Apple Is Releasing A Standalone Augmented and Virtual Reality Headset

The standalone augmented and virtual reality headset will reportedly have two 8k displays and will be available in 2020.


(Credit: Medium) A concept rendering of Apple’s AR and VR headset.

If there’s one thing that we’re sure of in the future, it’s the rise of augmented and virtual reality products. Every major company seems to be jumping in the bandwagon and Apple is reportedly one of them.

According to a report by CNET, Apple is making a combined VR and AR headset with their own chips. This was according to a source familiar with the plans.

The source also claims that each eye will have an 8k display, even higher than current TV displays. For comparison, the best VR headsets in the market now have not even reached 4k per eye yet. The headset will have an attached camera that detects surroundings when being used in play.

The headset will work as a standalone device, untethered to a computer or smartphone. Instead, it will connect to a dedicated box through a high-speed, wireless tech called 60GHz WiGig. A proprietary Apple processor will supposedly power the box.

Apple’s take on the AR and VR headsets will reportedly arrive in 2020. According to the source, the project is still on its early stages so it could still be changed or totally scrapped.

Do you think Apple will do a good job on the VR/AR front? Let us know below!

 

Mozilla Unveils Firefox Reality Browser for AR and VR

Mozilla now offers an alternative browser for Firefox, one that supports AR and VR headsets.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Mozilla announced a new version of its Firefox web browser. This browser, dubbed Firefox Reality, is specifically designed to be used with virtual and augmented reality headsets.

According to Mozilla, the new mixed reality browser has been built to tackle “new opportunities and challenges of browsing the immersive Web.” It is meant to be cross-platform, privacy-friendly and open source.

With the use of emerging mixed reality web standards, Firefox Reality allows consumers to use it without installing additional apps. And unlike others, the new browser will work on various devices and platforms.

Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies Sean White explains the product in detail. “The future of mixed reality is about delivering experiences, not about building applications. There shouldn’t be friction moving from one experience to another.”

As with their desktop browser, the VR-friendly browser is open source. The company has already released its source code and developer builds for different platforms on GitHub.

There is no news yet as to when the browser will be available to the public. What we do know for certain is that it will be available with HTC Vive Focus and other headsets supported by HTC’s Vive Wave VR platform at launch.

Mozilla will be releasing more updates for Firefox Reality in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

 

Train to Busan Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Version Of Train To Busan

A virtual reality of the thriller movie Train To Busan is said to be a possibility. This movie has awed almost all of those who have watched it.

All About the Movie

Train to Busan is a zombie apocalypse action thriller movie. It has mesmerized a lot of movie goers not only in Asia but around the world. It is about a train travelling to Busan whose passengers got infected by a virus which caused them to become zombies. But of course there are others who were not infected. It ended with the father of a little girl, who were among those not infected, sacrificed and made himself bait for the zombies to save his daughter and the other survivors.

Virtual Reality Project

Train to Busan, a Pan-Asian hit film, is to be adapted as a virtual reality property. It may be delivered as a location- based entertainment, as well as a virtual reality video game.

Contents Panda said that it had signed a contract with Singapore’s Vividthree Productions to adapt the zombie thriller. Contents Panda is the world sales arm of South Korea’s Next Entertainment World.

According to Vincent Kim, president of Contents Panda, this movie is an example of how a well-made film has the scalability to be developed into multiple forms.

“We believe in the possibilities because “Train To Busan”, a film that has mesmerized audiences in Asia and beyond, deserves to be adapted in a multisensory format. That would allow fans of the film to experience the zombie apocalypse action thriller in virtual reality”, said Charles Yeo, CEO of Vividthree.

The development of the virtual reality sector is being funded by the financial support given by the Singapore government. This movie is by far the highest-grossing film in Singapore. Contents Panda said that Vividthree will launch a static show in Singapore and Malaysia. And that they may expend it globally.

Additional Information

Separately, “Train To Busan” is also said to be remade as an English-language feature film. This endeavor will be made possible through the French studio Gaumont.

Report: Google Is Buying Light-Field Camera Startup Lytro for About $40M

Credit: ExpertReviews

Multiple sources claim that Google is making a move to buy Lytro, an imaging startup specialising in light-field technology.

Founded in 2006, the company created the first consumer camera that uses light-field technology. The technology allows the camera to refocus to any parts of the picture even after it is taken. Lytro’s first camera came out in 2012. It had a touchscreen on one end and a lens on the other and was housed in a red tube.

Their second generation camera, the Lytro Illum, came out in 2014. Unfortunately, both models didn’t do very well on sales despite their 12-year experience in the field. More recently, the company has been focusing on professional camera technology for filmmaking and capturing VR video.

TechCrunch reports that one source has described the acquisition as an asset-sale. Apparently, this sale will go for no more than $40 million.

Their other sources claim that it was actually shopped around to other companies including Facebook for $25 million. Apple was also included in the list according to another source. There’s also a vague information about the company’s employees already receiving severance pay while some just left.

The sale will also include Lytro’s 59 patents related to light-field and digital imaging technologies if it is finalized. This is something that Google could actually have a lot of use for.

Forty million dollars might sound quite a lot to you and me but this is actually not a good deal for Lytro.

The startup company raised about $200 million in funding over the years. As recent as 2017, it was valued at around $360 million.

Although there are no concrete details of this acquisition, it is very likely that Google is eyeing up Lytro to bolster their own VR efforts. Just last week, the tech giant introduced an app that to display immersive photography in virtual reality called Light Fields.

 

Winter Olympics Training Using Virtual Reality

Winter Olympics 2018 happening in South Korea; Athletes uses VR for training

The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea this month. To our surprise, the US women’s ski team uses virtual reality (VR) for the upcoming Olympics. Instead of being 5,500 miles away in PyeongChang, there’s this VR demo room at the Menlo Park, California, offices of VR startup STRIVR.

Laurenne Ross, a US alpine skier regularly trains using VR. It’s been almost a year since Ross wasn’t in the game. It was due to her injuries that tore her ACL and meniscus in her right knee. 18 months have passed, the athlete wasn’t in the limelight. But she had undergone an amusingly techy training that includes hundreds of VR sessions. After that, she made it back to the slopes in nine months.

With the use of technology, the US alpine ski team is having an edge in the advancement of training. Virtual reality or VR lets you transport to a digital world through a special kind of headset. Using a VR, skiers can react to different conditions and deviously designed Olympic courses at 80 miles per hour.

“They hopefully will be much more prepared, and not so distracted and caught up in the moment,” said Brian Meek, STRIVR’s chief technology officer. “Playing sports is intense. We replicate the intensity.”

Ross said VR keeps you mentally sharp and focused. She said in an email, “It’s so easy to forget some of the tiny details about preparing for a race that can really make a difference. VR has been a big part of keeping me focused and ready to return.”

The US ski team is the first ever Olympic squad in the world that uses VR as part of their training. Now, more than 20 members of the ski team now use VR that includes stars Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin.

Five Exciting Ways VR Could Disrupt The Game

You probably hear a lot about big “disrupts” in the world of technology these days. It’s generally used to describe a radical change happening to a company, product or industry. Recently it’d be hard to find a better example of a technology disrupting the marketplace than with virtual reality. It’s changing the way we do things (or at least it’s trying to) in industries ranging from gaming to real estate. As a result it’s gotten a lot of attention. But as much as we’ve been talking about VR for the last 18 months or so, there are some areas that still aren’t being covered as much as they should be.

Here are some of the potential VR disruptions you probably haven’t thought (or read) about just yet.

Arcades & Theme Parks

Most of us are still thinking of VR as a revolution for in-home gaming, and there’s one area where it’s definitely having a massive impact take that form. But if you purchase one of the better headsets and the PC or console it takes to run (something that’s left out of the basic headset price tags), you’re looking at spending at least roughly $1,000. Throw in the fact that a lot of VR games are limited by the available space around you, and in-home VR doesn’t always make a ton of sense. This is why some people are suggesting that as VR gets more sophisticated, you’ll leave your house to experience it. In all likelihood the technology will pave the way for new age arcades and theme parks, where entire areas are set up for wild virtual reality experiences. Almost like a “Holodeck” from Star Trek you can pay to go visit.

Watching Sports

VR has a tons of potential when it comes to changing the ways we watch sports. So far the NBA has led the way, and the early feedback is that the experience is surprisingly good. In the near future, it may come with enough options to be legitimately mind-blowing. We may be able to watch live contests from the virtual “seats” of our choice, or even take in courtside views. Some people have suggested we could even be able to watch the action from the perspective of a player! Imagine what it might be like to get closer than ever to an NFL game, or experience what it’s like to be a quarterback facing down oncoming linebackers. Unlike the gimmick of 3D television virtual reality really has the potential to transform how we watch and experience sports.

Online Casual Gaming

It’s not a huge leap to say that there will be all kinds of casual games looking to take advantage of VR. But some that you might not have initially thought of are poker games and other casino based titles. In fact, there’s already been several casino VR games, and other platforms are trying to recreate the experience through live dealer options. These games represent the cutting edge in online casino technology by allowing players to interact with actual dealers in real-time through a video feed. And it likely won’t be long before it makes the logical leap to VR headsets. But there’s potential that VR will help take it a step further beyond the casino and will allow players to enjoy their favorite games while exploring brand new environments. After all, the point of VR is to provide an experience different from what you can do in real life, which makes atmosphere of something like a traditional poker room almost po
intless. Instead we could see robot dealers, games set in underwater environments, poker in space, and more.

Reading

There aren’t any major reading VR apps in development that we know of just yet, but this is something to look out for as we move away from gaming. We’ve already seen the idea of electronic reading transform the book industry, and Kindle-like experiences could also be on the horizon for VR headsets. We could even see virtual libraries where we could be able to select and read books in a comfortable, studious atmosphere. There’s even a possibility that we could eventually see these world’s brought to life and watch the word literally jump off the page.

Therapy

The potential of virtual reality to alter the health industry has actually been well documented. If nothing else, VR applications for treatment and surgical simulations for doctors and medical students could be invaluable tools. But not everyone is as aware of the potential for VR to help with mental health. From alleviating stress to helping with specific anxieties, there’s a lot of potential in this area, and the health and tech industries are only just scratching the surface. They’re already making great strides in using the technology to help with the treatment of PTSD and we look forward to seeing where else they might be able to use it in the future.

What are you looking forward to with VR on the horizon? Let us know in the comments!