Facebook officially unveiled the Oculus Rift called Rift S at GDC 2019 today. At $399 and set for release this Spring, it’s compatible with both apps and games from its predecessor, all powered by your gaming PC. The virtual reality headset also replaces the original PenTile OLED panels (2160 x 1200) with a single LCD panel offering 2560 × 1440 resolution, or roughly 40% more pixels. There’s five onboard cameras for “inside-out” tracking, while the controllers are nearly identical to the original Oculus Touch. Set up is a breeze, thanks to “proprietary technology” passthrough mode, called Passthrough+, that uses computer vision algorithms to deliver “stereo-correct passthrough” while tracing out Guardian boundaries. Read more for two hands-on videos and additional information.
Virtual reality headsets are nothing new or special nowadays, but one guy decided to take things to the next level by wearing one for an entire week. Meet Jak Wilmot, co-founder of Disrupt VR, who decided to conduct an experiment, or a 168-hour VR marathon session to be more specific. However, he did allow himself 30 seconds to switch headsets when needed as well as 30 second break sessions to eat, if required. “I have never appreciated the smell of outside air so much. One thing we cannot replicate is nature. We can do it visually and auditorally, but there is something about the energy of outside that is amazing,” said Wilmot. Read more to watch his experience and for additional information.
Director of Research at Facebook Reality Labs Yaser Sheikh is currently working on a virtual reality project that involves photorealistic avatars using 3D technology. It’s officially called “Codec Avatars,” and is designed to let people in the future create lifelike virtual avatars of themselves quickly and easily. “The reason is because we want to be able to understand exactly how you look from every different viewpoint. Because in virtual reality, we might move and look at you from different perspectives, and it has to look as real as you do,” said Sheikh. Read more for another video and additional information.
The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has been unveiled ahead of Mario Day on March 10th, and it aims to create a simple and shareable virtual reality experience for kids and families. This kit features six new Toy-Con creations to build, including Toy-Con VR goggles, a blaster, camera and lots more. This kit encourages passing around the Toy-Con creations among a group of people so everyone can easily join in on the fun. Simply slide the Nintendo Switch console into the Toy-Con VR Goggles and hold it up to your eyes to start playing, no head strap needed. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Virtual reality fans rejoice! Boneworks by Stress Level Zero takes VR to the next level using advanced experimental physics mechanics. You’ll be able to dynamically navigate through environments, engage in physics heavy combat, and creatively approach puzzles with physics. That’s not all, there’s a host of physics based weaponry as well, including guns, swords, axes, clubs, spears, hammers, experimental energy weapons, nonsensical mystery tools, and anomalous physics weapons. There’s no release date yet, but as you can see in the early teaser, it will definitely be worth the wait. Read more for extended gameplay footage.
Photo credit: James Martin / CNET
Microsoft’s all-new HoloLens 2 is now more immersive than ever, thanks to advancements across the board, including in the visual display system, which makes holograms even more vibrant and realistic. Featuring an improved display system that more than doubles the field of view over its predecessor while maintaining 47 pixels per degree of sight and a new time-of-flight depth sensor, which when combined with built-in AI and semantic understanding, enables direct manipulation of holograms with the same instinctual gestures you use to interact with physical objects in the real world. Eye-tracking sensors make interacting with holograms even more natural. Read more for a hands-on video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Windows Central
We’re just hour away from the official reveal, but a couple of images of Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens 2 headset have leaked ahead of the company’s Mobile World Congress 2019 press event. This latest model replaces the second head mount that keeps the device in-place on your head and insteand only uses an adjustable band that wraps around the sides of your head, similar to other Windows Mixed Reality headsets available now. HoloLens 2 will also reportedly be Microsoft’s first Windows on ARM device, powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor. Read more for another image and additional information.
Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, AI Perception & Mixed Reality Team at Microsoft, posted a teaser for HoloLens 2 today ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. No technical details were leaked, but it’s speculated that the new headset will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 ARM processor, and housed in a lighter, redesigned body, possibly with bits of carbon fiber. Read more for a video on what to expect and additional information.
Angry Birds fans rejoice! Isle of Pigs is the first time fans will be able to slingshot the likes of Red, Chuck, Bomb and the Blues within the fully immersive environment of VR. It will launch with more than 50 levels of gameplay where players travel around a remote island that the infamous green pigs often vacation. HTC Vive as well as Oculus Rift users can bombard the island’s exotic beaches, steep cliffs, snowy slopes and party city to take on the green pigs, destroy their structures and retrieve the stolen eggs. Just like the mobile versions, these levels can be approached from different angles for the best accuracy, while players leverage classic gameplay elements to progress or strive for three stars on all rounds. Read more for a hands-on video review and additional information.
Rememberthe Black Mirror episode “Playtest”? The one where the main character Cooper (played by Wyatt Russell) finds himself stuck inside of an experimental horror video game? Well, that is now one step closer to reality, thanks to Teslasuit. It’s touted as “the world’s first fully integrated smart clothing apparel,” and is basically a full-body haptic suit with integrated vibrating sensor pads, motion capture sensors, biometric feedback, and even climate control for the ultimate virtual reality experience. Read more for another video, additional pictures and information.