Although the VR/AR market hasn’t really stood out much because of the CES, a number of developers still showed great enthusiasm and have been actively progressing. Microsoft added the Reality Rooms in the Garage, allowing staff members to test VR/AR/MR hardware and software during their break time. Nintendo, although not very involved with VR, also introduced Nintendo Labo, a series of DIY kits that have a similar playstyle to VR games.
When it comes to hardware, the price of the Oculus Touch controller, which was previously only available as part of the whole set, can now be purchased separately for $70. Moreover, the HTC Vive Pro was selected as the best game controller at the CES.
The entertainment center Area 15 will open in Las Vegas in 2019
Recently, VR experiences are becoming more and more widespread. Even Las Vegas, one of the most lively cities in the world, is starting a VR franchise.
Area 15, which is set to make its appearance in Las Vegas, is a completely reformed world. It has themed activities, artistic mechanisms, restaurants, bars, and a splendid nightlife. The venue is targeted towards gamers and Sci-Fi lovers. It will provide everything from VR, AR, and even MR.
Area 15 is a collaborative venture created by Fisher Brothers, a real estate development corporation, and Beneville Studios, their creative partner. These two New York-based companies decided to take on this new project, aiming to feature a variety of entertainment experiences and retail businesses on 126,000 square-feet of land. Furthermore, the rest of the land (40,000 square-foot) will be occupied by music festivals and various events, along with restaurants and other retail businesses.
“Area 15 is a complete renovation of the retail business. This will be an experiential market for the 21st century, and a new concept of retail and entertainment,” said Winst on Fisher, the CEO of Fisher Brothers.
Meow Wolf, a multimedia company, has already signed a contract to enter the complex, and artists and companies in Las Vegas will cooperate and participate in developing the content of Area 15. One of Meow Wolf’s biggest investors is none other than George R.R. Martin, the creator of Games of Thrones, so people are fairly optimistic about the company’s endeavors.
“Area 15 is the place that understands the changes in cultural trends. Not only will it feature diverse entertainment, restaurants, and businesses, it will also provide entirely new experiences. We are excited to offer our service to the citizens of Las Vegas and customers coming from all around the world,” said Vince Kadlubek, the CEO of Meow Wolf.
Oculus update - Rift Core 2.0 - is open to all users
Oculus VR has recently distributed a major update centered around the AR user experience. The Rift Core 2.0 update enhanced the performance and stability of the Rift VR experience by comprehensively adjusting overall controls and improving the quality of the experience. It is expected that Oculus Rift users will be more satisfied with the enhanced VR experience.
Oculus once distributed the Rift Core 2.0 update on their Test Channel last December. However, this update includes other adjustments that all Rift users can enjoy. If you haven’t used the Rift Core 2.0 yet, you can expect more enhanced performance and other main features.
The newly-adopted feature called Dash is also something to be noted. Dash is a new application process built into the menu, and it allows users to run an application in a much more convenient fashion while using VR. The January update also includes fixes for various minor issues.
Since the release of the Oculus Rift, users have been asking for a customized installation feature. With this update, users can now choose where they want their VR content installed. The feature is expected to be valuable for people who use separate drives on a particular device.
Windows MR HMD is half-priced at Amazon
The top priority of Windows MR HMD has been to make people more familiar with AR and VR at a reasonable price. However, the price itself was not cheap when it was released last year. The price of a bundle of HMD and a controller wasn’t too different from that of the Oculus Rift. In fact, it was more expensive.
According to Game Deals, the sales information community on Reddit, Windows MR devices by Dell, Acer, HP, and Lenovo can be purchased at half price. These transactions are done by purchasing a product from a third party and completing the transaction on Amazon. It carries quite a bit of risk, so any potential buyer should check the seller’s reviews and ratings beforehand.
These HMDs and controllers have all been designed to suit the needs of Microsoft, therefore they do not differ much in terms of performance.
G’Audio launches a space audio streaming solution for 360-degree screen
G’Audio Lab launched Sol Livestreaming, an audio streaming solution for a 360-degree screen and design spaces. It uses space audio technology and provides high-quality sound for 360-degree screens.
“A stream with hi-fi stereo sound will show new values and image on-site. Users will be able to enjoy the high-quality audio of music festivals and Esports with this VR technology,” said Henney Oh, the CEO and founder of G’Audio.
Previous iterations of audio streaming have always been done with traditional stereo sound and rounding sound mechanisms. Sol Livestreaming uses space audio technology, which detects the particular location of sounds and recreates it. This gives audiences a sense of direction and helps them to distinguish the sound’s direction, distance, and tone as well.
G’Audio will use a binaural rendering system in streaming and is also planning to display a mixed method of hi-fi stereo sound and AAC decoder.
The CTA predicts a dramatic growth for the AR/VR industry in 2018
According to a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), AR/VR technologies are forecasted to show dramatic growth in the year of 2018.
The CTA presented the results of the “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts”, which predicts that the US sales of AR/VR HMD and goggles will reach $4.9 million, a 25% increase compared to last year. In particular, the study indicates that the sales of AR glasses on a consumer level will increase drastically within 5 years.
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