Getty Images dives deeper into VR with Olympics plan and more

xiaomi vr news version 1469786332 headset
Amaviael/123RF
With an increasing number of consumers strapping on virtual reality (VR) headsets to explore worlds beyond their own, more and more creators are hatching plans to feed the content-hungry platform.

Take Getty Images. The photo agency wasted little time in getting involved, last year launching its first 360-degree images specifically for the Oculus Rift. The Seattle-based firm said at the time it planned to offer “enchanting creative stills alongside some of the world’s biggest moments in news, sports and entertainment.”

A year on and the company has just reaffirmed its commitment to the platform, on Tuesday announcing the launch of the Getty Images Virtual Reality Group, a new part of its global operation dedicated to the creation and distribution of VR content through its massive stock agency and other channels. At launch the group offers more than 12,000 360-degree images, Getty said.

As part of its efforts to stay ahead of the VR curve, the agency also revealed plans to equip every Getty Images photographer attending the upcoming Rio Olympics with a 360-degree camera to offer sports fans a more immersive visual experience of the Games’ major events.

Commenting on the company’s efforts, CEO Dawn Airey said that while the technology is still in its infancy, “we can expect to see VR become a leading tool for visual storytelling.” Airey added that research data suggests more than 14 million VR devices could be sold this year alone, a figure that means “we are only on the cusp of what will be a tectonic plate shift in VR.”

In another VR-related move just last month, Getty Images and Google announced a partnership that’ll see the photo agency start supplying hi-res immersive content from current events around the world for Google Expeditions, a VR platform that lets students visit faraway places without leaving the classroom.

With the growing VR crowd constantly on the lookout for new content, initiatives by a growing number of outfits, Getty Images among them, mean the trickle of new experiences could soon turn into a torrent, a development that may persuade curious consumers without a headset to finally dive in and give VR a go.

Virtual Reality

HTC’s stand-alone Vive Focus Plus will be out in April, and it won’t be cheap

The HTC Vive Focus Plus is set to release on April 15 to commercial businesses and developers. The stand-alone headset features the "six degrees of freedom" system, and includes hazard-tracking protection.
Gaming

PlayStation’s first State of Play event includes Iron Man VR announcement

Sony held the first PlayStation State of Play video presentation on March 25 and it featured the announcement of Iron Man VR for PlayStation VR. The game is scheduled to arrive this year.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Computing

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.
Photography

Sony’s latest sensor is stacked, backlit, and equipped with a global shutter

Say this five times fast: Backlit, stacked, global shutter sensor. Sony managed to cram all three technologies into one sensor. The result is a high-speed sensor with a higher resolution without sacrificing low-light quality.
Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Photography

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Photography

Photography News: Meet the beer that processes film and the first pinhole zoom

Who knew the photography world need film-processing beer and a zooming pinhole lens? Find them among the oddities announced in this week's photography news. SuperEight is a beer with the acidity and Vitamin C ideal for developing film.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Photography

Sony a9 camera gets even better as new firmware brings A.I.-powered autofocus

The speedy Sony a9 is a download away from more accurate autofocus. New firmware version 5.0 for the Sony a9 brings artificially intelligent autofocus modes to the action-oriented camera, as well as a boost to image quality with updated…