Summer Game Fest To Stream Upload VR Showcase At 9am, June 8

We’re now just over a week away from the 2020 Upload VR Showcase: Summer Edition on June 8th! Today, we can finally share a few more details about the big show.

Earlier this month we announced that this year’s showcase would be live both on our own platform and as part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming event. Today, we’re also announcing a partnership with Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest! You’ll be able to find us on the event’s website.

What’s more, we can now confirm the show will be streaming at 9am PT/12pm ET/5pm BT! But before that, you won’t want to miss our pre-show! We’ll have yet more reveals as we count down to the main event, coming to you from our Virtual Studio at 8:30am PT/11:30am ET/4:30pm BT. We’ll be on-hand to talk over the news and reflect on the year in VR so far.

Upload VR Showcase Time Date Partners

Oh, and we have the official URL for the show. Bookmark this page.

But wait, there’s yet more! After the show’s over, we’ll be bringing you extended coverage of our reveals, with interviews with Showcase developers inside our Virtual Studio. If you want to learn more about some of the show’s biggest announcements, you’ll want to stay tuned.

In case you haven’t seen, here are some of the reveals we’ve got lined up for you this time around.

So, be here bright and early at 8:30am PT on June 8th to get the full Upload VR Showcase: Summer Edition experience! It’s going to be a blast.

 

The post Summer Game Fest To Stream Upload VR Showcase At 9am, June 8 appeared first on UploadVR.

‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Update Adds Impressive Liquid Simulation, Foundation for Mod Scripting

Half-Life: Alyx was updated this week with an intriguing new feature: a new shader which simulates liquid inside of the game’s many bottles; a small but impressive immersive addition. The update also brought some bug fixes, new subtitle languages, and improved the game’s modding tools.

At launch, Half-Life: Alyx already included a cool immersive detail: many of the game’s small bottles and containers had an associated audio event which—when shaken—makes it sound like there’s actually something inside. Valve took this one step further in the Alyx 1.4 update, which was released this week, by actually rendering liquid inside many of the game’s bottles.

It might seem simple enough—after all, liquid simulations have been around for some time—but Alyx’s approach isn’t really a simulation as that would likely consume too many resources. Instead, the liquid is a shader which is made to look like a convincing simulation.

And it does a pretty darn good job, especially with the way that it interacts with environmental lighting. Valve visual effects developer, Matthew Wilde, said on Twitter that “this booze shader has been my lock-down hobby, required lots of research.”

Image courtesy Phe

The Half-Life: Alyx 1.4 update also added subtitles for eight new languages—Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Vietnamese—bringing the game’s total subtitle languages to 18.

SEE ALSO
Valve Explains the Deceptively Simple Design Process That Made ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Excellent

The update also added new features, examples, and documentation to the Alyx Workshop modding tools:

  • Enabled the Postprocessing Editor (Documentation)
  • Added “Custom Character” example addon (Documentation)
  • Added example maps for:
    • Blind Zombie (a.k.a. Jeff)
    • Hacking and Toner Puzzles
    • Parked Vehicles and other Interactive Prefabs
    • Visibility System (Documentation)
    • Postprocessing Volumes (Documentation)
  • Added core functionality required for Lua scripting and added some Alyx-specific script bindings for querying VR controller input and creating nav mesh paths from entity scripts
  • Enabled live bone constraints in SFM, which can be baked/enabled as procedural bones, like cloth

The most interesting here is likely “core functionality required for Lua scripting,” which moves the modding tools one step closer to allowing modders to run custom scripts in the game, which should drastically expand the game’s modding possibilities.

The update also made a few bug fixes to the game and the Workshop tools. Check out the full patch notes here for details.

The post ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Update Adds Impressive Liquid Simulation, Foundation for Mod Scripting appeared first on Road to VR.

Magic Leap Founder Rony Abovitz to Step Down as CEO

Magic Leap pivoted to the enterprise space recently after an extended lukewarm reception by consumers for its $2,300 AR headset. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, company founder and CEO Rony Abovitz then announced layoffs last month that were slated to occur at “every level” of the company. Although those layoffs were allayed by a fresh $350 million funding round at zero hour, Abovitz now says he’s stepping down as CEO.

Abovitz released a statement on the Magic Leap blog explaining the move, saying that a change in his role was “a natural next step” to bringing about the next phase of the company.

“I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon,” Abovitz says.

Abovitz is set to remain as CEO until a new one is confirmed. There’s no word on what role the founder will fill afterwards, however he says it may be at “the board level.”

Here’s Abovitz’s statement in full:

As we’ve shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise.

We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.

As the board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.

I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. I am amazed at everything we have built and look forward to everything Magic Leap will create in the decades to come.

I will remain our CEO through the transition and am in discussions with the board with regards to how I will continue to provide strategy and vision from a board level. I remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.

Since its founding in 2011, Magic Leap has amassed over $3 billion in capital from investors such as Google, Saudi Arabia’s Venture Capital Fund, Alibaba, and Axel Springer, making it one of the most well-funded startups in tech history.

Having launched its Magic Leap One (also stylized ‘Magic Leap 1’) in 2018, various reports suggest the device’s sales numbers were far below the company’s expectations as it uncomfortably straddled between developer and consumer.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

Before pivoting entirely to appeal to the enterprise space in the near-term, Magic Leap was funding a steady stream of consumer-focused apps for the $2,300 headset, a perplexing move at the time considering the company hadn’t released any timeline on when consumers would expect a cheaper headset.

While the company recently announced a Magic Leap 2 in the works—officially slated to launch sometime in 2021— that too will be targeted at enterprise and prosumers, so it may be some time yet until we see Magic Leap re-enter the consumer space.

The post Magic Leap Founder Rony Abovitz to Step Down as CEO appeared first on Road to VR.

Students Peer into A Virtual Head In An Anatomy Lesson

Using the AVR Platform, students can now learn about the head anatomy and its muscles up close in an AR and VR lesson!  This includes the muscles of the head, tongue, muscles of facial expression, extra-ocular muscles and muscles of mastication.

For a full, hands on immersive learning experience, please click here. Launch the link on your mobile device using Creator AVR if you want to experience it in life size augmented reality.

Related:

How can the AVR Platform be used to deliver training for frontline medical professionals?

The post Students Peer into A Virtual Head In An Anatomy Lesson appeared first on EON Reality.

Bringing AR and VR into the Classroom

The use of AR and VR in classrooms is hardly a new phenomenon. Research studies have attested to its ability to lift student engagement and help them learn better. Yet, VR and AR continue to live on the fringes of the classroom. Why is that so? How can we bring it to the front of the class?

The Headset Problem

VR and AR often associated with the need to invest in expensive headsets and equipment. While the costs of headsets have significantly decreased, it still remains out of reach for many. EON Reality has now solved this problem by turning every smart mobile device into a AR/VR viewing device with the AVR Platform. This means, more learners than ever, can now enjoy an immersive learning experience straight from their pockets.

The Content Problem

The next obstacle that teachers often run into is finding the right material for lessons. The lack of learning content can make the move to AR/VR based lessons a difficult one to justify. The first step EON Reality took was to enable AVR Platform users to access the world’s largest library of more than one million digital assets for lesson creation. We also developed a range of functions, from quizzes, videos, interactive elements and a one hundred person capacity virtual classroom to enrich the learning experience. Find out how our partners are making the change!

The Digital Problem

EON Reality has now found a solution by allowing teachers and students to easily create content without any coding know-how. Designed with the user experience in mind, the intuitive interface of the AVR Platform now allows an AR and VR lesson to be created as easily as a powerpoint.

 

It’s now that easy to bring AR and VR to the classroom. Create your free AVR Platform account today or join our webinars on the right to harness the power of AR/VR in your classroom.

The post Bringing AR and VR into the Classroom appeared first on EON Reality.

Expedition 63 Waits for Weekend Arrival of SpaceX Crew

The sun's rays glisten above the Atlantic Ocean
The sun’s rays glisten in this photograph from an external high definition camera as the International Space Station orbited over the Atlantic Ocean southwest of South Africa.

The Expedition 63 crew will wait a few more days to gain two new crewmembers after weather scrubbed the initial launch attempt of the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Meanwhile, the orbiting trio aboard the International Space Station continued focusing on lab operations.

Rain and lightning around Kennedy Space Center kept Commercial Crew members Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on the ground Wednesday. The Florida weather violated launch rules and SpaceX scrubbed the liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket with the two NASA astronauts atop sitting inside the Crew Dragon vehicle.

NASA has rescheduled the Crew Dragon launch for Saturday at 3:22 p.m. EDT with a backup launch date on Sunday at 3 p.m. If Hurley and Behnken launch Saturday, they would dock Sunday at 10:29 a.m. to the Harmony module’s International Docking Adapter.

Back on orbit, NASA Commander Chris Cassidy was setting up Japanese network communications gear and science hardware during the morning. Afterward, the veteran astronaut spent the rest of Thursday exploring how planetary bodies might affect the density and dynamics of different materials.

The Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner started the day transferring cargo to and from the Soyuz crew ship and the two Progress space freighters. The duo then turned its attention to videotaping and photographing their station activities for an Earth audience.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Resort Is Getting Its Own Original VR Adventure

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will feature new stories, characters, and regions to explore.

As if Disney’s Star Wars-inspired theme park Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge wasn’t popular enough as it was, Lucasfilms’ ILMxLAB (Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire) today announced a brand new VR adventure set within the legendary Star Wars universe featuring an original story set across a previously-unexplored portion of the far-away galaxy.

“We are so excited for fans to step into Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge later this year,” said Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB Executive-in-Charge, in an official release. “This action-packed adventure not only speaks to the promise of connected and complementary experiences by extending the lore around Black Spire Outpost, it represents another meaningful step in ILMxLAB’s quest to transition  from storytelling – one-way communication – to storyLIVING, where you’re inside a world making consequential choices that drive your experience forward.”

Available exclusively at Galaxy’s Edge later this year, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will have visitors navigating the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu. Taking place sometime between the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, players will meet up with Star Wars characters both old and new as they set off on a brand new adventure designed from the ground-up for the VR format.

“The rich storytelling in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has redefined what a Disney park experience can be, and we are thrilled fans will have an opportunity to discover new stories, meet new characters and explore new regions of the planet Batuu in Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge,” added Scott Trowbridge, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Executive. “Now our guests can immerse themselves in these stories both inside and outside our parks.”

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will be open to the public later this year at Disneyland Resort in California and Disneyland Resort in Florida. While little information regarding the story is available at this time, ILMxLAB promises the experience will feature a variety of gameplay options and difficulty settings for a wide range of visitors, whether they be avid gamers or technologically illiterate.

“We’re very happy to collaborate with ILMxLAB again on Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge. VR is an incredibly powerful storytelling medium; this experience will immerse fans in a deep and thrilling adventure within the Star Wars galaxy, as they are transported to impossible places through the power of virtual reality,” said Mike Verdu, VP of Content, AR/VR at Facebook.

Image Credit: ILMxLAB, Oculus Studios

The post Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Resort Is Getting Its Own Original VR Adventure appeared first on VRScout.

The HP Reverb G2: 4K Resolution VR At A Killer Price

New-and-improved hardware offers a no-compromise VR experience for $599.

Today, HP made its official reveal of the Reverb G2, a new-and-improved follow-up to last years HP Reverb. HP worked closely with Valve and Microsoft to ensure that the headset would deliver a stellar VR experience using cutting-edge optics, inside-out tracking, spatial 3D audio, natural hand gestures, superb comfort for longer sessions, and plug and play support for Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR.

With a surplus of headset manufacturers currently pushing their way into the market, HP designed the Reverb G2 to stand out from the crowd. To do this, they took a look at current VR headsets, including their own Reverb G1, to see what features and designs resonated with consumers.

Let’s dive into the official details.

The HP Reverb G2 features the same high-resolution LCD and lightweight design featured on the original Reverb. Other than that, every other aspect of the powerful PC VR headset has received an upgrade. The new Valve-designed lenses promise to provide an absolutely stellar visual experience powered by improved optics and reduced mural full RGB stripe, delivering a resolution of 2K by 2K per eye. This means objects will appear more crisp and realistic, allowing you to more easily read text and differentiate various textures. The Reverb G2 also features a 114-degree field of view, surrounding you with these crisp visuals and immersing you further into your experiences.

As opposed to employing on-ear speakers or relying on third-part headphones, The Reverb G2 features two high-quality speakers that sit 10mm off the ear. This design is intended to provide additional comfort for longer play sessions while simplifying the set-up and removal process. Support for Microsoft spatial audio as well as HP Labs’ new AI and psychoacoustics spatial audio format enhances the in-headset experience even further, offering intense 3D soundscapes impossible to recreate with in conventional stereo.

The G2’s controllers have also received a redesign. Upgrade include an optimized button layout, wider application and game compatibility, and the ability to be pre-paired via Bluetooth® for easy set-up. Using its 4 on-board cameras, the Windows Mixed Reality headset also enables 1.4X more movement capture with six degrees of freedom (DOF), minus the need for external sensors or lighthouses.

“The Reverb G2 takes total advantage of the inside-out tracking technology in Windows Mixed Reality for full six degrees-of-freedom movement and spatial audio,” said Mark Bolas, partner director of incubation at Microsoft. “With four cameras, the controller tracking feels even more like an extension of your hands, making the sense of immersion that much stronger.”

The HP Reverb G2 is designed to provide a more comfortable experience than the previous generation thanks to an improved facemask cushion that helps with weight distribution for extended VR sessions. There’s even an optional replaceable face gaskets for ease of cleaning between VR sessions. You can easily flip the facemask 90-degrees when moving back and forth between the real and virtual worlds.

In an official press release, Jeremy Selan at Valve said, “We’re happy to see the expansion of the VR ecosystem in a way that is great for high-fidelity gaming,” Selan adds, “Providing customers with another quality option that includes some of Valve’s technology is good news for the VR community and we are happy to support that.”

“The power of collaboration is on full display with the HP Reverb G2, and along side Valve and Microsoft, we engineered a no-compromises VR headset that’s immersive, comfortable, and compatible across Windows Mixed Reality and SteamVR,” said Spike Huang, vice president and global lead of VR, HP Inc.“The time is now for VR and HP Reverb G.

The HP Reverb G2 VR headset is scheduled for availability starting Fall 2020 for $599 (U.S.). US pre-orders are available now via HP.com, the SteamVR homepage, and select channel partners. Pre-orders for select countries will be available over the next few weeks.

Image Credit: HP

The post The HP Reverb G2: 4K Resolution VR At A Killer Price appeared first on VRScout.

Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz Steps Down Citing ‘Focused’ Direction

Rony Abovitz is stepping down from the CEO role at Magic Leap after raising more than $2 billion and subsequently laying off a large segment of the workforce.

A statement posted to the company website confirms the transition:

As we’ve shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise.

We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.

As the Board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the Board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.

I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. I am amazed at everything we have built and look forward to everything Magic Leap will create in the decades to come.

I will remain our CEO through the transition and am in discussions with the Board with regards to how I will continue to provide strategy and vision from a Board level. I remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.

The word “focus” used three times in the statement points to the changing reality for the AR startup which regularly raised hundreds of millions of dollars under Abovitz and hired hundreds of people on promises of fundamentally new display technology for augmented reality.

In recent months, though, the company switched to a focus on business uses after reports of slow sales for its first generation AR system, the Magic Leap One.

The post Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz Steps Down Citing ‘Focused’ Direction appeared first on UploadVR.