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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

 

Oculus Rift is coming in 2016 - Are you ready to step into the Rift?

Resh Sidhu

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It's happening, it's finally here! Virtual Reality is within your grasp and you can reach out and touch it. Nothing got me more excited than Oculus's announcement that their new Rift is finally here, after playing with the developers kits for over a year I wasn't sure when this day would come and Oculus certainly have not disappointed, in fact Apple have a lot of catching up to do, here's a quick guide to some major game changers in the new Rift. 

1. Beautiful Design - where form follows function. The new Oculus Rift is a beautifully crafted and considered device, with sublime lines and smooth curves what's not to like. We are attracted to objects of desire and the new rift does a splendid job in seducing the consumer with great looks. However what has impressed me the most is the functional upgrades Oculus have incorporated to make the VR experience more advanced than any other device on the market. Notice the built-in headphones, adjustable face plate and touch pads. Not to mention the Xbox controllers! The Rift is also much lighter which is great news for longer more immersive experiences and this time those with glasses have not been left out, with better around fit for the everyones face.

2. Perfect partnerships - A marriage made in a gamers heaven. Through the new partnership with Microsoft the Xbox Controller will be available with every Rift! Head of Xbox Phil Spencer announced that Windows 10 will support the VR headset natively through a direct streaming feature. This means you will be able to play and view epic gaming titles like Halo in Oculus Cinema and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to play Eve Valkeryie. This combination of VR and Gaming is what the world of game lovers was waiting for, this was the promise that no-one has realised until now.

3. Reach out and touch - controllers that set you free. The Oculus Touch controllers, now seeing these was like the icing on the cake and then some! The beautiful (can't wait to hold them) Oculus Touch controllers are nothing short of impressive. They wrap around your hands effortlessly, are super lightweight and look very natural and comfortable. Most important is they are wireless and contain natural-feeling haptic feedback, we are unleashed from annoying wires and cables.

4. Content is king - New platform, community and Interface design. Finally the Rift will arrive with it's shining new Apple like app store, giving consumers a platform of content to choose from and a VR community to engage with. Oculus wants you to know that real, purpose-built VR games are coming, there's EVE Valkyrie, of course, the incredible space dogfighting experience, however Insomniac Games announced a over-the- shoulder VR adventure game called Edge of Nowhere and it looks pretty cool!

Edge of Nowhere is a VR third-person action-adventure from acclaimed independent developer Insomniac Games. Travel to the far reaches of the Antarctic mountains in search of a missing expedition team. What appears to be a rescue mission takes a turn as you venture into the deep unknown, and discover a surreal world that will test your wits and sanity.

Exciting times for Virtual Reality experiences, gaming and VR films, the new Oculus Rift is coming in Q1 2016 the question is will you be ready? Find out more details and get updates from https://www.oculus.com/en-us/

Ted Baker launches concept store with virtual reality experience

Resh Sidhu

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Ted Baker has begun to experiment with virtual reality in their digital concept store launched in London's Shoreditch. They have used high resolution panoramic photography software and partnered it with 3D mapping, which allows customers all over the world to roam the space online. 

Created by virtual reality (VR) agency Avenue Imperia it coincides with Ted Baker’s concept store launch in Shoreditch where consumers can pick up items of clothing to view in closer detail, interact with surroundings as well as purchase goods.

The overall concept store seems rather impressive, James Bond would feel jealous! Called 'Ted Baker and More' the store has more digital elements that Q's Lab! This concept store certainly demonstrates the brand desires to use technology and innovation to engage it's consumers from outdoor screens which allow passers by to play games or watch films, a 3D hologram unit, a lenticular device, LED projection, to digital displays, this store has it all.

It's a great step from the brand as virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear are becoming more affordable and desirable to consumers, with Oculus releasing the first consumer VR headset in Q1 2016!

If you are in the area pop along, it's certainly worth a visit. See you there!

Realtime transition between the real and virtual worlds

Karen Boswell

This is an example of something truly amazing: a live streamed futuristic concept performance at SXSW by Japanese Techno-Pop trio, Perfume.

Also based in Japan, technically infused design company Rhizomatiks partnered with stage director Mikiko, from Elevenplay and producer Kaoru Sugano, Creative Director at Dentsu, to choreograph this rather epic creation that switched between the live and virtual worlds using a mix of 3D scanning, motion tracking and video morphing, all in real-time, absolutely no post production.

Quite simply, awesome.

Seeing is Believe - Dior Creates Custom VR Headsets For Backstage Access #Dioreyes

Resh Sidhu

One of my favourite Iconic Fashion labels Dior has created their own custom branded VR headset and VR experience called Dior Eyes, to give viewers an exclusive look behind the runway curtains. The Dioreyes headset was custom-built to make it more of an exclusive bespoke piece of VR-Wear. Dior Eyes isn’t just a painted or wrapped Google Cardboard or Samsung GearVR headset.

The custom fabricated Dior VR headset, co-created by Dior with DigitasLBi Labs France, appears to be using a Samsung Note 4 for the screen, with an all black 3D printed housing that wraps around the viewers face. Headphones are built into the headset as well as in all its Dior glory; a subtle glowing logo shines from the outside of the goggles. Step deeper into the world of fashion and Dior.

The headset is designed to give wearers a look at how the make-up artists work at Dior events, sharing insights into the way a professional works. We’ve seen wearable tech used in a similar way before, when YSL used Google Glass to give make-up lessons to clients. 

However, don’t expect to go out and buy a set of Dior Eyes. The headset is going to be demonstrated at selected Dior boutiques around the world and this is wear it falls flat for me.

They have missed a great opportunity, what if these exclusive headsets could have been a secret invitation to a fashion show, sent out to fashion bloggers, fans and the digital elite for a virtual invitation like no other. 

The power of VR is transporting the audience to places they can never imagine or believe, making them feel part of that world almost as if they can reach out and touch it.

Who doesn't want to be Iron Man? — FramestoreVR make that a reality

Resh Sidhu

You simply have to check out 'Battle of Avengers Tower' it is a free VR experience on the Oculus Store and is compatible with the Samsung Gear VR and the latest Galaxy phones, created by FramestoreVR and 72andSunny.

The VR experience was a joint venture between Marvel, Samsung, advertising agency 72andSunny, and Oscar-winning visual-effects studio Framestore. Despite the complexity of the scene, the project was completed in just eight weeks. The entire Avengers campaign, which included other live-action short films, was conceived and developed by 72andSunny. The agency brought in Framestore as a creative partner to work exclusively on the VR experience.

Like so many other compelling VR experiences, it’s only two minutes long, but several clever details take it to another level. The VR piece uses fully computer-generated characters and environment, but unlike VR games, the rendering is done before it gets to your phone. That adds key benefits, including sharper images.

It gives us higher-fidelity assets, because you’re able to render them over a period of time as opposed to real-time rendering with a game engine. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a processor-intensive project: It took three days to render the environment on the same rendering farm we used for Gravity.
— Christine Cattano, Executive Producer of Framestore VR Studio

Before the battle begins, you’re chillin’ as Iron Man in a window-walled Stark Tower office. Move your head, and the reflection of your helmet moves accordingly—an ingenious trick that really pulls you in. And because you’re Iron Man, you’ve got a heads-up display that lets you highlight and select many of the things around you. There are plenty of hidden easter eggs in the experience and the main actions has even begun yet.

Once you launch the battle sequence that's when it get's insane it utilizes bullet-time effects and the results are jaw-dropping, you float slo-mo through a battle scene as weapons fly around you. This is one VR experience that you have to try.