Facebook might be making significant investments in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies but there are times when specialist companies have done some of the vital work. Normally, giants like Facebook would simply purchase these smaller firms – like the recent acquisition of CTRL-Labs – but this can be a lengthy process. Today it has been revealed that Facebook and British microLED manufacturer Plessey have entered into an exclusive arrangement to help further Facebook’s AR plans.
Hosted by The Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR), the annual VR Awards will be celebrating its fourth year in 2020 and because of the current pandemic will be going virtual for the first time. This week AIXR has opened the nominations, with 13 categories covering the breadth of virtual reality (VR) hardware and software.
The VR Awards will include the same categories as last year including the Accenture Lifetime Achievement Award which was previously won by John Carmack. While nominations will be deliberated on by an expert judging panel, 2020 will also feature a new public voting portal, with details released nearer the judging date.
What a week of virtual reality (VR) videogame releases it has been. First, there was Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx which has pretty much stolen the show, then there was Paper Beast for PlayStation VR and let’s not forget Down the Rabbit Hole. Another exciting launch came from Fireproof Games, bringing it’s puzzle franchise The Room into VR for the first time with The Room VR: A Dark Matter. And as luck would have it, the studio has provided VRFocus with several Steam keys for our readers to win.
While Half-Life: Alyx has dominated gaming news this week Valve’s sci-fi epic doesn’t support every virtual reality (VR) headset. Today sees the launch of another strong gaming brand, Fireproof Games’ The Room VR: A Dark Matter, making the leap from mobile devices to virtually every major headset.
If you’ve ever played The Room videogames before you’ll know they’re a mixture of magic and fiendishly elaborate puzzles which tend to revolve around a central puzzle box. As the series expanded these puzzles have expanded to include entire rooms and this is very much how The Room VR: A Dark Matter is laid out.
During Apple’s WWDC 2018 event when iOS 12 made its official debut the company also unveiled a new file format specifically for augmented reality (AR) and ARKit, that format was USDZ. Today, 3D model library Sketchfab has announced it fully supports the format, unlocking millions of models in the process.
Available for the launch today will be 400,000 USDZ files instantly available for download across both free Creative Commons licensed models as well as royalty-free models. Creators can then use Sketchfab to convert from most 3D formats to USDZ. This will then give ARKit developers access to a massive range of 3D models for them to use within applications.
Microsoft’s endeavour to support the virtual reality (VR) industry with a reference design headset which the likes of HP, Dell and others could build up never really took off. Windows Mixed Reality headsets weren’t bad but the sudden flood of them in late 2017 made for a confusing hodgepodge of devices. HP was one of the companies that stuck to its guns and released a followup in 2019, the HP Reverb, geared more towards enterprise with a much nicer display. Now, HP has teased a new headset currently dubbed the Reverb G2.