In This Issue: CES 2017 and Veer VR app review

Reports from CES 2017

written by Jessica Lacombe,

Technology is always changing. To stay on top of things, we sent Joe and Lisa, VR KiX owners, and their friend Kris, to the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas. There was a little bit of everything present from drones to VR to auto manufacturers. Take a look at just a few of the standouts on their trip!

Take a seat! Honda's Dream Drive puts you in the seat of a Honda Pilot. They showcased their new in-car solutions using virtual reality!

Take a seat! Honda's Dream Drive puts you in the seat of a Honda Pilot. They showcased their new in-car solutions using virtual reality!

Honda was just one of many auto manufacturers at CES. The company came to show off their recent collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. They used Vive VR headsets to put users in the passenger seat of a Honda Pilot. The Honda Dream Drive project is intended to give passengers entertainment, education and general information while driving around. In the demo video that anyone can now view on YouTube, you can see where users select their personal interests and then are alerted to extra details and information when they are approaching a given location.

For example, the user in the demo selects eateries as an interest and sees info on a heads up display about coffee shop reviews as they are approaching. They can even make reservations! Honda intends for this to be used by passengers only at this time, and later by all occupants of the vehicle when autonomous driving becomes common.

There was no shortage of drones at CES, as companies were striving to show off their best work. From all the photos and information Joe provided upon his return, the real standout here, to me, was SkyViper's Drone Hunting Challenge.

A user controls the drone while another user armed with a CO2 ball gun tried to take it down!   

A user controls the drone while another user armed with a CO2 ball gun tried to take it down!

The exhibit let users arm themselves with a CO2 ball gun and asked them to shoot down drones for prizes. The take away? SkyViper Drones are durable, and this looks like a ton of fun! Skip to 1:45 to see it in action!

Osram presented their take on the future of car lights at CES using VR. By placing users in a virtual environment, they showed the work that they are doing with LiDAR, or light detection and ranging technology. The technology generates laser pulses that bounce off objects and return to the detector on the car.

OSRAM demo in progress at CES 2017

OSRAM demo in progress at CES 2017

The vehicle is then able to create a 3D rendering of the car's surroundings and can use this to determine driving conditions. This can then be used to alert drivers to something in the road that shouldn't be. Ultimately, they intend for it to be used when autonomous driving becomes popular, as it will help the on board computer determine when it should brake, turn, etc. They also have had success in creating headlights that will not glare and rear lights that use OLED to reduce energy consumption.

So you weren't able to make it to CES? Check out the video here. Remember to hit the "Cardboard" icon on the video to be able to view the video in your VR KiX.

VeerVR App Review

written and reviewed by Jessica Lacombe,

One of the more common questions we receive is where to find good content. This, of course, is going to be different for everyone. I prefer to watch cool videos and documentaries in VR. In my search for a recommendation, I found VeeR VR (iOS / Android) and now prefer it over most other VR video sources.

VeeR VR is a global VR video network that allows creators and consumers share and interact. Basically, it is a VR version of YouTube. Just like many video apps, VeeR allows you to create an account, save and comment on videos. The app allows you to view the content with or without a headset. If you are using the app with your VR KiX, remember to scan our QR code! (For more info on why the QR code matters, take a look back to issue 17's article on app optimization.)

I believe what sets them apart is the selection of high quality videos and points of view I have not seen anywhere else. Through their Activity tab, you can view updates from accounts that you follow as well as from VeeR VR themselves. They will publish the previous week's top 10 videos as well as grouping videos by theme. For example, check out their recent post of 10 adventures to try, including POV skydiving and speed racing. 

When browsing through videos you can sort them by top creator, featured playlists, trending content and categories. The categories include everything from horror to gaming to beauty. One of my personal favorite playlists right now is "Virtual Reality Abstract Art", but there is something on VeeR VR for everyone! 

Let me know what your favorite is and I'll check it out!