Top 5 Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality News 💥 💥 💥
Oculus on trial, HTC Vive: building the ecosystem with tech and purpose, now you can smell your VR porn, augmented reality helping improve spinal surgeries, the first IMAX VR center lands in LA, investment and funding wrapup, and lots more…
1.OCULUS ON TRIAL
The ZeniMax vs. Facebook lawsuit has been grinding through the system for years — although unlike many tech-related IP cases, this one actually made it to trial. ZeniMax is alleging that former employee (and legendary creator of Doom) John Carmack, now CTO of Oculus, used their technology to help Palmer Luckey build the prototype of the Oculus Rift — while he worked at ZeniMax and Luckey was a student at US. The case hinges upon the fundamental question of what makes code new and whether or not Luckey violated an NDA. Although Facebook is not responsible for the burden of proof, if ZeniMax wins their case then it is possible that they would go for an injunction — could this stop sales of the Rift? Some say maybe.
Facebook, Inc. ($FB)
2.HTC VIVE: BUILDING THE ECOSYSTEM WITH TECH AND PURPOSE
Calling it the “VR for Impact” program, HTC Vive is earmarking a cool $10M towards content and innovation that supports the sustainable development goals of the United Nations: experiences that improve awareness, education, and lead to action for causes. The first winning projects will be announced in April: fittingly, on Earth Day.
…oh, and the tech:
- The Vive Tracker is a hockey puck-like sensor that enables developers to turn anything into an interactive device (well, almost anything — a certification system is in place to approve accessories). It is a hugely valuable addition to the industry because it opens up a world of interactive possibilities by lowering the financial barrier of entry to developers and accessory manufacturers.
- HTC Vive and TPCast have teamed up to release their wire-cutting solution in Q2. Priced at $250, the device consists of a wireless receiver, transmitter, and battery that attach to the headset enable you to run move around freely… no more VR tail!
HTC Corporation ($2498.TW)
3.IMAX VR ARCADES LAND IN LA
The first iteration of the new IMAX VR centers has arrived. Based in Los Angeles, the venue feels more like a movie theatre combined with a high-end spa than an arcade. The menu highlights an assortment of tastes, from the relaxing Jon Favreau and Wevr’s Gnomes and Goblins to the adrenaline-pumping John Wicke: An Eye for an Eye. For $10 you can try one of the featured experiences, or for $25 you can try them all.
IMAX Corporation ($IMAX)
4.SMELL YOUR VR PORN
Although this product may be a solution in search of a problem, it is just too funny for me not to tell you about. The OhRama (see what they did there?) snaps on over your regular VR headset, and it is meant to add an extra layer of realism to your virtual fantasies. Basically, you snap up to three scent cartridges into the OhRama scent mask, and control the smell via Bluetooth and a mobile app. Brought to you by CamSoda (uh, thanks?), there are 30 featured scents like body odor and panties. We have no word official word yet on how long it takes the smell (aka “evidence”) to disappear.
5.AUGMENTED REALITY HELPING IMPROVE SPINAL SURGERIES
Philips, one of the largest tech companies in the world, is getting even more high tech with their medical division. Spinal surgeries, once an open procedure requiring large incisions, have started to use less-invasive techniques in the past few years — relying on advanced imaging technology to guide tiny surgical tools with smaller incisions. Now, thanks to augmented reality, these procedures are becoming even less invasive. Surgeons can now make a “high-resolution 3D image of the patient’s spine, plan the optimal device path, and subsequently place pedicle screws using the system’s fully-automatic augmented reality navigation… and all of this can be done without any radiation exposure to the surgeon and with minimal dose to the patient.”
Koninklijke Philips N.V. ($PHG)
Malia Probst is Director of Brand Development for VRScout, one of the world’s leading immersive media companies, and host of the VRScout Report podcast — discussing all the news in the VR/AR space. Also check out her interviews with leaders in the virtual reality and augmented reality industry on the Real Virtual Show podcast.