Sony Xperia VR Headset Rumoured to Launch at MWC 2016

Sony Xperia VR Headset Rumoured to Launch at MWC 2016

A new report is tipping that Sony may have an Xperia VR headset planned for launch at its February 22 event at MWC 2016. The Japanese giant so far has not detailed what it will launch at its MWC event, despite releasing a new video teaser this week.

The speculation is being led by Xperia Blog, the Sony-focused mobile news website, which connects the VR-focused update of Sony’s Privilege Plus app to a possible unveiling of the smartphone-based VR headset. As we already know, Sony has been working on the PlayStation VR headset for a while now, and it will be powered by the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console.

Recent reports indicate Sony has a late-2016 launch planned for the PlayStation VR headset, but if the most recent report of an Xperia VR headset are true, the company may release a smartphone-based virtual reality headset ahead of the PlayStation VR’s launch.

To get back to the topic at hand, Xperia Blog noted the Privilege Plus movie and TV show content app now features a VR Theater mode. The Google Play listing of the app mentions that the VR experience is not compatible with Xperia E3, Xperia M2, Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia C3, Xperia E1, Xperia C3, Xperia L, Xperia M, Xperia ZR, Xperia Z, Xperia E4G, Xperia M4 Aqua, Xperia C4, Xperia C5 Ultra, and Xperia M5.

Lending further credence to the rumour is Sony’s own blog post about the 4K display technology of the Xperia X5 Premium in October. To recall, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium features 5.5-inch UHD (2160×3840 pixel) display with a pixel density of 806ppi. In its blog post, Sony talks about how conducive such a high resolution display is to virtual reality, saying, “We also believe Xperia Z5 Premium is capable of offering the clearest, sharpest Virtual Reality platform – we’re working on a few things here internally, so stay tuned for more news soon.”

Finally, Xperia Blog also points to a recently granted patent by Sony for a smartphone-based virtual reality headset, tipping that the company has indeed been working on such technology for a while. The application was submitted in May 2015, and granted in December. The patent shows multiple designs, active shutter 3D technology, forward facing cameras, and even positional tracking. One of the designs is also compatible with tablets. Gaming, social media interactions, and entertainment are some of the VR headset applications Sony appears to be looking at.


SMI to Unveil Eye-Tracking and Foveated Rendering for Gear VR at MWC

Having demonstrated their impressive eye-tracking and foveated rendering technology to us at CES last month on a modified Oculus Rift DK2, the company have now unveiled they’ve applied the same principals and technology to Samsung’s mobile VR headset, the Gear VR.

SMI demo’d their eye-tracking technology to us at CES last month and along with our first glimpse at foveated rendering, all on a heavily modified Oculus Rift DK2. The demonstration proved not only that SMI’s gaze detection systems were worked, they were quick enough to allow the implementation of foveated rendering almost imperceptibly.

What we weren’t allowed to talk about though, was that SMI had plans beyond the desktop VR hardware space. At CES I got my hands and eyes on a modified Zeiss VRone headset, powered by an Android smartphone. The headset included a retrofitted version of SMI’s eye-tracking assembly and an early integration of their software. The mobile VR demo included a near identical version of the ‘exploding box’ demo seen in the demo series below. With the exception of a noticeable increase in eye-tracking latency (and therefore overall timing accuracy) it was an impressive demonstration of the company’s portability and commitment to getting this system right for multiple VR platforms.

Now, SMI are ready to show more about their mobile VR eye-tracking plans, and they’ve revealed that they’ve now managed to ‘upgrade’ Samsung’s Oculus engineered Gear VR headset with eye-tracking and are ready to demonstrate foveated rendering for mobile VR.

See Also: Hands On: SMI Proves that Foveated Rendering is Here and it Really Works

We asked SMI’s Executive of OEM Solutions Christian Villwock, to give us a summary of progress since CES. “At CES, I’ve shown you an early prototype based on the Zeiss VRone which is a Google Cardboard design using the Cardboard SDK and running on Android – Cardboard is not really optimized for running on Android with low latency,” Villwock says. “Our focus in the last weeks was on adding eye tracking to the Gear VR – the Gear VR with its software is much more optimized and tweaked for VR under Android, especially for latency. Our eye tracking platform is generally available for integration with all mobile VR headset but our reference design that we’re launching at MWC now is based on the Gear VR.”

Foveated rendering is a rendering technique that takes advantage of the fact that your eye perceives high levels of detail only within a small area of focus at any one time. This means that, an image can be rendered at increasingly lower levels of detail, potentially imperceptibly, the further from that area of focus you go. Less pixels to push means less clock cycles, means less power used means higher frame rates. At least that’s the theory.

SMI-DK2-Eye-tracked (3)

Arguably, the benefits that foveated rendering might bring to the mobile VR space are greater than that in the current desktop arena. The ability to decrease load drastically on comparatively lowly mobile silicon will become more and more important as the expectations of consumers grow in the Mobile VR space.

SMI will unveil their Gear VR eye-tracking hardware and foveated rendering demo’s at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from the 22nd February. Road to VR will be there to go hands on with SMI’s latest push into eye-tracking applications.

Source:- Roadtovr

AMD Teases DX12, VR Ready PCs – 7x Faster Than XBOX One And PS4 Yet Just As Small

AMD is teasing Radeon powered, console sized DirectX 12 and VR ready PCs that’s 8 times more powerful than the XBOX One and PS4.  A photo of a bunch these systems, appropriately finished in red, were posted on twitter by AMD’s Roy Taylor, one of the biggest VR advocates inside the company.

AMD Fury X2 DirectX 12 and VR Ready PCs

Very few details were given initially besides the picture you see above and the following tweet by Roy

“Developers, we have something coming for you…:)

It was later confirmed that the systems you see above are “Tiki” models from Falcon North West. A system builder who has collaborated with AMD to put the world’s fastest graphics card, AMD’s dual Fiji board, inside a compact – console sized – DirectX12 and VR ready powerhouse.


Patient wears 3-D glasses during brain surgery

Paris (AFP) – In a world first, a patient in France undergoing brain surgery while conscious wore virtual reality glasses as doctors removed a cancerous tumour, the chief surgeon told AFP Tuesday.

“In creating a completely artificial world for the patient, we could map certain zones and connections of his brain related to functions that we could not, up to now, easily test on the operating table,” Philippe Menei, a neurosurgeon at Angers hospital in western France, told AFP.

The operation was performed on January 27, and the patient was recovering well, he said.

Taking a scalpel to the brain while a patient is conscious has been a common practice for more than a decade.

Doing so allows doctors to determine, during an operation, whether and how vital functions such as speech, vision and movement are affected.

Patients cannot feel the probing of their brain tissue, and do not experience pain.

But using three-dimensional, virtual reality opens up a whole new range of possibilities, Menei said.

“By totally controlling what the patient sees and hears, we can put him in situations that allow us to do tests on certain (neural) connections that were not possible before,” he said.

In this case, it was crucial to protect the patient’s vision because he had already lost sight in one eye due to an illness.

During the operation, the medical team created a neutral virtual environment with no single point of focus.

“In this empty void, we could control the space and make luminous objects appear in the patient’s peripheral vision,” Menei said.

Three weeks after the operation, the patient’s vision was intact despite the removal of an aggressive tumour in a region controlling sight.

Menei said the patient was now preparing to undergo chemotherapy.

Virtual reality glasses “open the way to greater precision, and allow us to envision procedures that were not possible up to now, such as the removal of otherwise inaccessible brain tumours,” he said.

His team plans to use the technique again in the coming months on patients with brain tumours situated near areas that control vision.

Virtual reality glasses could also be adapted for children, and may be tested on young patients before the end of the year.

Brain cancer is the second most common form of cancer among children in France.

Source:- Yahoo News

The future of gaming isn’t virtual reality…it’s this

This year will herald a new era in gaming, as virtual reality headsets go from developers play things to genuine pieces of consumer tech available on shop shelves.

Yes, both the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR might launch with an outrageous starting price, but there will be no shortage of people wanting to get their hands on the kit.

But having had the chance to play around with both headsets in the past few months, there’s still big questions about how worthwhile these products truly are.


Virtual Reality Headset Eye Tracking Technology


During last years E3 we sat down with Battlezone, The Playroom, Kitchen, The London Heist and Eve Valkrie.

All were enjoyable, but none blew us away to the point that we’d want to line up and grab a headset the second it goes on sale.

Equally in much the same breath, gaming on the Oculus Rift has proved no different.

Both are great fun and quirky for a period time – but is ‘quirky’ enough to warrant dropping over £300 on either product?

In our view, the future of gaming won’t be decided by virtual reality, it’ll be eye-tracking technology.

Oculus Rift

Last week Daily Star Online had the chance to sit down to play Tom Clancy’s The Division, aided with a bit of fancy eye-tracking tech made by Tobii, a world leader in this field.

The PC version of the game will include integrated eye tracking functionality when it launches on March 8 and allows players who own compatible sensors like Tobii’s EyeX or the SteelSeries Sentry Eye Tracker to toggle these on and off should they please.

Essentially, it’s a small camera bar costing around £130 (see below).

If we’re honest, we were sceptical about just how influential the tiny piece of kit could be in enhancing our experience with the game.

But having toyed around with the product and everything it has to offer, we’ve been convinced it will have a very big say in the future of gaming.

So how does it work? Boiling it down the clever tech is doing two key things.

Firstly, it’s allowing the computer to understand where you are spending your attention based on where you are looking on the screen.

Secondly, it’s giving you another pointer on the screen. With the key difference being that this pointer isn’t controller with analogue sticks or a mouse, but your infinitely quicker eyes.

Playing The Division there were five key areas where gameplay was significantly improved: selecting cover, hiding on screen UI, tagging enemies, improving our aim and widening our field of view.

This eye-tracking tech might not be as flashy or as ground-breaking as VR, but without question it improved our gaming experience significantly – something VR has yet to truly achieve.

It was intuitive, easy to master and best of all, didn’t require us to strap on a massive headset to enjoy what it had to offer.

However more important than what it can do now, might be what it can do in the future.

Tobii President Oscar Werner told us that feasibly the equipment could be used to allow studios to create games which achieve super crisp 8K Ultra HD, simply by focussing on the area you’re looking at on a screen.

Tobii eye-tracking technology

If we’re looking strictly at how gaming might be improved, eye-tracking tech has the edge over VR.

But because of how small this tech can be, it could easily be adapted to fit into a VR headset further down the line.

Although according to Oscar Werner, it’s unlikely we’d see this sort of advancement until the second generation of VR headsets, whenever that might be.

However when that day comes, you’ll find us at the front of the queue, wallet in hand and ready to drop all sorts of cash on the piece of kit.