December VR/AR News #2: Oculus Touch, Vive Studios and VR trends in 2017

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Storyboard VR is a new product from Artefact that according to Wired, makes creating VR experiences easier and accessible to a larger audience. “It doesn’t require any developer skills. The real pain point in the whole VR workflow is getting content positioned, spatialized, and sized correctly around you in multiple frames,” Paul Hoover, head of user experience design at Artefact, told Wired. Users can upload pre-made visuals into Storyboard VR and manipulate them, but so far, the software doesn’t support programing interactions into a scene, making it most useful to organize or “storyboard” VR ideas.


The new Oculus Touch VR hand controllers, which went on sale Dec. 6. Photo credit: Oculus

Wired has the story behind the Oculus Touch, Oculus’s hand controllers that came out last week. While there are other VR hand controllers out there, such as those that go along with the HTC Vive and Playstation VR, the Oculus Touch “is much more than a set of controllers—they are, in effect, your hands. And by being your hands, they provide the first glimpse of what virtual reality is fast becoming: a social universe.” Watch Oculus co-founder and CEO Brendan Iribe on “CBS This Morning” discussing the Oculus Touch.

HTC is launching its own VR development and publishing studio called Vive Studios. It will release games created by HTC as well as external studios. According to The Verge, it is comparable to Oculus Studios, but the scope of Vive Studios appears to be broader. “Oculus has a separate group (called Oculus Story Studio) for cinematic virtual reality, but Vive Studios is supposedly working in a very wide range of fields, including “games, education, cinematic, design, social, real estate, and sports.”


Panalists at the Uncharted Minds Through Leadership Series. From left to right: Rob Goodman of OpenVerse, Han Jin of Lucid VR, Amitt Mahajan of Presence Capital and Timoni West and Tony Parisi from Unity. Photo credit: Upload VR

As 2016 comes to a close, Upload VR has put together a list of five VR trends to look for in 2017 as drawn from the Uncharted Minds Thought Leadership Series. These include the significance of gaming in expanding VR, especially in places like China, and “experiments in the language of VR design.” On this point, Han Jin, CEO and founder of Lucid VR said, “We have to experiment with coloring, with light, with sounds—utilizing where the sound is coming from to gain tension. The question we’re grappling with is [how] to create tension in the story to make a user feel like they need to focus on something. Especially in 360, because they could be looking anywhere and they could totally miss the entire story.”

To pounder: 2016 was supposed to be the year of VR, so why did AR come out ahead?

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