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Review: FitXR

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When it comes to energetic virtual reality (VR) titles you’ve got a fair amount to choose from, even on Oculus Quest. But if you’re looking for an immersive workout, something tailored towards helping you stay healthy whilst not feeling like a chore that list does rapidly decrease. In this space VR fitness specialist, FitXR’s BoxVR videogame has made a name for itself, officially launching last year across a range of headsets. So why is VRFocus reviewing it now? Well, BoxVR has now been rebranded as the company name, FitXR, adding reworked visuals and new ways to keep you motivated. Plus we didn’t previously review the experience so now seemed like a good time.

FitXR

The core mechanics in FitXR haven’t changed from its former self. At its heart, this is a boxing workout providing a variety of sessions to suit most players, whether you want something long and gruelling or a quick blast to wake you up in the morning. What has changed is the fact that FitXR is more grown up, its developed a maturity over the last year, moving away from a boxing rhythm-action experience and into the realm of a professional virtual workout; sounding and looking the part in the process.

Gameplay is all about jabs, hooks and uppercuts with obstacles to make you squat or lean side to side so there is that element of a full body workout. To ensure these are actual workouts and not some casual videogame warmup where you’re waving your arms trying to burn calories FitXR has actually teamed up with fitness instructors. Not only to maximise the effectiveness of each session but to also pep you up if you’re flagging.

From FitXR’s virtual gym foyer you’re presented with three big screens with various ways of selecting a workout. The left hand screen promotes the ‘Class of the Day’ which tends to be the lighter, shorter workouts at around 10 minutes long. In the middle are the ‘Recommendations’ if you quickly want to dive into one of the classes and then the ‘Class List’ is the full selection, broken down so you can select the instructor, time, genre of music and intensity. The selection is decently varied but you will find certain combinations won’t work, for example a particular instructor might not be available under Electronic music for example.

FitXR

This precise approach means that customisation options are few and far between. There are additional music packs – payable DLC – if you want to expand the roster with more intense or rock tracks. However, there’s no way (that VRFocus could find) of adding your own music if you really prefer a particular style to keep you motived whilst training which seems like a glaring omission when compared to rivals in this field.

So with the selection available – there are over 100 tracks to be fair – what are the actual workouts like? As expected they’re quite the upper body session even on the moderate setting and 10 minutes in the sweat has easily kicked in and the arms are already beginning to tire; there was no chance of completing the really long 30+ minute workouts! What’s great is there’s no barrier to entry, most people know how to throw a punch or duck out the way so you don’t need to really learn anything, just simply keep up.

Like any rhythm-action title FitXR features a scoring and streak system to encourage you to hit the various targets in time and in succession, thus adding a replay factor to go back and improve. Miss or poorly time a punch and the streak will reset, so you have to build it back up. After numerous sessions there definitely seemed to be a discrepancy in the hit window as punches that were in time and correct should’ve landed but didn’t. It doesn’t remove the effectiveness of the training just infuriating when it happens.    

FitXR

There are solo and multiplayer modes, the latter adding in ghost characters to train with. Most noticeable is the instructor. Trying to bring a little of the real world into the training session, they’ll offer words of encouragement which can help if you’re properly flagging although for the most part it came across a little hammy. A digital avatar might improve that factor, pushing you on rather than a voice in your ear.

What does come in handy are the metrics showcasing stats like calories burnt and time played across the day, week and month. Great for those trying to keep track of their fitness and how much their VR regimen is working.

As an addition to your workout routine FitXR has plenty to offer. It’s like a drill instructor where everything is done by the book because the system is tried and tested. While the title doesn’t have the flair of Synth Riders or the sheer insanity that is Beat Saber’s Expert+ it can still hold its own in the VR fitness world, just make sure you have some sort of cover for Oculus Quest’s foam facial interface.  

80% Awesome

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/07/review-fitxr/

AR/VR

Unity announces plans to release experimental version of Unity OpenXR early next year

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In Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality News

October 24, 2020 – Unity Technologies, a leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D content, has recently announced that it plans to have early previews of its support of OpenXR on some platforms as early as the end of this year (Unity 2020 release cycle). The company noted that it has been closely monitoring the development of the OpenXR standard, and has accelerated its efforts to enable OpenXR in Unity.

OpenXR is an open standard created by the Khronos Group, aimed at simplifying augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) development by allowing developers to seamlessly target a wide range of AR/VR devices. Unity is a member of the Khronos Group and is an active contributor to the OpenXR standard.

In a blog post on the announcement, Matt Fuad, Sr. Technical Product Manager, AR/VR at Unity, commented: “We’re at an inflection point now, where OpenXR 1.0 has been ratified and OpenXR runtimes by various vendors are reaching maturity. This inflection point has accelerated our efforts to enable OpenXR in Unity. Though we’re still working through some details, we want to reiterate our commitment to OpenXR and are excited to share our latest plans.” 

As OpenXR becomes the primary backend for many platforms, Unity added that it is working with its partners to ensure full Unity support of their OpenXR runtimes, along with the necessary OpenXR extensions to ensure parity with existing features. The company stated that its development efforts and support will be focused on providing the best developer experience on Unity supported platforms.

Furthermore, by enabling OpenXR support on partner platforms, it affords Unity the ability to make support widely available for other OpenXR runtimes/devices. Early next year, the company plans to release an experimental version of Unity OpenXR that works with other conformant OpenXR runtimes based on the OpenXR 1.0 specification. Of course, the company clarified that given the unbounded combinations of possible hardware/software configurations, it will not be able to test or guarantee that all configurations will work optimally. However, as issues are discovered with runtimes, Unity stated that it will work to contribute conformance tests and specification changes back to the Khronos working group to help the community as a whole. Additionally, the company will also make sure that it is clear to developers which platforms have been fully tested and thus supported by Unity.

Fuad added: “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for developers to take their content to the widest set of desired platforms. OpenXR is an important part of that story, and will be implemented as a part of our XR plug-in framework (XR SDK).”

This means developers will be able to continue using Unity’s suite of XR workflows and frameworks (AR Foundation, XR Interaction Toolkit, Unity MARS) for platforms that adopt OpenXR, as well as platforms that may choose not to adopt it.

Unity noted that it will be announcing more updates over the coming months. For more information on OpenXR, please visit the Khronos Group’s website.

Image credit: Unity Technologies / Khronos Group

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/unity-announces-plans-to-release-experimental-version-of-unity-openxr-early-next-year/

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AR/VR

Competition: Win Either Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! for Oculus Quest

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It’s coming up to the season of giving and what better way to start the celebrations early than with a competition where you can win some videogames. Today’s giveaway is a double bill, with Resolution Games’ Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! up for grabs.

Angry Birds VR

Rovio’s iconic Angry Birds franchise came to VR in 2019 with a selection of core levels which have been expanded upon over time. One of the major updates to the bird flinging experience was the addition of a level builder late last year, followed by online sharing to massively enhance the gameplay possibilities.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! on the other hand, is a purely multiplayer experience. One person is in VR controlling a tree trying to protect its golden acorns from a bunch of thieving squirrels. All the squirrels are controlled by players on mobile devices – via a free app – who are able to select characters with particular traits such as burrowing short distances underground. All making for a fast and entertaining party game.

Most recently, Resolution Games released a Halloween update for both titles, adding new levels as well as spooky themes to get into the spirit of the season as a lot of developers like to do.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels

So onto the competition. VRFocus has got six codes to give away, three for Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and three for Acron: Attack of the Squirrels, both for the Oculus Quest platform. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway with the standard prize draw entry rules applying: Follow us (or already be following us) on Twitter or alternatively, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to get an entry for each. Winners will receive a single randomly drawn code. The competition will be open until 11.59 pm GMT on Monday 26th October 2020. The draw will be made shortly thereafter.

Win Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/competition-win-either-angry-birds-vr-or-acron-attack-of-the-squirrels-for-oculus-quest/

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AR/VR

Sayduck enters three-year license agreement with Forms+Surfaces to create 3D product models for AR visualization

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In Augmented Reality News 

October 23, 2020 – Bublar Group has announced that its subsidiary Sayduck has expanded its collaboration with one of its oldest customers and entered into a three-year licence agreement with design and manufacturing company Forms+Surfaces based in the US.

The new assignment will consist of Sayduck building an online 3D configurator for over 80 of Forms+Surfaces’ different furnishing products for public spaces. Forms+Surfaces designs and manufactures architectural products used in public spaces, from walls and elevator interiors to site furnishings and lighting.

According to Bublar, the 3D configurator will make it possible to realistically present complex products that come in a multitude of variations and combinations that typically are not easily showcased online. It will also allow Forms+Surfaces customers to visualize product selections in augmented reality (AR), a core feature of the Sayduck Platform.

“We are truly excited about our continued collaboration with Sayduck. We knew that we were only scratching the surface as far as business opportunities when Forms+Surfaces introduced the AR technology to architects and designers for select products back in 2013. This new 3D configurator project is a natural extension of our digital outreach, helping streamline the specification process of our entire outdoor product line for our customers,” commented Jeffrey Stork, President, Forms+Surfaces, Inc.

Examples of Forms+Surfaces’ products

Earlier assignments from Forms+Surfaces have included an AR-enabled iOS app. In addition, Sayduck states that it has created multiple products as simpler, non-configurable items in the past.

Commenting on the agreement, Niklas Slotte, Managing Director at Sayduck, said: “I am very happy that we have gained continued trust from one of our oldest customers. We have had a strong collaboration for more than seven years and with this agreement we will develop our partnership even further.”

Bublar added that Sayduck’s strategy is to help product manufacturers and e-commerce companies to showcase and present their products in more immersive ways. The Sayduck Platform allows companies to create unique web 3D and AR experiences for their customers, helping to drive product engagement and customer confidence.

For more information on Sayduck and its 3D Configurator product, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Sayduck / Forms+Surfaces

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/sayduck-enters-three-year-license-agreement-with-formssurfaces-to-create-3d-product-models-for-ar-visualization/

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