Here’s what’s new in the world of VR:
CaptoGlove, a wearable controller for PC, mobile, and smart devices, has passed its original Kickstarter goal of $50,000, with plenty of time left to go. Originally designed as a tool to aid and measure physical rehabilitation after the inventor’s father suffered a stroke 6 years ago, CaptoGlove enters the tech world not only as a new way to play games, but as a controller with endless possibilities. What makes CaptoGlove such a key innovation is the fact that its algorithms make it immediately compatible with any PC, smartphone or VR system that allows Bluetooth connectivity, without the user having to do anything more than connect it. It doesn’t require any additional hardware such as external sensors or cameras, and it doesn’t need any special software to work. Even better still, the creators have future developments for CaptoGlove planned, including haptic feedback incorporation and integration with the Vive tracker for HTC Vive (the platform AGP Comics’ GUNSUITS VR experience is being developed for). With still 10 days to go as of this posting, CaptoGlove may even hit its stretch goal of $125,000 (currently the campaign has earned a little over $75,000) which would allow the creators to install pressure sensitivity into the thumb of the glove. Units are expected to begin shipping as early as May or June of this year.
Following the release of Xbox Scorpio’s specs last week, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has gone on record saying the company’s approach to VR will be “open and inclusive.” In an interview with Gamasutra, Spencer noted that he disliked the fact that VR developers currently have to choose which platform they’re developing for. Valve has also echoed his comments about not wanting to limit content developers to a single platform the way Oculus has with its exclusivity deals. Spencer confirmed that developers will not have to sign any exclusivity agreements in order to develop their games on Scorpio.
Virtual Reality Industry Report
Greenlight Insights, in partnership with Road To VR, released a 108 page report detailing their analyses and predictions for the VR industry as a whole this week. In the report, Greenlight Insights notes that while they predict fairly modest growth in the short term ($7.2 billion for 2017), they anticipate that by 2021 VR will be a major global industry, earning $74.8 billion in global revenues. They also predict that while the demand for VR equipment will push hardware creators to make both head-mounted displays (HMDs) and computers with the capability of supporting VR content less expensive, there will still be a growth in location-based entertainment centers – basically, arcades where people can experience VR without owning all of the equipment. These facilities will be able to provide users with more expensive accessories such as haptic feedback suits and other sensory simulators, and Greenlight Insights forecasts that these centers will be a billion-dollar segment of the industry by 2021.
Check back every week to see what’s new in VR content and technology!