The original Oculus Rift development kit (or DK1) is no longer being manufactured by Oculus VR, with the company out of the necessary materials to produce more Rift DK1 units, according to a post on the /r/Oculus section of Reddit.
Oculus VR is "looking for alternate sources for the needed components", but doesn't have a time frame of when additional Rift units will be made available. The company will sell out of its inventory in each region, but once this happens it will halt sales in that particular region until it can deliver new orders to consumers.
Right now, Oculus VR is only selling and shipping Rift DK1 units to the following countries:
- United States
- Countries in the European Union
- South Korea
Not so surprisingly, /r/Oculus poster 'cybereality' said: "We never expected to sell so many development kits and VR only made this much progress with the community's support and enthusiasm. Even though we never wanted to sell out, it's a good problem to have -- Thank you!"
Mobile World Congress 2014 kicks off in Barcelona, Spain next week, and the latest rumor is that HTC will unveil a smartwatch at the event. The device in question would be powered by Qualcomm internals.
Considering Qualcomm has its own smarwatch in the Qualcomm Toq, this would be an interesting move for the struggling Taiwanese company to pull off. Bloomberg is behind the report, which states that the company might also show off a second smartwatch that would use the amazing powers of Google Now, as well as an "electronic bracelet that plays music". Next week should be quite hot with mobile and wearable devices, that's for sure!
We've heard a bit about Sony's venture into virtual reality, but nothing has entered actual reality just yet. Another tease is here, with an industry insider hinting that Sony would show off a VR headset for the PS4 at E3 2014 in June.
Ahsan Rasheed, or thuway on Twitter, posted on the social network: "Ugh I just got a bit of info I was sworn to secrecy on :-/. VR is going to be amazing. You will say KANDO". He continued: "Very interesting solutions, multiple prototypes, but the end product is Hnnnnng. Say hello to Gran Turismo 7", suggesting that Sony is indeed working on its own VR headset.
If you were excited with that news, prepare your VR underwear for the next bit: Rasheed also mentioned PS4 VR in one last final tweet, where he listed upcoming Sony projects:
Things to look forward to-
- 1. Drive Club updated footage
- 2. PS4 VR + SSM New IP
- 3. UC 4
- 4. Guerilla new IP
- 5. UC4
- 6. The Last Guardian
This is where things get inteersting, as Guerilla with a new IP working on VR would be quite the title, and so would The Last Guardian. SSM most likely refers to Sony Santa Monica, which is the development studio who made God of War and others.
Google is trying to stop people from making Glassholes of themselves in public with its wearable Glass device, so the Mountain View-based giant is now offering a list of "Do's" and "Dont's" of wearing Glass.
Google specifically asks Glass users: "Don't be creepy or rude (aka, a 'Glasshole')". Yes - Google even refers to "Glasshole", something I was quite shocked - but amused - to see. In the list of "Do's", Google wants you to take in the world around you, use Glass' voice commands, and Google wants you to "Ask for permission" while using Glass.
How so? Well, Google explains: "Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends (see Don'ts #4). The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others".
Samsung is expected to unveil a refreshed Galaxy Gear smartwatch at Mobile World Congress later this month, but the latest rumors hitting the Internet state that the new wearable device will feature Samsung's much-touted Tizen operating system.
Tizen is in a perfect position to land itself on smartwatches, with Samsung being one of the development partners on the OS. Samsung can scale Tizen down in terms of its feature set to better accommodate the new Galaxy Gear. If Samsung does go down this road, it won't mean it's abandoning its relationship with Google over Android, but it is spreading its wings and not using a full-blown mobile OS on a device that simply doesn't need it.
Women's clothing brand Topshop will use virtual reality technology to help give customers a unique way to access the upcoming Topshop Unique fashion run show. Topshop teamed up with London-based Inition, a company specializing in 3D graphics application development.
Using virtual reality for the Web-based stream provides a "new dimension" of traditional fashion shows, according to Topshop executives. Customers visiting the flagship London Topshop store and use a VR headset loaded with fashion footage, providing a customized, personal method to grab shopper attention.
"VR is the ultimate interface to the digital world with the power to transport the user to another place as soon as they put on a special display," said Andy Millns, Inition co-founder, in a statement. "This unique technology has the potential to open up fashion shows to the consumer at home and we believe this will be the first of many executions of this kind."
The use of virtual reality is transitioning from an over-the-top, unrealistic tech fad into something that provides businesses a chance to work with customers.
Virtual reality and augmented reality hardware and software products are changing the way users interact in the living room and at the PC. The Oculus Rift, Avegant Glyph, and smart glasses might get a lot of the attention from gamers, but VR and AR create potential for so many business and enterprise apps.
Smart glasses are being used as training tools for industry decision makers trying to embrace new technologies and cut prices, as the military, medical, and biotech companies show interest in VR.
As VR hardware continues to evolve, the bundled software also provides great opportunities for consumers and business users. Sixense's MakeVR 3D modeling software, which needs a 3D multi-touch interface, pushes the boundaries of the type of software that can be developed in the future. The MakeVR Kickstarter reached $56,000 of its $250,000 goal just three days after launch.
Moving forward, Oculus, Sony, Vuzix, Recon Instruments, Google, Meta, GlassUp, and other companies are helping drive innovation.
Pyle Audio, best known for its car, home and competition audio equipment, recently released its Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch (PSBTHR70) for consumers trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. The device can store 10 workouts or 100 lap records, easily transfer workout data to smartphones and Bluetooth-enabled devices, and will include overall distance covered.
Google Android and Apple iOS users can send workout data to services such as MapMyRun, RunKeeper or WahooFitness automatically. The Pyle Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch is available now for $69.99 MSRP, available in blue, black, green or pink.
"We've long been providing customers with high-quality home, pro and car audio products," said Abe Brach, Pyle Audio Vice President, in a press statement. "It was the natural next step to bring our decades of experience with personal technology products to the health and fitness market. During any workout either on land or in water the Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor and Watch is a must have."
Casual fitness wearables will see increased growth in 2014, because the technology is becoming easier to use, while the overall price tag drops.
During a recent interview with Bloomberg, HTC's chairwoman, Cher Wang, said that the company is working on a smartwatch to bring to market in 2014, and that work on the device has been slowed from issues with its battery as well as display problems. She did go on to say that HTC will launch a smartwatch by the holiday season if everything works out from here.
"Many years ago we started looking at smart watches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems," said Wang. She went on to echo HTC CEO in saying that the device needed to fill a specific need to be welcomed into day to day life, otherwise it would be yet another novelty gimmick. I think that HTC is doing this the right way and that taking the development process slowly will allow for a better end product and not just something that does the same stuff our smartphones and Bluetooth headsets already do.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) is currently beta testing Google Glass to see if the wearable product can help aid in criminal investigations and offer additional benefits to patrol officers.
Anyone is welcome to apply for the Google Glass Explorer Program, but testing from the NYPD and other major organizations will only help Google develop its product. However, while the NYPD is currently testing Glass, Google confirmed that it isn't actively helping the NYPD, so law enforcement will have to determine the best method to utilize the technology.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) also appears interested in Google Glass, as technology is increasingly embraced, with some officers already issued Samsung Galaxy S4 while out on patrol. The smartphone allows officers to easily run warrant checks and view mugshots instead of relying on police dispatch and in-vehicle systems. The SFPD hopes Google Glass will provide a similar method to easily accessing information, whether or not officers are near a patrol car.
During an interview with USA Today, John Carmack said that before he joined virtual reality outfit Oculus, he proposed a deal to both Oculus and ZeniMax Media - the parent company of id Software.
Carmack said that he would've joined the worlds of of ZeniMax's games, like the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order and Doom 4 to the Oculus Rift. Carmack said: "It would have been a huge win. It seemed like a sensible plan for me". The companies couldn't make an agreement though, which left Carmack "really sad," to which he added: "When it became clear that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id Software, I decided to not renew my contract".
Since November last year Carmack has been working full-time at Oculus VR, where he developing games for the Rift.
We continue to hear about Apple's iWatch, but nothing has materialized just yet - but this latest tease could make the iWatch stand out from the wearable crowd if it turns out to be true. The latest rumors, according to a report by The New York Times, could see the iWatch featuring new charging methods.
These charging methods include solar, inductive and motion charging - which could see the iWatch charged through charging pads, the Sun, or even the movement of your arm as you walk, or run. Apple's wearable device would still be in the prototype stage, but the company has hired a bunch of engineers that could see it become a reality sooner, rather than later. A change in the way it is charged could really change how people look at wearable devices.
It looks like both Acer and ASUS are preparing to enter the wearable device market, according to a report from Focus Taiwan. ASUS' chairman, Jonney Shih, said on Tuesday at ASUS' end-of-year party: "We will put our entire design thought into it. There are actually many challenges in this area, and I don't think products that lack special features will be useful. We'll try to replace your watch by all means". ASUS will most likely debut its smartwatch at Computex 2014 in Taiwan, in June.
What about Acer? It will launch its wearable devices in the second half of the year, with the company working on a wearable device that will have an option for a necklace-style piece.
Focus Taiwan adds that the wearable devices market will grow to $20.6 billion by 2018, with 191 million units shipped worldwide.
Google today confirmed its Google Glass will support prescription glasses, which has been the most requested feature by potential customers. As Google prepares to publicly launch Glass on a wide scale before the end of the year, providing prescription and additional fashion models will help entice customers that were sitting on the fence.
"This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move towards a wider consumer launch later in 2014," Google noted in a recently posted FAQ.
Vision care insurance provider VSP will also include Glass prescriptions, anticipating wider adoption of the next-generation wearable product. The Titanium line will include curve, split, bold and thin frame shapes, available for $225 each. Google is teaming up with Maui Jim to include Glass sunglasses, and consumers can expect to pay $150 for the sunglasses version.
As wearable electronics are expected take off over the next few years, Google hopes to help mold the industry as an early adopter of the technology. Partnering with insurance providers, sunglasses makers, and traditional glasses frame manufacturers should help give consumers a wider variety of different products to choose from.
Back in 2013, we saw wearable tech really take the center stage and bloom into an entire new industry, with smart watches, exercise bands, and even smart glasses launching. 2014 is poised to take wearable technology to the next level, and if a new product being developed in Japan is any indication, wearables are going to get much more personal in the very near future.
Pictured above is the "True Love Tester" bra, a piece of smart lingerie that is designed to thwart off sneaky companions who might try to unhook its clasps covertly while its wearer is distracted. Unfortunately, that task is much harder with a smart-bra than it is with traditional underwear. The True Love Tester bra features sensors that feed back information on its wearers heart rate to a smartphone which analyzes the data and will only release the clasps if the heart rate signature indicate "true love."
The accompanying app is able to discern from other strenuous, heart rate elevating activities such as running, shopping, eating spicy food, or even getting frightened while watching a scary movie. While this all sounds cool, the app does not simply release a locking mechanism on the bra, it apparently flings the cups open with much gusto, which means that technology like this could provide for some interesting scenarios when worn in public with ones significant other near by.
A new report from the Korean Times is suggesting that we might see Samsung release a direct competitor to Google's Project Glass before the end of the year. The report states that an unnamed Samsung official has confirmed that the company is currently working on a smart glasses product similar to Google Glass, and that it could arrive as early as September of this year pending any delays.
With smart glasses quickly becoming bigger than smart watches were in 2014, Samsung would be crazy to overlook the potential they have to brand yet another wearable electronic with its Galaxy brand. The Korean Times report states that Galaxy Glass would feature functionality almost identical to that of the Galaxy Gear, and would connect to a users smartphone and would let users make calls, search the internet, and record video. This is of course very similar to Google Glass, and I would not rule out a lawsuit down the road from either company claiming IP violations. Either way, competition in the smart glasses world is only a good thing for the consumer, and could drive down the currently sky-high prices.
Digital media experts who met in Hollywood late last week talked about the future of the porn industry, where movies and clips could be shot on wearable devices, such as Google Glass.
Thousands of people from multiple industries met at the W Hollywood Hotel for the XBIZ 360 conference, an event focused on the behind the scenes of the adult film industry. Owners from production companies were able to meet from people all across the world, where many of them agreed that the adult film industry has evolved into a corporate culture.
Miles Long, a director and cinematographer, was at XBIZ 360 on a panel to talk about the adult film industry, and whether it should embrace Ultra HD technology. He said: "It was great to have an intellectual conversation about this. I like this more than the tradition-style conventions".
One of the more important discussions held was a demonstration on how adult films could be viewed, and produced on a device like Google Glass. Porn superstar James Deen was on deck, showing how Google Glass can be used to shoot porn from a performer's point of view. I think we're going to see porn push ahead with Glass, and other wearables, as will other markets as they embrace the new point of view shooting style.
Everyone reading this knows that both the MPAA and Hollywood studios are quite nuts when it comes to piracy, and today we are finding out just how crazy they are. While attending a showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at an AMC movie theater in Columbus, Ohio, a man wearing Google Glass was removed from the theater and detained by the FBI for allegedly recording the movie.
The pair of Google Glasses were fitted with prescription lenses and the electronic side was completely switched off during the movie, but that did not stop a badge wielding official from removing the pair of glasses from the mans face followed by escorting him out of the theater. Once outside the man was met by several mall cops and the FBI who detained him and his wife in separate rooms and began demanding answers as to why he was recording the movie.
"About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says 'follow me outside immediately'. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops," the man said in an interview.
A California woman ticketed for reportedly driving while using the Google Glass eyeglass device recently had the ticket thrown out. Driver Cecilia Abadie was given a ticket under a citation that requires the officer to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Google Glass was on and being used at the time, but the officer wasn't able to offer definitive proof.
Abadie was initially pulled over for speeding by the California Highway Patrol in San Diego, California, when the officer noticed her wearing the Google Glass headset.
As smart glasses become more prevalent, this is an issue that could occur in states across the United States in the future. Legal analysts believe this ruling is important but won't set a future precedent as courts and lawmakers will try to ensure this type of future behavior is limited.
We've learnt quite a lot from Valve's developer-only Steam Dev Days conference, with VR being the focus of the second, and last day of the event. Oculus VR's founder, Palmer Luckey, was a key guest for its VR discussions, where he teased the future of VR.
Luckey said: "Valve's VR tech is the best virtual reality demo in the world right now". This is quite a statement from Luckey, considering his company just received $75 million in Series B funding for Oculus Rift. The specifications of what Valve and Oculus expect from a consumer VR headset for 2015 are very, very promising:
Feasible 2015 consumer HDM
- 20ms motion-to-last-photon latency
- 3ms pixel persistence
- 95 Hz refresh
- 110-degree FOV
- 1K x 1K resolution per eye
- High-quality, well-calibrated optics
- millimeter-accurate resolution translation
- quarter-degree-accurate rotation
- volume of roughly 2 meters cubed
Valve is holding its Steam Dev Days event, where it has invited developers to talk all-things Steam, but this includes virtual reality (VR), too. Valve showed off a VR prototype headset, to demonstrate where it wants to push VR which left people who used it blown away.
A few developers used it, and were blown away with the results. We have two tweets from David Hensley, who went to the Steam Dev Days, and their impressions should excite you. Hensley teases "It's going to be hard to go back to my #oculus dev kit after experiencing #valve's #vr demo. Kinda like playing an xbox then 8bit Nintendo".