Field of view: Samsung AR glasses shown off in new patent

Your roundup of the week's news from different realities
The week in AR and VR
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Welcome to Field of view, your weekly dose of news from the worlds of augmented and virtual reality.

This week, we've got fairly big news from Samsung and the possibility it has its eyes set on taking on Apple with its own AR glasses. Sandbox VR has gathered yet more celebrity backers and money, while Microsoft is working on a VR rig to let you walk around the real world with a virtual re-skin.

Read more: Best VR headsets to buy

To round thing off as always, we've got a lovely new VR experience for you to try out at home.

Samsung seems to be working on AR glasses

Field of view: Samsung AR glasses shown off in new patent

It's not often that a patent filing includes something more concrete than just sketches and design documents, but Samsung has obliged us with an actual render of the augmented reality eyewear that it's seemingly building at the moment.

The design patent application from South Korea, Samsung's heartland, describes a headset that Samsung's working on with a screen in each lens, although there are a lot of unconfirmed angles to cover. We don't know if the headset is for pairing with a smartphone, or indeed whether it's actually wire-free or wired.

Samsung has acknowledged before that it's working on multiple AR and VR products, so this isn't the biggest surprise of the year. But with continuing speculation that Apple will launch AR glasses in 2020, maybe we could see Samsung bring something similar to the market too.

Sandbox VR brings in more celeb money

Field of view: Samsung's working on an augmented reality headset

As if it didn't already have enough money, VR startup Sandbox VR has announced that it has lured in another $11 million of funding to pump into its platform.

The highlight here, though, is that they've listed out a fairly outrageous roster of celebrities that have contributed this time round. We're talking Orlando Bloom, Will Smith, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and Kevin Durant. A listers, people, A listers.

Sandbox VR is making a swish version of a core idea - VR in designed spaces that enhance the experience based on location. It's getting a good reputation, but time will tell whether it can really stick around fo the long haul. That money won't hurt its plans, mind you.

Microsoft shows off DreamWalker VR rig

Microsoft has shown off one of the more ambitious VR projects it's working on - DreamWalker, a walking virtual reality rig.

As the video above shows, it's basically a massive backpack that you wear as you walk about, powering the VR headset and controllers you wear, and pairing with your mobile phone to access GPS and mapping information about your surroundings.

By plotting a path to walk, you can let the software then create a virtual world for you amble through, replacing the mundane sights you might otherwise see. It can even generate pedestrians and obstacles to represent real-world hurdles you could walk into, by using on-board cameras and depth sensors.

Snap confirms AR is still part of its future

Field of view: Samsung's working on an augmented reality headset

It hasn't passed us by that Snap is investing in AR - it's been crowing about it for a few years now, and is already on the third generation of its Spectacles.

Well, the plan continues - on its latest earnings call, the business confirmed that it still sees AR as integral to its future. CEO Evan Spiegel said that it aims to integrate wearables like the Spectacles into its offering over the next decade, to go with the significant AR systems it already has in the form of lenses and filters for smartphone cameras.

It's no surprise that AR is important for the company, but is interesting to hear that the timeline is a long one. Snap's decade-long planning suggests that it still thinks it'll be some time before AR wearables are truly mainstream.

Try this: Borderlands 2 VR on PC

This week saw the release of Borderlands 2 VR for PC, after its Playstation VR release earlier this year.

It brings the gun-toting, loot-sifting madness of the Borderlands franchise to virtual reality, with four classes to choose from and the full game to play through. This is far from a tech demo.

You can buy the game now via Steam, for $49.99. It'll work with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets.


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