Saturday, April 23, 2022

 

QPORIT XR NEWS for 2022-04-23 - MIXED REALITY HEADSET FROM CANON

 

Canon is releasing a new Mixed Reality (MR) headset MREAL X1 in Japan in June. The price has not been announced, but an earlier version of the headset cost more than $35,000. 

It is not clear why this HMD is superior to Magic Leap or Hololens HMD's, or even the simpler Snap Spectacles.

This headset does use "Passthrough" technology, which means it uses cameras to photograph the outside world, and then composites (in more-or-less real time) the external video with the computer generated content digitally before displaying it on an opaque screen. (Magic Leap and Hololens use semi-transparent screens and mix the computer generated images more-or-less directly with the more-or-less directly viewed external scene.)

Here's the Press Release from Canon, and an English language video preview, plus an article from  RoadToVR:

LINKS


MREAL X1 - ENGLISH LANGUAGE PREVIEW VIDEO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyFN8pSbLyQ


MREAL X1 - CANON PRESS RELEASE TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

https://www-canon--its-co-jp.translate.goog/news/detail/20220421mr.html?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp


MREAL X1 - CANON PRESS RELEASE (ORIGINAL, IN JAPANESE)

https://www.canon-its.co.jp/news/detail/20220421mr.html


ROAD-TO-VR ON MREAL X1

https://www.roadtovr.com/canon-mreal-x1-ar-headset/



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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

 

QPORIT XR NEWS for 2022-04-20 - META'S GAME DAY


The Meta Quest Gaming Showcase (MQGS) should have been more exciting.

From his actions, and his appearances, Mark Zuckerberg seems to understand, better than almost anyone else, the future possibilities of eXtended Reality (XR). But MQGS did not execute on that vision. It was wrongheaded in several ways.

For the "Metaverse," (that part of the future centered around a virtual social experience), the MQGS was a step in the opposite direction. 

The short review is that 

  • (1) the few games showcased were mostly not very interesting. They were mostly simple sequels/updates to mostly first person shooters (or variants on the shooter motif). Three interesting exceptions were a football simulation, a city-builder, and a surprise.  The football simulation does have great promise, as VR seems to be doing well as an actual trainer for real athletes, so a simulation could become a genuine e-sport. The city-builder might be fun. Also, a Ghostbusters VR game from SONY Pictures was teased: there were scant details, but with SONY planning a VR headset of its own for PlayStation 5, the release of a SONY VR game to the QUEST would be intriguing.
  • (2) the presentation lacked energy.
  • (3) the presentation, agreeably, was broadcast to multiple sites, including YouTube and Twitch, as well as Facebook and Meta Horizon Venues
  • (4) Watching a VR event in Meta Horizon Venues should be an exciting, great VR experience.  But, the Showcase event was not VR:  not live, not in 3D, not panoramic -- it was just an ordinary video. It was actually more distracting to watch in Horizon Venues than on YouTube. And getting to Horizon Venues was too hard.  I'm quite experienced with both Quest and Venues, yet I had the following problems: 
    • (a) I turned on my QUEST 2 to find it had lost all its power. (I had used it recently and I'm surprised it needed a charge.) I quickly plugged it in, let it power up for a while and then about 5 minutes before the event, logged in, still attached to the power plug. 
    • (b) I got to Venues and it told me I needed to log into Facebook (but I should have already been logged in). I re-booted the HMD and this time I successfully entered Venues.  
    • (c) I went to the Showcase door in Venues for the event, but it would not let me in - it blocked me at the door. I was not in slide mode. A bystander, perhaps a Community Guide (CG), suggested I switch to slide mode. I did; I slid to the door, but it still did not let me in. The CG suggested I reboot. 
    • (d) I rebooted, went through the process, again, of going to Venues, going to the lobby, sliding to the door, and this time it let me in. 
    • (e) I was really disappointed to find the presentation in Venues was not in 3D. Not even the 3D VR games were being previewed in 3D. And, of course, by now I was late.
    • (f) After the show, I could not get out of Venues properly, I had to do a hard exit and quit.

FYI - disclosure -- I'm currently testing a webXR site and webXR technology that would facilitate 3D, panoramic, VR, content, to create truly exciting, accurate, and compelling new product promotions and demos - for VR games like these and anything else 3 Dimensional (fashion, cars, real-estate, humans singing, dancing, acting, talking....)


For building a "Metaverse," three of the leading products in Meta are Horizon Worlds, Horizon Workrooms, and Horizon Venues. Horizon Worlds (HW) currently represents social gaming. But it is a special kind of gaming: HW is for people who want to build places together. (I call them "places" rather than worlds, because that is a better description: You can build a room, or a museum, or a room with a game, or a street. But building worlds -- the hierarchy of {rooms, => buildings, =>towns, =>states, =>countries, => a world, =>worlds} is beyond the power of ordinary humans with the current tools.)  

The tools seem deliberately primitive, making the building of the space the goal -- rather than making the space itself, and the quality of the space, as a destination for users, to be the goal. For example, in particular, the site does not allow imports: you can not import text, or scripts, or VR assets. Everything must be done in the site, by hand. This choice does create social bonds among creators, but does not allow the possibility of making great creations for non-creating users.

Horizon Worlds, for all its limitations, is Meta's premiere social gaming site, yet it was not even mentioned in today's "gaming" presentation. (If it was, it went by quickly and I missed it.) Similarly, none of the games in today's Showcase, represented large scale social gaming.

To me, then, this Showcase seemed to be an old-fashioned description of how we thought about games and applications on the Quest a few years ago.


THE METAQUEST GAMING SHOWCASE ON YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qPfI_azgDY




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Thursday, April 07, 2022

 

QPORIT XR NEWS BRIEFS - 2022-04-07 (SCOTUS, F-Ain't, WWDC)

 

Several items of note, today:


Ketanji Jackson was officially confirmed to join the Supreme Court when an opening arises.  The next opening is expect to occur at the end of this term, with the retirement of Justice Breyer.  The confirmation vote was 53 to 47, with Senators Murkowski (AK), Collins (ME), and Romney (UT)  (the only Republicans) voting with all the Democrats to confirm.

Several Republicans (actually RINO's, Republicans in name only, since they do not seem to believe in a republic) try to have it both ways: to support the nomination in public, while voting against her in the Senate. (Not voting for someone you claim to believe deserves confirmation becomes another example of the extreme partisanship in the RINO party.  Extreme partisanship, fealty to the defeated former President  (dPP) and in some cases even support for Putin and current Russian aggression, characterize the RINO's. "Washington" is not partisan: Extreme partisanship is a policy of the RINO's alone.)

***

Meta (formerly Facebook) has cancelled F8, their once premiere developer conference. There is speculation that "Meta Connect" (formerly Oculus Connect, then Facebook Connect) will become their premiere developer event in the late summer or early fall.

F8 PAUSE

https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2022/04/06/pausing-f8-in-2022/


Meta also announced a new business event, Conversations, about messaging.


META CONNECTIONS - May 19, 2022

https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2022/03/31/introducing-conversations/


***


Apple has announced their 2022 World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC22) for June 6-10.  It will be online, but there will also be a limited number of developers and students on-premise for the keynote.  


WWDC22 - June 6-10, 2022

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc22/


Apple also announced the "Swift Student Challenge" where "Talented students can showcase their creativity for the opportunity to receive an award."


SWIFT STUDENT CHALLENGE

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc22/swift-student-challenge/



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Tuesday, April 05, 2022

 

QPORIT XR NEWS - 2022-04-05 (UNREAL ENGINE 5 -- UE5)

 

UE5 - the next generation version of Unreal Engine (a "game engine") is available for public download today.

DOWNLOAD UE5

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/download


Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is a leading, high-resolution, real time engine for graphics for Hollywood special effects, and for real time 3D graphics in games, eXtended Reality (XR) (including Virtual Reality, VR), and other interactive, real-time, 3D applications. Unreal Engine has been used in Fortnite, and in the development and promotion of Matrix and other films.


(Unity, since they went public, and especially after purchasing the high-res content & technology company, Weta, is a competing engine for those applications.)


EU5 (which contains a copyright notice for 2004-2022) is a product of Epic Games, Inc.  Epic Games is a private company, with founder Tim Sweeney owning more than 50% and the Chinese Company, Tencent Holdings owning most or all of the rest.


Downloading, and developing with UE5 is free for most users; there are various charges for different commercial uses of the code. Tim Sweeney has been adamant that gatekeepers, like UE5 as an engine, and Apple & Google App/Play stores as marketplaces, should have modest charges, and that the industry "standard" 30% take is too high. Epic Games sued Apple for anti-trust violations.


INTRODUCTION TO UNREAL ENGINE 5 (UE5)

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-5-is-now-available


DOWNLOAD UE5

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/download


EPIC GAMES - HOME PAGE

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/


EPIC GAMES - WIKIPEDIA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games


THE MATRIX AWAKENS - AN UNREAL ENGINE 5 EXPERIENCE

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/introducing-the-matrix-awakens-an-unreal-engine-5-experience






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QPORIT XR NEWS - 2022-04-05 (NEW LEADERSHIP AT WARNERS + DISCOVERY)

 

Warner Bros. Discovery, expected to be official on Friday, will be run by David Zaslav, from Discovery.


WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, will be leaving, as will Warner Studios and Networks Group CEO Ann Sarnoff, and HBO Max Chief, Andy Forssell.


The combination of Discovery elements and Warner elements will attempt to create a strong enough streaming media platform to compete with Disney, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, as well as smaller players such as Apple+, NBC's Peacock, and CBS All Access.


WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY - WIKIPEDIA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warner_Bros._Discovery


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