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VR

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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon XR1 chip for VR and AR headsets

Consumer virtual reality started picking up steam a few years ago, but both desktop and mobile VR required a separate device to power the experience—either a PC or a smartphone. We're starting to see the first standalone VR headsets now with the Oculus Go and Lenovo Mirage. These headsets have Qualcomm chips, but they're the same ones used in phones. Qualcomm has just announced a new design purpose-built for VR and AR applications. It's called the Snapdragon XR1, and it'll launch later this year.

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Google and LG share details on 1,443ppi OLED display designed for next-gen VR headsets

The virtual reality game is getting interesting, but the displays on the current generation of headsets are still getting in the way of truly immersive experiences. To solve this, Google and LG Display teamed up to produce an ultra high-resolution OLED panel intended for the next generation of VR headsets. This display was first discussed back in March, but it's now been officially unveiled at the Display Week 2018 expo.

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The Lenovo Mirage Solo Daydream headset and Mirage VR Camera are available today

There are a handful of phones that support Google Daydream, but it's still far from a universal feature on Android devices. Now, you don't even need a phone. The previously announced Lenovo Mirage Solo is available, but it's not cheap. Also in the "not cheap but available" category is the Lenovo Mirage Camera, the first camera for Google's VR180 platform.

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Oculus Go standalone VR headset is now available for $199

All the VR headsets we've seen up to this point require some other device to do all the heavy lifting. With Oculus and Vive, it's a gaming PC. With GearVR and Daydream, it's a smartphone. The Oculus Go is a fully standalone VR headset, and it can be yours today for $199.

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Chrome 66 adds experimental support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets

Google Chrome 66 came out a few days ago, with your usual list of new APIs and user improvements. However, one major new feature flew under the radar. This is the first stable Chrome release with experimental support for Valve's OpenVR API, allowing VR content to be viewed on all popular headsets. This includes the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

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Plex comes to Samsung Gear VR

There's a shortage of video designed for virtual reality, but you can still enjoy content intended for the flat screen in VR. There are VR apps for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. Now, you can add Plex to the list. The new app should be live in the Oculus store right this minute.

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Google is reportedly buying imaging firm Lytro for $40 million

Lytro is probably most well-known for making visually interesting "light-field" cameras, but it has taken that technology in a different direction more recently. The company is now developing high-end VR capture and processing technology, and Google is reportedly very interested in that. According to TechCrunch, Google is in the process of buying Lytro for $40 million.

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Google open sources image recognition AI model, VR audio tools

Google announced this week that two of its projects are going open source. Code for both DeepLab-V3+, the latest version of Google's semantic image segmentation AI model, and Resonance Audio, Google's spatial audio SDK, is now freely available.

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Lenovo's Mirage Solo Daydream headset and VR camera both available for pre-order, shipping May 11

Way back at CES in January, Lenovo and Google announced they had partnered on two new virtual reality hardware products, but gave no indication as to a release date. But thanks to two listings at B&H Photo, the cat is out of the bag...and you can record the cat as it emerges from that bag in glorious 4K virtual reality starting on May 11.

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Google to share fantastically high-density screen for next-gen VR headsets

Virtual reality technologies are at a place now where they're actually fun to use, after decades of early efforts where the big dreams of VR evangelists simply couldn't quite be realized by available hardware and software. But for as good as things are today, there's a deep well of potential for them to get much, much better. One of the keys to the next evolution of VR will be the arrival of headsets with incredibly pixel-dense displays, making it that much easier for users to suspend disbelief and feel that what they're seeing is as real as they are. And now from the looks of things, Google is preparing to share just that kind of tech with us in only a few short months.

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