Field of view: Nokia and Xiaomi partner up for VR push

Your weekly roundup of VR news, games and recommendations
Field of view: The week in VR

Yeah, you know what time it is. Welcome fellow VR lovers to a place where we catch you up with what's been happening in the world of virtual reality.

We've already told you about Samsung's standalone VR headset, picked out our favourite Google Daydream VR apps and games and our features ed Sophie revisited the big predictions we made about VR in 2017.

Read this: Top VR games to play in 2017

But we're not done. Read on for the best of the rest of the VR-related news including developments to make better VR and BBC's plans for making more immersive experiences. Plus, we choose a VR game you need to play and an awesome 360-degree vid you need to watch too.

Read this - News blips and tidbits

Nokia and Xiaomi partner up for VR

Now this is an interesting one. Nokia and the Apple of China, Xiaomi have signed a patent deal that will see the two work on a host of different technologies including VR, AR and AI. The companies have taken very different approaches to VR so far with Nokia pushing its professional-grade, VR-shooting Ozo camera, while Xiaomi has dabbled mostly with smartphone VR. So the two teaming could well mean that there's plans for a big VR push.

BBC's new VR app

The BBC has launched its Taster VR app for iOS and Android devices making it easier to check out the immersive experiences the broadcaster is currently working on. The first collection of experiments include an interactive 360-degree video from Planet Earth II and a VR trailer for BBC Three gun crime documentary One Deadly Weekend in America. The Beeb is promising to add further experiences over the coming weeks and months, so it could be well worth downloading.

Blocks to help make VR more compelling

Okay, so this is one for the VR creators, but ultimately Vive and Rift owners are going to to benefit from it down the line. Google has launched its new Blocks software that aims to make it easier to make beautiful 3D objects. It's available for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift and you can check the video above to see what it's all about.

iAnimal exposes cruel farming conditions

Animal rights organisation Animal Equality has launched a virtual reality video, which aims to show viewers the bad conditions at dairy farms in England, Germany and Mexico. iAnimal, its third VR film, provides a glimpse into the life cycle of cows from milking to living environments. It's currently available on YouTube and is compatible with the Samsung Gear VR with an app currently in the works to get it running on other VR headsets.

Visit 16th century Edinburgh

Smart History, a spinoff from the University of St Andrews has created a virtual reality experience that'll let you take a historic stroll through the Scottish capital city as it appeared in the 16th century. Taking in such sights as Edinburgh castle, Holyrood Palace and Cowgate, the VR app is optimised for Google Daydream and the team behind it is already exploring the possibility of giving other cities across the globe the VR treatment.

Play this - Island 359

Hands up who wants to punch dinosaurs in VR? If you warm to the idea of taking out triceratops with your bare hands or with a bow, Cloudgate Studios' prehistoric survival game, which we've already played on Vive, has now landed on the Oculus Home store. Island 359 is available as an early access title for the Rift and is compatible with the new Touch controllers. There's arcade and mercenary modes and a global leaderboard to see if you can come out top for tackling dinos.

$19.99, oculus.com

Watch this - Orchestra of Spheres

Music creators are starting to throw a bit more of their creativity into the videos that accompany their tracks. While a lot of the immersive vids we've seen so far have been more about giving us a glimpse into a recording studio or a live performance, New Zealand outfit Orchestra Of Spheres have decided to side with a more zany approach for their song Rocket #9, which is taken from their album Brothers And Sisters Of The Black Lagoon. Grab your headset and enjoy the psychedelic ride.




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