If you thought Google I/O would be nothing but smartphones and complex code, you clearly weren't banking on Google diving head-first into virtual reality.Sure, Google Cardboard has been around for a while, but it looks like chump change compared to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.It starts with Android N, which is getting overhauled with plenty of VR-specific tweaks, like faster screen response times, reduced latency and more accurate motion sensors for better head tracking.The first handsets won't be turning up until later in the year, but Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Asus, ZTE, and other manufacturers are all on board.Your phone will still slot inside, but a comfortable head strap should keep it locked in place without making your arms cramp up.Daydream is set to arrive in the Autumn, but developers will be able to start putting games and tech demos together as soon as Android N arrives.
View photosFILE - In this Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, Alison Weber, left, instructs Peijun Guo on using the Oculus Rift VR headset at the Oculus booth at CES International in Las Vegas.Oculus has responded to Sen. Al Franken's questions about consumer privacy when using the Oculus Rift virtual reality system.AP Photo/John Locher, File MoreLOS ANGELES AP — The virtual reality company Oculus relies heavily on Facebook for security and shares information about its users with VR creators.Franken posted the response from the Facebook-owned company Thursday detailing how Oculus collects and stores user data.The company also said it relies on Facebook's data centers and technical infrastructure to host its VR platform, as well as over 200 security professionals from Facebook to help keep the data secure.HTC has a more detailed privacy policy for its HTC Vive, an $800 system similar to the Rift created in a partnership with video game creator Valve released April 5.
Oculus Rift exclusives are exclusive again.A well publicized hack, which allowed HTC Vive users to launch games like EVE Valkyrie and Lucky s Tale, is no longer working, Motherboard is reporting.A piece of software called Revive, made by a Github user known only as LibreVR, made it possible to play Oculus Rift exclusives on third party VR headsets including the HTC Vive VR.Oculus spent a great deal of money ensuring that the Rift launched with exclusive titles, part of an overall strategy to build an active userbase.But back in December, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey said gamers could mod games to run one on whatever they want.At the same time, hacks tend to reappear, and work has already begun on a new way to bring Rift titles to other headsets.
Until people get their hands on it, the photonics chip remains a mystery.There are some subtle differences between mixed and augmented realities, with the latter tending to lay stuff onto surroundings while the former mixes the person into them.I watched miniature humans wrestle each other on a real tabletop, almost like a Star Wars holographic chess game.The focus on fun means the headset is closer to the Oculus VR than Microsoft s HoloLens, which has been demoed doing work-focused tasks.Facebook, which bought Oculus for $2 billion last year, has been promoting VR heavily and Google announced a new platform for the technology at its I/O 2016 keynote event, which was held this week.Ultimately, Magic Leap s secrecy means no one can accurately judge the technology without trying it, and the world is unlikely to see it anytime soon.
When it was snatched up by Facebook, founder Palmer Luckey made it clear a million times that Oculus wasn t going to build a VR walled garden.It s becoming increasingly clear that Oculus s openness has its limits.Of course, Oculus doesn t call it a patch, but rather a hack.In that same Ars article, Oculus says we don t condone it and that users should expect that hacked games won t work indefinitely, as regular software updates to games, apps, and our platform are likely to break hacked software.A little more than a month later Revive is kaput.Screenshot from Oculus message boardsOculus told Gizmodo that the update is meant to battle piracy and protect developers games and that Oculus take s the security, functionality and integrity of our system software very seriously.
When we said we don't care if they mod our games, we actually meant we will prevent themVR headset company Oculus has backtracked on a promise not to lock down its software to its hardware.Revive was designed to solve that issue by allowing Oculus to focus on its own SDK and making it compatible with other systems without Oculus having to do the development work.InconsistentIt is far from the first time that Luckey has been called out for saying one thing and doing another.There is even a "Luckey's lies" subreddit.He subsequently apologized for "handling the messaging poorly."The company has referred to its new ability to prevent Oculus games from being played on others' headsets with the euphemism "platform integrity check."
Each set has its strengths and weaknesses, but until recently, they at least both offered limited compatibility with their rival's software stores.However Oculus wants to describe this update, users have wasted no time in quoting company founder Palmer Luckey's own statement about such issues.The software we create through Oculus Studios using a mix of internal and external developers are exclusive to the Oculus platform, not the Rift itself."Oculus representatives did not respond to questions about Luckey's December statement.Revive was originally built to translate positional calls of a user's x, y, and z axes from one VR software platform to another, as opposed to interacting with any DRM or payment-proof system.As originally launched, Revive required background running of Oculus's app to check for its DRM calls.
Mr Zuckerberg is betting heavily on virtual reality as one of the next great technological leaps, and its development in London marks the capital as a key location in the growing industry.Last year, Facebook bought a British virtual reality start-up, Surreal Vision, although its team was moved to the Oculus office in Redmond, Washington.The Oculus team in the UK is led by Mike LeBeau, a former senior engineer at Google who founded the company s voice search software and moved to London to join Oculus in January.The company, which was founded by Palmer Luckey, a technology prodigy who built a prototype Oculus headset at 18, now has offices in six US cities as well as posts in Hong Kong and Seoul.Facebook, Google and Sony are rushing to bring virtual reality into the mainstream, building devices and software that can transport users to immersive digital worlds.Mr Zuckerberg has said he sees a world in which people on other sides of the world use virtual reality to feel as if they are in the same room, although he expects it to take years to enter the mainstream.
New games keep coming out for virtual reality, and sometimes those releases are actually quite old.Hitman Go: VR Edition is one of the latest releases for Oculus Rift and Gear VR headsets, and you can download it now from the Oculus Store for $10 or $8 for the Gear VR version .I booted it up and found that Hitman Go is still the same great game I played on my tablet back in 2014.It s a simplified, board-game take on the franchise s assassination action where you move your Agent 47 character around a path to complete certain objectives without getting spotted.It was fun two years ago, and that hasn t changed, even if you won t find anything new.I don t think this title needed a VR port, but getting the chance to sit in a simulated space with a digital board game doesn t take away from the experience, either.Instead, you may find that it s a bit easier to get an understanding of the world without having to move your camera around by pinching and zooming or using the left stick and shoulder buttons for the console version.In Hitman Go: VR Edition, I could understand the layout of the board without having to really adjust anything except for where my head was looking.I ve previously compared the Rift launch head-to-head arena battler Airmech: Command to a living tabletop experience, and I think this is a potentially enormous genre.
The update breaks a hack that allowed Oculus games on non-Oculus headsets, but is the company really reneging on a promise, as some have suggested?These new measures, according to the Oculus App 1.4 release notes, encompass bug fixes and security updates, including updates to platform integrity checks.Why this matters: Several months back, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit and stated, If customers buy a game from us, I don t care if they mod it to run on whatever they want.He went on to explain that, Oculus s goal is not to profit by locking people to only our hardware.The new safeguards in Oculus 1.4 would seem to fly in the face of Luckey s earlier statements.Although the new update knocked Revive out of commission, it s unclear whether Oculus really intends to block attempts to run Oculus games on non-Oculus hardware, or whether it s merely a side-effect.
BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy BESbswy Facebook creates Oculus team in the UKFacebook has recruited a team of virtual reality experts in London, that would mark the first Oculus division in Europe.The recent job adverts for Oculus developers suggest Facebook is planning to hire more.An Oculus spokesperson told the Telegraph : "We'll have more to share on our international plans soon."Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been spending heavily on virtual reality.As for the US, Oculus has offices in six cities in the country and posts in Hong Kong and Seoul.Along with Facebook, other market rivals such as Google and Sony are at hard work to bring virtual reality to mainstream.
Oculus should focus on getting games and gear into VR adoptee's hands rather than locking paid-for games to its walled garden.If anything, the Vive has more functionality than the current Rift, meaning it should be easier to go Rift-to-Vive than vice versa.Four words, maybe: Stop.The best case scenario here for the company is that Oculus manages to lock down its games to a single, tightly-controlled platform.And the way the company wants to represent itself?You created a gadget proselytized by nerds, created a community of savvy apostles who literally annoy would-be converts with their feverish VR is the future and I will broach no dissent attitude.
Recently released software called Revive which let the user run the Oculus Rift games from Oculus Home HTC Vive. Oculus does not seem to appreciate the software and have now released an update to the Oculus Rift with DRM Platform that allows a VR headset Oculus must be plugged into the computer to be able to start the game from Oculus Home. The developer of Revive, however, has released a new version of Revive and describes the instructions how to circumvent the HTC Vives new security features. In an interview with Mother Board says one of REVIVE developers to get started Revive with the latest version of the Oculus Rift, it was the gang had to get Revive to circumvent DRM protection. Most likely Oculus continue to try to block the ability to run games from Oculus VR Home in other units than the Oculus Rift. And Revive Developers will probably continue to make it possible.
HTC says it managed to ship all of the units that it promised to early buyers during the month of April, and now it continues to work on its backlog for shipments.Now the company hopes to stoke the momentum behind the Vive, which has an advantage over the better-known Oculus Rift from Facebook s Oculus VR division, with its own marketing push.I caught up with J.B. McRee, senior manager for product marketing at HTC.A lot of our focus before launch was, one, making sure we had a robust content library at launch, which I think we were successful with, and making sure the out-of-box experience, the setup procedure, was as seamless as possible.But within the first month we shipped every unit we were supposed to deliver in the first month.GamesBeat: You hit all the pre-ordered people in that time frame?McRee: When people pre-ordered we gave them an indication of the month in which they d receive their unit.We ll continue to push out new and unique things like that through updates.GamesBeat: Is it in all territories now?McRee: I don t know the regions off the top of my head, but it s definitely global.We have three different partners we re considering Vive-optimized, people building PCs we ve tested in-house to know that they work well.At the other end, the maximum is no more than five meters — 16 feet, four inches — between the base stations.
Last month the folks at LibreVR released a little tool called Revive, billed as "proof-of-concept compatibility layer between the Oculus SDK and OpenVR" that basically allowed Rift exclusives to be played on the Vive.Revive basically bypassed code checks for the Oculus Rift hardware but the games themselves still needed to be acquired legally.That is until a recent Oculus app update took steps to break cross platform compatibility, only to have the move backfire on them.The release of the Oculus patch to stop users playing officially purchased Oculus games on the HTC Vive goes against a statement by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey a few months back on reddit, saying that players could mod games in order to play them on "whatever they want" as long as they buy the games from Oculus' online store.Unfortunately with VR still being in its early days, exclusives don t help the industry as a whole -- most people still need to be sold on the whole VR idea and they sure aren t going to be buying two headsets that do mostly the same.Revive currently works for VR games using the Unreal Engine, support will be extended to those using the Unity Engine soon.
In what could be the first of many VR scuffles, Oculus has blocked a workaround that enabled HTC Vive owners to access its own apps.Oculus has released a Windows PC app update that provides "updates to platform integrity checks".What this translates to, in practice, is a closing of the door on the unofficial Revive patch for rival system the HTC Vive.This update wasn t targeted at a specific hack."Regardless of the motivation, the new update seems to run counter to Oculus founder Palmer Luckey's comments from December of last year.Next, take a look at our HTC Vive hands-on video:What do you think of Oculus's latest move?
It's actually made it easier.The Revive hack let people play Oculus-exclusive games on the HTC Vive by circumventing restrictions, before Oculus responded with a DRM update that prevented it from working."The original version of Revive simply took functions from the Oculus Runtime and translated them to OpenVR an API compatible with Vive and other headsets ," Motherboard explains in an interview with Revive's creator Libre VR, "the new version of Revive now uses the same injection technique to bypass Oculus' ownership check altogether."RevivedInterestingly, Libre VR said on Reddit that he didn't set out to enable piracy, and does not endorse the use of Revive to do so.He also said that he would like to work with Oculus VR on a way of getting games onto other headsets without bypassing the authorship check, although we're not sure Oculus will be up for it - despite Palmer Luckey's prior comments about not caring if people mod games to play them on other headsets.We've contacted Oculus for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
A recent update for the Oculus Rift designed to "curb piracy and protect games" by limiting the HTC Vive workaround has blown up in Palmer Luckey's youthful little face, with the creator of the original Rift-on-Vive hack releasing a new version that completely blows open the Rift's DRM.The maker of the Revive hack has restored functionality to his users so they can run Rift games on the HTC Vive once more, with Libre VR explaining how his new code works in one lovely new way with: "...the original version of Revive simply took functions from the Oculus Runtime and translated them to OpenVR calls... the new version of Revive now uses the same injection technique to bypass Oculus ownership check altogether."Meaning it's now possible to installed pirated games thanks to the new code, although Libre VR would rather you didn't as he posted on his tool's page that: "I really didn't want to go down this path, but I feel there is no other way.This release bypasses the Oculus Platform DRM in Unreal Engine games, so the entitlement check doesn't fail because the headset isn't connected.I still do not support piracy, do not use this library for pirated copies."Make sure to check out our @GizmodoUK Twitter feed, and our Facebook page.
A software update designed to block the use of Oculus VR software on third-party headsets has backfired, leading developers to find a workaround which also enables simple software piracy.Facebook-owned Oculus VR has moved to block the use of its software on rival virtual reality headsets, in a move which has ironically opened the company up to software theft.As Oculus VR continues to march towards fulfilling its pre-orders and placing its virtual reality hardware into stores, it is becoming increasingly clear that its corporate overlord Facebook sees its subsidiary's value in the platform rather than the devices themselves.When software was released to allow Oculus VR software to run on the HTC Vive, it appeared to be entirely in-keeping with founder Palmer Luckey's December comments that users would be free to hack around with the software - including making it run on non-Oculus hardware.Late last week Oculus VR updated its software platform, and in doing so blocked the mechanism by which the Revive plugin made Oculus content work on non-Oculus hardware.That move appears to have backfired in a major way: where the previous implementation of Revive still communicated with Oculus servers for ownership validation, the latest update - compatible only with Unreal Engine games for now, with Unity support promised in the near future - disables the entire platform, meaning it's now possible to download a pirated copy of an Oculus VR game and play it without purchase.
It also breaks an unofficial patch called Revive that lets Oculus-only games run on rival devices.Technological blockades"DRM as a means to prevent piracy is rather futile," said Ernesto Van der Sar, founder of news website TorrentFreak."History has shown many examples of how it mostly inconveniences legitimate customers."Facebook-owned Oculus has invested in exclusive software titles to encourage people to buy its virtual reality headset over competing devices.The update to the Oculus operating system, released on Friday, introduced a new "platform integrity check" that let software identify whether an Oculus-approved headset was being used."Oculus should focus on providing a superior platform and the best games instead of focusing on piracy at this point," he said.
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