Archive for the ‘virtual reality’ category: Page 4

Jun 16, 2023

Artificial skin heals wounds and makes robots sweat

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, cyborgs, health, robotics/AI, virtual reality

Circa 2020

Imagine a dressing that releases antibiotics on demand and absorbs excessive wound exudate at the same time. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology hope to achieve just that, by developing a smart coating that actively releases and absorbs multiple fluids, triggered by a radio signal. This material is not only beneficial for the health care industry, it is also very promising in the field of robotics or even virtual reality.

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Jun 10, 2023

Sol Reader is a VR headset exclusively for reading books

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, computing, mobile phones, neuroscience, virtual reality, wearables

We’ve been waxing lyrical (and critical) about Apple’s Vision Pro here at TechCrunch this week – but, of course, there are other things happening in the world of wearable tech, as well. Sol Reader raised a $5 million seed round with a headset that doesn’t promise to do more. In fact, it is trying to do just the opposite: Focus your attention on just the book at hand. Or book on the face, as it were.

“I’m excited to see Apple’s demonstration of the future of general AR/VR for the masses. However, even if it’s eventually affordable and in a much smaller form factor, we’re still left with the haunting question: Do I really need more time with my smart devices,” said Ben Chelf, CEO at Sol. “At Sol, we’re less concerned with spatial computing or augmented and virtual realities and more interested in how our personal devices can encourage us to spend our time wisely. We are building the Sol Reader specifically for a single important use case — reading. And while Big Tech surely will improve specs and reduce cost over time, we can now provide a time-well-spent option at 10% of the cost of Apple’s Vision.”

The device is simple: It slips over your eyes like a pair of glasses and blocks all distractions while reading. Even as I’m typing that, I’m sensing some sadness: I have wanted this product to exist for many years – I was basically raised by books, and lost my ability to focus on reading over the past few years. Something broke in me during the pandemic – I was checking my phone every 10 seconds to see what Trump had done now and how close we were to a COVID-19-powered abyss. Suffice it to say, my mental health wasn’t at its finest – and I can’t praise the idea of Sol Reader enough. The idea of being able to set a timer and put a book on my face is extremely attractive to me.

Jun 10, 2023

Meta test puts Reels on the Quest

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, internet, space, virtual reality

Reels started as Instagram’s solution for competing with TikTok and soon launched on sister-site Facebook — a natural expansion. Meta is now testing Reels on a less expected medium: the Meta Quest. Its VR headset works for internet browsing, watching movies, games and more — but the addition of typically-vertical Reels presents a different viewing experience than these more malleable (and typically screen-wide) options.

Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the update through a 13-second video on Meta’s Instagram Channel. It featured a Reel from influencer Austin Sprinz’s Instagram account in which he visited the world’s deepest pool. The immersive video is a good choice for VR, taking the viewer underwater into a seemingly bottomless space — and is certainly better than a cooking or dance Reel.

The Reels update comes ahead of Meta Quest 3’s fall release and follows Apple’s new AR/VR Vision Pro headset announcement. Though, with Quest 3’s pricing starting at $499, compared to the Vision Pro’s $3,499, the pair don’t exactly fall into the same category. Meta’s VR headset line first launched as Oculus Quest and subsequently Oculus Quest 2 before the second-generation model was rebranded as Meta Quest 2. The Meta Quest Pro followed soon after the name change. As for Reels, there’s no timeline for if and when it will leave the testing phase and become available across Meta Quest headsets.

Jun 9, 2023

AI Simulation Theory: 2030 — ∞ Future Timeline of Video Games + VR

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, virtual reality

The future of artificial intelligence and video games with their relation to simulation theory, and whether or not we may already be in a virtual world controlled by some other form of intelligence.

Deep Learning AI Specialization:
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Jun 9, 2023

Meta is launching a $500 headset days before Apple is set to unveil its $3,000 offering as the battle for VR heats up

Posted by in category: virtual reality

The new Meta Quest 3 will cost $500 and ship in the fall, the company said in a blog post Thursday. Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram, said it will continue to sell the Quest 2 model at a lower price, $300, to help “even more people access the magic of VR.”

Meta is girding for a fight with Apple in the still-nascent world of mixed reality headsets, which meld augmented and virtual reality. Apple plans to introduce its first entry to the market on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference, Bloomberg has reported. That device is expected to be more powerful than the Meta product but also far more expensive, with an anticipated price of roughly $3,000.

Meta currently dominates the market for VR headsets, which it sees as key to its vision of the metaverse — interlocking online worlds where people live, work and play. But it’s struggled to build mainstream acceptance of the devices. It cut prices of its Quest Pro model earlier this year after demand was lower than expected.

Jun 9, 2023

Apple Vision Pro first look: A glimpse at the spatial computing future

Posted by in categories: computing, virtual reality

The Vision Pro is Apple’s bold entry into the world of spatial computing, and it seems like the company has learned a lot from the VR and AR headsets before it. The front of the device features an OLED screen that can display your eyes, making you more connected to the people in the real world. Its springy side bands and ribbed rear headband look like suitably high-end. And, simply put, it has the wow factor you’d expect from a prestige Apple product.

Still, there’s plenty of cause for concern. The required battery pack is a bit un-Apple, since you’ll have to stuff it into your pocket or find somewhere to store it. And we’ve yet to see someone wearing this headset in the real world. Apple’s event staff stressed that we couldn’t touch the Vision Pro or lean too close. And of course, we won’t see if Apple’s spatial computing vision lives up to its slick promotional videos until we can actually wear this thing.

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Jun 9, 2023

Apple to Provide Developers With Vision Pro Development Kits

Posted by in categories: computing, virtual reality

Apple’s Vision Pro headset is the company’s first new product category since the Apple Watch, and it is unlike any other Apple device. It runs an operating system called visionOS, and developers will need to create augmented and virtual reality apps specifically for the headset.

To ensure that there are a wide selection of experiences available at launch, Apple plans to provide Apple Vision Pro developer kits to developers at some point in the future.

Jun 5, 2023

Augmented reality needs an iPhone moment

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, virtual reality

‘This is the single greatest thing that could happen to this industry.’

As Apple prepares its long-rumored jump into augmented reality on Monday, doubts have shadowed every step of the way. There are reports of frequent changes in direction and skepticism inside Apple’s ranks. The device has allegedly been hard to manufacture and required numerous compromises. The process has taken years longer than Apple expected. And at a rumored $3,000, even Apple reportedly expects slow short-term sales.

But among AR professionals, the mood is jubilant. “This is the single greatest thing that could happen to this industry,” says Jay Wright, CEO of VR / AR collaboration platform Campfire 3D.

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Jun 2, 2023

Neuralangelo: Nvidia’s new AI model turns 2D videos into 3D structures

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, virtual reality

“This tool will eventually enable developers to import detailed objects — whether small statues or massive buildings — into virtual environments for video games or industrial digital twins.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) company and chip manufacturer Nvidia announced the latest AI tool in its army of models.

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Jun 2, 2023

No one has done AR or VR well. Can Apple?

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, biotech/medical, information science, virtual reality

On Monday, Apple is more than likely going to reveal its long-awaited augmented or mixed reality Reality Pro headset during the keynote of its annual WWDC developer conference in California. It’s an announcement that has been tipped or teased for years now, and reporting on the topic has suggested that at various times, the project has been subject to delays, internal skepticism and debate, technical challenges and more. Leaving anything within Apple’s sphere of influence aside, the world’s overall attitude toward AR and VR has shifted considerably — from optimism, to skepticism.

Part of that trajectory is just the natural progression of any major tech hype cycle, and you could easily argue that the time to make the most significant impact in any such cycle is after the spike of undue optimism and energy has subsided. But in the case of AR and VR, we’ve actually already seen some of the tech giants with the deepest pockets take their best shots and come up wanting — not for lack of trying, but because of limitations in terms of what’s possible even at the bleeding edge of available tech. Some of those limits might actually be endemic to AR and VR, too, because of variances in the human side of the equation required to make mixed reality magic happen.

The virtual elephant in the room is, of course, Meta. The name itself pretty much sums up the situation: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg read a bad book and decided that VR was the inevitable end state of human endeavor — the mobile moment he essentially missed out on, but even bigger and better. Zuckerberg grew enamored by his delusion, first acquiring crowdfunded VR darling Oculus, then eventually commandeering the sobriquet for a shared virtual universe from the dystopian predictions of a better book and renaming all of Facebook after it.

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