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Virtual & Augmented Reality

  • Jesus Christ is getting his own virtual reality movie

    Virtual reality has taken the worlds of gaming, medicine and entertainment by storm, but what about religion? Well, enthusiasts of the burgeoning technology have found inspiration in Jesus. Production and tech companies Autumn Productions and VRWERX will soon debut a virtual reality movie of Jesus's life dubbed Jesus VR: The Story of Christ. It'll be a 90-minute journey covering pivotal moments in Christ's life -- his birth, his death, and his resurrection. And if that sounds familiar (like a certain Mel Gibson-directed movie), The Passion Of The Christ's executive producer will reprise his role for this virtual reality movie. Jesus VR will...

  • Bjork’s Digital Tour uses HTC Vive to bring her music to virtual reality

    Virtual reality's usually only good for impressing family at impromptu gatherings, or giving wearers palpable, throbbing headaches. But HTC and Bjork are taking the Vive to the next level, musically at least. The Icelandic songstress's 2015 album will be part of the artist's Digital tour -- part of a multi-city exhibit taking fans through some of the hit tracks in virtual reality using the HTC Vive headset. Bjork notes that at each exhibition, 80 of these headsets will be used in a communal setting, allowing a number of fans to experience the same pseudo-concert at the same time. " feel the chronological...

  • Facebook acquires VR company Two Big Ears, introduces 360 Spatial Workstation

    If you think Facebook's VR game was a joke then you were dead wrong. The company has announced the acquisition of Scottish VR company Two Big Ears. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed The company specialises in immersive audio products based on solutions for both cinematic VR and gaming, and Facebook has not wasted any time putting the company's expertise to good use. Alongside the announcement, it also introduced 360 Spatial Workstation, a software suite for designing spatial audio for 360 video and cinematic VR. The Facebook 360 Spatial Workstation has plugins for popular audio workstations, including a time...

  • Facebook will turn your neglected panoramas into 360 photos for VR

    Let's be brutally honest for a second. Panorama shots don't get as much love as they should. It could be argued that social media platforms and websites deserve some of the blame, often delivering a clunky way to view them. But they do make for inherently awkward viewing on most platforms anyway. Fortunately, Facebook and Oculus are doing something about this, as the two announced that your panoramas can now be viewed with virtual reality headsets. The duo revealed that this functionality should hit news feeds and Gear VR headsets "in the coming weeks". Got a Gear VR? Then you should visit the Oculus 360 Photos app to...

  • 7 seriously innovative ways brands are using VR

    Aside from games and movies, what else is possible with virtual reality? Well, there are actually quite a few innovative and mind-blowing ways we're seeing VR being used. Between vehicle test drives and public speaking sims, these are some of the more notable applications of the technology by brands. Buying tickets? Check the view first! The USA's StubHub came up with a rather smart idea for VR, using it to show event attendees what their seat will look like. The company used it for tickets to an NBA event, giving customers a full 360 degree view of the arena with the aid of Gear VR or Google...

  • What can VR do for your business? Check out this Cape Town showcase

    Between the GearVR and Oculus Rift, it's clear that virtual reality (VR) is gradually becoming mainstream. And like any piece of tech, there's always one industry you can depend upon to get to the table first. Well, aside from the porn industry... We're talking about the advertising industry of course, and Cape Town is no exception as VR studio SenseVirtual hosts a showcase for businesses this week. Africa's Virtual Reality and 360 Video Showcase takes place on April 14 at Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock - so what can attendees expect? SenseVirtual founder Tyrone Rubin says that people will be able to view CG experiences and...

  • IKEA embraces virtual reality shopping with HTC Vive app

    IKEA isn't a company synonymous with bleeding-edge technology, but virtual reality and online retail seem to go very well together. At least judging by the company's latest move. In a bid to sell more online, the Swedish company has announced a virtual reality test app that features a "virtual kitchen experience," and effectively lets the shopper use products from the IKEA catalogue, build a kitchen and even change perspectives. IKEA explains that "consumers can use the app to explore one of three differently-styled kitchen room settings." "The user can change the color of cabinets and drawers with a click. Another feature is...

  • Oculus can freely use your content, tracks you while using Rift

    Oculus is slowly but steadily sending Rift headsets out to early adopters, but they might want to read the terms of service before jumping in. Most concerning perhaps, is that the Facebook-owned company is free to utilise your user-generated content in any way it sees fit. "By submitting User Content through the Services, you grant Oculus a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual (i.e. lasting forever), non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) right to use, copy, display, store, adapt, publicly perform and distribute such User Content in connection with the Services," reads the relevant excerpt. "You irrevocably...

  • Are we ready for live virtual entertainment?

    There are vast possibilities for virtual reality. In the near future we’ll see a focus on gaming and novel digital experiences. We’ll also see more and more 360 degree video. But in a few years, we’ll be able to experience live events as if we were there. Imagine the possibilities of tapping into a music concert, a public lecture, a sports event and actually sit in a seat and see real people in true 3D all around you. You’ll hear the guy behind you swear at the referee, and you can turn to glare at him anonymously. You’ll see the...

  • Virtual Reality will take your wife, your kids, and your heart

    Stacy, my wife, is an exceptionally grounded individual. She’s responsible, sensible, and disciplined; of the two of us, I’m the one far more likely to binge on Netflix, social media, Reddit, video games, and YouTube. Stacy just isn’t the type of person who gets impulsively addicted to technology. That was before I introduced her to virtual reality. Now, all Stacy wants to do is explore underwater habitats, travel through outer space, walk among dinosaurs, and lead armies into battle with a vigor that, to be perfectly frank, is a bit intimidating. VR is incredibly immersive; in its clutches, your...

  • Crossing the rift: why we can expect big things from South Africa’s growing VR industry

    On Wednesday evening, CiTi held an event at the Bandwidth Barn detailing Virtual Reality (VR) in South Africa, its plans, as well as general information on both local and international markets. VR has been around since the 1980s and in recent years has made a resurgence, thanks to Palmer Luckey’s Oculus Rift. While some may still view (no pun intended) VR as something akin to cheesy science fiction, it has evolved well beyond its initial low-tech B-movie stigma and that of Nintendo’s horrendous Virtual Boy. CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington, had this to say in his welcome speech: Tech and innovation are...