Interesting Articles about VR this Week

Unity’s VR Editor Lets You Create VR Content Like a God

http://www.roadtovr.com/unitys-vr-editor-lets-you-create-vr-content-like-a-god/

“You can zoom out and in for different scale operations, but the most powerful aspect of the Chess Board is to allow creators to rapidly drop assets into your scene wit minimal scrolling or physical movement. This sounds fairly pedestrian, but watch as West uses the Chess Board view to grab and move an entire mountain range via the board and the world around her alter to match. Aside from making workflow in VR more efficient, as you’re in VR you instantly get a feel for the scale of the object that’s being moved and whether your intended new location for it works. Designing just as you might were you a God.”

 

One Program Lets You Use Your Entire PC In VR Without Any Fuss

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2016/03/one-program-lets-you-use-your-entire-pc-in-vr-without-any-fuss/

2D games also don’t require a great deal of horsepower to run while in Virtual Desktop. “My app is built on top of DirectX and it is very lightweight,” Godin added in another thread. “It’s very optimized. The impact on the GPU is very low. I’m able to play HOTS with a 770 in VR fluidly to give you an example.”

Virtual Desktop launches on March 28 and will cost US$15, according to Godin. A demo of the program for both the Rift’s development kits is available now via Virtual Desktop’s Steam page.

Note that you’ll want Windows 10 to get the best experience though, as Windows 7 reportedly “doesn’t have low latency APIs to capture the desktop at high frame rates to make a decent enough experience”.

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Virtuix Omni Is New And Improved – Commercial Release Tentatively Slated For Q3 2016

http://uploadvr.com/omni-commercial-release/

Ergonomically, Adams highlighted the harness and ring system that now eschews the previous rock-climbing style and instead, “wraps around your legs instead of your crotch. This has been farm more comfortable for people especially those who use the system for an extended period of time.”

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Sex Ed in VR Can Prepare Young Women for Actual Sex

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/sex-ed-in-vr-can-prepare-young-women-for-actual-sex

A box pops up on the right corner of your screen. It feeds you lines like “Hey, I was just wondering, when was your last STD test?” or “Do you have any condoms?” You choose neither. Pressing forward, you move to the bed. A buzz resonates and the screen freezes: AT-RISK BEHAVIOR, it reads. You are promptly redirected to a 3D tutorial. TRY AGAIN.

Once your turn is over, you remove the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and pass it to your classmate. She places it on her head and the simulation kicks in outside her date’s dorm room.

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‘Cardboard Enabler’ Opens Google’s VR Library to Gear VR, No Root Required

http://www.roadtovr.com/cardboard-enabler-opens-googles-vr-library-gear-vr-no-root-required/

Google Cardboard apps unfortunately can’t use the Gear VR’s special inertial measurement unit (IMU), but it does hook into your onboard touchpad for ease of use, letting you tap around with the touchpad just like you would with the capacitive button on most Cardboard viewers. The app also provides a handy step-by-step guide so you can enable Gear VR developer mode, letting you turn on global low-persistence for a much higher quality, motion-blur free experience with Cardboard apps—something we didn’t even know you could do.

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Ultrasound Used To Create 3D Shapes In Mid Air That Can Be Seen And Felt

http://www.iflscience.com/technology/ultrasound-used-create-3d-shapes-mid-air-can-be-seen-and-felt

The researchers, who are based at the University of Bristol, envisage that this innovative technology could transform the way that we use 3D haptic shapes. It could lead to touchable holograms to augment learning, or enhanced gaming experience by allowing users to feel features of the game, such as a football. It could even have a place in medicine, for example by allowing surgeons to physically feel tumors by exploring CT scans.

The method, which is described in ACM Transactions on Graphics, exploits an effect produced by ultrasound called acoustic radiation force, which is the scattering and absorption of the acoustic wave. By observing how sound waves behave when they hit an object, it is possible to deduce the shape of the object. The team also realized that it is possible to feel these shapes by focusing complex patterns of ultrasound onto our hands. In doing so, the researchers created air disturbances that could be felt on the skin and seen as floating 3D shapes. The ultrasound patterns cannot be seen by themselves, but the team visualized them by directing the device at a layer of oil so that depressions at the surface appeared as spots when illuminated.

 

BRITISH PATIENT TO UNDERGO WORLD’S FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY CANCER OPERATION

http://3dvrcentral.com/2016/03/25/british-patient-undergo-worlds-first-virtual-reality-cancer-operation/

An operation on a British cancer patient is to be live-streamed around the world using virtual reality technology designed to make viewers feel as if they are in the operating theatre.

It will be performed by Shafi Ahmed, a London surgeon who has been at the forefront of pioneering virtual reality technology in surgery, and who described next month’s operation as a gamechanger for healthcare innovation and education.

The patient, a British man in his 70s with cancer of the colon, has not been named but was said to be excited about the prospect of having his operation watched internationally.

Viewers will be able to watch the surgery at the Royal London hospital from 1pm on 14 April using a smartphone and virtual reality headset. The operation, which will be filmed by a number of specialist cameras placed above the operating table, is expected to last between two and three hours.

It will run a minute or so behind the surgery in case of any unforeseen complications.

Undated handout photo issued by Medical Realities of Dr Shafi Ahmed, consultant surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital. A British cancer patient is set to have his operation live streamed using virtual reality technology in a world first. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 25, 2016. Viewers will be able to watch the ground-breaking surgery next month using a smartphone and virtual reality headset, making them feel as if they are in the operating theatre. See PA story HEALTH VirtualReality. Photo credit should read: Medical Realities /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 25, 2016. Viewers will be able to watch the ground-breaking surgery next month using a smartphone and virtual reality headset, making them feel as if they are in the operating theatre. See PA story HEALTH VirtualReality. Photo credit should read: Medical Realities /PA Wire

 

Facebook Launches Dynamic Streaming on Gear VR

http://www.vrfocus.com/2016/03/facebook-launches-dynamic-streaming-on-gear-vr/

Dynamic Streaming is a technology designed to aid the distribution of 360 degree video content. Showing only the pixels the viewer is looking at in the highest quality, Dynamic Streaming will scale down the rest of the viewable content to improve bandwidth demands and the speed at which streaming content can be transferred.

A number of 360 degree videos are available to demonstrate the technology, listed in the ‘Facebook trending’ section. Highlighted is a rhino video shot on a GoPro.

Dynamic Streaming is now available for all Gear VR owners without charge (though the video channel itself may in time offer premium content).

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Hulu Releases Virtual Reality App for Samsung Gear VR

http://variety.com/2016/digital/news/hulu-gear-vr-app-virtual-reality-1201737728/

Hulu had first announced its foray into VR back in September of 2015, but the company’s head of experience Ben Smith told Variety this week that his team decided to delay the release to get things right. “We really wanted to build an experience that we believe in,” he said.

Part of that was getting the app itself to work well, and find the best way for consumers to navigate through menus, as well as switch between immersive VR videos and Hulu’s traditional library content. But Hulu also wanted to be able to launch with enough immersive content to keep people interested beyond the first viewing session. Said Smith: “Novelty is not going to be a pleasing experience over time.”

Hulu isn’t the only video service eyeing VR. Netflix launched an app on the Gear VR last fall, but is currently giving its users access only to its regular catalog on the VR headset. Amazon recently indicated with a job posting that it is also interested in distributing VR content, but hasn’t officially announced its plans yet.

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Kevin Spacey is a virtual reality hypebeast

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/25/11305054/kevin-spacey-virtual-reality-vr

“I am a believer. I’ve been very fortunate to go and see, right up to very recently, where it all is. And I think it’s going to be revolutionary for a whole lot of reasons. First of all, let’s just think about sports […] Imagine that you can buy a ticket to be on the sidelines of a live football match while it’s happening, and be able to go… [He mimes looking around] That’s going to happen. There’s no doubt. Or a concert, that’s going to happen. Paul McCartney did a VR thing last year. Beck did one. Quite remarkably you’re so close to the stage you literally feel you’re there.

I think [virtual reality] will end up being the natural home for capturing the living theater. Because finally we can take a three dimensional experience and retain it as a three dimensional experience. I think it will work in film. Maybe not an entire film, but I think we should try and see if there are five sequences in a movie where that device, whatever it’s going to be… I don’t think it’s going to be this forever. [He mimes a large headset over his face] This reminds me of the first cell phones. I think it’s going to be quite simple, much simpler as time goes by.

But I also think of [virtual reality] in terms of education. I mean, the classroom is probably the single space that we all know that hasn’t change at all since the beginning of time. It’s a chalkboard, seats, and a teacher up front. But imagine if we can bring the best teachers in the world into that classroom. And a student can put on a headset and suddenly be at the bottom of the ocean studying science. Or be in the Globe theater watching actors rehearsing in the 16th century. Or be in the Sydney Opera House while a concert is happening.”

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