Tilt Brush, Google’s virtual reality painting tool, is coming to Oculus’ new standalone Quest headset.Thanks to the Quest’s two motion controllers, the app should work in a similar way to how it does on the Oculus Rift, although Google has said it’s had to make a number of tweaks to allow the software to run on the Quest’s mobile processor.Tilt Brush is already available on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.After its original release on the HTC Vive back in 2016, Tilt Brush quickly became a mainstay of headset demos.It’s easy enough to start painting basic 3D structures, but in the years since, artists have painted some pretty stunning pieces in the app.The Quest version of Tilt Brush will continue to support uploads to Poly, Google’s online 3D object library, if you want to share your work, or just gawk at what others have made.
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Acer has revealed its new ConceptD line, looking to squeeze onto the desks – and into the hearts – of content creators who may be feeling abandoned by Apple.The new range will include desktops, notebooks, monitors, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, putting top-spec processors, storage, and graphics into cleanly cohesive design.It has a huge 17.3-inch display, Wacom-enabled for graphic artists, and mounted on a rotating hinge so that it can be pulled down over the keyboard for when you want to focus on sketching or drawing.Driving it is NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX Gen 2080 graphics card.Storage is up to 1TYB of NVMe memory in RAID 0 SSD configuration.Both are still 100-percent Adobe RGB and Pantone Verified, and deliver up to 400 nits of brightness.
Roundup In a week where macOS users got their first taste of Microsoft's Defender and certain vendors received a kick in the virtuals from Azure's cloudy desktop, the gang at Redmond kept on a-building and a-leaking.When 'Release' and 'Candidate' are the hardest wordsMicrosoft demonstrated the impending 19H1 version of Windows 10 is nearasdamnit at Release Candidate quality by, er, flinging the code for build 18362 at Windows Insiders on the Slow Ring and discovering something is amiss with the installer.Having been ignored for much of the 19H1 development process, Slow Ring insiders, who expect to receive more stable versions of the OS, have been peppered with builds.It fixed the pesky bug that stopped Store apps from updating, but still struggles with gaming anti-cheat code, some SD readers and, of course, that Creative X-Fi sound card problem.For the latter issue there is at least a solution apparently on the horizon.
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The HP Windows MR Headset, which ran on Microsoft’s mixed reality platform, was designed to compete with products like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.But mixed and virtual reality headsets have evolved a lot in just a couple years, with companies pushing the envelope both in terms of resolution and inside-out tracking, and HP is right on trend.Today HP revealed its newest virtual reality headset, the HP Reverb.The Reverb bundle will cost between $599 and $649 when it ships in late April, depending on whether it’s the consumer version or enterprise headset.It weighs 1.1 pounds, lighter than the 1.8 pounds the first headset weighed.The Reverb relies on adjustable velcro straps for fit adjustment, rather than utilizing a halo headband with a ratchet on the back.
The HP Reverb VR Headset Pro Edition has 2x smaller LCD displays where most competitors have larger AMOLED.But the HP headset has more pixels per eye, a larger field of view, and a slightly lighter overall weight than HTC Vive Pro and Samsung Odyssey.This device weighs approximately the same as the current Oculus Rift headset, and works with both Steam VR and Windows Mixed Reality VR systems.This headset works with adjustable and removable headphones and 2x microphones, not unlike those delivered with the HTC Vive Pro and the standard Oculus Rift.Bluetooth inside allows the headset’s included controllers to work right out the box – pre-paired.This device’s TP leather faceplate (in the Pro edition) is removable and washable.
HP was one of the many companies that built a VR headset for the Windows Mixed Reality platform which launched back in 2017.Microsoft provided a SteamVR-compatible software platform, controller design, and inside-out, six-axis, positional-tracking technology; hardware companies like HP provided the rest, greatly reducing the price of PC-attached virtual reality.The headset will have a near-identical consumer version, but HP's focus is very much on the pro unit, because that's where the company has seen the most solid uptake of VR tech.The big VR win isn't gaming or any other consumer applications: it's visualization, for fields such as engineering, architecture, and education, and entertainment, combining VR headsets with motion-actuated seating to build virtual rides.The company has also found that novelty items such as its VR backpack have also found a role in the corporate space, with companies using them to allow free movement around virtual worlds and objects.Their demands were pretty uniform, and in many ways consistent with consumer demands too, with the big ones being more resolution and more comfort.
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HP’s newest Windows Mixed Reality headset is called the Reverb, and it sports impressive 2160 x 2160 resolution optics, inside-out tracking, and a lightweight design.The device, announced today, will come in two variations: a consumer model costing $599 and an enterprise Pro version, which comes with a separate 0.6-meter cable and a fabric face mask, for $649.In addition to the resolution bump, which currently makes HP’s headset one of the highest-fidelity offerings on the VR market, both versions of the Reverb also come with an expanded 114-degree field of view.However, that’s not a significant jump over HP’s previous Mixed Reality device, which comes in at around 105 degrees.It’s not clear why HP is offering two distinctly branded versions of what is ultimately the same product, but it’s likely due to marketing.Because Windows Mixed Reality is less geared toward gaming and more focused on business adoption of VR, HP is likely trying to frame the Reverb in the context of other enterprise VR and AR offerings, of which there are few beyond Microsoft’s newly announced HoloLens 2 and Google’s second-generation Google Glass.
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Microsoft has just added the OpenXR standard to its Windows Mixed Reality devices, which aims to make it easier to port virtual reality apps and games between platforms.Virtual reality has a lot of potential, but the number of different platforms and hardware makes things complicated – especially with certain games being exclusive to different devices.For example, Robo Recall is only available on the Oculus Rift.If you’re a HTC Vive owner, then there’s no official way to play that game – though there are a few fiddly workarounds.While OpenXR won’t stop platforms from having exclusive games, it does mean that if an exclusive game moved to another platform, the process would be much easier.It could also potentially make it possible to use different headsets with different platforms, for example using the PlayStation VR headset on a PC.
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HP hasn’t yet made a huge mark on the consumer virtual reality market, but its newest product could change that.Reverb is a Windows Mixed Reality headset with 2,160 by 2,160-pixel screens and a 114 degree field of view, enabling users to experience VR with sharper graphics than before — at a $599 starting price.The displays are really Reverb’s key selling point.By contrast with HTC’s $800 Vive Pro, which has 1,440 by 1,600 resolution per eye, HP’s headset delivers considerably more pixels that can further reduce the “screen door effect,” where pixels and the gaps between them are visible to users.Reverb actually has twice as many pixels per eye — over 4.66 million versus Vive Pro’s 2.3 million — which is very impressive, assuming a computer’s video card has enough power to fill the screens 75 times per second.HP also is using improved lenses that enable the screens to deliver a wider field of view than the 105 degree FOV predecessor.
HP isn’t generally a brand most associate with being at the cutting edge of new technologies, but the company’s new HP Reverb is probably the best PC-powered consumer VR headset out there, when balancing price and feature set.It’s not only a big win for HP, but a big win for the Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) platform, which arrived with a bit of a thud, but now has a headset truly worthy of seriously competing with HTC and Oculus .This thing looks A LOT like the Oculus Rift.Between the velcro straps, the on-ear headphones and the overall design, HP really cloned the Rift here, but made some key improvements along the way.The built-in WMR inside-out tracking makes setup a snap (though it still only uses two cameras, which is probably the biggest shortcoming of the headset).The big difference with what HP has built is that the displays on this thing are amazing.
Stepping up Windows Insider emissionsWhile the original version of Windows struggled somewhat with multitasking back in the day, today's team seems determined to push the concept to new heights, flinging out new builds of 19H1 and 20H1 while keeping a multitude of supported versions patched.Skip-Ahead Windows Insiders, doomed to remain on 2020's Windows 10 unless willing to take a flamethrower to their PC, received a fresh drop of the 20H1 build, taking the version to 18841.The build continues to be light on new features, however, and the gang warned that some things "require a longer lead time".The more imminent 19H1 build of Windows was also updated at the end of the week, with build 18343 hot on the heels of the zombie-slaying 18342.This close to release, one doesn't expect much in the way of new and shiny, and Friday's fix was all about that pesky Connected Standby issue that had left the build block for some Intel-based machines (Intel64 Family 6 Models 142 and 158).
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Microsoft is pushing its Windows Mixed Reality platform, which has so far been limited to virtual reality and HoloLens headsets, onto mobile phones.The company is launching an Android-based version of its HoloLens remote assistance app this spring, as well as an iOS-only tool for previewing products.But this move signals that less futuristic mobile AR is increasingly important to the company.The HoloLens version is still best for people who need both hands free to work, especially since it lets you pin diagrams or other windows in mid-air to look at them.And you can already simply record a video with your phone for troubleshooting.But Remote Assist on Android is supposed to make the communication process easier, using cheap devices that companies already own, as opposed to (or in addition to) a $3,000 HoloLens.
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Windows Mixed Reality had huge potential when Microsoft added support for the virtual reality platform to Windows 10, but that big potential hasn’t translated into big sales, and it now seems that even Microsoft is begging to lose faith.A report by WindowsUnited.de suggests that Microsoft will no longer pay commission on Windows Mixed Reality headsets sold on the Microsoft Store.Listed as ‘No longer commissionable product’, it looks like Microsoft is ending the incentive to sell more of those devices.What’s particularly worrying is that this means the Windows Mixed Reality devices now join Windows Phone devices and the Microsoft Band – all long-dead products – which does not bode well for Windows Mixed Reality.As MSPowerUser reports, Microsoft has sent an email saying that “With this reclassification, we will focus our investment activities on Surface and Xbox products rather than on the following product categories.”It certainly sounds like Microsoft is moving away from pushing Windows Mixed Reality.
Virtual reality headsets aren’t really known for providing comfort and exceptional clarity, but HP’s next-generation headset may change that.HP has a VR headset on the horizon with a design that reportedly emphasizes comfort, has a high resolution, and utilizes the Windows Mixed Reality platform.According to a report by Road to VR, HP’s comfortable VR headset seems to be described as such because of its apparent lightness and ease of use, though the actual weight of the headset was not been released by HP.As noted by Road to VR, the “headset’s ergonomics” had been “completely redesigned” and included changes such as the elimination of halo-style headbands in favor of using a top strap, as well as the use of “rigid spring-loaded struts” to help minimize the fuss of having to adjust the headset multiple times when wearing or removing it.Appearance-wise, Road to VR noted that the headset felt and looked very similar to an Oculus Rift.Code-named “Copper”, HP’s VR headset also boasts an uncommonly high resolution with displays that feature 2,160 x 2,160 pixels per eye.
HP via Road to VRHP is planning a comfortable, high-resolution headset for Microsoft’s virtual reality (technically, “Windows Mixed Reality”) platform.It doesn’t look much like other Windows Mixed Reality devices, including HP’s first-generation headset, which launched in 2017.That doesn’t beat Pimax’s 8K headset or Google and LG’s super high-resolution display prototype, both of which are closer to 4,000 pixels per eye.It’s still a huge jump from first-generation VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, or even from the upgraded Vive Pro, which offers 1440 x 1600 pixels per eye.Resolution also isn’t the only factor in a good display, and Road to VR’s Ben Lang reports being impressed by Copper’s clarity.
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Functionality within the likes of Azure Portal, Azure Active Directory B2C, Azure Active Directory Privileged Identity Management, Managed Service Identity, Azure RBAC and Microsoft Teams took a dive while engineers scratched their heads.The staggering subsided by 10:00 UTC as engineers dealt with the thing.New builds and getting skippy once again in Windows 10While Azure had its woes, the Windows gang emitted another Windows 10 build and slammed the door on Skip Ahead invitations.— Windows Insider (@windowsinsider) February 1, 2019Skip Ahead gives testers access to even newer Windows code.
PC VR headset owners can start a band in VR with music-making app EXA: The Infinite Instrument.The added multiplayer functionality in a new Early Access build gives players the capability to share music-making sessions with others around the world.One player hosts a room and EXA keeps layouts synced for the various instruments as well as “items, playback states, metronome, and live ringer events.”EXA lists support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.“The room can be made available publicly, can be hidden until a player enters the room name, or can be limited to your local network (LAN).The room creator can even put players into a ‘spectator’ mode by disabling some of their room permissions,” developer Zach Kinstner wrote in an update explaining the change.
Just in time for the weekend, Microsoft has released a new Insider preview build of Windows 10.Build 18329 should be available now to most people who have opted into the fast preview ring.Though it's not available to everyone because, for some reason, the new build isn't available in all the languages it'd normally be shipped in.The strangest new feature is that you can now launch and run regular Win32 apps—2D apps built for the desktop—in the Windows Mixed Reality environment that's used for both virtual reality headsets and the HoloLens augmented reality headset.Previously, it was only possible to run apps built using the modern UWP API.Now, it seems that any Windows application will work.
Microsoft has released six major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, April 2018 Update, and October 2018 Update.This change is rolling out server-side, Microsoft says, so you may see it independent of specific build updates.Microsoft Store apps were already supported, but now you’ll finally be able to try any Windows application in mixed reality.To do so, bring up Pins Panel, go to all apps, click on the “Classic Apps (Beta)” folder, and pick your app.The former is used to write Pular/Fulfulde, the language of the Fulani people of West Africa, while the latter is used to write the Osage language spoken by the Osage Nation in Oklahoma.There’s also a new default font option when composing an email or replying to an existing email.
Best known for its virtual reality videos of live events, NextVR today announced a partnership with the NHL to deliver 3D highlights from the hockey league’s “marquee events.” According to NextVR, the post-game highlights will include everything from matchups and goals to big hits, using stereoscopic VR footage that lets viewers feel like they’re in the arena.The deal starts with 3D video filmed at last weekend’s NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, California, which is available now on a new NextVR NHL channel.No additional NHL games are currently on NextVR’s schedule, but that will change shortly, complementing the NBA, boxing, tennis, and WWE wrestling events covered by the company’s services.“Not every fan can experience our marquee events in-person,” said NHL VP Chris Golier, “but NextVR’s immersive content will bring fans closer to the on-ice action than ever before and make them feel like they are at a live NHL game.”The highlights will be distributed for free globally through NextVR’s app, which itself is available at no charge across every major VR platform — PlayStation VR, Windows Mixed Reality, and multiple Oculus and HTC Vive devices, to name a few.NextVR Now apps are also available to let iOS and Android devices preview VR footage in 2D, with full 3D VR support for Google Daydream headsets.
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