Virtual & Augmented Reality News - Page 12
The popular Virtual Desktop app just got a surprise update today. After more than a year of refusing to allow wireless streaming of PC VR games on the Oculus Quest through Virtual Desktop, Facebook has approved the feature and enabled it on the official Oculus store.
Guy Godin's Virtual Desktop is one of the most popular VR applications. The software has been around since the earliest days of consumer VR and its had many iterations over the years. Virtual Desktop enables you to access your Windows desktop and all its features and applications in a virtual window within a virtual environment, including PC games and other applications.
When Oculus launched the Quest back in May 2019, Virtual Desktop launched on the standalone VR platform, and with it came a unique feature that Facebook was not fond of. The Quest version of Virtual Desktop would enable you to access SteamVR content and stream it wirelessly to your Quest headset, giving you a full untethered PC VR experience. Facebook allowed Virtual Desktop to remain on the Oculus Store, but it forced the developer to remove the streaming feature.
Valve released a significant update to the SteamVR platform on Wednesday. Steam VR version 1.16.8 now supports the OpenXR 1.0 API, giving developers an easy path for cross-platform game releases.
Khronos Group revealed the OpenXR 1.0 specifications more than a year and a half ago. It has taken a while, but VR companies are finally getting around to embracing Khronos Group's plans. The idea behind OpenXR is to remove barriers that prevent developers from supporting all VR platforms. With OpenXR, theoretically, you can build a game once and play it with any hardware through any platform.
OpenXR is an application interface layer that interprets instructions from any game engine or XR platforms, such as Unity or WebXR. The OpenXR layer translates the instructions to work with any hardware, including Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Magic Leap, or HoloLens 2.
Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon XR1 AR Smart Viewer reference design, which will help hardware designers create powerful AR smart glasses for the consumer and enterprise markets.
Qualcomm's new AR Smart Viewer reference design is based on the company's Snapdragon XR1 platform. But unlike the XR1 VR reference design, which places the processing power inside the headset, the AR Smart Viewer reference requires an XR1 powered host device to do the heavy lifting.
AR smart viewers differ from AR simple viewers in that they include onboard processing hardware. AR simple viewers entirely rely on the tethered host device to handle the processing. AR smart viewers split the processing load between the host device and the viewer device. Qualcomm said this approach not only increases performance but also reduces overall power consumption.
The Climb 2 is about to drop, marking Crytek's return to VR development. Oculus announced that the game would be available on March 4.
In 2016, Crytek released The Climb as a launch title for the Oculus Rift. A few months later, the company launched Robinson: The Journey on PSVR. We haven't seen a VR game from Crytek since. Until now.
Throughout 2016, the year consumer VR hit the market, Crytek struggled to pay its bills and its staff. At the end of the year, an investment from the Turkish government kept the company afloat, but the small install base kept Crytek from experimenting further with VR. After Oculus released the Quest, Crytek ported The Climb to the mobile VR system. Since then, the company built a full sequel to the VR rock climbing game.
Sony today confirmed that it is developing a new PlayStation VR headset for the PlayStation 5 console. The new device would offer better displays, a wider field of view, better tracking, and new controllers.
Sony recently launched the PlayStation 5 console, and with it came support for the existing PSVR headset. Before the launch of the PS5 console, Sony wasn't very forthright with the details about its next VR system. Until today, we didn't know for sure that Sony would carry on with VR for the new console generation. The company's executives made it seem like we wouldn't see a new headset anytime soon.
A handful of patents have been uncovered in recent months, including a design for new motion controllers that includes additional buttons and a thumbstick for each hand. The patent diagram shows a pair of wand controllers that resemble Valve's Index controllers, with a sensor-embedded halo that wraps around the wands. Sony said the new controllers would integrate features from the DuelSense wireless controllers, although it didn't elaborate on which features precisely.
The wait is finally over. You can now have more than one user account on your Oculus Quest, and games can be shared between those accounts.
It's now much easier to share your Oculus Quest 2 with family members and close friends. Oculus just rolled out an early version of the Multi-User feature for the Quest platform. With the latest Quest 2 update, you can find the new option in the headset settings' Experimental Features section.
Quest's Multi-User feature allows up to three accounts in addition to the admin account to log into Quest 2 headsets. The admin user retains ownership of the hardware, while the extra users can access the content installed on the headset with a new App Sharing feature. Admin account holders can share content with additional users, but other users can't share their content on a headset they don't own.
Manus today revealed the Manus Pro Tracker, a SteamVR tracking puck for the enterprise market. These will be the third option for SteamVR tracking puck on the market this year.
The Manus Pro Tracker is a lot like the HTC Vive Trackers, which have been on the market for several years, but with an improved industrial design more suited to professional use cases.
The new Manus Pro Trackers are smaller than the Vive Trackers, and Manus said they weigh 40% less than Vive Trackers. The reduced weight helps to increase mounting stability, which in turn increases tracking accuracy.
Striker VR, a company that makes VR peripherals for VR arcades, revealed that it would be bringing its arcade technology to the consumer market with an updated device build for home use.
Striker VR's VR gun peripheral is an interactive accessory that offers increased immersion in shooter games thanks to its haptic recoil mechanism. The haptic system can simulate a variety of weapons, from standard rifles to futuristic energy weapons. The consumer version features a unique shape that looks like it could be suitable for more than just shooting games.
The concept images the Road to VR received from Striker depict a trapezoid-shaped object with a trigger grip in the center. A grip for your second hand can be found on the front, along with a trackpad on either side of the barrel. There also appears to be an extra button above the trigger grip.
Apple really is getting serious about AR and VR. Rumours about its upcoming AR/VR headset have been circling the internet since the beginning of the month, and now there are a few dozen AR/VR job postings on Apple's website.
Apple is currently looking to beef up its AR/VR team. The company is seeking a handful of software developers and hardware engineers with AR/VR experience in various disciplines, including software engineers, system UI engineers, video and 3D professionals, and audio software engineers.
Apple is also looking to fill a pair of marketing roles for the AR/VR division, including an art director position and a creative technologist position.
It seems like Apple is getting serious about moving into the world of XR. The latest round of news shows that the headset that Apple is developing will have extremely high-end features. Rumor has it the device will have dual 8K displays, eye tracking, passthrough cameras, and more than a dozen sensors to track the world your hands and other movements.
Apple has been very bullish about augmented reality, but it has been very quiet about virtual reality. Tim Cook has said in the past that he believes that virtual reality won't be as popular as augmented reality, and that isn't as useful. The latest leaks suggest that the company is likely working on a virtual reality headset as well, and it would likely be the first XR headset that Apple releases.
Don't get too excited about Apple taking over the VR industry, though. Rumor has it this headset won't be cheap, with suggestions of a $3000 price tag for the device. It won't compete in the consumer space at that price, but it would be right in line with enterprise-level hardware.
The price rumors aren't just an Apple premium. The reports suggest that Apple's headset would offer top-tier specifications. The device reportedly includes dual 8K displays to give the user a retina-level visual experience.