Oculus Quest impressions: This no-hassle wireless VR headset could be a breakout hit

Surprised. That’s how I felt coming out of Oculus Connect 4 last year, where for the first time we got a glimpse of “what’s next” in VR. At the time it was called Project Santa Cruz, a standalone VR headset—meaning no wires—that nevertheless had full position- and hand-tracking capabilities. “I thought we were further away from wireless VR,” I wrote at the time. Even now, I still feel that way.

But come next spring, truly wireless VR will be here in the form of the newly christened $399 Oculus Quest. We already wrote up most of the technical details, but after yesterday’s keynote wrapped up I had the chance to run through some demos.

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2NJ8IVh

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone

In 2015, when Microsoft unveiled the very first public iteration of the HoloLens, product managers demonstrated the augmented reality headset by asking users to re-wire an actual light switch, live, guided by a remote professional. Three years later, Microsoft has finally commercialized that demo with a HoloLens-enabled version of Microsoft Dynamics.

Microsoft is commercializing two Dynamics apps with HoloLens: Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, which allows a remote viewer to assist a front-line worker, and Dynamics 365 Layout, which uses the HoloLens spatial-mapping abilities to help lay out a retail space or factory floor. 

Remote Assist is what Microsoft originally wowed journalists with, and here’s how it works: Imagine building a PC, wearing a HoloLens, but you forgot to insert the memory with the proper spacing, or some other error. HoloLens Remote Assist would allow a remote support tech to see what you’re seeing via your HoloLens, with the ability to highlight what you should be doing. In addition, the remote assistant could use Skype to tell you to tighten the proper bolts, for example, or not to mix CPU pastes. 

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2PGulBO

TimeRide VR offers Gamescom visitors a fascinating virtual tour of Cologne’s imperial age

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2Le1SAY

How next-gen motion capture will supercharge VR arcades

You might know motion capture as the tech that transformed Andy Serkis into Gollum, but now it can transform everyday people into animated avatars in virtual worlds, and all in real-time. Motion capture—which uses body sensors, ultra-precise cameras, and modeling software to create 3D animations from real-life human movement—is now taking on location-based virtual reality, or LBVR.

PCWorld visited a leading motion capture company called Vicon in Oxford, England to learn how mocap has evolved to take on this new frontier in entertainment.

If you’ve watched behind-the-scenes footage of how motion capture (or mocap) works, you’ve probably seen actors in skintight lycra suits covered with golf ball-sized sensors. Normally, dozens of infrared cameras track these sensors to model an actor’s movements. But now Vicon has a new system called Origin that requires only one sensor on each limb, plus one for a VR headset.    

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2nK2jtl

Hands-on with the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

The world of Harry Potter meets the world of computer coding in a new children’s coding kit by Kano (for ages 6 and up) that will hit store shelves on October 1. With the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit ($100, available for preorder) kids are tasked with building a wand, which in turn teaches them about computer programming through the wand’s “magic.” By pairing the wand with a tablet or computer via Bluetooth, children can learn the coding behind cause and effect—as they see how the actions of the wand are reflected on the screen. 

“Today, there is a form of magic in the world and it’s the technological projection—virtual reality, prediction, augmented reality—that so few of us understand,” says Alex Klein, co-founder and CEO of Kano. “That’s what makes it magic in a way, is that nobody understands it really except this small fraction of society.”

To read this article in full, please click here

from PCWorld https://ift.tt/2LKvpmL