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Category Archives: Virtual Reality (VR)

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U.S. Was The Top VR Market In Q1 2017

Adnan Farooqui May 22, 2017


According to a new report by market research firm Canalys, the United States was the top virtual reality market in the world this past quarter. The report shows that 40 percent of all virtual reality headsets shipped globally were shipped in the United States. This goes to show that the United States is a world leader in the adoption of virtual reality technologies.

The report from Canalys indicates that in the January-March quarter of 2017, the United States accounted for 40 percent of all virtual reality headsets shipped across the globe. Sony’s PlayStation VR dominated VR shipments in the United States as it accounted for 60 percent of the market share in Q1 2017.

Japan came in second place with 14 percent. The report mentions an interesting fact, 9 out of 10 VR headsets shipped in Japan were accounted for by the PlayStation VR. Sony is experiencing strong demand for its headset in its home market and it’s having to try and fill demand gaps across the country.

China came in third place with 11 percent of all VR shipments in the first quarter of this year. HTC leads the VR market in China as it shipped 15,000 units of the Vive VR headset in the People’s Republic.

Analysts at the firm say that the key drivers for virtual reality are gaming and entertainment. They also see an opportunity for companies working in this space to promote virtual reality technologies in the education sector.

U.S. Was The Top VR Market In Q1 2017 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Google’s Daydream Elements Highlights Best VR Practices

Tyler Lee May 19, 2017

With virtual reality (VR) technology being relatively new and slowly gaining momentum, we guess there is still quite a lot of things that developers have yet to figure out, such as what is the best way to design an app for VR and how can it deliver the best experience? The good news for developers is that Google is here to help.

The company has recently released an app called Daydream Elements. This app is clearly designed for developers in mind and it basically highlights the best VR practices that developers can adopt when creating content. “Daydream Elements is a collection of tech demos that showcase principles and best practices for developing high-quality VR experiences. The core mechanics in each demo are built to be easily configurable and reusable for your own applications.”

As you can see in the screenshot above, the app will discuss various topics related to VR and how to best approach them. This includes movement within the virtual world, designing the menus and virtual controls that can be used, along with rendering and lighting. Given that motion sickness is a potential problem when donning VR headsets, we reckon that these guidelines might be important especially for newbie developers getting into the VR game.

If you’re interested in checking it out, then head on over to the Google Play Store for the download, but note that you will need a Daydream compatible handset and a headset viewer to really take advantage of the app.

Google’s Daydream Elements Highlights Best VR Practices , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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YouTube VR Will Get Shared Rooms And Live Voice Chat

Tyler Lee May 18, 2017

The idea behind virtual reality (VR) technology is to help create more immersive experiences where users are transported into virtual worlds. However sometimes this can feel rather lonely, after all imagine being inside a virtual world but with no one to interact with? Apparently those are some changes that YouTube wants to make.

So much so that during Google I/O, YouTube announced that they will be making some changes to YouTube VR where they will introduce features such as shared rooms and live voice chats. What shared rooms do is that they provide a space in which users can co-watch something together, and where they will appear in these shared rooms as avatars that can be customized and they can chat using their real voices.

We suppose the idea is to help replicate what it might be like to go to a cinema together with friends, or going to an exhibit and talking with people about what you’re seeing, your opinions, and so on. If this sounds familiar, it is because Oculus has something similar in the form of Oculus Rooms where users can share a VR experience together.

According to Google, these changes are expected to be rolled out later this year, so if you are a fan of VR technology then this could be worth looking out for.

YouTube VR Will Get Shared Rooms And Live Voice Chat , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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HTC And Lenovo Working On Google’s Standalone VR Headsets

Adnan Farooqui May 17, 2017


It has long been rumored that Google might come out with its own standalone virtual reality headset. A standalone VR headset doesn’t require a smartphone to function. All of the components that it needs to function are integrated within the headset itself. At I/O 2017 today, Google confirmed that it’s working with HTC and Lenovo on standalone VR headsets.

These headsets will have support for a new tracking technology called WorldSense. It provides positional tracking which means that the headset will be capable of tracking the user’s precise movements in space. It does this without requiring any external sensors.

Google has worked with Qualcomm to create a standalone headset reference design that partners like HTC and Lenovo can use as a blueprint to build their own headsets on. Both manufacturers are working on similar devices which will be the first ones to come out later this year.

The company only shared a sketch of the standalone VR headset at I/O 2017 today. It appears to be accompanied by a controller similar to what we get with the Daydream View headset. No confirmed release date has been provided as yet by Google.

When the headsets do arrive, they will require no smartphone or PC to function. Everything needed to power a virtual reality experience will be integrated into the headset itself. More details about these headsets will be revealed in the coming months.

HTC And Lenovo Working On Google’s Standalone VR Headsets , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Google Trademarks ‘WorldSense’, Possibly VR Related

Tyler Lee May 17, 2017

Google I/O 2017 is kicking off today and according to one surprising rumor, it is that Google could be launching a standalone VR headset. Now thanks to a recent trademark sighting, it seems that there could be more evidence of this happening as Google has filed for a trademark for the term “WorldSense”.

While WorldSense could be just about anything, the trademark filing states that it is related to computer hardware, computer software, and virtual reality headsets. As Android Police notes, computer hardware and software can be rather generic, but the mention of a VR headset is particularly interesting.

Of course it could simply be Google expanding upon its current VR efforts which comes in the form of Daydream, but this trademark filing and the recent rumors are rather coincidental. It’s actually rather interesting to hear about Google possibly planning a standalone VR headset, especially when we heard last year that Google had apparently given up on that project.

However since we’re not privy to the inner workings of Google and the company’s decisions, perhaps something changed. Either way we should find out soon enough so check back with us later in the day for more Google I/O details.

Google Trademarks ‘WorldSense’, Possibly VR Related , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Google To Launch Dedicated VR Headset At I/O 2017

Tyler Lee May 16, 2017

Google’s interest in virtual reality (VR) is pretty well-known, what with the launch of the Google Cardboard headset and the Daydream platform. In fact last year it was rumored that Google could be throwing their hat into the ring with a dedicated VR headset similar to that of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and the Sony PlayStation VR.

However after several months of rumors, it was then suggested that Google might have given up their plans, or did they? According to an exclusive report from Variety, they claim to have heard from multiple sources that the project isn’t quite as dead as we had been previously led to think. In fact it seems that the project has been coming along rather nicely and that Google could very well unveil a dedicated VR headset at Google I/O 2017 which will be kicking off this week from the 17-19th of May.

What makes this headset different from Cardboard or the Daydream View is that it will not require the use of a smartphone to power it. This means that it should be able to reach a wide audience who might not necessarily own a smartphone that is Daydream ready or compatible with Cardboard.

However the report notes that it is unclear as to what software will be used to power this headset, whether it be Android or maybe something completely new of Google’s own making, but until we hear it from Google officially, take it with a grain of salt for now.

Google To Launch Dedicated VR Headset At I/O 2017 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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‘Half-Life 2: VR’ Mod Has Been Greenlit On Steam

Tyler Lee May 16, 2017

Whether or not Half-Life 3 will ever see the light of day is something that we’re sure fans of the franchise are constantly wondering. With Valve seemingly teasing fans with cryptic clues, and with rumors suggesting that the game will never be launched, we’re sure many fans have been left frustrated.

However if you’re looking for a new way to experience Half-Life, you might be pleased and pretty excited to learn that the Half-Life 2: VR mod has been greenlit on Steam, which means that Valve has officially given the modders the thumbs up to proceed to distribute and share the mod with the Steam community.

For those unfamiliar with the mod, it was actually launched many years ago ahead of VR devices like the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. However with the launch of said devices, the mod was revived and adapted for modern day VR headsets, where it will now play nicely with both the Rift and the Vive and even with support for motion controllers.

According to its creators, “Having the project on Steam will make it easier for us to develop, and of course much easier for people to install and update when we start releasing builds. We know the top question on everyone’s minds is when exactly that will be, but these things they take time, especially with a team of unpaid volunteers. The best we can do for now is “soon”, as soon as the hands of our programmers and artists allow it.”

The mod itself will be released for free, although gamers will be required to own an original copy of Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 & 2 for it to work correctly.

‘Half-Life 2: VR’ Mod Has Been Greenlit On Steam , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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ZeniMax Goes After Samsung Over The Gear VR Headset

Tyler Lee May 16, 2017

As you might have heard, there is quite a huge legal battle brewing in the VR space and that is between the folks at ZeniMax and Oculus. ZeniMas has since won the lawsuit and it looks like the company has decided to turn their sights on another company, this time in the form of Samsung and the Gear VR headset.

If you’re wondering how Samsung got dragged into this, then maybe you might not have heard but Oculus and Samsung worked together on developing the Gear VR headset. Because of this, ZeniMax thinks that the Gear VR was built using technology that did not belong to them in the first place.

The complaint claims that the Gear VR is “based upon ZeniMax’s intellectual property and includes information obtained by Samsung from Oculus, Luckey, and Carmack in violation of the NDA, ZeniMax’s copyrights, and Carmack’s employment agreement.” It goes on to state that, “Samsung has used, and continues to utilize, ZeniMax’s VR technology (or derivatives thereof) that was misappropriated by Oculus.”

Samsung has yet to respond to the lawsuit but we can only imagine that they will be defending themselves, however given ZeniMax’s win over Oculus, precedent has already been set so Samsung could have a hard time trying to argue otherwise.

ZeniMax Goes After Samsung Over The Gear VR Headset , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Vivid Vision Creates VR Tools To Help Treat ‘Lazy Eye’

Tyler Lee May 12, 2017

Image credit – Vivid Vision

Virtual reality technology might seem like a pretty obvious tool for use in entertainment, such as video games, movies, and so on. However the technology has more uses than that as we have seen in the past, such as how it can potentially help people get over their fears of public speaking.

It can also be used to treat medical conditions such as “lazy eye”, which is what a startup by the name of Vivid Vision is attempting to do. For those unfamiliar, Vivid Vision was launched several years ago and worked on tools in VR to help treat eye problems like the one we mentioned above.

The company’s CEO James Blaha himself is suffering from lazy eye and even experimented on himself using the company’s prototype to see if it works. Fast forward to today, Blaha claims that his weak eye’s vision has improved to nearly 20/20, which has also resulted in the launch of a vision therapy suite, as well around 90 clinics in the US using Vivid Vision’s VR technology to treat more than 6,000 patients who are suffering from similar problems.

The company has since managed to raise $2.2 million in seed money and there are also plans to launch a home version of the treatment system, where users will be able to administer the treatments themselves in the comfort and convenience of their own home instead of going to a clinic a couple of times a week.

Vivid Vision Creates VR Tools To Help Treat ‘Lazy Eye’ , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Google I/O 2017: What to Expect

Tyler Lee May 12, 2017

Google I/O 2016

So far every year for the past few years without fail Google has hosted its annual Google I/O event, and this year the company is back with the 2017 version. Just like Microsoft’s BUILD conferences or Apple’s WWDC, Google I/O is mostly about software and services, where Google will introduce new software and potentially launch new services for its customers to check out, and we expect that this year will be no different. So below is a list of everything that you might be able to expect from the event which will be taking place from the 17th-19th of May, 2017.

Android O

Right off the bat we guess the biggest and most obvious thing we can expect Google to talk about at Google I/O would be Android O. This is Google’s latest update on its Android operating system and as it stands, a version number and its name (apart from the designated “O”) has yet to be revealed.

A handful of features of Android O have trickled out ever since its developer preview was released, but we expect a more formal introduction at the event.

Android Auto

Android Auto is Google’s attempt at trying to bring a version of Android into cars and its infotainment systems. We’ve seen Google introduce various new features and updates to the platform, such as integrating Waze in Android Auto, so perhaps we’ll learn more about the future of the platform at the event.

Android Wear

This topic is a little tricky. Android Wear 2.0 was announced last year at Google I/O 2016, but due to several delays, the update was only just released to Android Wear smartwatches a couple of months ago. With the update being this fresh in everyone’s mind, we’re not sure if Google will even touch on Android Wear 3.0 so soon.

Chrome OS

One of the bigger changes that Google has done to its Chrome OS platform is giving it the ability to run Android apps. There have been talks about Google possibly merging Chrome OS and Android into a unified platform, but that has since been denied, with Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer stating that both platforms are successful in their own regard and that merging them together doesn’t make sense. Earlier this year Google also hinted at the possibility that Chrome OS could be arriving in other form factors so maybe at I/O we’ll be able to get a taste of what’s to come.

Google Home

Google Home was launched last year and we expect that Google is probably working on a successor. Following Amazon’s launch of smaller and more compact Echo speakers, and also the Echo Show which comes with a touchscreen display, we wouldn’t be surprised if Google had a newer, smaller, and maybe touch-sensitive version of Home in the works as well.

Google Assistant

While voice assistants have existed on Android for the longest time ever, the launch of Google Assistant and seeing it integrated into various Google apps and services suggests that Google has bigger plans for the platform. Right now Google Assistant has made its way out of the Pixel phones and onto non-Pixel handsets, so we expect that Google will share more plans for the future of the software.

Virtual Reality/Daydream

Google’s interest in virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t new. Last year when the Pixel handsets launched, they were Google’s first Daydream-ready handsets and we wouldn’t be surprised if Google were to announce more partners that would be launching Daydream-ready devices. Let’s not forget Google’s recent acquisition of VR developers Owlchemy Labs, where hopefully the company will share some of their plans with what they plan to do with the acquisition in terms of hardware or software.

Augmented Reality

The Google Glass is Google’s answer to augmented reality and while the project was previously scrapped and rebooted, we haven’t really heard much about it since. Could Google have something to show us this year? Although with Google shutting down Glass-related social media accounts, it certainly doesn’t seem that way, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Project Tango

Google unveiled Project Tango a couple of years ago, although it was only last year that a phone with the actual technology was launched in the form of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Following that we saw ASUS launch a similar handset in the form of the ASUS ZenFone AR, and last we heard a new Lenovo Project Tango phone could also be in the works for 2017 which could be shown off at I/O 2017.

Self-driving Cars

While Google’s self-driving car efforts have been spun-off into a separate company in the form of Waymo, it is possible that Google could share what they’ve learnt so far from their efforts, maybe share some statistics and what the plans are moving forward, or maybe they’ll even give I/O attendees a demonstration of the self-driving cars in action.

So this is what we think you could expect from Google I/O 2017. Some of them are pretty much a given, like Android O, but some are based on what we’ve seen Google talk about in the past, as well as some speculation and even hope of what to expect. This means that there is no guarantee that what is mentioned here will be announced at the event, but either way we will be covering the event so remember to check back with us from the 17th-19th of May for the details.

Google I/O 2017: What to Expect , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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