A Recap of This Week in XR: End of Daydream, High End Varjo HMDs, Sony Prototypes, Wonderscope AR Content
This week’s biggest news was of course Google’s scrapping of its Daydream View headset which didn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. The Daydream View VR headset was always headed for oblivion as mobile-based VR experiences failed to take off and were superseded with other VR headset setups.
The end of this week also saw Sony launch a public prototype of its consumer augmented reality headset. It was always expected that Sony would make a big play for augmented reality. The Sony PlayStation VR is already the most popular virtual reality platform with more than 4 million shipments. Sony typically takes its prototypes to the public during the SXSW.
The End of Daydream VR
From its launch in 2016, the Google Daydream View VR never really caught on with users even as other mobile-based VR headsets such as the Samsung Gear VR (which has also recently been sunset) proved popular with users. The Daydream VR headset fail to catch on even though it provided the same 3DoF experiences as the Gear VR. Google also announced that it is discontinuing forward compatibility of the headset with its new Pixel phones.
Support for the existing HMDs now comes to an end. Google, it is apparent, is going all-in for augmented reality. PSVR still remains the most popular VR platform and it just had its third birthday. Sony will be offering some generous discounts to mark this milestone so if you are looking for some cool experiences on the cheap during this festive season, be on the lookout for some great deals.
Sony AR Ghostbusters Experiences Opens to the Public
Sony’s augmented reality Ghostbusters experience is opening to the public today and will run through to December 8th. The experience will be free and will be conducted exclusively in Japanese. For the experience, Sony will also use its prototype in a museum that will feature 60s style fashion and music along with a park that will be painted with augmented reality.
Ubisoft Now Licensed to 240 Arcades Around the World
Ubisoft has been quietly expanding over the past few months and is now licensed to some 240 Escape Rooms in location-based VR entertainment centers around the world. Ubisoft Escape Games Executive Producer Cyril Voiron provided a presentation during the XR Games Developer Conference held early this week.
More Augmented Reality Kids’ Content from Wonderscope
Within has released the sixth interactive story for Wonderscope, the AR reading app for kids. It is known as “Willowcrest Manor”. Willowcrest Manor immerses players into a ghostly role-play augmented reality, a theme that will go nicely with the spirit of the Halloween season. The new interactive story will only be available on iOS.
New Robust Virtual Training Product by Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Bohemia Interactive Solutions has unveiled a robust new virtual training product known as VBS4 that has AR, VR, MR as well as desktop training capabilities for military simulations. BISim has clients in the US, the Netherlands and Australia. The VBS4 now offers a huge change in modularity, ease-of-use, openness along with a performance and terrain enhancing capability of its new VBS Blue engine.
This represents a first step towards the realization of a full cloud-enabled desktop training product that allows up to 250 individuals to simultaneously train using the same simulation at the same time from virtually anywhere and with zero latency. The video above illustrates this further.
Varjo’s New High-End VR Headsets
This week saw Varjo launch two new high-end and steeply-priced VR headsets, the Varjo VR-2 and the Varjo VR-2 Pro. The headsets have human-eye resolution along with integrated hand-tracking, eye-tracking and a broad range of software support that now also includes SteamVR applications. Both headsets make it possible for users to design and modify 3D models, create limitless research scenarios and train in realistic environments.
Developers Now Able Access Lunar SDK
Image Metrics has brought its LUNAR SDK tech to developers. Now developers will be able to access the LUNAR cloud-based all-in-one platform which enables facial tracking, simultaneous planar tracking, image tracking as well as the use of its own apps. Companies can set up and run LUNAR in just 48 hours.