Surf the VR Web With Supermedium

To make virtual reality (VR) more accessible and suitable for a wider audience companies like Mozilla are developing more WebVR support for head-mounted displays (HMDs), allowing them to utilise more of the internet. Recently, three of the original Mozilla VR team that started the WebVR initiative branched away from the company to build a VR browser for web-based VR content, Supermedium.

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Available as a free download from the Supermedium website, the VR browser allows either HTC Vive or Oculus Rift users to access a few dozen curated VR sites at present with more to be added weekly. Currently Supermedium doesn’t allow access to traditional 2D content but that will be added further on down the line.

One of the biggest benefits of WebVR are the load times for content. As the team explain in a blog posting: “A typical native VR application is several or dozens of gigabytes large, takes a minute or two to boot, and costs $20. On Supermedium, you can click a link in Supermedium and within a few seconds, you can be painting in A-Painter, shooting asteroids in Space Rocks, or be on the sea train from Spirited Away. Have a go at a VR experience for a minute or two, and move onto something else if you want.”

Supermedium multi image

The Supermedium team is made up of Kevin Ngo, Diego Marcos and Diego Goberna. They’ve also announced they’re part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 startup batch, using the programmes mentorship, support, and network to help build their startup.

“The Web breathes freshness and diversity into the VR content ecosystem. A VR site could be a bite-sized meme, a low fidelity game, a small store, a wedding page, an educational outing quickly thrown together for some students, or something taboo,” adds the team. “Experiences that would otherwise not make it past the app store standards. With the Web, everything is permitted.”

For further updates on WebVR and accessing immersive content online, keep reading VRFocus.

 

Source: Surf the VR Web With Supermedium

Pepsi Go Back Takes VR Users Through Time And Pepsi Commercials

What do you watch the Super Bowl for? That’s right, the commercials. And if anything can get us excited for commercials it’s football, followed swiftly by virtual reality (VR), and this year Pepsi are going to take us on a trip through history. The history of Pepsi commercials at least. And while you can see the new Pepsi commercial at the Super Bowl, you’re sure to enjoy it much more in VR.

Pepsi Go Back is a WebVR experience that will take you on a journey through time and space, and shares with users Pepsi’s most iconic moments. VR takes the experience one step further and makes users feel as if they were there.

The experience was created in partnership with Google, and more details are revealed on the Google blog, where Group Creative Director of the Google Brand Unit, Suzana Apelbaum, explains the experience and what users can expect.

Going from a Back to the Future DeLorean to 1992’s Cindy Crawford commercial Halfway House Cafe, and through history, the experience will bring users closer to the brand, continuing the growing trend we’ve seen with brands gravitating towards VR to market their products.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen VR and Pepsi collide – a few years ago we saw Pepsi in Japan using VR to advertise their Pepsi Strong product.

You can watch the Pepsi Go Back VR experience right here, and you can view it with any WebVR compatible device, opening users on a variety of head-mounted displays (HMDs) to view the experience, including Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream users. You can also view the experience in desktop browsers that support WebVR, but without a VR HMD you’re going to have to deal with viewing the experience in 2D – sorry!

Anyone actually attending the Super Bowl in Minneapolis can visit a Pepsi Generations Live booth for a demo with a Google Daydream unit. Nothing quite like seeing Super Bowl commercials at the big game itself!

As more brands release VR experiences and apps in order to enhance their brands, you’ll hear about it first right here, so make sure to keep reading VRFocus.

 

Source: Pepsi Go Back Takes VR Users Through Time And Pepsi Commercials

Kaon Fuels Enterprise WebVR Adoption

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Kaon Fuels Enterprise WebVR Adoption

Kaon Interactive, the leading provider of 3D marketing and sales applications for global B2B brands, today announced that its 3D product and solution experiences are now available in WebVR using the Microsoft Edge and other WebVR supported browsers upon their release. With the recent release of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Kaon Interactive is driving early WebVR adoption in the B2B space, deploying over 5,000 3D product models and dozens of VR experiences readily available to millions of customers, sales teams and channel partners globally.

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In October 2017, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was released, and the era of Windows Mixed Reality began as headsets and motion controllers become widely available, enabling low-cost, immersive WebVR experiences in Microsoft Edge.

Experience WebVR here (3D Product Tour) in Microsoft Edge with a Windows Mixed Reality headset.

Experience WebVR here (Immersive VR) in Microsoft Edge with a Windows Mixed Reality headset.

“Until now, WebVR has been limited in its availability,” said Joshua Smith, CTO and Founder of Kaon Interactive. “Browser support of high-end VR headsets has taken a long time, and with Edge and Microsoft Mixed Reality, Microsoft has finally delivered what enterprises need to make compelling VR experiences available to their customers on the web.”

Deployed on the Kaon High Velocity Marketing Platform, Kaon VR® (virtual reality) fully immerses users in a digitally simulated environment (such as a virtual data center or a virtual diagnostics laboratory) on an extendable, scalable, reusable VR platform. Not only can users explore virtual 3D Products Models, but they can also configure the space and equipment in real-time, showing how a solution can be personalized and modified to solve their business or technical challenges.

Kaon Interactive has a 20-year head start on other VR technology providers, because of its extensive B2B global customer base (such as Cisco, IBM, GE, Siemens, HPE, Abbott, and BD) that have been using photo-realistic, 3D interactive digital product models and solution storytelling applications for years. Since the addition of Kaon VR to the High Velocity Marketing Platform in January 2017, existing customers’ 3D product models have be viewed in virtual reality using virtual reality systems like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HTC Vive, as well as on mobile devices using Google Daydream. Now these experiences are available online via WebVR.

“Global enterprises are looking for innovative ways to better connect and engage with prospects and customers on an emotional level. Our platform transcends the traditional way that marketing and sales applications are created and deployed, resulting in highly effective user experiences. Kaon’s customers are passionate about what our solutions do for them,” remarked Gavin Finn, President & CEO of Kaon Interactive. “Microsoft Edge is leading the market in WebVR for both the enterprise and the consumer. It is facilitating immersive web experiences for B2B marketers on high performance VR headsets, amplifying their customers’ receptiveness to the company’s differentiated value propositions across the entire customer lifecycle.”

About Kaon Interactive
Kaon Interactive is a B2B software company. Kaon’s interactive sales and marketing applications simplify complex product and solution stories in a visually engaging way anywhere, anytime, turning prospects into customers. The company’s interactive 3D sales and marketing applications transform product and solution marketing content into visual storytelling experiences to deepen customer engagement, reduce marketing expenses and accelerate the sales cycle. More than 5,000 Kaon Interactive applications are being used worldwide at trade shows, remote sales demonstrations, product launches, executive briefing centers, and websites by leading global product manufacturing companies.

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Google’s Experiment With Web-Based Augmented Reality

Google reveals new prototype that lets you share interactive augmented reality assets online.

Reza Ali and Josh Carpenter work on Google’s Daydream WebXR team—a group working to integrate more virtual and augmented reality elements into everyday web browsing. Their latest breakthrough is called Article.

According to a blog post published by Ali and Carpenter earlier this week:

Article is a 3D model viewer that works for all browsers. On desktop, users can check out a 3D model…by dragging to rotate, or scrolling to zoom. On mobile the experience is similar: users touch and drag to rotate the model, or drag with two fingers to zoom in.

In essence, Article wants to make sharing AR models as simple and addictive as posting GIFs and JPEGs. It places complicated 3D designs into a “magic window” of sorts that enables and encourages interactivity. Article assets will tilt subtly as you scroll, inviting you to tap and swipe to your hearts content.

The desktop model viewing experience.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. If your Android phone is capable of running Google’s ARCore software, a new button will appear in the article window—pressing it launches ARCore. And just like that, the model you were rotating with your finger is now rendered into your actual environment.

Article’s AR interface as viewed on an AR-capable tablet.

Google knows that we’re still living in an age where most AR moments are happening through the magic mirror of a smartphone. That’s why Article is being positioned as an artery to connect a typical online discovery to an actual AR experience.

Moving and rotating the model.

If this new prototype can get readers stumbling across a new interactive asset, firing it up in ARCore, having a good time and then sharing it easily with their friends, then that would be a huge win for Google’s dream of creating a more augmented society.

Ali and Carpenter allude to exactly this in their blog’s final paragraph:

There’s vast potential for AR on the web—it could be used in shopping, education, entertainment, and more. Article is just one in a series of prototypes, and there’s so much left to explore—from using light estimation to more seamlessly blend 3D objects with the real world, to adding diegetic UI annotations to specific positions on the model. Mobile AR on the web is incredibly fun right now because there’s a lot to be discovered.

Like most Google prototypes, Article should be taken with a grain of salt. It may get updated, improved and widely released. It may be shuttered completely. Or it may disappear for a few years and then reemerge with a new name and new features.

The important bit of this experiment is that it shows just how seriously Google is taking its mission to make immersive technology a part of our everyday online experiences.

Image Credits: Alphabet, Inc. 

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