Vive Pro Gets AR Capabilities Thanks to HTC’s New Tools for Front-facing Cameras

HTC has announced a new set of tools allowing developers to build applications which take advantage of the Vive Pro’s stereo front-facing cameras, effectively turning the device into an AR headset dev kit. The new tools allow the cameras to capture depth, spatial mapping data, hand input, and seamlessly shift between VR and AR worlds.

While the original Vive launched with a front-facing camera, it went sorely unused. This time around, with the Vive Pro, the company is offering the VIVE SRWorks SDK. Announced last week, HTC says that the SDK includes three modules: a depth module, see-through module, and a 3D reconstruction module—effectively a foundational set of tools enabling the headset to sense the world through its front-facing cameras, and allowing developers to use that data for creating interesting experiences that can be pure AR or VR, or a combination of both.

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Apple’s working on a powerful, wireless headset for both AR, VR

The company is working on a headset capable of running both AR and VR technology, according to a person familiar with Apple’s plans. Plans so far call for an 8K display for each eye — higher resolution than today’s best TVs — that would be untethered from a computer or smartphone, the person said.

The project, codenamed T288, is still in its early stages but is slated for release in 2020. Apple still could change or scrap its plans.

Apple declined to comment.

It’s notable that Apple is working on a headset that combines both AR and VR given its intense focus over the past year on pushing augmented reality in iPhonesand iPads. Cook has said he sees bigger possibilities in AR than VR, partly because augmented reality allows you to be more present. Either way, it’s vital for Apple to expand beyond its iPhones, currently its top moneymaker, and the slowing mobile market.

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Researchers Exploit Natural Quirk of Human Vision for Hidden Redirected Walking in VR

Researches from Stony Brook University, NVIDIA, and Adobe have devised a system which hides so-called ‘redirected walking’ techniques using saccades, natural eye movements which act like a momentary blindspot. Redirected walking changes the direction that a user is walking to create the illusion of moving through a larger virtual space than the physical space would allow. Read more: Road to VR

Exclusive: Intel’s new Vaunt smart glasses actually look good

There’s a lot of excitement of being able to have the full augmented reality experience with AR glasses, but the reality is right now these headsets are too big and bulky trying to do everything from depth mapping, object detection, taking pictures and head tracking.

Intel’s concept approach below goes the opposite way and is focusing on keeping it simple and in many ways it’s pretty compelling if it actually works in real life as well as they portray.

Qualcomm announces new Snapdragon 845 VR reference headset

Qualcomm today revealed a new reference design for a Snapdragon 845 VR headset. The headset uses the similarly named mobile Snapdragon 845 system architecture that the company announced last month, which can be used for both VR and AR.

The Snapdragon 845 headset is capable of displaying two 1024 x 1152 pixel screens at 120 frames per second, which is subpar compared to many existing headsets. (HTC’s Vive Proheadset offers 1400 x 1600 resolution per eye, for instance.)

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