6th edition; RenderThat’s Weekly News Roundup

Welcome to RenderThat’s weekly roundup of the tech stories you need to know. This week, Hannover Messe kicked off in Germany with opening remarks from U.S. President Obama who later tried out VR headsets with Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was announced that stock videos will become a bit more interesting thanks to VR video. HTC is heavily investing in the world’s VR ecosystem with a new startup accelerator program, while Meta 2 launched an app store to provide content for its impressive AR device. Want to know more about what happened in this week’s tech news? Read on to find out.

HANNOVER MESSE: OBAMA AND MERKEL TEST OUT VR

Ever wanted to see a leader of the Free World wearing a VR headset? Some attendees of the Hannover Messe got to see just that when President Obama and Chancellor Merkel stopped by the ifm electronic exhibit. The world leaders got to check out PMD technologies 3D VR camera and ifm CEO Michael Marhofer explained how ifm develops products that are impacting Factory 4.0 industries. President Obama called VR a “brave new world” before handing the headset to Merkel to try.

“ifm’s innovations allow mass customization in manufacturing by utilizing a higher level of automation, better quality control and improved cost efficiencies.”

VR STOCK VIDEOS NOW AVAILABLE

Stock videos are about to get a lot less one-dimensional. VideoBlocks, a stock photo and video subscription service, will be offering customers 3D video in addition to their other products. In order to have a steady stream of content, they’ve partnered with companies such as DeepVR and Ovrture, and are open to other content providers who’d like to partner as well. For now, most of the dozen VR stock video clips in VideoBlocks’ subscription library feature 360-degree videos of New York and LA cityscapes. VR clips in the library start at $499.

“The company believes that most of its users will use these 360-degree videos for commercial work, YouTube videos and maybe inside some of their apps.”

HTC INVESTS $100M IN VR STARTUP ACCELERATOR

It turns out the HTC Vive wasn’t enough for the technology company; HTC announced that it is investing $100M to help VR startups grow globally. Startups with VR-related products such as accessories, software apps, and content will be able to take part in this global accelerator. The fund, called Vive X, will have offices in Beijing, Taipei, and San Francisco. This large investment shows how serious HTC is about helping create an international VR ecosystem for the public masses.

“[…] while the company is known more for its mobile phone products, by some accounts the Vive offers the best overall VR experience of all the VR headsets currently available. That likely won’t be enough to make the device a success, but by plunging $100 million into companies supporting the device, it may improve its chances.”

META 2 AR DEVICE LAUNCHING AN AUGMENTED REALITY APP STORE

What do you do if you’ve developed an AR system that relies on content? Well, if you’re augmented reality company, Meta, you decide to launch an app store to ensure there’s a steady amount of good content available for your users. Meta will let third-party developers sell apps in their store that will create experiences for users. The Meta 2, a mixed-reality system, will go on sale in the third quarter of 2016, with the app store coming soon, if not at the same time.

“Currently a tethered headset, the Meta 2 lets users control all kinds of digital information with just their hands, while also providing a high-quality, wide-field-of-view holographic display.”

POKEMON RELEASES AUGMENTED REALITY MOBILE GAME

Pokémon has been trying to find a hit in the mobile gaming space, and it seems augmented reality may have provided the answer. The Pokémon Company has launched a new game called, Pokémon Go. By using AR and GPS technology, the game lets users stroll along in the real world capturing pocket monsters hiding in public for collection.

“While Pokémon Go represents a big release for its publisher, gamers are also hoping that it will deliver an exciting new way to interact with the franchise.”