Gaming partners, virtual touch and more: What Oculus just revealed about the final consumer Rift
Jun11

Gaming partners, virtual touch and more: What Oculus just revealed about the final consumer Rift

“Three years ago this August we started a Kickstarter with a bold mission,” Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said at the opening of the Oculus Rift press conference. “We wanted to revolutionize gaming and transform how we experience entertainment.” He then recounted the advances made in gaming since the inception of Atari, describing the characters and stories millions of gamers fell in love with. “we’ve been immersed in this world of gaming but theres been something missing,” he continued. “It’s always been trapped behind a 2D display.” Breaking down the headset Virtual reality will soon allow gamers to experience “anything, anywhere.” And how that will be done is through the first Oculus Rift consumer headset. Iribe walked through to standout components of the headset: Custom display and optics – 2 OLED screens preventing pixelation and motion blur. Lenses are also adjustable for different facial widths. Constellation tracking – “Refined over years,” the tracking system has “very precise, low latency movement.” Integrated headphones – “The rift doesn’t just trick your eyes, it tricks your ears” with an integrated audio system. Should you want to use your own audio device, the rift headphones can be snapped off. Advanced refined ergonomics – The strap architecture, which you put on like a baseball cap, is tight so the headset doesn’t move but also doesn’t pull against your face. Deep relationships with gaming partners What accompanies the rift is an Xbox One wireless controller and adaptor, marking an official partnership with Windows 10 with which the rift will work natively. Jason Rubin, head of Oculus Studios, then introduced flagship gaming partners — Hilmar Veigar Pétursson of CCP and EVE Valkyrie, David Adams of Gunfire and Chronos, and Ted Price of Insomniac Games and Edge of Nowhere — saying “content defines experience.” Each played an incredibly crisp trailer of their game, giving a stunning preview of what it will look like to be in a virtual first person space combat environment (Valkyrie) or on a quest through ancient ruins (Chronos). To see how users would select and interact with gaming content, VP of Product Nate Mitchell walked the audience through Oculus Home — the new system software for Oculus Rift. His goal, he said, was to make everything “just work” right out of the box. Also major? The commitment of more than $10,000,000 to support independent game development for the Rift. Making touch virtual Iribe then took the stage again, welcoming Oculus founder Palmer Lucky by saying, “One more thing that we really want to show you, something we’ve been working on for quite a while. Input is hard — but we got it right.” Lucky then pulled out a pair of prototypes called Half...

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This week in wearables: Superheroes, hedgehogs, and everything else you missed
Jun05

This week in wearables: Superheroes, hedgehogs, and everything else you missed

This past week saw some pretty huge developments in wearable technology throughout all industries. From toys to fashion to medicine, we’ve got you covered on what to keep your eye on. 1. Disney unveiled Playmation, a system of connected wearable devices and motion-sensor toys encouraging kids to spend less time in front of a screen and more time actively playing. Hailed as “the next step in the evolution of play”, the first product line is based on Marvel’s Avengers. Playing superhero never felt more real. 2. Two scientists at Stanford’s Echo Labs showed off a prototype for a wearable that sees through your skin and scans your blood. 3. Tag Heuer announced its luxury smartwatch will soon be available in Switzerland. Despite the $1,400 price tag, it is expected to give Apple a run for its money, which hits the country June 26. 4. Story Studios, the Pixar led film arm of Oculus VR, has dropped a trailer for its second animated short Henry. Viewers get to interact and watch the story of a cute little hedgehog that has trouble making friends through the Oculus Rift headset. 5. Google debuted Project Jacquard, a conductive thread that when woven together behaves like the touchscreen on your smartphone. Tap your jeans and turn on the lights. Swipe a pocket; an Uber arrives at your door. First collab: Levi Strauss. 6. Startup Thync has created a head device that uses an electrical current to either decrease stress or increase energy through the skin. Scientists are “super...

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Virtual reality cinema: Oculus’ film Henry to debut later this year
Jun04

Virtual reality cinema: Oculus’ film Henry to debut later this year

Oculus VR is a company most widely known for the Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for immersive virtual reality. While the Rift initially gained its enormous popularity through the gaming world, the company recently began to set its sights on a different aspect of entertainment: Hollywood. Oculus’ Story Studio, the in-house innovation lab led by former Pixar director Saschka Unseld, debuted its first animated short Lost at Sundance January. Although met with many rave reviews, some critics took issue with the VR-less-ness of the film, calling it “barely interactive.” Today Story Studio introduces their second VR film. Henry is a story about a hedgehog who, owing to his looks, has a hard time making friends. Directed by Ramiro Lopez Dau who has worked on films such as Pixar’s Monsters University, viewers will enter the animated world through “a combination of Oculus VR’s head-tracking tech, audio cues and discreet visual guides” It seems as though the studio is learning from the blunders of Lost. “One of the cool things about Henry is that we’re incorporating more of that interactive discovery, where you can find his photo album and see elements of it brought to life,” says Story Studio Producer Edward Saatchi. The Studio has also announced the creation of two more shorts following the debut of Henry later this year. Seeing as the realm of virtual reality cinema is an uncharted one, it will be interesting to watch these talented filmmakers pioneer the cinematic VR experience with each...

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