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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

Vive announces Tracker (and Audio Strap) at CES 2017

This is the week of CES, so, after Christmas vacations were there has not been even a single news about VR, we’re being flooded by super-interesting news.

We were all waiting for Vive announcements and HTC is not disappointing us at all. There will be no Vive 2, but 2 big things have been announced today: the Deluxe Audio Strap and the Vive Tracker.

Continue reading “Vive announces Tracker (and Audio Strap) at CES 2017”

Getting started with Oculus Touch and Avatar SDK in Unity

Welcome to 2017! I wish to you all that this will be an astonishing year!

In 2016 I left you with this video showcasing my first experiments with Oculus Touch, Avatar SDK, in cooperation with our ImmotionRoom full body system. As you can see in the video, there are female full body avatars made with ImmotionRoom (so, basically, made using a Microsoft Kinect) and epic-bearded blue avatars made using Oculus Avatar SDK. Then there is some firing, because firing in VR is always cool!

This demo took me more time than expected, due to some problems I had in using the Avatar SDK. That’s why I’m writing this article: to help you in developing using this SDK wasting less time than me. It will not be a step-by-step tutorial, but I’ll give you some detailed hints. So, ready… go! Continue reading “Getting started with Oculus Touch and Avatar SDK in Unity”

4 things that this year have made me improve the most

Last post of the year: 2016 is going to end and here comes the time we make a balance of the past year. For me 2016 has been crazy, like every year for every startupper: you have lots of stress, lots of things to do, lots of problems and an emotional rollercoaster that never ends. We of Immotionar had made lots of steps further in our vision for providing full body virtual reality: our suite has come out in private beta in July, then went public last month. We made our first event. We developed Hit Motion, the first cross platform full body VR and had reviews even in Chinese!

But the most important thing is that I personally made lots of steps further in becoming a better person, a better startupper, a better developer. I could write lots of words about what I learned and give you advices and I surely will do it, but not now. I think you just want to briefly read this post and then start the New year’s eve party 🙂 … so I’ll just give you some 4 short hints! Continue reading “4 things that this year have made me improve the most”

First experiments with Oculus Touch!

Today I’ve made first experiments with Oculus Touch and their companion SDK! It’s been super-interesting and I’ve learnt really a lot! I’ve also had some fun, but I found that there are some obscure things that I had to learn with trials&errors… so in the new year I’ll make a tutorial just for you my dear readers!

In the meantime, enjoy this video showcasing the results of my experiments!

Mirror GearVR with ScreenBeam Mini 2

One of my Christmas Gift has been a ScreenBeam Mini 2. What is that? Well, it is a little device that lets you stream movies from laptops or smartphones to and HDMI screen through Wi-fi. If you’re thinking “Woah, it is like a Chromecast!” well, yes, it definitely is. And if you’re thinking “Woah, so I can use it to mirror GearVR content to an external monitor!“… well, yes, you’re right!

This is another piece of hardware that you can use to stream GearVR / Cardboard content to an external monitor so that people can see what the user is seeing in virtual reality. If you missed my article about other possible methods… what are you waiting for? Follow this link and read it!

ScreenBeam Mini2 is a little device by ActionTec that lets you stream content from any device to an external HDMI screen. Main advantage over Chromecast is that it is not an Android-dedicated piece of hardware. It works also with Windows ecosystem (even Windows Phone!). Continue reading “Mirror GearVR with ScreenBeam Mini 2”

How to show a video in a Texture with Unity on Android

Yesterday I’ve been asked about how to display a video inside a hobbist AR application in Unity, so I’m writing this tutorial to help people having the same problem.

You know, in Unity to display a movie inside a texture, you have to use a MovieTexture. MovieTextures are cool and work flawlessly, but… they don’t work on Android. The only thing that you can do in Android is showing the movie full screen using methods of HandHeld class. But… if you are going to develop a mobile VR or AR application and you want to show the movie inside a quad (maybe because this is the screen of a TV inside your game), this is absolutely useless. So, how can you do it? I can give you some hints.

  1. Develop your own solution. This is the preferred answer if you have time to employ in doing it and/or you want to learn how this stuff works. Or if this is a critical piece of your applications, so you develop it once for all and then you use it forever. Here you have to find a way to open your movie file (OpenCV can be an option), then read every frame and put it on a texture using Unity methods. Of course some optimizations have to be performed or everything will come out super-laggy (very low FPS).
  2. Continue reading “How to show a video in a Texture with Unity on Android”

The little satisfaction of seeing your game reviewed all over the world…

Some days ago we of Immotionar launched Hit Motion, the first game with cross platform full body virtual reality: using Kinects we allow the user to use his/her full body to interact with the VR game!

I’m very proud to announce that some important VR website have already talked about it. VRFocus, for instance, dedicated us a little article, that you can read here. This is awesome, since I think VRFocus is a great website for VR news and seeing something about me on it has been incredible! Continue reading “The little satisfaction of seeing your game reviewed all over the world…”

Oculus Touch: first review

Some days ago, finally my Oculus Touch that I preordered some months ago have arrived… but I haven’t been able to try it thoroughly until today, when I played 2 hours with them. I’ll write here a short review about them and then I’ll write a more detailed one on our Immotionar website in the next days.

I’ll drop the bomb immediately: I did not fall in love with Oculus Touch. Now I’ll give fanboys the time to go at the end of this article and write bad comments about me saying that they want to kill me… have you done it? Ok, now I can go on happily :). Let me explain what I mean… I like both Oculus and Vive, so it is not a matter of brand…

virtual reality Oculus Touch review
Palmer Luckey, don’t get angry… but I don’t think that your controllers are super-awesome

Continue reading “Oculus Touch: first review”

Happy whatever!

So this is Christmas and New Year’s Eve is coming… and I’m finally going to have two days of rest 🙂 Sorry if I didn’t update this blog that much in these days, but I’ve been super-busy in doing stuff, like preparing our Christmas VR-card (haven’t you seen it yet? Go to www.immotionar.com and download “Best Christmas 2016” now!)… and creating my super-cool Oculus Avatar (do you like it?), but after Christmas I’ll write some great posts about VR, so stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, have very nice holidays… don’t know what is the politically correct way of saying this, so be happy whatever you want to celebrate! 😉

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