Fit Trend to Watch: Location-Based VR Experiences

December 18, 2018 | 50 views

Location-based VR experiences are springing up all over the world. What are LB VR experiences? They are out-of-home VR attractions that people visit like they would for arcades, movies, or theme parks. Why should we keep location-based experiences and attractions on our radar? Because they’re thrilling, get us and our family and friends off the sofa, and it’s fun to try new things!Companies like Oculus’ very own Facebook are looking toward investing in location-based VR experiences. Why? Because it gives people a way to give VR a single player or group test drive without having to buy a gaming rig, a headset, and games first.Variety reports that Colum Slevin, Oculus head of experiences said, “We love the idea of an audience being able to go to a destination, and have an experience, and love that experience and continue that adventure at home”.

Spotlight

Crunchyroll, Inc.

Crunchyroll is the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, boasting a global community of more than 35 million registered users and over 1 million subscribers. Fans connect through the most complete anime library including "Naruto Shippuden,"​ "Attack on Titan,"​ and “Dragon Ball Super,” events such as Crunchyroll Movie Nights, Crunchyroll News, and can purchase related merchandise through its online store. Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts—top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast.

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Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming arrives on iOS with some Apple restrictions

Article | February 12, 2020

Microsoft is expanding its Project xCloud service to the iPhone today. The software giant is launching a beta of xCloud through Apple’s TestFlight service, allowing xCloud testers to try the service on an iPhone or iPad. It’s the first time we’ve seen a cloud game streaming service appear on iOS since the days of OnLive — and OnLive’s iOS app wound up in limbo when Apple didn’t approve it. Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now are still not available on Apple’s devices, either, and neither company has been able to tell us when that might change.

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Apple's AR & VR headset may not need external input for orientation & motion detection

Article | February 11, 2020

Apple is continuing to investigate headsets like its "AR Glasses," as part of its exploration of Augmented and Virtual Reality systems. One such headset in future may utilize sensors that can detect angular rotation, such as that experienced when the device is placed on a user's head or removed. "[It] may be beneficial for the VR headset to be able to detect when a head-worn device (e.g., headset, eyeglasses, headphones, etc.) is being removed from the user's head, is being placed on the user's head, or both," says Apple in US Patent No. 10,557,724, "Angle detection of a rotating system using a single magnet and multiple hall sensors."

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Game On: These Entertainment Stocks Hit New Levels

Article | February 10, 2020

Some Chinese entertainment stocks listed in the U.S. got a boost last week after the People Bank of China (PBOC) said it would pump $173 billion into the economy. Since news of the report from Beijing hit the street, one of the biggest gainers was Chinese gaming giant NetEase Inc. (Nasdaq: NTES) NetEase, a partner of California-based Blizzard Entertainment in China, traded as low as $317.48 per American depositary share within the last couple of weeks, and soared as high as $347.95 apiece last week. NetEase rolled out its international presence in recent years in Japan and North America, lowering its China dependency.

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The Future of Tech: Gaming Consoles, the Xbox and PlayStation of Tomorrow

Article | February 10, 2020

Consoles have come a very long way since the arrival of first-generation machines from Atari and Coleco in the seventies. Even the original PlayStation (1994) and Xbox (2001) look dated compared to the 4K/HDR-capable machines of today, and that divide will grow even larger once the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X arrive at the end of 2020. But what about the future? More than once console makers have tried to break new ground, by focusing on functionality beyond gaming, but for the most part those attempts have failed. Nintendo has found the most success with specialized hardware that still focuses on games first, while Sony and Microsoft have seemingly understood that building powerful general purpose machines that are akin to PCs is their best and safest bet.

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Spotlight

Crunchyroll, Inc.

Crunchyroll is the world’s largest destination for anime and manga, boasting a global community of more than 35 million registered users and over 1 million subscribers. Fans connect through the most complete anime library including "Naruto Shippuden,"​ "Attack on Titan,"​ and “Dragon Ball Super,” events such as Crunchyroll Movie Nights, Crunchyroll News, and can purchase related merchandise through its online store. Through its app on game consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices and more, Crunchyroll delivers content from leading media producers directly to viewers translated professionally in multiple languages. The service is available for free or through a premium offering that allows users to watch ad-free with access to simulcasts—top series available immediately after Japanese broadcast.

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Location-Based Entertainment Startup Sandbox VR Secures $68 Million Investment

vrfocus | January 29, 2019

Virtual reality (VR) location-based entertainment (LBE) can be a tricky business. Companies like The VOID and Zero Latency have seen success further expanding their global presence, while others such as IMAX VR have had to shutter operations. Sandbox VR, a Hong Kong-based provider also looks to be on the up and up, recently announcing a successful investment round securing $68 million USD.The series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz reports Business Insider, with Mike Maples from Floodgate, Stanford University, TriplePoint Capital, CRCM, and Alibaba also participating.Founded in 2016 by CEO Steve Zhao, Sandbox VR developed its own hardware and software solutions to create an out-of-home VR experience that can be fitted in shopping centres and other locations. “When we first opened in Hong Kong in 2017, when we opened the location, for the next 60 days we were sold out from morning until night,” Zhao said.Since then Sandbox VR has managed to expand its presence to more locations in Asia as well as North America including Bangkok, Singapore, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new investment, the company plans further expansion, not only adding new locations but also developing new in-house experiences you can’t get anywhere else.

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Sandbox VR Raises $68 Million for Location-Based VR Experiences

variety | January 28, 2019

Hong Kong-based virtual reality (VR) startup Sandbox VR has raised a $68 million Series A round of funding from Andreesen Horowitz, Floodgate Ventures, Stanford University, Triplepoint Capital, CRCM and Alibaba. The company wants to use the new cash infusion to launch new VR centers in New York, Tokyo and elsewhere.Sandbox currently operates VR centers in 6 cities, including San Mateo, Calif., Vancouver and Hong Kong. In those locations, it offers players the opportunity to freely explore a stage, and play together to fight zombies, aliens and undead pirates in a series of location-based VR experiences.“We believe this new medium is not about better movies or a more immersive game,” the company wrote in a blog post Monday. “It’s something else entirely, and we as an industry will need to learn from the best of both mediums — movies and gaming.”“Once the ecosystem around Sandbox begins to achieve critical mass, we expect that the technology will unlock a golden era of storytelling and interactive, immersive entertainment,” said the venture capital firm’s general partner Andrew Chen in a blog post Monday. “Some of this will look like gaming, some will look like film, and yet others will resemble music, documentaries — as well as other new, VR-native genres we’ve yet to invent, in much the same way people eventually moved beyond trying to redo plays in early movies. ”

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VR Bumper Cars Attraction To Open In Germany This Spring

vrfocus | January 18, 2019

Location-based entertainment (LBE) attractions are starting to really push the level of variety they can offer customers, from comedy puzzle titles like The VOID’s Ralph Breaks VR to realistic simulators such as Paraflight VR. Now it’s time for a classic fairground attraction to get the virtual reality (VR) treatment, with a VR bumper cars attraction opening in Germany soon.The work of VR Coaster and Holodeck VR, the VR bumper cars attraction is called Steampunk VR Scooter and will be based at Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn in Heroldsbach near Nuremberg.The ride will take visitors into a Wild West-style Arena where they will compete against each other with retro-futuristic steam engines. Guests will not only compete with each other but also against giant robotic enemies, so to help them there are additional extras and upgrades that players can pick up.“With this world’s first VR Bumper Cars Attraction, we will once again open a new chapter in Location Based Virtual Reality.” says Prof. Thomas Wagner, Managing Partner of VR Coaster GmbH & Co. KG in a statement. “With the combined Know-How of the teams at VR Coaster and Holodeck VR, we were able to create an unprecedented, interactive VR experience, which holds some very exciting surprises!”

Read More

Location-Based Entertainment Startup Sandbox VR Secures $68 Million Investment

vrfocus | January 29, 2019

Virtual reality (VR) location-based entertainment (LBE) can be a tricky business. Companies like The VOID and Zero Latency have seen success further expanding their global presence, while others such as IMAX VR have had to shutter operations. Sandbox VR, a Hong Kong-based provider also looks to be on the up and up, recently announcing a successful investment round securing $68 million USD.The series A funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz reports Business Insider, with Mike Maples from Floodgate, Stanford University, TriplePoint Capital, CRCM, and Alibaba also participating.Founded in 2016 by CEO Steve Zhao, Sandbox VR developed its own hardware and software solutions to create an out-of-home VR experience that can be fitted in shopping centres and other locations. “When we first opened in Hong Kong in 2017, when we opened the location, for the next 60 days we were sold out from morning until night,” Zhao said.Since then Sandbox VR has managed to expand its presence to more locations in Asia as well as North America including Bangkok, Singapore, Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the new investment, the company plans further expansion, not only adding new locations but also developing new in-house experiences you can’t get anywhere else.

Read More

Sandbox VR Raises $68 Million for Location-Based VR Experiences

variety | January 28, 2019

Hong Kong-based virtual reality (VR) startup Sandbox VR has raised a $68 million Series A round of funding from Andreesen Horowitz, Floodgate Ventures, Stanford University, Triplepoint Capital, CRCM and Alibaba. The company wants to use the new cash infusion to launch new VR centers in New York, Tokyo and elsewhere.Sandbox currently operates VR centers in 6 cities, including San Mateo, Calif., Vancouver and Hong Kong. In those locations, it offers players the opportunity to freely explore a stage, and play together to fight zombies, aliens and undead pirates in a series of location-based VR experiences.“We believe this new medium is not about better movies or a more immersive game,” the company wrote in a blog post Monday. “It’s something else entirely, and we as an industry will need to learn from the best of both mediums — movies and gaming.”“Once the ecosystem around Sandbox begins to achieve critical mass, we expect that the technology will unlock a golden era of storytelling and interactive, immersive entertainment,” said the venture capital firm’s general partner Andrew Chen in a blog post Monday. “Some of this will look like gaming, some will look like film, and yet others will resemble music, documentaries — as well as other new, VR-native genres we’ve yet to invent, in much the same way people eventually moved beyond trying to redo plays in early movies. ”

Read More

VR Bumper Cars Attraction To Open In Germany This Spring

vrfocus | January 18, 2019

Location-based entertainment (LBE) attractions are starting to really push the level of variety they can offer customers, from comedy puzzle titles like The VOID’s Ralph Breaks VR to realistic simulators such as Paraflight VR. Now it’s time for a classic fairground attraction to get the virtual reality (VR) treatment, with a VR bumper cars attraction opening in Germany soon.The work of VR Coaster and Holodeck VR, the VR bumper cars attraction is called Steampunk VR Scooter and will be based at Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn in Heroldsbach near Nuremberg.The ride will take visitors into a Wild West-style Arena where they will compete against each other with retro-futuristic steam engines. Guests will not only compete with each other but also against giant robotic enemies, so to help them there are additional extras and upgrades that players can pick up.“With this world’s first VR Bumper Cars Attraction, we will once again open a new chapter in Location Based Virtual Reality.” says Prof. Thomas Wagner, Managing Partner of VR Coaster GmbH & Co. KG in a statement. “With the combined Know-How of the teams at VR Coaster and Holodeck VR, we were able to create an unprecedented, interactive VR experience, which holds some very exciting surprises!”

Read More

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