Super Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Industry News and Technology Updates

SVVR 2016

Even though it was a small venue, Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Expo’s attendees were immensely enthusiastic about the latest virtual reality technology. The 3rd annual SVVR (2016) is a VR focused expo and conference that took place on April 27-29 in the San Jose Convention Center. The goal of the event is to bring together VR supporters and build up the VR network. The audience featured everyone from developers, content creators, designers, investors, and entrepreneurs who are involved in and or interested in virtual reality. Over 100 VR companies came to San Jose to showcase their products at the event. It was a nice mix because there were several big companies like Oculus and NVIDIA, some medium sized companies including Leap Motion and OSVR, and dozens of small indies bringing tools or content to the VR landscape. The variety of VR technology exhibited at the expo included 360 video, motion & gesture control, 3D point cloud mapping, audio, controllers, and more. In addition to demoing our product to attendees at the show, uSens CTO, Dr. Yue Fei, had the opportunity to present our Inside-out tracking for mobile and tethered ARVR. Dr. Fei also discussed how uSens is working to release this technology to Unity 3D, C++, and Java developers on June 1, 2016. There was an overwhelming amount of VR tech demos to experience at the show so it was nice to try out a few of them. One of the first VR demos that I got to try out was the Pico Neo. The Pico Neo was very interesting because it had a small SNES-like controller that was attached to the Head Mounted Display. Many of the internals are actually located inside of the controller so this allowed for the HMD to be more lightweight. The game that I played was a space shooter demo that had me looking around to aim and pushing a button on the controller to shoot. It was pretty difficult to attain a steady aim with my shaky head but I got better at it the more I played. With Pico Neo supposedly releasing next month in China in June, it should be interesting to see if controller attached HMDs will catch on. SculptrVR is another exciting game that I tried out that allows users to sculpt objects in virtual reality. The aesthetic of the game was very similar to Minecraft. A unique aspect of SculptrVR was that I was able scale myself to my desired height at any time. With this scaling, it makes it very intuitive to sculpt your own detailed world. Users are also able to upload and share their worlds over Steam. VirZOOM was one of the most mesmerizing products that I tried at SVVR. The product is actually a bicycle controller that can be hooked up with PSVR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive HMDs. The HMD provided position tracking so that I could lean to the left or to the right when maneuvering through the virtual landscapes. The game demo that I played for this system was great. In one of the mini-games, I was riding a horse that could fly and I seriously had the sensation that I was hovering in the air. After playing for about 8 minutes I felt like I got a decent workout without even realizing it while I was in action. This product is sure to introduce VR to the fitness world at a rapid rate. VirZOOM is available for pre-order with Mobile VR support coming soon. Noitom’s Project Alice was my last demo that I tried out and it was the stand-out virtual reality experience at SVVR. Many attendees were excited about it being that people were required to set up an appointment and wait for hours just to try it. Luckily, some of the uSens team and I experienced the demo together. The demo took place in a private room but after we donned our headsets, the room became completely virtualized. We were then given Nintendo Wii Remotes that allowed us to create virtual objects and interact with them. The twist was that we were also able to interact with real world objects and their movements were simulated in real time (with little to no latency!) via the HMD. Being able to interact with virtual objects and real objects and the very same time while still being in a virtual reality experience was truly magical. Getting the chance to see and try out our VR peers’ demos inspire us greatly to continue working on our technology. We are so excited for next year! Below is a short montage video that I filmed at the show. -Amanze Ugoh