VR Digest: Valve to spotlight
Vive apps next week

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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 51 – January 20, 2016

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

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Valve to Spotlight Vive Apps Next Week

At an event in Seattle on January 28, Valve is spotlighting developers building experiences for the HTC Vive, one month before pre-orders begin for the headset. More than 10 new experiences for the Vive are expected to be shown. Meanwhile, demand for the $600 Oculus Rift has pushed the expected ship date for new pre-orders into July (the earliest pre-orders are set to ship March 28).

If you’re having trouble deciding whether Rift or Vive is the the better buy, the decision isn’t getting any easier with many unknowns regarding both headsets. The developer of Portal-meets-Metal-Gear-Solid Vive game Budget Cuts outlined on Reddit why he might have to make gameplay sacrifices in porting the title to the Rift. A developer behind Job Simulator also posted to the Reddit why their game is different on Vive and Rift, “we're waiting on Oculus to define the messaging for how Touch and room-scale interplay.”


A 22-minute video surfaced of an apparent Microsoft evangelist confirming an early estimate of a small field of view on the HoloLens headset as well as battery life between 2.5 hours and 5.5 hours depending how it is used.

A 1-minute trailer shows Cloudlands, a mini golf game played naturally with the HTC Vive.

President Obama posed for 360-degree photo shot with a Ricoh Theta.

Google added support in the Cardboard SDK for 3D audio cues so that if you turn your head you can tell from where in the environment the sounds are coming by hearing alone, if you are wearing headphones. Similar technology is now available on all of the major headsets.

Canada-based Cloudhead Games posted a 4-minute video showing how it is using VR and Perception Neuron equipment to inexpensively capture performances for The Gallery.

Envelop VR closed a $5.5 million series of funding. The company is developing a “VR shell” that will allow users to access their traditional 2D computer application windows in VR to enable productivity while wearing an HMD.

Jimmy Fallon briefly tried the HTC Vive on The Tonight Show, spotlighting the room-scale VR experience in a 5-minute video.

A locomotion solution called the “Reality Suspender” is shown in a 2-minute video. It tethers a Vive user to the ceiling kind of like one of those Boston Dynamics robots, allowing them to “jog” around unlimited space in VR.

A 2-minute 360-degree educational video shows an x-ray view of a shark.

A fan of planes walks viewers through an in-depth look at VR flight simulation with War Thunder in this 12-minute video.

Filmmaker Werner Herzog spoke about VR with the New Yorker, saying that “Strangely enough, the only time I got the feeling I was not caught in a virtual reality is when I travelled on foot.”

UploadVR went hands-on with SMI and its eye-tracking technology which could be useful for foveated rendering. The technology would make rendering scenes in VR dramatically more efficient.

Oliver Kreylos at UC Davis posted an overview introducing people to the concepts of VR lenses.

Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame) says he’s thinking about making Desert Bus 2 for VR, which sounds like a horrifying idea. The first game is a real-time simulation of a boring drive across the desert. People sometimes play the game for extended periods as a way to raise money for charity, sort of like a walkathon.

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.
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