Das Bereisen ferner Länder und das Erkunden spannender Städte ist in Zeiten der Pandemie leider kaum möglich. Wer dennoch den eigenen Horizont mit neuen Eindrücken erweitern will, der kann schnell und einfach mit der Magenta VR App der Telekom einen Trip nach Nizza oder Lissabon unternehmen.
Nizza und Lissabon mit der Magenta VR App entdecken
Die Reise nach Nizza ist in drei Teile unterteilt, welche euch die entspannte Stadt an der Französischen Riviera hautnah erleben lassen. Ihr seht die schönsten Orten der Stadt, die beeindruckende Landschaft und natürlich die herrlichen Strände.
Wenn ihr anschließend direkt weiterreisen wollt, stehen ebenso drei Episoden in der Magenta VR App bereit, welche euch nach Lissabon entführen. Hier könnt ihr die zweitälteste europäische Hauptstadt mit all ihren Facetten erleben. Der Reiz dieser Stadt ist so groß, dass sie regelmäßig zum besten Reiseziel für Städtereisen in Europa gewählt wird. Wenn ihr neue Eindrücke auch während des Lockdowns benötigt, müsst ihr euch nur die kostenlose Magenta VR App der Telekom herunterladen. Die App ist verfügbar für iOS, Android, VR-Geräte mit Google Daydream sowie Samsung Gear VR.
Facebook announced that, at the end of this year, it will officially retire Oculus Go, its 3DOF standalone headset. In early 2021, the company will also be making way for more apps on Quest with a new content distribution platform that will be separate from the Oculus Store.
The company won’t be releasing any new first-party features for Go, effective immediately, the company says in a blog post. Facebook will also be tuning down the headset’s third-party content pipeline later in the year, as the company will no longer accept any new Go apps or app updates after December 4th. No new Go apps will be permitted onto the Oculus Store after December 18th, putting a final lid on the growth of the Go’s content library.
The headset’s system software will however still receive bug fixes and security patches through 2022.
Facebook says the move to retire Go is about pushing towards a “future of VR with 6DOF platforms like Oculus Quest.” This presumably also means that Go will be the company’s last 3DOF headset offering.
“As the technology has advanced rapidly since we launched Go, you’ve helped us prove out the value of positional tracking with the incredible experiences you’ve built for 6DOF VR, and we’re ready to double down on that,” the company says in a developer blog post.
Released in May 2018, Oculus Go was hailed as a VR headset priced for the masses. Although hobbled by its rotation-only headtracking and single non-positionally tracked controller, Go was championed for its low price-point of $200 and ability to serve up casual games and traditional streaming content, such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
There’s been a greater number of Quest apps to hit the Store recently, however the headset’s library of games is still dwarfed in comparison to both Oculus Go or Oculus Rift.
Facebook has been notably more strict with which apps it allows on Quest since the headset’s launch in mid-2019, as there are both technical hurdles and the apparent need to keep a manicured storefront for new users.
Early next year, the company says it will offer a new way to distribute content on Quest, which will allow developers to share their apps to anyone with a Quest.
Details are still thin on the ground, however Facebook appears to be creating an alternative marketplace with a lower technical acceptance threshold than the Oculus Store. Unlike sideloaded apps though, content accepted through this channel will still need to adhere to its Oculus Platform policies and Oculus Content policies.
“By making it easier for more developers to reach Quest owners in the future, we hope to spark inspiration with those who will build the next wave of engaging experiences for Quest,” the company says.
In practice, this may act as a way to stymie sideload-based content stores such as SideQuest, and bring all developers under the same roof, so to speak. Additionally, the still unnamed content channel could act as an avenue for Early Access content, or simply an updated of the old Oculus Share platform back in the heady developer kit days. The company says it will be sharing more info on the new content channel in the future.
Once a shining light in the virtual reality (VR) space, offering consumers an easy entry point into the technology, Samsung’s Gear VR was killed off in 2019. As the company continues this wind-down it recently announced that the Samsung XR service will be closed by the end of September.
Samsung XR provided users with a mixture of content, mainly comprising 360-degree videos and images. Quietly issuing a statement last week, Samsung has already stopped 360° video uploads, updates for Samsung XR and Samsung VR Video clients and suspended premium video purchases.
By 30th June, Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest will no longer support the Samsung VR Video app. The service will be completely suspended by 30th September, removed from Oculus and Microsoft Mixed Reality stores and all published videos deleted.
This demise has been on the cards for a while, as Samsung stopped mentioning Gear VR at its Unpacked events. Even though the Galaxy S10 series did support the headset the Note 10 didn’t, and the latest S20 lineup couldn’t provide support due to the partnership cancellation with Oculus.
In a statement, the company notes: “Samsung is rethinking its immersive video distribution service, especially given that Gear VR is no longer available. We remain engaged with the ecosystem, exploring the potential of mobile AR and volumetric technologies.”
Augmented reality (AR) provides far more exciting potential for smartphone makers as it means consumers can still easily access their devices, rather than locking them away in a headset which massively drains the battery.
With the advent of devices like Oculus Quest the era of smartphone-based VR was all but over. Google stopped selling its Daydream View headsets in late 2019, as the system never gained tracktion and its newest Pixel phones dropped support.
Samsung is still in the VR space thanks to the Odyssey+ but the Windows Mixed Reality ecosystem hasn’t been massively popular. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Samsung, reporting back with further updates.
With the end of Samsung Gear VR, it seems the South Korean tech giant is also doing away with its VR video apps as well. The company is ending service for all of its Samsung XR apps across the web, mobile, and VR headset platforms.
The company quietly issued an update on the Samsung XR website on Monday, stating that all of its XR services will terminate on September 30th, 2020. The news was first covered by CNET.
Samsung XR (ex-Samsung VR) is the company’s VR video hosting platform which featured both premium and user-uploaded content.
At the time of this writing, Samsung has already pulled the plug on 360 degree video uploads and premium video purchases, and has stopped updates all Samsung XR and Samsung VR Video clients.
Users who purchased premium content there will be able to access it until the September 30th cutoff date. Don’t go looking for a refund though, because Samsung says, as per the Samsung XR Terms of Service, that “all sales of purchased content are final.”
Starting June 30th, Samsung will be ripping support for the Samsung VR Video app from Oculus Go, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest, with its removal from the Oculus Store.
The last nail in the coffin: on September 30th the company is pulling support for Gear VR and Windows VR headsets via the Mixed Reality Store. All Samsung XR user accounts will also be disabled and removed, which includes permanently deleting account information, associated data, and user videos published on the platform. The Samsung XR mobile app will no longer be supported on Android devices, and will be removed from the Galaxy Store and Google Play.
Samsung says that with the XR pullback, that the company is “rethinking its immersive video distribution service, especially given that Gear VR is no longer available.”
“We remain engaged with the ecosystem, exploring the potential of mobile AR and volumetric technologies,” the company says.
Felix & Paul Studios has a long illustrious history creating live-action immersive content, especially when it comes to working with Cirque du Soleil. The studio has now revealed its latest collaboration Alegría – A Spark of Light due for release in a couple of days.
The sixth virtual reality (VR) production Felix & Paul Studios and Cirque du Soleil have made together Alegría – A Spark of Light promises to be the studios’ most ambitious to date.
Offering a 14-minute experience of Cirque du Soleil’s iconic production, it was created with an elaborate set of over 100 cameras and mirrors; Felix & Paul using its latest camera system and post-production platform. As well as several camera designs custom-built for this experience, its latest camera the Gen4 was employed for the first time on a Cirque du Soleil production.
This is also the first time the pair have used CGI effects in a project, creating objects like the floating crystal seen below to increase the visual spectacle.
‘’From the mind-bending amount of VR cameras that were used on set to create realistic reflections of the performers and acrobats, to the elaborate post-production process our team devised and forged through to produce the various tableaux of this piece, this project raises the bar for what can be accomplished through an immersive cinematic experience,” said Paul Raphaël and Félix Lajeunesse, co-founders and creative directors of Felix & Paul Studios in a statement.
Alegría – A Spark of Light will be made available on Thursday 30th April on the U+VR platform in South Korea, while fans around the rest of the world can use Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR.
Next up, mobile VR gets what seems like one of the final nails in its coffin with the discontinuation of support for Gear VR. Not only that, but you won’t be able to access films you’ve purchased on it or even download the Oculus app. Thank you for your six years of service, Gear VR.
We now have more accurate data to tell us about how many PC VR users there are on Steam thanks to the platform’s latest update to the Steam Hardware Survey. The number? 1 million!
Facebook is ending software updates for the Samsung Gear VR. Further, users will no longer be able to access films or download the Oculus Video app.
The Samsung Gear VR is a smartphone-based VR headset. Like Google Cardboard and its plastic derivatives, users slot in their smartphone which acts as the display and computer. Unlike cardboard, however, it features a dedicated gyroscope and accelerometer, and runs the same Oculus mobile platform and store as the Oculus Go.
The first Gear VR was released in late 2014 for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. While labeled an ‘Innovator Edition’, the product was essentially the first modern consumer VR headset.
Over the years, new versions were released to support the latest Samsung phones. The headset did not change significantly, other than the inclusion of a 3DoF controller from 2017 onward.
From today, the Oculus Video and Oculus 360 Photos apps will no longer be able to be downloaded on Gear VR. If you already have those apps installed on your phone you can continue to use them, but rented and purchased films will no longer be available. Existing users with purchased films should receive Oculus Store credit “equivalent to the cost you paid for any titles you bought,” according to Facebook. Users should be able to continue to use other film services like Netflix, Prime Video, and Fandango Now, but we should note that some developers who supported Gear VR stopped once it became clear Facebook wasn’t going to update the platform anymore.
The included Oculus Browser will no longer be updated. In Facebook’s own words, this may introduce “an increased security risk, as with using any out-of-date web browser”. At Oculus Connect conferences, the browser has been said to be one of the top used apps on mobile VR.
Smartphone-based VR created a lot of problems. The time it takes to slot in and out the phone, and the fact the user’s phone is unusable while docked into the headset, makes people less likely to want to use VR on a regular basis. A Gear VR session could also end after a matter of minutes, depending on the device and conditions in which it is used, due to the phone’s processor reaching its thermal limits. Smartphones pack all of their components into an incredibly small space. While Samsung improves its passive cooling design almost every year, there are physical limitations which can’t be overcome packing VR into a device designed first as a phone.
Standalone VR headsets, though, incorporate the screens and computing hardware and are designed for better cooling. Despite standalones having roughly the same graphical limitations as smartphone VR, Carmack claimed that the Oculus Go saw Rift-like retention levels, whereas Gear VR’s was much lower.
For more than 10 years social media has become ingrained into our daily lives, a source of news, entertainment, connection to friends, family and like-minded individuals, both positive and negative. This has been experimented with in VR, with apps like Somnium Spacealready available and Facebook Horizonarriving later this year. There are more planning to enter this field with new ideas of what a social experience can be, one of which is Uhive.
Having raised $2.3 million USD in funding during 2019 followed by the launch of its mobile beta app at the end of last year, Uhive has big aspirations to create a community that feels more connected to its experience thanks to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Currently only available for Android devices, Uhive is a social network where users have ‘spaces’ across two worlds, the Civilized World and the Grey World. In the Civilised World they can have multiple spaces across 26 interests. These range from anime, comics, beauty, makeup, sport, through to art and architecture with personalized content sent to users based on the spaces and profiles they interact with. The Grey World operates a little differently. Here users can have infinite spaces, all of which are anonymous. Designed as a free space where users can express their thoughts and ideas without being judged, Uhive states that Grey World is an ‘untraceable space, but be aware that illegal activities are not permitted.’ How this is achieved is unclear.
These ‘spaces’ can also be thought of as property, able to be bought, sold, rented or monetized in various ways. So the more popular a space is, the greater the sale value. This is where the Uhive Token comes into play, a currency powering its own decentralized digital economy. As the platform grows it’ll share 30% of its advertising revenue with users based on their engagement, actively rewarding them for using the social network.
So where does VR fit into all of this? Whilst this is early days for the network it wants to future-proof itself by being compatible with VR technology. Headsets already planned for include PlayStation VR, Oculus, HTC Vive, Gear VR and even Magic Leap.
Currently, Uhive says it has over 50,000 users in its beta with an iOS version planned for later this month and a global launch planned for 2020. As Uhive expands its efforts to include VR, VRFocus will let you know.
Videogame engine Unity has supported the XR industry from the early days of virtual reality (VR) through to the current crop of augmented reality (AR) hardware. That has included a lot of different hardware support, some of which is still relevant while others less so. This week has seen Unity update its XR platform, removing support for some devices whilst reaffirming official functionality for the latest headsets.
Affecting Unity 2019.3 and beyond, the company has confirmed that Samsung Gear VR and Google VR support will end due to the fact the relative companies have moved their interest away from these products. It’s worth noting Gear VR and Google VR will remain supported in Unity 2018 LTS for developers working on existing projects.
Additionally, built-in OpenVR will be deprecated in 2019.3 because Valve is using Unity’s XR SDK to develop its own OpenVR Unity XR plugin for 2019.3. As such, Unity confirms in its blog that: “Until that plugin is available, built-in support of OpenVR will continue to be functional and available in 2019.3, and we will support our users with any critical fixes.” Just like Gear VR, and Google VR, OpenVR will remain supported in Unity 2018 LTS.
When it comes to what is officially supported in Unity 2019.3 and beyond, it’s now: ARKit, ARCore, Microsoft HoloLens, MagicLeap, Oculus, Windows Mixed Reality and Playstation VR. These are all part of Unity’s “Build once, deploy anywhere” motto, allowing creators to easily deploy content across a range of platforms.
Currently, Unity 2019.2.19 is available as the official download version for projects in development. Or you can test the beta version, Unity 2019.3b, the final edition before the official launch.
Unity is one of the most popular videogame development engines for VR and AR, available for free for beginners and small indie developers. As further improvements to Unity are made, VRFocus will keep you updated.
Recent versions of the Oculus Mobile SDK drop support for the Samsung Gear VR mobile headset.
This means that if developers want to continue to support Gear VR in their future app updates, they won’t be able to leverage new Oculus SDK features or bug fixes.
The Samsung Gear VR is a smartphone-based VR headset. Like Google Cardboard and its plastic derivatives, users slot in their smartphone which acts as the display and computer. Unlike cardboard, however, it features a dedicated gyroscope and accelerometer, and runs the same Oculus Mobile platform and store as the Oculus Go.
According to Facebook’s FAQ on the topic, existing Gear VR apps can still be downloaded. However, the company doesn’t mention what exactly will happen if a developer releases an update with the latest SDK version. We assume that Gear VR owners will be served the last compatible version, but we’ve reached out to Facebook to confirm.
This could present a huge problem for multiplayer games and apps which support the Gear VR. Developers may be forced to drop multiplayer support for Gear VR if they need to update their Oculus SDK to take advantage of newer features such as finger tracking for Quest.
Gear VR’s Eulogy
At Oculus Connect 6 back in September, Oculus’ then-CTO John Carmack essentially declared the Gear VR dead.
Smartphone-based VR created a lot of problems. The time it takes to slot in and out the phone, and the fact the user’s phone is unusable while docked into the headset, makes people less likely to want to use VR on a regular basis. A Gear VR session could also end after a matter of minutes, depending on device and conditions, due to the phone’s processor reaching its thermal limits. Smartphones pack all of their components into an incredibly small space. While Samsung improves its passive cooling design almost every year, there are physical limitations which can’t be overcome packing VR into a device designed first as a phone.
Standalone VR headsets, though, incorporate the screens and computing hardware and are designed for better cooling. Despite standalones having roughly the same graphical limitations as smartphone VR, Oculus CTO John Carmack claims that the Oculus Go sees Rift-like retention levels, whereas Gear VR’s was much lower.