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Shiftall Introduces MaganeX, World's First 5.2K High-Dynamic-Range Virtual-Reality Glasses at CES 2022 Incorporating Kopin's 2.6K x 2.6K OLED Displays

Shiftall Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, will reveal MaganeX, its stylish, lightweight, high-dynamic-range (HDR), virtual-reality (VR) glasses at CES 2022 this week incorporating Lightning 2.6K x 2.6K (2560 x 2560 resolution) micro OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays on chip (DoC ) and all-plastic Pancake optics from Kopin Corporation.

Shiftall, a fully owned subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, presents MaganeX which is an ultra-lightweight, 5.2K HDR VR headset supporting 6 degree-of-freedom (DoF) head position detection and various SteamVR applications. The MaganeX has a very small form factor thanks to Kopin's 1.3" displays and the slim Pancake optics. The small, lightweight form factor makes the glasses comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, unlike today's bulky VR headsets. The very advanced VR glasses also provide for interpupillary distance (IPD) and diopter adjustments so that they can be used without corrective lenses. The foldable frame with built-in speakers makes it easy to carry.

Skinetic, the Haptic VR Vest That Takes You Into the Metaverse

The world's largest trade show dedicated to innovation is back! The 2022 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will take place from January 5 to 8 in Las Vegas. Among the innovations presented, Actronika's haptic vest Skinetic promises to be a sensation. Skinetic allows users to experience a new generation of immersive VR by allowing them to feel life-like sensations of every interaction within the virtual world. Virtual reality has evolved a lot in recent years thanks to the improvement of VR headsets. But the experience can't be truly immersive because although they allow us to see and hear, headsets don't let us touch. It is therefore necessary to develop haptic technologies to integrate touch into virtual experiences.

"A few players are beginning to add the sense of touch into VR. However, the tactile illusions are still very flat. We decided to take this technology from black and white to full color!" explains Gilles Meyer - CEO of Actronika. Armed with more than 30 years of expertise in haptics (science of touch), Actronika created a device to feel real-life sensations for unique virtual experiences: the Skinetic vest. From gaming to training, it enables a totally immersive experience - the user can feel every raindrop in a storm, wind when standing near a cliff edge, or even the impact of bullets during a war game.

EM3 released the world's thinnest and lightest VR headset

EM3, a VR start-up company, recently released an ultra-thin VR glass prototype named Ether. The thickness of Ether is only 6.8 mm, and its weight is around 37 g. It is by far the lightest VR near eye display solution. Due to the current weight and size of the VR helmets, users will develop physiological discomfort after wearing them for about 20 minutes, limiting the applications to immersive VR games. Other Metaverse scenarios such as social networking, online education, training, design, conference, and convention, would request lighter yet smaller VR glass. Since 2014, numerous companies have been trying to reduce the thickness of VR headsets. However, limited by the principles of optics, it is difficult. Not until recently, companies using Pancake optics reduced the VR headset thickness to 25 mm in total and the weight of 160-180 g. Nevertheless, there is still a gap between VR headsets to VR glass.

The EM3 Ether prototype glass contains two micro-displays, 2560x2560 pixel resolution in full color. The FOV (field of view) per eye is 80° for now. EM3 claims that by using a larger format micro-display, the FOV per eye is expected to increase to 100° while the total thickness of the glass is unchanged. The Ether prototype adopts tethered design, which can be connected to a smartphone. According to EM3, Ether uses a unique near eye optical module, which converges full spectrum light within a short length to achieve precise imaging, therefore significantly reducing the VR glass's thickness. According to EM3, the company's goal is to launch its VR glass product Ether in late 2022.

TrendForce: Metaverse Applications Expected to Propel Global Virtual Reality Content Revenue to US$8.3 Billion for 2025

Factors such as the rising popularity of topics related to the metaverse and UGC (user-generated content), as well as the rapid increase in AR/VR device shipment, will likely result in the creation of a growing body of virtual reality content in the market, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. TrendForce expects annual global virtual reality content revenue to grow at a 40% CAGR from US$2.16 billion in 2021 to US$8.31 billion in 2025.

TrendForce further indicates that gaming/entertainment, videos, and social interactions comprise the primary categories of virtual reality content. Incidentally, as the construction of the virtual world and the development of virtual reality content are unlikely to be accomplished by only a handful of companies alone, companies in this space will therefore place an increasing emphasis on UGC instead. Leading companies will likely leverage the build-out of virtual reality platforms/environments and the provisioning of developmental tools/interfaces in order to not only lower the barrier to entry for content creation, but also raise user participation, thereby driving up the content market for virtual reality applications.

Oculus Quest Headsets Won't Require a Facebook Account in 2022

Mark Zuckerberg has recently announced a rebrand of Facebook to Meta during the companies Connect 2021 AR/VR event. This change will involve the dissolution of the Oculus brand for hardware naming and will also introduce an arguably more significant change in that Oculus/Meta accounts will be disassociated with Facebook accounts removing the need for a Facebook account to use the headsets. This change has allegedly come about due to the negative connotations regarding the Facebook brand and to encourage new users who aren't interesting in creating a Facebook account. While these changes won't be fully implemented until 2022 some users have reported that Oculus support is able to unlink Facebook accounts immediately while retaining purchases and most non-social features on the headset.
Andrew BosworthAs we've focused more on work, and as we've heard feedback from the VR community more broadly, we're working on new ways to log into Quest that won't require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year. This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.

Introducing Meta: A Social Technology Company

Today at Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta, which brings together Facebook's apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta's focus will be to bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today's online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can't be together — and do things together you couldn't do in the physical world. -It's the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it's ushering in a new chapter for the company. Zuckerberg shared more about this vision in a founder's letter.

HTC VIVE Breaks new Ground with Launch of Portable VIVE Flow Immersive Glasses

HTC VIVE today announced VIVE Flow, a compact, lightweight immersive glasses device that transports its wearers wherever they want or need to be - anytime, anywhere. "With VIVE Flow, HTC is taking technology in a new direction, focusing not on what we do, but on how we feel. Maintaining our wellness has come to the forefront in the last few years, with so many millions feeling stressed every day, so it has never been more important to take time out to calm our minds, and VIVE Flow provides the perfect opportunity to escape our four walls and immerse ourselves in our ideal ambience," said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC. "Meditation, gentle stretches, brain training, streaming our favorite shows or even meeting friends or coworkers in VR with VIVE Sync can all be enhanced by a device light and compact enough to fit in our pocket. VIVE Flow represents the next evolution of technology, as we take a more holistic view of how we can make life better."

"Relaxation means different things to different people," said Nanea Reeves, CEO of leading XR wellness service TRIPP. "It's important to find your own version of zen, whether that means meditating, watching videos, or playing games. The fact that HTC gets it, that we can use VR in these ways that can benefit peoples' emotional and mental well-being is something that I personally am very excited about as is our entire team at TRIPP."

Upcoming HTC Vive Flow VR Headset Leaks Ahead of Launch

HTC is said to be launching a new VR headset within the next couple days and thanks to @evleaks we now have a pretty good idea as to what to expect. Although we don't know the actual hardware specifications, it's supposed to be a stand-alone headset that doesn't require a PC to work, although the massive leak that appears to be presentation slides, does give away quite a lot of details.

For starters, there are details explaining that the Vive Flow as the new headset is called, can be paired over Bluetooth with smartphones and you can use the phone as a controller. It'll also be possible to stream content to the Vive Flow via Miracast from smartphones and possibly also other sources. The headset appears to be powered via a USB-C cable, although the pictures are ambiguous, as the Vive Flow is sometimes wired to a phone, but most of the time it doesn't appear to be connected to anything, not even a power source.

Virtual Reality Through A New Lens: Canon Introduces Their First Dual Fisheye Lens For Stereo 3D 180° VR Capture in 8K

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, has introduced its first product designed to empower the next generation of immersive storytellers. The new RF5.2 mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens brings stereoscopic 3D virtual reality (VR) capture to the EOS R5 camera as part of the EOS VR System, which also includes a future firmware update for the EOS R5 camera to support use of this lens with new VR shooting specific functions, as well as new upcoming Canon EOS VR software solutions for conversion and processing.

As the world's first digital interchangeable dual fisheye lens capable of shooting stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor the complexities of virtual reality production and the ability to view the content in full capacity, are greatly streamlined for seasoned professionals and newcomers to the craft. In order to truly experience the captured content by this system in its truest form, a compatible VR headset is recommended for use such as the Oculus Quest 2, allowing the viewer to immerse themselves in the content—by simply moving their head to provide a vivid, incredibly wide view.

HalfDive, World's First Bed-Mounted-Display VR Headset

VR and AR headsets might not have been quite the success they were expected to be, mainly due to cost, but now, a Japanese company has developed what has to be one of the weirdest VR headsets to date, one that's meant to be used in bed.

The HalfDive VR headset, or BMD (Bed-Mounted-Display) from Diver-X is trying to implement a range of new features that have never been seen before in a VR headset, such as "wind feedback. This is simply done by a pair of fans built into the headset that outside of adding a touch of wind in your face effect, can apparently also be used for cooling down the user.

Other more normal features include a 3D audio system that consists of four speakers placed around the head, a force feedback system based on what might best be described as friction bands, vibration feedback via an "audio exciter" and foot controllers in addition to regular hand controllers.

Linux Foundation to Form New Open 3D Foundation

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced an intent to form the Open 3D Foundation to accelerate developer collaboration on 3D game and simulation technology. The Open 3D Foundation will support open source projects that advance capabilities related to 3D graphics, rendering, authoring, and development. As the first project governed by the new foundation, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) is contributing an updated version of the Amazon Lumberyard game engine as the Open 3D Engine (O3DE), under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. The Open 3D Engine enables developers and content creators to build 3D experiences unencumbered by commercial terms and will provide the support and infrastructure of an open source community through forums, code repositories, and developer events. A developer preview of O3DE is available on GitHub today. For more information and/or to contribute, please visit: https://o3de.org

3D engines are used to create a range of virtual experiences, including games and simulations, by providing capabilities such as 3D rendering, content authoring tools, animation, physics systems, and asset processing. Many developers are seeking ways to build their intellectual property on top of an open source engine where the roadmap is highly visible, openly governed, and collaborative to the community as a whole. More developers look to be able to create or augment their current technological foundations with highly collaborative solutions that can be used in any development environment. O3DE introduces a new ecosystem for developers and content creators to innovate, build, share, and distribute immersive 3D worlds that will inspire their users with rich experiences that bring the imaginations of their creators to life.

COLORFUL Launches the First GPU History Museum

Colorful Technology Company Limited, a professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards, all-in-one gaming and multimedia solutions, and high-performance storage, announces the launch of the GPU History Museum in partnership with NVIDIA. COLORFUL has recently relocated to Shenzhen New Generation Industrial Park. With that, COLORFUL is proud to announce the launch of the first GPU History Museum in China. The museum will showcase the beginnings of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), to the development and evolution of graphics cards up to the present generation.

Analyst Expects New VR Headsets from Facebook, Sony, and Apple in 2022

Ming-Chi Kuo a renowned Apple analyst has recently predicted that we will see at least three new XR products from Facebook, Sony, and Apple in 2022. These predictions come from an analysis of recent lens orders from Taiwanese manufacturer Yujingguang by the three companies. Yujingguang is expected to supply the lenses used in the upcoming Oculus Quest 3, and PlayStation VR 2 along with being a "key-supplier" for Apple's headset. These new lenses will offer an increased field of view and improved image clarity over existing options. The company expects to supply 50% of the demand for Oculus Quest 3 equal to 22 million units while their exact supply for the devices from Sony and Apple is unknown.

NVIDIA Adds DLSS Support To 9 New Games Including VR Titles

NVIDIA DLSS adoption continues at rapid pace, with a further 9 titles adding the game-changing, performance-accelerating, AI and Tensor Core-powered GeForce RTX technology. This follows the addition of DLSS to 5 games last month, and the launch of Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition a fortnight ago. This month, DLSS comes to No Man's Sky, AMID EVIL, Aron's Adventure, Everspace 2, Redout: Space Assault, Scavengers, and Wrench. And for the first time, DLSS comes to Virtual Reality headsets in No Man's Sky, Into The Radius, and Wrench.

By enabling NVIDIA DLSS in each, frame rates are greatly accelerated, giving you smoother gameplay and the headroom to enable higher-quality effects and rendering resolutions, and raytracing in AMID EVIL, Redout: Space Assault, and Wrench. For gamers, only GeForce RTX GPUs feature the Tensor Cores that power DLSS, and with DLSS now available in 50 titles and counting, GeForce RTX offers the fastest frame rates in leading triple-A games and indie darlings.

HTC Announces VIVE Pro 2 and VIVE Focus 3 VR Headsets

HTC VIVE, the global leader in premium virtual reality (VR), today set a new benchmark for business and consumer VR, bringing 5K resolution and a 120-degree field of view as standard to the two new VR headsets announced today at VIVECON 2021, HTC's global VR conference. VIVE Pro 2 pushes the boundaries of PC VR for incredible gaming, creating, and experiences, while VIVE Focus 3 redefines business VR with a purpose-built All-in-One with no compromises. HTC also announced VIVE Business, its comprehensive range of tools designed to support businesses of any size to get the most out of VR.

"Today's launch marks a major milestone in our strategy to create the very best immersive experiences. We have listened to our customers, from well-known global companies to smaller firms and professional users, and have designed these premium headsets from the ground up to meet the challenges they face, adding a professional range of software, platform and services to make implementation as smooth and effective as possible," said Cher Wang, HTC Chairwoman and CEO. "In line with our mission, we've combined the very latest technology with the needs and aspirations of our customers, enabling them to unleash their imagination to improve people's lives and solve problems for business and society."

Oculus Quest 2 Update Brings 120 Hz Support, Wireless PC streaming, Office Mode

Today we're announcing features that will begin rolling out soon in the v28 software update to Oculus Quest headsets. Oculus Air Link is a wireless way to play PC VR games on Quest 2, while new Infinite Office features make getting work done in VR even easier. We're also announcing native 120 Hz support for Quest 2 for an ultra-smooth gameplay experience.

Since launching in 2019 and exiting beta last year, Oculus Link has been a widely used feature across the Quest Platform. With a gaming PC and a compatible USB-C cable, Link has given people access to Rift's impressive content library, including games like Asgard's Wrath, Lone Echo, Stormland, and more. But of course, being tethered to your PC can break immersion and limit your mobility. We know gamers want to use Link without a wire—to experience the full freedom of movement offered by Quest 2 while playing the high-end titles that can only run on a gaming PC. That's why we've been working on a new streaming technology called Oculus Air Link—a completely wireless way to play PC VR content on Quest 2 using WiFi, built on the successful Oculus Link streaming pipeline.

Qualcomm Extends the Leadership of its 7-Series with the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced the latest addition to its 7-series portfolio, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform. Snapdragon 780G is designed to deliver powerful AI performance and brilliant camera capture backed by the Qualcomm Spectra 570 triple ISP and 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, allowing users to capture, enhance, and share their favorite moments seamlessly. This platform enables a selection of premium-tier features for the first time in the 7-series, making next generation experiences more broadly accessible.

"Since introducing the Snapdragon 7-series three years ago, more than 350 devices have launched based on 7-series mobile platforms. Today, we are continuing this momentum by introducing the Snapdragon 780G 5G Mobile Platform," said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon 780G was designed to bring in-demand, premium experiences to more users around the world."

Capcom Announces Resident Evil Village PC Requirements

Capcom, the Japanese video game maker, has today announced specification requirements for its upcoming Resident Evil Village PC game, needed to play the game at certain resolutions/graphics presets. Starting with the minimum settings, Capcom is thinking of 1080p 60 FPS gaming. To achieve that you need at least an Intel Core i5-7500 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 processor paired with 8 GB of RAM. The minimum specification also requires a DirectX 12 capable GPU, with 4 GB of VRAM, just like NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 560. The company notes that using this configuration, framerate may drop below 60 FPS during heavy loads. If you want to use raytracing, which is now also present in the game engine, you must switch to at least NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT.

The recommended specification of course requires much beefier hardware compared to the minimum specification. If you want to have a steady 1080p 60 FPS experience without frame drops, Capcom recommends an Intel Core i7 8700 or AMD Ryzen 5 3600 processor, paired with 16 GB of RAM, and a GPU like an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX 5700. However, if you want the raytracing feature you need a better GPU. To achieve a 4K resolution with 60 FPS and raytracing turned on, the GPU needs a bump to at least an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card. You can check out the game requirements in greater detail below.

Sony Confirms That Next-Generation PSVR Headset for PS5 is Under Development

Sony has officially announced that they are working on a next-generation PlayStation VR headset for the PS5. Sony has only provided limited details of the upcoming headset but they include upgrades to resolution, field of view, tracking, and input. The new headset will also connect to PS5 with a single cord to simplify setup. The new VR controllers will incorporate various improvements from the latest generation DualSense wireless controller along with general ergonomic improvements. While this new PSVR system is still under development and will not launch until at least 2022 Sony has reaffirmed their commitment to the existing PSVR platform confirming the launch of several new titles including After The Fall, Sniper Elite VR, and Humanity. You can read the full release from Sony below.

Oculus Quest 2 May Be Receiving 120 Hz Refresh Rate Support In Upcoming Update

Facebook Reality Labs Vice President Andrew Bosworth has recently confirmed in a Q&A session that the Oculus Quest 2 is likely to receive 120 Hz refresh rate support via an upcoming software update. The original Oculus Quest shipped with a 72 Hz refresh rate and when the Quest 2 was released with a better screen this refresh rate was kept for compatibility reasons. Facebook has now made 90 Hz the default refresh rate on the Quest 2 after a period of testing and it seems that this could soon be increased to 120 Hz with the main concerns remaining being performance and battery life. Developers would have the option to target 72, 90, or 120 Hz for their games and applications to run at. The 120 Hz refresh rate would be most noticeable when playing desktop VR games via Oculus Link with a computer capable of high-fidelity VR.

Apple's Rumored Mixed-Reality Headset To Include Dual 8K Displays & Cost 3,000 USD

Apple has been rumored to be working on a mixed-reality device for some time now, expected to launch in 2022 and target the premium market. We have recently received information from a source with direct knowledge of the device who claims the new headset will feature dual 8K displays, eye tracking, inside out tracking, and swappable headbands. The report details a late-stage prototype device with a sleek curved visor design attached to the head with interchangeable headbands that offer features like spatial audio and extra battery.

The device would not include any traditional controllers instead relying on inputs such as eye movement, and hand gestures, or a physical finger ring device. The headset would include limited augmented reality features such as pass-through video from the over dozen cameras mounted on the device. The report also corroborates previous reports with an estimated price of 3,000 USD launching in 2022 and targeting first-year sales of 250,000 units before releasing a more advanced AR device in 2023.

Apple Reportedly Developing VR & AR Headsets For Launch in 2022 & 2023

Apple is reportedly developing an initial VR headset as a precursor to their eventual AR glasses. The upcoming VR headset will be a niche expensive product that may only be distributed through Apple's first-party stores and will cost considerably more than competing products from Oculus, Sony, and HTC. The headset will feature custom Apple silicon more powerful than their current M1 processor and include limited AR abilities. Apple had previously planned to develop a device that would harness the processing power of a user's mobile device but has since switched to a standalone solution which has increased complexity. The Apple VR headset codenamed N301 is currently in a late prototype stage and may be announced sometime in 2022, if this timeline holds then Apple may announce their AR glasses the next year in 2023.

Tundra Labs Preparing to Launch Cheaper Vive Tracker Alternative

Tundra Labs is a new company working on custom SteamVR positional tracking solutions. The company has recently unveiled its latest product the Tundra Tracker a smaller, cheap Vive Tracker alternative for SteamVR tracking. The open SteamVR tracking system allows any company to create products that are tracked by SteamVR Base Stations and simplifies VR accessory compatibility. The Vive Tracker and Tundra Tracker are both small SteamVR tracking devices worn by the user to more accurately capture movement.

The Tundra Tracker will be "60% smaller, consume about 50% less power, weight 50% less, and have twice the battery life," compared to the Vive Tracker according to Tundra Labs founder Luke Beno. While the product is a clear competitor to the Vive Trackers they will work in tandem meaning Vive Tracker owners can expand their tracking with Tundra Trackers and vice-versa.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Virtual Reality Update Available Now

Microsoft Flight Simulator was built from the ground up to achieve three key goals: realism, accuracy, and authenticity of flight. Today, we're excited to share that Virtual Reality for Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available on your favorite VR headset for PC, offering simmers the deepest and most immersive virtual flight experience in the new simulator to date.

The flight sim community has been a very active and insightful partner in shaping how the team approached VR, and continues to be a critical partner in our continued development as we make further improvements and add new features to the simulation. Adding VR to Microsoft Flight Simulator was a direct result of community feedback, and we look forward to continued involvement in the future of the franchise with us.

Wacom Announces VR Pen for 3D Artists

The Wacom VR Pen is a pressure sensitive stylus controller (VR pen), with tracking system, designed for creative professionals. It is perfect for ideating, sketching and drawing in the VR space, and supports the seamless workflow between 2D and 3D (VR). Wacom's 30 years of experience in pen-technology accumulates in this stylus controller, furthering the evolution of the drawing process.
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