This Week in Tech...

Welcome to the second instalment of our roundup of the week's tech news. It's been an exciting time for AR and VR this week with some big announcements from some big names. So Let's jump straight in with some news from the annual worldwide developers conference...

Apple Embrace Reality!

It has been a long time coming, but finally, the worlds dominating tech giants are breaking into VR with upcoming updates to their operating systems. Teaming up with the likes of Unity and UE4 and Vive, Apple is making a slightly late but bold step into becoming a high-end VR developing platform. 

The other big news is augmented reality updates to iPhone and iPad devices. Again, Apple has been a little slow off the mark with AR, but their arKit is already making a splash in the developing community with some really positive feedback. With developers now able to launch their AR apps on every new iOS device, Apple has single-handedly overtaken the likes of Google and are officially the worlds largest developing platform for AR.

You can read all other news from Apples WWDC2017 key note on our blog 

ARkit for Apple ios is now available for Developers [https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017]

ARkit for Apple ios is now available for Developers [https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017]

Hands on with Leap Motions latest update

Leap Motion has been around since for a while now, we remember when we first got our hands on one back in 2012. Since then they have made great progress in getting our hands in VR! 

Their latest update looks like another step in the right direction, building on top of Unity’s Physics engine they look like they have created a really nice system. Other features include fundamental object interactions, user interface design tools, support for interaction with VR controllers and even a graphic renderer tool.

So if you are looking to swap your plastic controllers for a more organic controller (Your Hands!) then this looks like a great toolset to try! 

Head over to Leap Motions blog to see some awesome gifs of what you can do in the interaction engine. We cant wait to give it a go, we'll make sure once we've got our hands in it we'll tell you all about it, stay tuned to our Blog!

physical-interface.gif
Valve's new room tracking tech could see next gen Vive costs drop [Image: http://store.steampowered.com/steamvr]

Valve's new room tracking tech could see next gen Vive costs drop [Image: http://store.steampowered.com/steamvr]

An announcement from Valve this week regarding the new designs for their Lighthouse system. It seems like they are going to help bring the overall cost down for the Vive kit and also improve stability with a new single motor sensor compared to the old two sensor mechanic.

Valve have also mentioned that they will be able to use more than two at a time which is very exciting news. This leads us to think that the next Vive could be shipped with wireless streaming built in, enabling you to walk around huge areas without being tethered to one spot by wires or tracking limits....We can only dream for now!

There is going to be some debate about how these lighthouses wont be backwards compatible making current headsets slightly redundant, but we see it as a great step forward and one that will only improve upon what is already one of the best VR kits available on the market today.

In other VR news...

  • More exciting announcements to come out of Apples keynote this week was two amazing demos of VR and AR experiences created by some of the worlds leading creatives, Lord of the rings genius Peter Jackson's new studio Wingnut and VFX legend John Knoll with Industrial Light & Magic. Their Demos defiantly stole the show, you can check them out here: ILMxLAB Star Wars Unreal Engine VR Demo on Mac  Wingnut AR Unreal Engine Demo on iOS 
  • Sony announce this week that their PSVR has sold 1million units, which is a great step for VR and the consumer market. Sony put their high sales down to reasonable pricing compared to other headsets and their 60million PS4 users.
  • As we mentioned in last weeks blog, Vive released their new deluxe strap this week and it SOLD OUT world wide within a few hours. For those who missed out, keep an eye out on Vives website as stock should be back in soon.

Upcoming Events...

  • 13-15 June: VR & AR world returns to London's Excel Centre for lots of talks, networking and Meet ups from the tech community. We'll be hovering around so make sure you come say hello if you go!
  • 27th-29th June: Unite'17 Europe kick offs at the end of the month in beautiful Amsterdam. Unity Dev's get your tickets now and join in one of the biggest and best conferences (and after parties!) this side of the pond. We'll see you there!
  • 18th July: Although still a well over month away, one of the top VR nights VRLO are releasing tickets today! Get over to Eventbrite and snap up your tickets, they sell out fast! 

We're always looking to spread the news for new and exciting tech events, if you have an event you'd like to us to shout about get in touch and we'll add it to our upcoming VR events calendar!


What do you think of this weeks news? Excited by the prospect of AR for apple? Will you be upgrading your VR kit to Mac? Don't forget to get involved and leave you comments below!

Catch you next week!