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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

GDC and MWC 2017 main VR news

This article is just a small recap about the latest VR news and announcement, so if you’ve lost them, you can read it here only in one place! Most of them has been made at GDC or MWC.

First of all, Vive has revealed the price of the Tracker and the Audio Strap: they’ll cost $99 dollars each. Finally we know how much money we will spend to start developing innovative VR applications with pseudo-objects-tracking. As I’ve already said, I hoped price would have been lower for the Tracker, to help adoptions among makers, but the price shows a more business-oriented approach. Continue reading “GDC and MWC 2017 main VR news”

Virtual Reality price is lowering, adoption is coming?

After GDC 2017, lots of things have changed in the VR world. Nothing unexpected, but lots of little big news that show how virtual reality ecosystem is evolving very fast.

One of the most interesting news has been the one of Oculus cutting 200$ for the price of Oculus Rift + Touch bundles. Since Touch cost is 199$, this practically means that if you buy a Rift, you get Touch controllers for free! Furthermore, if you want to buy an additional tracking sensor, you’ll get a discount of $20 on the previous price!

Oculus Touch
Oculus + Touch: I’ve spent too much money for these toys…

Continue reading “Virtual Reality price is lowering, adoption is coming?”

Oculus Tracker Update 1.12 makes Oculus a good guy again

After having criticized Oculus about its tracking issues and how its updates were making things even worse (unless you used Duct Tape, of course… duct tape fixes everything!), today I have to say “Bravo!” to its guys.

The new Update they’ve released for the Rift, the 1.12, seems to have fixed lots of stuff: as you can see from the release notes, a lot of work has been done to make tracking good again. The feedbacks from the users have been really positive and now reddit shows people writing “With 1.12 my room scale works” and so the virtual world is a happier place. Surely there will be people that will still experience errors and problems, but their number has been drastically lowered. Continue reading “Oculus Tracker Update 1.12 makes Oculus a good guy again”

Microsoft virtual reality headsets are becoming real thanks to Acer

I have already dedicated some articles about the Microsoft virtual reality headsets because I’m very curious about them. Microsoft promised these cheap VR headsets that works out of the box with Windows 10 and that provide positional tracking without external cameras, claiming that they’re even better than Oculus or Vive! In January they revealed them, but until yesterday no one had ever tried them.

At GDC 2017, finally, the first Windows 10 VR headset has been presented: it is made by Acer and offers all characteristics that Microsoft has promised: good graphical quality, inside-out tracking and cheap price ($299).

Some selected journalists have been able to try the prototype (but they couldn’t shoot photos or videos, damn!) and the feedbacks are:

  • It’s a bit like PSVR;
  • It is tethered;
  • It is not comfortable;
  • Framerate is still 60fps;
  • Blurred graphics;
  • Seldomly the positional tracking has glitches;
  • The experience sometimes crashes;
  • The controller is a gamepad.
  • It has flip-up display: meaning you can flip up the hmd just to return to the real world and flip it down again to go virtual (cool!);
  • It has inside-out tracking, so it doesn’t require external cameras;

Continue reading “Microsoft virtual reality headsets are becoming real thanks to Acer”

Gear VR 2017: remote is the new mouse

2 days ago with a post on its blog, Oculus announced the launch of the new Samsung Gear VR. As always, with respect to the older version it is more powerful, more comfortable, more epic, it has more compatible content and blah blah blah. Honestly despite all the marketing words, I’ve not seen that much innovation in the different versions of Gear VR: the only thing that truly changes is the phone that you put inside it and that gives more horsepower to the graphics you see inside virtual reality.

This year, finally, Samsung and Oculus have introduced a true innovation: the remote. Oh, well, actually this is not a true innovation, since something similar was already present inside Oculus CV1 and Daydream, but it’s surely an innovation for this headset. And you know, I love remotes: if  you’ve read my Daydream review, you know that I found it super-comfortable. Gear VR had to introduce it to not fall behind its competitor. Remote of Gear VR has 3-DOF so you can point objects and has 4 buttons and a touchpad to have super-easy interaction with the VR environment. If you’re thinking “it’s almost exactly like Daydream one”… yes, you’re right.

Google Daydream vr headset
This handsome guy is trying a VR experience using Daydream and its 3DOF controller…

Continue reading “Gear VR 2017: remote is the new mouse”

Vive reveals Tracker price and other stuff at MWC 2017

Yesterday finally we got to know the price of the Vive Tracker and all other add-ons Vive revealed at CES! If you forgot what I’m talking about, you can have a look at my wonderful previous post about it or you can go on to refresh your memory.

Basically Vive got lot of hype announcing the Vive Tracker, that is a single sensor that is tracked thanks to SteamVR Lighthouse system and through which you can obtain the position of a single point inside your VR environment with great precision. Tracker is wireless and works thanks to a battery. It streams data via USB (there is a USB dongle you have to put inside your PC ports). Thanks to Vive tracker you can track multiple objects inside your room (you just put a tracker attached to each object) or even the human body (you put trackers on the main joints of your body and obtain all the rest through inverse kinematics). Continue reading “Vive reveals Tracker price and other stuff at MWC 2017”

Monzo VR review: assembling model kits in VR is cool!

Some weeks ago I received an email from Madfinger Games that asked me to try their product MonzoVR. In the mail they defined their product in this way:

It’s called Monzo VR and it is something different than you might be used to.

It allows you to assemble and decorate a wide variety of models like animals, trucks, planes or even Da Vinci inventions.

It’s crazy, I know, but It’s also so cool to make all those things in ambient ZEN environments we prepared with LOVE.

I was perplexed… assemble models in VR? ZEN environments? LOVE?? What the hell are we talking about? A romantic adventure in ZEN environments when you assemble models with a girl you love?

As I always say, try something before judging it. So I downloaded the game and gave it a try on my Oculus Rift + Touch system (there’s also Gear VR version, if you’re interested).

When you launch MonzoVR, you find yourself inside a Japanese house (a Zen environment, as creators love to define it) and in front of you there is a table, with a model car box on it. A writing tells you to select the box to open it. This immediately got my curiosity… a box about a car model on a table… what are we going to do? Continue reading “Monzo VR review: assembling model kits in VR is cool!”

A talk about virtual reality adult entertainment with PornFoxVR founder

Some days ago I was contacted by Jeff Artik, that wanted to talk me about his VR porn website (NSFW link, of course), PornFoxVR.

I was a bit “scared” at first to check his website, not because porn scares me (at most has made me blind :D), but because usually porn websites come with all kind of malwares, pop-up windows coming from everywhere, fancy banners with girls that are at 3km from me that are super-interested in loving me and so on.

geoip
Xkcd on typical banners on adult websites…

He assured me that his website is clean, so I gave it a try and I sincerely liked its elegant and sleek design. Furthermore there were no pop-ups and no banners! (so, no more girls within 3km that are fallen in love with me? I feel so lonely now…). He got my interest, so I exchanged some e-mails with him. The following are some questions I’ve made him, with his answers… and my commentary. Continue reading “A talk about virtual reality adult entertainment with PornFoxVR founder”

Google creates an amazing technology to see the face in mixed reality

If you’re a VR enthusiast like me, surely in these two days your Twitter feed has been flooded by GIFs like this one:

Google mixed reality
Ok, you got my attention (Image by Google)

If your question has been “what the heck is happening?”… well, I’m here to help you a bit.

It all started with Google sharing this article on its blog, followed by this super-interesting research paper (I suggest you to give it a read!) and some youtube videos like this one.

When reading all those articles, the first thing we did was looking at the calendar… and no, it was not April the 1st, so this news had to be real. So that faces behind the headset were real! Continue reading “Google creates an amazing technology to see the face in mixed reality”

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