After Easter weekend, we were all relaxed, digesting all chocolate eggs we have eaten. When, suddenly, Tuesday came and gave us a hard wake up with a bazillion of virtual reality news! Here you are a small digest if you missed something!
At F8 conference, Facebook has announced Spaces, its social VR environment.
So, what is Spaces? Spaces is that cool application that Facebook showcased at Oculus Connect 3 …the one we believed it was pure fluff.
I have already dedicated some articles about the Microsoft virtual reality headsets because I’m very curious about them. Microsoft promised these cheap VR headsetsthat 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;
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;
Yesterday there haven’t been many interesting news about the VR world, but my startup buddy Gianni sent me a super-interesting link that made me think a lot.
The article I’m talking about is this one: it talks about Microsoft skipping HoloLens v2 developments to concentrate directly on version v3. The news is far from being official, but the author talks about some unspecified “sources” confirming this.
HoloLens is maybe the best AR glass on the market nowadays and I had the pleasure to try it some months ago and to write an enthusiastic review about it. I was delighted by its capabilities, potentials and the incredible spatial positioning of its “holograms” (hate this term, since they’re not holograms, just virtual objects you see through a lens, but… whatever).
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.
Yesterday we of Immotionar have announced the support of Kinect v1 for our full-body virtual reality system. To implement it, I had to work with this sensor, after more than 2 years of work with only the v2 version. A curious fact is that i had never worked with Kinect v1 before, I started directly with the v2… so I made the path in the reverse way of all other people. But… how are this sensors different?
Well, first of all if you look at them, Kinect v2 seems a more refined version of Kinect v1, but its defect is that it is bigger and has lots of annoying cables and power converters, while Kinect v1 is surely more lightweight and easy to carry and to install.
At Immotionar, we try to give full body avatar to the user using external sensors. At the moment we use Microsoft Kinect v2 for our prototype and the question that all people ask us is:
Why do you use Kinect, if Kinect is dead?
Well, I’m actually getting bored of answering this question… and that’s why I’m writing this post to provide a complete answer to it. And being Halloween, talking about dead things is the right topic for today 😉
Yesterday at a Microsoft event, lots of AR/VR announcements have been made: for example, the development of the new version of Paint that will be 3D and holographic, or the integration of 3D objects inside web pages, so that they can be dragged inside your HoloLens room. Lots of cool stuff.
One announcement has surprised and puzzled all of us VR enthusiasts: Microsoft has announced $299 high-quality VR headsets from its partners. Microsoft claims that it has partnered with HP, Lenovo and others to produce a new revolutionary kind of headset, that has inside-out positional tracking out of the box and that is very cheap. Even more, they mocked all the competitors, like Vive and Oculus, definining them “other less immersive accessories that today cost over $500”.
Yesterday has been a super-day: thanks to epic Microsoft MVP Marco Dal Pino (which is also Intel Black Belt and other 1000 stuff like that), I’ve tried Microsoft Hololens for some minutes! It’s been so cool, considering that in Italy there are only more or less 10 Hololens… I’ve been so lucky (thanks Marco, I love you!). I’m writing a little review here, since I’ve little time due to organization of our DTC event… after that I’ll write a more detailed review on our Immotionar website. Continue reading “Microsoft Hololens: a little review”→
This blog express my personal opinions about various stuff. None of the content of this website express the opinion of the company or the groups I belong.