Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Sergey Bludov, SVP, Media and Entertainment at technology consultancy DataArt, discusses practical use cases for AR & VR in the music industry.

As musicians and the associated companies increasingly experiment with bringing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) into their artistic visions and presentations, are we on the cusp of entering a radically new ‘reality’ in the music industry?

Here’s the thing: young people are not only accustomed to immersing themselves in the latest technologies but are also at the point of expecting artists and companies to offer them exciting opportunities instead of the same old thing. A study conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Eventbrite illustrated this idea perfectly when it revealed that 78% of millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences and events over objects. These younger music fans are looking for real value in these experiences, bringing technologies like AR and VR to the forefront of the possibilities for significant changes in the music landscape.

Following the fans, a growing number of artists and industry professionals are diving deeply into new concepts to develop innovative ways to utilize AR and VR in the world of music, as the technology is finally coming of age.

Immersive Installations

Musicians and producers often want to push the boundaries of what’s possible artistically. Innovative musician Brian Eno collaborated with software designer and musician Peter Chilvers to create ‘Bloom: Open Space’ — an art and music installation that marks one of the first uses of the latest immersive technologies by a major artist such as Eno. Visitors to the facility wear 3D holographic visors as they approach a circle of six towering screens, with small colored bubbles floating around. By reaching out their arms and pinching the air in front of them, new bubbles appear, each of which emits a specific musical tone. The notes combine and then disappear, while a background of cricket sounds and white noise completes the sonic effect.
This innovative use of immersive technologies creates a charming atmosphere for fans, as they become part of the musical creation they hear and the visual display they see. Eno’s installation provides a glimpse into the future of AR and VR in the music industry, while other innovators also delve into the potential for these technologies to add tremendous value and artistic merit to their work.

Videos and Live Performances

Not surprisingly, a large number of VR and AR startups are attempting to gain traction in the live music industry. Although I can’t touch on all of them in a single article, here’s a selection of the companies jumping into the video and live performance spheres.

Within has entered into a deal with Universal Music Group to develop VR and AR experiences for some of the artists on its roster. The Chemical Brothers and St Vincent were the first from UMG to work with Within, developing a creative and interactive music experience called Under Neon Lights.

MelodyVR is a London-based company focused on its goal of offering live streaming of concerts in Virtual Reality. Although its full vision has yet to come to fruition, the company has worked with more than 650 international artists, including Post Malone, Blake Shelton, The Who, Kiss, and The Chainsmokers to develop innovative uses of VR in a live music setting, with the hope that VR technology will soon be widely adopted by consumers.

Facebook, in conjunction with Oculus Go and Gear VR, launched Oculus Venues live events last year with an initial Vance Joy concert. Oculus Go is a relatively affordable VR headset at $199 in the U.S. and offers the convenience of not being tethered to a computer. Although it’s early in the game, the potential for this offering to gain significant traction among concert-goers is an exciting move in the direction of the mass adoption of VR and AR in the world of music.

Music Education and Creation

Not everyone can afford to take traditional music lessons. Furthermore, some people live in remote places that lack a reasonable number of experienced teachers for their instrument of choice. Virtual Reality music education carries the potential to solve both of these issues while offering a high level of convenience for those who want to learn how to play an instrument but have little time to spare.

Do you want to learn how to DJ? If so, Tribe VR may be just right for you. Founded by veterans from firms such as Pixar and High Fidelity, the company’s DJ School allows anyone to learn to DJ and mix music by using a virtual deck that mimics the setup used in actual clubs throughout the world. By connecting with virtual mentors, the multi-sensory technology provides an immersive educational experience.

Have you always wanted to learn to play drums? Enter VR app Paradiddle, providing a high-quality virtual drumming experience. We all know that real drums are extremely loud, thereby restricting many people from having the opportunity to learn and play this instrument. Paradiddle has done a great job of utilizing VR to bring this experience to those without a real drumset, as can be seen in this video where all of the drum sounds are triggered from the app.

The music industry is changing rapidly, and that’s a good thing! Artists are driven to innovate, and the industry must encourage these endeavors while using AR, VR, and other immersive technologies to bring new experiences to music fans and to support a new generation of musicians. The time for AR and VR innovations is now!

What are your thoughts about AR & VR innovations in the music industry? Please share your opinions in the comments below.

By Sergey Bludov,
SVP, Media and Entertainment Practice at DataArt


Augmented & Virtual Reality Coming of Age in the Music Industry was originally published in Virtual Reality Pop on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

On our first trip to Disneyland we were fortunate enough to watch Mickey's Mix Magic on Mainstreet as part of Mickey and Minnie's 90th birthday. (More)

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

GDC’s annual State of the Games Industry survey revealed HTC VIVE as the most popular platform among developers for the third year in a row. We’re proud of our standing in the developer community and strive to be the number one advocate for VR developers. To that end, we’ve got an exciting lineup of activities planned for developers attending GDC 2019:

Developer Day – March 18th @ Moscone West Hall, Room #2024

VIVE will be holding a developer day on Monday, March 18th. Filled with visionary and technical sessions directly from the VIVE team and partners, we’ll delve into the topics most meaningful to VR developers.

To start, we’ll walk developers through our platform roadmap for 2019 to share the new opportunities ahead and how they can take advantage of them. Next, our engineers will provide in-depth demonstrations on our SDKs to provide the tools and knowledge necessary to accelerate VR development.

Check out our full schedule below:

10:00AM – 11:00AM: Developer Day Keynote: Platform Strategy for 2019

11:20AM – 12:20PM: Developer Success in the Era of New Competing Digital Platforms

1:20PM – 2:20PM: Getting Started, Publishing and Beyond: Viveport SDKs + VIVE Input Utility

2:40PM – 3:40PM: Building for the Standalone Ecosystem: Wave Platform SDKs

4:00PM – 5:00PM: Creating More Immersive Experiences: 3DSP Audio SDK + Hand Tracking SDK

5:30PM – 6:30PM: The Future of XR Development: SRWorks SDK + SRANIPAL SDK

VR Play – March 20th-22nd @ Moscone Center Hall

This year, the VR Play area is sponsored by VIVEPORT. GDC attendees can see the new technologies from our technical talks in action on the latest VIVE hardware. VIVE will be showcasing innovative content that demonstrates the power of our developer tools such as eye and hand tracking, 6DoF input for the WAVE platform and more. Stop by the Moscone Center Hall from March 20th – 22nd try out some of our favorite VR experiences.

Viveport Developer Awards Mixer – March 18th

On March 18th, we’ll announce the winners of the 3rd annual Viveport Developer Awards at a private mixer for developers. The Viveport Developer Awards is an opportunity to celebrate and reward the exceptional studios and content that have contributed to Viveport Subscription’s success. This year’s batch will have one winner and one finalist from four PC-VR categories and one winner from three VIVE Wave categories. Winners in each category can walk away with up to $50,000 in cash and prizes to support their current and future development objectives.

We hope to see you at GDC and be sure to add our developer day sessions to your schedules!

The post HTC VIVE at GDC 2019 appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Wat is de beste laptop aanbieding? De beste laptop is de Dell XPS 13, maar er zijn 18 andere top laptops in onze gids over de beste notebook kopen (laptop kopen) in 2016, inclusief de beste Windows laptops en beste MacBooks. Beste laptop aanbiedingen.

De beste notebook is de Dell XPS 13, gevolgd door de Asus Zenbook UX303U en de Microsoft Surface Book, maar er zijn genoeg andere uitstekende opties in onze lijst hieronder.

Ondanks de opkomst van de tablets zijn er nog genoeg redenen om een laptop te kopen. Soms kan een tablet gewoon niet een groot scherm verslaan, naast een keyboard en Windows om dingen gedaan te krijgen.

“Wat is de beste laptop te koop?” is een makkelijke vraag om te stellen, maar het antwoord hangt grotendeels af van wat je er mee wilt doen. Als je de beste wilt hebben in alle opzichten dan ben je hier op de juiste plek. Dat is omdat we hier de beste notebooks en laptops hebben onderzocht, samengevat en op basis daarvan een review hebben gemaakt, relevant voor het heden (2016).

Zoals elk product waar we een review over doen, hangt de beste notebook af van vele factoren; performance, gebruikerskwaliteit, eigenschappen en prijs/kwaliteit verhouding – samen met een algemene score, en soms met een award.

Als je op zoek bent naar iets specifieks hebben we verschillende laptop samenvattingen, inclusief de beste goedkope laptop, beste chromebook en beste gaming laptop.

We doen zoveel mogelijk ons best om te zorgen dat deze laptops ook beschikbaar zijn in Nederland. Echter is dit niet iets wat we iedere dag kunnen checken dus er bestaat een kans dat het model waar je naar op zoek bent, niet beschikbaar is. Er zijn vaak ook verschillende versies/modellen van notebooks/laptops beschikbaar, dus de specificaties kunnen iets verschillen met het beoordeelde model.

De meeste laptops hebben van tevoren al Windows 10 geïnstalleerd. Natuurlijk bevat onze beste notebook groep ook de beste MacBooks, welke op OS X (nu macOS) runnen. MacBooks zijn vaak duurder dan Windows laptops, maar Apple laptops zijn tegenwoordig krachtiger en beter dan ooit tevoren. Wellicht voel je dat premium kwaliteit- en eigenschappen iets extra’s biedt, maar veel Windows laptop producenten hebben recentelijk ook aanzienlijk hun kwaliteit verbetert.

​Beste laptop aanbiedingen 2016: Hoe veel zal ik uitgeven aan een laptop?

Dit artikel kent geen grens hoeveel een apparaat kan kosten – soms komt de beste met een behoorlijke prijs. De grote vraag is of je echt het beste van het beste wilt hebben?

We vragen dit omdat je veel laptops of notebooks kunt krijgen, zelfs onder €300,- als je alleen makkelijke taken moet uitvoeren zoals web browsen, email checken en documenten creëren. Als dat het geval is zou ik een kijkje nemen naar het ‘goedkope laptop’ artikel.

Iets meer besteden aan een laptop, rond de €500,- en hoger en je zal waarschijnlijk een goede laptop kopen, maar dit heeft dan ook een ingangsniveau aan specificaties. Dan hebben we het over de meest basis processor beschikbaar, minder opslagruimte en een lage resolutie beeldschermen. Daarnaast is het ook niet de dunste en de lichtste.

Als je meer bereidt bent te betalen; laten we zeggen €800,- en hoger, kijk je naar het beste van het beste, dat wil zeggen: een super snelle processor, genoeg RAM, mega veel opslagruimte en een schitterende display. Daarnaast kun je een uitstekende kwaliteit verwachten met veel premium materialen en specificaties.

Beste laptop en notebook aanbieding 2016: Welke schermgrootte heb ik nodig?​

De grootte van je scherm is een belangrijke beslissing die je maakt bij het kopen van een laptop. De groottes variëren vaak van 11- tot 17 inch.

Bij een kleiner scherm is het misschien moeilijker om dingen te zien, maar deze laptop is veel mobieler en makkelijker om mee te nemen als je veel op reis bent. Weet wel dat een kleinere laptop vaak minder ruimte heeft met betrekking tot (usb) poorten.

Bij 17 inch koop je een computer vervanging, welke niet bepaald gemaakt is om veel mee te nemen op reis. Zeer waarschijnlijk krijg je een full-size toetsenbord, veel connectiviteit en soms zelfs een optische drive.

Over het algemeen is een 13-inch laptop de beste keuze (sweet spot). Zo heb je een perfecte combinatie zonder dat je mindert in eigenschappen. Zorg wel dat je eerst reviews en specificaties bekijkt van elk apparaat om zeker te weten dat het is wat je nodig hebt.

Veel laptops hebben een resolutie van 1366×768. Echter, als je de beste wilt, moet je kijken naar meer. Denk dan aan Full HD (1920×1080) en hoger, of zelfs 4K laptops.

Een paar andere dingen die je in overweging kunt nemen bij het kopen van een laptop, is of het touchscreen moet zijn of niet. Normaal gesproken wordt een laptop hier prijziger van, maar het is wellicht iets wat essentieel is of geldverspilling, afhankelijk van je gebruik en benodigdheden. Daarnaast komen veel laptops met een hard scherm, terwijl veel mensen liever een reflectief mat scherm hebben. Ook iets om naar te kijken.

Beste laptop aanbiedingen 2016: Hoeveel opslagruimte heb ik nodig?

Zoals gewoonlijk hangt de opslagruimte af, van waar je een laptop voor wilt gebruiken. Over het algemeen wil je zoveel mogelijk hebben zonder geld te verspillen aan een upgrade (producenten kunnen hiervoor extra rekenen).

Een SSD betekent dat je laptop sneller loopt, maar zorgt niet voor extra ruimte zoals een harddrive. Sommige laptops hebben een combinatie van deze twee, maar dit gaat vaak ten koste van opslagruimte. Dus nogmaals, het is belangrijk om de specificaties goed te bekijken voordat je een laptop koopt als je niet wilt eindigen met een externe harde schrijf die je continu moet meeslepen.

Veel mensen hebben baat bij een 500GB drive om dingen op te slaan zoals foto’s, video’s en muziek. Echter, als je op zoek bent naar een groot aantal opslagruimte (wellicht ben je een fotograaf die gebruik maakt van RAW, of je wilt gewoon het beste van het beste), kijk dan naar 1- of 2 TB opslagruimte.

Geheugen (RAM) is waar programma’s en onderdelen worden opgeslagen, alleen als je deze gebruikt. Des te meer, des te beter. Beschouw 4GB als een absoluut minimum. Met 8- 16GB heb je het ideale RAM ruimte als je er het geld voor over hebt. Je kunt niet te veel RAM geheugen hebben.

Beste Notebooks 2016: Welke laptop processor is de beste?

Tenzij je complexe of veel vragende software of games gaat gebruiken, heb je niet de nieuwste top-spec. processor nodig. Het kan natuurlijk geen kwaad, maar het is beter om een goede balans te vinden, omdat er niets erger is dat het wachten voordat een applicatie is geladen, etc.

Als geld geen probleem is, dan heb je het al gauw over de nieuwste generatie (6e) Intel Core i7 chip. Instapniveau specificatie modellen hebben waarschijnlijk een Core i3 or zelfs een Core M processor in de plaats van een i7. Een Core i5 zit er perfect tussenin, dus kijk hoeveel dit extra kost voordat je een beslissing maakt.

Als je niet zeker weet welke generatie de Intel processor is, kijk dan naar het model nummer (de eerste paar nummers). Als voorbeeld: een Core i5-6500 is een 6e generatie CPU.

Als je de laptop wil gebruiken om te gamen, ook al is het hoofdzakelijk een werk-apparaat, wil je niet volledig afhankelijk zijn van de ingebouwde graphics die bij de Intel chip komt. Om te gamen met degelijke resolutie en frame rates, wil je een goede grafische kaart hebben (tenminste een mobiele versie). Je wilt dan waarschijnlijk de bestegame laptop bekijken om iets te vinden. Meer interesse in andere technologie, zoals drones? Neem dan eens een kijkje op kamera drohne kaufen.

De beste Laptops van 2016: Garantie en andere overwegingen

We raden alle laptops, notebooks en MacBooks hieronder aan. Er zit geen enkele slechte keuze tussen. Echter raden we je wel aan om ze een paar keer goed door te lezen voordat je je hard verdiende geld gaat uitgeven. Geen enkele laptop is perfect en degene die bij uw benodigdheden past is wellicht niet degene die bovenaan staat.

Batterijduur en garantie zijn twee dingen die verschillen per laptop. Dit kan heel goed verschillen per winkel.

After-sales service is iets wat je in acht moet nemen voor niet alleen laptops, maar bijna alles wat je koopt. Check of het bedrijf een service lijn heeft. Daarnaast zijn forums perfecte plekken om een idee te krijgen of een bedrijf goed of slecht is met betrekking tot de garantie.

Wellicht heb je niet eens direct met de producent te maken als er iets is met je laptop binnen de eerste 6 maanden, omdat het dan zaak is van de retailer om met dit probleem om te gaan. Wanneer gekocht van Amazon heb je hier geen problemen mee en is een volledige teruggave van het bedrag, of vervanging van het product geen probleem.

1. Dell XPS 13 9350

dell-xps-13-9350

De Dell XPS 13 9343 staat schouders boven kop bovenaan in de Windows wereld van de laptops. Een compacte laptop welke de competitie verslaat in veel belangrijke factoren zoals: beeldkwaliteit en ‘near-borderless display’. Dit is een 13.3-inch laptop welke minder ruimte inneemt dan een 11.6-inch model. Matige thermische management moet wel verbetert worden, terwijl een niet-touchscreen versie makkelijk alle andere problemen kan oplossen.

2. Asus ZenBook UX303U

asus-zenbook-ux303u

Rond de €1000,- is de ZenBook UX303U een van de beste laptops op dit moment, maar doet zichzelf tekort aan batterijduur in vergelijking met de (net zo dure) MacBook Air. Ook al heeft deze een snellere processor performance een superieure HD mat display. De nieuwste ZenBook is een goed gebalanceerde, slimme en krachtige Notebook.

3. Microsoft Surface Book

microsoft-surface-book

Het is een dure laptop, maar de Surface Book is een prachtig stukje technologie gecombineerd met een uitstekend (uniek) design, top-notch kwaliteit en premium specificaties. Batterijduur is geweldig en er is veel dat je kunt doen met het Surface Book model. De vraag is of je hem kunt betalen?

4. HP Envy 13

hp-envy-13

De HP Envy 13 doet veel dingen goed. Het design, de mousepad, de performance en het scherm zijn allemaal erg goed. Het gebruiken van deze laptop is erg plezierig in de meeste opzichten. De fysieke draagbaarheid is fantastisch en is duidelijk gemaakt met een verstandig budget. Het is een goede aankoop, maar er zijn een paar problemen; tenzij het gebruik erg licht is, is de batterijduur teleurstellend en is de kwaliteit iets minder indrukwekkend dan het op eerste gezicht lijkt. Het is in de eerste instantie iets minder luxueus wanneer je naar de foto’s kijkt. Echter, met in acht nemen van de eigenschappen, performance en waarde, is het enige aspect waar je over na moet denken de batterijduur. De Asus UX305 duurt langer, ook al heeft deze laptop een iets minder goed keyboard en mist deze iets van HP’s pure kracht.

5. Retina MacBook Pro (15 inch, 2015)

retina-macbook-pro-2015

We moeten toegeven dat we het jammer vinden dat MacBook Pro van dit jaar geen quad-core Intel Broadwell processor heeft ingebouwd. Echter, deze verfrissing heeft hier 2 voordelen van: snellere graphics en een langere batterijduur. En dat terwijl deze MacBook Pro beschikt over de snelle Force Touch Trackpad interface. Ondertussen zal de upgrade in flash-drive opslagruimte er als nerdy eruitzien, maar het zal de gebruiker zeker belonen in een toename van dagelijkse productiviteit. De 15-inch behoudt zijn plaats als de “premium mobiele werkstation laptop”.

6. Dell Inspiron 7559

dell-inspiron-15-7559-review

Een beetje lomp maar door de duurzaamheid zal de Dell Inspiron 15 7559 Series geen desktop computer als vervanging nodig hebben. Krachtige discrete graphics zullen gamers en professionals zeer tevreden stellen, ook al reflecteert het scherm soms een beetje. Als je hier mee kunt leven is dit een goede waarde.

7. Lenovo Yoga 710 11"

De Lenovo Yoga 11 710 is een geweldig klein apparaat voor degene die veel reizen of geen grotere laptop nodig hebben. Dit is een van de beste alternatieven van de 12-inch MacBook. Een kleine machine die betere waarde biedt dan Apple, zelfs zonder het touchscreen en de ultra flexibiliteit benoemd te hebben. Het is niet erg krachtig, maar dat is niet het punt. Het toetsenbord, net zoals sommige andere Lenovo’s recente modellen, is ook niet perfect. Maar gezien de waarde dat deze laptop biedt is het zeker het overwegen waard.

8. Asus Zenbook UX305CA

asus-ux305ca-review

De Asus ZenBook UX305CA is een misschien wel voorspelbare upgrade van de UX305. Het heeft een nieuwere CPU en een veel hoger resolutie scherm. Ondanks dat blijft het een extreem draagbare (mobiele) laptop die er erg duur uitziet, ook al is het dat niet. Dat je deze notebook al voor €600 (op het moment van schrijven van dit artikel) kunt kopen, laat zien dat bedrijven zoals Asus nog steeds de ‘cutting edge’ zijn, ondanks dat de prijzen van Apple iets verbetert zijn. Een grote, scherpe, glanzende edge. Deze laptop zal nog steeds snel voelen voor dagelijkse activiteiten, ondanks de Core M CPU. Dit soort gebruik maakt het perfect voor mensen die dagelijks veel tussen cafés hoppen voor meetings. Als je naar iets op zoek bent voor met name thuis, is misschien iets meer kracht en een scherm met een iets hoger contrast beter voor je.

9. HP Spectre 13

hp-spectre-13-review

De HP Spectre 13 doet wanhopig zijn best om eruit te zien als een laptop van de toekomst, wat een aantal voor- en nadelen brengt. Zijn uitstekende draagbaarheid (mobiliteit) is behoorlijk interessant en ook al polariseert het design een beetje, het is zeker fancy en heeft een verrassend krachtige CPU voor een laptop zo dun. Daarnaast is het keyboard erg strak en fijn te gebruiken. De processor zorgt voor veel enthousiasme onder de mensen bij deze laptop, maar dat is ook exact de reden dat deze laptops tekort aan geheugenkaart- en USB poort ingangen heeft. Er is een publiek voor de Spectre 13, maar als je nog niet klaar bent voor een draadloze werkdag zou ik er nog een keer over nadenken.

10. Lenovo Yoga 900

lenovo-yoga-900-review

De Lenovo Yoga 900 is een laptop die je echt vraagt om te geloven in zijn design type. Het is tenslotte niet goedkoop en voor deze prijs kun je een laptop krijgen met veel meer kracht, als je niet op zoek bent naar iets ontzettend mobiels en dynamisch. Dat is waar deze laptop in uitblinkt. Naast het erg dun zijn, licht en allround erg goede kwaliteit biedt, het dunne design laat deze laptop daar komen waar andere niet kunnen komen. De batterij van deze laptop gaat minimaal een volledige werkdag mee. Het keyboard kan een beetje onwennig zijn, maar als je daar doorheen kunt kijken is deze laptop een van de top portable laptops die er is.

11. 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro (begin 2015)

13_inch_retina_macbook_pro_review

Ook al ziet het eruit als alle andere Retina-scherm 13-inch MacBooks, de vroege 2015 revisie loopt ver voor op de eerdere modellen. De opslagruimte-snelheid is het dubbele van de baanbrekende snelheid van het 2013 model. De nieuwe Force Trackpad heeft zeer goede voordelen met betrekking tot touch-control en een intelligente coprocessor die helpt bij het interpreteren van digitale bewegingen. De Broadwell processor is ongeveer een van de beste upgrades waar een laptopgebruiker om kan vragen; namelijk een gigantische batterijduur. Vooruitgang in grafische performance waren minder indrukwekkend, blijkt uit onze tests, maar dit is ten minste wel positief veranderd. ’s Werelds fijnste 13-inch notebook is nu onaantastbaar, helemaal gezien het feit de prijs onder de €1000 blijft zoals de voorgangers.

12. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

microsoft_surface_pro_4_review

Er is veel om van te houden als je het hebt over de Surface Pro 4. Het design is dunner en lichter om mee te beginnen. Het scherm is geweldig, er is genoeg power aanwezig, het nieuwe Surface Pen is beter en het toetsenbord is een gigantische vooruitgang. Echter, het design is soms erg onhandig, het is duurder dan veel andere laptops en de Type Cover die je sowieso nodig hebt zit niet bij de prijs inbegrepen, wat de waarde doet dalen.

13. Acer Aspire V3-574G

acer-aspire-v3-574g

Voor onder €600 is de Aspire V3-574G makkelijk aan te raden. Het heeft een goede balans aan positieve eigenschappen van het IPS scherm, tot het precieze toetsenbord en hoge kwaliteit CPU. Nvidia graphics zorgen voor erg fijne gameplay tot 720p. De 5-urige batterijduur (ook al is het de helft van de beste) kan misschien zelfs de halve dag doorkomen bij laag gebruik.

14. Microsoft Surface Pro 3

ms_surface_pro_3

Een erg degelijke laptop vervanging en een ok tablet maakt de Surface Pro 3 zonder twijfel aantrekkelijk en indrukwekkend. Als je 1 apparaat nodig hebt om alles te doen, kunnen wij geen ander apparaat bedenken dan deze. Helemaal als je naar de kosten kijkt van een discrete laptop, tablet en desktop PC, De vraag blijft of mensen graag 1 apparaat willen in plaats van meerdere gadgets die individueel beter zijn in bepaalde taken. Microsofts recentste resultaten geeft de indruk dat de Surface Pro 3 veel harten en zielen heeft gewonnen. Heef het de jouwe ook gewonnen?

15. MacBook Air (15-inch, begin 2015)

macbook_air_11_inch

Beschikbaar voor dezelfde prijs als vorig jaar, de nieuwe 11-inch MacBook Air heeft dezelfde supersnelle opslagruimte als voorheen en dat met 10% toename in processor performance. Gaming performance was altijd al borderline en nu is dat niet veel beter geworden; eerder langzamer. Over het algemeen is de batterijduur toegenomen met bijna een derde, wat een erg handige upgrade is op de al zeer degelijke 10+ uur batterijduur van de vorige generaties.

16. 13-inch MacBook Air (begin 2015)

macbook-air-review

Na extensief testen kwamen we tot de conclusie dat de MacBook Air (13-inch, begin 2015) iets anders is dan het 2014 model. De Thunderbolt 2 update is handig voor het verbinden met hoge resolutie UHD displays en een paar procent meer processor power is altijd welkom. Echter bleken grafische verbeteringen en batterijduur helaas niet aanwezig uit onze testen, ondanks een nieuwe Intel processor, waarvan wij dachten dat dit beter werd. Uitgebracht met dezelfde prijs als het model van het jaar ervoor verdient deze zeker de aandacht als een van de fijnste draagbare (mobiele), dynamische laptops beschikbaar – helemaal nu de flashdrive snelheid nog eens 100% erbij heeft gekregen – en het blijft de meer betaalbare lichtgewicht notebooks.

17. MSI GE62 2QD Apache Pro

msi-ge62-2qd-apache-pro

Erg krachtig voor geweldige games en comfortabel te gebruiken. De GE62 heeft alleen een teleurstellende batterijduur. Het heeft een geweldige display en een respectabel toetsenbord om te gamen en speelt daarnaast makkelijk games af met een hoog detail zonder enige problemen.

18. Asus Zenbook Pro UX501

asus-zenbook-pro-ux501

De Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 is een laptop dat er geweldig uitziet op papier, als je niet afschrikt van de prijs. Het heeft genoeg power, hoge kwaliteit en een ultra hoge resolutie scherm, inclusief touchscreen. Je kunt er zelfs games op spelen. Het is alles wat veel mensen willen zien in een laptop. Echter, door een paar kleine dingetjes kan het moeilijk op tegen een MacBook Pro 15 of Dell XPS 15 waar je misschien op hoopt. Ten eerste: de schermarchitectuur limiteert de impact van een hoge resolutie beeldscherm in de meeste omgevingen. Het is ongelooflijk reflecterend op 2 verschillende niveaus. Dat de CPU-koeler een beetje irritant geplaatst is en het keyboard behoorlijk luidruchtig klinkt zoals een drone: beste drone kopen, zijn kleine minpunten. Maar combineer dit met het schermprobleem, zorgt dat ervoor dat deze laptop niet echt mee concurreert met de allerbeste. Je kunt het je veroorloven om kieskeurig te zijn als je zoveel geld hebt om uit te geven.

In this 360 Nature Relax VR Meditation with Autumn Zen Orb virtual experience you’ll be able to unwind on a relaxing meditation deep in the High Sierra Nevada Mountains. Let go of your thoughts in virtual reality, while immersed in a secluded calm place among the big trees and abundant beauty. (More)

Walmart’s tech incubator Store N°8 today launched its next startup, a VR merchandising company called Spatial&. The company offers VR experiences that enable customers to connect with merchandise, and is kicking things off by collaborating with DreamWorks Animation VR tour. At select Walmart locations across the U.S., Spatial& will set up a VR experience in the parking lot, allowing customers to visit DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” through VR. Afterwards, customers are directed to a branded, physical gift shop where they can make purchases.

The experience is meant to help DreamWorks market their film ahead of its February 22 release, while Walmart gets to hawk film merchandise to its customers.

It’s not all that different from the “exit through the gift shop” concept found at theme parks.

Upon entering the experience, customers are greeted by the film’s characters Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and are then led into a “dragon’s cave” where they’ll put on VR headsets and get seated in Positron motion VR chairs powered by the HP VR backpack.

The VR story they engage with will take them on a five-minute journey into the movie’s world, where they interact with other characters, including  Astrid, Hiccup, Toothless, Hookfang and more. During this experience, participants will have a multi-sensory encounter, thanks to hand tracking and 6DOF (6 degrees of freedom) in the Voyager VR motion chair.

When the experience wraps, customers are guided into a themed gift shop where they can buy merchandise like plush toys, action figures, DVDs, video games, and more.

Some merchandise from this collection will also be sold across 2,000 Walmart stores – not only those with the VR experience.

On the technology side, Spatial& and DreamWorks leveraged servers and workstations with Intel Xeon Scalable processors to stitch together high-res images and 360-degree VR videos. For the experience itself, the startup uses HP Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Omen by HP Mindframe Headsets, and PCs with Intel Core processors. Outside, parents can follow along with what their children are viewing via Intel-powered Omen by HP Gaming Laptops.

“We have set an extremely high bar for quality and innovation for the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, and our partners at Spatial& exceeded our expectations with their incredible work on this project,” said Abhijay Prakash, chief operating officer of DreamWorks Feature Animation, in a statement about the launch.“This latest Dragon film displays DreamWorks’ best in class creative abilities combined with state of the art advances in animation technology, and we are thrilled that this experience created by Spatial& lives up to that reputation while allowing fans to journey straight to the center of this unique world we’ve created for the film. It’s a truly exhilarating experience,” Prakash added.

Walmart says the experience will go live at 16 stores in the U.S., starting this weekend and continuing through early April.

Those locations include the following:

  • Burbank, California (1301 N Victory Place) – February 15-16
  • Pico Rivera, California (8500 Washington Boulevard) – February 17-19
  • Anaheim, California (440 Euclid Street) – February 22-23
  • San Bernardino, California (4001 Hallmark Parkway) – February 24-26
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (5200 S Fort Apache Road) – March 1-2
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada (6464 N Decatur Boulevard) – March 3-5
  • Glendale, Arizona (5010 N 95th Avenue) – March 8-9
  • Gilbert, Arizona (2501 S Market Street) – March 10-12
  • San Antonio, Texas (8923 W Military Drive) – March 15-16
  • New Braunfels, Texas (1209 S Interstate 35) – March 17-19
  • Grand Prairie, Texas (2225 I-20) – March 22-23
  • Allen, Texas (730 W Exchange Parkway) – March 24-26
  • Sugar Land, Texas (345 Highway 6) – March 29-30
  • Katy, Texas (1313 N Fry Road) – March 31-April 2
  • Rogers, Arkansas (4208 S Pleasant Crossing Boulevard) – April 5-6
  • Bentonville, Arkansas (406 S Walton Boulevard) – April 7-9

Spatial& is one of several tech startups being incubated by Walmart’s Store No. 8, which launched in 2017 to focus on retail innovation. Other businesses being incubated there include conversational commerce startup Jetblack, from Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss; stealth startup Franklin from Wim Yogurt founder Bart Stein; and AI lab Project Kepler.

Now that we’re in a calm moment for VR (especially after the 2016 wave), it’s probably a good time to review the different sets of VR-related usability heuristics out there. From a selfish perspective, I want a list of 5–20 defining heuristics that I can use to guide my design process, and also to provide usability feedback in a structured manner. If you’ve never used heuristics before, you’re missing out (read the first section here). They can become a taxonomy for everyone on the team to discuss usability issues, and they help your team stay objective. It’s time I found this for my VR work.

Here are the criteria that I’m using for this evaluation:

  1. Good coverage: Ideally, this is a one-stop-shop for reviewing the usability of a VR app. The heuristics cover both VR-specific, as well as non-VR-specific usability principles that still apply.
  2. Approachable: The heuristics can be quickly taught to a non-designer, so that we can use them in a conversation. They’re also brief enough for me to glance at while I’m designing.
  3. Hardware agnostic: Different headsets afford different interactions, and new headsets are coming every year. While not perfect, Nielsen’s heuristics managed to survive the internet’s multitude of design cycles, so let’s try to get some heuristics on the book that can work for at least 5 years.
  4. Validated: When Nielsen created his heuristics, he didn’t just create a list and throw them out into the wild — he actually presented details on how he built the list using actual research data.

The lists I’ll be reviewing:

YouTube UX Research team’s heuristics

Heuristic Evaluation for Virtual Reality Systems (page 2)
By Rabia Murtza, Stephen Monroe, and Robert J. Youmans

Good Coverage: 3/5
Approachable: 5/5
Hardware agnostic: 2/5
Validated: 2/5

The YouTube UX Research team developed this list of 9 heuristics based off of a survey of common VR usability issues — a majority being students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The team acknowledges the flaws in this approach, but nevertheless, it does contain a solid foundation. Not to mention, the heuristics are pertinent to today’s common VR usability issues. I especially appreciate that heuristic #9 basically says “don’t just rely on this list” by referencing Nielsen’s heuristics (although I’d of course prefer that they looped in some of the most relevant of Nielsen’s heuristics into this list).

Unfortunately, the team’s goal here was to create a list that combines hardware and software, so it’s notable that there are only 4–5 heuristics here that a commonplace VR designer can take action on.

Sutcliffe & Gault’s heuristics

Heuristic evaluation of virtual reality applications (page 3)
By Alistair Sutcliffe and Brian Gault, 2004

Good Coverage: 3/5
Approachable: 5/5
Hardware agnostic: 5/5
Validated: 2/5

Sutcliffe & Gault’s list of heuristics is both concise and self-explanatory. Much of the list is relevant for a VR designer/developer today, and it has great coverage of common VR usability issues. Because this list is relatively concise, you’ll be able to post them up on the wall and glance at them as you see fit. It’s also short enough to teach to a developer, in order to make these heuristics a regular part of your vocabulary. It’s also great that this list contains a (just a few) heuristics that can be applied outside of VR, such as with “Support for learning”.

Unfortunately, the methodology for creating the list is a bit opaque — they describe some of the academic sources from which they received inspiration, but it appeared to be a subjective process.

Joseph Gabbard’s usability guidelines

A Taxonomy of Usability Characteristics in Virtual Environments (page 16–35)

Good Coverage: 5/5
Approachable: 1/5
Hardware agnostic: 3/5
Validated: 3/5

Holy academioly! This is humongous.

Joseph Gabbard’s thesis contains the most thorough list I’ve come across. It’s a collection of 195 guidelines broken down into 4 categories. He developed this list by surveying papers, conferences, online searches, and general discussions with academics in the field. Using his guidelines, you’ll be sure to catch usability issues that you may not have been looking out for. Gabbard’s guidelines also cover usability issues that are not specific to VR, which I believe is really important (see SysInfo1-SynSinfo9 on page 24).

The depth of this list is great for experienced VR designers, but problematic for newcomers (he never intended to make it short, anyways). Each guideline is also relatively brief, which means that some are a bit confusing. You may have to do some additional reading on each guideline if you’re not deep in the VR space. The guidelines also cover hardware considerations, and use-case specific considerations such as collaboration. My ideal list would nix these, but that’s a personal preference. Just be sure to cross out the guidelines that aren’t relevant to your app.

Olga Ivanova’s heuristics

VR Heuristic Evaluation Tool

Good Coverage: 3/5
Approachable: 3/5
Hardware agnostic: 4/5
Validated: 1/5

Note: I know Olga personally, although we’ve never discussed heuristic evaluations prior to publishing. I came across her work when doing my own online research.

Ivanova’s list of heuristics provides great coverage of VR-specific usability issues, although it’s quite long at 64 heuristics. The heuristics are practical (especially for modern VR apps), and are largely geared towards VR app designers. She’s also developed a tool that you can use to jot down notes under each heuristic, which makes it easier to get going with the list.

It’s important to note that she makes no claim as to the scientific validity of the list. She’s an independent VR designer, and it’s up to you to decide if it covers your bases. In addition, the heuristics are occasionally too prescriptive, or unclear. Additional explanation on her methodology for creating this list, as well as more details on each heuristic would be helpful.

Which list should I use?

To be honest, none of these lists quite fits the bill for what I’m looking for. I think it’s important to be able to hand VR designers/developers a single, comprehensive, but manageable list of heuristics that they can use without additional research. While all great in their own ways, none of them checks all of the boxes.

But, that’s just where I stand.

After all, this isn’t a science, it’s an art. Even if the methodologies for creating these lists appears to be rigorous and academic, those methodologies are still extremely subjective. So, thank you to all of the researchers and designers who are pushing the field. Be sure to browse through their work, and pick one list that you think you’ll be able to use repetitively and consistently. The most important thing is to use something to help guide your critical thinking and discussions.

Let me know how it goes! Follow me on Twitter @cgallello and shoot me a DM.

😎,
Chris


Which VR usability heuristics should I use? was originally published in Virtual Reality Pop on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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As a reader of this column, I suspect you know I am releasing a new AR-enabled book, Convergence, How The World Will Be Painted With Data, on March 12 at the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin. For the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing excerpts from the book like this one, by Paramount Pictures’ resident futurist and serial entrepreneur Ted Schilowitz.

Ted Schilowitz, Paramount Pictures resident Futurist, was the first full time employee at Red Camera. Ted Schilowitz

We’ve been going to movies for a century now and still don’t call the experience virtual, even though a film can transport us to new worlds. Films offer a temporary escape from reality and are an enjoyable pastime. But, the average American adult attends only 5 movies a year. While we love losing ourselves to motion pictures, we aren’t spending every waking moment with a bucket of popcorn in the movie theater.

Extended reality and its flavors — augmented, mixed and virtual reality — are all exciting new mediums primed to change the world. VR, like its movie theater ancestors, offers us an escape from reality, while MR is poised to change our daily lives, and soon.

We enjoy the fantasy of movies in a movie theater some of the time, but we like watching TV pretty much all the time. It turns out humans like to multi-task significantly more than they like to single-task. They want to be grounded in reality while dabbling in storytelling magic. Whether it’s productivity, social connectivity, entertainment or the latest news, humans like MR storytelling whenever they can access it.

Nearly everyone carries a box connected to an endless stream of storytelling magic. This mini-TV, a smartphone, lets us do more of what we already enjoy: watching TV all the time. Whether on a 1-inch smartwatch, a 5.2-inch smartphone display, the newest 50-inch paper-thin TV, or a jumbotron at an arena, we watch as fantasies play out in front of our eyes and ears, only semi-grounded in the reality around us. It is somehow easy to become lost in a 5.2-inch display, though we could easily look up and away at any time.

Think about the things we used to do pre-smartphone era. We used to send mail that we wrote on paper and sent physically; now we do an on-screen-version called email. We used to look at physical paper maps; now we use the screen-version called Google Maps or Waze. We used to send small physical notes to each other; now we send the digital-version called texting or Snapchat or WhatsApp or WeChat. We used to shoot pictures and movies with chemical formulations and physical mediums, distribute them with paper prints and plastic film; now we simply do a screen-version with our small handheld digital cameras and screens.

https://medium.com/media/2f6ce57ff6f19359f19818c44939dd3f/href

The screen we use the most isn’t the biggest, it’s actually one of the smallest. It needs to fit into our pocket or purse. It’s portable. It travels with us — a portal into our MR universe. It’s a multi-tasking phenomenon.

Audio also lends well to our desire to multitask. Little white earbuds and big bold clamshells cover our ears, feeding us music and story, while we drive, walk and move through reality. The average North American adult consumes content for around 11 hours a day.

Our smartphones have become so powerful and useful that we use them for almost everything. The question is: what’s the next evolution of the magic box? Will it cover our eyes and pull us into an artificial world? Will it provide storytelling magic like our smartphones, just in a more evolved and useful form? At some point, will it make a bit more sense to “wear our screen” rather than “hold our screen?” Many of the world’s largest, most powerful technology companies are betting that the 5.2-inch handheld screen will not be the ultimate MR interface. Once they’re logical and fast enough, once they’re smarter than our smartphones, we will move to a new platform, tossing the smartphone into the same drawer as the flip phone of yesteryear.

The XR revolution must provide both MR and fully occluded VR experiences. When we want a full escape from reality, a flip of a switch is all we’ll need. But most of the time we’ll be in MR, where we can multitask with access to everything, in its real-world context.

While we can experience almost anything in VR, the future will be MR. No longer will our little TVs be limited to tiny rectangles we hold all day long. They will evolve and the physical size of the device will not be the limiting factor to the magic it provides.

Originally published at www.forbes.com on February 11, 2019.


Why MR Is The Main Attraction In An XR World was originally published in Virtual Reality Pop on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Less than a year after making a $3 billion investment into the future of virtual reality with the purchase of Oculus VR, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was considering another multi-billion-dollar bet to ensure that his company dominated the VR platform — buying Unity, the popular game engine that’s used to build half of all gaming titles.

This claim is made in a new book coming out next week, “The History of the Future,” by Blake Harris, which digs deep into the founding story of Oculus and the drama surrounding the Facebook acquisition, subsequent lawsuits and personal politics of founder Palmer Luckey.

In the early days while he was writing the book, Harris worked closely with the Facebook PR team and was granted regular interviews with key execs before, as he puts it, his “access came to an end.” Harris claims that when researching the book, he gained access to more than 25,000 documents from sources, including a nearly 2,500-word email sent by Mark Zuckerberg to then-Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, Sheryl Sandberg and a half-dozen other Facebook leaders detailing his interest in buying Unity. TechCrunch has not independently verified the contents of the email.

The email, dated June 22, 2015, lays out an argument for further prioritizing AR/VR and buying the game engine company. The proposed deal, codenamed “One” according to the book, would have brought one of the world’s most recognizable game developer tool startups into the fold of the internet giant bent on bringing consumers on-board its upcoming VR platform as it looked to ward off competition from other tech giants.

Unity CEO John Riccitiello

The potential deal obviously did not end up going through, and since 2015, Unity has raised nearly $600 million on a valuation north of $3 billion. A report from Cheddar earlier this week noted the company was setting its sights on a 2020 IPO.

Nevertheless, the email seems to offer rare perspectives into Zuckerberg’s thoughts on virtual reality and Facebook’s competitive footing. Though only parts are referenced in the book, Harris has sent TechCrunch the full email embedded below:

2015 06 22 MARK’S VISION by on Scribd

“We are vulnerable on mobile to Google and Apple because they make major mobile platforms,” the email reads. “From a timing perspective, we are better off the sooner the next platform becomes ubiquitous and the shorter the time we exist in a primarily mobile world dominated by Google and Apple. The shorter this time, the less our community is vulnerable to the actions of others. Therefore, our goal is not only to win in VR / AR, but also to accelerate its arrival. This is part of my rationale for acquiring companies and increasing investment in them sooner rather than waiting until later to derisk them further.”

Beyond staking a claim on the VR platform, Zuckerberg also frames an argument for owning Unity as a means of pushing competitors to support Facebook’s other platform services.

“If we own Unity, then Android, Windows and iOS will all need us to support them on [sic] larger portions of their ecosystems won’t work. While we wouldn’t reject them outright, we will have options for how deeply we support them,” Zuckerberg continues. “On the flip side, if someone else buys Unity or the leader in any core technology component of this new ecosystem, we risk being taken out of the market completely if that acquirer is hostile and decides not to support us.”

Though, again, a Unity deal never came to fruition, Zuckerberg seems to be strongly in favor of the deal going through — though he notes there are clear challenges that could leave their efforts bungled.

“Going back to the question of whether it is worth investing billions of dollars into Unity and other core technology over the next decade, the most difficult aspect to evaluate is that we cannot definitively say that if we do X, we will succeed. There are many major pieces of this ecosystem to assemble and many different ways we could be hobbled. All we know is that this improves our chances to build something great.

“Given the overall opportunity of strengthening our position in the next major wave of computing, I think it’s a clear call to do everything we can to increase our chances. A few billion dollars is expensive, but we can afford it.”

Facebook did not comment on the email to TechCrunch. A spokesperson, however, did send along a statement about the book: “The book doesn’t get everything right, but what we hope people remember is the future of VR will not be defined by one company, one team, or even one person. This industry was built by a community of pioneers who believed in VR against all odds and that’s the history we celebrate.”

PlayStation’s PSVR headset hasn’t exactly taken over the world, but the head of PlayStation says the company has big plans for its VR console.

Shawn Layden told Game Informerthat the next 10 years of the PSVR’s development will be dramatic, but he didn’t provide any specifics on what the growth will look like. Instead, Layden compared game development’s future to its past, acknowledging the dramatic growth in fields like virtual reality, augmented reality, e-sports, and even mobile gaming. That kind of dramatic growth will only continue, and that’s something Layden believes will affect PSVR.

He used the growth in smartphone development, like the numerous Android and Apple devices that have been released since the first iPhone 3G in 2008, as an example to examine what could happen to the PSVR as VR tech continues to evolve.

“By the same token, you look at PSVR right now, none of us are going to be able to imagine what it will look like 10 years from now, but the change will be that dramatic,” Layden said. “You can’t get to 5.0 until you do 1.0. It’s just the nature of the thing.”

Layden used old-school Nokia phones as a way to illustrate the issue he believes some people have with PSVR. Sony sold 1.3 million PSVR units in 2018 alone, which does outsell its Oculus Rift and HTC Vive competitors. But compared to Sony’s PS4 console, which has sold 91.6 million units to date since being released in 2013, the PSVR is selling much slower. Layden blames attention spans and expectations for what a device should be. He views the PSVR as part of 1.0 technology — something that is in its infancy, but customers want perfection right away.

Still, he has high hopes for PSVR — and gaming, in general — as the industry continues to grow. Gaming is no longer in its infancy; it’s one of the most dominant forms of mainstream entertainment, and Layden believes continued investment will only help speed along its development.

“We’ve gone from being the third cousin in entertainment to being one of the three bright stars,” Layden said. “Arguably, depending on how you do the math, the largest one from impact on a financial basis.”

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Liberty Island is a federally owned island in Upper New York Bay in the United States, best known as the location of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World).) The island is an exclave of the New York City borough of Manhattan, surrounded by the waters of Jersey City, New Jersey. Long known as Bedloe's Island, it was renamed by an act of the United States Congress in 1956.
Liberty Island became part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1937 through Presidential Proclamation 2250, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1966, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island. (More)

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Don't forget that this is 360 video: you can change the angle of view. The Solovetsky Islands are the biggest archipelago in the White Sea. Hope you enjoy our new 360 video from the North of Russia. (More)

Owlchemy Labs to Release Anticipated VR Title ‘Vacation Simulator’ on April 9

Owlchemy Labs, the award-winning virtual reality (VR) studio behind Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, today announced the highly anticipated release of their next multi-platform VR title, Vacation Simulator.

The studio’s follow-up to smash hit Job Simulator will be available April 9th on SteamVR and Oculus for $29.99. The game will release on PlayStation VR in Summer 2019. Announced alongside the game’s release date are the vacation destinations featured in the game: Vacation Island’s Beach, Forest, Mountain, and Resort.

In the year 2060— after record enrollment in the wildly successful Job Simulator— robots decided to uncover what else humans did besides ‘job’. After years of balancing buoyancy levels, cataloguing campfire chronicles, and securing ski slope safety protocols, their research led to the creation of a rough approximation of ‘not jobbing’: the Vacation Simulator.

Built from the ground-up for VR, Vacation Simulator presents a humorous, fully-interactive experience to rediscover the true meaning of ‘time off’! Explore the vibrant world of Vacation Island and make real memories of a simulated vacation with feature-rich destinations, a colorful cast of Bots, and endless interactions. Reallocate your bandwidth and get ready to splash, s’more, snowball, and selfie your way to optimal relaxation!

“Vacation Simulator is bigger than anything we’ve done before, and we’re excited to see how everyone experiences ‘vacation’ in their own way,” says Devin Reimer, Chief Executive Owl at Owlchemy Labs. “The sheer interactivity and connected world we’ve built with Vacation Simulator makes for truly mind-boggling possibilities. It’s VR— there is no wrong way to play.”

The destinations of Vacation Island let players experience RECREATION beyond the theoretical limit. Beach, Forest, Mountain, and Resort destinations offer players typical vacation activities with a not-so-typical twist thanks to robot misinterpretations of human pasttimes. Fans of the tongue-in-cheek humor from the ‘Bots’ of Job Simulator will rejoice in expanded interactivity with the large cast of characters that inhabit the world.

“To interact with Bots in Vacation Simulator, all you need to do is wave,” explains Andrew Eiche, Chief Technology Owl and Cable Slinger at Owlchemy Labs. “You don’t need a button, you immediately go to wave and it just feels natural. It’s a simple, powerful interaction that allows players to interact with characters and connect with the VR world in a very personal way.”

In addition to innovations in character and world interactivity with Vacation Simulator, Owlchemy placed a focus on representation with the introduction of a robust avatar customization system. In a recent blog post, the studio shared the various customization options for avatars— skin tone, visor color, hair style, hair color, facial hair, and glasses— as well as the intensive research and development hours put in to make an inclusive avatar system in VR.

“We believe everyone should be able to enjoy VR and feel like themselves,” Reimer says. “At Owlchemy we strive to make VR for everyone, and I believe we’re taking huge steps towards achieving that with Vacation Simulator.”

About Owlchemy Labs
Owlchemy Labs is a creative studio with a passion for polished and unique VR experiences and games. Founded in 2010 and based out of Austin, TX, we believe that interaction and using your hands is what truly makes virtual reality the most incredible place to build unique content that blows players minds. We love building experiences oozing with style and full to the brim with our unique brand of humor. Our titles include the award-winning VR triple launch title “Job Simulator”, the Emmy-nominated “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality”, and our upcoming original VR title “Vacation Simulator”.

The post Owlchemy Labs to Releasing Anticipated VR Title ‘Vacation Simulator’ appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

The 91st Academy Awards take place this Sunday, a time to celebrate the very best achievements in filmmaking. To help get you in the red carpet spirit, we suggest checking out some of the best in cinematic VR available on Viveport and Viveport Subscription that push the boundaries of storytelling. From surreal dreamscapes that delve into the human mind to colorful and cartoony adventures into the cosmos, there are tons of immersive filmic experiences to be had on Viveport!

In this recently released cinematic adventure, you join protagonist Astra on an experimental journey into the psyche of her ailing mother. Memories and imagination swirl within her mindscape, as Astra explores in search of answers and closure. The developers of this imaginative and moving story sought to “create an experience that celebrates life, even in the face of sadness and loss”. We think they succeeded with flying colors (be sure to bring some tissues though).

Experience Lucid today as a Viveport and Viveport Subscription exclusive. Not a member? Start your free trial today.

The critically-acclaimed interactive narrative series The Gallery has been a must-play since the first episode debuted on Viveport. Using all the immersive tools at their disposal, Cloudhead Games are crafting an engaging, nostalgia soaked episodic story with a rich universe to explore as players search for their missing sibling in a fantastical unknown realm. Find out more about why this is a don’t miss experience directly from the developers.

The Gallery – Episode 1: Call of the Starseed and Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone are both available now on Viveport and as part of Viveport Subscription

Letting go of a loved one is one of the most challenging things a person will do. The development team at NSC Creative sought to create a raw, emotional VR experience that captured the torrent of feelings that goes along with the grieving process. With surreal visuals, powerful audio, and breathtaking moments, Vestige distills complex experiences and emotions in a way that highlights the human experience in this autobiographical documentary-like narrative.

Vive and Oculus Rift users can experience this emotional journey on Viveport and Viveport Subscription today

Life on the seas can be a lonely and surreal one. Doubly so when you’re a sentient fisherman puppet!  Stuck inside the tiny cabin of a lighthouse, you’ll need to navigate a humorous, twisty turny world of challenges in order to seek safety as a storm approaches. Featuring mind-bending puzzles and a compelling and metaphorical narrative, A Fisherman’s Tale feels like an independent animated short sprung to life in VR.

Check out A Fisherman’s Tale on Viveport and discover for yourself what exists at the top of the lighthouse…

What are we made of? Where did it all come from? These are the huge questions that We Are Stars attempts to tackle with tons of charm and a colorful aesthetic in this Pixar-esque virtual science documentary that will expand your mind and make you smile. Featuring narration by Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), you’ll be whisked away on a 13.8 billion year adventure to unwrap some of the biggest mysteries of the universe.

Discover that We Are Stars today on Viveport and Viveport Subscription today!

MANIFEST 99 is an ominous and eerie story about finding redemption in the afterlife. Set on a mysterious train inhabited by a murder of crows, you assist four travel companions on a journey to their final destination. Controlled with just your headset, you gaze into the eyes of crows to move to their perch, viewing the world from their scale and perspective. Look into the eyes of your travel companions and uncover the reason why they – and you – are on this train traveling into the great beyond.

Experience this stylish and moody mystery today on Viveport and Viveport Subscription

Based on the Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name, The Great C is a cinematic VR narrative featuring a thrilling storyline, stunning environments and a powerful soundtrack. The viewer is transported to a post-apocalyptic landscape in which the remnants of humanity are ruled by an all-powerful supercomputer known as the Great C. Each year, the nearby village is forced to send a young person on a pilgrimage to appease the mysterious machine – a journey from which no one ever returns. Leaving the safe confines of your village, you must decide whether to accept the rules of this harsh society or fight against the oppressive reality of the world.

Take part in this award-winning experience from the creators of Transpose and Blasters of the Universe on Viveport and Viveport Subscription today!


What are some of your favorite cinematic VR experiences? Swing by our community forums and share with us your favorite movie-like moments with Viveport.

The post Experience Oscar worthy stories with these cinematic Viveport titles appeared first on VIVE Blog.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit – Announced and First Look on Nintendo Switch

Experience a new dimension ofNintendo Labowith the launch of theNintendo Labo: VR Kiton April 12, which combines the innovative physical and digital gameplay of Nintendo Labo with basic VR technology* to create a simple and shareable virtual reality experience for kids and families.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is the fourth kit in the Nintendo Labo series, providing the tools tomakeDIY cardboard creations called Toy-Con;playa variety of games with these creations; anddiscoverhowNintendo Switchtechnology brings it all to life.

“This new kit builds on the core tenets of Nintendo Labo – Make, Play and Discover – to introduce virtual reality in a way that’s fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart”

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit offers six new Toy-Con creations to build, including the Toy-Con VR Goggles, which combine with the other creations to allow players to interact with the virtual world through imaginative real-world actions. Fend off an alien invasion with the Toy-Con Blaster, visit a colorful in-game ocean and snap photos of the sea life with the Toy-Con Camera and so much more.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit encourages passing around the Toy-Con creations among a group of people so everyone in the room can easily join in on the fun. To help encourage this social gameplay, players simply slip the Nintendo Switch console into the Toy-Con VR Goggles and hold it up to their eyes to explore numerous games and experiences – no head strap needed.

“This new kit builds on the core tenets of Nintendo Labo – Make, Play and Discover – to introduce virtual reality in a way that’s fun and approachable for both kids and kids at heart,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We wanted to design an experience that encourages both virtual and real-world interactions among players through passing around Toy-Con creations.”

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will launch in retail stores with two primary configurations, one that includes all Toy-Con creations and one that includes a smaller selection of projects to get started:

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit:Available at a suggested retail price of $79.99, the complete Nintendo Labo: VR Kit includes the Nintendo Switch software and materials to build all six Toy-Con projects – the Toy-Con VR Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Toy-Con Camera, Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Elephant – as well as a Screen Holder and Safety Cap. It’s a good option for kids and families who want to dive in to the full experience.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster:Available at a suggested retail price of only $39.99, the Starter Set includes the Nintendo Switch software, plus all the components to build the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Toy-Con Blaster, as well as the Screen Holder and Safety Cap. The Starter Set is a great entry point into the world of Nintendo Labo VR.

Players that own the Starter Set can purchase the following optional expansion sets to expand their experience:

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 1**:Available at a suggested retail price of $19.99, Expansion Set 1 includes the Toy-Con Elephant and Toy-Con Camera.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 2**:Available at a suggested retail price of $19.99, Expansion Set 2 includes the Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Bird.

The inventive Toy-Con Garage mode – included as part of all Nintendo Labo software – returns with Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, offering basic programming tools for players to experiment with. More information about the experiences offered by Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be revealed in the future.

The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster and complete Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be available in stores on April 12. The two expansion sets will be available exclusively online athttps://store.nintendo.com/. For more information about Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, visithttps://labo.nintendo.com/kits/vr-kit.

Remember that Nintendo Switch featuresparental controlsthat let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about other features, visithttps://www.nintendo.com/switch/.

*Users can easily turn off the VR feature and use the included Screen Holder instead of the VR Goggles to enjoy any of the included games and experiences in 2D.

**The two expansion sets do not include the Toy-Con VR Goggles or Nintendo Labo: VR Kit software.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Nintendo Switchsystem and the Nintendo 3DSfamily of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has sold more than 4.7 billion video games and more than 740 million hardware units globally, including Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, as well as the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DSfamily of systems, Super NES, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, Wiiand Wii Usystems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Americas. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website athttps://www.nintendo.com/.

Note to editors: Nintendo press materials are available athttps://press.nintendo.com, a password-protected site. To obtain a login, please register on the site.

Contacts

GOLIN
Justin Aclin
212-373-6004
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Rich George
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The post Nintendo Labo VR Kit Presents Shareable, Simple Gaming Experiences appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

Japanese toymaker Bandai has developed a digital spin on mom or dad kissing your boo-boo to make it all better: augmented reality band-aids.

Targeted at kids aged 3–6, these digital band-aids are designed to soothe a child with some consoling words from their favorite animated characters.

Right now, this augmented reality technology is limited to the Japanese kids’ market and characters, but if it catches on, don’t be surprised if American characters like Mickey Mouse, Sponge Bob or My Pretty Pony don’t end up on your kid's knee telling them that everything is going to be okay.

Still, it’s interesting to see the many ways that smartphones and AR technologies are beginning to integrate themselves into our daily, and most basic, tasks.

And while it would be pretty cool to see Luke Skywalker pop up on your hand, nothing is as satisfying to a child as a kiss on the forehead and squeeze from their parent.

Related


How Augmented Reality Soothes Kids Scrapes and Cuts was originally published in Virtual Reality Pop on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Sketchnote for VR AR applications and Barriers

Microsoft Hololens 2 was launched on 24-Feb and while the launch was staged, I did a quick brainstorming on what VR and AR have to offer for improving Government services. Also listed down barriers for implementation. The entire brainstorming is presented as a SketchNote for quick visual reference.

Government service agencies have got unique challenges

  • They have number and variety of services to offer with limited resources — human and funds
  • Employee performances are low due to a variety of reasons
  • They have to improve services keeping public satisfaction and political appropriateness
  • They generate a lot of data but do not know how to use them

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. Infographic: The Future of Virtual Reality
2. Mario Kart in a real vehicle with VR!
3. Oculus Go, the Nintendo Switch of VR
4. How XR Can Unleash Cognition

Virtual and Augmented reality offers a unique medium of information distribution and at a comparatively lower cost.

VR and AR offers enhanced productivity in the following ways

Making the right information available at the right time. Imagine a civil worker operating on water pipeline at site unaware of the layout. He can put on AR headset and can pull out a 3d drawing of the pipeline contextually laid out on the physical location where the worker is standing. This is a huge leap in reducing cognitive load for the user who otherwise has to consume information and mentally map the layout in real physical space.

Microsoft Hololens Telepresence

Connect real people on real scale via telepresence. When we see people in front of use in real life scale the dexterity of communication is elevated. This makes the user comfortable for real-life interactions.

Credits: Information for this brainstorm and SketchNote were taken from the original article by Deloitte Insights.

Kumar Ahir is an independent consultant working in the field of Immersive Technologies and Design. He is an evangelist for new Immersive Technologies and Design by actively doing workshops on Design Thinking, Design for AR and VR, Prototyping for Mixed Reality technologies.

He aims to create a better Design Ecosystem for Immersive Technologies.

Know more about him at LinkedIn and Twitter

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Adoption of AR and VR in Government services and Challenges was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

HTC has had a little bit of a rough ride these past few years. After betting the farm on VR, the company has had to make some substantial business strategy shifts to keep the division kicking in the face of a less-than-robust headset market and a behemoth margin-less competitor that’s alright losing a few billion dollars.

HTC’s latest play, a revamped Vive Focus headset that features tracked motion controllers, could be seen simply as playing catch-up with Oculus and their upcoming Oculus Quest standalone headset, but it’s likely only aiming to keep pace with innovation to dissuade enterprise customers from switching teams.

The Vive Focus Plus maintains a lot of the system specs of the previous generation, but taps some souped-up “visuals” and an interesting new controller tracking system that relies on ultrasonic feedback rather than camera-based optical tracking to locate the controllers in 3D space. The tracking system is a bit peculiar-sounding, but Qualcomm built out support for the tech in its VR reference design headset and the Focus Plus is again powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset, according to a spec list obtained by Road to VR.

Since launching the HTC Vive in 2016, HTC has gradually shifted its business to enterprise customers looking to outfit their organizations with headsets for training and design visualization purposes. The company has, at times, tried to play both sides, especially with its desktop VR hardware with pricing focused on enterprise customers but marketing aimed at consumers as well. That’s easier, given the Vive Pro’s compatibility with Valve’s SteamVR platform and the associated content, but HTC can’t just wander into a consumer mobile platform in the U.S. without a more concerted push.

No details on a release date or the enterprise pricing. The regular Vive Focus starts at $599.

Gaming company Valve confirmed today that it has laid off several full-time employees and contractors, possibly from its virtual reality hardware team. “Last month, 13 full time employees were let go and a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated. It’s an unfortunate part of business, but does not represent any major changes at the company. We thank those affected for their contribution and wish them well in future endeavors,” spokesperson Doug Lombardi told The Verge.

Valve didn’t confirm where the former employees worked, but yesterday, Reddit user 2flock posted a message, which is apparently from an anonymous Valve employee. “They fired like half the Valve hardware team recently ... Wonder how long it’ll be until the remainder get the Jerry treatment,” it reads — possibly a misspelled reference to Jeri Ellsworth, the veteran Valve hardware designer who was fired in 2013 after Valve decided it wanted to focus on VR instead of the AR headset she’d been championing. Valve’s only known hardware projects are VR devices and the aging Steam Controller; it discontinued the Steam Link box last year.

2flock was the source of another Valve VR-related leak last year, posting photos of an apparent Valve prototype headset. So while we can’t confirm whether this is a real message, it’s relatively credible. This morning, former Valve VR team member Nat Brown tweeted that he was no longer working for the company. Variety reported that layoffs hit members of the VR team, although it didn’t offer details.

Alongside its work on the Steam storefront and games like Dota 2, Valve has been a driving force in virtual reality. The company created the widely used SteamVR software platform, and it co-developed the groundbreaking HTC Vive headset, which launched in 2016. Last year, Valve started shipping a second-generation “Knuckles” Vive controller to developers, and as recently as November, there were rumors that it was designing a new headset alongside a VR prequel to Half-Life.

Valve has stepped back from the Vive, however, handing development mostly over to HTC. While it was originally supposed to partner with other manufacturers on SteamVR products, an LG-made headset never materialized. Several VR and AR companies have either laid off employees or shut down amid a market that’s growing slower than many people expected.

Variety reports that today’s layoffs don’t mean that Valve is exiting VR, but it’s not clear whether that’s explicitly confirmed or simply implied from the promise that there weren’t “any major changes at the company.” It’s also possible that Valve could continue to work on SteamVR software but bow out of the hardware market. On the bright side, the Knuckles drivers were updated last month, and Valve is advertising a job listing for a “VR and hardware” software engineer. Also, Oculus and HTC have both announced new headsets for 2019. So if Valve is still working on VR hardware, we might also hear about it this year.

Vive Studios and Vertigo Games today announce Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl, a highly competitive, cross-platform multiplayer VR card-battler from the creators of Arizona Sunshine. For the first time, PC VR and standalone VR players will join together as the game launches with full cross-platform support for major VR platforms on April 2, 2019.

From the creators of Arizona Sunshine, set in the Skyworld universe, Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is an action-packed, real-time multiplayer card-battler that will turn best friends into foes, built exclusively for VR. Unlock, collect and upgrade dozens of cards to build a powerful deck, and watch your cards come to life as you cast spells and summon forces to wipe your enemy off the map. Join a clan, take on opponents from around the globe in regular online tournaments, and claim your place on the global leaderboards. This is no friendly battle… this is war!

“Vertigo Games and Vive Studios have delivered on the VR industry’s desire for a gripping multiplayer game where players can battle friends regardless of their different VR hardware,” said Joel Breton, Vice President, Vive Studios. “We are very excited to be partnering with Vertigo Games to bring Skyworld Kingdom Brawl to the entire VR community.”

“We set out to deliver a consistent, uncompromising cross-platform experience across PC VR and standalone VR hardware with Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl and it’s exciting to see how far we’ve been able to push the devices; from drawing massive numbers of units on screen to delivering awesome combat effects,” said Trevor Blom, Lead Tech at Vertigo Studios.

For those brave enough to set foot in its merciless VR battlegrounds, Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl is headed to GDC San Francisco next month where its highly competitive gameplay will debut in a cross-platform multiplayer hands-on demo on Vive Pro and the Vive Focus with dual 6 degrees of freedom (6dof) controllers in the VR Play Area.

To celebrate today’s reveal of Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl, Vertigo Games launches the original Skyworld VR wargame into Viveport Subscription today.

Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl will launch for HTC Vive (Pro), HTC Vive Focus, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headsets on April 2, 2019, followed by a Vive Focus Plus launch later this year.

The post Vive Studios and Vertigo Games Announce “Skyworld: Kingdom Brawl”, A Competitive Card-Battler Built for VR appeared first on VIVE Blog.

JET FIGHTER 18||Amazing 360 look out||Flight pilot simulator
Hope you enjoy!! (More)

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Please watch: "360° Space Station Base Jump In Virtual Reality | 360 Journey"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma0H2HpTR9g
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One of the key highlights of this week’s Mobile World Congress 2019 has been HTC’s unveiling of a new 5G smart hub, the tech firm’s first dedicated smart hub capable of sharing a 5G connection with up 20 devices at the same time via a hotspot.

HTC 5G Smart Hub Device

The “5G Hub“, as the hotspot has been dubbed, has been integrated with a media streaming device along with a digital instant and will hit the market by the second quarter of this year. The hub promises to stream virtual reality content directly to Vive Focus without the requirement for a PC connection. Avid customers won’t have to wait long for the launch of the consumer version of the device for them to begin enjoying the powerful new connectivity and robust cloud infrastructure that it promises.  The 5G connectivity will usher in a new era of super fast speeds, power and versatile mobile connectivity. Most of us currently use 4G mobile connections. It’s expected that the ushering in of the powerful 5G mobile connectivity will have a trickle-down effect on the streaming of AR and VR content, thereby propelling this industry forward to a new era of powerful immersive experiences.

The HTC 5G Smart Hub is simply a 5-inch HD touchscreen that resembles a smaller-sized tablet. It is small enough to comfortably fit on a work desk or shelf at your home and has the capacity to supply internet connection for 20 Vive Focus devices. The hub is not just ideal for fast internet speeds but it’s also critical for a seamless cloud-based virtual reality experience. It’s a much superior upgrade over the current 4G connections.

HTC is already partnering with a host of carriers from around the globe including Finland’s Elisa, Sunrise from Switzerland, Deutsche Telekom, Telstra, UK’s EE and Sprint. In the coming months, it’s expected that more global carriers are likely going to get on board HTC’s 5G Hub.

Users of HTC’s 5G Mobile Smart Hub will gain access to unparalleled power and speed in connectivity. For streaming purposes, users will say goodbye to some of the performance bottlenecks of the 4G networks such as constant issues with the internet and fuzzy graphics. With the robust speed of the 5G networks, users can look forward to fast and seamless streaming of high quality 4K videos as well as low lag gaming applications at 60fps. The new technology will be ideal for high power users such as gaming vloggers and streamers who are looking for very high speeds for seamless streaming.

But 5G technology will go even farther in unlocking new tech frontiers. It’s particularly going to have a significant impact in the quality of the AR and VR experiences, enabling users to seamlessly stream high quality heavy content. HTC’s new 5G delivers superb bandwidth to a variety of devices and will bring to reality the dream of Vive Reality where users can have a robust immersive environment for a variety of virtual experiences which can be streamed to multiple devices.

The rollout of 5G will have a noticeable impact on the VR front, allowing users to use their Vive Focus headsets without tethering with cables since these headsets are already wireless. It makes for great convenience, enabling a wireless experience while still maintaining very good quality mobile experience.

HTC says its hub will facilitate an ease of use by effectively replacing the Wi-Fi router along with cables thanks to a convenient plug-to-play setup.

The HTC 5G Smart Hub is more than just a hotspot device. It will also serve as a home media centre. The device will feature a 5-inch HD touch display along with remote control and voice command features. The hub is powered by the most up to date Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC Mobile Platform. It also has a Snapdragon 5G Modem and antenna modules that have been integrated with RF transceivers. The battery rating is a 7660mAh. In terms of software, it runs an Android 9.0 Pie so you can use with streaming services like Netflix.

If you are running a business, the hub will come with a Snapdragon 855 Platform as well as a Qualcomm 60 Hz Wi-Fi chipset that’s based on an 802.11ad specification. This is capable of supporting multi-gigabit speeds and a wire-equivalent latency. The business package will also include a Qualcomm 2×2 Wi-Fi 6-ready chipset that can support next generation capacity, at-range performance and efficiency. It will be ideal for workspaces and small businesses with at most 20 people at a particular time. Bigger capacity workspaces can use the Gigabit Ethernet port in the HTC 5G Smart Hub.

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