Welcome, lovers of the virtual and augmented realms – it’s Field of view time, which means we are about to give you a big hit of VR and AR news.
This week, we’ve already seen details about the Vive Cosmos, HTC’s standalone VR headset that is set to go toe-to-toe with the Oculus Quest. Plus, Vuzix is set to launch smartglasses that you’ll actually want to wear.
Wareable verdict: Best VR headsets reviewed and rated
In addition to that, Vive and Vuzix news, we’ve saved up some other stories plus picked out a VR experience you need in your life. So, let’s get into it.
VR and AR news
Oculus Rift S could work with the next generation Xbox
Back at E3, Microsoft spilled some details on its new Xbox, which currently goes by the codename Project Scarlett. While there was no mention of VR support at the big reveal, there is a rumor that Project Scartlett and the Oculus Rift S will play nice with each other.
The rumor comes courtesy of the folks at the Coffee & VR podcast, who say they were told by a trusted source that the VR headset will work with the next-gen console. Microsoft’s new Xbox is not slated to land until late 2020, so it could give the two companies time to work out how that compatibility could work best. If the rumors prove on the money, of course.
Nreal responds to Magic Leap copycat claims
Last week, we brought you the news that AR startup Magic Leap was suing fellow mixed reality startup Nreal on the basis that it believed it copied its own hardware.
Nreal has now released a statement relating to the accusations:
“We have heard about the recent media reports regarding Nreal and Magic Leap. Nreal believes that these rumors and accusations are false and anticompetitive in nature. Without additional information weâre not able to provide further comment.
Nreal Light was developed with the vision that we would be able to make mixed reality technology accessible to everyone, in a familiar sunglass form factor. Along the way, through hard work, we discovered breakthroughs and finally managed to unveil Nreal Light at CES 2019. We’ve appreciated the excitement around how Nreal has reinvigorated the AR/MR industry and have continued to work hard to develop innovative consumer-friendly solutions, including allowing our Nreal Light to be powered by smartphones. And we remain committed to allowing all people to see the world in a whole new Light.”
If you need a reminder, Magic Leap alleges that former employee Chi Xu, who now heads up all things at Nreal, snooped on confidential research and development while âneglect[ing] his work dutiesâ at the company. It’s also claims that the Nreal Light glasses bears a striking similarity to the confidential designs that Magic Leap had under development before and during the time that Mr. Xu worked at Magic Leap, but which were not ultimately commercialized or publicly released.
Vivo’s 5G AR smartglasses unveiled
Chinese tech company Vivo has unveiled its first pair of augmented reality smartglasses that will be compatible with an upcoming Vivo 5G smartphone. Shown off at MWC Shanghai, the prototype Vivo AR Glass device features two transparent displays and supports six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking.
The specs are designed to be used for a range of applications, including gaming, viewing high definition video, facial recognition and object recognition. There’s no details on pricing or a release date, but with 2019 set to be the year of 5G, it may well be before the end of the year. Whether it’s made available outside of China is another question we don’t yet know the answer to.
Valve Index launch set for 28 June
Valve’s new VR headset is set to start shipping on 28 June, though it sounds like new orders won’t arrive until September.
The headset, which was unveiled back in April is comprised of a $500 headset, $279 controllers and $149 base stations, all of which can be bought separately. The tethered headset features a pair of 1,440 x 1,600 LCD displays with an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, which can be boosted to 144Hz in an experimental mode.
Other eye-catching features include the 130-degree field of view and Valve’s knuckle controllers that come packed with 87 sensors and support finger tracking.
When it was first announced, Valve did indicate that there would be an initial limited release in the Europe and the US. So, if you didn’t get in early, it looks like you’ll have a wait on your hands to get one.
Try this: Spider-Man – Far From Home
There’s a new Spider-Man film out (yes, another one), which means the perfect opportunity for a VR experience tie-in. In fairness, this one looks pretty good, as you pick out your Spidey suit and swing around the city with some combat thrown in for good measure, too. It’s available to play for free if you have a Rift, Vive or Windows Mixed Reality headset at home and fancy giving it a try.
You can check out the trailer that the folks at UploadVR have uploaded.