Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality News



Unity makes it easier to insert augmented reality into native mobile apps

Unity makes it easier to insert augmented reality into native mobile apps

Unity Technologies has launched an update that makes it easier to insert augmented reality features into native mobile apps and games. The update for Unity 2019.3 comes after Unity announced its AR Foundation tool that enables game developers to quickly create AR software that can run on both Android and iOS devices. Unity 2019.3 has added support for using Unity as a library controlled by native Android/Java and iOS/Objective C apps so developers can easily insert AR and other Unity features. “We know there are times when developers using native platform technologies (like Android/Java and iOS/Objective C) want to include features powered by Unity in their apps and games,”
ARTISTS ARE USING VIRTUAL REALITY TO CONVEY THE PERILS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

ARTISTS ARE USING VIRTUAL REALITY TO CONVEY THE PERILS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is here but not everyone can feel the impact yet. Some artists are turning to virtual reality to help audiences better “experience” it. While climate scientists have warned about the effects of specific increases in the average global temperature, translating such numbers into something that people feel more viscerally has been a challenge, notes Nadine Kuhla von Bergmann, managing director of Creative Climate Cities, a Berlin-based consultancy that promotes climate change awareness and sustainable urban development. “Mobilizing people to fight the climate crisis is only successful if the impact on their daily lives is well-explained and illustrated,” she says. “Art triggers emotions which numbers usually don’t… and VR art is powerful.”
Against Gravity is building a VR world that won’t stop growing

Against Gravity is building a VR world that won’t stop growing

The quest to create a social auditorium in virtual reality has eaten many VC dollars over the years. While plenty of contenders have emerged, it’s likely Against Gravity’s Rec Room has been the most creative in its approach to capturing a niche market while plotting how to build a sustainable business based on users in VR headsets talking to one another. The Seattle startup has told TechCrunch exclusively that it has bagged $24 million over two rounds of funding. The studio’s Series A was led by Sequoia and their Series B, which just recently closed, was led by Index Ventures . Against Gravity has a bevy of top investors that also participated in the rounds, including First Round Capital, Maveron, Anorak Ventures, Acequia Capital, Betaworks and DAG Ventures.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Checks Out HaptX And Their VR Gloves

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Checks Out HaptX And Their VR Gloves

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos literally went “hands-on” with the future of robotics  this past week during Amazon’s inaugural re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, NV. During a quick pop-in at the HaptX booth, the billionaire tech entrepreneur tried out the company’s new two-handed robotic system that uses a combination of VR gloves, haptics, and sensors to give you the ability to feel objects in VR anywhere in the world. The bimanual (performed with both hands) system is the first major advancement to the companies original HaptX VR glove, which—at the time—was capable of supporting only a single hand.
HTC’s launches Vive Pro Eye in North America at a massive discount

HTC’s launches Vive Pro Eye in North America at a massive discount

HTC today launched its latest and greatest virtual reality headset, the Vive Pro Eye, to the North American market. The new device features Tobii eye-tracking, which gives the headset two keen features: users can navigate menus just by looking at things, and foveated rendering. Navigating menus, selecting items, or even triggering animations by making eye contact with on-screen characters sounds pretty cool, but foveated rendering is a game-changer.
Qualcomm enables ‘XR smart viewer’ augmented reality smartphone apps

Qualcomm enables ‘XR smart viewer’ augmented reality smartphone apps

Qualcomm has unveiled a new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR Smart Viewer reference design that makes it easier for hardware companies to create lightweight augmented reality glasses. Qualcomm made the announcement ahead of the Augmented World Expo (AWE) event in Santa Clara, California. With this design, AR glasses can become smart viewers for AR content that is stored on a smartphone. Inside these glasses, very little to no processing is happening. The lightweight glasses have high-resolution displays, as well as sensors that can track movement, hands, and eyes. But the glasses are connected via a wire to a smartphone or a computing puck. The processing happens in a device that is connected to the glasses, said Hugo Swart, head of XR at Qualcomm, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Oculus Venues Gives You Courtside Seats in Virtual Reality—and Forces You to Put Down Your Phone

Oculus Venues Gives You Courtside Seats in Virtual Reality—and Forces You to Put Down Your Phone

elt like some character from a canned Black Mirror episode: alone in my boxers on a Sunday night, with a bulky silver headset strapped to my face, a joystick in one hand and a Bud Light in the other. But inside the goggles, I was courtside at a Magic–Cavs game, next to a 16-year-old grocery bagger with virtual blue sunglasses and a virtual blond Afro. His online alias: Slim Shady. Last year, the NBA and Oculus ran a commercial featuring Adam Levine and Jonah Hill watching the Warriors in their respective homes while their look-alike avatars sat beside each other in VR, nodding, moving their mouths, and waving their hands.
Google announces a new $999 Glass augmented reality headset

Google announces a new $999 Glass augmented reality headset

Google has announced a new version of its business-focused Glass augmented reality headset, which it’s now designating an official Google product instead of an experiment. The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 costs $999, although, like its predecessor, it’s not being sold directly to consumers. It’s got a new processor, an improved camera, a USB-C port for faster charging, and a variety of other updates. Google still isn’t positioning Glass as a mainstream product. But it seems to be expecting greater sales of the Glass Enterprise Edition 2. The device has been moved out of Google parent company Alphabet’s X “moonshot factory” and into the Google family of products, letting Google “meet the demands of the growing market for wearables in the workplace,” according to a blog post.
Backed by LG, AmazeVR is hoping to resurrect virtual reality’s consumer dreams

Backed by LG, AmazeVR is hoping to resurrect virtual reality’s consumer dreams

For more than 100 years, entrepreneurs have come to Hollywood to try their luck in the dream factory and build an empire in the business of storytelling. Propelled by new technologies, new businessmen have been landing in Los Angeles since the invention of the nickelodeon to create a studio that would dominate popular entertainment. Over the past five years, virtual reality was the latest new thing to make or break fortunes, and the founding team behind the Korean company AmazeVR are the latest would-be dream-makers to take their turn spinning the wheel for Hollywood fortunes. Despite billions of dollars in investment, and a sustained marketing push from some of the biggest names in the technology industry, virtual reality still doesn’t register with most regular consumers.
Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users to build their own naughty lenses. Naughty America had begun to distribute Snapchat lenses to its users earlier this week. The lenses allowed Snapchat users to super-impose porn stars in various states of undress over images of their own living room, and share the results with their friends on the service.
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