Category Archives: Virtual Reality

Microsoft’s DreamWalker VR turns your daily commute into a totally different one

A user traverses a park while wearing a DreamWalker kit.

Enlarge / A user traverses a park while wearing a DreamWalker kit. (credit: Microsoft)

Researchers at Microsoft have developed new VR technologies that they claim allow users to remain fully immersed in a virtual world even while traversing public places in the real world on foot.

Microsoft describes the project, titled DreamWalker, as “a method for allowing people to safely navigate a given route in real-world environments, such as a daily walk to work, while seeing themselves strolling a different VR world, such as a city of their choosing.” It was developed by researchers Jackie Yang, Eyal Ofek, Andy Wilson, and Christian Holz.

The company’s research division published a blog post about the new research yesterday, and researchers will present the method at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology tomorrow.

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Samsung patent application showcases AR headset design

When websites like Engadget report on patents, typically all you see accompanying the applications are line diagrams that give a faint idea of what a tech company is working on. Not so with a recently discovered application from Samsung, which includ…

Universal, Ford create in-car VR experience for ‘Bride of Frankenstein’

Starting on October 14th, a fleet of 2020 Ford Explorer vehicles will be offering special rides to the public from Universal CityWalk Hollywood. Those vehicles come equipped with virtual reality headsets from German startup Holoride, which will give…

Microsoft patent application describes a vibrating floor mat for VR

Microsoft has filed a patent for a floor mat that could prevent you from crashing into furniture while you're exploring new worlds in virtual reality. It's also an indicator the company is still interested in bringing VR to the Xbox ecosystem, after…

‘Iron Man VR’ will hit PS VR February 28th

We at last know when you'll get to take to the virtual skies in Marvel's Iron Man VR. It'll hit PS VR on February 28th, 2020 — it was previously earmarked for a 2019 debut. Developer Camouflaj also released a story trailer, which focuses on Ghost, T…

Toyota is using VR to train robots as in-home helpers

Home robots could make all of our lives easier, and perhaps most importantly, they could allow seniors to live more independently. But training robots to operate in homes is difficult because each home is unique and filled with so many objects in dif…

Test Shuri’s prototype suits in Marvel’s latest ‘Avengers’ VR game

Not a lot of people will buy themselves a VR headset or seek out VR arcades. Well, not as many as those who will go out to watch a Marvel movie, anyway. Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB, the company behind VR studio The Void, have teamed up to launch a new…

Fandango launches its video service on Oculus Go and Quest headsets

You now have a particularly easy way to watch newer movies and TV shows on Oculus' self-contained VR headsets. Fandango has made its FandangoNOW video store available on the Oculus Go and Oculus Quest, providing quick access to about 90,000 titles o…

Oculus Quest’s secret trick: It can double as a wired PC VR headset

Not pictured here: the USB Type-C cable needed to connect the Quest to a gaming PC to take advantage of today's announced news.

Enlarge / Not pictured here: the USB Type-C cable needed to connect the Quest to a gaming PC to take advantage of today’s announced news. (credit: Occulus / Getty / Aurich Lawson)

SAN JOSE, Calif.—At Wednesday’s Oculus Connect conference, the virtual reality company took the wraps off a secret that it had apparently hidden in its recent high-quality Oculus Quest headset all along. The $400 device has been marketed as a standalone wireless VR system, but thanks to an incoming “Oculus Link” update, coming in November, it will soon double as a wired-PC option.

Should you have a lengthy USB Type-C cable handy, you can expect to plug a Quest VR headset into a compatible “gaming”-caliber PC, then use that computer to power whatever VR games and software you want to run, as if it were the PC’s Oculus Rift system. It’s an official alternative to using the Quest’s built-in hardware, which revolves around a Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip (SoC) like the ones used in the Google Pixel 2 smartphone.

Since Quest already has an array of inside-out tracking cameras, this PC use case won’t require additional cameras or sensors. You should expect to plug a Quest into a compatible PC, run a room-calibration test, and be on your way—just like with certain Windows Mixed Reality headsets and this year’s Oculus Rift S.

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Mark Zuckerberg hints finger tracking is coming to Oculus

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted a finger-tracking feature is on the way for Oculus headsets. Ahead of his opening keynote at Oculus Connect 6, he posted a video that showed hands making the letters O and C and holding up six fingers. That's a cle…