VR vs. In Other News (December 2016)

Welcome back to another edition of VR vs. Your weekly feature from yours truly, in which I take on a subject, usually to do with something going on in the virtual reality (VR) industry or a topic that is presently under discussion (for whatever reason). Andd, through an array of words – sometimes even known to include a workable joke – I give you my personal take on things as an observer. Be that laying out some truths of the ‘hard’ or ‘home’ variety or just give you something to go think about you maybe have not previously.

However, something I introduced last month was a detour into the realm of ‘other news’. That’s stories we’ve just not covered here on VRFocus for one reason or another. Be they small minor updates, or stories that fell by the wayside due to time or other things coming along of a more urgent need to inform you.  This quickfire barrage of news was, I was pleasantly surprised to note, actually quite popular with people as they learnt a lot of things in a short space of time and got to see how VR is changing things across quite a wide spectrum of industry.

Soooo, let’s make this a semi-regular thing shall we? As with last time these are things we’ve not covered for whatever reason, if you’ve seen the story on another new outlet or in a forum, great. But that’s not the point of the list.

  • We get things underway with a report on market growth. Now, we love these. There doesn’t seem to be a week goes by without us getting a couple of them. The latest from Technavio however focuses not on VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) but instead on VR gloves. The market for which is, according to the report set to expand with a CAGR (that’s a compound annual growth rate) of a pretty significant 82% over the course of this year through to 2020.Whilst the American and European markets are expected to be strong, the Asia-Pacific market is set to become the fastest growing section of the market by 2020, taking nearly 24.5% by 2020. With a CAGR of 126% and sales expected to reach $12.31 million (USD).
  • Speaking of the market: VR was listed as one of the top eighteen technologies set to shape the future of healthcare by analysts Frost & Sullivan in a new report that looks into just what the year 2025 will bring in terms of technological growth and application. Other technologies include things such as digital avatars, medical tricorders (yes, exactly like Star Trek) and advances in artificial intelligence (A.I). You can order a copy of Vision 2025 – Future of Healthcare here.Wearable-Technology-and-Health
  • Over to the world of jobs in the industry itself, as we know from Sunday’s weekly visit to The VR Job Hub the merry-go-round of roles never stops. But, it’s always interesting when one company starts taking an interest in a specific group of staff at another company. Such is the case with Tesla, who recently acquired the services of Andrew Kim, a Senior Designer on Microsoft’s Hololens team and former member of the XBox One S design team who is now working as Lead Designer at Tesla.  This in itself would not be strange however Tesla also acquired a member of the Hololens team last year in computer vision expert Yekeun Jeong. Will there be any more hires for Tesla with Hololens experience and what does it all mean? We’ll be keeping an eye on Tesla’s activities, certainly.
  • The PlayStation Experience 2016 livestream featured a number of livecast segments after the main event, one of which showcased EVE: Valkyrie courtesy of CCP Games’ Andrew Willans and Teddy Keefe. You can see the session in full below.

  • Then there was the one for Gran Turismo Sport, with PlayStation.Blog interviewing Kazunori Yamauchi.

  • If you wanted to see the ‘sizzle trailer’ produced for the event you can also see it here.

  • Did you know VLC can now handle 360 degree video clips and images? It’s true. At least in a new technical preview courtesy of the developers VideoLAN which utilises the technical skill of Giroptic to show off 360 content in a variety of ways. You can get it from here.
  • Virtalis have had a busy few months, with a number of different announcements. Their latest sees them enter into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to provide two new VR simulators to help with training helicopter pilots. Based on the company’s existing Helicopter Crew Reality System (HCR), which has been used as part of Virtalis’ historic dealings with VR training. If you think VR training is new, Virtalis has been working with the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) for almost two decades on VR helicopter training. That’s quite something.
  • Want to pet a cheetah? You can. At of all places Canberra Airport in Australia thanks to some augmented reality (AR) trickery introduced by APositive. As you might expect at an airport there’s a tourism connection here, with the installation promoting a visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium. Indeed the screen itself was partially funded by the government tot he tune of just under $250,000 (AUS). It all comes hot on the heels of a Star Wars: Rogue One takeover of Gatwick Airport in London that included a new 360 degree experience called Rogue One: Recon.
  • Speaking of AR, research from the University of Central Florida has shown that the technology employed in Google Glass, and, one presumes by extension similar wearables may not be better than natural vision in all ways. With the brain having to take in multiple things – the true vision and the vision being seen on top of that – the resultant multitasking needed can see a downgrade in your reaction time. Depending on what you’re doing that could have some potentially serious issues.”The idea here is to explore to what extent displayed secondary information might interfere with the primary task at hand, such as driving,” Mark Neider, of UCF explains. “What our data suggests is secondary information presented on a heads-up display is likely to interfere, and if that happens while driving, it may be distracting and dangerous.”
  • From Australia, to America and now on to China! Deepoon have revealed a new partnership which will see them bring their VR HMD, software and associated infrastructure to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower. A building which is truly marvelous in its design.
  • Back to PlayStation Experience once more where we never got to see the trailer for Bossa Studios’ PlayStation VR title Surgeon Simulator ER. Will Nigel Burke hold to his oath to do no harm? Well… no. I mean have you seen Surgeon Simulator before?

  • And lastly, we covered the announcement of StarBlood Arena but the trailer itself was revealed a while afterwards. You can find more PlayStation VR action below.

That’s all for this time around. I’ll be back next week with the final VR vs. prior to Christmas and after that we’ve still got to look back over the course of the year and to what awaits us in 2017 ahead.