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

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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->

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.”
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+ - 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."
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+ - 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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