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Submission + - The First Oculus Rift Has Rolled off the Production Line (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Oculus doesn't plan to launch their Rift VR headset until Q1 2016 but the company seems well on their way to making it a major rollout, rather than the trickle seen by many other companies bringing consumer products to the market for the first time. At Oculus' developer conference last week, key members of the Rift's design and manufacturing teams talked about the manufacturing process, going so far as to say that they'd already rolled the first unit off of the production line that will eventually be pumping the headsets out en masse. "On this first [manufacturing] build we actually outperformed many major companies out there," said Caitlin Kalinowski, Head of Product Design Engineering at Oculus.

Submission + - Google Releases Open Source Plans for Cardboard v2 Virtual Reality Viewer (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After revealing an improved version of Cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/), the super-low cost virtual reality smartphone adapter, Google has now also freely released the detailed design documents, encouraging people to use them for projects ranging from DIY fun to full blown manufacturing. The v2 version of Cardboard is easier to assemble, has larger lenses, a universal input button, and is bigger overall to support larger phones.

Submission + - GoPro's $15,000 Virtual Reality Camera Will Shoot 8K x 8K Spherical 3D Video (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: GoPro today announced the final name and price of their made-for-VR camera rig. The 'Odyssey' is comprised of 16 GoPro Hero4 Black cameras which are synced together to function as one unit. The 16 individual views will rely on Google's 'Jump' video assembler to stitch together spherical 3D video. Jump will output up to 8K x 8K (over-under) video at 600 Mbit/s. The Odyssey package will start at $15,000, including the 16 cameras, sync hardware, mount, and more.

Submission + - Epic Games Releases 90 FPS Virtual Reality Dev Demo 'Showdown' (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Epic (http://epicgames.com/) has been close with Oculus (https://www.oculus.com/) from the beginning. From being one of the first major engines to support the VR headset to revealing showcase demos alongside each major Rift hardware update. One of those demos, 'Showdown', which wowed people when it debuted last year on Oculus' (then) new Crescent Bay prototype headset, has now been released by the company as a virtual reality dev example for UE4. The high fidelity graphics are even more impressive when you realize that the demo is running at 90 FPS at 2160×1200 on a single GTX 980 GPU. The project and all of it's assets can be downloaded from the Learn tab of the Epic Games Launcher. Thanks to UE4's VR support, the game also runs on Sony Morpheus and the HTC Vive.

Submission + - The latest virtual reality motion controllers are so accurate you can juggle (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: While first-generation motion input controllers like the Wii and Kinect did little more than turn broad gestures into button presses (with quite a bit of latency), next-generation motion controllers like those paired with Valve's SteamVR (http://bit.ly/1APKa9N) platform and the HTC Vive VR headset are so accurate and low latency that users can juggle in virtual reality with ease.

Submission + - Crysis Developer Crytek Says It Has "One of the Largest VR Teams on the Planet" (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Crytek (http://bit.ly/1JQ6zJj), the developer behind the Crysis franchise and CryEngine is going in on virtual reality in a big way. David Bowman, the company's Director of Production, supposes that Crytek now has one of the biggest VR teams on the planet working on consumer VR gaming experiences. Indeed, at E3 2015, the company revealed an impressive prototype running on the Oculus Rift of their upcoming made-for-VR game 'Robinson: The Journey' (http://bit.ly/1ey5eOo) and recently brouht support VR support for the Oculus Rift to their CryEngine software (http://bit.ly/1DN5sYK), with support for further headsets soon to follow.

Submission + - Nvidia Details 'Gameworks VR', Aims to Boost Virtual Reality Render Performance (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In a guest article published to Road to VR, Nvidia graphics programmer Nathan Reed details Nvidia's 'Gameworks VR' initiative which the company says is designed to boost virtual reality render performance, including support for 'VR SLI' which will render one eye view per GPU for low latency stereoscopy. While many Gameworks VR features will be supported as far back as GeForce 6xx cards, the company's latest 'Maxwell' (9xx and Titan X) GPUs offer 'Multi-projection' which Reed says, "enables us to very efficiently rasterize geometry into multiple viewports within a single render target at once... This better approximates the shading rate of the warped image that will eventually be displayed—in other words, it avoids rendering a ton of extra pixels that weren’t going to make it to the display anyway, and gives you a substantial performance boost for no perceptible reduction in image quality."

Submission + - US Open Golf Tournament Broadcast Live for the First Time in Virtual Reality (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Partnering with Fox Sports, VR broadcast company NextVR is livestreaming the US Open in VR for first time ever. The company's five selectable camera feeds are streamed into Samsung's Gear VR headset, allowing users to look around and see the action in 3D as though they are right there on the green. Some of the VR camera views bring viewers closer to the golfers than the on-site audience is allowed to go.

Submission + - 210 Degree VR Headset with 5K Display Revealed by 'Payday' Developer Starbreeze (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Starbreeze Studios has taken wraps off of StarVR, a new VR headset with dual displays comprising a 210 degree horizontal field of view with a total resolution of 5120x1440. The headset's origins come from InfinitEye, a company working on a super-wide dual-display headset back in 2013 (http://bit.ly/1JNjqRy), which went into stealth mode for quite some time before being reborn as StarVR in partnership with Starbreeze Studios (http://bit.ly/1QwB0Nx). The studio is the developer behind the Payday franchise, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and now 'Overkill's The Walking Dead', which will have a VR component utilizing the new headset.

Submission + - Mozilla plans to build virtual reality APIs into Firefox by the end of 2015 (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla's VR research team is hard at work making virtual reality native to the web. The group wants more than a few experimental VR-only websites, they want responsive VR websites that can adapt seamlessly between VR and non-VR, from mobile to desktop, built with HTML and CSS . Experimental work is already underway, and now the team says that they "aim to have support for the WebVR API shipping with our release channel builds of Firefox Desktop by end of this year." Those with the Oculus Rift developer kit can already try out a few native WebVR experiences using Firefox Nightly (http://mozvr.com/downloads/).

Submission + - Epic's VR Demo Scene for the GTX 980 Now Runs on Morpheus PS4 Headset at 60 FPS (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Originally created as a Unreal Engine 4 demo scene to push the limits of VR-capable graphics on the Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype VR headset, Showdown is now running flawlessly at 60 FPS on Morpheus, Sony's PS4 VR headset. The demo was previously only able to run at Oculus' 90 FPS target VR framerate on the Nvidia GTX 980, a GPU which costs nearly $200 more than the PS4 itself. To the delight of UE4 developers, the performance improvement comes from general optimizations to UE4 on PS4, rather than specific optimizations to Showdown.

Submission + - Juggling in Virtual Reality Shows off HTC Vive Accuracy (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The HTC Vive has been praised for the accuracy of its 'Lighthouse' tracking technology ever since it was revealed at GDC 2015 back in March. For those that haven't tried the system though, it may be hard to convey just how well it works. But here's something that might do the trick. Alex Schwartz from Owlchemy Labs, one of the developers that Valve selected to create prototype experiences for the Vive's reveal, shows off his juggling skills in virtual reality with the system. With the forthcoming developer edition of the system moving to wireless controllers, it'll only become easier. Schwartz even thinks that VR will be the ideal place to teach juggling to beginners.

Submission + - Analyst: 'Facebook Earnings Call Didn't Rule Out 2015 Oculus Rift Launch' (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week during Facebook's 2015 Q1 earnings call, the company seemed to suggest that a 2015 Oculus Rift release date was unlikely, at least, that's what a report about the call from Gamasutra (http://gamasutra.com/view/news/241731/Facebook_mum_on_largescale_Oculus_Rift_shipments_for_2015.php) indicated, saying "It doesn't sound like Oculus will ship the consumer version of its Oculus Rift VR headset this year, or at least not in very large quantities." However, an equity analyst has chimed in to say that the language used during the call shouldn't be interpreted colloquially, concluding that "...there is no information here that rules out Oculus shipping in 2015."

Submission + - HTC Vive Developer Edition Signup Form Now Open, Free to Select Devs (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Valve and HTC took the VR world by storm at GDC 2015 in March after revealing SteamVR (http://goo.gl/E8Q9h2) and the HTC Vive VR headset. The headset itself, while on par with Oculus' latest Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype is bolstered by Valve's 'Lighthouse' tracking tech which allows the HTC Vive headset and two controllers to be tracked with impressive precision in at 15x15 volume for what Valve calls "room-scale" virtual reality. Developers hoping to get to work on such room-scale VR projects can now sign up to be selected to receive a kit. The unit will be free to selected develops but Valve will not make the dev kit openly available for sale prior to the headset's commercial launch in Q4 2015.

Submission + - Intel Makes Multimillion Dollar Investment in VR Enterprise Developer WorldViz (roadtovr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Intel Capital and WorldViz today announced a "multimillion" dollar investment into the enterprise VR developer. The company wouldn't specify the amount of the amount of the investment, but it's not believed to exceed $10 million. WorldViz, founded in 2002, focuses on the professional end of the VR spectrum, serving virtual reality needs of users working with CAD, academic research, architecture, training, and more. The company creates custom VR systems powered by their 'Vizard' software which supports more than 100 hardware devices, including popular consumer products like the Oculus Rift and Razer Hydra.

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