VR Digest: Jury awards $500 million
in Oculus case

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 106 – February 8, 2017

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

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Jury Awards $500 Million In Oculus Case

A Texas jury awarded $500 million to former John Carmack employer ZeniMax. Carmack left ZeniMax-owned id Software to work at Oculus in August 2013. Oculus was found by the jury not to have misappropriated trade secrets. The jury, however, also found that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey (who teamed up with Carmack in 2011 to get Doom 3 running on an early prototype of the Rift) failed to comply with a non-disclosure agreement he signed. By extension, Oculus was found to have been liable for that transgression and infringing ZeniMax’s copyright in the process.

Oculus vowed an appeal while ZeniMax threatened an injunction on sales of the Rift. In a strongly worded Facebook note the day after the verdict, Carmack complained that a lengthy report from an expert witness called by ZeniMax was still under seal in the case. If it had been made public, he wrote, “the internet would have viciously mocked the analysis.” You can check out the full 90-page document the jury filled out in the case as a PDF.


Oculus released a much anticipated update for the Rift designed to improve tracking in larger “Room-scale” setups, though Oculus’ Nate Mitchell also noted there are lingering problems for some users after installing the update.

A pair of videos show impressive full body tracking using HTC Vive accessories. Each system collects six points of data to simulate full body movement, with IKinema showing the approach could have huge potential for motion capture, while developer CloudGate Studio demonstrated how game developers would be able to create more immersive experiences.

The developers of multiplayer VR game Rec Room raised $5 million.

Rock Band VR is coming to the Rift on March 23. The guitar and game are available for pre-order at $70.

A video shows a concept for porting Portal’s gameplay to the HoloLens.

Normal VR released a cute open source keyboard that lets you rapidly drum the keys. Check it out in this video.

VRLA is expecting its largest conference yet at the Los Angeles Convention Center on April 14 and 15. Tickets start at $40 for one day, with $10 off for students. Justin Roiland, creator of the popular Rick & Morty TV show, will be giving the keynote.

VRChat finally launched its long-in-development social platform on Steam.

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