Google-backed Cardboard and Razer-backed OSVR are signing up new partners for their virtual reality platforms. The efforts come ahead of what’s shaping up to be an important series of conferences for VR: GDC from March 2 to 6, Microsoft Build from April 29 to May 1 and E3 from June 16 to 18.
Google’s mobile 3D-sensing Project Tango will be pitching "Transmogrified Reality" at GDC while CNET reports Mattel and Google are teaming up on something that looks to be ViewMaster-themed, which will be revealed on Friday. Also, Engadget reported that LG is teaming up with Google to unleash VR for G3, which is based on Cardboard.
Sounds like Google is moving beyond cardboard as a material for Cardboard, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see it rebranded. The ViewMaster announcement with Google brings to mind the Hasbro Viewer for iPhone, which has been on the market since 2011.
Advances in stereoscopic immersive video
NextVR is the Laguna Beach startup behind the Coldplay 180 degree concert experience available on Gear VR. Their differentiator is high-resolution live transmission of wrap-around content, which they’ve demonstrated publicly for the first time by streaming a view of sunbathed Laguna Beach to a GearVR in wintry Ann Arbor, Michigan for Engadget.
Next up: half-court seats at a basketball game?
Volumetric (position-tracking aware) pre-rendered video from PresenZ looks spectacular, but experiences are limited to 1 minute at 25 frames per second and it only works with computer generated imagery created with the Arnold renderer. No live video. Still, it’s impressive and there could be some great use-cases for the technology as it develops.
VRLA gets even bigger with “Expo”
Each VRLA has been noticeably bigger than the last, stretching each successively larger venue to the breaking point. The term “meetup” hardly seemed an adequate moniker anymore. So the organizers rechristened it a “quarterly exposition”. Tickets are on sale now, discounted to $15 on General Admission and $50 on Early Admission through February 16, after which prices rise $5 and $50 respectively. Also announced: VRLA Sphere.
From our interview with Drash: "Have fun, enjoy the journey, but give yourself deadlines if you don’t already have them. Try to work on things that excite you, but always be pushing at the edge of your comfort zone."
USC VR researcher Mark Bolas on Upload VR: "You can personally feel guilty for example if you shoot someone in a virtual world. So there’s this new range of emotions that we can start authoring for, and I think that’s one of the highlights of it as a new medium."
VR architecture specialist Jon Brouchoud wrote his company has "been busier than ever" but "every single project we work on these days is strictly confidential (we even offer 20% discounts for projects we can share publicly, to no avail...)."
Sensics CEO Yuval Boger on the optics of OSVR: "Why doesn’t everyone use dual-element design? Because others might be focused on different constraints. For instance, dual elements roughly cost twice as much to make as a single element."
The latest post from the team behind Xing gives a window into their process and inspiration: “As is the status quo for a lot of independent studios, we each wear many hats for working in a variety of disciplines. I enjoy being at the intersection of art and engineering…”
New experiences from top developers