Category Archives: Virtual Reality

Valve tries to one-up Oculus Touch with five-finger “Knuckles” VR controller

Valve / SteamVR

We first heard about Valve's plans for a new SteamVR controller back in October when a few pictures and basic impressions started leaking out of the press-free Steam Dev Days conference. Now we're getting more details about the upcoming VR hardware—code-named Knuckles—thanks to documents posted on SteamVR's Knuckles Dev Kit group page.

The most important confirmation in the new documents is that the Knuckles controllers allow for full, independent tracking of all five fingers. Embedded, capacitive sensors in the handle of the unit track the position of the middle, ring, and pinky fingers, while similar sensors in the trigger and face buttons track the index finger and thumb. A ring of sensors around the thumbpad and the back of the hand helps track the unit in space through the standard Lighthouse system.

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Facebook announces dates for its Oculus Connect 4 conference

 Facebook’s Oculus is returning to San Jose on October 11-12 this year to share some news about the future of VR at the company’s Oculus Connect 4 developers conference. Facebook has slowly been bringing the Oculus name and leadership under its own core brand. With the amount of VR news popping up at F8, some wondered whether Oculus Connect’s days were numbered. Apparently not. Read More

YouTube shows off VR-centric video analytics

 Google may have a few VR projects lined up across hardware, but for now one of its biggest selling points for mobile VR is YouTube. Today, YouTube announced that it’s bringing heat map analytics to the service so that 360-degree video producers can see where their viewers are paying attention at any given time. 360-degree video may not be as hyped as it once was, but YouTube has the… Read More

Samsung quietly acquired VR app studio VRB, sources say for $5.5M

 Samsung has been bullish on virtual reality hardware, hoping that its early moves in headsets and devices to shoot content will give it a stronger position in the space as (and if!) it continues to expand to more applications and users. Now TechCrunch has learned that as part of that effort, it’s also made an acquisition. Samsung quietly bought a New York-based startup called VRB, which… Read More

HTC Vive’s second E3 finds VR gaining some AAA steam

 HTC is back at E3 this year for its sophomore turn at the gaming expo, after its first show in 2016 following closely on the heels of the Vive VR headset’s consumer launch. I spoke to HTC VP of VR Dan O’Brien at this year’s E3, to find out a bit about how the company sees the market, its role therein and the state of VR in general now that it’s not the newest kid on… Read More

What do true gamers REALLY think of VR?

 The potential for VR truly boggles the mind. In the future, it’s easy to imagine the various use-cases in education, entertainment, business, and social. But like any new technology, VR needs a ‘gateway drug’, and thus far that initial use-case has been gaming. Sony is pushing PlayStation VR hard with a handful of new games, some existing and others brand new. Nintendo is… Read More

Skyrim is coming to the PlayStation VR

 Bethesda has been getting its money out of that whole Skyrim thing. Today at Sony’s E3 2017 press conference, the studio announced it would be rereleasing Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim on PlayStation VR this November. The company already announced yesterday that it was bringing the title to Nintendo Switch later this year. With Bethesda bringing titles like Skyrim, Fallout and Doom to VR,… Read More

Nomadic nabs $6M for its modular VR system for retail spaces

 Virtual reality might be a bit too expensive for home use to take off right now, but for consumers going to dedicated retail spaces to experience it there has to be an added something to make it worth their while. In its quest to build location-based retail experiences that users can physically feel, Nomadic has had to get its hands on some capital. The company announced today that it has closed… Read More