introduced Vive Pro as an HMD-only upgrade because it represented the quickest path to market for the new headset. Since Vive Pro works with both SteamVR 1.0 and 2.0 tracking, we believed an HMD-only upgrade was the right option for the most demanding VR user, as well as VR arcades and enterprises that already use Vive," O'Brien said in the post.
The most mysterious technology device ever would have to be the Magic Leap One, with the Florida-based start up reportedly sending out mixed reality test units to a specific set of people over the last 6 months.
These headsets are so secret that it's being reported that Magic Leap says you must store it in a locked safe, and since you reportedly have to sign a lengthy NDA to even use it in their offices (if you're lucky enough), this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
The PlayStation VR bundles have gone through lots of iterations through the years, but now might be the best time to pick one up if you're in the market. The base PSVR bundle, which includes a headset, PS Camera, a demo disc and a copy of the DOOM VFR game, has been discounted to $299 (notice the lack of PS Move controllers). If you want a more complete PS4-powered VR experience then Sony's bigger $349 bundle is for you: it includes a headset, a PS Camera, 2x PS Move controllers, and Skyrim VR to boot. The latter of which is a pretty big deal--Bethesda packed the full Skyrim experience into a VR experience.
But this permanent $100 discount could indicate Sony is readying a new PlayStation VR headset--the same way HTC lowered the cost of the Vive VR while announcing the more advanced Vive Pro. We know that Sony has patented new advanced VR controller technology that should accompany a refreshed PSVR headset, which should in turn roll out alongside the company's next-generation PlayStation system.
Oculus unveiled their standalone VR headset last year, and now it seems Facebook will be launching the Oculus Go standalone VR headset during their annual F8 developer conference in May.
Variety reports that the new F8 conference has Facebook teasing "the biggest AR / VR news from Facebook to date".
The Oculus Go will cost $199 when it launches, forming into the Oculus-powered family of VR headsets including the Gear VR for $129, and the full blown Oculus Rift for $399.
At $799, the Vive Pro isn't going to be cheap (and it doesn't come with lighthouse stations or controller wands).
HTC today announced the new-and-improved Vive Pro headset will launch on April 5 for $799, and pre-orders for the VR HMD are now live. The Vive Pro marks the successor to 2016's HTC Vive, and features upgraded 2880x1600 resolution in its dual OLED panels, built-in headphones, dual front-facing cameras, as well as DisplayPort 1.2 and USB Type-C connectivity.
The $799 Vive Pro purchase actually doesn't come with controllers or lighthouse sensors for room-scale VR or the new wireless adapter--only the headset. "Includes headset, cleaning cloth, link box, power adapter, DisplayPort™ cable, USB 3.0 cable, mounting pad, user guide, safety guide and warranty card," as per the HTC Vive website.