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Oculus Connect is currently underway in Los Angeles, with Oculus VR announcing the latest prototype of the Rift, known as Crescent Bay. Crescent Bay features numerous improvements and new tricks even over the just-released, and still-shipping Rift DK2 unit, such as 360-degree head tracking.
Not only do we have 360-degree head tracking (which is done by having sensors on the back of your head, something completely new), but we have a higher resolution screen (no exact numbers, but most reports and hands-on use point to it being better than Samsung's Gear VR which uses the QHD or 2560x1440 panel from the Galaxy Note 4), lower latency, and a built-in headset.
Crescent Bay has been working out, dropping a little weight, with Oculus providing improved ergonomics so it feels better when wearing it, and with the integrated audio, 3D audio can now be something big thanks to Oculus' collaboration with licensed technology from the University of Maryland, and RealSP. Oculus' Brendan Iribe explains: "We're working on audio as aggressively as we're working on the vision side". For the various reports on the latest VR headset from Oculus, most have said that it is much closer to what is expected from CV1 (the first consumer, or retail Rift).
There's no word on whether Oculus will release a DK3 to the public, but with Crescent Bay offering up so many new things (360-degree head tracking and 3D positional audio are big new features on their own) so we shouldn't be surprised with another Developer Kit.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - There were two stations to play with the Oculus Rift and Maxwell-powered GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 GPUs at NVIDIA's Editor's Day 2014, with the first being the EVE: Valkyrie station, and the second Epic Games' "Car Flip" VR demo. It's hard to explain, so watch the video below.
As you can see, it's an on-rails VR demo that plays out in slow motion, with a blend of 'The Matrix' meets 'F.E.A.R.'. It was one of the more impressive demos I've witnessed, and while there's nothing you can do during the game with it being on-rails, the experience is like nothing else. Watching bullets fly past you makes you feel like you're in The Matrix, and watching the explosions take place in front of you while the car flips over you, is simply awesome, there's no other word to explain it.
Samsung has been supplying Apple with quite a number of parts for its devices over the years, but it looks like it won't be involved with the AMOLED displays for Apple's upcoming Watch, according to DigiTimes.
The site is reporting that LG Display has won the contract, with around five million displays a month being shipped to Apple for its Watch. Over the course of 2015, Apple expects to sell a mammoth 50 million Watches, meaning Samsung has lost out on a considerable chunk of manufacturing profits for the AMOLED panels, with LG picking up some big business.
Samsung may have Oculus powering its Gear VR headset, but what about Apple users? Fear not, as AirVR has just hit Kickstarter, requesting $20,000 in funds to convert your iPad mini (Retina) or iPhone 6 Plus into a VR headset.
All you have to do is slot in your Retina iPad mini or iPhone 6 Plus into the AirVR, something that costs just $49, for portable, iOS-powered VR goodness. Metatecture is behind AirVR, which will go on sale 'early 2015'. The Kickstarter campaign explains: "AirVR brings the magic of Virtual Reality with you everywhere you go. Ditch the tangle of cables and experience VR anywhere in the world".
When Apple announced its first wearable, Watch, people were excited for a good reason. It's Apple's first wearable, and it is a great offering in the same-old-same-old wearable market we see materializing in front of us right now. Well, now there's rumors of the Watch 2, already.
Reuters is behind the rumor, talking with its "insider sources" on the upcoming successor to Watch, Watch 2. Reuters' sources say that development of Watch 2 is well under way, but beyond that there's not much to report on. Health and fitness activities will continue to be the cornerstone of the Watch, and its successor, which is something we can take away from this.
Apple seem to be covering the entry into the smartwatch market with Watch, with its successor probably drilling into the areas it does well, and improving on the things it doesn't. Health and medical experts aren't too sold on Watch right now, but Apple is probably taking all of their opinions and recommendations on board, mixing it into the melting pot for Watch 2. But the question remains: with the rumors of a successor to the Watch being talked about months before Watch is even released, would most people skip Watch to wait for Watch 2?
We're much closer to see Oculus VR to release its consumer version of its Rift VR headset compared to before, but some of us may get early access of those VR headsets as the company plans for a public beta of these units by April 2015.
As one would expect from a beta, the distribution of these units will be very limited to a certain number of users initially. Its assumed that Oculus is going to use this opportunity to check if the consumers will be interested to own such a headset by having a limited launch. It is said that Oculus will send its public BETA headsets in the similar way how Google launched its public beta for Google Glass. The criteria to qualify for getting a public beta headset is unknown for now.
The specification of these consumer-final version has significant improvements over the Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 version. The consumer version will have a significant increase in resolution compared to the dev kit's 1080p. To add further, the refresh rate is expected to be 90Hz or higher. As one would expect, Oculus really wants its Rift headset to provide the best virtual-reality experience you can provide.
For over a year, rumors have circulated about Apple's iWatch, but now we know the official deal: it's the Watch. No 'i', just Watch. Tim Cook has just unveiled it, with Watch featuring a square display with curved edges, and much more. Watch requires the iPhone, as it will not work with any other device.
Cook said: "An entirely new product. We believe this product will redefine what people expect from its category. I am so excited and I am so proud to share it with you this morning." Watch will be available in silver, gold and an 18-karat gold edition. Different straps will be offered for Watch, too.
When Cook announced Watch, he said that "Apple Watch is the most personal device we've ever created". But Watch isn't just a watch, it is "also a comprehensive health and fitness device".
A few days ago we were introduced to the Samsung Gear VR headset, a mobile VR headset that is powered by the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. Oculus VR, the makes of the Oculus Rift, were instrumental in the design, technology and path of the Gear VR, but now you can pre-order the headset for yourself, at $249.
The Gear VR uses the 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED panel as its display, which should provide a clearer picture than the Full HD-based Oculus Rift DK2 unit. The pre-orders were spotted on Mobile Fun, with the retailer defining itself as a 'Samsung Authorized Dealer'. We don't know when Gear VR will launch, but I think we'll see the start of it next month.
Intel has unveiled the My Intelligence Communication Accessory (MICA), a luxury smart bracelet that will be available at Barney's in time for Christmas. The bracelet has water snakeskin and semi-precious gems in a design that features a touchscreen display for wearers to interact with.
The only hardware features currently available from Intel is that it includes a 3G cellular radio. However, it will support SMS messaging, messages sent to the bracelet and calendar reminders from your mobile phone.
"The wearables market currently exists in two categories - sports wearables that track performance and wearables that are pretty much a cell phone crammed into a small space," said Aysegul Ildeniz, Intel new devices VP, in a recent interview. "We have to grow the pie collectively. We need to go after audiences not addressed currently by wearables and make them much more aesthetically pleasing."
Samsung unveiled its Gear VR headset at IFA 2014 yesterday, its new VR headset that it worked closely with Oculus VR on. The Gear VR requires the newly-announced Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to work, with our man on the ground at IFA 2014 taking a closer look.
One of the big benefits of the Gear VR is that it is completely wireless, compared to the multiple cables that require the Oculus Rift to work. There's one that is strapped to the Rift itself, then multiple other cables that need plugging in (two from the positional tracking camera), one for power, and a USB port.