Lenovo releases Enterprise VR All-in-One Mirage VR S3

At the recent Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Global Summit online conference, Lenovo announced the latest version of its business VR solution: Mirage VR S3, based on the Think Reality platform for business users.

Lenovo releases Enterprise VR All-in-One Mirage VR S3

The headset is reportedly a complete VR device developed by Lenovo in collaboration with Pico. Designed for businesses, it features a 4K display, support for bare-handed controls, and an easy-to-clean, hygienic mask. This all-in-one head unit also offers built-in audio and up to 3 hours of battery life, and is rugged and lightweight for expansion throughout the enterprise.

The Mirage VR S3 VR All-in-One is supported by the Lenovo Think Reality Software platform. The platform is the first cross-platform, cross-cloud AR/VR platform that helps business customers deliver and manage applications and content globally with powerful management tools and after-sales support. From proof-of-concept to productivity, the Think Reality platform provides a proven, scalable and simplified path for enterprise-wide AR/VR applications. The Think Reality Platform uses pre-built functionality and application logic, enabling engineers to create complex applications more easily and quickly.

The headset is expected to arrive in China, North America, Japan, the United Kingdom, France and Spain starting in the third quarter of this year. The device is expected to cost less than $450 in North America. For more information and pricing, please contact your local Lenovo representative or visit the Lenovo Web site.

HP Reverb G2, new VR headset: Support for Microsoft MR+SteamVR

HP Reverb G2

HP will launch the HP Reverb G2 headset this fall at a price of $600, and the company hopes the new headset will appeal to new business and consumers, boosting sales.

VR has been a very hot topic since the first years, as many companies launched their products in this area. After one or two years of development, the VR madness faded away, and few companies were left with product updates. As for VR products, the latest news is that HP has launched an upgrade to its Reverb series, the Reverb G2, which will be available this fall at a price of $599.

Although the new Reverb G2 VR headset is an HP product, it can be considered a joint development between HP, Valve, and Microsoft. Positioned as a VR product for gamers, not businesses, the HP Reverb G2 VR Headset is a consumer-quality product that supports Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality and Steam platforms for SteamVR and is plug-and-play ready.

HP announces new VR headset HP Reverb G2

Compared to the first generation, the HP ReverbG2 VR headset has the same resolution and field of view but features more cameras (two on the front and one each on the right and left), a redesigned grip controller, and Valve’s new lenses and speakers. The HP Reverb G2 has a super single eye 2160×2160 pixels and offers a field of view of 114°, and according to HP, the visual blur that was present in the previous generation will no longer be present under the new lens and panel, and we can expect the next model to be truly powerful.

“During the outbreak, VR has become one of the most important methods of communication and collaboration, and this will help increase HP’s brand awareness by boosting sales of the HP Reverb G2 after its launch,” said Anu Herranen, HP’s director of new product promotion.

The HP ReverbG2 VR headset also features a new sound system with new speakers positioned 10 mm from the ear, support for Spatial Audio 3D sound, and an optimized layout of the grip keys for better adaptation to VR applications or games via Bluetooth.

Huawei XR to power SoC for Rokid Vision glasses

Rokid Vision

HiSilicon, the business unit of Huawei, has officially announced an augmented reality eyewear platform with 8K video decoding hardware, integrated graphics, and neural processors. Along with the chip, the first eyewear on this platform – Rokid Vision – was shown for demonstration.

The chip supports a resolution of 42.7 pixels per degree per eye. The resolution of the human eye is about 60 pixels per degree. Typically, a chip that decodes 4K at 60 frames per second can support a resolution for an eye of 21.3 pixels per degree, which is equivalent to 480P resolution, which is the equivalent of the old TV screen. It’s uncomfortable and not as exciting as advertisements say. The HiSilicon chip can provide more clarity during playback.

The platform also has its own architecture processor for AI algorithms. It has a peak processing power of 9 TOPS (therapy per second). This processor will accelerate image processing tasks such as environmental analysis, object recognition, and real-time graphics overlay in augmented reality. This makes the performance of the neuro processor in DR glasses important.

The Rokid vision glasses (on the renderer above), the first device on the new HiSilicon chip, was also the first product of the Chinese start-up company Rokid. The device can’t reject the original design, but the size of ordinary glasses is a long way off, as can be seen in the picture. They have two displays with a viewing angle of about 40°. For comparison, the HoloLens 2 has a diagonal field of view of 52°. Thanks to the waveguide displays, the novelty delivers a stereoscopic 1080P image that corresponds to a 110-inch TV at a distance of four meters from the viewer.

Rokid Vision positions eyewear for security, industry, education, retail, and exhibitions. It is a gadget for corporate customers.

The date of availability of the chip and glasses has not yet been announced.

Hand tracking in Quest leaves beta, first games without controllers are approaching

Hand tracking in Quest leaves beta, first games without controllers are approaching

The hand tracking software control feature in Oculus Quest is no longer just an experiment. This week, Facebook will take it out of beta status, and next week three games adapted to it will be introduced on the App Store. This means that third-party handheld apps will be open for download.

BP developers of Facebook have integrated hand and finger tracking into some of their own applications like Oculus Browser and Oculus TV, but third-party applications are not allowed in the Oculus Store. With the lifting of this ban, the prepared games “Elixir”, “The Curious Story of Stolen Pets” and “Waltz of the Magician” will now be released. They can be considered as demonstrations of possibilities.

There will also be several relevant interactive films, such as “Gloomy Eyes” about the love between a zombie guy and a living girl and “The Line” about a world of endless routine.

Most likely nothing will change in the way the function works with the release: If you download glasses without taking controllers with you, you will be able to control the interface manually, but you will be offered controllers when you start an application with their support (i.e. almost any application).

As for hand tracking in Rift, Oculus hasn’t reported anything new since it announced a few months ago that it would have to wait for feedback from quest owners. And there will be more, especially with Oculus Link over almost every cable on the market.

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Samsung closes all services of the Samsung XR platform

Samsung closes all services of the Samsung XR platform

The announcement was posted on the Samsung XR site. With the completion of the Gear VR South Korean Samsung project, all applications for BP video on the web, smartphone glasses, and standalone devices will roll down.

Samsung closes all services of the Samsung XR platform

Samsung completes servicing its XR applications on the web, mobile, and headset platforms. The service will be discontinued on September 30, 2020. The following changes will be made on the following dates during this period:

From now on:

  • Access to 360° video downloads will be discontinued;
    all Samsung XR and Samsung VR Video customers will no longer receive updates.
    Status: June 30, 2020:
  • The Samsung VR Video application is not supported on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest and will be removed from the Oculus Store.
    Status: September 30, 2020:
  • All Samsung XR user accounts are deactivated and deleted. All user accounts and associated data are irrevocably deleted from the XR service.
  • All published videos are deleted from the XR service. The data will not be restored after deletion.
  • Samsung XR is not responsible for any loss or damage caused by the removal of the video.
  • The Samsung VR video application is no longer supported on Samsung Gear VR or Windows Odyssey. The application will also be removed from Oculus and Microsoft Mixed Reality stores.
  • The Samsung XR mobile application is no longer supported on Android devices. The mobile app will also be removed from the Galaxy Store and Google Play.
  • Samsung XR (formerly Samsung VR) is a video hosting platform that offers professional and user-generated content. At the time of writing, Samsung has already disabled the ability to download and purchase videos and stopped updating all XR and Samsung VR Video customers.

It will not be possible to return money for content. According to the Samsung XR Terms of Service, all sales are final.

On May 11, 2020, the analysis function of the Creator portal was disabled. Users will no longer be able to access video content and analytics. On the same day, XR turned off the function of creating live broadcasts in a spherical format. Before the Samsung XR service ends on September 30, 2020, previously created live broadcasts can be viewed on Samsung XR (if created with on-demand access). After this date, all videos will be removed from the service, including live streaming recordings available on demand.

As of June 30, the company will no longer support the Samsung VR video application on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest by removing it from the Oculus Store. On September 30, all user data, including stored and published videos, will be irretrievably deleted.

Users who install the Samsung VR Video application on their devices before September 30 will be able to use offline features, including the ability to download spherical videos from other devices.

On September 30, 2020, all videos and 3D content posted on samsungxr.com will be deleted. After this date, users will no longer have access to the accounts of the creator portal. The data will not be available for recovery.

Half-Life: Alyx , Valve has released a tool for creating mods and a Linux version of the game

Half-Life: Alyx

Valve has published mode tools for “Half-Life: Alyx” and their release in Steam Workshop. They can be used to develop new levels, models, textures, and animations for the game.

About one and a half months have passed since the release of Alyx. Alyx Workshop Tools arrived in time to maintain its popularity. It is currently in beta testing, but already contains the following elements:

  • Hammer is the latest version of the Source 2 level editor.
  • Material Editor – a tool for creating and customizing materials in Source 2
  • ModelDoc – a tool for viewing, editing, and assembling models with animations, collisions, and other attributes of the game progress.
  • AnimGraph is an animation tool for creating complex animation settings with overlays and transitions.
  • Particle Editor – to create new particle effects
  • Sub Subrect Editor – to create intelligent texture sheets known as “hot spots
  • Source Filmmaker is a visualization and animation tool in Source 2.
  • The kit contains several examples of maps. They show the pipeline that Valve used to create game layers.

Developers and modders can download official tools for modding “Half-Life: Alyx” from the Valve website. There they can also find documentation that still needs to be filled out.

Along with the release of the modding tools, Valve has also released a Linux version of Half-Life: Alyx that uses the Vulcan API. And now Vulkan works with the Windows version of the game.

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NVIDIA CloudXR SDK version 1.0, a kickstart for VR/AR online streaming

NVIDIA CloudXR SDK

NVIDIA announced the release of version 1.0 of its CloudXR SDK, a suite of tools that enables network operators to deliver cloud-rendered AR/VR streaming capabilities.

Nvidia is constantly preparing its CloudXR system for the emergence of edge computing networks with GPUs and 5G-connected devices.

The company has developed a number of tools that enable these networks (or the operators at the top of these networks) to deliver cloud-rendered AR / VR content to their customers.

Ultimately, the aim of AR/VR streaming is to remove the hardware barrier to VR by rendering the image material in the cloud and transferring it to a host device that does not in itself require particularly robust or expensive hardware.

Nvidia already offers a very similar service called GeForce Now, but it is for traditional games and not for VR. CloudXR is a specialized solution for the unique latency and performance requirements of VR and AR streaming.

Although Nvidia announced the early release of the CloudXR SDK late last year, the company today announced version 1.0, which is said to be ready for first real-world network implementations.

According to Nvidia, the CloudXR system can stream any SteamVR content to end users on Windows or Android systems without requiring any special modification to the streaming application.

This can be game and entertainment content or business and productivity content, such as state-of-the-art 3D visualization or immersive design applications; whatever the operator wants to offer to its customers.

NVIDIA announced the release of version 1.0 of its CloudXR SDK

But the CloudXR SDK is not just a simple client-host video encoder/decoder; according to Nvidia, the system is designed to operate and manage large server deployments and provides a truly scalable solution that can support many clients simultaneously on virtualized hardware.

“CloudXR combines the power of an RTX server with NVIDIA’s Quadro Virtual Workstation (Quadro vDWS) GPU virtualization software to securely enable multi-tenant deployments, a common requirement of telecommunications and service providers. GPU virtualization also allows multiple virtual machines to access a GPU when the workload is lower, optimizing user density and operating costs. Management capabilities are simplified with support for VMware and Red Hat virtualization platforms and support management tools”.

NVIDIA CloudXR SDK version 1.0, a kickstart for VR/AR online streaming

For high-end computing operators looking for a complete solution, Nvidia even offers an ‘RTX Server CloudXR 5G MEC DevKit’ – literally a server box with all the hardware and software needed to stream AR/VRs rendered in the cloud, which can be connected to an existing data center for testing purposes.

It will be some time before we see the CloudXR streaming capabilities offered to real end-users, but Nvidia hopes that this is an important first step towards a viable future for AR/VR cloud streaming.

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HTC Vive Sync, a virtual reality application for meetings and announcements

HTC Vive Sync

Since the coronavirus forced a number of industries to continue their business via online video conferencing platforms, a new demand for this type of tool evolved. In response, HTC announced a new meeting tool for Vive, its virtual reality platform. The tool is called Vive Sync and allows presentations to take place in a virtual 3D room.

Welcome to Vive Sync

HTC Vive Sync

The difference between this platform and similar ones is the use of custom avatars. These are full-body and can convey body language during the presentation. The process of creating your avatar would start with a selfie. Personalization aspects such as facial features, body type, and clothing are possible, although more options will be available in future updates. The Vive Pro Eye will track the user’s eye movements and reflect them in virtual space. There is also talk of tracking natural body language thanks to the platform’s “IK tracking system”.

Vive Sync will display both the user’s local time and the local time of the other meeting participants. The platform will be integrated with Microsoft OneDrive, allowing exhibitors to exchange PDF files and play video or PowerPoint slideshows for their presentations. There will also be a 3D pen for taking notes, you can take screenshots and even record the presentation.

If presenters want to include 3D models as part of their presentations, FBX and OBJ files are supported. These could be used to show a product from all angles. In fact, Vive Sync advertising uses a vehicle as an example.

HTC Vive Sync

Meeting rooms will be able to accommodate up to 30 people at a time and Vive Sync will be free for businesses until the end of 2020. Of course, you will need to have an HTC Vive to participate. The open beta version is now available on the Vive website. Click here for more details.

SteamVR and macOS, Valve has discontinued support

SteamVR and macOS, Valve has discontinued support

Valve announces that SteamVR will no longer be available under the Apple operating system MacOS. Its support will be discontinued.

This is very bad news for players under MacOS. Regarding its technology, SteamVR Valve announces that its development teams will discontinue support for the macOS platform. The goal is to “focus” on Windows and Linux support.

SteamVR, Valve gives up MacOS support

The current macOS users using SteamVR will have to focus primarily on legacy builds. They are suggested in the Beta tab of the SteamVR properties. We are talking about one step at first because this solution is no longer sustainable in the long run. With the introduction of new hardware and software, it will become obsolete.

For some people this announcement is not really a surprise, knowing that the macOS platform does not offer leading “VR” activity. In the future, its users will either have to adopt a new environment or have two machines, one running Windows or Linux, to access SteamVR.

Microsoft HoloScreens empowers a multi monitor environment without requiring any physical

HoloScreens (Mirage)

Today Microsoft introduced an application for Hololens users codenamed HoloScreens (codename Mirage), a HoloScreens application that allows users to easily expand their workspace in the virtual world. Users simply start the HoloLens app in HoloLens and see the QR code in the HoloLens PC app.

Devices like the HoloLens, which are currently only intended for business users in the future, could also be useful for the daily productivity of all of us. Or at least that is Microsoft’s vision for HoloScreens.

HoloScreens (Mirage)

Microsoft HoloScreens will add virtual monitors to

real ones

As you can see in the screenshot above, HoloLens users can use this app to add virtual displays, adjust the layout of the display, adjust the position of the display, and much more. Just like a multi-monitor setup in the real world, HoloLens users can easily move their cursor from a physical to a virtual screen. The user can also drag the application from the physical display to the virtual display.

HoloScreens (Mirage)

In fact, for all intentions and purposes not related to physical location, these HoloScreens will operate under the normal multi-screen configuration, which allows us to move and interact with the mouse pointer and even drag windows and programs across screens.

Although no date for availability has been announced at this stage, the seemingly advanced progress that can be observed in the data collection could be a good omen for an early presentation.

HoloScreens (Mirage): virtual screens on HoloLens

It should be noted that this could be an experimental project and is not intended for a large-scale introduction. For such a technology to be truly effective and not just a stylistic exercise, it will be necessary first and foremost to make mixed reality more accessible to viewers, also on an economic level.

Although this new application will save users money when purchasing large screens, it does not currently bring any real savings either. And even if the price of the Microsoft HoloLens is required, up to 4,500 dollars, it is still too high. It is to be hoped that the creation of this new type of technology and the investment in it will open up this still-to-be-used market by introducing new products and standardizing their prices.

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