This week, HTC had the ‘2018 Vive Ecosystem Conference & Flagship Mobile Announcement’ in Shenzhen, China. HTC introduced the Vive Focus system 2.0 update and U12+, the company's new smartphone, at the conference. In addition, an interactive feature that works through a smartphone and VR device together was also revealed at the time.
There was also other exciting news including Apple WWDC and Disney’s Star Wars VR game.
No refund? Ossic X shuts down its business of VR headphone
Ossic X, a VR headphone startup that succeeded in raising 6 million dollars through crowdfunding in the year of 2016, announced that they are in the process of liquidating the business. It soon became controversial as the company did not mention anything about refunds to pre-order customers.
“This was obviously not our desired outcome. The team worked exceptionally hard and created a production-ready product that is a technological and performance breakthrough. To fail at the 5 yard-line is a tragedy. We are extremely sorry that we cannot deliver your product and want you to know that the team has done everything possible including investing our own savings and working without salary to exhaust all possibilities,” said the company in its statement.
Apple WWDC 2018 opening date confirmed
It’s another time for innovation. WWDC, Apple’s annual event, is planned to take place at San Jose for 5 days from June 4th to 9th. The conference has always been a signpost for the IT industry every year, and many media outlets and fans are looking forward to what kind of new products and technology will be revealed this time.
HTC hosted the New Ecosystem Conference and revealed U12+
On May 25th, HTC hosted a conference on the topic of “a new ecosystem, a new beginning” in Shenzhen, China. The company introduced U12+, a new flagship smartphone, for the first time at the conference, and showcased one of its key features: interaction with VR devices. In addition, partnerships with various industries were also announced, implying that their preexisting ecosystem is expected to be broadened more.
The most beloved game show, E3 - what will we see this year?
E3, one of the most famous entertainment shows in the world, will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 12th to 14th. The event is loved by countless gamers, being a place where many new games are announced and introduced; this year, VR will also have its own place in the event. What VR games will people be able to see at this year’s E3? We’ll soon find out.
Mercia partners with Digital Catapult, seeking VR/AR developments in the UK
This April, Digital Catapult, an immersive technology developer in the UK, introduced a project called Augmentor which supports startups and plans for development in the VR/AR industry. Mercia Technology, an investor for the company, recently announced its backing of the project with the company in order to bolster the VR/AR industry in the UK.
Lucid VR and RED’s partnership to develop a 180-degree 3D camera
Lucid VR recently announced its plan for developing a 180-degree 3D camera capable of 8K video and image recordings through a partnership with RED, a camera production company. The camera captures 8K video and images and converts them into a 4V format in real time. The product also provides a 3D focus adjustment feature for professionals as well.
Hardware and patents
Qualcomm announced XR1, the VR/AR HMD-exclusive microchip
According to the report by Bloomberg on May 24th, Qualcomm is expected to soon release the Snapdragon XR1 at the Augmented World Expo. The product is designed exclusively for VR and AR and is known to be part of an HMD.
GameFace Labs initiated pre-orders of a VR all-in-one development kit
GameFace Labs recently opened a pre-order webpage for a VR all-in-one development kit. Set at $600, the kit is compatible with Android devices and Steam VR. Moreover, it is based on Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 module and features two 2560*1440 OLED displays.
Disney’s new patent - are they making a Star Wars AR game?
On May 22nd, it was revealed that Disney requested a new patent named ‘Augmented Reality Interactive Experience’. The patent includes a web-based application program and an HMD technology that detects and transmits infrared light. Some leading media outlets proposed that this technology may be part of a Star Wars AR game development, and it is anticipated to be fully revealed at the Star Wars Galaxy Edge Park, expected to be opened in 2019.
Investments and M&A
VR fashion show! Alibaba invests 20 million dollars in Ordre
Ordre, a digital platform for fashion, received a new investment from Alibaba on May 22nd. Both companies have not revealed a specific amount of investment, but rumor has it that it is almost 20 million dollars.
Dreaming of one VR set per person - NOLO VR receives 10 million dollar Series A investment
NOLO VR dreams of a future where there’s a VR set for every person, and thanks to a recent 10 million dollar Series A investment, they might just make that dream come true. BlueRun Venture Capital, LianHua, and other related companies are known to have participated in this investment.
Affiliated with 87870.com, the Chinese VR-oriented media, this is an exclusive article (original article) translated and provided by Inven Korea. More VR-related major news from China will be updated on a regular basis.