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Exploring the cutting edge of virtual reality

Virtual Reality - The Future is here

Here at Virtual Realms a passionate group of creatives, innovators and developers we will bring you the latest news and reviews on everything Virtual Reality

 

The GoPro for VR from Giroptic

Karen Boswell

There are a lot of companies fighting for the VR camera space at the moment but this one in particular has caught my eye …

French startup Giroptic has secured funding to develop a new kind of action camera, essentially a GoPro with 360 capture so perfect for people like me not quite so adept at pulling off 360 spins on the reds and blacks!

What’s even more exciting is that the Giroptic comes with it’s own in-house stitching solution which works in real time on the camera! This clearly sets it ahead of the competition.

It’s a nice tidy design; a magnesium alloy shell means it's light and durable and the rubber layer gives it extra protection, plus it’s waterproof and shock proof so perfect for a head mount or selfie stick if you’re so inclined…   

Beyond the awesome tech, this is also an important step in making VR accessible to more people, taking us into the UGC world of 360 and VR recording and publishing in a much simpler way. It's a content stream to keep an eye out for.  

The camera is available for pre-order for $499 on their website and is set to come off the production line early next year... 

Rock Band is coming to the Oculus Rift

Resh Sidhu

Oculus and Harmonix are excited to announce that Rock Band™ is coming to the Rift in 2016! This brand new made-for-VR game inspired by the original Rock Band™, from developer Harmonix, places you on a virtual stage living out the ultimate rock and roll fantasy, only for the Oculus Rift.

Harmonix already announced one virtual reality project: Harmonix Music VR, a music visualization experience for Sony's PlayStation VR. But this is more of an investment, and one of the biggest names to come to any headset so far — one we got a hint of earlier this year, when the first official slate of Rift games was announced.

Read the full article here:  http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/3/9846870/oculus-rift-vr-rock-band

Wake up, virtual reality is so much more than tech

Resh Sidhu

Virtual reality is the shiny new tech that’s set to dominate the marketing debate in 2016. But currently many advertiser-led VR projects are falling short. In the scramble to be associated with the latest seductive trend, it’s easy to overlook the fact that a decent campaign requires so much more than decent tech.

As suggested by the speedy selling-out of consumer versions of the Samsung Gear headset, it is set to get even bigger next year. This uptake encourages advertisers to see VR as a new gadget or an innovative new tech device. But it’s neither. It is, in fact, an entirely new medium that will be every bit as transformative as the smartphone in the mid-2000s, but only if we can master its unique storytelling demands.

Read my full article for TheDrum here: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2015/12/04/wake-virtual-reality-so-much-more-tech

 

 

The sky is not the limit

Karen Boswell

You know that ridiculous interview question; if you were an animal what would you be? I always answered 'an eagle’ so I could fly away and be free (I also like mountains and didn’t want to be too far down the pecking order).  

Well now experiencing the freedom (and perils) of flight as a bird are a reality thanks to researchers from Zurich University of the Arts who wanted to capture their dream of flying. 

They’ve successfully combined a full body motion simulator that intuitively responds to the movements of your body with the Oculus headset, meaning once you’re strapped in you’re free to flap your arms and take to the sky. 

Those of us that experienced the early Oculus will wonder whether it leaves you feeling a little icky, but due to more accurate head-tracking in the latest dev kit the latency is low enough now to avoid that problem (currently using DK2  and HTC Vive for the techies). 

The body simulator adds wind feedback to your movements just as a bird would feel and it doesn’t stop there, they’ve included a vapor release system so you get a whiff of the ocean, or the city streets as you fly overhead… 

The most exciting thing about this for me is the idea of being able to combine the experience with live footage and I don’t mean hovering over your neighbors garden... imagine diving the Red Sea with Ahmed Gabr or surfing Nazaré with Ben Sanchis.

Rumour has it the consumer version is out next year... 

Images found on somniacs.co - thank you

A headset with a view

Karen Boswell

The escape of scaling a mountain, of being on top of the world when you reach the summit is something I crave every time I look around me at the city crowds. Though a pipe dream Everest is one that I would love to climb. Not a reality though... until now. 

A collaboration between Sólfar Studios and RVX (the studio that helped with the effects in the film Everest) will introduce EVEREST VR to us in 2016.  This will mean mere mortals like me can conquer the mountain through an advanced CGI model created from 300,000 high res photographs and advanced stereophotogrammetry, taking real time graphics to the next level. 

Kjartan Pierre Emilsson CEO and co-founder at Sólfar said “By combining incomparable visual fidelity with real player agency and interactivity, EVEREST VR will immerse you in a virtual reality that feels both real and emotionally stunning."

It promises to be more compelling than the film, and that was pretty good. 

Crossing a crevasse, from the film Everest

Crossing a crevasse, from the film Everest

According to Sólfar you start your expedition with prepping at Basecamp, then go on to traverse the Khumbu Icefalls, scale Lhotse Face,  before ascending the Hillary Step and venturing on to conquer the summit of Everest. Epic doesn’t really cover it.

Here’s a teaser…

I can't wait to try this out, and others. The Moon maybe, or Mars. Why limit ourselves to Earth…