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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 2

Oculus founder says Nintendo's Virtual Boy 'hurt' the VR industry

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 12, 2016 4:38 am

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has been giving some golden nuggets of information thanks to his AMA session on Reddit, where he even referenced the failed Virtual Boy from Nintendo.

 

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Palmer responded to a Reddit member asking on his comment for the Virtual Boy, where he said that it doesn't qualify as true VR. Palmer said the Virtual Boy had "[no] head tracking, low field of view, [and was] essentially a monochrome 3DTV". He added that the Virtual Boy failing was a "real shame, too, because the association of the Virtual Boy with VR hurt the industry in the long run".

 

Palmer did say one positive thing about Nintendo's 'VR' device, is that "It did have the first LED display in a consumer device, though - probably the best contrast of any display up to that point!"

 

During the AMA, Palmer said Oculus is against jump scares in VR, but he also said that the PlayStation VR isn't as high-end as the Oculus Rift, too.

Oculus founder on PlayStation VR: 'isn't quite as high-end' as Rift

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 12, 2016 12:51 am

Palmer Luckey, the flip flop wearing founder of Oculus, has come out slamming the PlayStation VR during his Reddit AMA. During the AMA, he also said that jump scares in VR are "such a cheap way to get a reaction in VR".

 

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Talking with the International Business Times, Luckey said that PlayStation VR isn't as high-end as the Rift. He said: "It's also worth noting that their headset isn't quite as high-end as ours - it's still, I think, a good headset - and the PlayStation 4 is not nearly as powerful as our recommended spec for a PC". I agree, the PS4 just isn't anywhere near as powerful as a PC - and so the PlayStation VR will suffer in some way.

 

He continued, saying that the PlayStation VR itself is good, but the Rift is better quality - as it requires a better PC than what the PS4 contains, hardware wise. He continued: "I think that there's not many people who already own a PS4 who don't own a gaming PC who are going to go out and make that roughly $1,500 all-in investment in the Rift. It really is a separate market. They're bringing virtual reality to a different group of people who I don't think were ever really a part of our market anyway".

Oculus warns developers against using jump scares on the Rift

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 12, 2016 12:30 am

With the release of the Oculus Rift now cemented on March 28, Palmer Luckey has been doing some damage control - an AMA on Reddit.

 

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Luckey said that jump scares in VR are a tool that developers will use, but he recommends they don't. Luckey said: "... We are strongly discouraging developers from using jump scares. They are such a cheap way to get a reaction in VR".

 

Personally, jump scares are what VR horror games should be about. Oculus has promised to keep jump scares out of its games, but I'm sure we'll see developers using them to their advantage.

Casio unveils its first smartwatch, the waterproof Smart Outdoor Watch

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 11, 2016 6:36 am

CES 2016 - Casio has entered the smartwatch game at CES 2016 with the Smart Outdoor Watch, its new wearable powered by Android.

 

 

The Casio Smart Outdoor Watch features a 1.32-inch display with its resolution hitting 320x300. It's water-resistant to 50m, US military standard, has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, and weighs in at just 93g.

 

The watch has two screens - a touchscreen, active color LCD display, as well as a monochrome power-conserving display. The monochrome display can work like a regular watch for a month between charges, which is pretty damn good. Both screens can be customized, with market availability in April and a price of $500.

Continue reading 'Casio unveils its first smartwatch, the waterproof Smart Outdoor Watch' (full post)

HTC says 'VR is more important' than its smartphone business

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 11, 2016 5:23 am

After trying the new HTC Vive Pre at CES 2016 (more than once), I've fallen in love with it over the Oculus Rift (even though I pre-ordered the Rift in the first 2 minutes of pre-orders opening).

 

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But HTC seems to be confident in VR, so much so that company CEO Cher Wang has said that VR and wearables has the company more excited than ever. During an interview with The Telegraph, Wang said "Virtual reality is something people have talked about for 20, 30 years, in movies, in books and finally, it is real. VR has been on our minds for a long time, and now HTC has made virtual reality real".

 

But it was a particular quote from Wang that had my eyes opened wide, where she defended HTC's stance on smartphones but reiterated their position in the VR market with Vive. She said: "Now we are more realistic. We feel that we should apply our best design to different type of sectors. Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables and virtual reality is more important".

Oculus 'don't make money on the Rift' at $599

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 7, 2016 7:31 pm

CES 2016 - Oculus opened up pre-orders on the Rift yesterday, with gamers split on the thought of $599 for their VR headset.

 

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Oculus founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit, where he said: "To be perfectly clear, we don't make money on the Rift". He added: "The Xbox controller costs us almost nothing to bundle, and people can easily resell it for profit. A lot of people wish we would sell a bundle without "useless extras" like high-end audio, a carrying case, the bundled games, etc, but those just don't significantly impact the cost".

 

Palmer continued, where he said: "The core technology in the Rift is the main driver - two built-for-VR OLED displays with very high refresh rate and pixel density, a very precise tracking system, mechanical adjustment systems that must be lightweight, durable, and precise, and cutting-edge optics that are more complex to manufacture than many high-end DSLR lenses. It is expensive, but for the $599 you spend, you get a lot more than spending $599 on pretty much any other consumer electronics devices - phones that cost $599 cost a fraction of that to make, same with mid-range TVs that cost $599. There are a lot of mainstream devices in that price-range, so as you have said, our failing was in communication, not just price".

Paintball goes next-gen, with a new heads-up display for enthusiasts

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 7, 2016 3:15 am

CES 2016 - Paintball enthusiasts might want to check out the Airwave sports goggles, a collaboration between Recon Instruments and Empire Paintball.

 

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The Empire EVS sports goggles uses the same insides as the Airwave, something Recon collaborated with Oakley on, but throws it into a new mask that can take a barrage of paintball hits to the face. The company says that the heads-up display found inside of the Empire EVS will display important information like ammo counts, field maps, and teammate locations.

 

Inside, there's a 1GHz dual-core processor, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity, with the Empire EVS powered by Android. The mask includes dual-pane lenses that will prevent internal fogging and a lower skirt that encourages ball bounding.

 

There's no news on price, but the Oakley Airwave retails for $649 or so, so we should see pricing on the Empire EVS floating somewhere around there.

Razer launches fitness-centric Nabu smartwatch

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 6, 2016 9:38 pm

CES 2016 - Razer's latest venture in the wearable computing sector has produced the Nabu Watch, a durable smartwatch that's aimed at fitness buffs.

 

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While Razer's new Nabu Watch certainly counts as a smartwatch, the wearable doesn't exactly sport the functionality of an LG Watch Urbane or an Apple Watch. The device is more of a watch-faced fitness tracker, and you won't be able to view a colorful apps as its display is limited to a single color--you guessed it, lime green. As a result, however, the Nabu Watch has stellar battery life that can last up to a week with regular use.

 

Razer's latest wearable sports an OLED 128 x 16 single color display with a single button for screen interaction. Spec-wise, the usual suspects are in attendance, including a 3-axis accelerometer, vibration capabilities, wireless syncing via low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) connectivity, and charging via a magnetic USB cable. Since its tailored for sport and fitness, the Nabu Watch is quite durable and is shock resistant up to 5m, and is perfect for swimmers with a waterproof rating of up to 50 meters (165 feet) of submergence.

Continue reading 'Razer launches fitness-centric Nabu smartwatch' (full post)

Under Armour teams with HTC on an entire fitness ecosystem

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 6, 2016 12:06 am

CES 2016 - HTC has been getting all of the headlines lately for its VR headset, including the announcement of the new Vive Pre which features front-facing cameras, but the Taiwanese giant just teamed up with Under Amour for a slew of fitness-focused devices.

 

Under Armour teamed with HTC to help design its hardware, with Under Armour launching an entire ecosystem of apps and gadgets - and releasing them at once - go hard or go home, right?

 

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First up, we have the UA Band which is a "simple activity tracker" reports Engadget. HTC's design can be seen here, with an outward facing part of the band featuring a "lightly textured soft black plastic". The UA Band counts your steps, tracks your sleep, has a heart rate monitor, and tracks multiple kinds of exercise.

Continue reading 'Under Armour teams with HTC on an entire fitness ecosystem' (full post)

Samsung's new bio-processor tracks your health in 5 different ways

By: Jeff Williams | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 1, 2016 1:05 am

Samsung has a new "bio-processor" that's able to track up to five different biometrics at any one time to help keep tighter tabs on your state of health.

 

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The little processor that they've developed is designed to be able to give more metrics and more data to the user. It'll support biometric impedance analysis, ECG readings, skin temperature, galvanic response and a whole lot of other metrics so that you can actually have real measurements of important health data. This should be far more efficient and accurate than any previous non-specific processors for the job. Theoretically at least.

 

Could you imagine being able to predict a heart attack before it gets to a critical point, letting you get to a doctor well before any permanent damage. That would be a very useful feature. Samsung envisions being able to put this type of technology in their future wearables like the Gear Watch S2.

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