Microsoft to Detail Its Windows 10 VR Headset Plans in December

Microsoft to Detail Its Windows 10 VR Headset Plans in December

US tech giant Microsoft is planning to hold two WinHEC events in December that will reveal its virtual reality (VR) headset plans for Windows 10.

The Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) is a series of technical conferences and workshops, where Microsoft elaborates on its hardware plans for Windows devices. The first event will be held between December 8 and December 9, while the second event will be held between December 14 and December 15.

Microsoft at its Surface event last week announced it had partnered with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus to produce VR headsets for Windows 10 PCs, are are especially optimised for mixed reality experiences, using the Windows Holographic shell and experience.

Both the events are designed for hardware manufacturers to better understand the software plans for Windows Holographic, a mixed reality platform built around the API of Windows 10. Speaking with Polygon, Microsoft’s HoloLens chief Alex Kipman said more details about the VR headsets would be provided at the WinHEC events in December.Kipman said the first wave of VR headsets will be opaque, so users will not be able to see through them directly without the aid of cameras. He also revealed that the headsets will feature a wide field of view, will be tethered to the computer via a long wire, allow six degrees of freedom, and support inside-out tracking.

The initial devices will start shipping after the Windows 10 Creators Update is made available to download in March 2017 and will function like VR headsets that connect to a PC, and will support six degrees of freedom and inside-out tracking.

(Also see: Windows 10 Creators Update Coming Early 2017; Free for All Users)

Written with inputs from IANS

Tags: Microsoft, Microsoft VR, Windows 10 VR, Virtual Reality, VR, Windows 10, WinHEC, Wearables, Home Entertainment,Gaming

Xiaomi Mi VR Headset With 9-Axis Inertial Motion Controller Launched

Xiaomi Mi VR Headset With 9-Axis Inertial Motion Controller Launched


  • Xiaomi’s Mi VR headset supports ‘ultra-low latency’
  • It comes with a motion controller that supports touch controls
  • It’s priced at CNY 199 (roughly Rs. 2,000)

At its ‘Curved to Impress’ event on Tuesday, Xiaomi launched its flagship smartphone Mi Note 2 with dual curved glass, that looks somewhat like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. But there was a bunch of other products that were showcased in the event – a concept phone named Mi MIX and Xiaomi’s latest VR headset called Mi VR. Xiaomi’s new virtual reality wearable Mi VR is priced at CNY 199 (roughly Rs. 2,000).

Back in August, Xiaomi brought its rumoured Mi VR headset into reality that comes with ‘two-way zipper design’ and a launch for beta tester. Now it has launched an upgraded version, with what the Chinese tech giant called ‘a whole new world of VR’. Xiaomi has launched its new virtual reality headset with 16 millisecond ‘ultra-low latency’, which means that the delay between a user’s action and the response to what they see in virtual reality is really short and is presumably less detrimental in terms of motion sickness.

The Mi VR headset has 9-axis inertial motion controller that supports touch-controls as well, and a built-in dedicated motion sensor. It couples with the user’s Xiaomi smartphone’s system level optimisations to yield higher performance, that in turn results in Xiaomi’s ‘ultra-low latency’ feature. It will support only a select Xiaomi handsets for now – Mi Note 2, Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus, and Mi 5 in the Chinese region.Xiaomi also says that there would be less inconvenience caused to the VR user related to motion sickness. The Mi VR headset has its own user interface with Xiaomi’s own VR store that consists of many Chinese games and China’s YouTube-like video streaming website, Youku’s VR app.

Tags: Xiaomi, Xiaomi Mi VR, Mi VR, Wearables

Dell, Lenovo, HP to Launch ‘Affordable’ VR Headsets Alongside Windows 10 Creators Update

Dell, Lenovo, HP to Launch 'Affordable' VR Headsets Alongside Windows 10 Creators Update


  • Headsets to come with support for ‘Creators Update’
  • Company showcased its Holographic UI during its Surface event
  • Update to roll out in early 2017

Microsoft showcased its Holographic UI in its full glory during its Surface event on Wednesday and from the looks of it, the company might have given us a glimpse of our ‘mixed reality’ computing future. The demonstrations given by the company were quite impressive but more importantly, the Redmond-based company announced that it has partnered with companies like Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and HP to make affordable VR headsets that are capable of mixed reality and will launch alongside the Windows 10 Creators Update in Spring 2017.

The Redmond giant says the new VR headsets will have a starting price of around $300 (roughly Rs. 20,100). In a blog post, the company added, “And these accessories will be the first and only with inside-out, six-degrees of freedom. Unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today, there will be zero need for a separate room and complicated setup.” The company says the headsets, apart from being affordable compared to the $500 headsets in the market today, will be designed to work with affordable laptops and PCs.

In order to produce content for these VR headsets, Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Creators Update, which will include a 3D framework designed around Microsoft’s HoloLens and other VR experiences. The Creators Update will allow developers to create content for VR with ease, and will be available in early 2017.The company also showcased its Microsoft new, revamped Paint 3D app, which was leaked recently. The revamped app includes tools for importing and handling 3D artwork, as well as integration with a new online community–Remix3D that allows users to share their creations or search other people’s creations. As reported by us earlier, the community is integrated with the massive 3D Warehouse, a repository for Trimble’s popular SketchUp software, and already contains millions of 3D objects.

Holographic UI was first unveiled by Microsoft last year in January and was presented as a device that allows users to enter a virtual world, through a headgear, and interact with the virtual objects present in it.

Tags: Windows VR Headsets, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, HP, Wearables, Microsoft

Google I/O 2016: Awareness API, YouTube VR App, and More Announcements

Google I/O 2016: Awareness API, YouTube VR App, and More Announcements

Google I/O 2016: Awareness API, YouTube VR App, and More Announcements
Day 2 of Google I/O saw several developer facing announcements.
Few customer facing announcements were also made, like YouTube VR.
Also spotted was the new Google Keyboard with theme support.
Google on Day 2 of its I/O 2016 developer conference had several developer facing announcements, from the new Awareness API, to refreshed APIs for Google Drive apps, a sustained performance mode on Android, and more. There were a few consumer facing announcements as well, such as a showcase of the YouTube VR app for Daydream. Some features that were not installed were also discovered in the meanwhile, including the new Google Keyboard for Android N.

The Awareness API was one of the biggest announcements of Google I/O so far, and will help app makers and smartphone manufacturers a single place to access a variety of signals collected by the device related to location and usage. There are seven signals in total – activity, beacons, headphones, location, places, time, and weather. Google says with the API, the device should see improved battery life due to the conservation of resources.

With the API, apps will get all the processed data from these signals when required, and respond with various actions (examples seen below). Google said there are two APIs within the Awareness API – Fences, where the app performs an action when certain signal conditions are met, and Snapshot, where the app queries for data. With Fences, app can also open just when they are required.

Next up are the new APIs for Google Sheets and Slides, as well as a new Classroom API, both of which are aimed at providing deeper app integrations for users. The updated Sheets API lets app developers send data to Sheets, allow users to edit it, and then bring it back to the app complete with changes. The Slides API, which is not yet ready, will allow for similar functionality, allowing users to create charts using data from another app. As for the new Classroom API, it gives access coursework endpoints, and the ability to access and save data in Google Drive.
The search giant has also unveiled a Sustained Performance API alongside Android Developer Preview 3, meant to give developers the ability to optimise their apps for performance over a long period of time. It is meant for those apps that are kept active over a long period of time.

We come to the new Mobile Payments API, which is aimed at bringing Android Pay-like functionality to mobile websites. The API is meant to store payment information, reported The Next Web, and also identify any new payment information users enter on websites. It works independently of Android Pay, and will provide users the payment information they want next time they visit a website.

The company also showcased the newest version of Google Keyboard (v5.1) which is currently only available for users of the Android N Developer Preview 3, but Android Police confirms it works on older version of Android as well. It can be sideloaded from APK Mirror. The keyboard app gets improved functionality and design, with the biggest feature possibly the expanded theme support, and the presence of a smorgasbord of emojis, including those present in Unicode 9.0.

google_keyboard_5.1_android_police.jpgFinally, we come the new YouTube VR app for the company’s Daydream virtual reality platform. On Thursday, Google showcased the app to attendees, reported 9to5Google, and it appears to be a refined version of the YouTube app for Google Cardboard. The company additionally announced that YouTube creators will have access to the Jump VR cameras it had unveiled last year, as they will be made available at YouTube Spaces in various locations across the world.

The company also added it will be curating Daydream VR apps on Google Play. Speaking to The Verge, Google’s head of VR Clay Bavor said, “So on Daydream apps, on VR apps, we’re going to take a very, very strong stance on quality, on performance, sustained framerate, latency, all that, we want to make sure that we’re representing good VR to our users. And so I think that one of our goals in this announcement next week is to put this out in front of developers, and we have some pretty good instincts in how and where and in what ways we’ll be curating. Performance is a non-starter, it needs to be performant, because if it’s not it won’t be comfortable… But we’re going to be seeking feedback from developers on how to go about this, but I think at a high level the quality bar is super super important to that and we’ll be maintaining that.”

Tags: Android, Awareness API, Classroom, Classroom API, Google, Google IO, Google IO 2016, Google IO 2016 Highlights, Google IO 2016 Latest Updates, Mobiles, Sheets, Sheets API, Slides, Slides API, Sustained Performance API, YouTube VR for Daydream


PlayStation VR India Launch to Be ‘Confirmed in Due Time’; Public Demos Set for IGX 201

PlayStation VR India Launch to Be 'Confirmed in Due Time'; Public Demos Set for IGX 2016


  • Sony has confirmed PS VR for public demos in India
  • A release date announcement is in the offing
  • You can check out PS VR at IGX 2016

Earlier we reported that Sony’s PlayStation VR (PS VR) headset would be available for demo in India at the 2016 edition of the Indian Games Expo or IGX 2016 as it is known. On Wednesday, both the event’s organisers and Sony have confirmed that PS VR will be available for all and sundry to try out.

“We at PlayStation are pleased to be part of IGX where gamers can enjoy playing and competing on the best PS4 titles. The showcasing of PlayStation VR at the event reinforces our dedication and commitment to delivering the best experiences to gamers in India,” said Robert Fisser, VP and General Manager (Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India), Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe in a prepared statement, which incidentally stopped short of an actual release date.


(Also see: IGX 2016 Registrations Open, Public Debut of PlayStation VR in India Teased)

“For those who are looking forward to its launch, we would like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support. We are beyond excited to deliver to them the amazing experience that PS VR offers. The launch date will be confirmed in due course of time,” the statement continued.

“Our aim with IGX is to bring as many of these varied experiences as possible under one roof, and with PlayStation VR, we can offer our visitors a jaw-dropping virtual reality experience,” said IGX’s organiser Sameer Desai.

While neither Sony nor IGX has mentioned what you can play on the PS VR at the expo, it is safe to say the contents of the device’s demo disc would be one of the many experiences on display.

(Also see: IGX Is a Picture Perfect Representation of Gaming in India)

And if VR isn’t up your alley, other games will be present at the event as well. These include WWE 2K17, Mafia 3, NBA 2K17, Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, Rise of the Tomb Raider for PS4, FIFA 17, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and No Man’s Sky.

Further shoring up the list are a host of locally developed games such as Asura. a Diablo-styled game from Hyderabad-based Ogre Head Studios, Zenith, a role-playing co-developed by Bengaluru’s Holy Cow Productions, and Dodgefall, a racing game from Roosh Interactive, a studio based in Mumbai.

(Also see: Dr. House Meets Final Fantasy in Zenith, a Game Co-Developed in India)

This year’s edition of IGX will take place at the World Trade Centre in Mumbai from October 15 to 16.

The first year of IGX was an honest representation of the consumer gaming scene in the country, unlike India’s many Comic Con events, which have over the years devolved into a crowded bunch of known stores selling merchandise and little else. How it evolves in its second year will be interesting to see.

Tags: PS VR, PSVR, PS VR pre orders, PSVR India availability, PlayStation VR, Sony, Virtual Reality, IGX, IGX 2016,Indian Games Expo

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses

Sony PlayStation VR Goes on Sale, Brings Virtual Reality to the Masses
Sony is betting that it has a better package for mainstream consumers
Sony has to sell a lot of devices to attract talented game developers
Early reviews have praised its design, affordability and comfort
When the PlayStation VR goes on sale Thursday, it won’t just be a test for Sony. As the first high-end virtual-reality headset aimed at the mass market, the gadget will also offer the first hint as to whether the technology can become a mainstream product.

For about $500 (roughly Rs. 33,500), consumers won’t be getting newer features or better performance than pricier headsets being sold by Facebook and HTC. Sony is betting that it has a better package for mainstream consumers, given the ease of use and ability to tap into a gaming and entertainment ecosystem built by the PlayStation franchise over the past two decades. The device is Sony’s best prospect to remain on the cutting edge of technology after scaling back in phones, televisions and other businesses.

(Also see: Sony PlayStation VR Hits Stores Shelves Thursday to Take on Oculus and HTC)

“The Sony release is the first real test of consumer VR,” said Dave Ranyard, a virtual-reality developer and former head of Sony’s London studio, which produced its main launch title PlayStation VR Worlds. “Nobody knows the rate of uptake, so this is the first significant indication.”

The debut also represents a classic gaming-industry dilemma. Sony has to sell a lot of devices to attract talented game developers, gamers won’t buy new hardware unless there’s quality content. Sony hasn’t lined up enough must-have titles to kick off that virtuous cycle, according to Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo.

“If an amazing game comes out and makes everyone want to buy PSVR, the situation will be different, but for now we’re not seeing that,” Yasuda said.

With more than 40 million people already owning a PlayStation 4 console, the novelty of VR alone may be enough to attract a large number of early adopters. IHS Markit and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predict more than 1.4 million unit sales by the end of this year, while Ranyard is more conservative, expecting about 1 million in the first 12 months.

(Also see: PlayStation VR Is the First Real Mass-Market Virtual Reality Headset)

“This is the biggest innovation since the arrival of TV,” Atsushi Morita, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia, said at a launch event in Tokyo.
Sony shares were up 1.4 percent at JPY 3,431 in early trading. The stock is up more than 14 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent decline in the Topix Index.

Another key metric to watch will be how many games each player buys for the PSVR, Raynard said. The device will generate $134 million in revenue for VR content makers this year, about twice the $69 million it expects from Facebook’s Oculus and HTC’s Vive headsets, IHS estimated. Still, that would represent just a fraction of the total market for games software sales.

Early reviews of the system have generally praised its design, affordability and comfort, but a common criticism has been the lack of compelling content. There are about 30 titles available at launch, which are little more than environments to explore, or short games. Sony acknowledges as much, saying what’s available for now are mostly brief experiences that showcase VR technology instead of those with hours of gameplay.

(Also see: PlayStation VR First Impressions)

“The experiences we’re putting on offer are different from your 50-hour Metal Gear Solid experience,” said Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, the unit overseeing the U.S. PlayStation game business. “You have a very intense 7 to 10 to 15 minutes of gameplay.”

Case in point: Job Simulator, a tongue-in-cheek launch title, lets people pretend that they’re working in a kitchen, office or convenience store. Jun Tamaoki raised eyebrows at last month’s Tokyo Game Show with Bandai Namco Holdings Inc.’s virtual-reality game Summer Lesson, which lets users become home tutors.

“It will take a longer time to find those eureka moments – oh wow, this is so fun,” Tamaoki said in an interview. “I would expect a gradual start for now.”

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Sony, PlayStation VR, PS VR, PSVR, Virtual Reality, VR, PlayStation 4, Wearables, Gamaing


PlayStation VR to Launch With Free Demo Disc Containing Eight Games

PlayStation VR to Launch With Free Demo Disc Containing Eight Games

PlayStation VR to Launch With Free Demo Disc Containing Eight Games
Each PlayStation VR unit at launch will have a demo disc
The demo disc contains eight games to try
PlayStation VR is out internationally from October 13
Sony has announced that every PlayStation VR (PS VR) unit available at launch will have a demo disc containing eight games. These include:

Driveclub VR
PlayStation VR Worlds
Rigs Mechanized Combat League
Tumble VR
Eve: Valkyrie
Wayward Sky
(Also see: Sony Reveals PlayStation VR Price, Release Date, and Specifications)

Of these, Driveclub VR and Eve: Valkyrie are the most well known. The former has been touted to hit VR since its inception while the latter is a multiplayer dogfighting game set in space and was exclusive to the Oculus Rift. Rigs is from Killzone: Mercenary developer Guerrilla Cambridge and it’s focussed on frantic first-person combat using mechanised suits. Battlezone is an action game that has you commandeering a tank, it’s one Sony has been demoing quite heavily. PlayStation VR Worlds lets users bask in the depth of the ocean – well, at least in the demo, with the full game packing four more additional settings. Tumble is a VR take on the classic block stacking puzzle games of yore, while Headmaster has you as a footballer honing your skills in what seems to be a prison. Finally Wayward Sky has you exploring a crumbling air fortress.

The use of a demo disc to introduce customers to VR is a shrewd idea. When Sony first started out in the console business, it employed the same tactic to get a generation hooked on the original PlayStation. It could very well be the break VR needs, what with adoption reaching a crashing halt as per the latest Steam survey.
(Also see: PlayStation VR First Impressions)

With PS VR set to be available from October 13 internationally, an India date is yet to be fixed. While other regions like Japan, UK, and US have had their pre-orders live for awhile, we wondered if India would be privy to the same any time soon. However this seems unlikely.

“Currently we do not have plans of conducting pre-orders till confirmed date of VR India launch is available,” a spokesperson for Sony India explained to Gadgets 360 over email.

Tags: PlayStation VR, PSVR, PS VR, Morpheus, PSVR Demo Disc, PSVR India, Sony, PS4, Driveclub, Eve Valkyrie, Tumble, Playstation VR Worlds, Battlezone, Rigs Mechanized Combat League, Wayward Sky, Headmaster


Oculus Boosts Rift VR Gear Availability

Oculus Boosts Rift VR Gear Availability


  • Oculus Connect developers conference starts from October 5 this year
  • Oculus began shipping its VR headsets in March this year
  • A single Oculus Rift VR headset costs $599

Oculus on Tuesday announced it is ramping up availability of its Rift virtual reality gear and planning a major conference in October for developers making software for it.

Facebook-owned Oculus said that all pre-ordered Rift headsets have been sent to buyers, and promised that new orders made online at will ship within four business days.

“We want to apologize for the delays in getting Rifts to doorsteps,” the Oculus team said in a blog post.

Oculus began selling its Rift virtual reality headsets earlier this year for $599, a price which does not include the cost of a computer that can handle the processing and graphics demands of the technology.

Oculus is also increasing inventory at US shops, saying that people should be able to get their hands on Rift at select Microsoft stores and demo the headsets at hundreds of Best Buy retail outlet locations.


The company announced it will hold a three-day annual Oculus Connect developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose beginning on October 5.

Tags: Gaming, Home Entertainment, Oculus, Oculus Rift, Virtual Reality, VR, Wearables



Xiaomi Expected to Launch VR Headset on Monday

Xiaomi Expected to Launch VR Headset on Monday


  • Xiaomi is expected to release its first VR headset on Monday
  • Headset will be compatible with Google’s Daydream, an executive confirmed
  • The company has posted teasers on social media for a VR launch

Is there anything that Xiaomi cannot do? The company has a range of devices in its portfolio, from a portable mosquito repeller and an electric toothbruth to laptop – and that’s just in the last month. Now, the company is expected to launch a VR headset on Monday.

The company’s General Manager Tang Mu has reportedly confirmed that Xiaomi is working on a virtual reality headset that will be compatible with Google’s Daydream platform, which was announced at Google’s I/O event last month.

Android Headlines reports that Mu said he thinks that this is the best way to provide a VR experience that’s optimised for MIUI users. There has been no word about the pricing of this VR headset. The headset is expected to be launched on August 1 as per a teaser posted by the company on Chinese website Weibo, reports Android Headlines.

If the company does launch a virtual on August 1, it will join the likes of Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Google, who have developed their own VR headsets – in this case, to optimise for its MIUI ecosystem. Virtual reality is a fairly new category but has already seen products that are made out of just cardboard to advanced piece of hardware like on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

Xiaomi on Wednesday announced its first laptop – the Mi Notebook Air – featuring an all metal body and finally forayed into the category that it was long expected to. The company’s laptop has some resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Air in terms of design and is seen as its direct competition.

Tags: Google Daydream, Virtual Reality Headset, Wearables, Xiaomi VR Headset

E3 2016: Microsoft Unveils Slimmer Xbox; Sony’s VR Headset Coming to US in October

E3 2016: Microsoft Unveils Slimmer Xbox; Sony's VR Headset Coming to US in October

Microsoft introduced Xbox One S console priced at $299 at E3 2016.
It additionally released Mission Scorpio for extremelyexcessive decision gaming.
Sony discovered plans to convey Playstation VR by means of October in US.
Microsoft Corp unveiled ‘Assignment Scorpio’, a brand new Xbox console with the intention to supportextremelyhigh decision gaming and virtual reality, even as additionally launching a slimmer version of its Xbox One console at the video game convention E3 in L. A. on Monday.

Project Scorpio, for you to have the potential to energy virtual truth reviews and 4K gaming, is expectedto be available all through the holiday season in 2017.

The console might be well matched with Xbox One video games and add-ons. Info on its pricing had beennot disclosed.

Sony Corp also said at the convention it would release its virtual truth headset for Playstation within the United states with the aid of mid-October.

Sony said it’d add new titles to its Ps console, which includes Surprise‘s Spider-Guy, God of Conflict and call of Obligation: Limitless Warfare.

Microsoft released a partnership with Oculus Rift final year, which made some Xbox One video gamesplayable on Oculus’ virtual reality platform.

The new Xbox One S console, an up to date model of the Xbox One released in 2013, will convey newfunctions together with streaming support for 4K videos, which presents fourtimes the resolution ofhigh-definition content material.

The Xbox One S could be to be had in August and its base version can be priced at $299 (roughly Rs. 20,000).

Microsoft additionally announced a number of recent games at the conference, including Gears of War4 and Forza Horizon three.

The employer also brought Xbox Play Anywhere, that lets in game enthusiasts to shop for a sport onceand play it on each their Home windows 10 Laptop and Xbox One console.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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