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VR Support Turns Breath of the Wild Into a Much Worse Game

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Many people have high expectations for VR gaming. When Nintendo confirmed its major franchises would get VR support, the excitement was almost tangible. Unfortunately, it seems playing Breath of the Wild in VR is anything but pleasant. There are still plenty of kinks to work out.

Breath of the Wild in VR Isn’t up to Par

It takes a lot of effort to transform an entire existing game into something that can be played in virtual reality. That challenge only grows steeper if that game is one of the most immersive Nintendo games ever created. It is difficult to keep these games as engrossing as they are, and even Breath of the Wild is no exception. In fact, it seems the VR version of this game detracts from the overall experience, which is clearly not what Nintendo had in mind.

By launching the Labo Kit VR, Nintendo shows they see merit in VR gaming as well. Super Mario Odyssey also received minor virtual reality support which doesn’t interfere with the normal gameplay. For Breath of the Wild that situation is a bit different. Even the most optimistic players agree it is cumbersome, clunky, and simply not fun to play.

Luckily, setting up the game for a VR playthrough is not difficult. Nintendo managed to make this process straightforward, for which the company needs to be commended. However, the way the game has to be played is still awkward. The lack of a head strap, as well as using Joy-Con controllers near your face’s height simply feels odd. It also growth incredibly uncomfortable after holding up the device for more than 30 minutes.

While VR should give the game a completely different dimension, that is not the case. In fact, VR support makes this game look ugly and uninspiring. Even the frame rate seems to suffer, which only adds to the frustration. With no real changes made to the game either, there is no reason to play Breath of the Wild in VR at this time, if ever.


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Dreamscape Notes Major Success Through its Multi-sensory VR Experience

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There are still many drawbacks to virtual reality technology in 2019. One of the bigger issues is the lack of haptic feedback and other sensory input. That situation may come to change, at least where Dreamscape is concerned. Their VR venture lets visitors interact with sensory input and set foot into a completely different world.

Multi-sensory VR Experiences are Crucial

The main selling point of virtual reality technology is the ability to transport users to a different world or reality. Unfortunately, that world doesn’t feel genuine, primarily because of the lack of sensory input. While visual and auditory perception can be altered, there is no other feedback for our senses to benefit from. Dreamscape acknowledges this problem and offers a very different unique experience.

The company specializes in multi-sensory VR experiences. Although customers pay a $20 fee, they will experience a whole new world like never before. By combining Hollywood movie settings with VR technology, a very unique experience can be created in the process. The company positions itself as a “travel agency taking visitors on adventures transcending space, time, and dimension”.

One of the strengths of the company is its experience in building theme parks. Combined with Hollywood storytelling and immersive technology, it makes for an unrivaled user experience. The company tracks the user’s full body motions which are rendered as a virtual avatar. This allows for unique interaction options and unparalleled immersion.

Blurring the line between the physical and virtual world is no easy feat. However, their use of multiple sensors and a VR headset seems to get a lot of customers excited. Clients also wear a backpack, which contains the VR equipment necessary to enter a virtual world.  Up to six clients can partake in the company’s 10-minute experience at one given time. More content will be produced over the coming months to cater to as many different groups of users as possible.


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E3 2019 Gets its Very own VR Showcase Event on YouTube

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A lot of eyes are on the upcoming E3 gaming conference. Especially for those interested in virtual reality, things could prove to get rather interesting. While PlayStation VR will not be represented – Sony is not showcasing at E3 this year – it seems UploadVR has some big plans for this industry moving forward.

UploadVR Unveils big VR Plans

To put this news in perspective, there will be an E3 VR Showcase. While it is a pre-recorded show, the goal is to reveal new games, trailers, applications, and offer interviews with industry developments. It is somewhat similar to how a Nintendo Direct event would look, but one solely dedicated to virtual reality in all of its facets.

Although this will not necessarily include all VR-related announcement, it is a remarkable decision. No one will deny virtual reality has failed to captivate big audiences for quite some time now. Especially with Sony not showcasing at E3, the biggest game event of the year needed an alternative solution.

Despite the lack of any real appreciation, VR gaming is still in a very good place at this time. Numerous headsets have been released and the upcoming Oculus Quest may help move things along. However, if the industry continues to fail in terms of attracting a lot of users, it may not have much of a future by the time 2022 comes around.

At this time, no official announcements have been made regarding the E3 VR Showcase. No one knows what will be unveiled or which companies will participate in this new event. It will be made available on YouTube as of June 10, yet further information is very scarce. It is something to look forward to, although expectations should be kept in check first and foremost.


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VR Arcades in China Remain on Track for Massive Growth

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Although the VR industry is still in an awkward state right now, there are some intriguing developments. In China, VR gaming is seemingly taking off significantly. Additionally, the growth of the virtual reality arcade business cannot be ignored. Achieving major successes remains difficult, but nothing is impossible.

Chinese VR Arcades Remain Successful

No one will deny the potential of VR arcades is certainly there. These venues offer cheap and convenient access to VR for those not willing or unable to invest in expensive VR headsets. It is a tried and tested business model which has seen some degree of success globally. In China, however, it seems this market is firing on all cylinders.

More specifically, China has roughly 3,000 virtual reality arcades back in 2016. That is a very high number, especially given how VR was not even a real topic of conversation in the West at that time. Ever since, the growth has continued at a steady rate, and is expected to grow into a 5.25 billion yuan market in 2021.

Depending on how much this market grows in China, a global precedent can be created. In fact, industry experts predict China can become the dominant market for both virtual and augmented reality over the coming five years. For every $5 spent, $1 or more will end up in Chinese pockets. A very interesting outlook

One contributing factor to this success if the Chinese government. Unlike what some people may think, the government wants China to become a leader in terms of next-generation technologies. Obviously, that also includes AR and VR, as both technologies offer tremendous potential in many different ways. Despite a lack of high-quality games, it would appear China’s VR business is still noting strong growth.


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German Study Confirms Virtual Reality is a Viable Sales Tool

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TheVRSoldier Team S VR Retail Shopping

There are still plenty of reasons why VR technology is of great value. Although its practical use cases remain severely limited, numerous options are being explored. Online shopping experiences may very well be transformed with the help of virtual reality. A new German study confirms VR may get more buyers to conduct purchases in a store.

Transforming In-store Shopping With VR

It is not the first time a discussion arises regarding the viability of virtual reality technology in the shopping industry. Physical sales continue to plummet every single quarter, thus it is pertinent a solution is found. German researchers now confirmed there is a bright future ahead for VR in this particular segment.

Several studies have been conducted as part of this research. By developing various new floors as part of the test, students partaking in the research could buy a floor covering. One group looked at pictures on a computer, whereas the other “experienced” the offerings in virtual reality.

A further test added a social element for VR users. By letting them hear others talk about the same products it seemed to affect the students’ perception of what they were doing. Real-world shopping is a social event first and foremost, thus having a lively discussion take place can effectively influence the decision to purchase a product or service.

It turns out virtual reality is a more than useful tool to drive product sales. It gives a different sense of shopping altogether, and it can reduce any doubts regarding the viability of said product. As such, the use of VR technology within the shopping industry could very well increase exponentially over the coming years. VR is a sales tool like any other, although it remains to be seen how commonplace the option will become.


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Fraunhofer Showcases new MPEG Standard for 5G VR Streaming

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TheVRSoldier 5g VR Streaming Singapore

The future of virtual reality may very well hinge on the viability of 5G data connectivity. Several experiments have already been conducted in this regard. Fraunhofer, the German firm, is now demonstrating 5G VR video streaming software. A very intriguing turn of events which may breathe some life in the fledgling industry.

Fraunhofer has an Ambitious Plan

It is not entirely abnormal to see more companies experiment with VR streaming over 5G networks. This new mobile data standard is a vast improvement compared to previous generations. However, the big question is whether it will be beneficial to the VR industry or not. Right now, that question remains unanswered, despite some significant progress being made.

German firm Fraunhofer has big plans in this regard. Their new VR streaming software shows any 5G device in the world can stream 360-degree VR videos. This is made possible with the help of a new MPEG video standard. Fraunhofer has been a valuable contributor to this standard for many years now. Known as MPEG-OMAF, it will bring a lot of potential attention to the virtual reality industry.

Whereas normal videos stream from servers at a specific resolution. Fraunhofer’s new standard allows for some tweaking. It uses high-resolution tiles based on where the viewer is looking. Everything else is low-resolution, which helps cut down on the bandwidth required. As a users’ head position changes, the device they use will optimize the tile position accordingly.

It is also worth noting this new MPEG standard has already been adopted by 3GPP, the international cellular standards organization. MPEG-OMAF is the official standard for 5G VR streaming. It is a big milestone for the virtual reality industry as a whole. While further optimizing can be done, the initial results are incredibly promising.


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Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways Begin Training Engineers in Virtual Reality

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TheVRBase HP DiSTI VR Training

There is still a long way to go until virtual reality becomes mainstream technology. Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways have a different opinion in this regard. Both companies rely on VR to train their engineers in a safe and controlled environment. This decision is rather remarkable, albeit not entirely surprising. Numerous companies are using the same technology to train staffers these days.

A Bold Gamble Involving VR Training

It is evident several industries will benefit from virtual reality in terms of staff training. Both the automotive and airline industry are great examples in this regard. It is expected the number of air passengers will nearly double in the next fifteen years. The growing number of passengers also requires more engineers to be trained in the process. Doing so is not straightforward, although a solution may be in the works.

Qatar Airways is now using virtual reality to train its fleet of engineers. Practical training in the real world is too much of a hassle when training large groups of individuals. While they are the first in the airline industry to receive such training, With VR technology, all of the logistical headaches are removed from the equation. Rolls-Royce, the famous car manufacturer, is heading down a similar path. The allure of VR-based engineer training should not be overlooked by any means.

Rolls-Royce’s President of Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton adds:

“At Rolls-Royce we are designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, so it makes sense that we bring cutting-edge technology to our training programs. In the same way pilots complete elements of their training in a simulator, certain engineering tasks can be taught through Virtual Reality. Qatar Airways were the first customer to take delivery of the Trent XWB, and their forward-thinking vision across their business makes them the perfect launch partner for this technology.”

Not having to transport a physical engine for study is a major selling point of VR-based training. All staffers need is a HTC Vive headset to take apart this engine in the virtual setting. It serves as a valid training exercise which can be conducted anywhere in the world at any given time. Despite the potential this method of training may provide, it will never replace practical training. Instead, it is an option for refresher training or as a side activity.


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Drop CEO Expects VR to Become Mainstream in the Next two Decades

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It would appear competition in the virtual reality space is heating up. While headsets are not necessarily selling all that great, software-based solutions are being developed left, right, and center. If Drop CEO Russell Ladson is to be believed, VR will have its major breakthrough in the years to come.

The Future of VR Solutions Remains in Doubt

It is evident VR is not for the average consumer. It offers access to entertainment of different form, but it will not improve daily workflows. From a productivity point of view, virtual reality has little to no added value. That situation may come to change eventually, but for now, it remains a pipe dream.

Drop CEO Russell Ladson, on the other hand, has a different outlook. He expects virtual reality will become a part of everyday life in the next 10-15 years. Finding the necessary traction is of the utmost importance, but key hurdles remain in place. It remains an unwieldy technology first and foremost.

When it comes to discovering information, virtual reality can check a lot of the right boxes. Although it isn’t used for such purposes right now, it would be a minor leap to make it happen. Drop, his company, tries to combine the best of AI and VR. As such, VR browsers are not the main point of focus, as there is plenty of room for competition in this space.

The big problem is how one accesses virtual reality. Putting on a headset and disconnecting from the world is not the go-to solution. Solutions will be found eventually, but for now, there is no genuine appeal. Spatial computing and virtual wearables will need to come together in a meaningful way. The big question is whether AR or VR will be more successful in this regard.


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Apple Poaches Jaunt Founder in Mixed Reality-related Move

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TheVRBase Apple VR AR Headset

It is not the first time Apple shows a key interest in virtual reality technology. By poaching Jaunt’s VR veteran Arthur Van Hoff, the technology giant reaffirms its position in this market. His role is to perform the duty of senior architect. Specific details remain rather unclear at this time, but the move has many people seemingly excited.

Jaunt Founder Executive Moves to Apple

For those who keep an eye on the tech industry, the connection Apple-Jaunt may not be all that new. Several years ago, the technology giant organized meetings with immersive content companies, which included Jaunt. At that time, Apple was not too sure how VR and AR would potentially affect their product and services moving forward. Three years later, it seems the firm is more than willing to explore either market.

Arthur Van Hoff has been with jaunt since the company was founded in 2013. His roles include CTO and a brief stint as CEO in 2016. Although the company has not been overly successful, it is now focused on mixed reality. This pivot came after laying off most of its staff. All of this is despite securing $65m in funding from Disney and other investors.

Although the exact purpose of van Hoff remains unclear, the move gets people speculating. It is a clear sign Apple is still interested in immersive technologies. How that will affect their overall roadmap in the coming years, has yet to be determined. For Jaunt, it seems they are losing one of their key staffers as part of this move. That company’s future now looks somewhat uncertain, albeit replacing a CTO is not impossible in this day and age.

One persisting rumor claims how Apple is working on an AR headset. It is possible the hiring of van Hoff is a key part in finalizing that design in the very near future. All of this is based on unconfirmed rumors, as Apple remains tight-lipped regarding its exact plans. Even so, a product announcement seems forthcoming in one way or another.


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Full-body Immersion is the Next Major Step in VR Development

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TheVRBase VR Gaming Virtual Reality Gaming Immersion

The future of VR technology is slowly starting to take shape. A new experiment shows how VR can effectively recreate legitimate user experiences, Known as full-body VR, it is a very different take on immersive technology. Ranging from touching the Amazon rainforest or having a paranormal experience, the potential use cases are nearly limitless.

Exploring the Appeal of Full-body VR

Even though virtual reality is immersive, the technology lacks certain aspects. Without a sense of touch, urgency, or any other sensory input except for audiovisual, it is not the technology most people had expected. While some progress has been made in this regard, multi-sensory interaction is still a long way removed from fully functional.

Story Arcane, a VR pop-up in New York City, shows things can be done differently. Their main focus lies on combining sensory VR solutions. In a most recent experiment, the team introduced haptics, scents, and even temperature changes to its VR offerings. It is a rather different approach, albeit one that also has tremendous potential.

By adding live actors to interactive VR creations, the team has made a big name for itself in quick succession. Real-life interaction is rather rare in the virtual reality industry right now. There is also the full-body experience which requires the use of a robotic motion platform and airflow system to simulate flight.

Despite all of these advancements, a full-dive VR experience is still miles away for at-home users. The hardware required to mimic these experience sis too bulky and expensive for regular consumers. As such, VR pop-ups and arcades are able to provide exposure to such offerings. If successful, a consumer-oriented version of the same technology may be introduced eventually.


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