written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 80 – August 10, 2016
VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
Valve offers free licensing for SteamVR tracking tech
Valve Software started the process of opening up its SteamVR tracking technology to outside companies and developers royalty free. Making the Vive’s innovative tracking technology available to third parties is huge because it could jumpstart the development of other VR headsets with different screens or optics. It will also spawn a whole universe of accessories that use the tracking technology — from baseball bats to ping pong paddles to foot trackers.
The team behind sniper game The Nestdebuted a “VR-15” rifle accessory that can charge up the attached Vive controller through a removable battery clip. The Vive controller provides tracking for the gun, but now the SteamVR tracking technology could be built into a future version of the gun itself.
VRLA was attended by around 6,000 people over two days at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Several co-founders of the meetup, which debuted in 2014 with 150 attendees, have formed a startup called Visionary VR. Visionary debuted easy to use character animation software at VRLA. Users will enjoy an early use case of the software as an asynchronous improv platform, trading a scene back and forth while layering on new animations. A short video shows its primary functions.
A tiny Lidar chip developed at MIT could be used for a number of applications. “By steering this transmitted light, many different points of an environment can be measured to create a full 3D model.”
Substance Painter is an indispensable tool that lets you paint directly on 3D models and is now free for students and teachers.
Owlchemy Labs raised $5 million on the strength of their team and the underlying interaction technologies in their VR launch title Job Simulator. The physics and interaction work the company has built can be used in a variety of titles going forward.
NextVR raised $80 million to continue to expand its streaming of live sports and events in VR.
HTC is launching its Viveport store globally, which is focused on offering VR experiences in categories other than games.
Intel teased a depth-sensing HTC Vive it plans to show at a developer conference. The additional tracking sensors may be able to provide collision detection and Leap Motion-style hand tracking.
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.