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‘Sense Arena’ is a VR Hockey Trainer That’s Being Adopted by NHL Teams

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Flying, driving—even fencing & crane operation—and now hockey. VR continues to prove out training as a core use-case for the technology. Sense Arena is a VR hockey training platform in use by NHL teams and now expanding beyond goalie training to players all across the rink.

Sense Arena is a VR hockey training platform aimed at professional & amateur teams alike. What started as a system designed primarily for goalie training is evolving to include training exercises for players of all positions. Last month the company began taking pre-orders for the Sense Arena for Players version which is expected to begin shipping in the second half of this month.

Both the Goalie and Player versions of the system are sold as a complete package including an Oculus Quest 2, controller mounts for goalie gloves and hockey sticks, the Sense Arena software, and a case to store everything. The complete package for the goalie kit is $700, plus $99 monthly (or $89 per month annually). Lesser versions not including the extra equipment are available for less, and are geared toward players running basic exercises at home rather than on the ice.

Image courtesy Sense Arena

According to NHL.com the system has been used by at least 10 NHL goalies including Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche, Elvis Merzlikins of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Antoine Bibeau of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Image courtesy Sense Arena

Since the system only tracks the player’s head and hands there’s a lot of the player’s body and motions that can’t be accounted for, meaning it is far from a perfect physical simulation. However, Sense Arena pitches itself as being a cognitive training tool as much as being about working on technique. For the goalie version, the company touts the following benefits:

Reading the Release
Improve your ability to read the release by watching interactive videos of players hooting at you. Make the saves, track the player, track the puck.

Screens
The probability of making a save increases dramatically when you can see the puck. Practice your ability to face screens in difference game situations.

Box Control
No other tool gives you an indication of the right box control on the fly. You will learn how to fill the majority of the new when facing shots.

Shot Replay
3D replay of all shots from the perspective of the shooter or the goalie. Walk around yourself and study how you made or didn’t make your saves.

Training Plans
Professional NHL goalie coaches, Pro goalies, and well recognized goaltending specialists created a number of eight days training plans for goalies at all ages.

Understanding how to best read shots on goal would surely be difficult with anything less than motion data from real players. Sense Arena came up with an interesting solution to this problem by superimposing footage of real players shooting on the goal and then transitioning the puck from the filmed version to an interactive version just before it reaches the goal.

Other exercises use simple dummy player props for more dynamic exercises, like watching for screened shots.

Sense Arena also claims to measure player performance by tracking exercise data over time to give players and coaches a way to monitor their training progress through a cloud-based platform.

As far as efficacy is concerned, Sense Arena seems to have earned the respect of some pro teams so far. In April the Arizona Coyotes, an NHL team based in Phoenix, AZ, announced it had signed a multi-year partnership to use Sense Arena in its training program.

“When I first experienced Sense Arena I knew immediately that it is a game changer,” said Brian Daccord, Assistant GM of the Arizona Coyotes. “Ice time and goalie coaches are limited but Sense Arena gives motivated goalies the opportunity to improve without the physical wear and tear associated with on-ice training.”

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/sense-arena-vr-hockey-training-goalie-player/

AR/VR

‘Sniper Elite VR’ Gets New Gameplay Trailer & Details Ahead of July 8th Release

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Sniper Elite VR is ramping up for release on all major VR headsets on July 8th, and we’re steadily getting a closer look at the game from developer Rebellion. In the last week the studio has dropped a new gameplay trailer and a breakdown offering fresh details about the game.

Rather than a port, Sniper Elite VR is a brand new made-for-VR title based on Rebellion’s long-running Sniper Elite franchise. In a recently released breakdown video, the studio confirmed that players won’t be playing as the series’ usual protagonist, Karl Fairburne, but instead will be stepping into the shoes of an Italian soldier who is recounting his harrowing war stories.

The video further explains that the game will have 18 missions, and the studio is promising replayability as players will be able to decide if they want to be stealthy or go in guns ablazin’. On that note, beyond being able to use sniper rifles, SMGs, pistols, shotguns, and explosives, it looks like melee will be a possibility too, as long as you can find a hammer to crack skulls.

What do you know—a perfect transition to talk about the game’s famous skull-shattering X-ray kill cam, which will indeed be included in Sniper Elite VR, albeit in a more comfort-friendly way. While non-VR versions of the game would have the camera follow the bullet all the way to the target, it looks like the VR version will use some smart cuts to make the transition less jarring while still giving you a close-up of the gruesome destruction.

Image courtesy Rebellion

Rebellion is also promising a range of locomotion options including smooth movement and teleport.

The studio also recently revealed another fresh, but brief, glimpse of Sniper Elite VR gameplay, but it’s an age-restricted video so you’ll have to go directly to YouTube to check it out.

Image courtesy Rebellion

Image courtesy Rebellion

Image courtesy Rebellion

Image courtesy Rebellion

Sniper Elite VR is set for a July 8th release date on all major headsets: Oculus Quest/Rift, PSVR (with Aim support), and SteamVR.

The post ‘Sniper Elite VR’ Gets New Gameplay Trailer & Details Ahead of July 8th Release appeared first on Road to VR.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/sniper-elite-vr-gets-new-gameplay-trailer-and-details-ahead-of-july-8th-release-60c803cac603de672877bd95?s=rss

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HTC Vive Pro 2 Review

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HTC’s latest high-end PC VR headset features an incredible display, fantastic tracking, and a hefty price tag.

The HTC Vive Pro 2 is officially out in the wild, and wow is this one powerful VR headset. Despite featuring a near-identical design to its predecessor, the HTC Vive Pro, the Vive Pro 2 is loaded with new improvements aimed at delivering a next-gen PC VR experience that’s as beautiful as it is expensive.

HTC claims that the Vive Pro 2 features the best-in-class display of any PC VR headset, and after going hands-on with the hardware these past few weeks it’s hard to disagree. Games such as Half-Life: Alyx and Maskmaker look absolutely fantastic running on the device thanks in large part to the massive 120-degree FOV and 5K resolution.

That being said, it’s not all roses for HTC’s latest professional-grade PC VR device. While the improved resolution and refresh rate offer truly incredible visuals, the bulky design and heating issues are tough to look past, especially when you factor in the hefty price. But enough beating around the bush, let’s dive into some specifics.

Here is our full review of the HTC Vive Pro 2.

Image Credit: VRScout

THE DESIGN

As previously mentioned, the HTC Vive Pro 2 features very few physical differences from its predecessor. The Vive Pro 2 ditches the dark blue color of its front plate in favor of a black design similar to that of the original HTC Vive.

In terms of ergonomics, the headset feels very similar to that of the original Vive Pro. While I found wearing the headset comfortable overall, its somewhat bulky design and considerable weight were fairly noticeable throughout some of my playthroughs. That being said, this by no means a poorly designed headset. I was able to spend a considerable amount of time wearing the device with little to no discomfort. In addition to the manual IPD adjuster (57mm-72mm), the Vive Pro 2 lets you adjust the distance of the lenses from your eyes, allowing for maximum visual comfort. This is further enhanced by the rubber nose shields which—while intrusive at times— do a commendable job at preventing light leakage, further immersing you in your VR adventures.

Another interesting choice by the company was the decision to alter the shape of the lenses, opting for a more box-like design over the original rounded shape featured on the Vive Pro. While this may sound like a relatively minor adjustment, I am now able to see the edges of the lenses while in-headset, which did prove to be somewhat of a disturbance.

It’s also important to note that you will need a display port in order to connect the headset to a VR-ready PC or a mini display port if connecting to a laptop.

Image Credit: HTC

THE VISUALS

The HTC Vive Pro 2’s biggest selling point, however, is its impressive display. The Vive Pro 2 features 2448 × 2448 pixels per eye, resulting in a combined resolution of 4896 x 2448. This is a significant step up from the original Vive Pro’s 2880 x 1600. Combine that with an improved 120-degree FOV and a 120Hz refresh rate, and you have one of the most impressive displays currently featured on a consumer VR headset. The Vive Pro 2 is also the first headset to feature display stream compression, a form of visually lossless compression designed to reduce bandwidth demand. This allows the headset to automatically lower its resolution in order to run on lower-end PCs.

Combined, this technology does away with the dreaded screen door effect plaguing many VR headsets at the moment. The result is some of the most visually impressive PC VR experiences available at the moment. As previously mentioned, visually demanding games such as Half-Life: Alyx, Maskmaker, and Stormland look fantastic on the Vive Pro 2. That being said, the changes to the lenses and somewhat awkward shape of the headset made it difficult to find that ever-elusive “sweet spot.” Visuals can get somewhat blurry fairly easily unless the headset is worn in a very particular way; there’s very little room for error.

HTC also replaced the Dual AMOLED screen featured on Vive Pro with a dual-stack RGB low persistence LCD. While this switch does allow for a wider field-of-view and a significantly improved resolution, it also means less vibrant colors when compared to the Dual AMOLED screen. All this power comes at another cost as well—put simply, this headset can get fairly hot fairly quickly.

Image Credit: VRScout

THE AUDIO

Like most VR headsets the Vive Pro 2 features a built-in microphone. While it’s tough to say for sure, this might be the same microphone used for the original Vive Pro, which would explain the somewhat “meh” sound. The mic featured on the Vive Pro 2 is slightly underwhelming in terms of quality, especially when compared to competing devices like the Oculus Quest 2. Placement right in front of your mouth also results in additional mic popping, so you’ll want to avoid any hard “p” words when at all possible.

Then there are the onboard headphones. Like the Vive Pro, the Vive Pro 2 features two adjustable on-ear earphones. While I usually prefer to use over-the-ear third-party headphones for maximum audio immersion, I was pleasantly surprised by these integrated high-fidelity earphones. While you have the option of removing the earphones and replacing them with a third-party solution, I’d actually recommend sticking with them. Thanks to 3D spatial audio technology, every sound—from dialogue to music to sound effects—comes in crystal clear. In fact, the only thing more impressive than the audio is the visuals.

Image Credit: VRScout

THE TRACKING AND CONTROLLERS

Like the Vive Pro, the Vive Pro 2 utilizes outside-in tracking powered by SteamVR Base Station 2.0. While this tethered solution is less convenient than the inside-out tracking featured on standalone devices such as the Oculus Quest, it does mean significantly better tracking as well as compatibility with other SteamVR devices, such as the HTC Vive Tracker. The SteamVR ecosystem is one of the most robust in all of VR, so trust me, taking the time to properly set up those 2.0 Base Stations is entirely worth it.

You can even pair the headset with the Valve Index controllers, which is good considering the controllers that come with the Vive Pro 2 are the exact same ones designed for the original Vive Pro. That’s not to say these are bad controllers. The Vive Wands feature an excellent ergonomic design and remain one of my favorite controllers to this day. But anyone who’s handled the Valve Index’s knuckle controllers will tell you how much of a step up they are in terms of interacting with the virtual world.

Similar to the Oculus Quest, the Vive Pro 2 also features a passthrough mode allowing you to view your real-world surroundings while in the headset. However, whereas the Oculus Quest features black-and-white visuals, the two RGB cameras mounted to the front of the Vive Pro 2 are capable of delivering stereoscopic color imagery. Unfortunately, due to the quality of these two cameras, visuals can appear blurry at times; not enough to ruin the feature entirely, but noticeable nonetheless.

Image Credit: HTC

THE VERDICT

At $1,400 for the full kit (headset, v2 Wand controllers, 2.0 base stations), the HTC Vive Pro is one of the most expensive VR products currently on the market, and for good reason. HTC packed a ton of improvements into this next-gen headset. That being said, does the price tag match the product?

While the HTC Vive Pro 2 offers some truly jaw-dropping visuals thanks to its impressive 5k resolution and ultra-wide 120-degree field of view, its bulky design and complex setup process feel somewhat dated compared to other PC VR headsets. All in all, this feels more like a Vive Pro 1.5 than a full-fledged sequel. That being said, if you’re in the market for a high-end PC VR headset, you can’t go wrong with the Vive Pro 2. This is especially true if you already own the controllers and base stations. In addition to the $1,400 kit, you can pick up the headset itself for $800. For reference, the Valve Index costs $500 for the headset and $1,000 for the full kit, while the HP Reverb G2 costs $600 for the full kit.

Put simply, the HTC Vive Pro 2 is a great option for those looking for the absolute best in terms of VR visuals. If you do plan on picking one up, I’d recommend purchasing the headset and base stations individually and pairing the system with the Valve Index Knuckle controllers for maximum enjoyment.

For more information on recommended specs, visit here.

Feature Image Credit: VRScout

*Review unit provide by HTC*

The post HTC Vive Pro 2 Review appeared first on VRScout.

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/htc-vive-pro-2-review-60c7f8061e25bfb4228183e8?s=rss

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‘Sniper Elite VR’ Gets New Gameplay Trailer & Details Ahead of July 8th Release

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Sniper Elite VR is ramping up for release on all major VR headsets on July 8th, and we’re steadily getting a closer look at the game from developer Rebellion. In the last week the studio has dropped a new gameplay trailer and a breakdown offering fresh details about the game.

Rather than a port, Sniper Elite VR is a brand new made-for-VR title based on Rebellion’s long-running Sniper Elite franchise. In a recently released breakdown video, the studio confirmed that players won’t be playing as the series’ usual protagonist, Karl Fairburne, but instead will be stepping into the shoes of an Italian soldier who is recounting his harrowing war stories.

The video further explains that the game will have 18 missions, and the studio is promising replayability as players will be able to decide if they want to be stealthy or go in guns ablazin’. On that note, beyond being able to use sniper rifles, SMGs, pistols, shotguns, and explosives, it looks like melee will be a possibility too, as long as you can find a hammer to crack skulls.

What do you know—a perfect transition to talk about the game’s famous skull-shattering X-ray kill cam, which will indeed be included in Sniper Elite VR, albeit in a more comfort-friendly way. While non-VR versions of the game would have the camera follow the bullet all the way to the target, it looks like the VR version will use some smart cuts to make the transition less jarring while still giving you a close-up of the gruesome destruction.

Image courtesy Rebellion

Rebellion is also promising a range of locomotion options including smooth movement and teleport.

The studio also recently revealed another fresh, but brief, glimpse of Sniper Elite VR gameplay, but it’s an age-restricted video so you’ll have to go directly to YouTube to check it out.

Sniper Elite VR is set for a July 8th release date on all major headsets: Oculus Quest/Rift, PSVR (with Aim support), and SteamVR.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/sniper-elite-vr-gameplay-details-release-date/

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Full Course Golf Coming To Oculus Quest 2, Beta Signup Available

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Topgolf with Pro Putt is getting full swing courses, and you can sign up for the beta today.

The game, currently only available on Oculus Quests, initially launched in May 2020 as a putting-only experience. In November it added a full swing driving range with Topgolf minigames.

The next major update will bring full swing golf courses, something no game on the Oculus Quest store currently offers.

Ryan Engle, founder & CEO of Golf Scope, announced the feature on Twitter today alongside a beta signup form. Engle’s Tweet only mentions Quest 2 – it’s unclear if full courses will also be available on the original Quest.

We reviewed Pro Putt’s putting courses back when it first released, giving it 4/5 stars. We praised the realistic yet accessible gameplay and fun minigames, but noted there were only a limited number of courses. A lot has changed since our review, so we’ll be sure to take another look as soon as we can after this update drops. The new update will be free to owners of the game.

There’s currently no word on a full release date, but you can sign up for the beta test to be the first to try it. 

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Source: https://vrarnews.com/details/full-course-golf-coming-to-oculus-quest-2-beta-signup-available-60c7dbdda1470626184e3bfb?s=rss

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