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VRoamer Generates On-The-Fly VR Experiences While Walking Through Buildings

VRoamer is a new Microsoft Research project that generates VR worlds on-the-fly while users walk through unknown building environments. Players can wear their HMD and no longer have to rely on artificial locomotion techniques such as teleportation. They simply walk through their environment and the game is built around them. This is possible through the use of a wearable tech camera that scans the environment in front of the user and visualizes a playable virtual world. The system paints its virtual environment over real world objects such as doors. The system keeps the user safe from objects in the real world, even though those objects are hidden to the user. Transitions are done through corridors that are constructed to the available space in the user's environment. Players can open real doors to progress the game and the corridors may contain weapons, enemies, keys, etc. Objects that suddenly appear in a user's environment such as other people may become skeletons or traps.

In this paper, we present VRoamer, which enables users to walk unseen physical spaces for which VRoamer procedurally generates a virtual scene on-the-fly. Scaling to the size of office buildings, VRoamer extracts walkable areas and detects physical obstacles in real time using inside-out tracking, instantiates pre-authored virtual rooms if their sizes fit physically walkable areas or otherwise generates virtual corridors and doors that lead to undiscovered physical areas. The use of these virtual structures that connect pre-authored scenes on-the-fly allow VRoamer to (1) temporarily block users' passage, thus slowing them down while increasing VRoamer's insight into newly discovered physical areas, (2) prevent users from seeing changes beyond the current virtual scene, and (3) obfuscate the appearance of physical environments. VRoamer animates virtual objects to reflect dynamically discovered changes of the physical environment, such as people walking by or obstacles that become apparent only with closer proximity.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 22, 2019 4:47 PM (CDT)

Man Spends a Week Inside VR

In spite of some growing pains associated with the technology, it seems that virtual reality and augmented reality will play a significant role in the future of society. But just what happens to people if they spend days, or even weeks, inside of VR/AR? One YouTuber decided to find out, as he strapped himesflf into a VR headset for 168 hours straight, and live streamed the whole thing. Check out the experiment below:

"I now dream in virtual reality."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 8:19 AM (CDT)

VR Rhythm Game 'Beat Saber' Sells over 1 Million Copies

Beat Saber may have become the first VR title to sell more than 1 million copies. Beat Games co-founder and CEO Jaroslav Beck thinks the secret to the game's success is "It is super intuitive." He also credited his team for creating a game that didn't crash and didn't lead to motion sickness. "'The code is super polished,' Beck said." In addition to today's release of the paid DLC "Monstercat Music Pack," the developers are considering adding new genres of music to the game and more self-published free music. Beat Saber currently maintains a 97% positive approval rating on Steam.

Beat Saber surpassed the one million unit milestone in February, according to Beat Games co-founder and CEO Jaroslav Beck, who credited word-of-mouth for most of the game's success in a recent interview with Variety. "We did zero PR whatsoever," Beck said. "We didn't expect that it would blow up that crazy."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 14, 2019 2:32 PM (CDT)

Fundamental Surgery Is a VR Medical Training Platform Featuring Haptics

Caution, the videos in this article show realistic simulations of surgery in VR using 3D models, so it is possibly NSFW. Billed as the "flight simulator for surgeons," FundamentalVR is pioneering the use of VR to create immersive training tools for the medical community. CEO Richard Vincent outlined how the company is using low cost hardware, haptics, and global distribution through its reduced-cost platform model to breakdown the boundaries of adoption. This will allow the company to put surgical training into the hands of surgeons that have never had access to it.
The Fundamental Surgery platform "combines virtual reality (VR) with cutting-edge haptics (the sense of touch) to create a scalable 'flight simulator' experience for trainee and qualified surgeons, allowing them to experience and navigate the same visuals, sounds and feelings they would during a real surgical procedures." The platform is equipment agnostic, compatible with any laptop, VR headset or haptic device such as the HaptX gloves combined with a 3DS Haptic arm demonstrated in the video below. Last year, Fundamental VR signed a strategic collaboration and joint development agreement with Mayo Clinic to jointly develop surgical VR simulation and education products.

"When it comes to surgical training simulations, a sense of touch is a game changer, but has traditionally only been possible with immobile equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Richard Vincent, CEO, FundamentalVR. "The Fundamental Surgery platform delivers highly sophisticated tactile feedback at a fraction of the cost through a software approach that can work with a range of haptic devices. Our platform currently works with haptic arms, but is designed to evolve as hardware innovations allow new products such as HaptX Gloves to come to market. We are proud to work with industry leaders such as HaptX and are excited to demonstrate how HaptX Gloves integrated into our Surgical Haptics Intelligence Engine TM takes the sensation of surgery to an exciting new and natural level."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 13, 2019 10:15 PM (CDT)

Microsoft Reveals Project xCloud: a Vision for Game-Streaming

Microsoft has revealed Project xCloud: its vision of the future of game-streaming. As long as there is a client for the device, the service enables gamers to play the games that they want on the device that they want. Just like music where you have a choice to listen at home, on the commute to work, at work, or at a cafe; Project xCloud seeks to do the same for gaming. The only requirement is a good internet connection and the previously mentioned client, as the Microsoft Azure datacenters will take care of the heavy work of rendering and remotely streaming the exact game experience that the game's creators intended onto the gamer's device. Public trials start this year.

While our vision for the technology is complementary to the ways in which we use consoles today, Project xCloud will also open the world of Xbox to those who may not otherwise own traditional, dedicated gaming hardware. True console-quality gaming will become available on mobile devices, providing the 2 billion-plus gamers around the world a new gateway to previously console- and PC-exclusive content. We can achieve this vision with the global distribution of Microsoft's datacenters in 54 Azure regions and the advanced network technologies developed by the team at Microsoft Research. We're excited about our ability to deliver a best-in-class global streaming technology.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 13, 2019 10:44 AM (CDT)

AdoredTV Reveals New AMD Leaks and Social Media Woes

In his newest video, Jim of AdoredTV on YouTube discusses fanboys, old school tech reviews, Zen II leaks, Ryzen 3000 leaks, overclocking the Radeon VII, and more. Listen to him reminisce over the days when reviewers told it like it was without a filter and then compare it to the advertiser friendly, nice guy image most have now. The beginning of the video is about his attempts to control what happens to him on social media. Enjoy!

Tech Talk 5 - Quitting Reddit, New Zen II "Leaks" and OC'ing the Radeon VII!

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 08, 2019 6:30 PM (CST)

Nissan Will Use a Vive and HaptX Gloves to Prototype Designs

Nissan is teaming up with haptic feedback expert HaptX to create a system where designers and engineers can prototype future car designs in a virtual environment. Using HaptX gloves and what appears to be an HTC Vive, the workers can interact with mock-ups of car interiors and exteriors without having to build an expensive physical prototype for every new design. Nissan seems to be particularly invested in VR technology, as they claim to be "the first automaker in Japan to use HaptX Gloves." They also showed off a number of driver-focused AR technologies at CES last January, including a rain-parting navigation system and a holographic, animesque avatar that pops out of the dash.

It takes years between creating the first 3D model to sitting in the driver's seat of a complete physical prototype. HaptX Gloves can reduce that time from years to days, letting you grip the steering wheel, adjust the volume dial, and feel the click of the glove compartment in VR, before the first piece of steel is bent. This type of nuanced interaction allows auto designers to get a better sense of their customer’s experience. "Automakers have faced imperfect options in the design process. VR controllers are unnatural and inadequate for realistic feedback, but full-scale physical models are expensive and limited in their utility," said Jake Rubin, Founder and CEO of HaptX. "HaptX Gloves address these limitations, enabling auto designers to feel their new vehicle models throughout the design process and allowing for rapid prototyping within VR."

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 08, 2019 11:59 AM (CST)

Vivendi Sells the Remainder of Its Shares in Ubisoft

Vivendi says it has sold the remainder of its shares in Ubisoft. This amount represented a 5.9% stake in Ubisoft. Reuters reported that Vivendi made a capital gain of $249 million. Vivendi was determined to takeover Ubisoft, but Ubisoft was able to fight them off.

"Vivendi is no longer a Ubisoft shareholder and maintains its commitment to refrain from purchasing Ubisoft shares for a period of five years," Vivendi said in a statement. "Vivendi, which already owns Gameloft, a global leader in mobile video games, confirms its intention to continue to strengthen its position in the video games sector," it added.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 07, 2019 5:16 PM (CST)

Nintendo Launches Labo VR Kit

Following up on their immensely profitable Labo kits for the Switch, Nintendo just announced a new Labo kit designed for "sharable, simple, VR gaming experiences." The basic kit includes cutouts for VR Goggles and a VR blaster for $40, while the full package with a cardboard elephant, camera, bird, and wind pedal will set you back a whopping $80. Naturally, the internet isn't happy about how much Nintendo is charging for colored cardboard cutouts, but those pricey packages apparently include a license for Nintendo's new VR software as well. Thanks to cageymaru for the tip.

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.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 07, 2019 12:14 PM (CST)

Boneworks Has the Physics Underpinnings to Be a Next Generation VR Masterpiece

The VR development studio, Stress Level Zero is working on its most ambitious VR title yet; Boneworks. Boneworks will feature advanced physics that aren't found in other VR titles. It uses the capabilities of the upcoming SteamVR Knuckles to allow users to grip one end of an object like a crowbar and slide/rotate their fingers around the other end. Not only does it allow users to see and use each of their fingers individually in the VR world, gamers can toss objects up with one hand and catch it with the other. In first the video, the developers demonstrate some of the forward-thinking, next generation technology featured in the game. Special thanks to Supercharged_Z06 for the information.

BONEWORKS Is a narrative VR action adventure using advanced experimental physics mechanics. Dynamically navigate through environments, engage in physics heavy combat, and creatively approach puzzles with physics. Advanced Physics: Designed entirely for consistent universal rules, the advanced physics mechanics encourage players to confidently and creatively interact with the virtual world however you want. Combat: Approach combat in any number of ways you can think off following the physical rules of the game's universe. Melee weapons, firearms, physics traps, environments, can all be used to aid you in fights with enemy entities. Weapons, lots of weapons: Boneworks provides players with a plethora of physics based weaponry; guns, swords, axes, clubs, spears, hammers, experimental energy weapons, nonsensical mystery tools, and anomalous physics weapons.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 01, 2019 5:32 PM (CST)

Boeing Reveals an Intelligent Drone Designed to Escort Manned Fighters

Yesterday, Boeing introduced a autonomous UAV designed to perform the role of a "loyal wingman to manned platforms." The press release says that the aircraft is about 38 feet long has a range of over 2,000 nauticle miles, while Defense News says it can carry unspecified weapons into combat. It can supposedly be controlled from the ground or the manned aircraft its following, and Boeing also mentioned that it will "Use artificial intelligence to fly independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft." Unfortunately, they stopped short of revealing just how extensive the aircraft's autonomous systems are, what sort of silicon they use for the aircraft's artificial intelligence, or what kind of performance we can expect from the plane. But unlike most other military drones I've seen, this particular airframe seems to be optimized for supersonic (or at least high transonic) travel.

"This aircraft is a historic endeavor for Boeing. Not only is it developed outside the United States, it is also designed so that our global customers can integrate local content to meet their country-specific requirements," said Marc Allen, president, Boeing International. "The Boeing Airpower Teaming System provides a transformational capability in terms of defense, and our customers - led by Australia - effectively become partners on the program with the ability to grow their own sovereign capabilities to support it, including a high-tech workforce." First flight is planned for 2020.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas February 28, 2019 10:49 AM (CST)

Volvo Reveals the New Polestar 2 Electric Performance Vehicle

Polestar is an electric performance brand and a division of Volvo. Today, Polestar revealed the Polestar 2 which is priced to compete with the Tesla Model 3 as the base model is expected to start at $45,000. Polestar 2 is a premium five-door fastback with two electric motors creating 408 hp and a 78 kWh battery capacity that will enable a targeted range of 275 miles. The car uses 324 pouch cells to create the battery. Similarly to how the Tesla Model 3 is built, the Polestar 2 will feature a 27-module battery pack integrated into the floor that contributes to the rigidity of the chassis as well as improves the car's noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. Polestar didn't say much about the charging network other than "Polestar is setting up strategic collaborations to give Polestar 2 owners easy and hassle-free access to the world's largest public charging networks." The car will feature a subscription service which charges a monthly fee for car ownership and allows for an option to return or upgrade the vehicle at the end of the term. Preorders are now open for the more expensive model that starts at $63,000.

"Polestar 2 is our first fully electric car and first volume model. Everything about it has been designed and engineered with passion and dedication. As an electric performance brand, and through the forthcoming launch of a portfolio of fully electric cars, Polestar is determined to address the world's air quality challenges. Polestar delivers electric performance cars that are great to own and drive," says Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru February 27, 2019 9:57 AM (CST)