Virtual & Augmented Reality News - Page 135
OMGTT: PowerVR are making a PC comeback, releasing PCI-Express GPGPU card that provides real-time ray-tracing
Wow. I remember the PowerVR days so fondly. Yes, they didn't make the same impact as 3dfx did in the day, but I remember as a young PC gamer, wanting their hardware so bloody bad it hurt. I remember getting my Dad to import me a 3dfx card (Orchid Righteous 4MB Voodoo card for those who would remember) and it being THE BEST THING EVER.
PowerVR cards were always something I never had, and now there's news they're returning to release a discrete GPU card, in the complete opposite of what they used to do. Imagination Technologies are the team behind it, and last year, they acquired Caustic Graphics.
Caustic Graphics are a San Francisco-based start-up who were (before the acquisition) working on an accelerator that would make real-time ray-tracing, a reality. They managed to make two generations of products which were more technology demonstrators than real-world products, but their FPGA chips worked.
After Imagination Technologies acquired them, they continued to work on building commercial purpose for its technology and at CES 2012, they began to see the finish line. VR-Zone talked to representatives of both Caustic and Imagination Technologies, where they were told to expect the introduction of the new card in the second half of 2012, more specifically, they have a goal of Siggraph 2012.
Microsoft researchers have unveiled Omnitouch, a new system that uses a Short-Range Depth Camera together with a Pico-Projector and turns any surface area into a navigatable touchscreen. Microsoft, in a joint project with Carnegie Mellon University reveals that the technology works in a similar way to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, but is "modified to work at short-range" to track finger movements.
In the video below, you can see that the projector superimposes a virtual keyboard image onto a hand, arm, notepad or wall, which a user can tap or drag their fingers and access it like a normal touchscreen device. Of course, in its test stages, it looks completely dorky, but this is some future tech.
It shows a shoulder-based system, with a Kinect sensor sitting on the users shoulder, as well as the Pico-Projector, with the demonstration showing how "you can tap on your hand or drag your interface out to specify the top left and bottom right border," explains researcher Hrvoje Benko.
Vuzix Wrap 1200VR video eyewear is now out, sporting a simulated 75-inch 3D display at ten feet away in up to 720P HD via its dual monitor setup. The VR bit comes from the included Wrap Tracker 6TC with compass, which enables head-tracking with three degrees of freedom. It also includes drift control which should maintain smooth visuals when you're tilting your head to look at the on-screen action.
The unit is said to work with most Windows-based graphics cards and VGA connections, but if you want to get your VR on the Xbox 360 or PS3, you'll require some adapters. The unit is just $600, which shows that pricing is not actually too bad on these puppies.
If you're looking for a decent entry level Z68 on the cheap, you may be interested to know that Biostar are delivering what looks to be a fairly well rounded budget board in the new TZ68K+ that they've just launched this week.
Biostar actually already has what looks like an identical board in its current lineup, the TZ68A+, however the new TZ68K+ differs in that it sports a stronger CPU VRM arrangement with 8 phases vs. the 4-phase VRM setup on the TZ68A+, making it a bit more attractive if you want to get a decent overclock. As a result of the chunkier VRM setup, it now has its own heatsink to assist in keeping temps at bay.
in Santa Clara, CA, May 17-18. Using their mobile augmented reality browser junaio to navigate the entire conference.
Attendees can download the junaio browser on their Android or iPhone and launch the experience from specifically and strategically placed Latitude, Longitude and Altitude (LLA) markers that will synchronize the indoor AR experience. Generally, AR navigation depends on GPS and geo-locational data to function, but GPS isn't yet precise enough to facilitate indoor navigation (things are just too close together). Metaio's technology however allows for a fairly seamless indoor directions and information (pending that you launch the application correctly).
The junaio "channel" will be providing up-to-date information regarding the various sessions and speakers, as well as giving remote information about sponsors and organizations on the expo floor. Isn't AR neat?
What goes through someone's head before he or she actually makes a decision like this? Well, Cranberry Zero solved that riddle for us:
Last week I finally snagged a Nintendo 3DS and after playing the augmented reality games, the first thing I thought was "Oh s***, that AR card would make a killer tattoo." And so this weekend, I got the 3DS AR tattoo and it's f***ing awesome.
The Mii photo came out pretty well, but it couldn't have been easy to take. The 3DS isn't exactly a one-handed device, as further proven by the following video:
Not the most easily accessible augmented reality experience. Also- how are you going to play the game if your one free hand is holding the 3DS? There's also this:
Sorry that it's jittery...the way I was having to hold my arm and hold the 3DS and look through the viewfinder of the camera meant that my arm was at a slight angle and the 3DS was trying to place it on a flat plane.
Even better, JISC isn't releasing the final version until May 6, so if you want to take a look at it and revise it or comment on what should and should not be there, they will take it into consideration. Who knows- your wisdom may make the final cut.
JISC originally commissioned the report, which was written by a one Ben Butchart of EDINA, based out of the University of Edinburgh. Check out the press release, and make your voices heARd.
Not so long ago, augmented reality (AR) was an experimental technology that rarely left the lab and required a high level of technical expertise and knowledge to create new applications. Now, thanks to advances in smartphone hardware, AR technology is much more available and easily accessible for users and developers alike.
A new state-of-the-art TechWatch report looking at Augmented Reality for Smartphones is now available for comment:
Augmented Reality for Smartphones (PDF)...
Earlier this week, NYC-based GPS interactive augmented reality game startup GoldRun raised $1.1 Million this week in angel funding. GoldRun was fortunate enough (literally) to have participants like Ed Mathias of The Carlyle Group, financier Jon Ledecky, Founding Partner of United Talent Agency Jeremy Zimmer, Former Chairman and CEO of Sunglass Hut Jim Hauslein, and CEO of Venturehouse Group Mark Ein (Mathias and Zimmer will join the board of directors). GoldRun is looking to use the funding to develop new features for both users and clients to offer more AR interactions within their application. They will also invest in supporting sales and deployment activities in both the US and other, international markets. Even more exciting, we'll see GoldRun hosted gaming sometime in the near future.
For those of you unfamiliar with the application, GoldRun uses geo-data to run augmented reality experiences on the iPhone , and they recently launched a campaign with a sentimentally confused billboard near the Holland Tunnel in New York City, which we reported earlier this week. Founder and CEO Vivian Rosenthal commented:
GoldRun allows for a new form of...
Munich-based Augmented Reality Solutions firm metaio GmbH and Vuzix of Rochester, NY have announced a development and marketing partnership to collaborate on identifying and delivering improved and enhanced solutions for their customers. Roman Hasenbeck, Director of Business Development for metaio San Francisco, commented:
Our company has provided AR software for over 8 years and Vuzix is the first company to deliver a complete line of AR-enabled Video Eyewear, which includes both digital and optical see-through glasses that are high resolution and easy to wear. These are essential features for our customers. We believe that with Vuzix, we will finally be able to satisfy the needs of our many customers and partners for a hands-free solution.
If you're new to the Augmented Reality industry you probably don't realize the significance of this last statement. AR exists chiefly on two different platforms at the moment: web-contained and mobile. You may have seen examples and use cases in marketing promotions, such as those by Hallmark or Home Depot, that launch from the webcam of your desktop or laptop. Otherwise, AR lives in your phone, in the form of reality browsers...
To express your inevitable sentiment, rather than raging and yelling at your car and fellow commuters, why not just take your iPhone, point it at the billboard, and snap a picture to post to your Facebook wall that says "I am feeling (ANGRY FACE)"? New York-based GPS augmented reality app GoldRun partnered up with Tronic Studio and outdoor marketing firm ADstruc to bring us the first billboard with feelings. The billboard is part of the latter's "Billboards For Everyone" campaign, which brings together local design talent to create...