Friday, November 25, 2016

DEALS: Save $290 on this Oculus Rift bundle!

The previous $999 deal for the Oculus Rift bundle is gone, but this bundle is still available and the savings are almost as good.

VLC becomes the first major video player to add built-in support for 360 photos and videos

VLC by VideoLAN is one of the most popular video players, and it will become the first to add built-in support for 360 photos and videos.  360 support will be built into to VLC 3.0, which will be available for all platforms.  In the meantime, if you want to see a preview of its 360 capabilities, you can download the standalone VLC 360 for Windows or Mac here.

Thank you very much to Jim Jensen for bringing this to my attention!

DEALS: the lowest cost spherical 360 cameras at $140 to $160

Here are the lowest-priced spherical 360 cameras, while supplies last:

1. LG 360 Cam (regularly $199, now $139.99)
Summary: highest resolution 360 photos for this price range. 16mp photos stitched in-camera. Videos are not bad at 2k resolution (2880x1440). Compatible with both iOS and Android. My in-depth review here:
Price: $139.99 at Amazon here: LG G5 Friends 360 CAM LG-R105

2. Insta360 Nano (regularly $199, now $159.99)
Summary: the best video quality at this price with near-4k quality (3040x1520). Photo resolution is not very high (also 3040x1520) but they loook sharp, bright and vibrant. Best 360 wireless livestreaming. Photos and videos are stitched in-camera but need to be converted to jpg and mp4 for sharing. App requires iPhone 6 series or 7 series. My in-depth review here:

3. Elecam 360 ($159.99)

Summary: photo resolution 3008 x 1504, video resolution 1920 x 960

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DEALS: $200 off HTC Vive!!!

For Black Friday only, you can get the HTC Vive from Microsoft Store for $699 ($100 discount) PLUS $100 Microsoft Store credit! It's like getting the Vive for $200 off!!! Here's the link: 

Ricoh Theta VR contest winners announced!

Ricoh announced the winners of its most recent contest. The contest was different from past Theta contests because the emphasis was on spherical photos and videos, which are intended for viewing on a VR headset, as opposed to flat 360 photos such as tiny planet photos.

Black Friday Oculus Rift + PC bundle just $999!

Amazon is offering an exceptional deal on an Oculus Rift bundle: a VR-ready PC with an Oculus Rift for just $999! But the deal is only until tonight at midnight (PST) on Thanksgiving Day.  Here is the deal:

CYBERPOWERPC Oculus Ready GXiVR8020A Gaming Desktop & Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset Bundle

The Cyberpower-built PC meets the minimum specs for a VR-ready PC with an i5-6402P quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon RX 480 (4GB) graphics card. It also has a 1TB HDD, six USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports (more than enough for the Rift, Touch and even extra sensors). Oculus'exclusive asynchronous spacewarp (ASW) technology ensures that even with a relatively modest setup, you will gwt smooth framerates with the Rift.

Normally, the PC by itself sells for $700 and the Rift sells for $600. The special bundle price saves $300.

DEALS: Complete list of the 265 HTC Vive games on sale for Black Friday!

There's a huge Black Friday sale going on for HTC Vive games (soon to be compatible with Oculus Rift as well) at the Steam Store.  Here is the complete list, arranged by game rating.

Ricoh Theta adds interval composite and other features

The Ricoh Theta app and firmware have been updated to add an "interval composite" feature, white balance with specific color temperature, and a "My Settings" custom mode.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The first two smartphones with built-in fully spherical 360 cameras

Here are the world's first two smartphones with built-in fully spherical 360 cameras.

MySight360: a wearable lifelogging 360 camera with stabilization and 4k resolution

MySight360 is a hemispherical 360 with a wearable design and electronic stabilization for lifelogging and hands-free operation.  Check out the sample videos!

Gary the Gull: a new interactive VR experience by a Pixar writer and director

Gary the Gull is a new VR experience directed by 18-year Pixar veteran Mark Walsh, available for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR.  Gary the Gull features a talking seagull as the eponymous star of the show.  It's an interactive VR experience where the dialogue is driven by the user's reactions such as nodding yes or shaking their head for "no." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DEALS: Oculus Rift Black Friday sale: $100 Oculus Store credit; plus other deals

Starting around November 24*, you will receive $100 Oculus Store credit when you purchase an Oculus Rift (reviewed here) from Best Buy, Amazon, and Microsoft Stores in the US and Canada. Oculus said similar deals will also be made available in the UK (from GAME) in Germany (from Saturn), and France (from FNAC).

NBA 2kVR is the first licensed sports game for VR

NBA 2kVR is the first licensed sports game for VR and it launched today for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Playstation VR

Kandao Obsidian is a 3D 360 camera with 4k video @ 60 fps

Obsidian is a 3D 360 camera with six lenses, and is one of the cameras to receive CES 2017 Best of Innovation award in the Digital Imaging category.​

VR helps yacht builder reduce time and materials cost by 15%

Yacht builder Vripack is a proponent of VR, and has already used it to gain a competitive advantage.

Playstation VR can run some HTC Vive games through Trinus

You can now use your Playstation VR to play some HTC Vive games on the Steam Store, using Trinus PSVR.

DEALS: 360 Fly 4k camera $100 off!

The 360 Fly 4k is available for $100 off at Amazon, at $399 instead of $499 (a 20% discount)!

The 360 Fly 4k is a hemispherical 360 camera and is one of the few 360 cameras that is actionproof (dustproof, shockproof, and water-resistant).  It can also livestream in 360 wirelessly.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force become the next officially Daydream-ready phones

Motorola announced that its Moto Z ($699) and Moto Z Force ($720) phones will be getting Android 7.0 Nougat this week.  With Android 7.0, Moto Z and Moto Z Force will become Google Daydream ready.

Monday, November 21, 2016

360 video sharing site Vrideo is shutting down

Vrideo is a platform for sharing 360 videos and today they announced that they are shutting down.

TECHNIQUE: Free website for adding your logo to a 360 photo

Mouse using world's smallest VR system

You've probably seen the video of a chimpanzee using a VR headset.  Now check out this video of a mouse using a VR system.

Modest hardware requirements for Windows 10 VR Headsets could bring VR to the masses

The minimum hardware required to run Microsoft's VR headset appear to be the most modest among desktop VR systems and might allow VR to become available to the masses.

DEALS: $100 discount on HTC Vive on Black Friday plus other deals!

If you've read the glowing reviews of the HTC Vive (reviewed here) and have just been waiting for a good deal on it, your patience has been been rewarded!  For Black Friday, you can get a $100 discount off the HTC Vive and you won't even have to line up for it (unless you want to)!   Here are the retailers offering this discount, plus 50% discount on select HTC Vive games and apps.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Nikon Keymission 360 low light sample photos and videos

My kids and I went to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.  I took some 360 videos and photos with the Nikon Keymission 360 (reviewed here).