Another week, another edition of Field of View, our look at all the news from the virtual and augmented reality worlds.
This week we found out that the HTC Vive Focus is finally coming to the US and UK, though it comes with a bit of a catch. HTC is positioning the Focus as an enterprise version. But don’t worry, there’s a better option coming.
Read this: The best AR smartglasses
But there’s more to get into from the past week. We’ve recapped a bunch of the news of the week and even dropped in some recommendations.
Read this: News blips and tidbits
Corning patents glass for AR, potentially for Apple
Corning has long been a partner for Apple, supplying Gorilla Glass all the way back from the iPhone in 2007. In fact, Apple invested $200 million in Corning for research and development.
The glassmaker has patented something called a Wild Field personal display, which is used for a wide-angle augmented reality headset. Current AR headsets have field of views of about 45 degrees. The Corning tech would enable a field of view from between 40 and 70 degrees.
The way it does this is by using a beam splitting plate. This is an extra layer that’s placed between your smartphone – as this is intended for a smartphone-powered headset – and the lens.
While there’s no clear evidence this is technology Apple could one day use in its AR exploits, the two companies have a strong enough relationship that makes it a possibility.
Walmart using VR to train holiday workers
The holiday shopping season is just beginning, and it’s time for retailers to prep their workers for the onslaught of consumerism. Walmart is turning to VR to train its employees, recreating scenarios where workers go through training videos that show them to handle a variety of scenarios during the rush. The one thing that won’t be recreated? Black Friday.
Microsoft patents system to switch from VR to reality
When you’re in virtual reality, you’re cut off from the world. That’s part of the charm, VR takes you to whole new worlds (sans Aladdin and Jasmin). Microsoft wants to make it easier to get back to reality though, and it’s patented a system that would let you adjust the opacity of the headset to see the world. Yes, part of the headset would become see-through with a quick change.
Try this: Nothing to be Written
This weekend is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, and the BBC has released a new VR documentary that takes you back to first World War so that you can experience the war from the frontline and from home. Available on Oculus Go, it gives you a front row seat to the anxiety, terror and violence of WW1.
Play this: Tetris Effect
Tetris is one of the most well-known and played games of all time. And now Rez infinite developer Enhance has used its talents to put Tetris in VR. Yeah, you’re just playing Tetris in VR, but Enhance has done it in a way that makes it more beautiful and immersive than ever. It’s available to buy now for the PS4 and PSVR from the PlayStation Store, if you fancy some immersive retro gaming action.
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