While smartphone-based headsets are still the most accessible items on the market, the PSVR is the most affordable and user-friendly high-end VR experience you can buy.Sony will throw in a demo disc with the headset and there's more available on the PlayStation Store.These include the "Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn" expansion packs.A follow-up to last year's Until Dawn horror game is heading to the PS VR, but it will have a completely different name to its predecessor.It's a HD virtual reality-compatible remake of the original, which was available on the Dreamcast and PS2 in the early 2000s, and a psychedelic, sensory journey.Traversing through the surreal worlds and shooting enemies in rhythm creates awe-inspiring scenes.
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.
But even if the Oculus Rift is now actually going to buy in the US and elsewhere in the world is almost impossible to get hold of! so HTC and Valve popped up from nowhere and snuck past the oculus through rush to market with a complete Virtual Reality solution called HTC Vive. Fortunately, ASUS has been kind and lent this ASUS ROG G20 computer. Oculus Rift support admittedly also tracking as it is called when the system records the user's physical location, but on a much smaller area. They just need to be connected to power, but must have a line of sight to each other and to be tilted downward by about 35-40 degree angle to track the user's every movement on the playing surface. But HTC Vive is still a giant leap into the technology of tomorrow.
GIFFirst revealed earlier in the year at CES, Speck s ultra-thin folding Pocket-VR viewer is finally available for those who want to dabble in virtual reality and are looking for a cost-effective solution that falls somewhere between Google s cheap Cardboard and Samsung s pricey Gear VR.What your $70 alternative to Oculus Rift gets you is a VR viewer made of durable plastic—not cardboard—that cleverly folds flat so it s slim enough to stash in a pocket.Designed for either the iPhone 6/6s or the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Pocket-VR won t actually work with other smartphones since it requires them to be wrapped in an included case for the viewer to properly and securely assemble.The Pocket-VR s open design gives full access to the touchscreen and buttons on whichever smartphone you re using it with, which solves a an annoyance with Google s Cardboard viewer.You re definitely paying a premium for that convenience here, but also its well though-out design that you can quickly whip out and use anywhere.
Henry HarrisRelated GalleriesHeavenly Aerials of Pools Will Send You Right Into SummerAlways Moving?This Modular Furniture Is Easy to Take ApartDreamy Photos That Will Put Your Instagram Filters to Shame$30K Retrofit Turns Dumb Semis Into Self-Driving RobotsMeet the Garden Designer Who Transformed Rio de JaneiroOn the third floor of Arup Global Acoustics office in Lower Manhattan is a small, fabric-enclosed space that looks and feels like a cocoon.The company line is that the SoundLab creates virtual sonic environments to help architects improve the acoustics of their buildings.We re using the data to help you feel, says Raj Patel, Principal at Arup Global Acoustics.To make it work, engineers build a computer model of a building or space and then map a web of measurements called impulse responses that create an acoustic signature.Patel and his colleagues are coordinating with researchers to recreate sensations of light, touch, temperature, and even smell.
Entertainment veterans from DreamWorks Animation have started their own virtual reality startup with $3 million in funding.The Santa Monica, California-based Spaces is headed by chief executive Shiraz Akmal and chief technology officer Brad Herman, two veterans who worked on DreamWorks Animation s early VR experiences through 2015.Spaces is already working with such companies as Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Big Blue Bubble and The Hettema Group, among others, to develop and produce a wide range of projects across all VR and mixed reality platforms.Among the target platforms are the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung Gear VR, PlayStation VR and Google Cardboard.Virtual reality spaces offer creative challenges we ve never seen before: to build fully dimensional spaces in which viewers can completely interact, Akmal said, in a statement.Herman also said, In every respect, VR is creating new horizons, and we re eager to help companies explore them.Spaces is combining remarkable capabilities, tools and creativity to push the boundaries of the VR frontier.Akmal has been the vice president of operations-product development for the now-defunct video game company THQ, and executive creative director Dean Orion has a career that has included writing for television and creating interactive, location-based attractions for DreamWorks Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering.The Spaces team has the ability and the background to make an enormous impact on VR and MxR, and I am eager to see what they accomplish, said Kai-Fu Lee, founder and CEO of Sinovation Fund, in a statement,The Spaces advisory team includes Dan Offner, attorney, angel investor and former general counsel for Oculus; Keith Boesky, former president of Eidos Interactive and the principal of Boesky & Company; and Indian film actor and entrepreneur Rana Daggubati, star of Baahubali: The Beginning, the highest-grossing film in India s history.
Credit: Adam Patrick MurrayAt Google I/O 2016, the company revealed Daydream, an ambitious new virtual reality platform seemingly designed to rip the premium VR experience away from Samsung s clutches and back into the open Android community.Daydream will still rely on Android phones slotted into a viewer—like Google Cardboard—but the platform will be powered by Daydream-certified phones, running in GearVR-esque virtual reality headsets based on a Google reference design, with software hooks directly in Android N and apps delivered via the Play Store.The initial Daydream designs look suspiciously similar to what Oculus already has on the market, however.Finally, even the basic design of the Daydream reference headset bears a striking resemblance to the Oculus Rift.But that s one hell of a homage.If it ain t broke don t fix it, I guess.
The British are coming … to Google s new Daydream virtual reality platform for mobile.U.K.-based developer/publisher nDreams said today that it s working on two original, unannounced games for Daydream, which Google teased at its I/O event in Mountain View, California.Billing itself as Britain s largest VR house, nDream s first apps are important to help the giant Android and search company establish itself in the mobile VR market and compete against Samsung s Gear headset.And when you add up the potential for VR — $30 billion by 2020 on all platforms, advisory firm Digi-Capital forecasts — it s clear how important getting quality experiences on a new system is to Google.In addition to the two unannounced games, the VR studio is working on The Assembly for PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, and it s crafting Gunner and Perfect Beach for the Samsung Gear.I m thrilled that nDreams is one of the first studios to support Daydream.With this new platform s announcement, it s that much easier to envisage a time where everyone always has access to high quality mobile VR entertainment, and it s exciting to be collaborating with Google on that ambition, nDream CEO and founder Patrick O Luanaigh said in a canned statement.O Luanaigh is a former creative director at Codemasters and Edios, shipping games such as Tomb Raider: Legend and Hitman: Bloody Money.
Disney Movies VR lets you 'transport yourself into the wonderful world of Disney from your very own living room' DisneyDisney has released a free app for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift that aims to bring iconic pop-culture locations from its numerous mega-franchises into the world of VR virtual reality .The app, entitled Disney Movies VR, features characters and places from The Jungle Book, Captain America and also Star Wars.Part of the enduring appeal of virtual reality is the promise of being transported into fantastical worlds, if only for a brief few moments.As for Star Wars, we catch a glimpse of an AT-AT and come face to face with The Force Awakens' violently adorable spherical droid BB-8 on board the Millenium Falcon.It's not a glitch by the way: the trailer just doesn't have soundYouTube/Radio Disney ClubShould be great, right?Sony shocked a lot of fans by revealing that EA and DICE's hugely successful first-person shooter Star Wars: Battlefront was on its way to PlayStation VR.
It lives as part of the upcoming Android N update, and will use powerful smartphones slotted into third-party-manufactured headsets to show you all types of content.Google envisions Daydream as a one-stop shop for all your VR needs.Gaming is another big area of focus, with Ubisoft, EA and the makers of EVE: Online all signed up as partners.Right now, Daydream is just a series of specs on paper.But Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, ZTE and Asus have all committed to building Daydream-compatible handsets in the near future.Thanks to the sharing economy, living in five different cities in five years has never been more doable.
Android NView photosMore Jeff Chiu/AP Naturally Android, Google s mobile operating system, will feature heavily during I/O, with the first in-depth look at 2016′s update to the software expected.Given that Android was overhauled in the not too distant past, we re not expecting wholesale changes, but a bundle of Android news is still definite.Project Tango is one of Google s moonshot ideas and is essentially a piece of technology that allows smartphones to understand and map the world around them as they move through it using 3D motion sensors and depth perception.So in short, the ability to build a digital image of a room just by you walking around it with the device.It s only available to developers currently, but there have been suggestions that Tango could help the virtual reality apps using those sensors and its artificial intelligence.Glass was officially withdrawn from sale by Google last year, but since then has been taken back to the drawing board and re-designed ahead of a potential relaunch.
Google has announced Daydream, a new VR hub built on Android N that will arrive this autumn.Similar to the home view you find inside of Oculus Rift, Daydream is an all-in-one experience that brings games, apps, movies and even the Google Play Store in its entirety into a VR headset.Though no finished headsets were shown off at Google IO 2016, some reference design sketches were shown off, in addition to a small, Wii-like controller that provides motion control.Several Daydream-ready devices will be launching this year from the likes of Samsung, HTC and other popular manufacturers.
If there was any doubt before, virtual reality is quickly on its way to becoming mainstream.Google's answer to this trend is "Daydream," its own virtual reality platform that will be available on certain Android phones later this year.What really stood out about the whole presentation — including the ability to experience Google Street View in virtual reality and watching IMAX movies on your phone — was the slick controller that works with it.Simple and clean in its design, the remote only contains two buttons and a clickable touchpad the large concave surface near the top .IO16https://t.co/GMKIrNbPYS — Google @google May 18, 2016In terms of its design, the Daydream controller looks almost identical to the one that comes with the Oculus Rift — Facebook's own virtual reality headset.After all, since you won't actually be able to see the controller with a giant screen strapped to your face, a pared-down design is probably the only way to go.Daydream, along with its slick controller, will be available "this fall.Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.More from Tech Insider:Here's everything Google announced at today's big Google I/O event GOOG Airbnb is being sued for ignoring racial discrimination by hostsGoogle's 'Allo' messenger looks like an awesome app you'll never useThe best way to stop a mosquito bite from itching is surprisingly simpleA Nobel Prize winner in economics just backed basic incomeNOW WATCH: A Google engineer just cut off his daughter s phone call during a live presentationLoading video...
People don't always remember this, but when Microsoft first started, one of its biggest partners was Apple — manufacturer of the Apple II, the gold standard for early PCs.That partnership, always tenuous, didn't last.Microsoft would go on to partner with IBM, paving the way to the era of Windows dominance on a wide range of cheap computers.Apple would have its well-documented ups and downs before ultimately locking down the high-end computer market.So Microsoft performed an end-run and circumvented Apple entirely.Microsoft sold Windows to any and every PC manufacturer, building a thriving ecosystem of computers from different companies that nonetheless offered compatible software.The Samsung Gear VR, co-developed by Oculus, is a lower-end headset also powered by a phone.It may never be as powerful as the Oculus Rift, but if it works, it'll ignite an explosion of cheap VR from every manufacturer, making it a new standard, at the cost of some overall control.Just like Windows.Vision for the futureSo you have Facebook's Oculus at the Apple-esque high end of virtual reality, and Google Daydream at the low-to-middle that's long been Microsoft's forte in PCs.That's great, except not really.If the long decades of Apple's history with Microsoft have taught us anything, it's that consumers suffer the most when tech giants have turf wars.
Nevertheless, a quality base design might help keep the growing roster of crappy VR headsets at bay.The unnamed device looks a bit like a Roku remote, and has motion sensors built in.This will certainly help phone makers claw some market share from the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which have motion-sensitive controllers.It comes with an app store – a modified version of the Google Play Store – chock with familiar software like Google Photos, YouTube, and Gunjack VR.According to the search engine giant, eight hardware partners have already agreed to make Daydream-friendly phones: Samsung, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Asus, and Alcatel.HTC Vive vs Oculus Rift:What did you think of Google I/O 2016?
Future phones available starting this fall will be considered Daydream-ready if they meet certain requirements: a high-power SoC that can provide a quality experience at 60 frames per second, a low-persistence display read: OLED only , low-latency, and high-quality sensors are all required for certification.It s not 90 frames per secondMany people have argued that VR displays have to update at a minimum of 90 frames per second in order to minimize motion sickness.And you can forget about it working on iPhone, like Cardboard does.So if you get a call or a text, it s rendered into the VR world and you can respond.But wouldn t it be cool if you could converse with the Google Assistant in VR?Expect Cardboard to stick around for at least a couple more years.
Google already has Cardboard, the low-budget headset that combined with a smartphone gives anyone the power to experience VR.View photosMore Eric Risberg/AP Now, as premium systems begin to appear on the market, Google has decided it also wants to do more to boost virtual reality among the masses.The new platform will serve as a proofing ground for VR content Google says, and contains a list of specifications Google believes apps intended to be used in virtual reality should meet.View photosMore M Spencer Green/AP Smartphone makers including Samsung, HTC and Huawei, have already signed up to Daydream, Google said.Even more interestingly, a host of new partners have been brought in to create dedicated apps, including IMAX.It may currently lack the power of a Vive or Oculus Rift, but Google s VR vision is gathering pace and plenty of content.
But forget about that, because we've got 10 bones to pick with Google.That means it's now stable enough to use on your primary device – provided it's a Nexus – rather than having to play with it on a secondary handset.Its 2013 follow-up was also critically acclaimed.It s finally here, and tech companies everywhere are desperately scrambling for relevance in the VR space.Google was early to the game with the Cardboard VR, but the budget-friendly viewer pales in comparison to titans like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.Driverless CarsBeyond virtual reality, driverless cars are almost certainly the next big thing.
Today, you could go on a dinosaur-filled adventure … as long as you have the right equipment.Time Machine VR has launched today for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the two biggest home VR devices for PC.Time Machine VR is a 10 hour adventure that has players traveling back to the Jurassic period.It is one of the most ambitious games made yet for VR.The whole VR market could be worth $30 billion by 2020 for all platforms, advisory firm Digi-Capital forecasts.Minority Media developed Time Machine VR.The studio previously made the digital game Papa & Yo for PlayStation 3.Time Machine VR features a script from Jill Murray, who also worked on Assassin s Creed III and Assassin s Creed IV: Black Flag.You can read our preview for the game here.
As expected, Google has unveiled an Android based virtual reality platform at its annual I/O conference in Mountain View, California.As such, ReCode calls it "Cardboard 2.0" – it's still a smartphone viewer, but moves the game on significantly from the company's rudimentary reveal two years ago.There are hardware requirements – the phones powering Daydream will need special sensors and screens – and Android N will have a special Android VR mode built into it, for stronger virtual reality experiences, as well as dedicated support – it's an entire ecosystem complete with a home screen hub.Several hardware partners who will make Daydream-ready phones when the platform launches this autumn have also been announced.These include giants like Samsung and LG, as well as Huawei, Xiaomi, Asus, Alcatel and ZTE.Gear VR can be bought with a gamepad companion, but Daydream devices will come with a small remote packed with sensors and a touch sensitive trackpad.