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SteamVR Update Improves Oculus Link & Air Link Reliability as Quest 2 Exceeds 30% of Headsets on Steam

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The latest update to SteamVR, version 1.18.5, brings improvements to error handling of Oculus Link and Air Link which is meant to improve reliability. The update comes as Quest 2 reaches 31.07% of all VR headsets in use on Steam.

Valve has committed to making Steam a hardware agnostic place for VR headsets, even going so far as actively maintaining the code that makes Oculus headsets work on the platform in the first place. Continuing that work, the company has made improvements in the most recent SteamVR update (v1.18.5) which aim to improve the reliability of players using Quest or Quest 2 with their PC via Oculus Link & Air Link.

“Oculus users will no longer be required to restart SteamVR every time the Oculus runtime needs to reconnect to the HMD. You may still see a slight disruption during reconnection, for example, the Oculus software may prompt you to re-enable Oculus link if appropriate,” the company explains. “To minimize these disruptions, please follow Oculus guidelines for optimal Link and Air Link usage.”

The patch notes further say that “Connection loss to the HMD is now survivable in many cases.” This could happen especially from Wi-Fi disruptions for Air Link users.

While the patch notes specifically mention “Quest 2 over both wired and Air Link,” it’s our understanding that the improvements should apply to the original Quest as well, which was updated with the Air Link feature last month.

Valve has made steady improvements to SteamVR for Oculus headsets and others alike. Quest 2 has for several months now been the most popular VR headset in use on Steam, and last month it grew its lead even further, now holding 31.07% of the share of headsets on Steam, and 36.30% when including the original Quest, according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/steamvr-update-1-18-5-oculus-link-air-link-reliability-quest-30-steam-headset-share/

AR/VR

Review: Stride

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Stride

Game shows like Ninja Warrior always look utterly impossible and completely exhausting yet time after time contestants manage to finish these endurance events. Being way too unfit to even remotely attempt something so physically demanding the closest any of us might are likely to get is a videogame like Stride, the new parkour experience from Joy Way, where you can wall run, jump from building to building and feel like you’ve had a decent workout.

Stride

Stride appeared last year in early access for PC VR headsets, showcasing some impressive free-running abilities that really immersed you in the experience. But it only had one gameplay mode, “Endless”. Now with its arrival on Oculus Quest, there’s a lot more to Stride, with three modes, modifiers and unlockables. More content is great yet there’s a noticeable hollowness to the whole experience.

As the name implies free running is about maximising the space around you, traversing the environment any way you please and Stride is very effective in that regard. It provides all the tools you’d expect and more, even going so far that it does blur the line between realism and being a bit too superhuman. You can leap and grab ledges, wall run to distant platforms and unleash a grappling line at specific locations. Once you’ve gone through the extensive tutorial – definitely don’t skip it – and completed a few levels there is a nice flow to Stride, if you don’t misjudge that next leap of course.

As you might expect Stride is an intense experience from start to finish, with locomotion purely stick-based with the option to run by waving your arms back and forth. This does help with the immersion but when you screw up (and you will), suddenly falling several stories before the game restarts never gets any easier. VR legs are a must here, don’t introduce someone to VR with Stride!

STRIDE

That being said, if you are a VR veteran you can have plenty of fun here. Those three modes are split between Timerun, Endless and Arena and they’re not too hard to figure out. Timerun is all about completing a series of set courses under a certain time, 12 levels with a maximum of three stars for each. Endless mode is just the same as any endless runner you’ve previously played, try to get as far as possible. You can fall but there’s a massive ominous wall of death continually encroaching which will end your run.

The final area is the Arena and this gives you the most scope for experimentation – with plenty of Mirror’s Edge feels – providing rooftops to run, leap and gun across. It’s also the one mode that is most underused and really could’ve provided the meat of Stride. Timerun and Endless are both fine little additions if they were opened up after completing a big campaign yet as two-thirds of Stride they quickly become throwaway modes. Endless does offer procedurally generated levels to mix things up although you’ll notice familiar patterns after a few sessions.  

Whereas Arena’s potential is boiled down to run to this checkpoint or run and collect this bag as fast as possible. The changing level and ability to mix up your routes are what’ll keep you coming back. Joy Way has tried to further expand the Endless and Arena modes with modifiers which do help to a degree, where you can switch on Instadeath to increase the score or activate immortality which will decrease it. As mentioned, its clean-cut aesthetic and point focused gameplay robs Stride of some much-needed charisma, a videogame you can like but not love.

STRIDE

Let’s also mention the gun mechanics as they need a bit more work. Oculus Quest has some excellent VR shooters available for it so when you get a title that isn’t quite up to the task you quickly notice. You have a singular pistol to dispatch enemies with, grabbed from your shoulder for some reason. At close range it works well enough without feeling satisfying to use. At medium or longer ranges it really is pot luck. Now you might say this encourages exploration of the environment to get closer, however, on endless you don’t get that opportunity it needs to work the first time.

Stride is a very mixed experience on Oculus Quest. Whilst that might be due to the PC version still being in early access and you’re essentially getting the same version here, this is still a full release for Quest, hence the review. Stride’s parkour mechanics are what really sell the experience as there’s nothing quite like it for Oculus Quest. There are points where the gameplay is very addictive and engrossing as you try to perfect each jump and wall run. On the other hand, Stride can get repetitive too quickly and lacks that spark to make it a great VR game.   

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/review-stride/

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The Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder Update Arrives Next Week

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Pistol Whip: Smoke and Thunder

Cloudhead Games has been teasing Pistol Whip’s next campaign Smoke & Thunder for a few months now, dropping players into a wild west-themed experience with lots of additional content. Today, the studio has announced that the Pistol Whip: Smoke & Thunder update will arrive in a weeks time.

Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder

Just like Pistol Whip’s first cinematic campaign 2089, Smoke & Thunder will feature five scenes taking players on a story-driven journey revolving around sisters Jessie (Victoria Hogan, Kingdom Come: Deliverance) and Tess (Avalon Penrose, Hades). In between each scene, the narrative will play out via illustrated cutscenes created by comic artist Fico Ossio, and colourist Raciel Avila. 

Smoke & Thunder won’t simply sport an original story and snazzy theme, it’ll feature tracks from The Heavy, Black Pistol Fire, Bones UK, Devora, and Magic Sword. There will be new pistols for that ultimate gunslinger feel, perfect for taking down the new enemies and final boss.

Once the campaign is complete you can then head on over to the new Arcade mode to play both 2089 and Smoke & Thunder‘s scenes. The difference this time is the ability to choose whatever weapon and modifier you want for an endless stream of combinations.

Pistol Whip Smoke & Thunder

Don’t forget, as Cloudhead Games previously revealed, the Smoke & Thunder update will also include the new Styles sandbox system. This is where you’ll really get to mix up the gameplay experience in Pistol Whip, creating new setups with a preferred weapons type and five modifiers. This will see the inclusion of Brawler, transforming the previous No Ammo modifier into a new melee mode.

There is one final change to Pistol Whip and that’s the price. The Smoke & Thunder update will launch next Thursday, 12th August and will be free to existing Pistol Whip owners. The core videogame itself can still be bought for $24.99 USD across all platforms until 15th August. After that date, the Pistol Whip price will be increased to $29.99 to help support the creation of more content. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Pistol Whip, reporting back with the latest updates. 

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/08/the-pistol-whip-smoke-thunder-update-arrives-next-week/

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Future applications of AR and the integration into our everyday life

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The future of Augmented Reality (AR) is here now. AR has been around for quite some time, longer than many may think. For it to be accessible and useable for all, in the way we think of it, it is still is very much in its infancy, maybe just getting into its toddler phase. Developers and designers are crawling around in the space and starting to find their feet and soon users will be walking around with their devices; phones or glasses, whatever they may be, with a new way of seeing and interacting with the world.

Like the introduction of any new innovation, it happens little by little and then one day we realise just how much of an impact it has made and just how far along it has come. Sometimes there can be an explosion of application and it seems like it came out of nowhere, and I believe that will be the case with AR. It has been utilised in different spaces for sometime now.

In sports and entertainment such as NFL or WWE it shows viewers pertinent information, entertaining entrances, or advertisements. Pokemon GO was probably the most interaction users have had with AR, and probably to most their first conscious introduction to AR, because in some respect they are in control with how they interacted with AR within their environment, rather than just viewing it.

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IKEA use it with SPACE where users can see how an item is going to look in their home before purchasing it, recently I have seen Amazon too have started to have a feature to allow users to do the same without down loading an app. We use AR without even realising it, well, maybe not all of us, but those who use Snapchat or Instagram or any of the like that use filters. Yep, those dog ears, nose and tongue that launches out when you open your mouth is your reality being augmented to give you that cute picture that seems to be a popular way to advertise yourself on dating sites, go figure. So we are already interacting and using AR and in someway already taking it for granted.

So here I am, sat enjoying my flat white pondering on what the future holds for us and our interaction with the world and AR and the impact it will have on us personally as well as how it will impact us socially. How will we feel about AR being integrated into our everyday life?

Dating

I’ve had my time on dating apps, a few actually. Some want you to just give the basic information and then you are swiping left and right as soon as possible, while others want you to fill out some kind of personality survey and spill your life story, taking what seems like half a day to complete, but after that you will have a greater chance of matching with someone who will be a good personalty fit for you. You scroll through your preferences, but it is left less up to chance, though you never know until you actually meet and see if that connection is real or not.

With AR integrated into a dating app I can envision those that are serious to find “The one” or even those just looking for a quick hook up would use an app that would be able to let you know in real time what are people’s intentions. I can see an amalgamation of apps like Match, Happn and Feeld. Sign up, choose your intentions, have the choice to be “live” so that anyone with the app could use their device and it would pop up information you have agreed to be shareable when you are in sight. I see users being allowed to have that information shown only with people that match their preferences also. Those that are after a serious connection, a compatibility score could be shown; I image users being able to to select an option such as “Happy to be approached” or “Send a message first”.

What could users that are looking for something less…..longterm let’s say, have? Well a virtual application of the red light, green light could easily be used. Imagine at a bar, users being able to put in their intentions, and allowing others know who are happy to be approached and who aren't. Again that is being shared with users they match with, or are within their set preferences.

Looking further into the near future where the use of glasses-like devices are at the point that they can rival what our smartphones are now, AR would be more immersive than being used on a phone that is clear. So having apps running in the background at all times, switching between or allowing apps to run simultaneously, then you could be walking down the read and see someone and when in a proximity up would pop up information.

Exposure or Exposed.

I wonder at first, how comfortable would people feel about this kind of openness or exposure? We already put so much information about ourselves out there on social media, dating apps that anyone can view, but now that someone could see use their personal device and see that personal information would be presented next to that person in real time, will that challenge what information they want to share with the world? At first there would be fear; apprehension, it’s new, how will people interact with me now? how vulnerable will people feel? As soon as you passing someone you see a pop up you would know they would see your info pop up too. Virtually you have locked eyes. How comfortable, or more so how uncomfortable will people be with that.

I don’t think it would take long before people adapt and it becomes the new normal. It wouldn't take too long to be accepted, but it will definitely take some time to adjust to. It would challenge the way we share information and more so challenge ourselves and our own insecurities, which is bigger than just AR.

Shopping

Now with shopping this could be from food to furniture to clothing, and for this moment I am just thinking and focusing on the clothing aspect.

You walk passed a shop and what draws you in? Mannequins, well the clothes on the mannequin that is. You see and outfit, a top, a dress and think that's nice, that would look good on me, let’s see what else is in here, let me go in and have a browse. Now you are in the store and you find what you like, if you don’t have time or just don’t want to undress and try it on, what do you do? You hold it up against yourself to have an idea of how it will look on you. You repeat this process and you may end up buying things you might not.

Now imagining the integration of AR in this experience. You see that top, that dress you, that shirt you like and you decide to see how it would look like on you, not by holding it up to yourself but rather by viewing on your own virtual mannequin. What else, well with AI it would suggest the outfit, you would have the option of 2 or 3 different outfits as the AI would be learning your preferences. You decided you like it and want to buy it, so now the choice is do you buy it to take with your now, or have it delivered to your address, or even to an a place you will be later on? Options making the shopping experience seamless. Do you want to see the recommend outfit for yourself now? Yes, well now you are shown directions to where that product is in store along with information of how much it is, how many are left in your size. I can only see the integration of the physical and the virtual world as a positive one that is going to help create new spaces for retail businesses. It will expand as well as create a new shopping experiences that will be the better for both consumer and the retailers.

Going one set further, you are out and you enable a function that will allow you to see information about clothing that others are wearing. People would become human mannequins, a real time advert for those clothes. Again with AI being able to know that you have selected those clothes it will learn your style. You would see a piece of clothing and it would say how much it was, where it is available for purchase, maybe where the person purchased it, a history of when and how much. You could then go to purchase that from the place of your choice, finding the cheapest option, delivery options as before. Pick up in store, deliver to address.

What about if someone has decided to buy something that you are wearing. Could we get to a place that we can be compensated for being this living breathing advertisement? Why not? why not earn a percentage of that purchase going towards a wallet you hold with that store that you can redeem at anytime? Incentivising the user to use AR for the benefits of all the interested parties.

Living in and designing that future.

So can you imagine living a life where we would be shown information continually, how would we as designers be able to limit the cognitive overload, integrate information in a fun, engaging and interactive way that isn’t intrusive.

Personally I think the introduction of AR into our everyday lives is only a positive, and I am excited to (hopefully) be apart of it, designing products that people will use to enrich their life, as well as thinking and talking on what the future implications it has on us as a society. I am excited to have a hand in helping shape that future society that I and all of us will eventually live in.

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Future applications of AR and the integration into our everyday life was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/future-applications-of-ar-and-the-integration-into-our-everyday-life-d20eae4ab442?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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Everything you need to know about Augmented Reality (AR) jargon

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We want to make things easy for you. If you understand the AR world better, you’ll be able to speak the experts’ language, create unique proposals, and million-dollar ideas will come to your mind.

Source: Hololink

Augmented Reality

To begin, let’s briefly explain what Augmented Reality is. AR is something new that’s being ‘added’ to your reality, something you can see through your phone’s screen, but it’s not actually there. It can be a 3D model, a video, text, or an image; this new ‘layer’ that you’re seeing can be called AR content, AR layer, or AR overlay. This AR layer can be interactive, meaning it can move or be animated with or without the user's input. If you want more details and examples, you can find them here.

AR Apps and WebAR

AR content could be visible through an App or by opening a link on your web browser. Apps like Snapchat or Instagram have some AR content. Still, if you want to develop an app from scratch or integrate AR into your existing app, you’ll need something called SDK (software development kit), which is the software that enables the development. There are many of them, but you have to consider a million things to decide which one could be the best option for your project since they approach functionalities in many different ways depending on the operating systems (iOS, Android). Also, AR apps need the user to go through the app stores to download them. The process of introducing an app in these stores is quite long. It usually takes weeks to have the approval, and you have to pay a fee. Another disadvantage of apps is managing updates because users have to download the latest version of the app, and it’s usually problematic.

Trending AR VR Articles:

1. How VR could bring transhumanism to the masses

2. How Augmented Reality (AR) is Reshaping the Food Service Industry

3. ExpiCulture — Developing an Original World-Traveling VR Experience

4. Enterprise AR: 7 real-world use cases for 2021

Luckily WebAR exists, which is a way to have AR experiences without having an App. The AR experience starts by clicking on a link or pointing your camera at a QR code; then, the camera will be enabled in the browser to enjoy the AR content there, making it easily available on any device with any operating system. The following infographic shows the differences between WebAR and app-based AR throughout the user’s journey.

WebAR vs. App-based AR. Source: Hololink

Recognition / Tracking / Anchor Images

Now you’ll be looking at the AR content through your phone’s camera, which will ‘look’ and ‘recognize’ the surroundings to understand where to place the AR layer. This process is called recognition and tracking. The software already has a reference of what to look for; for example, it can be an image in a printed magazine, an object like a vacuum cleaner, or simply faces. This reference is called an anchor, a marker, or a target.

When the camera sensors recognize the anchor, the tracking will follow its position and orientation. This is what enables AR content to seem like it’s a part of the real world.

Markerless AR

There is another type of AR technology that allows starting the AR content without specific anchors. This way, the AR content can be shown as floating in the air with instant tracking or plain tracking technology. Also, they can be placed concerning the nearest surface if it is done using SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) technology, which identifies the different points in the environment to create a map of it.

Also, when AR content is displayed using markerless tracking, the content can be triggered using GPS location or Visual Positioning Service (VPS), which creates a map by analyzing multiple images and comparing them to those in the VPS central database. Pokemon Go uses this technology, as well as Google for the AR feature of Maps.

Frame and Interface

With both App or WebAR, users will experience the AR layer through the camera, so the screen will be the frame or field of view for this type of content. Then, the interface is the space in the screen in which the user will interact with the non-AR content during the AR experience, like buttons, text, a logo, etc. that the user should be able to see, but that doesn’t relate to any anchor or surface of the surroundings.

Now you know more about AR, but please feel free to book a demo of our platform here if it’s still confusing. Our team would be more than happy to help you navigate the AR jungle.

At Hololink, we help you create interactive AR experiences with no need to code and develop apps.

Go to https://editor.hololink.io/ to register for free today.

Follow our blog to learn more about what AR can do for you.

Don’t forget to give us your 👏 !


Everything you need to know about Augmented Reality (AR) jargon was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://arvrjourney.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-augmented-reality-ar-jargon-41c5ad0a890b?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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