virtual reality
Microsoft Wants You to Touch the VR World With a Giant CLAW

What Microsoft Research lacks in cinematography skills, it’s making up for with super-fun solutions to virtual reality’s biggest problem: the lack of real-world feedback. In a blog post published late last week, Microsoft detailed four different experimental methods for delivering haptic feedback, including a cane that would allow the visually impaired to “see” in VR, and a claw (simply named CLAW) that lets users actually interact with, and feel objects in the virtual world. Read More >>

virtual reality
MWC 2018: I Got to Shoot Bad Guys With HTC’s Standalone Vive Focus Headset

Last year, HTC announced that it was developing its own standalone VR headset, known as the Vive Focus. It was, and still is, a Chinese exclusive, but HTC did bring a couple of models over to Barcelona for MWC and I got to have a go for myself. Read More >>

Facebook Pulls Oculus Rift Shooter Bullet Train From Conference Amid Gun Violence Controversy

Facebook has pulled a demo of Oculus Rift’s VR shooter “Bullet Train” from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland amid concerns over gun violence, Variety reported Saturday morning. Read More >>

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Joanna Lumley and EE Hosting 360-Degree Triv-VR Quiz

The BAFTAs are set to take place this Sunday, hosted by Joanna Lumley with EE as the headline sponsor. Which is great! Good for them. What's more interesting at this point, however, is that EE will be commemorating the occasion with a brand new 360-degree movie trivia quiz show - also hosted by Lumely. Read More >>

virtual reality
VR Games Are the One Way to Make Exercise Even Less Appealing 

VirZOOM, a VR/fitness firm, wants to get you off that couch and into a calorie-burning virtual reality. The Massachusetts-based startup is selling a new series of stationary bikes that sync with VR headsets to immerse players in elaborate fantasy scenarios as they cycle. On the one hand, fitness is important. On the other, look at this shit. Read More >>

Eurosport Will be Broadcasting 50 Hours of Winter Olympics Footage in VR

People only really care about the Winter Olympics when Cool Runnings is on, or if the host being accused of corruption and human rights abuses. Maybe because snow-based sports aren't that exciting and non-Canadian people don't have as much interest in them. Read More >>

virtual reality
US Olympians Are Using VR Headsets to Train for Pyeongchang

In her book The Imagineers of War, author Sharon Weinberger recounts one of the first deployments of simulation training: to improve America’s performance in a NATO mock tank battle that the US consistently performed poorly in, nicknamed the Canadian Army Trophy. After implementing DARPA’s rudimentary gaming-as-training regimen, the US won. Three decades later, the US Ski and Snowboard Association is using VR training in what could serve as a repeat of that result. Read More >>

Pornhub Is Making Smart Sex Toys That Sync With Porn and, Strangely, Look Like Power Tools

As the biggest porn site on the internet, Pornhub already dominates the landscape when it comes to what people get off to. Now the company is also making a push to control how people get off, with a new line of interactive sex toys that sync with Pornhub videos. Read More >>

Facebook Invented a New Unit of Time

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Facebook, as a company, is meant to be an innovator in fields beyond surveillance. But the announcement that it has created an entirely new unit of time is a nice reminder that the enormous company, which owns both WhatsApp and Oculus VR, is more than just one of the largest spy apparatuses in history. Read More >>

Gamers Rally to Comfort User as he Suffers a Seizure in VR Chat

Every now and then, human beings can be pretty swell. Earlier in the week a gamer suffered a seizure in VR Chat, and was immediately comforted by a group of concerned bystanders on the virtual reality social platform. Read More >>

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CES 2018: After Trying the New Wireless Vive Pro There’s No Going Back

When the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive came out in 2016, we entered a new era of virtual reality. No longer would people think of half-assed fever dreams like Lawnmower Man, or ambitious but profound failures like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy anytime VR gets mentioned. Even so, modern VR still hasn’t caught on. It’s awkward, it’s expensive, and most of the games and apps still feel like tech demos. But earlier this week, a new piece of VR tech reminded me why the headsets are much more than gimmicks. Read More >>

virtual reality
CES 2018: VR Takes the Next Step Forward with the Vive Pro and Vive Wireless Adaptor

Back in the 90s, companies tried making virtual reality a thing, most notably Nintendo, whose Virtual Boy was so distasteful that it caused people to abandon the entire category for the next 20 years. But then in 2016, headsets from Oculus and HTC/Vive showed that the VR experiences people had been writing about in scifi books for years were finally within our reach. Read More >>

Skyrim VR is Everything Wrong With Virtual Reality Right Now

As I powered up the PSVR to play the recently released Skyrim VR, I wondered whether this was yet another company’s lazy cash grab exploiting a new tech fad, or a genuine new step for the franchise. This was my third first time playing it. First released in 2011, the same exact game now had four releases across half a dozen systems, with only minor graphical upgrades. While the transition from PS3 to PS4 didn’t exactly leave me floored, it seemed the transition to VR could potentially be its most radical reformulation yet. Read More >>

The BBC Goes Big on VR With Dedicated Studio

The BBC now has some people in a room with responsibility for pushing VR, thanks to the launch of a standalone VR production division it's calling the VR Hub. Read More >>

virtual reality
Playing SteamVR in Microsoft Mixed Reality Is a Bummer

In an infamous Twitter meme that misquotes Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan, naked, blue, and seated in a crater alone on Mars, says: “I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.” He’s a perfect candidate for Windows 10 Mixed Reality, Microsoft approach to virtual reality, that, starting today, is compatible with SteamVR. Read More >>