VR is Expanding and Being Implemented In Extraordinary Ways
Emerging Tech Roundup — May 14
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Facebook hints at their upcoming VR features, Android Apps on Quest may allow for a VR, WFH experience, NBC and Twitch announce their livestream of the Tokyo Olympics, Next-gen PSVR features are leaked, Niantic makes their AR developer tools more accessible, Veterans use VR to attend memorials, and Spatial is bringing their VR experience to desktop users.
Facebook’s VR Future: New Sensors on Quest Pro, Fitness, and A Metaverse for Work
(CNET, May 7)
CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about the future of Facebook’s VR production. The newest, upcoming Quest Pro is anticipated to include new sensors, including face and eye tracking with intent to add more social presence to the VR experience. With more social presence comes more social opportunities for engagement, which is exactly what Zuckerberg is aiming to bring to new and existing VR users. The CEO stated that he envisions Facebook’s post-pandemic work culture to include VR meetings, possibly held in a platform similar to Facebook Horizon, Facebook’s upcoming social metaverse. The metaverse is set to launch in the near future, and will allow users to experience VR in a multitude of ways across several platforms.
Android Apps on Oculus Quest Could Help Us Ditch Our Work Laptops
(Techradar, May 10)
The Preview Apps section on the Oculus store suggested that the Oculus platform may soon be integrating Android apps including Zoom for Android, MS Remote Desktop, and MS OneNote. Since users are already comfortable working on such softwares, switching the channel of usage from a computer to a VR headset may not be as rough of a transition as once imagined. Oculus is also implementing an option within their platform for people to use it as a virtual desktop, including a gauge for office furniture around oneself when using VR, to bring added familiarity to the experience.
NBC Partners with Twitch for Live Coverage of the Tokyo Olympics
(Cord Cutters News, May 10)
NBC, partnering with Twitch, will be providing an intimate, front-row experience to viewers for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The livestream will include the week leading up to the Olympics in addition to the event itself. The engaging experience will include highlights and polls to allow interaction with viewers, among other interactive components.
Next-gen PSVR Said to Have 4.1MP Per-eye, Eye-tracking, & Head-mounted Haptics
(RoadtoVR, May 10)
Several sources leaked select features that Sony’s next-gen PlayStation VR headset is expected to include, all of which are highly appealing to VR users. The headset is said to be equipped with a dial to adjust the distance between one’s pupils for better functionality, eye-tracking to allow users a fine-tuned view specifically where they are looking, and enhanced resolution. The new PSVR is also anticipated to include head-mounted haptics, which would include features, such as vibrations, to improve the experience of the user and bring added comfort when wearing the headset. Tracking features of the headset and controllers are also foreseen to have been upgraded, using the same on-board camera tracking approach as Oculus Quest.
Niantic Broadens Access to Niantic Lightship AR Developer Tools
(Venturebeat, May 11)
The new Niantic Lightship platform, currently in beta testing, is expected to offer more access to its Augmented Reality Developer Kit. Added features include the use of RGB colors sensors in smartphone cameras rather than LiDAR scanners, enabling more users to experience the updated virtual reality (VR). The cameras will allow VR users to experience the world more realistically, with extra attention paid to environmental elements. Niantic also broadened their platform by offering a multiplayer function of up to 8 people, who can all tune into the same VR setting together, in real-time. Players will also be able to message one another for an enhanced experience.
Virtual Reality for Military Veterans: T-Mobile Teams with Honor Flight Network, VR to Bring Memorials to War Vets
(USA Today, May 11)
T-Mobile has partnered with the Honor Flight Network to make memorials more accessible to veterans throughout the month of May. Veterans will be able to use VR headsets to visit the World War II Memorial among other memorials in Washington, D.C. during Military Appreciation Month. From their own home, veterans will be able to engage in various ceremonies, including the Changing of the Guard, as well as virtual tours.
Spatial Is Bringing VR Hangouts and NFT Galleries to Web Browsers
(Inputmag, May 13)
Taking part in the VR experience Spatial no longer requires a VR headset. Users can utilize a desktop, smartphone, or tablet to immerse themselves in the virtual events that Spatial is hosting on its platform in the upcoming weeks, including still artwork showings and music production sessions. Users can also socialize on the platform and easily purchase any artwork that they are fond of.