Take a Tour of the White House with President Obama

Felix & Paul Studios and Oculus have partnered together to release “The People’s House,” a 360-degree tour of the White House guided by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The tour will be able on Facebook and Oculus Video for the Rift and Gear VR. The tour goes through various areas of the White House and its grounds. The tour is 8 minutes long. With just a few days left this VR tour will mark the exit into the Obamas time at the White House. The footage was shot last November and December.

With the 360-degree view users can look around to see what each area looks like and take in the experience. There’s a longer version that’s closer to 20 minutes coming later this year, according to the VR studio Felix & Paul, which filmed the experience, which will have more depth and sharpness.


ODG unveils AR/VR glasses

Osterhout Design Group (ODG) known for making smart glasses for the military and other organizations has made its first consumer product: augmented and virtual reality glasses.

ODG unveiled the R-8 and R-9 models. The R-9 will ship around Q2 of 2017, is priced around $1799, and is targeted for light enterprise. The R-8 is smaller than the R-9, is set for under $1,000, and is targeted for personal uses such as watching movies, sports, gaming, education, and more.

The glasses will come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip, the newest chip aimed at AR and VR. The glasses will run on Android and with an investment from 21 Century Fox and a collaboration with OTOY, a virtual reality firm, and LA’s up new HD content will be created for the devices.


SyncThink uses VR to find concussions faster

SyncThink, founded by Dr. Jamshid Ghajar from Stanford Concussion and Brain Performance center, will use virtual reality to discover concussions earlier.

SyncThink uses a DK2 Oculus Rift develop kit with eye-tracking sensors that allow quick and portable access to athletes to discover early brain trauma.

SyncThink specializes in neurotechnology and received FDA clearance to use the EYE-SYNC on March 22nd, 2016. EYE-SYNC analyzes eye movement and reportedly can assess abnormal eye movement in under 60 seconds.

The headsets are being used in the Stanford University Athletic programs. The company also announced that Indiana University will be using the EYE-SYNC technology to study sub concussive head impacts.

Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony create the Global VR Association

Google, HTC, Oculus, Samsung, Sony have come together to create the GVRA, Global Virtual Reality Association.

The virtual reality market has gained much traction in the past few years, with several major companies developing their own or buying out VR startups. Currently the market is valued ar $5.2 billion and expected to reach $162 billion by 2020, according to the IDC.

Having mainly been rivals in the VR/AR domain, the companies have come together to promote the further development and adoption of the technology around the world. The GVRA aims to bring together experts to focus on the best practices for the technology. Currently there are many different standards and many apps are only available for certain platforms and headsets.

In their official statement the organization states:

GVRA’s mission is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally with best practices, dialogue across stakeholders, and research. GVRA will be a resource for industry, consumers, and policymakers interested in VR.


Google launches Tango augmented reality system

Google has officially launched its Tango smartphone augmented reality system, after more than two years of development.

Tango is only available on the Lenovo Phab2 Pro right now though it’s expected that Tango will be available on Android phone in the coming year.

Around 35 apps are launching with Tango. For gamers there are titles such as Crayola Color Blaster.

There are other apps such as iStaging that allows users to place furniture or objects in a space to see what it looks like before buying. Matterport’s scenes app allows users to capture spaces in 3D, which looks amazing.

Tango works next to Daydream, the company’s smartphone virtual reality platform. Hopefully one day both Tango and Daydream are connected offering much more to users.

Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft held the Windows 10 event today and there were a few things that were unveiled in Microsofts approach to creativity and innovation using the latest technologies.

3Windows 10 is getting an update called the “Creators Update.” The update will introduce the addition of new 3D creation tools, live-streaming, and custom tournaments for the Xbox app. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and devices group said he wants windows 10 to have the effect of the Gutenberg press of the next wave of computing.

2.jpgMicrosoft has relaunched the Paint app with a push into 3D. The updated app allows users to turn photos into 3D “memories,” export three-dimensional creations from Minecraft, and turn mostly anything into an 3D object. The objects can also be used and viewed via the HoloLens. During the presentation there was an incredible amount of focus on VR and AR capabilities.

4.jpgMicrosoft is also venturing into VR in addition to its AR platform the HoloLens. The VR headsets will start selling at $299, though they will run on the same platform as the HoloLens. No date has been issued for the VR headsets release, although Microsoft has said that Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will be making headsets.

5The creators update will have big changes to the Xbox. The Xbox app will have live broadcasting built into with the update. Players will be able to stream as a part of Xbox Live allowing players to follow Xbox Live friends. Comments and suggestions from viewers is also going to be integrated directly in-game. There is also going to be an update to its Arena platform allowing for custom tournaments and challenges. The update will also include Dolby Atmos audio support for the Xbox.

6.jpgMicrosoft is also focusing heavily on socializing and communicating with friends and family. Communicating with friends and family can be done directly in the task bar, which allow users to drag and drop content. This update will also include “taps” that let users send stickers of 3D objects.


NBA announces VR streaming one live game a week

The NBA announced that starting next week they will be streaming one game per week in VR. NextVR will host the stream, the VR app lets you stream live sports on the Samsung and Oculus Gear VR platforms.

The VR stream will be made available as part of the NBA League Pass, a subscription based streaming platform for every NBA game. The subscription costs $199.99 a year, but offers all games to stream over the season.

The first game in VR will be between the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs on October 27th. This stream is going to be available for free as a preview for anyone that has a Gear VR.

The NBA had experimented with streaming a game in VR, though it was just one 360 degree camera, but it was not as popular. This time it will be fully made with dedicated announcers, multiple camera angles, and even showing exclusive 360 degree content to VR viewers.

The Founder of Atari launches new VR company called Modal VR

Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, is launching a new virtual reality company called Modal VR.

Modal VR was developed by Jason Crawford, who serves as the company’s chief executive. It uses standing senors that follow and record movement, and a full-body tracking suit that tracks body movement with 10 milliseconds of latency and accommodates areas as large as 900,000 square feet. Modal is completely wireless and can work with multiple users. The company aims to create a fully immersive virtual experience.

The downside is that the platform isn’t available for consumers. That means consumers may use the platform provided from other business, much like arcades. This makes sense because of Busnells past when he started Chuck E. Cheese, a place for kids to place games.

Businesses could also create custom VR apps that may be used to see life size models of objects. The technology is still in the prototype stage and will start shipping a beta developers kit in the near future.

As of now the VR isn’t priced, but may not be cheap enough for consumers to buy.

HTC launches Viveport worldwide

HTC’s app store, Viveport, for its Vive virtual reality headset is going live worldwide today. Viveport first opened exclusively in China this spring with developers being able to register fora beta last month.

There will be a 48 hour launch celebration, which will include discounted prices for Vives titles. With its partnership with Valve, HTC Vive owners can buy and run games through steam.

The company promises Viveport will not only just focus on games it will also take importance on apps such as art, education, sports, health, fashion, news, shopping, and various others. Viveport is launching in 30 countries with about 60 titles. Viveport Premieres will highlight new content such as Evert VR, Pearl, The Music Room, and others that haven’t been available elsewhere.

Google launches Daydream VR Development tools

Google has launched its VR platform Daydream for developers and have released the new Google VR SDK. The kit allows developers to build in VR for devices that are ready for Daydream, it also supports integration with Unity and Unreal game engines.

Daydream was revealed during Google I/O and Google stated that it would create its own virtual reality headset for Daydream in the future. Daydream is integrated within Android 7.0, Nougat. Netflix, Hulu, HBO, CNN, and other apps will be available at launch.

During an announcement today on the Google Developers blog, Google announced Daydream is available to all through its developer website. The developer site provides documentation, tutorials, and sample apps to help new developers.

Google also opened up the Daydream Access Program, which allows only members to push their apps to Google Play.