Articles about virtual reality

Virtual house

Please virtualize my reality before asking me to goggle at a fake one

My family's growing up fast so we're considering adding a room or three to the house. I'm therefore arranging all manner of meetings at which different tradespeople run an eye over the place so they can scare me with the price of the stuff we want done. It would all be so much easier if my house was a virtual environment. …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2017

Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

Mozilla has released version 55 of Firefox for Windows, making it the first desktop browser to officially support the WebVR standard. WebVR is an open virtual reality spec designed for using VR headsets with web browsers. The API is built on Javascript. Versions of Chrome for Android greater than 56 and the Samsung Internet …
Andrew Silver, 8 Aug 2017
HP's Z VR Backpack PC  and dock

HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office

HP Inc has released a backpack PC for the office. The company already makes the Omen backpack PC for gamers, but the newly-revealed HP Z VR Backpack PC is aimed at design pros. The PC weighs 4.65 kg, including the harness. Should you shoulder that burden you'll be lugging around an Intel Core i7-7820HQ with four cores and the …
Money for nothing by dire straits

Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

Last month, one of my friends noted he’d been having enormous trouble trying to buy the components to assemble a virtual-reality-ready PC. Motherboards, memory, CPUs and solid state drives were easy to find, but the one absolutely essential component - a beefy GPU to drive a head-mounted display at a vomit-preventing 90 Hz - he …
Mark Pesce, 10 Jul 2017

Nokia touts future of virtual reality ads... but who's the audience?

Opinion Nokia has premiered what it calls a first-of-its-kind immersive virtual reality advertising experience for its new line of digital health products. The advert is hitting two Nokia birds with one virtual stone: the ad shows off Nokia’s own burgeoning line of VR content creating hardware – the OZO camera – and its suite of digital …

Varjo promises Oculus-killing VR/AR, but is it the next Magic Leap?

A Finnish startup reckons it has stolen the march on Oculus and other mixed reality forms with a headset capable of both virtual and augmented reality and with a resolution that's on a par with the human eye. Dubbed Varjo Technologies, the Finnish startup has just 19 employees – including many ex-Nokia folks – and a smidgen of …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2017
Google's sample heat map for VR videos

Virtual reality audiences stare straight ahead 75% of the time

YouTube's revealed the secret to making an engaging virtual reality video: put the best parts right in front of the audience so they don't have to move their heads. Google's video vault offers that advice on the basis of heat maps it's created based on analysis of where VR viewers point their heads while wearing VR goggles. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2017
VR headset and data photo via Shutterstock

AR and VR in data visualisation – can it ever be useful to our puny human minds?

Advocates of data visualisation using virtual or augmented reality argue that both let your brain do what it does best. Namely, pick out and memorise patterns by walking through the data using 3D and assisted by colour, movement, sound and even touch to represent extra dimensions. See that cluster of bright red, bobbing orbs …
David Matthews, 15 Jun 2017
A dentist examining teeth

Fear the dentist? Strap on some nerd goggles

Wearing a virtual-reality headset in the dentist's chair could make you more relaxed, a new study suggests. "We know lots of people are scared of dentists," says Sabine Pahl, a psychologist at England's Plymouth University, who worked on the project. Previous research has shown that virtual reality can make kids calmer when …
Andrew Silver, 14 Jun 2017
Homer Simpson wearing a Glass headset to bed

Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

Virtual reality headsets are moving at a rate of 2.3 million a quarter, but cheap and simple devices dominate the market. So says analyst firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset Tracker for 2017's first quarter. The firm says “about two-thirds of all headset shipments were viewers such as Samsung's …
Princess Leia hologram

PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Star Wars New Hope @ 40 When Lucasfilm recently unveiled its tribute reelto the late Carrie Fisher, one of the most memorable monologues in cinema sat right in its center. “General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars... Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire...” Reading those words, we can see the …
Mark Pesce, 24 May 2017
Google Cast for Daydream VR

Let's sum up Google's VR strategy so far: Making life less crap for a lonely 20-something

Google I/O Google wants more for its Daydream virtual reality platform than phone displays framed in cheap cardboard. At its annual outdoor developer festival and tanning experiment, Google I/O, the Chocolate Factory presented minions to talk up the arrival of standalone VR headsets from HTC and Lenovo toward the end of the year. By …
Thomas Claburn, 18 May 2017

Try not to scream: Ads are coming to Amazon's Alexa – and VR goggles

It's time to let Benjamin Franklin know that there is a third inevitability in life. To death and taxes, we must add advertisements. Despite a backlash against Google in March for adding a movie ad to its Google Home voice-assistant [surely you mean "invite to our partner to be our guest and share its tale"? – ed.], and …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 May 2017
Robot talks unto robot photo via Shutterstock

Google buys developers of VR goof-around Job Simulator

Google has acquired VR games company Owlchemy Labs, makers of Job Simulator. The witty cross-platform VR role-playing game is set in 2050. You're invited to strap on your goggles and engage in now-forgotten activities such as booking a meeting room, finding the office stapler, or other drudgeries associated with early 21st …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 May 2017
Oculus Rift package

Facebook loves virtual reality so much it just axed its VR film studio

Proving yet again that goggled nausea is a hard sell, Facebook's virtual reality arm Oculus on Thursday said it would shut down Story Studio, its VR production unit. "We're now entering the next chapter of VR development, where new creators enter the market in anticipation of adoption and growth, and we've been looking at the …
VR viewing marathon image

'Grueling' record-breaking VR movie marathon triggers hallucinations

A New Yorker and a transplant from London to the Big Apple last week managed to endure watching virtual reality videos for 50 hours non-stop, setting a Guinness World Record in the process. For their trouble, they raised their heart rates, hallucinated, and experienced involuntary open-eyed "micro-naps." It's not clear how …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Apr 2017
man virtual reality headset. pic shutterstock

Nokia plans comeback on back of virtual reality

Analysis The Nokia as we traditionally know it is no more, and the reborn company of today is pinning a core part of its future business strategy on emerging virtual reality (VR) technologies. In the run-up to the National Association of Broadcasters trade show next week in Las Vegas, Nokia has announced the launch of OZO Reality – an …
Faultline, 24 Apr 2017

While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

Comment The researchers at the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan (UMTRI) sent me what may be the saddest opinion poll in the world. It asks the public: "Would you like a flying car?" If you think it's a question to which the only answer is yes, you'll be heartened by the findings [PDF]. Broadly, US men …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Apr 2017

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