A judge has refused to dismiss ZeniMax Media's claim that Oculus VR stole code and expertise from it when it hired famous coder John Carmack from its iD Software subsidiary.
Nick Wingfield, writing in The New York Times:
The lawsuit centers on help that John Carmack, then a ZeniMax employee and the designer behind iconic games like Doom and Quake, provided to Mr. Luckey as he was starting Oculus. Mr. Carmack later joined Oculus as its chief technology officer and ZeniMax contends that the assistance that Mr. Carmack gave to Mr. Luckey was illegal.
Jeffrey Martin writes, "I have been working for the last couple of years on this camera, and we have launched today on Kickstarter. It is a beautiful, small device (the size of a tennis ball) with six cameras that make a 4K-resolution, 60fps, spherical video." Read the rest
Amazing gameplay footage: Minecraft through the Hololens. The VR demo from Microsoft executive Sax Persson today at the annual E3 games convention completely transforms the experience of Minecraft.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 billion last year.
“This is a live demo, with real working code,” Persson said, before donning the HoloLens and projecting a Minecraft map onto a wall, and then a table onstage. Microsoft announced Minecraft would be a main attraction of the HoloLens earlier in the year, but this is the first working demo the company has shown to the public.
Viewers were able to see Persson’s augmented reality through a “special camera” outfitted to show the HoloLens display in real time, as he played the game on the wall with an Xbox controller.
Persson then walked over to the table, said, “create world,” and watched as the Minecraft world poured onto the table. This was met with perhaps the loudest applause of Microsoft’s presentation, as he continued to use voice commands and gestures to manipulate the world. The virtual projection constrained itself to the edges of the table well, and the camera was able to look inside of structures by moving through the virtual walls.
No HoloLens release date yet.
More at Boing Boing's OFFWORLD: “The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event”
Revealed at the Google IO conference, Cardboard is a scored, flat-pack box that you fold into set of cardboard goggles that hold your phone; an accompanying software package uses your phone's screen and accelerometer to create stereo-optical VR images in the manner of the Oculus Rift. It's a delightfully simple and elegant concept, and Google has published plans for making your own. You need cardboard, a set of cheap lenses, a magnet, velcro and a rubber band. Read the rest
Case and Molly is a prototype game for the Oculus Rift based on William Gibson's classic 1984 science fiction novel Neuromancer, by Greg Borenstein. It alternates between two points of view: an action hero (Molly) who is trying to physically penetrate a target, and a network operator (Case) who supports her by hacking the systems that protect that space. As Borenstein writes, this is "all too familiar."
He continues, "We constantly navigate the tension between the physical and the digital in a state of continuous partial attention. We try to walk down the street while sending text messages or looking up GPS directions. We mix focused work with a stream of instant message and social media conversations. We dive into the sudden and remote intimacy of seeing a family member’s face appear on FaceTime or Google Hangout." Read the rest
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I've been fascinated by this book for years, and have been using it as an entryway into art and research about the telegraph as the first cyberspace.
"Dots and Dashes" is a VR art piece inspired by the novel. It was made for the CAVE, and we've also exhibited it using a head-mount display setup, and is an attempt to imagine the sense of space created by the telegraph overlaid on the space of VR.
Joel Johnson, formerly the gadgets man at this august institution, has himself a new blog: Mote and Beam. This one, unlike the others, is about whatever the hell he likes! Right now, this is Virtual Reality. Early highlights:
• Six possibly useful observations about the successful Oculus Rift Kickstarter • Grove iPhone 5 case: When a better product makes one nostalgic for an older product more given to decay • Why I think the most compelling piece of VR software might be Writeroom.
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Gamers are going to push VR forward in the near term. (And projects like the Oculus Rift are certainly game-centric, by dint of the first software available alone.) But one of the most compelling things about VR for me–the thing I think will take VR from a niche within video gaming and into a, well, larger niche within computing at large–is the notion of using VR headsets for productivity.
T(ether) is a display that sees you. With motion capture cameras embedded in a special glove and headset, it tracks the user's movements and allows them to manipulate objects on-screen using gestures and movements. From Creative Applications:
The motion capture system consists of 19 cameras mounted on a frame, covering a tracked space of 14 by 12 by 9 feet, where the tracking of retro-reflective tags occurs. The cameras are connected to a server, which processes the marker data from each camera reconstructing spatial position and orientation. Apple’s iPad 2 tablets are used as a window to the virtual world.
Mr. Halliday better hurry up if he wants his haptic gear to be competitive.
Sony's HMZ-T1 is a head-mounted 3D headset, to be released later this year in Japan. Two 1280x720 OLED displays, each just 7/10 of an inch across, create a virtual 750" screen. Perceived 20m from the viewer, it "corresponds to the sense of cinema as seen from a large central seat." It'll be 60,000 Yen ($785) from mid-november.