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virtual reality

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Google and Lenovo announce first standalone Daydream headset and new VR180 consumer cameras

Last summer, Google announced a new video format to simplify the creation of virtual reality content, VR180. Now at CES, they've partnered with Lenovo and Yi Technology to bring VR180 to consumer hardware in the form of a new Daydream headset and two VR cameras.

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In VR news: HTC announces VIVE PRO and wireless adapter, Oculus and Xiaomi introduce Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone

Many companies are still trying to make VR happen, though it feels like those couple of years when 3D TVs were being pushed and then completely disappeared. If you ask me, there's merit to the immersive experience of VR in certain situations, but the wider and easier adoption will be for AR when it's commoditized. But I digress. We've been keeping an eye on HTC's VIVE and Oculus for a while, even though they're not technically related to Android, but for the sake of information here are the two companies' CES 2018 news.

HTC is introducing a few new things at CES.

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The FAA's new VR app lets you experience ADS-B tech through a plane's cockpit

If you're not an airplane buff (I'm not), chances are that you haven't heard of ADS-B tech. In layman's terms, it's a surveillance technology that uses satellite navigation to position and track an aircraft, and it's gradually replacing ground radar. The FAA has created a virtual reality app to showcase what using ADS-B is like in flight, and it's out now on the Play Store.

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HTC unveils VIVE Focus VR headset for China alongside new dev platform, cancels Daydream plans

Google tried to create some buzz for its Daydream VR platform at its I/O developer conference back in May, even though public appetite for the tech seems to be waning. Standalone headsets were announced as the next evolution of the Daydream experience, but since then it's all gone rather quiet. We now know that HTC has canceled its plans to release a standalone Daydream headset, and is instead concentrating its efforts on China with a different standalone headset and development platform.

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Google Daydream View (2017) is now available from Google Store in France, Italy, and Spain for €109

The new Daydream View VR headset went on sale here in 'Murica around two weeks ago. But products like these tend to have a little delay in availability in overseas countries, as evidenced by the Pixel 2 XL only having gone on sale in Italy and Spain three days ago. Now, the 2017 model of the Daydream View is up for grabs in those two countries, as well as France, for €109.

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Google launches Poly, a database of 3D objects for app developers

Google already has some tools to make creating VR and AR content easier, but designing 3D models for apps can still be difficult and time-consuming. Google aims to lessen the hassle with its newest initiative. Poly is a searchable database of 3D objects and scenes for developers to use in their apps. It has thousands of models, and supports remixing and editing via Google's design tools. Best of all, it's free.

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Google gives Pixel 2 owners early access to its latest Spotlight Story, 'Son of Jaguar'

Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners are getting a small bonus for purchasing Google's latest smartphones. Google Spotlight Stories, a vestige of Google's Motorola days showcasing the power of virtual reality storytelling, is giving owners of the latest Pixel devices early access to "Son of Jaguar," an animated short film about a luchador from director Jorge Gutierrez.

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AMC's new VR apps will immerse you in The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands

Every fan of The Walking Dead has surely imagined what it would be like to encounter a walker in real life. Similarly, if you watch Into the Badlands, you'd probably love to get up close with the flight scenes. Thanks to two new VR apps from TV network AMC, you'll be able to watch both shows as part of a new immersive experience.

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Oculus Go is a Gear VR with no phone required, coming in 2018 for $199

Facebook-owned Oculus is one of the two giants in VR right now, alongside HTC with its Vive headset. While Oculus is still working on the much-anticipated cordless PC headset, it announced another product today - the standalone Oculus Go.

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Daydream now lets you cast to a big screen and share your experience with others [APK Download]

Back at I/O in May, Google teased the Daydream 2.0 update, codenamed Euphrates, which would bring a more social aspect to using the VR platform by casting what the user sees on another screen. Daydream 2.0 isn't ready just yet, but the latest update to version 1.10.170912063 already has that capability, as well as support for the 2nd generation View headset and the new Pixel 2 phones.

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