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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Samsung's Gear VR headset available to try and buy in more than 100 Best Buys->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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.”"
Link to Original Source

+ - Facebook Adding 360 Video with Oculus Rift Playback, Experimenting with Live VR->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Mountain Biking in Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift and an Actuating Bike->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Thanks to the Oculus Rift DK2 VR headset and Activetainment B\01 VR bike (http://bit.ly/1MjsBbB), which pitches forward and back according to in-game terrain, has shifting, pedals, breaks, digital resistance control, and allows tilting into turns, users of the system feel like they're careening through a mountain biker's paradise. After working up a sweat in the simulator, the author of this article ruminates on whether or not his experience could be considered 'real.' "Much of the feedback of actual mountain biking was present during my ride. Sure, the feedback could be more accurate, and there’s still missing sensory information, like the wind through my hair and a certain set of forces on my body, but at what point is a virtual experience real enough to be well, real?""
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+ - You Can Now Clone Samsung's Gear VR and Test Your Virtual Reality Apps->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While Samsung's Gear VR headset launched in early December in the U.S., folks abroad didn't have any official means of buying the headset to test their in-development applications. Only recently has Gear VR begun making its way to countries around the world (http://bit.ly/1F2XSuK), and it's doing so slowly. For developers who don't want to wait (or DIYers who don't want to buy), some smart folks have figured out how to emulate the headset using a development board with an IMU that's been flashed with the same firmware found on the Oculus Rift DK1 headset. Plugging the board into the Note 4 (the smartphone that powers Gear VR), results in the phone recognizing the IMU as the Gear VR headset, allowing developers to test their applications and even launch the 'Oculus Home' environment, allowing access to official applications and content."
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+ - Razer and Sensics Launch Open Source Virtual Reality Project and $199 VR Headset

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "At CES 2015 this week, computer peripheral maker Razer and HMD maker Sensics joined forces to launch the 'OSVR' (Open Source Virtual Reality) project which includes an open source SDK and an open source $199 VR headset called the HDK (Hacker Developer Kit) (http://www.roadtovr.com/razer-hacker-dev-kit-osvr-sensics/). The headset will sport a 1080p display, 90 degree field of view, and 3DOF headtracking; it is expected to ship in June. Razer and Sensics say that the headset was built to be modular and hackable, making it easy to 3D print a custom front cover or drop in a higher resolution display, for example. The companies say that schematics for the headset will be made freely available, licensed so openly that someone could even opt to manufacture and sell their own VR headset based on the plans. The OSVR SDK is designed to be compatible with number VR headsets and peripherals so that developers can write once to support a wide range of devices."

+ - PlayStation Android Emulator 'FPse' Gets Support for Google's VR Headset

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "'FPse' is a well rated (4.5 stars across 32,000 reviews) PlayStation emulator for Android. A recent update enabled initial support for mobile VR devices (http://bit.ly/1HApg4C) including Google's 'Cardboard' (http://bit.ly/16tD4kp), a low-cost VR smartphone adapter. The update creates a split-screen image of a virtual screen for viewing with any smartphone VR adapter, allowing users to play classic PlayStation games up close and personal. With Google recently announcing they've shipped more than 500,000 Cardboard headsets (http://bit.ly/1AnySvy), there ought to be plenty happy fans of Sony's original PlayStation out there who will be taking a trip down nostalgia lane in VR."

+ - Sony, Facebook, Google, Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft Now All Have a Hand in VR->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Oculus Kickstarter breathed new life into consumer virtual reality when it raised more than $2.4 million just three years ago. Now, at the onset of 2015, some of the world's biggest tech companies have a vested interest in the growing consumer virtual reality industry. Road to VR takes a look back at VR in 2014 and the path that lead these tech giants to start taking it seriously."
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+ - Samsung Gear VR Mobile Headset Launches, First Reviews Surface->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For the world of virtual reality, today was a big day. Gear VR, the mobile VR headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4 and made in collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, became available for sale starting at $199 (http://bit.ly/12ZR5Vn). Unlike VR smartphone holders like Google Cardboard (http://bit.ly/1lpYuDk), the Note 4 taps into Gear VR's on-board sensors in a proprietary way that allows the mobile VR headset to achieve staggering sub-20ms latency. The first reviews are in, comparing Gear VR to Oculus' own Rift DK2 development kit."
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+ - VR Controller and Recoil System Brings Real Recoil to Virtual Weapons->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "STEM is a made-for-VR motion input controller that had a highly successful Kickstarter last year (http://kck.st/121itBs). The unit uses a hybrid of magnetic and inertial tracking that far surpasses anything you've seen from Kinect (http://bit.ly/12qgLcH). The company recently experimented by combining STEM with the impressive Striker VR (http://bit.ly/1mvyDfy) weapon recoil system. The result is a gun that looks and feels real in and out of VR, with real recoil that translates directly into the game thanks to STEM's impressively accurate tracking of the weapon's movement."
Link to Original Source

+ - Oculus Rift Allows Great-grandfather to Share Thanksgiving Dinner Remotely->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Martin has been using virtual reality technology at the Harbour Pointe Assisted Living Community in Washington state to put retired pilots back into the cockpit. For Thanksgiving he wanted to do something special so he dreamed up a scheme to let a great-grandfather in the community join his family remotely for Thanksgiving dinner. A 360 degree video of the family's dinner was recorded and then the great-grandfather experienced it remotely using the Oculus Rift. Although the dinner was recorded and not streamed live (yet), his family addressed the camera as though it was him, helping to make him feel part of the moment."
Link to Original Source

+ - Jaunt Puts Viewers Live on Stage with Paul McCartney in 360 degree 3D VR Footage->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Jaunt, who have raised more than $34 million in investments for their proprietary 360 degree 3D recording technology, today released their first publicly available content, an on-stage performance of Paul McCartney's 'Live and Let Die,' recorded in front of 70,000 fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco earlier this year. The content, which is available at first in the form of an Android app for use with Google Cardboard and other smartphone VR adapters, lets users experience the performance in 360 degree video and audio from the crowd, backstage, and right next to McCartney. Jaunt says that the experience will soon be available on the Oculus Rift and Gear VR headsets."
Link to Original Source

+ - Kinect May Have Jaded Gamers on Motion, But Next-gen VR Input Impresses->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Kinect promised way more than it could ever deliver. Even Microsoft quickly abandoned their brazen move to include the Kinect 2 with all Xbox Ones. But just because the Kinect flopped doesn't mean that motion input is dead. Virtual reality's need for precise and natural input systems has caused a resurgence in R&D relating to motion input. Sixense's made-for-VR 'STEM' motion input controller uses a highly accurate hybrid of inertial and magnetic tracking technology. When translated to gameplay the results are nothing short of impressive, as shown in a new demo from the company which has players accurately hitting a ping pong ball and even imparting realistic spin."
Link to Original Source

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