After help revolutionizing virtual reality as we know it today, John Carmack is stepping back to focus on AI.
Today John Carmack announced he'll no longer be a full-time employee at Oculus, and is instead moving to a consultant Chief Technology Officer position. In this role Carmack will still have a say in future Oculus VR technology development, but he won't be as hands-on as before. This reveal comes shortly after Carmack expressed frustration in the relatively slow pace of VR's development compared to its potential.
"Starting this week, I'm moving to a "Consulting CTO" position with Oculus. I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time," Carmack said.
Microsoft has just launched its new HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset, succeeding the now previous-gen HoloLens headset from 2016. Microsoft's new HoloLens 2 headset costs an eye watering $3500, but packs all sorts of improvements under the hood.
The new HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset costs $3500 so it's not going to be aiming at competing wtih the VR headsets from HTC and Oculus, but it is built for enterprise use. The military, education, medicine, and other markets all use and will use Microsoft's new HoloLens 2 which has some big upgrades worthy of new attention.
Microsoft's first-gen HoloLens had a diagonal field of view of just 34 degrees, but the new HoloLens 2 has its FOV boosted up to 52 degrees. Qualcomm powers the HoloLens 2 with its own Snapdragon 850 which is joined by Microsoft's own custom holographic processing unit (HPU) 2.0 chip -- both of which improve performance across the board on HoloLens 2.
Apple has big plans for the augmented reality market... it's just that those plans won't actually solidify in actual reality until at least 2022 according to a new report from The Information.
The new report says that Apple plans to release its first AR headset in 2022, which the iPhone giant will then follow-up with a pair of AR glasses the next year in 2023. There are some analysts and other reports that suggest 2020-2021 for the new AR products, but The Information is firm on 2022-2023.
Apple's mysterious AR headset is reportedly codenamed N301, and is meant to be similar to the Oculus Quest but slimmer. Apple's purported N301 headset has both AR and VR abilities, packs external cameras that capture users' surroundings, and a high-res display that shows information and virtual objects overlay the real-world.
Magic Leap is in the headlines in all the wrong ways right now, with the beyond secretive company signing over all of its patents 2 months ago now, to JPMorgan Chase as collateral.
Documents filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office on August 22 saw a huge 1903 patents from Magic Leap, and its various holdings companies including Mentor Acquisitions, LLC and Molecular Imprints Inc. were assigned to JPMorgan Chase. The patent security agreement was signed by Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz and JPMorgan Chase collateral agent Eleftherios Karsos.
The bigger issue here is that Magic Leap has burned through its gigantic $2.6 billion in funding so far, as well as its latest funding round of $280 million from Japan's NTT Docomo earlier this year.
OK -- if there was ever a time to sit back and say "now this is awesome", that time is now. Virtuix and HP have just teamed up to throw a huge $100,000 esports tournament.
The $100K tournament will take place in Virtuix Oni's Arena virtual reality attractions, and while $100K pales in comparisons to the millions and even 10s of millions on offer for other esports, this is specifically in VR -- and more specifically, on freaking VR treadmills. It'll be sweaty, with gamers (really) earning their money.
Virtuix and HP have teamed together for the 2020 Omni Arena esports series, which now has a $100,000 prize pool. The last event had $50,000 -- so we have a doubling in prize pool thanks to the new partnership with HP -- as well as the winning teams taking home an HP Reverb Virtual Reality Headset.
Have you ever been walking to work, school, or just down the road and thought the real-world was too boring? Don't worry, Microsoft is working on something for that with project DreamWalker.
DreamWalker is a new project by researchers at Microsoft that sees users wearing a VR headset, as well as a backpack computer and a myriad of sensors. With the kit all installed onto your person, you can walk around in the real-world while viewing a totally different reality through a VR headset.
Don't worry about walking into something as there are a bunch of real-time sensing technologies in the DreamWalker VR system: the backpack PC, dual-band GPS sensor. two RGB depth cameras, and a "Windows Mixed Reality-provided relative position trace".
A new Predator VR game will do for intergalactic hunters what Batman: Arkham VR did for the Caped Crusader.
Predator VR aims to bring the suspenseful chaos of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic to your HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or Valve Index headset.
In development from Phosphor Studios and produced by FoxNext Games, Predator VR will offer three different modes: a campaign mode where you play as a soldier, an online PVP mode where one player hunts down soldiers as the Predator, and Predator Rampage, which sounds like a survival horde-style experience. The game will also give you bonuses for decapitating soldiers in the multiplayer mode (wicked!).
The Walking Dead is getting adapted into a big new survival-horror VR game complete with exploration, brutal combat, and crafting.
Today Skydance Interactive announced The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, a new VR game set in Robert Kirkman's terrifying zombie-infested world. Set for release in January 2020 on Oculus and Steam's VR platforms, Saints and Sinners sounds like an intuitive mix between Dying Light and Dead Island with a whole new layer of immersion and thrilling tension: gamers can grab zombies and decapitate them, slice and dice hordes of walkers, and interact with an explorable world.
The game will also have a surprising amount of reactivity and depth with a 15 hour+ campaign, showing Skydance is keen on reversing the downward trend with Walking Dead games. You'll get to wield all sorts of guns and shotguns (as well as bows) as you fight for survival in an undead-littered New Orleans, mowing down both humans and walkers alike. There's opportunities to help various NPCs littered throughout the game and every decision you make will not only shape the world, but it'll determine who you can team up with.
Respawn today announced Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, its new VR shooter originally teased way back in 2017.
Titanfall VR isn't happening after all. Respawn's AAA VR shooter is a Medal of Honor adaptation centered in World War II, and promises to deliver authenticity and immersion via the Oculus platform. Above and Beyond takes players to various battles and theaters of war across Europe, and even tosses in some unique physics systems to enable realistic carnage.
Players can catch grenades mid-air and throw them back at enemies, toss knives, interact with the environment like climbing chains, ladders, walls, and even pulling a grenade pin with your teeth, operate tanks, and of course shoot a wide array of guns straight out of the brutal world conflict. You can even swim. The spatial head and body tracking will allow more freedom in VR, and Respawn wants to capture all the possibilities that Oculus VR has to offer.
Simply put, Facebook wants to read your mind and actually has admitted to it as well. According to a new announcement, Facebook wants to build a wristband that "captures your intention".
Firstly, "capturing your intention" means that the wristband will have the technological power to be able to read your electrical signals sent to your brain, and determine your intention before you even carry out the action. Meaning Facebook would essentially know what you are about to do before you even do it. Scary? Yes.
According to Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's Vice President of VR and AR, announced on Monday the acquisition of "neural interface platform" CTRL-labs. The way that Facebook is marketing this wristband is "empowering you with control over your digital life", which seems quite the farce considering how much Facebook has been put under the coals for privacy violations.