The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff


January 2017

Brush Up VR review

I was contacted by Games That Work to review their upcoming game Brush Up VR. The game will be released on February the 1st, just in time for National Children Dental Health Month, on SteamVR. Its price will be $0.99.

Why should we care about “National Children Dental Health Month”? Because the game is about washing our teeth. It is made to make us think about how good and how much we wash our teeth each day. It has been designed with children in mind, but thinking about adults, too. As the author of the game says:

“Kids only brush what they see in the mirror, and many adults aren’t much better” says Dr. Bob Jacobson, the family dentist behind Brush Up. “They spend two minutes polishing the front teeth and scrubbing the easy side. That won’t work in Brush Up VR. You must clean the inner, outer and biting surface of every tooth.”

Continue reading “Brush Up VR review”

My opinion on Oculus using hackable cameras

Some days ago all the virtual reality world was talking about a single news: Oculus positional tracking cameras are actually hackable cameras.

Epic virtual reality researcher Oliver Kreylos (we all love him) has managed to access the infra-red camera stream of Oculus cameras, doing strange stuff on Linux like re-compiling a loadable Kernel module and discovering the actual codec of the camera stream. He published a photo of him taken by this camera and everyone went mad. UploadVR published a complete article about this and I recommend you to read it. Everyone was like “OMG, Zuckerberg is spying on me!”

As always, I’m like “meh” about these news. The thing that got my attention of this news is the fact that Doc-ok managed to hack the cameras and how he did this (really talented that guy), not the “privacy stuff”. Reasons are: Continue reading “My opinion on Oculus using hackable cameras”

Happy Chinese new year!

Today is the Chinese New Year’s Eve, so happy new Chinese year everyone!

The coming one is the Rooster (Chicken) year and the Chinese Horoscope says explicitly that this means that 2017 will be a great year for virtual reality! 😀 😀 😀 So let’s do all our best to make this technology skyrocket!

Today if you go to WeChat and write 鸡年大吉 you will see lots of little chicks jumping on your screen! So cute!


What I think about full body virtual reality

I just wrote a mega-article on Medium talking about how I started working with full body virtual reality, why I think it is important and what are current solutions to implement it. If you have some minutes spare… well, take a read of it! You can find it here. (There of course I say that our full body VR solution using Kinect is the best possible… what else could I say? ;))

Of course your opinion is super important for me… so let me know what you think about it and what you think about full body virtual reality in general!

NVIDIA VR Funhouse review

Some days ago I finally tried a game that every Vive owner has tried decades ago: Nvidia® VR Funshouse (The ® is super-fundamental, like the ™ in Monkey Island saga…). This is one of the most used games in VR showcases (along The Lab, Job Simulator and few other ones).

VR Funhouse has been made by NVIDIA® for the following reasons:

  • To show us that they’re cool (but we already knew that after trying their GEFORCE GTX1080);
  • To show their commitment towards VR;
  • To show cool stuff that you can do with a NVIDIA® graphics cards (during the game there are lots of fancy things that stress the card… the Maximum graphical level of the game requires 2 GTX1080!!! W000t, so luxurious! (Honestly, I’ve only one but the game worked flawlessly));
  • To show their PhysX physics engine capabilities: in VR, realistic physics becomes even more important and they wanted to show us that they’re ready for this challenge.

Continue reading “NVIDIA VR Funhouse review”

Feedspot best 50 virtual reality blogs… I’m in!!

After being contacted by TechTyche for a similar reason some days ago, today I’ve received an email from Feedspot, saying that I’ve been selected in their list of 50 best virtual reality blogs! Wow, so happy about that! Thanks Feedspot! Continue reading “Feedspot best 50 virtual reality blogs… I’m in!!”

Oculus Touch tracking problems… it’s all USB fault? And will they be fixed?

Since their announcement, Oculus Touch have gathered lots of attentions and positive reviews. I’ve tried them and reviewed them (here and here, and even talked about their SDK here) and I agree that they’re great.

But lots of users are having lots of issues: unstable tracking, room scale not working and so on. It seems that Oculus answer to Vive room-scale has not been that good. I and lots of other users have not had any issues, but on reddit every day tons of users say that they’re having problems: Touch drifting, losing tracking… this kind of stuff.

Continue reading “Oculus Touch tracking problems… it’s all USB fault? And will they be fixed?”

How Microsoft is planning to rule AR and VR world

Microsoft is quite active on AR and VR field. About AR, that’s no secret that its HoloLens device is absolutely astonishing and works really well. I’ve tried it myself and I think that the stability of its “holograms” is incredible. In VR field, they recently announced that they will release cheap headsets for Windows 10, which they claim will be even better than Vive and Oculus.

Microsoft new headsets aren’t actually being made by Microsoft, but by a series of MS partners, like Dell, HP and Lenovo. Microsoft has given them some set of guidelines and provided them their awesome spatial tracking technology (the one from HoloLens) and then let them produce and sell them… and earn money from them. These guidelines mainly aim at having each headset to be compatible with Windows Holographic platform. Let’s all remember that these new Windows 10 HMDs will all be tethered and will all provide inside-out tracking, meaning that they don’t require any particular external camera or sensor, they just work out of the box, scanning the environment with cameras on the headset and reconstructing camera pose automatically. This means very user friendly devices… that avoid mess of playing with tracking stations and this kind of stuff. Microsoft aims at having headsets with a full range of prices: they want to lower the price tag of VR headsets, so that to have a more widespread adoption of VR.

Microsoft Windows 10 virtual reality headset
Lenovo headset is very stilish. Notice the 2 cameras on the front that are necessary for inside-out tracking (image by Windows Central)

Continue reading “How Microsoft is planning to rule AR and VR world”

Dear Angelica review

Friday evening I decided to have a look at the featured experience on the Oculus Store: Dear Angelica. I knew that this was some kind of 360-video experience, since there was a Sundance Film Festival in the corner of the tile… and I surely prefer interactive experiences. Furthermore in the description there was written that the story was about some kind of girl remembering some episodes of her life… and I was like: “oh God why, this surely will be some kind of super-boring stuff”. I want an action game Super Hot, not this kind of soap opera stuff. But I said to myself: “ok, let’s watch it anyway… so I can review it for my dear readers” (I was sacrificing for you!).

Well, the first 10 seconds I got bored by it… but in the end I was like “it is fu*king awesome”. But not a standard “awesome”… but an “awesome” as is said by the voice of Unreal Tournament when you make lots of kills in a row. Continue reading “Dear Angelica review”

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