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We reported yesterday that Valve would be talking about VR, physics engines and more but now the company has confirmed exactly what it will be teasing at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015, and it has us very excited.
Valve will be showing off the final Steam Controller for its upcoming Steam Machine platform at GDC 2015, as well as its "previously-unannounced SteamVR hardware system". Valve also has plans to show "new living room devices" at GDC, which will most likely arrive as a slew of new Steam Machines. What has us excited however, is the idea of a full unveiling of its SteamVR platform.
GDC 2015 takes place between March 2-6 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.
Recently we told you about how Pebble are set to launch a new smartwatch featuring a color display, replacing its black and white e-paper technology.
Thanks to a leaked photo from Pebble's own servers by 9to5Mac, we're able to get a little more insight into how the color display will actually look. This smartwatch is rumored to feature a slimmer body, an updated OS and obviously the color display as seen above. Reports claim that this may be another e-paper display, said to help keep battery life long and stable.
With the full announcement to be completed tomorrow, we look forward to what is to come.
The wearables market will increase 38 percent year-over-year, reaching 70 million units in 2015, according to the Gartner research group. There is high interest among consumers, but penetration rate is still rather low - but could yield double-digit growth in the foreseeable future.
"We expect strong growth in wearables in 2015 with smartwatches and fitness bands and other trackers to reach nearly 70 million units, up 38 percent from 2014," said Annette Zimmerman, research director at Gartner, in a press statement. "However we don't see these devices replacing the smartphone in the next five years, rather they are a complementary device to the existing portfolio of devices."
During the 2015 CES show last month, Intel and other companies demonstrated hardware that can be used in future generations of wearables. Meanwhile, Samsung, Lenovo, Sony and other manufacturers will need to respond once the Apple Watch is released in April.
It looks like Pebble is about to unveil its new smartwatch very soon, with the smartwatch pioneer teasing that it is set to replace its black and white e-paper display smartwatch with a new model that will feature a color display, in just 3 days time.
The new smartwatch from Pebble will reportedly feature a color e-paper-style display that will sport an improved backlight that is also slightly wider. We should see Pebble also include a microphone, which will allow for some voice-activated features. The new display itself will reportedly be embedded into an enclosure that is thinner than its predecessor, but it won't be touch-capable, unfortunately.
When it comes to software, there are rumors that Pebble has been working with webOS on revamping Pebble OS. This should mean we can expect a totally fresh UI with new animations and a timeline view that will give you a better look at your notifications. The new Pebble smartwatch should be the same price, if not lower than its predecessor, which still costs $199.
The current smart wearable band market is led by Samsung, while the basic wearable band leader is Fitbit, according to the Canalys research group. The smart wearable band is considered any device able to run third-party applications, and the basic wearable band is unable to run apps.
"Samsung has launched six devices in just 14 months, on different platforms and still leads the smart band market," said Chris Jones, VP and principal analyst Canalys, in a statement published by Mobihealthnews. "But it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on [operating system] Tizen for its wearables."
Samsung, Fitbit, and other manufacturers will need to keep their sights set on Xiaomi, a surging smartphone manufacturer, which has also shipped more than 1 million non-smartwatch wearable Mi Bands.
With Sony pulling out of most of its markets and concentrating on mostly camera sensors and its PlayStation console, it should come as no surprise that the company is set to focus on its PS4-based VR headset, Project Morpheus, at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015.
Sony will be giving hands-on demos of its system, as well as more details on its plans for its VR headset. We don't know what Sony will be showing off exactly, as the company could surprise the world with an updated version of Project Morpheus, which is what I want to see. Almost like the DK2 to the DK1 from Oculus VR, as Oculus has even passed that with the latest Crescent Bay prototype.
We will be reporting about all things GDC 2015 as the event kicks off early next month in San Francisco.
Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games and the brain behind the Unreal Engine, has said that there are some insane things going on with VR right now, but a lot of them aren't being shown to the public.
Sweeney was interviewed recently, where he said that he expects VR hardware and headsets to double in quality every few years for the next decade. He added that it will reach a point in around 10 years from now, that it will be hard to tell the difference between the VR world, and the real-world that surrounds you right now.
Oculus VR is expected to launch its first consumer-ready version of the Oculus Rift sometime this year, which I'm sure we're going to hear more about at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) which kicks off in just a couple of weeks time.
Fitness tracker wearables and mobile apps are becoming popular among consumers trying to improve their lifestyles while become healthier - but manufacturers want to drive interest in wearables.
Most fitness trackers tend to vary in price from $49 for the Misfit Flash up to $250 for something like the Fitbit Surge - with additional hardware and software features being packed into the wearables.
Some of the mobile apps are just as accurate as their wearable counterparts, and using a smartphone is something more users are already familiar with. However, here is a bit of advice for consumers unsure if they are ready to make the plunge:
Apple will be able to rack up 20 million Apple Watch units sold by the end of the year, according to the CCS Insight analyst group.
Even though an estimated 7 percent of iPhone owners with devices able to support the watch plan to buy the wearable, Apple can expect to quickly become the leading smartwatch maker. If Apple successfully sells 20 million units by the end of the year, the company would control almost one-quarter of the wearable market.
"This highly anticipated smartwatch will create a frenzy of demand, catapulting it almost instantaneously to be the most successful smartwatch ever," according the report. "The current love affair affluent US consumers have with the iPhone guarantees a strong start for the Apple Watch in its home market."
The United States Patent & Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent that the iDevice maker filed all the way back in 2008 for a headset design that would see you use your iPhone as a VR headset.
The design resembles the Galaxy Note 4-powered Gear VR, where you slot your iPhone into a device that sits on your face, where you use an external controller that helps you navigate through menus and more when motion tracking doesn't cut it. This is just a patent that Apple has filed, so we don't know if it'll turn into something just yet.
But judging by the amazing things Oculus VR has been able to do, all without a consumer VR product on the market, we don't think it'll be long before Apple unveils its own VR or AR headset.