Field of view: The week in virtual reality - Avegant brings the light to mixed reality

All the big news from this week in VR and AR
The week in virtual reality

There's been plenty to cover in the virtual reality scene over the past few Field of View columns, and this week is no different.

Over the past seven days, we spoke to Samsung about what's next for VR, looked at Apple's potential Gear VR rival and saw Google announce that YouTube is working with Daydream to improve the quality of VR. We also looked back at the best VR tech from SXSW and tested out a VR space descent experience at the Science Museum.

But what else has been going on in the world of VR? Let's take a look.

Read this: News blips from the week

Avegant brings the light to mixed reality

If virtual reality is still in its infancy, mixed reality is very much still in the embryonic stage. As a result, there's still hurdles to overcome with regard to immersion. Avegant, makers of that Glyph viewer, is looking to help surge the platform onto the next level, though, with the introduction of its Light Field Technology.

Essentially, the company claims this will help overcome one of mixed reality's greatest challenges: making objects at both near and far distances appear real. This is achieved by allowing things to appear at multiple focal planes for augmented and mixed reality platforms. We're excited to try it out.

Field of view: The week in virtual reality - Avegant brings the light to mixed reality

Save the pets

When you're fully immersed in the virtual realm, it can be tough to keep a grip on your real life surroundings. It's a reality our pets know all too well, likely being subject to accidental kicks and flailing motion controllers as they silently ponder what the mysterious object attached to your head is all about.

Well, VR developer Triangular Pixels is looking to save the pets by strapping HTC Vive sensors to cats. Used in conjunction with unique code, the developers have crafted a harness that can also be modelled by your dog or child, emitting a warning when they enter your field. Rogue elements entering areas they shouldn't acts is clearly a contemporary issue that must be fought against — just remember that viral BBC interview.

Nvidia wants to enhance VR gaming

Four years ago, Nvidia improved the gaming scene by releasing FCAT, a tool that allowed people to test the quality of gameplay on all GPUs. With this, performance could be measured in detail for the first time, revealing micro-stutters, dropped framed and many more technical aspects.

Read this: Best VR games

Now, the company is looking to bring the same tech to VR. The FCAT VR tool will enable everyone from game developers to VR enthusiasts to reliably test the performance of PC games, something which could potentially help avoid eye strain and user discomfort. On the surface this may appear like a minor splash, but it's very likely to form a ripple that will enhance the VR gaming experience.

Play this: Tales of Escape

If you've ever taken part in an escape room challenge in real life, you'll know it's pretty damn fun. Unsurprisingly, this also translates to the virtual world with Tales of Escape, which puts you and up to five friends in a series of escape room adventures. Cold as Ice is the first chapter, seeing you use your cunning to find a way out of an abandoned butcher shop. It's not the longest game you'll ever play, but the fact that friends without a HTC Vive can also jump in is a nice trade-off.

Watch this: Ashes to Ashes

While you can enjoy many films inside a VR headset, they're often through a 2D theatre platform. Because the platform presents different challenges to traditional filming, shorts like Ashes to Ashes are becoming more prevalent.

The clip is actually an 11-minute short all taken in one shot, immersing the viewer into a story about a dysfunctional family burdened with the bizarre final wish of their deceased grandfather. Above is a teaser for the short itself, and a 'Making of' video is also available for those who want to take a peek behind the camera.

And this: Shopping in VR with Ted Baker

If you're tired of traipsing around shops or scrolling through endless pages of clothes you don't like, perhaps Ted Baker's VR approach is the way to go.

The 4K, 360 degree film on the retailer's website has been produced for desktop, tablet and mobile viewers, while those looking for a more immersive look into the pastel-coloured Baker family life can view a non-shoppable film in Google Cardboard.

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Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR

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