At GDC today, a number of VR and AR developers gathered in a casual forum moderated by Chris Pruett, who does developer relations for Oculus VR. What followed was an interesting jam session as creative minds shared their ideas, triumphs, and frustrations with virtual platforms. Pruett stated at the beginning that he was not there as a representative of Oculus, and in fact he was not the original planned leader of the session.
Bringing medical-grade technology to the consumer space
One of the running themes at the 2015 Game Developer Conference (GDC) is virtual reality, a space that's attracting an increasing number of players as the technology inches closer to becoming mainstream. One company to keep an eye on is MindMaze, makers of a prototype "neuro-goggle" headset that combines a potpourri of technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, motion capture, and even neurosensing.
We’ve tried HoloLens and Crescent Bay—our thoughts on both headsets
With Microsoft now entrenched in the headset realm with HoloLens, many of you might be wondering how it stacks up against Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift. After all, both are head-mounted displays. Still, while they have their similarities, they are also quite different.
Microsoft made a handful of revelations during its press event yesterday, such as that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year, and that Cortana is headed to the desktop. But one of the most intriguing things Microsoft talked about was HoloLens, essentially a head mounted display that splatters holograms all over your living room, or wherever you happen to be wearing it. There are several potentially viable applications for this kind of technology, though the one I'm most curious about is gaming.
We tried Microsoft's augmented reality demo and couldn’t stop smiling
Many suspected that Microsoft would toss its hat into the virtual reality headset game. After all, Oculus VR was successful enough with its Kickstarter campaign that Facebook ended up purchasing it for $two billion, and longtime console rival Sony jumped into the fray not long ago with its Project Morpheus. While Microsoft did reveal its own head-mounted display, the HoloLens isn’t competing in the VR space, but is instead paving new paths for augmented realities. We got a chance to try it ourselves and you’re probably wondering, “Is it any good?” Simply put, if it's executed correctly, it has the potential to be transformative.
Augmented reality is the key to (literally) getting in the game
Journalists are going bonkers over the idea that we're closer than ever to having our own in-home holodecks courtesy of Microsoft's RoomAlive technology, and we admit, we're excited about it too. Using augmented reality, RoomAlive has the ability to transform your living room into a video game level, which opens the door to all new kinds of game play and use case scenarios.
Some exciting things are happening in the world of virtual reality, and we're not just talking about the Oculus Rift. Multiple companies are jumping on board with the VR movement, including chip maker Qualcomm, which unveiled its Vuforia mobile vision platform that developers can use to build augmented reality (AR) applications for a new generation of digital hardware.
After more than a year in closed beta and amassing over 1 million downloads, Google's Niantic Labs just launched Ingress to the public. What is Ingress, you ask? It's a journey into alternate reality gaming, is one answer. Another answer is that it's a blending of augmented reality with MMO gaming for people with Android devices (iOS support will come later). It gets gamers outdoors in a sort of geo-caching expedition with real-life capture point control.
A year ago, Google Glass was said to be heading for a late-2012 retail debut with a price tag in line with that of current smartphones. A few months later, Google co-founder Sergey Brin put paid to that rumor when he revealed early 2014 as the most likely timeframe for the launch in an interview with Bloomberg. Well, that was back then. The latest update is that Glass will be available a bit sooner than that.
One of the many technologies Google talked about yesterday on Day 1 of its three-day Google I/O conference is Project Glass, a wearable computer of sorts that essentially integrates the functions of a smartphone into a pair of slim glasses. A rather exhilarating demo showed a series of stunts captured on video by people wearing the glasses, from skydiving over San Francisco to scaling Moscone Center, and you can't help but get at least a little excited seeing the technology come to fruition right before your eyes. We're not talking 10 years from now, either. In fact, programmers attending the conference have the option of pre-ordering an "Explorer Edition" prototype for $1,500, which will ship out early next year.