Tag Archives: VR

Mark Zuckerberg Shares Ideas About what Smart Glasses Could Do

Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed by The Information in a 45 minute special edition bonus episode. In it, Alex Heath and Mathew Olsen spoke with Mark Zuckerberg about the promise of augmented virtual reality.

According to CNBC, Mark Zuckerberg said that by 2030, people could use smart glasses to “teleport” to other people’s homes, and speak to them as if they’re physically present. This could allow in-person meetings to be replaced by a headset-based digital experience. Zuckerberg thinks that “teleporting” could cause a reduction in travel for business or pleasure, which could help ameliorate the effects of climate change.

“Obviously, there are still going to be cars and planes and all that. But the more we can teleport around, not only are we personally eliminating commutes and stuff that’s kind of a drag for all of us, but I think that’s better for society and for the planet overall too,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg stated that years down the road, a pair of normal-looking computer-powered glasses that can display content alongside the real world through transparent displays would be how people could “teleport”.CNBC reported that Zuckrberg’s interview comes “as the social media company plans to release a pair of smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban later this year.” (Those glasses would not be “full AR”).

My biggest concern is that the smart glasses would require people to log into their Facebook account in order to use them. In October of 2020, Facebook required first time Oculus users to have a Facebook account.

Hospital VR Experience for Children at Wearable Technology Show

It’s stressful enough as an adult to go into hospital for an operation or procedure. Much as you know it’s for your own good and the doctors are there for your benefit, hospitals are still unfamiliar territory for most people and there are machines which you’re not quite to sure what they do and whether the beeping noise is normal.

Imagine how much worse it is for children when they go into hospital: they’re already unwell and in pain, and now have to cope with strangers and scary machines. It’s all very intimidating – the child will be afraid and uncooperative.

To help with this, the team at JSC have developed a game-based VR experience for children where the child is taken through a medical procedure with the help of a friendly in-game character. The child gets a 1st person view, interacting with the characters and exploring the hospital in a fun way. The child sees it as a game and enjoys the experience, instead of being afraid.

When it comes to the real thing, the VR pre-experience increases the success of the procedure, reduces the child’s stress and anxiety, and increases the active participation of the child. Currently the medical procedures include injections, blood-taking, x-ray, anaesthesia and surgery.

JSC is a South Korean company and the interview at the Wearable Technology Show took place with the assistance of a translator. I spoke with SeHwan Lee, JSC’s Chief Business Development Officer, but it’s the translator’s voice in the interview.

OnePlus Loop VR Review

OnePlus LogoOnePlus is launching the next model in its wildly successful line of smartphones on 14 June and its going to do the launch in VR, basing the event on an orbiting spacestation called The Loop. Although the fourth phone from the Chinese outfit, it’s going to be the OnePlus 3 following on from the 1, 2 and X. I’ve personally bought the 1 and 2 after falling out with the Nexus 5.

To support the VR launch of the 3, OnePlus gave away 30,000 Loop VR headsets with purchasers paying only for the postage. Of course there was a massive rush, but I managed to snag one and it arrived today. It’s been developed in partnership with AntVR, who launched a VR system through Kickstarter in later 2014.

Here are a few snaps.

Loop VR in box

OnePlus Loop VR in box

OnePlus Loop VR Front

OnePlus Loop VR Lenses

OnePlus Loop VR Side

OnePlus Loop VR

OnePlus Loop VR

OnePlus Loop VR

I don’t have much experience with VR headsets but build quality is on the solid plastic side of things. The elastic headbands are adjustable and the lenses can be adjusted to three positions. I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s comfortable to wear but it’s probably what you’d expect from lump of plastic strapped to your face.

The smartphone slides in the front for the screen….and this is where it all came to a stop. How are you supposed to control the smartphone when it’s in headset? You can’t tap on anything as the phone’s on your head. Do you need a Bluetooth mouse or similar? The links to an AntVR app don’t seem to work and the OnePlus Loop VR is counting down to 14 June. I kind of assumed that Google Cardboard apps would work as common denominator on Android but no, that doesn’t seem to work either – I can’t seem to select any menu options.

Massively disappointed. All very much reminds me of 3D TVs….

I hope things improve once the OnePlus Loop VR app comes to life on 14 June but if any GNC readers want to educate me on the ways of VR headsets, please fill me in through the comments.

VRGO Moves in VR at Gadget Show Live

VRGO logoAR and VR are lining up to be the next big thing and the headset space is filling out with plenty of competitors from Oculus Rift to Google Cardboard. Less obvious in the space are the motion controllers and other gadgets helping to make VR an immersive experience. Into this category falls the VRGO Chair, a hands-free motion controller that takes advantage of what we humans often do all too well – sitting down. Joe from VRGO gave me a demo of the VRGO Chair.

Originally a Kickstarter campaign, the VRGO was successfully funded back in December 2015, and won the second prize in the British Inventors’ Project at Gadget Show Live. Looking not too dissimilar to a flat-topped Weeble, the idea is that the VR player sits on the VRGO and controls their movement in the VR world by tilting or rotating the VRGO. It’s pretty cool and totally intuitive after only a few seconds.

VRGO Chair

The VRGO chair uses low latency Bluetooth to communicate with VR headsets, PCs, tablets and smartphones. The VRGO can mimic both analogue (joypad) and digital (keyboard) controllers, and simplistically the further you tilt, the faster you move. Sitting on the chair leaves the player’s hands free for other controllers.

The VRGO will be delivered to Kickstarter backers within the next month or so before going on sale at around GB£250. A lower cost version is in the works, aiming for a price of about £100.

3D Sounds Labs Keeps Audio in Place at CES

3D Sound Labs LogoStereo headphones have been around since the middle of the last century and 3D audio in headphones from the 1990s. Impressive as the spatial effect from 3D can be, the sound is still always relative to the listener as the headphones are on the wearer, whereas speakers position the sound relative to the room or other space.

Until now, that is. 3D Sound Labs new headphones keep sounds in their place, even as the wearer moves their head. Scott finds out more from Maxime Sabahec of 3D Sound Labs on how their headphones keep sounds still.

The 3D Sound One headphones use motion sensors to understand the position of the wearer relative to the sound stage. The embedded gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer send information back to the PC via Bluetooth which then adjusts the positions of the sound in real-time as the person moves. This realism increases the immersive experience and while it’s good for movies, it’s great for VR.

The 3D Sound One headphones are available now for US$299 from Amazon and the 3D Sound Labs website.
Scott Ertz is a software developer and video producer at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Kodak PIXPRO 4k 360 Action Cam at 2016 CES

Kodak Digital DevicesTodd Cochrane talks with Paul Meyhoefer, Vice President, J.K. Imaging Limited, Kodak about the Kodak PIXPRO 4k action camera. The Kodak PIXPRO 4k action camera uses a 4k sensor to record 360 degree video with a 235 degree band of view.

The unit is able to use WiFi to produce a lower resolution live view on your Android or iOS mobile devices so you can check your camera aim. The device includes stitching software and editing software for both Windows and Mac.

The unit can support up to a 128 gigabyte Class 10 (or higher) Micro SD card. An RF remote control is sold separately for $45. Underwater housings and other mounts are available for sale on the website.

Kodak PIXPRO 4k pricing is $449 for the camera by itself. The Premiere Pack which includes various accessories is priced at $499. The Dual Pro Pack is priced at $899 and includes 2 cameras and accessories. The 360 degree videos produced are compatible with both YouTube and Facebook.

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Randal Kleiser Films “Defrost” in VR

Defrost VRYou might not know Randal Kleiser’s name, but you’ve almost certainly seen one of his films – he directed Grease with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-JohnHis new production is called Defrost and will be debuting at Sundance.

This is the most significant interview I’ve seen at CES in 2016. Up to this point, I’ve always considered VR to be ‘super 3D’, but when I listened to Randal Kleiser with the authority he brings as a screenwriter, director and producer, I realised that we were seeing the development of a new art form; part cinema, part theatre. Undoubtedly there are challenging  technical problems to be overcome, and a good story is still key, but this is a new way to immerse ourselves in the story like never before.

Watch the interview and let me know in the comments if you feel the same way.

Todd Cochrane is the host of the twice-weekly Geek News Central Podcast at GeekNewsCentral.com.
Daniel J. Lewis is the host of the award-winning podcast about podcasting, The Audacity to Podcast. Daniel helps others launch and improve their own podcasts for sharing their passions and finding success.

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