Field of View: Future PlayStation VR controllers possibly revealed

Your weekly roundup of all the VR & AR news, games and recommendations

Welcome back to Field of View, our weekly dive into the world of augmented and virtual reality.

We learned that Intel is prepping to launch AR smartglasses by the end of the year, and it's looking to sell a stake in the spinoff company it plans to launch them.

Read this: The best VR headsets of 2018

However, despite being a bit of a light week in the major stories, there were plenty of other things going on. So let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Read this: News blips and tidbits

Sony patents VR motion controllers

PlayStation VR has become the most mainstream of the Big Three high-end VR options, but it's been saddled with the PlayStation Move controllers, a relic of Sony's attempt at motion-based, Wii-like gaming.

Field of View: Sony patents possible future PlayStation VR controllers

This week, a wild patent emerged and gave PSVR gamers some hope. The patented controllers are fairly simple, with a joystick and some buttons up at the top where your thumb rests and a trigger on the other side. There's also an attached wrist band. The big news here is that there are interlocked gears inside the grip of the controller that can expand and contract to impart "tactile sense to a user".

There's also a second patent, which is for tracking individual fingers with a head-mounted display. It's worth noting that this technology would need a second-generation PSVR headset as the current one isn't capable of this. Together, these two patents paint a picture of PSVR controllers similar to Vive's Knuckle prototype.

Pokemon Go creator Niantic working on shared-world AR

Niantic, creator of Pokemon Go, this week announced it had purchased Escher Reality, which builds services that allow for multiuser and multiplatform experiences.

Basically, what this means is that Niantic will be able to build AR experiences that users can participate in together. For instance, if you and your buddy open up Pokemon Go, you both will see the same virtual Pikachu right in front of you.

You'll also be able to see each other in the world. This will also work across both iOS and Android, so ARKit and ARCore won't be able to get in the way.

Facebook hires Google's AR product director

Field of View: Sony patents possible future PlayStation VR controllers

If you had any doubts about Facebook's commitment to virtual and augmented reality, they should have been shelved a long time ago. But if you still have them, consider this: Facebook has just poached Nikhil Chandhok, Google's director of product for AR.

Chandhok was working on both Google's ARCore and the Daydream VR platform. For Facebook, Chandhok will be joining the company's Camera and AR team. In case you didn't know, there's a camera in the Facebook app that lets you take selfies with AR filters, like Snapchat.

However, he specifically says he'll be building a platform that "allows for the creation and discovery of global AR experiences everywhere." So yeah, don't be surprised if Facebook decides to debut one of those fancy AR platforms in short order.

Play this: Unabomber: The VR Experience

Unabomber: The Virtual Reality Experience takes you inside the cabin that Ted Kaczyinski, the Unabomber, lived in for 24 years. You'll be able to peruse his book collection, his bomb-making accessories and even his signature sunglasses.

You play an FBI agent who has to piece together the clues from the cabin, and you can even decide whether you want to publish his manifesto. This was originally a museum art piece for Newseum, but it's now available for HTC Vive on Viveport for $4.99.

It's also got a seal of approval from FBI special agent Max Noel, who actually went inside Kaczyinski's cabin and was apparently impressed at the virtual recreation.

Watch this: Super Bowl LII - New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles

Field of View: Sony patents possible future PlayStation VR controllers

It's that time of the year, folks. The Big Game! Will the underdog Eagles topple the legendary Tom Brady and the Patriots, or will Brady and coach Bill Belichick add to their legacies? What memes will emerge from Justin Timberlake's halftime performance, and will the commercials actually be worth it this year?

Read next: How wearables are taking on the NFL's concussion crisis

One thing we do know for sure: You'll be able to watch highlights from the Super Bowl in VR thanks to the Fox Sports mobile app. You just have to download it on either iOS or Android and then slap your phone into a VR headset, whether its Daydream View, Merge VR or Gear VR.


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