Northern Ireland theatre to collaborate with Minecraft video game

The production will be split between the live performance on stage and puppeteers controlling the actors in a virtual Minecraft set The Playhouse Theatre in Derry/Londonderry has announced plans to stage a play in the video game Minecraft. Playcraft Live will be a co-production between the Northern Ireland theatre and Minecraft, and will be performed by both human actors on stage at the Playhouse and their corresponding digital avatars in the Minecraft world. Minecraft is the second best-selling video game of all time and enables players to build and explore within its virtual world, as well as interacting with […]

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” Virtual Reality at it’s Best in 3D

It would be a challenge to give this film a pass especially for the terrific special visual effects, designs of the many creatures and for the many hours the two main characters must have labored in their roles, but Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets drags and drones through nearly 2 and a half hours. Even as I write this review, I am tempted to alter my opinion, but it wouldn’t help the awful music moaning in the background in nearly every “exciting” scene, plot holes that are beyond fantasy, and negative attempts at virtual reality. Adults […]

This restaurant is using a virtual reality app to train its employees

Clay Bavor, vice president of virtual reality for Google, introduces the Daydream View VR headset during the presentation of new Google hardware in San Francisco, California, U.S. October 4, 2016. (Reuters/Beck Diefenbach) Restaurants around the country are trying to cope with the increasing costs of employment as minimum wages, health care expenses and other employee benefits continue to put pressure on their profits. Many are investing in technologies, such as self-serve kiosks and automated kitchen equipment, to eliminate some hourly jobs and control their labor costs. But it seems that there’s another technology that may also help restaurateurs keep […]

Virtual reality is potentially vital engagement tool

Goldfarb Weber produced a simulation for Lubrizol that took users on a ride through a new chemical formulation. Photo by CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The new wave of virtual reality (VR) is here, allowing users to visit distant planetscapes, pilot a fighter jet, or clock a quarterback’s point of view as he surveys an opposing defense. Not everyone believes the hype, but the business world sees a potential in virtual reality technology that goes far beyond gaming or entertainment. VR’s high degree of realism and efficiency has local firms excited about developing fully immersive experiences that market products and solve real-world […]

Microsoft Are Focusing on PC for VR, Not Xbox

Ever since the initial announcement of Project Scorpio, speculation has been rife over if the upcoming console would support virtual reality (VR). Early indications were that a VR platform for the upgrades Xbox One was one the way, but new information indicates that Microsoft is intending to be using Windows PCs for its VR efforts for the foreseeable future. With console rival Sony having its own VR platform in the shape of the PlayStation VR, and Microsoft themselves branching into VR with the upcoming Windows 10 mixed reality headsets, along with the HoloLens, it seemed like only a matter […]

‘Cat Sorter VR’ Hopes to Capitalize on Untapped Demand for Virtual Cat Sorting

Independent game developer and publisher Pawmingo Games has revealed Cat Sorter VR , an absurd game about rebuilding ‘defective’ cats. It will be playable at CatCon 2017 (naturally) in Pasadena, CA this weekend, and launches on Steam and Viveport on August 29th. I would have gone for ‘Feline Rearrangement VR’ myself. But Cat Sorter VR it is. Cats combined with silliness is internet gold, and this winning formula is in full effect in Pawmingo Games’ debut virtual reality title. The delightful—or perhaps mildly terrifying—gameplay footage from the teaser trailer shows the frantic sorting action, where the players are tasked […]

New virtual reality arcade opening Labour Day weekend

Gaming at District Beta is not like the conventional arcade. (Photo provided) Forget about pinball, pac-man, and pulsing lights– there’s a new arcade coming to town. District Beta is opening in Sarnia on Labour Day weekend and its owners promise the arcade will stretch the meaning of reality. This will be Sarnia’s first virtual reality arcade. “It’s a whole new world of video games,” said Travis Kelly, a District Beta co-owner. Using HTC VIVE virtual reality technology and custom high-powered computers, visitors at District Beta can don the bug-eyed headset and two hand-held controllers and choose from a library […]

Tron 3 Should Be First Virtual Reality Movie Says Jeff Bridges

(Photo: Disney) The dude himself, Jeff Bridges , will be returning to the big screen in October in Only the Brave , and Bridges reconnected with Director Joseph Kosinski for that project. Their reunion is significant for us in the gaming space because Kosinski also directed Tron : Legacy , an instant classic that saw Bridges in a pivotal role. Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis recently caught up with Bridges to talk about his upcoming projects, and took a moment to address rumors that a third Tron film is being discussed. Bridges’ response was very frank, and very dude-like: “Yeah, […]

Google woos virtual reality customers with Daydream summer sale

In a move to get more people to buy into virtual reality, Google Inc. today started the “ Daydream Summer Sale ” for VR apps on its Daydream VR headset. During the sale, which runs Aug. 11-17, numerous apps available for Google’s Daydream View mobile VR headset will be reduced up to 60 percent. Apps affected by the sale include the popular puzzle game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes , half off, to $4.99; tiny-planet warfare game Battle Planet , also half off, to $5.99; desk top toy-based warfare game Toy Clash (pictured), 60 percent off at $1.99; and […]

Building an analytics layer for virtual reality

Companies can learn a lot about you by examining how you interact with a simple banner ad. They know where you came from and how long you’ve spent scrolling. With a pre-roll video spot, they can determine more. Now that brands are dipping their toes into VR experiences, they are poised to unleash rivers of behavioral data. Imagine you are in a VR experience and presented with an array of microwavable dinners. One of these, a chicken carbonara, looks especially tasty. You lock your gaze onto the meal. A motion sensor affixed to your headset measures the movement of […]

VR game truck lets Valley residents experience exciting new worlds

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A new virtual reality business is rolling out here in the Valley. From an ocean to a haunted carnival to a galaxy far, far away, virtual reality is taking gamers to a whole new world. Now a local business is giving people a chance to experience VR. "You basically feel like you’re in the game," Brandon Mendes with the 559 Virtual Reality Game Truck said. "For example, the Star Wars game, we have it so it feels like you’re in the fighter, you’re flying it, you’re shooting." Mendes is the owner of the game truck, […]

Dinner served up with the help of virtual reality

For $65 you’re taken on a 360 degree virtual reality adventure. Credits: Newshub. If you like to know where your food comes from, then a new Wellington dining experience might be for you. New Zealand’s oldest tavern The Thistle Inn has launched something very, very new. Virtual dining – where visitors strap into a journey from gate to plate. Virtual dining shows patrons the journey their meal’s made – without them needing to leave their seat. Co-owner Richard Walshe told Newshub: "Unless you’re into gaming or really into tech you don’t get a chance to put on goggles." For […]

SA Police receive VR firearms training simulator system

Image: VirTra A new virtual reality (VR) firearms training simulator system is up and running at the South Australian Police Academy. The new system is the first upgrade of the SA Police firearms training simulator in more than 10 years. Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams said the 300-degree simulator system at the Taperoo-based academy will provide improved firearms training to officers. Developed by Tempe, Arizona-based Virtra, the simulator provides 3D audio and special effects to hone the judgement, decision-making, and tactics of police officers via a simulated live fire range. "The Virtra virtual reality simulator firearms and Tactical Option Simulator […]

Using Experiential Design to Expand VR Presence Theory

Dustin Chertoff has pulled experiential design insights from the advertising world to come up with a more holistic theory of Presence in virtual reality. In 2008, he was in graduate school and was dissatisfied with the major theories of VR Presence. His gaming experience showed him how much of his feeling of immersion was related to the content of the game. He wrote an essay published in the journal Presence where he laid out what he saw were the two major limitations of VR Presence theory at that time. LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST “First, many models […]

SA Police step into simulator for firearms training

SA Police cadets and Special Task And Rescue (STAR) officers are going high-tech using virtual reality technology for firearms training. The technology worth $480,000 surrounds police officers with a 300-degree screen that plays out real-life situations such as a domestic violence or drug-related incidents. Much like a video game, officers use simulated tasers or firearms that, when fired at the screen, mimic injuring or killing a target. Deputy Police Commissioner Linda Williams said the technology allowed officers to practise communicating with violent people or, if a situation escalated, use prepper spray or ultimately a firearm. Deputy Commissioner Williams hoped […]

Smartphone-Centric Enhanced Headsets Key to Mass VR Adoption in India

The year gone by was touted as that of Virtual Reality (VR). In reality, with just $2.7 billion in revenue in 2016, it is yet to take off as consumer VR content still lacks the ability to ensure huge adoption globally, including in India. When it comes to India, where the number of smartphone users is growing exponentially, mobile VR is definitely the future for the mass adoption of this immersive experience. The promise of growth, however, comes with riders. Since VR is a highly individual experience where users are drawn into a virtual world — cut off from […]

Stoke City To Begin Training Goalkeepers Using Virtual Reality

English Premier League team Stoke City announced that its goalkeepers will now be trained using virtual reality. The club is partnering with Dutch company Beyond Sports and will also use the company’s VR technology to analyze match performances. The company offers two different options for it VR training service, with a “plug and play” providing ready-made training scenarios for players, while a custom option enables clubs to tailor-made scenarios based off their own data. This training focuses on four key areas including on-field spatial awareness, decision-making, high pressure in-game scenarios and a high frequency of scenarios packed into a […]

Smart glove translates sign language into digital text

Language of glove: wearable device translates gestures A smart glove that translates American Sign Language (ASL) into digital text has been developed by scientists at the University of California, San Diego. Timothy O’Connor, Darren Lipomi and colleagues reckon that their device can be produced for less than $100 and could also find use in virtual-reality and remote-control systems. Most systems for monitoring body movement involve using a camera or infrared emitters and sensors to capture motion. While such systems are effective, they can be bulky, inflexible and require large amounts of energy. As a result, researchers are keen to […]

For SpectreVision Gaming is key to the Future of Virtual Reality Storytelling

VRFocus recently caught up with Kyle McCullough the VP for Digital and Gaming from SpectreVision, the firm set up by actor Elijah Wood and movie directors Daniel Noah and Josh C.Waller, to discuss why SpectreVision has moved into virtual reality (VR), the future of storytelling, SpectreVision’s relationship with Ubisoft and how it came to make Transference . Transference, a psychological, story-driven, thriller videogame. The experience shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last month was a prequel to the finished title currently in development. It’s due to be released for the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and HTC Vive in […]

Flexpoint Sensor Systems Receives Record Purchase Order Volume from Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Partners

As previously announced, VR/AR hardware platforms produced by such notable companies as HTC, Oculus, Sony and others offer rich and powerful technologies. Major technological advances in hardware, software and peripherals have enabled this market to expand and experience remarkable growth. As projected, Flexpoint is now realizing significant revenue contribution from numerous VR/AR peripheral technology development companies. Last year, analyst Deloitte Global, correctly predicted virtual reality (VR) would have its first billion dollar year . Additionally, a Goldman Sachs report estimated the combined virtual reality and augmented reality market, (hardware and software), will reach $95B in market size by 2025. […]