Tuesday, November 21, 2017
GR = Gifting Reality 2017
Here are some suggestions for gifts for your family, your friends, or yourself, or for anyone interested in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and even the other components of XR (eXtended Reality) which include AI and IoT, (including robotics) . But first, here, we'll concentrate (mostly) on VR, with more to come on other resources for other elements of XR
This batch of suggestions includes books, hardware, and other info for beginners as well as for more advanced practitioners.
The principal ecosystems include Microsoft, Google, Facebook (with Oculus), and WebXR. WebXR is a new way to create VR and AR applications for everyone's internet.
For the most part, cameras are independent of these ecosystems. They capture content that can be used in a viewing application (like YouTube).
Unity is a software tool to create interactive, full-spherical (360), 3D content for most every platform. Other companies, like Apple, Amazon, Intel, NVidia, and others are just getting started with their own products. Sony has VR games.
Amazon is a very convenient marketplace for selling many of the products from many of the companies. (Note: we are an Amazon Affiliate.)
For simplicity, these suggestions are organized by ecosystems. Books are listed chronologically, with the more recent first, Note that the technology is changing very, very, very fast. Books older than a year can be very valuable for understanding the ideas and concepts, and some of the code may still work. However, to actually create applications, the developer sites we list should be consulted for the latest methods and details!
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MICROSOFT MIXED REALITY
(formerly called "holographic")
Currently "Mixed Reality" hardware for MS consists of the HoloLens, plus several headsets that are essentially actually Virtual Reality tools, not "mixed reality" (that is, the outside world is not visible).
The software may be referred to as "mixed reality" or, at least in older references, as "holographic".
For developers, there are many reasons why MS may be the best choice of an ecosystem. It has Windows 10 behind it. The company's support offerings, including AI are super, the products will likely work with Steam and the Xbox soon, and the HoloLens is the most powerful XR display device. For pure consumers, it may or may not be the best choice of gift at this time, since there is a limited amount of XR software dedicated to these devices at the moment. But more will arrive!
WINDOWS MIXED REALITY DEVELOPER CENTER
MICROSOFT HOLOLENS DEVELOPERS GUIDE
DEVELOP MICROSOFT HOLOLENS APPS NOW
The HoloLens, a headset (or HMD, Head Mounted Display), enables you to "mix" computer generated 2D and 3D content, shown on the vizor of the HoloLens, with the real world seen through the vizor. Distance sensors on the device allow it to map the real world onto a mesh. It has an on-board computer with Windows 10 software, so it is completely untethered. (Note: It is quite expensive, and there may be various bundles containing the HoloLens, so this link may not be the best price or bundle, but it is a great place to start.)
The Samsung Odyssey headset is a moderately priced VR (ie occluded) headset that works with Windows 10 holographic/mixed-reality software. It currently has the best video display resolution on the market for any VR headset.
The Acer headset is a low-cost VR (ie occluded) headset that works with Windows 10 holographic/mixed-reality software.
The Lenovo headset is a low-cost VR (ie occluded) headset that works with Windows 10 holographic/mixed-reality software.
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Google Daydream is the successor to Cardboard. It is now in its second generation. It is lightweight, but it requires a "Daydream Ready Phone" which means right now mostly the Pixel II. Including the phone, it is not cheap. Nevertheless, Google seems serious about developing the technology of XR, including the AI and other tools that will work together. There is not a lot of consumer-friendly content yet. But it is a good place for developers: Google is particularly interested in developing a mass-market. Of course, YouTube is a Google product, and Google is very interested in VR content for YouTube, which is one of the best, and most conspicuously, constantly, improving sites to host VR video content. (Google also has pioneered VR 360 3D cameras with the JUMP, but that is currently > $10,000.)
VIRTUAL REALITY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE GOOGLE DAYDREAM
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Oculus has two systems, the computer powered RIFT and, in partnership with Samsung, the Gear VR powered by a Samsung Smart phone. It is not clear where the best place to buy these might be. For the RIFT, you must also have a Rift compatible computer. For the Gear VR, you need a compatible smartphone. In fact, the Gear VR may be bundled with the smart phone. Both the Rift and Gear VR also have controllers, which may (or may not) be bundled with the HMD.
OCULUS RIFT HOME
OCULUS RIFT ON AMAZON
This is an old book. It is a good introduction, but for programming it is necessary to look at the latest information from the developer center above.
OCULUS RIFT IN ACTION
LEARNING WEB BASED VIRTUAL REALITY
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The LUCIDCAM is a 3D front facing VR camera that sees the entire front hemisphere and produces 180VR videos and still photos for about $500. The advantages of 180VR over 360VR are that (1) it is easier to shoot and (2) you do not have to worry about stitching, and (3) you do not have to worry about people or objects that are behind the camera. Of course, you do not get the entire full spherical scene around you.
Here is a review of the LucidCam:
QPORIT Review: LUCIDCAM -- 180VR CAMERA
BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY SALES
DIRECT FROM LUCIDCAM
https://www.lucidcam.com/store/LUCIDCAM – 180 X 180 3D
use coupon LUCIDCYBER17
use coupon LUCIDCYBER17
The VUZE is an eight-lens 3D full spherical 360VR camera, selling for about $800. It is currently the best value I have seen for full VR shooting.
Here is a review of the VUZE:
QPORIT Review: the VUZE -- 360 VR CAMERA
BLACK FRIDAY SALE
DIRECT FROM VUZE
VUZE BLACK (also available in red and blue)
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For continuing information about all the facets of eXtended Reality, you are
Please join us at
NYXR - the New York eXtended Reality Meetup!
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These are some hints and suggestions for
GIFTING eXtended Reality products
and getting into the development of the
current wave of new technology!