Field of view: The week in virtual reality - Facebook unveils new 360 cameras

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The week in virtual reality
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If you've been keeping track of the VR realm this week, you'll know that Facebook made the biggest waves. Through its F8 conference, the social network giant not only released its new VR hangout app for Oculus Rift, Spaces, but also debuted a new concept that aims to help you control AR/VR tech from the brain.


Elsewhere, we saw researchers working on muscle stimulation to help you feel in VR, while Nokia added improved features to its OZO VR camera and created a platform for the device. We also took a trip to Coachella to discover how it's using AR and VR to change how people experience festivals and to the Tribeca Film Festival 2017 to check out the VR films, docs, games and music videos there.

But plenty more has been kicking off in the VR world, so let's take a look through the tidbits you may have missed from the past week.

Read this: News blips

Facebook unveils new 360 camera

Field of View: The week in virtual reality — Facebook

You may remember last year when Facebook announced the Surround 360, a 360-degree camera that could capture footage in 3D. Unfortunately, though, it wasn't for sale.

Now, the company has detailed its second generation of Surround, which involves two upgraded cameras — the x24 and x6. The latter will feature a smaller design and house six cameras, while the larger x24 will, as you might have already guessed, shoot from 24 cameras.


Mark Zuckerberg and the band of rascals over at Facebook still don't plan on selling the range, mind, instead opting to pimp the devices out to professional content creators. Oh, and 4,000 people attending its F8 conference.

Ridley Scott launches VR film division

Not content to settle on past glories such as Alien and Blade Runner, and erm, other projects like Prometheus, film director Ridley Scott is launching a dedicated VR division inside his production company.

Scott has already been involved in the platform to develop the likes of The Martian VR Experience and the upcoming Alien: Covenant, though the move would seemingly underscore a serious commitment to VR. So get ready for some more wacky spin-offs and experiences in your headset from ol' Ridley, we guess.

Alone time with David Attenborough

Field of View: The week in virtual reality — Facebook

Yes, if you've ever wanted some one-on-one time with the world renowned naturalist, your time is now. A hologram of Sir David will guide users inside a VR world as part of a new experience named Hold the World designed by Sky and London's Natural History Museum.

Using a Cardboard/Gear VR/Oculus headset and hand controls, enthusiasts will be free to examine the likes of dinosaur fossils and insects while Atto provides you with some accompanying words. This sounds like a world that could literally never grow tiresome — you and Attenborough are going to live forever.


New HTC Vive bundle

HTC knows that most of us don't have a computer powerful enough for its Vive headset. That's why it's making it easier for you to rectify this situation, all through a handy bundle. Three new packages are available from the company, with one allowing you to pick up the headset, a PC and graphics card all together.

Another also lets you pick up the Vive and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition for $999.99, something that HTC says is a $200 snip off the usual retail price.

Play this: Rick and Morty hit VR

Just a few weeks after the season three premiere hit TV screens, Rick and Morty are back at it again - this time in the virtual realm. Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-Ality puts players in the shoes of one of Morty's many clones, with players set to complete puzzles through the use of the tech.

Those of you who are rocking mobile VR will be left disappointed, though, since the game is only currently available through Oculus or a HTC Vive.

Try this: Google Earth VR branches out

Google has updated its Earth VR platform to support users of Oculus Rift and its Touch controllers, meaning you no longer have to own a HTC Vive to immerse yourself around landmarks such as Florence's Duomo, Yellowstone National Park and Rio's Christ the Redeemer.

Aside from adding new destinations for you to fly around and the option for you to type on the virtual keyboard, Google also indicates the interface has been given a refresh. So forget travelling the world, you can basically just do it from your front room.


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