VR & AR News Roundup (June 26th – June 30th)

July 2, 2017

Welcome back to this week’s news roundup, where we feature the biggest and most interesting news stories in VR, AR, and voice assistants from the past week. This week we saw Qualcomm releasing details about Google’s Daydream headsets, a VR pop idol band, and more.

Google exploring monetization within Daydream

Google Daydream Ads

Google know ads perhaps better than anyone, and now that their Daydream platform is picking up steam they’ve been looking at how to best add monetization to it in the form of floating “ad cubes”, that when gazed at load a short advertising video clip.

Source: Ausdroid

Apple reportedly acquires a German eye tracking firm on the quiet

SensoMotoric Instruments

While the WWDC of this year focused mainly on Apple’s upcoming AR platform, reports state that the tech giant acquired the company SensoMotoric Instruments earlier last month. The German-based firm develops a range of eye tracking hardware and software, and an acquisition by Apple could be pointing towards a focus on in-house VR in the near future.

Source: Mac Rumors

More HTC Vive and Lenovo Google Daydream standalone headset details revealed

 

Vive and Lenovo Standalone VR

It has become clear that both standalone headsets are based on Qualcomm’s VR headset reference design, including its Snapdragon VR hardware. The headsets of both companies are also said to contain almost identical inner specs, with only a differentiation in outer aesthetics.

Source: Road to VR

VRotica – the first standalone VR headset exclusively for watching pornography

VRotica VR Headset

In a world first, U.K.-based startup Hologram have released a standalone VR headset that can only be used for pornography. The company stated that in the near future they’re looking to expand to adult games and live streaming, “without any of the many distractions found on other systems.”

Source: Variety

Developer response to Apple’s ARKit has been overwhelmingly positive

Apple ARKit

In a recent interview, Apple vice-president of product marketing Greg Joswiak has remarked that the amount of enthusiasm towards their ARKit platform has been “unbelievable,” and also gave comments as to Apple’s choice to stick with their iPhone and iPad software as opposed to developing standalone headsets.

Source: VRFocus

‘Hop Step Sing!’ – Japan’s first VR pop idol group still going strong

Hop Step Sing VR Idols

Japan is famous for its idols – real or virtual – so it was only a matter of time before they created their own VR pop band. The anime-styled trio have already begun to release a handful of songs, which can be viewed in VR via the Steam gaming platform.

Source: VRFocus

The iOS 11 beta hides a very cool VR feature

Apple Maps VR Feature

A VR feature has been added to Apple Maps in the company’s newest OS release, where users can fly over 3D maps by physically walking around. The feature makes use of the iPhone’s positional tracking sensors, and makes you feel like a giant strolling through city streets worldwide.

Source: VR Scout

YouTube reinforce their position on VR with the announcement of their VR Creator Lab

YouTube

Housed within their YouTube Spaces Los Angeles offices, the new three-day program offers training and equipment for YouTubers looking to work on their 360 VR recording and editing skills, with ongoing mentoring and issued projects.

Source: Adweek

VR enters the financial sphere with US processor Payscout

Payscout VR Commerce

Announced at the recent Money 20/20 panel, the company’s app is integrated with Visa Checkout and allows users to explore products from 360 degrees and make purchases without even having to take off their VR headset.

Source: Finextra

Mobile VR and AR developers may be gradually moving to higher-end computer-based systems

HTC Vive

The UBM Game Network surveyed 600 VR, AR, and MR professionals on the platforms they’re developing for – 56% replied for the HTC Vive and 49% for the Rift, compared to 24% for Google’s VR platforms and 33% for the Samsung Gear VR.

Source: Media Post

Catch up on our previous news summaries here.

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