Field of view: Former Nokia employees want to bring 'human eye resolution' to VR

Your weekly roundup of VR news, games and recommendations
Field of view: Week in virtual reality

Welcome to Field of view, your place to catch up on everything in the VR realm that you may have missed from the past week.

With E3 now in the rear-view mirror, things haven't been quite as hectic under the VR headset, but that doesn't mean it was completely bereft of action. After all, Valve revealed all (except a launch date) regarding its upcoming Knuckles controllers, Samsung was rumoured to be working on an ultra high-res Gear VR headset, and the HTC Vive X Demo Day gave us a look at the startups that could one day make it to our eyes.

But what else has been going on in the land of virtual reality this week? Well, read on to find out.

Read this: News bits and bobs

Former Nokia and Microsoft employees launch Varjo

At its best, virtual reality is an entirely immersive experience which you can take you to different worlds in seconds. But for all the positives it holds, resolution still isn't finished with its progression.

And while the big guns — Oculus, HTC, Google and Samsung— are all in secret labs aiming to bump this number as high as possible, a new startup, Varjo, made up of former employees from Nokia and Microsoft, is aiming to offer resolution equivalent to that of the human eye. That's a whopping 70x clearer than what the current crop provide users, the company says.

The first aim of the company is to, of course, build the high-end headset. And while no timeline has been planted, co-founder Urho Konttori noted this week it will be capable of displaying both virtual and augmented reality.

Facebook fights Oculus sales ban

Mark Zuckerberg and his band of Oculus consigliere are fighting a ZeniMax request for a court order blocking sales of the company's Rift headset. This follows February's court verdict, in which Oculus was instructed to pay $500 million over claims that some of its executives stole information.

It's too early to speculate the outcome of the request, but it does serve as another footnote in the Oculus v Zenimax drama, so stay tuned.

Field of view: Former Nokia employees want to bring human eye resolution to VR

YouTube goes backwards

YouTube, as you might expect, has been one of the leaders in providing 360 videos for VR users. As detailed in a blog post, though, it's now aiming to expand even further, but this time by actually taking a slight step back.

A new file format will allow creators to take advantage of VR180, essentially working as half of what the spherical videos would provide, meaning cameras and other production equipment won't necessarily be needed.

MLB coming to Gear VR

While Intel already offers MLB fans weekly VR fun to chew on, Samsung and the league have detailed plans that will result in over 20 videos hitting Gear VR devices throughout the 2017 season. This will include highlights from key moments — say, All-Star events — and also provide close-ups with players and of the ballpark.

Other than the US, the VR action will also be heading to the Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Try this: Diesel Express

Sometimes you just want a simple, old-fashioned first-person shooter when you strap on your headset, and that's exactly what you get with Diesel Express. Here, you'll play as a Legionnaire of The Regiment, with your sole goal to protect trains from bandits.

Not only does it provide you with a solid shooting experience, but you're also able to take cover on your way to completing missions and securing all the cargo. Unfortunately, though, the game is currently only available for HTC Vive users.

Price: $9.99 | Download Diesel Express

Watch this: Rubber band mayhem

To mark YouTube's jump into the world of 180-degree video, we'll tee this one up for you. While the new platform can allow users on their desktop to view videos from what's essentially a wide-angle lens, strapping on your VR headset will allow for movement without the need for a swivelling chair.

To kick the launch off, YouTube has released a number of dedicated videos shot for the platform, but what can beat a huge ball of rubber bands flailing around in the air? Nothing, that's what.



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