Facebook’s virtual reality just attempts what artists have been doing forever

The future is here, and it is glorious – but it’s not real. Or so said Mark Zuckerberg in an interview published Wednesday, wherein he sketched Facebook’s grand ambitions for virtual reality. If Zuckerberg’s billions have anything to do with it (and it’s reasonable to suppose that they will), headsets like the Oculus Rift will shape our future digital lives, transforming everything from movie-watching, to tennis matches, to sharing baby pictures with our friends into immersive, technicolour 3D experiences.

Sketchfab makes it easier to look at 3D models in virtual reality


Step by step, Sketchfab is turning into the best platform to view 3D models using a virtual reality headset. First, the company added a VR button on every browsing page, then it released apps to support all VR headsets and showcase a few models. Now, the New York-based startup is making it easier to move around 3D models. All 3D models on Sketchfab now have a 2-dimensional “floor” so you can change your point of view. It means that you can point in a direction with your eyes, and Sketchfab will project a pointer on the floor. If you use the button on your cardboard headset, Samsung Gear VR or push a button on the Rift or Vive controller, then you instantly teleport yourself to this point. This movement model will sound familiar if you’ve used VR headsets in the past.

Robot Brings The Feeling Of Touch To Virtual Reality

A PhD student at Queen’s University Belfast decided to create a robot which would create the illusionary feeling of touching virtual objects, the first step along a long timeline of making “The Matrix” a reality. As the user pushes a wooden box in virtual reality, the robot simulates the resistance of pushing a real box. We’re not at the stopping-bullets-with-the-power-of-your-mind stage just yet. Give us time.

Facebook’s really big plans for virtual reality

Oculus is Latin for “eye,” and the Oculus Rift, which went on sale earlier this year and lists for $599, is an incredible device. Strapped to the head, it offers 360 degrees of vision and sound, potentially opening new possibilities in playing games—the gateway drug for VR, Zuckerberg says. He also wants it to be used for watching sports, making movies, joining conversations around the world, or things no one’s imagined yet. But it’s still limited—in resolution, how it tracks movement, and how the body responds to what it projects, among many other things. The problems are enormous and require a deeper understanding of human sensory mechanisms than currently exists. (For example, how should a pair of goggles follow the movement of the eye to allow the processor to manipulate the plane of focus?) It’s going to take billions to make it work.

Virtual showrooms may become a reality in near future

Imagine shopping for a new car at a dealership that keeps no cars on the lot. Or test-driving a new truck from your couch. Both are possible with a new virtual-reality app from Evox Productions LLC that could transform the car-buying experience. “We think VR is going to be the next big thing,” said Dave Weber, vice president of sales and marketing for the Rancho Dominguez, California-based company. “It’s not just for the auto industry. It’s going to have as large an impact as a smartphone or the iPod or color TV. There’s going to be a very steep ramp-up.”

I climbed Mount Everest to learn the challenging truth of virtual reality

I’m standing at the summit of Mount Everest, the tallest peak on the planet. The flag I’m holding is flapping wildly in the stern breeze as I trudge forward and plant it squarely in the middle of a nice, fat lump of snow and ice. I take a moment to stop and survey the scene that only 4000 people in the history of humanity have ever witnessed. I watch as the sun sets slowly over the vast mountain range of the Himalayas and feel an immense sense of peace and achievement. I remove my headset.

How a mobile app is helping GameStop grow virtual reality into a $3B business

Since the release of the augmented reality mobile game, GameStop has logged doubled sales in Pokemon-related merchandise, gaming merchandise like Nintendo 2DS and 3DS handheld consoles, and mobile chargers at 462 of its stores that have been designated “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms” in the game. The company plans to keep its Pokemon success going with a Pokemon Day (planned in advance of the release of Pokemon Go) on Aug. 1 and by stocking Pokemon Sun and Moon, two role-playing video games set to be released in November. GameStop already sells virtual reality headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Merge VR and HTC Vive, and is taking pre-orders for the Sony Interactive Entertainment Playstation VR system, which is expected to be a major revenue stream when it debuts on store shelves in October. The headsets cost from roughly $80 to several hundred dollars.

HelloVR Is Creating A 10,000 Square Mile Virtual Reality World

Never mind the foosball table: One of the perks of working for San Francisco-based virtual reality (VR) startup HelloVR is a 24-hour campfire — a digital campfire, to be precise. It’s part of MetaWorld, the virtual world that HelloVR has been building over the past several months.

MetaWorld consists of 10,000 square miles of virtual environment, complete with meadows, trees, mountains, lakes, and yes, campfires, that will be made available to early adopters through a “Pioneer Edition” program for high-end VR headsets like the HTC Vive later this year.

If your next Airbus flight is uncomfortable, you can blame virtual reality

“The A380 was the first aircraft to be completely designed in 3D, and for all A380s, virtual reality supported the cabin-definition process, from the customer’s initial request through to the finalization,” Kasch says. While VR is used in every phase, and every area, of the aircraft’s development, from the cockpit to the engine and wings, virtual reality really comes into its own for cabin design. “It’s the area that requires the most adaptation from each customer because there are millions of possibilities,” he says. “Now airlines are able to see exactly how their cabins will look in advance.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bring Virtual Reality to the Gridiron

Virtual reality is seen as a potential game-changing technology in the sports world. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the future is now.

The Buccaneers say they are the first professional sports team to merge live, 360-degree video inside a 3D environment for gameday experiences and digital stadium tours. The team is using the technology to introduce fans to the newly renovated Raymond James Stadium. Using a virtual-reality headset and a traditional videogame controller, fans can experience what it’s like to walk around the field and the Hall of Fame Club, a new addition to the 18-year-old venue.

Jaguar shifts into high gear in virtual reality

At this year’s Wimbledon tournament, the brand created its first VR campaign, #FeelWimbledon, which let users experience hitting a winning shot as champion (and Jaguar ambassador) Andy Murray himself.

According to Robert Herd, head of communications at Jaguar Land Rover UK, the video has accumulated 97 million impressions since its launch in mid-June. The brand’s target was 50 million. […]

Björk virtual reality exhibition to go on show at Somerset House

An exhibition celebrating the vast and experimental visual repertoire of the Icelandic singer Björk is to be held at Somerset House this autumn. Björk Digital will showcase the works created by the avant garde musician that have accompanied her music over the past two decades, celebrating how her work has pushed the boundaries of art and technology. […]

How does virtual reality work?

Virtual reality allows the user to be immersed into a virtual world, unlike regular screens in front of the user which do not allow for such an experience. VR can include 4 of the 5 senses, including vision, hearing, touch and possibly even smell. With this power, VR can can take people for a virtual world fairly easily. The only current problems are the availability of such hardware and the price at which it can be purchased. Google is combating this with Google Cardboard and the Daydream ecosystem. But as it currently stands, high quality VR is not possible without spending quite a bit of cash to get a powerful computer and a headset go with it. As prices fall on graphics cards that can run desktop VR at the required settings and with Google making the Daydream ecosystem, it will not be long before high quality content is readily available. […]

Google Might Still Be Working on a Virtual Reality Headset

On Friday, technology news site Recode cited sources, who said Google was working on a virtual reality headset intended to compete with Samsung’s Gear VR and the Oculus Rift. However, in an effort to “streamline” its operation, the Alphabet-owned Google scrapped the project to dedicate more of its resources to Daydream, a service for app developers, smartphone makers, and virtual-reality hardware makers to create mobile-friendly virtual reality experiences.[…]

The first Star Wars virtual reality lightsaber game is coming to the public for free

The first official lightsaber VR experience from Industrial Light & Magic’s xLab will shortly be available to the public. Today at the Star Wars Celebration expo, Lucasfilm chief technology officer Rob Bredow announced that Trials on Tatooine is coming to Steam VR on Monday, […]

Google had an Oculus competitor in the works — but it nixed the project

Google recently shut down an internal project to create a high-end standalone virtual reality headset akin to devices from Facebook’s Oculus and HTC, according to sources familiar with the plans. The decision likely stems from Google’s effort to streamline its more ambitious projects […]

“Vikings Voyage” Features a Virtual Reality Experience at U.S. Bank Stadium

“As an organization, we constantly look to innovate and provide the best fan experience possible, and our approach was no different with the addition of the Vikings Voyage,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf said. “The Voyage will bring fans together, allowing them to engage with their family and friends while celebrating Vikings history.” […]

Non-Gamers And The Many Uses Of Virtual Reality

Ever since the release of the highly publicized Oculus Rift headset, the world is abuzz with a new frenzy for virtual reality gaming, as more and more people wish to take advantage of the new technology to create an immersive and exciting experience.[…]