HTC Vive Announces Augmented-VR Reading Experience Vivepaper

Vivepaper combines AR and VR to bring print media to life.

HTC is continually looking to push the boundaries of virtual reality (VR) and today its revealed an augmented-VR reading experience utilising Vivepaper technology. Partnering with Condé Nast China, the December issue of Condé Nast Traveler will be made into a Vivepaper booklet that can be viewed using the HTC Vive or on mobile using a compatible cardboard head-mounted display (HMD).

Vivepaper tech creates a range of interactions for print content, allowing users to activate of 360-degree photos and videos, 3D models, 2D content, and audio by touching a piece of paper.

Vivepaper

HTC will be collaborating with more publishers to bring Vivepaper versions of their content, including China Daily 21st Century English Newspaper, Caixin VR and the Publishing House of Electronics Industry. The HMD manufacturer is also in discussions with several other major western publishers to release Vivepaper versions of their content outside China shortly.

“It is quite fitting we are announcing Vivepaper today in the country that originally invented paper. Vive has been leading the VR market in innovation and, with this announcement, we are the first to demonstrate the merging of VR and AR technology onto a single hardware platform,” says Alvin W. Graylin, China Regional President of Vive, HTC. “With Vivepaper, we will enable the millions of books, magazines, newspapers and periodicals that have existed throughout history to come alive in the virtual world. We are so excited to have Condé Nast as our launch partner and look forward to having all their amazing content available to VR users around the world soon.”

Vivepaper is made possible thanks to HTC Vive’s front-facing camera, enabling a type of augmented reality (AR) on Vive called “video pass-through AR”. Up until now the camera had only been used in conjunction with the Chaperone system to stop users bumping into walls or objects while in virtual worlds.

“As a worldwide leader in the media industry, Condé Nast is committed to constant innovation. Our extensive and multi-platform digital products reach millions of consumers, and we strive to be first to market with new technologies. The AR/VR era will open amazing new opportunities for creative companies like Condé Nast, and partnering with HTC, a market leader in technology and innovation, is a natural step for us. Our collaboration with the HTC Vive team has been fantastic. From idea to implementation both our teams moved rapidly to realize a great vision and we hope this can be the beginning of a long term partnership as we expand our VR portfolio.,” says Elizabeth Schimel, President of Condé Nast China.

The Vivepaper app will launch on Viveport on 31st, October 2016 for HTC Vive PC users and Viveport M (developer beta) for Android mobile users. An iOS version of the Vivepaper app is planned for later this year.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Viveport, Vivepaper and HTC Vive, reporting back with any further announcements.

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