Virtual & Augmented Reality News - Page 7
Spatial today announced a major update to its virtual collaboration platform that enables more realistic virtual environments modelled from real-world locations. The company is also making Spatial available for new devices to make the platform accessible to almost anyone.
Spatial started life as an augmented reality co-location system that would enable anyone with a Hololens or Magic Leap headset to meet remotely with other people with AR devices. The system includes a virtual avatar that can be projected into a remote location. If you want to get fancy, you could even use a 3D scan of your body as your avatar.
Now you can get even fancier by bringing scanned objects and environments into the mix. The new Spatial update enables you to bring high-fidelity LiDAR scans into the platform, which you can use to recreate real-world environments to use as virtual meeting places. You can also import virtual copies of real objects into your virtual meeting space, making virtual collaboration feel a bit closer to the real thing.
Tundra Labs launched its Kickstarter campaign for its Tundra Tracker SteamVR tracking pucks on March 29, and within a matter of hours, the company had raised more than double its original goal. With 59 more days to go, this fundraising campaign is off to a roaring start.
Tundra Labs revealed the Tundra Trackers, an alternative to HTC's Vive Tracker hardware, late last year. Tundra Trackers a smaller and lighter than even HTC's newly revised Vive Tracker 3.0. These smaller trackers also sip less power than Vive Trackers, giving them longer battery life to the tune of up to 7-hours of use between charges.
The appetite for Tundra Labs' tiny tracking pucks is significant. The company was looking for $250,000 to fund the manufacturing of the hardware. The Kickstarter campaign secured pledges for more than $500,000 from backers in less than six hours.
HTC designed the new Vive Facial Tracker accessory exclusively for the company's Vive Pro lineup of headsets. Still, as soon as reviewers and developers got their hands-on the hardware, they mounted the face tracker to all sorts of headsets. HTC quickly moved to support the VR community.
The Vive Facial Tracker is an exciting advancement in immersive gaming. The device tracks the movement of your mouth, cheeks, and tongue and the accompanying software maps those movements to your virtual avatar. When HTC revealed the Vive Facial Tracker, the company said it would only work with the Vive Pro. That, however, is only half true. The tracker will work with any device; it's just designed to attach to the Vive Pro's outer structure.
Several people have created custom mounting solutions to pair the tracker with headsets, such as the Oculus Quest 2 or the Valve Index. After seeing the VR community's ingenuity and their excitement for the facial tracker, HTC decided to release a 3D CAD file to help more enterprising creators design more effective mounting solutions.
Newly published patents from Valve Corporation reveal some of the design ideas that Valve has been toying with for future VR headsets. The company has been working on improving comfort and cutting cords.
Hat tip goes out to RoadtoVR for discovering a patent application from Valve Corporation that was just published on March 18. The patent was initially filed in September of last year, which indicates these are design ideas that came after launching the Index in 2019.
The patent application primarily focuses on head strap design. The patent depicts several head strap designs that incorporate a mechanical actuator adjust for the upper strap. There's a design with a dial on top of the upper strap, which replaces the Velcro strap found on the Index headset. That design also incorporates a new rear cushion that features a hinge to better conform to the shape of the wearer's head.
Sony recently announced that it is working on a successor to its PSVR headset, and today we got our first real taste of what's to come. The company revealed details about the controllers that will pair with the next headset. It looks like Sony's VR team has been putting a lot of thought into its next hardware generation.
Sony describes the controllers as "orb shape." They feature a halo that you stick your hands through to reach the handles. Sony said this design helps keep the controllers "well-balanced and comfortable to hold."
Sony's new PSVR controllers share many features from the PS5 DualSense controller, including adaptive triggers, high-fidelity haptic feedback, as well as familiar face buttons and analog sticks for each hand. The controllers will also include grip buttons, which replace the L1 and R1 shoulder buttons from the DualSense controllers.
HTC just announced two new products in its Vive VR hardware lineup. The company is releasing a revised Vive Tracker, and it just introduced a facial expression tracking camera.
HTC's new Vive Tracker 3.0 is a significant change from the previous generation tracking pucks. The Vive Tracker 1.0 and 2.0 are virtually the same, with the only real difference being the device's tracking sensors. The Vive Tracker 3.0 is a complete redesign from the ground up.
The new tracker is smaller, lighter, and offers dramatic battery life improvements. HTC said the new Vive Tracker is 33% smaller than the previous models, which resulted in a 15% reduction in overall weight. The batteries in the Vive Tracker 3.0 provide up to 75% more runtime per charge, which gives you up to 7-hours of use per charge.
Pico Interactive recently raised $37 million in a Series B+ financing round, ensuring the company has the capital on hand to launch its third-generation 6-DoF standalone VR headset. The company plans to launch the Pico Neo 3 in the next few months.
Pico Interactive is a small VR headset maker that largely caters to the VR industry's business side. The company makes standalone VR headsets that are used in corporate training simulations and medical applications. Pico does sell to consumers in China, but it doesn't have a consumer presence outside of the country.
With Pico's newly acquired investment, the company plans to put a larger focus on its consumer market. Pico's next headset, the Neo 3, is set to launch sometime in Q2 2021, and the company wants to capture a bigger slice of the booming consumer VR market in China.
HTC Vive dropped a bit of a tease on Twitter on Thursday. The company's social media manager released a screenshot of what appears to be a closeup of a new device with a Vive logo that we've never seen before. Is HTC about to make an announcement?
The HTC Vive Twitter page posted a screenshot of what appears to be a new Vive device on Thursday with a post saying, "It's your move." The image shows a tight closeup of a dark chrome Vive logo embedded in a black textured surface.
It's impossible to tell what the object is from the picture, but that's not stopping people from taking a guess. From the comments in the Twitter thread, it appears most people are hoping for an XR2-based standalone headset that competes with the Oculus Quest 2. Some people would also like to see a low-cost VR headset to replace the original Vive and fill the gap that the soon-to-be discontinued Rift S will create. Still, there is no shortage of cynical comments from people who don't trust Vive as a consumer brand anymore.
Vertigo Games today announced that its next VR title, After The Fall, would be launching this coming summer. And while a new game from the creator of Arizona Sunshine is exciting, it's a small detail in the press release that piqued my attention. It sounds like we have some VR headsets to look forward to soon.
Vertigo Games said that After The Fall would be available in summer 2021. As you may expect from Arizona Sunshine's creators, the game is set to launch on multiple VR platforms. Vertigo said it would support PlayStation VR and PC VR. But it's the next phrase that stood out. After the Fall is also coming to "yet to be announced VR platforms" this summer.
As of right now, we have no concrete information about any unannounced VR headsets coming down the pipeline, but there have been a handful of hints in recent months. In September, a benchmark test of an HTC headset with a Snapdragon XR2 processor leaked online. And just last week, Facebook Reality Labs hinted that a Quest Pro might be in the works.
Vertigo Games, the studio that created the smash hit Arizona Sunshine, is gearing up to release its next title. After the Fall, a post-apocalyptic co-op survival shooter is coming to VR platforms this summer.
From the name, you may expect that After the Fall is a sequel to Arizona Sunshine, but that's not the case. This is a completely new game with a completely different feel. Arizona Sunshine was a solo or co-op campaign set in a modern zombie-infested world. After the Fall is a fast-paced 4-player co-op game, like Left4Dead, set in a post-apocalyptic downtown LA overrun by undead creators called snowbreed.
Vertigo Games plans to support multiple VR platforms. The game will launch on PlayStation VR, PC VR, and "as yet unannounced headsets" with full cross-platform support between different platforms.