Pimax “8K” Surpasses Oculus Rift as Top VR Headset Kickstarter Project, $2.45M Raised So Far, by Scott Hayden

Pimax, the company aiming to deliver three flavors of its high field of view (FOV) headset via their Kickstarter, have recently blasted past the $2 million funding mark. With only a week left in the crowdfunding campaign and now more than $2.45 million to their name, the company has reached arguably a more important milestone: they’ve surpassed the original Oculus Rift Kickstarter, becoming the top funded VR headset campaign in existence.

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Virtual Reality Museum Puts Rembrandt in High-Def, by Molly Schuetz

Kremer Collection’s VR gallerySource: Kremer Collection

The Kremer Collection has spent the past two decades loaning out its collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art to museums and galleries around the world. As of Thursday, the collection will have a new permanent home in a virtual museum.

VR has improved dramatically in recent years as Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung and others invest heavily in technology that many believe will eventually supplant PCs and smartphones as the preferred human-machine interface. With the headsets getting cheaper and less bulky, virtual reality is showing up in many more places—including museums.

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With Tiny Stereoscopic 360-Degree Camera, Live Planet Aims To Succeed Where Others Failed, by Ian Hamilton

Startup Live Planet plans to deliver its first cameras in December as part of an end-to-end stereoscopic 360-degree video platform aimed at making it easier for creators to stream live high-quality content.

Live Planet is led by serial entrepreneur Halsey Minor, who largely self-funded this company after a long track record at the start of businesses like CNET,  Salesforce and GrandCentral (which later became Google Voice). With 360-degree video, he’s intimately aware of the failures of other products on the market, including Nokia’s OZO, and aims to succeed through a combination of high-quality hardware and easy-to-use software.

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Lytro Announces VR Light Field Rendering Software ‘Volume Tracer’, by Scott Hayden

Lytro, the once consumer-facing light field camera company which has recently pivoted to create high-end production tools, has announced a light field rendering software for VR that essentially aims to free developers from the current limitations of real-time rendering. The company calls it ‘Volume Tracer’.

Light field cameras are typically hailed as the next necessary technology in bridging the gap between real-time rendered experiences and 360 video—two VR content types that for now act as bookends on the spectrum of immersive to less-than-immersive virtual media. Professional-level light field cameras, like Lytro’s Immerge prototype, still aren’t yet in common use though, but light fields aren’t only capable of being generated with expensive/large physical cameras.

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Kandao Obsidian VR Camera Triumphs in Excellent Product Design at the German Design Award 2018

SHENZHEN, China, Oct. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Kandao Technology, a Shenzhen-based leading VR camera manufacturer and solution provider, announced today that its flagship Obsidian 3D VR camera has been selected as a winner as the German Design Award 2018 in the Excellent Product Design category.

The German Design Award is one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world. Every year, only a select few products who are already recognized  worldwide with high design and quality standard are eligible for nomination by the German Design Council. The “winner” title is an award of excellence bestowed only on entries chosen by the jury from within each category.

From over 5,000 entries among various international participants, a judging panel of experts chose the Kandao Obsidian 3D VR camera as this year’s winner in the Excellent Product Design category. The panel described Obsidian as “surprisingly user-friendly” as users can operate it purely by instinct no matter how complicated the hardware and software inside are, it is truly a camera designed for VR content creators. This achievement marked Kandao Obsidian’s first nomination in this award. It is also the second international award received by Obsidian, following a previous award of “Best of Innovation Honoree” at CES 2017.

The Obsidian 3D VR camera was developed to enable innovative storytellers to create high-quality stereoscopic 360-degree videos for immersive virtual reality experience. It comes equipped with a deep learning based post-production software solution for stitching and depth map generation and offers up to 8K resolution 3D spherical videos, still image capturing capability and the addition of 3D 4K VR live streaming functionality.

With the product and technology, Kandao Technology makes every effort to explore new ways to apply VR in various industries, for example, VR in education, travel, live events, and the furniture, wedding, and real estate industries, to change the way how people feel and connect to the world.

Now, the Obsidian 3D VR camera is available for purchase worldwide at an official price of $6999.

Adobe’s Project SonicScape Visualizes Audio For Easier 360 Editing, by Ian Hamilton

Adobe previewed a concept it is working on that would make it easier for creators working on VR videos to place and align sound.

Producing high-quality 360-degree video content has traditionally been a difficult affair at all stages of production, from capture to delivery. However, a constant stream of new cameras, editing tools and streaming techniques are on the way to make the process easier.

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Samsung’s 360 Round camera livestreams 3D VR, by John Fingas

Samsung

Samsung already has a virtual reality camera in the form of the Gear 360, but it’s not really for pros — it’s for everyday users who want to record a 360-degree video on the street. What if you’re a pro, or a well-heeled enthusiast? Samsung has you covered: it’s launching the previously hinted-at 360 Round. The disc-shaped device carries a whopping 17 2-megapixel cameras and six microphones (plus two mic ports) to create 3D (that is, stereoscopic) VR video. It’s powerful enough to livestream 4K VR at a smooth 30 frames per second, helped in part by software that promises to stitch together immersive video with virtually no lag.

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Detu F4 Plus 8K VR 360 camera

Detu has launched a new VR camera. It is being called a professional VR camera and shoots 8K resolution for stills and video. Although I have yet to see any video samples the stills look good with the exception of some badly burned out highlights. The unit is priced at $2599. That pricing is about a grand less than the Insta360 Pro VR camera which also shoots 8k and 6K 3D as well. The Detu F4 Plus does not to 3D.

Please check the Detu website for more details:

Why the Pimax 8K headset could be a future game changer, by Sarah Redohl

Pimax

Successful kickstarter projects may be a rarity. But it would seem that the Pimax 8K VR headset is one project that is bucking the trend could offer real competition and innovation to boot.

The old adage “underpromise and overdeliver” doesn’t often apply to the tech industry, where impressive-sounding specs often outshine actual performance in headlines and companies raise millions in Kickstarter campaigns that don’t come to fruition.

But, every once in a while, an absurd sounding promise from an unknown manufacturer actually seems to pan out. Enter the Pimax 8K VR headset.

The new Pimax 8K headset makes a lot of promises. Among them, the headset promises to eliminate the screen door effect of existing headsets while nearly doubling the user’s field of view and reducing motion sickness.

On September 19, Pimax launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $200,000, which it was able to reach within the campaign’s first few hours. At the time of this post, the campaign had raised more than $1.7 million from around 2,700 backers.

Although that’s certainly impressive, what’s more impressive is that, since CES 2017, Pimax has been showing off and shipping out its 8K headset to reviewers and what we’re hearing back is overwhelmingly positive: the Pimax 8K HMD truly feels like a next-gen headset.

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Lytro Launches Light-Field Tool Aimed at Animated Virtual Reality, by Carolyn Giardina

Its first demonstration short will be presented this week at the On the Lot confab.

 

Lytro, the Silicon Valley-based company that’s developing light-field based technology for Hollywood, is launching a new tool for the animation community to use to create virtual reality and other immersive experiences.

Describing it as a “virtual version of our physical cameras,” Lytro Cinema general manager Buzz Hays said the new Lytro Volume Tracer is light-field technology-based software designed to help animators get a quality level and realism closer to that of high-end animated features, but with near real-time rendering, bringing it more in line with the capabilities offered in a game engine.

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