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+ - Nvidia Details 'Gameworks VR', Aims to Boost Virtual Reality Render Performance->

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."
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+ - US Open Golf Tournament Broadcast Live for the First Time in Virtual Reality->

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.
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+ - 210 Degree VR Headset with 5K Display Revealed by 'Payday' Developer Starbreeze->

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.
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+ - Mozilla plans to build virtual reality APIs into Firefox by the end of 2015->

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/).
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+ - Epic's VR Demo Scene for the GTX 980 Now Runs on Morpheus PS4 Headset at 60 FPS->

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.
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+ - HTC Vive Developer Edition Signup Form Now Open, Free to Select Devs->

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.
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+ - Intel Makes Multimillion Dollar Investment in VR Enterprise Developer WorldViz->

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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+ - GTA V Gets Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Mod In Less Than 24 Hours->

An anonymous reader writes: The highly anticipated GTA V launched less than 24 hours ago and already a mod has brought Oculus Rift compatibility to the game. VorpX is a 3D injection driver that adapts non-VR games for the Oculus Rift with support for stereo rendering, corrective lens distortion, and headtracking from the VR headset. The software was updated earlier today, adding initial VR support for GTA V among more than 100 other supported titles.
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+ - Google's 'Cardboard' Virtual Reality App Exceeds 1 Million Downloads->

An anonymous reader writes: What began as a '20% time' project (essentially an employee's hobby project) for the company is growing into something significant. Google Cardboard (https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/) is a super low cost virtual reality smartphone adapter that was released to make it easy for Android developers to start experimenting with VR and for consumers to get a taste VR. The official Cardboad app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.samples.apps.cardboarddemo) that was released in conjunction with the headset, which bundles together a few demo experiences, has now been downloaded more than 1 million times from the Google Play app store and maintains a 4.2 out of 5 rating across 31,000 reviews. There are now upwards of 250 Cardboard-compatible apps on the Play store. Late last year the company even listed five full time engineering positions for a team dedicated to Cardboard and virtual reality (two of which are still open. https://www.google.com/about/c...)
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+ - Virtual Desktop Makes Windows OS Oculus Rift-capable->

An anonymous reader writes: Virtual Desktop is a free program that makes the Windows operating system compatible with the Oculus Rift VR headset (https://www.oculus.com/). To the surprise of some, plugging the Oculus Rift into a computer doesn't result in a native view of the OS, meaning that users have to put on and take off the headset as they move from one VR-specific app to the next. If you want to use typical Windows programs—like Photoshop, Firefox, or Microsoft Office—no dice! That's where Virtual Desktop comes in, enabling the entire Windows desktop, and any application that can run on it, to be seen through the Oculus Rift. It also works as a bridge between VR-specific applications, allowing you to move from one to the next without ever taking off the headset. The latest version released today includes voice commands for launching VR games, global monitor mirroring, performance improvements, and is built against the latest Oculus Rift SDK.
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+ - Samsung's Gear VR headset available to try and buy in more than 100 Best Buys->

An anonymous reader writes: By tomorrow, Friday March 27th, Samsung says that more than 100 Best Buy stores will have available Gear VR for customers to try and buy, a mobile VR headset that's powered by the Galaxy Note 4 and was created in conjunction with Oculus (https://www.oculus.com/). Although the headset launched in December, the rollout has been cautious, apparently due to Oculus' lack of confidence in the headset which lacks some ideal functions compared to its desktop-based counterparts. But apparently the company is changing its tune after getting positive feedback from consumers. "What got me off of [the idea that it isn’t ready] is that Gear VR launched—limited release, all these restrictions—but a funny thing happened people kind of like it,” said John Carmack, Oculus' CTO, at GDC earlier this month. “We’ve had extremely good data on return rates. Media outlet response was way better than expected.”
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+ - Facebook Adding 360 Video with Oculus Rift Playback, Experimenting with Live VR->

An anonymous reader writes: Today at Facebook's F8 conference, CEO Mark Zuckerbook offered a glimpse of the long term strategy for Oculus (https://www.oculus.com/), a VR company which the social media giant bought last year for $2 billion. Facebook will soon be adding support for 360 video to the social network, including the ability to play that video on the Oculus Rift headset. However, it wasn't clear if Rift support would launch in the initial rollout of 360 video. Further, the company is experimenting with live 360 video at the 'Teleportation Station' booth at the conference which allows attendees to don a VR headset and see a livestream video of another part of the venue.
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+ - Valve and HTC Reveal 'Vive' SteamVR Headset, Dev Kit Spring, Launch Holiday 2015->

An anonymous reader writes: Today Valve and HTC revealed the 'Vive' SteamVR headset which is designed to compete with Oculus and others, which aim for a high-end VR experience on PC. The Vive headset uses dual 1200x1080 displays at 90Hz and a "laser position sensor” to provide positional tracking (head movement through 3D space), and also includes a pair of motion input controllers. The companies say that the Vive headset will be available to developers in Spring and receive a proper consumer launch holiday 2015, though no price has been announced.
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+ - Nvidia May Reveal "Titan VR" Headset at GDC 2015->

An anonymous reader writes: We're barely into 2015 and huge companies are jumping feet-first into VR. It was reported yesterday that Valve is set to reveal a "SteamVR Dev Kit" at GDC 2015 (http://bit.ly/1zEAsrt), and now GPU-maker Nvidia is reportely working on a headset that may be revealed at the company's secretic 'Made to Game' event during the conference on March 3rd. Invitations to the event, bearing the signature of the company's president, Jensen Huang, teased something that's “more than 5 years in the making” and will “redefine the future of gaming.” Confidential sources indicate that Nvidia's headset may be called "Titan VR". Speculation that Valve and Nvidia are actually working together has also been seen.
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+ - Apple's Newly Granted Patent Could Have "Broad Ramifications" for VR Headsets->

An anonymous reader writes: Filed in 2008, published in 2013, and legally granted to Apple this week, the company's patent for a 'Head-mounted display apparatus for retaining a portable electronic device with display' could have "broad ramifications" for mobile VR headsets like Samsung's Gear VR and Google Cardboard, says patent attorney Eric Greenbaum. "This Apple HMD patent is significant. I would say it introduces potential litigation risks for companies that have or are planning to release a mobile device HMD," he said. "There is no duty for Apple to make or sell an HMD. They can sit on this patent and use it strategically either by enforcing it against potential infringers, licensing it, or using it as leverage in forming strategic partnerships."
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