CES 2019: Rounding up the virtual and augmented headlines from the Vegas tech expo.
This week's instalment of Field of view is all about CES 2019. While the tech show in Vegas is usually dominated by huge TVs with even huger price tags, turning every appliance in your home smart and all of the robots, it's now also a place to show off the latest innovations in the VR and AR space too.
But there was so much more at the show so we reserved some space below for the rest of the news we think you'll want to know about too. No VR game or video to watch this week. We're all about the news. They'll be back next week. We promise.
Read this: News blips and tidbits
PSVR gets first official foot controller
3dRudder wants to make it easier to roam worlds while using the PSVR after unveiling its foot motion controller. It's the first officially licensed controller of its kind that will play nice with Sony's virtual reality setup letting you move forward, back, left, right and even rotate in 20 compatible PSVR games. The controller is priced at $119 and will start shipping in April 2019 if you want to give it a try. Check the video above to get a closer look at the PSVR peripheral.
NordicTrack VR bike is powered by a Vive Focus
The exercise equipment company unveiled its VR Bike that uses HTC's Vive Focus standalone headset to make working out less mundane. The effort you put into hammering those pedals is reflected in three specifically designed games that are designed for the smart exercise bike. There's also integration with connected fitness platform iFit letting you participate in trainer-led workouts. Through these sessions the bike will automatically adjust the bike’s incline, decline and resistance in response to personal trainer commands.
The VR Bike is going on sale in Summer 2019 for $1.999, which includes the Vive Focus and a 1-year iFit membership worth $396.
Audi brings VR into the backseat
Want to let your passengers dabble in some VR gaming? Well, that's exactly what Audi is hoping after showing off its in-car VR system that will let you play games, watch movies and more using a virtual reality headset. Audi has been demoing the setup with Marvel’s Avengers: Rocket’s Rescue Run, a prototype game running on an Oculus Rift used inside of its e-tron electronic cars. Interestingly, the experience showcases the ability to create content that reacts to the vehicle's movements in real time. So if the car accelerates, so does the ship in your virtual world. Audi Electronics is planning to roll out the platform to other carmakers and developers over the next three years.
Brain health assessments get the Magic Leap treatment
If you thought Magic Leap was just about gaming, then you'd be wrong. SyncThink, a neuro-technology company that uses eye tracking technology to help medical professionals assess brain health, is bringing its apps to the Magic Leap One platform. That means SyncThink will be able to use Magic Leap's tech to enhance these health assessments thanks to features like 3D real-world displays and in the future will also be able to explore gait and body position. The company will also make use of Magic Leap's platform to improve its own assessments improving the way it can carry out is assessments for injuries such as concussions.
Rokid brings AR and Fortnite together
Smartglasses were a hot topic at this year's CES. After showing off its enterprise eyewear in 2018, Chinese tech outfit Rokid is entering the consumer space with its Project Aurora AR specs. The headset doesn't have its own onboard computer instead relying on being powered by a host of compatible mobile devices including Android smartphones and even a Nintendo Switch.
Specs-wise, the Aurora glasses offer a 1280×720 high-resolution display, stereo speakers and dual depth cameras. It also supports six degrees of freedom tracking and promises a 40-degree field of view. The company was demoing the tech with a little game called Fortnite at the show, but as yet doesn't have details on pricing or when we might be able to floss in augmented reality.
Pimax 8K VR headset is ready to ship
After raising seriously big bucks (over $4 million) on Kickstarter and missing the promise to deliver in 2018, the makers of the Pimax 8K VR headset says it's finally ready to getting them out to backers in February. The headset, which pumps up the field of view and resolution beyond the Rift and the Vive also embeds Leap Motion technology to enhances its VR abilities. The Chinese company says it hopes to complete production in mid-January and finish shipping by the end of the month.