VR Digest:  VR toolsets detailed;
New experiences launched

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VR toolsets detailed

Production company 360 Labs produced a nice comparison of the different video hosting solutions for wraparound movies, with examples embedded into the post. “The one thing you should take away here as a producer is, your content is valuable! Take time and consider which platform might serve your needs best. If none of them do, grab a krpano license and build your own.”

MIT Technology Review talked with Improbable, the London-based company now backed by $20 million from the same people who funded Oculus. “Virtual worlds will no longer feel as if they’re built of ‘cardboard’...Improbable has developed techniques that make it possible to share large amounts of information between multiple servers nearly instantaneously.”

OTOY, a cloud rendering company, is talking more about its technology which uses light fields in delivering hyper-realistic imagery to head-mounted displays, including Gear VR. “Until we got to this point, I think everyone was thinking that VR might work just with game engines. No.” There’s a good video demo of the technology.


New experiences launched

Ralph Barbagallo released a tower defense game for Gear VR called Caldera Defense. The game puts the player in a gun tower overlooking a bubbling caldera with missiles, tanks and ships incoming from all directions. It makes good use of head movements to target the incoming creeps, and it's free to play.

On the desktop front, Titanic: Honor and Glory devs have released a demo showing off the First Class lounge. You can also wander into the Turkish bath and ponder the unsinkable Molly Brown’s cabin door. It is a bit tricky to set up because the experience has not yet been optimized for the Rift. Reddit user m4potofu has instructions though, and it’s well worth the effort.



USC communications professor Henry Jenkins wrote an interesting blog post in tandem with the announcement of panels at UCLA on May 8, focusing on the intersection of Hollywood and virtual reality. “There’s a glut of VR and AR gadgets and not enough content. Therefore, cutting edge artists are stepping into the void, offering to experiment with these new immersive world-building tools, even if it means they must create an occasional Budweiser Margarita girl that morphs into a 4D hologram in order to pay the bills.” Tickets to the panels are around $45 for non-students.

Techcrunch made headlines by letting Digi-Capital post a summary of their 26-page, $500 analysis which concludes that the virtual reality/augmented reality market will be nearing $150 billion in revenue by 2020. We agree that VR and AR will be massive opportunities, but we suggest taking predictions like this one with more than a grain of salt (there is a massive assumption built in here that AR will be packaged in a form that’s acceptable to consumers).

For your further prognosticating pleasure, late last year KZero predicted that the HMD market would grow 13,000 percent by 2018, while Sophic Capital released a report based upon KZero’s numbers, predicting the VR software market would reach $4.7 Billion in revenue by 2018.

The Oculus Mobile Jam kicks off on April 13 with $1 million in prizes being offered.

UploadVR reports that a company called Eevo raised $1 million in angel funding and plans to launch a content development fund.

Venturebeat reports WEARVR raised $1.5 million to add features to its VR app store. (Not to be confused with WEVR.)

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