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It wasn't even 24 hours ago that we were writing about Valve showing off its SteamVR headset at GDC 2015 next week, but VRFocus has heard "from a reliable source close to the project" that the HMD itself will be made by a third-party company.
Valve has reportedly secured a "prominent hardware manufacturer" to make the headset, but now the speculation will begin as to who this hardware manufacturer is. In order to fight against the likes of Oculus VR, Sony and other VR headset makers, Valve can't do this on the cheap. Maybe Valve is working with NVIDIA on the SteamVR headset? Now that should start an exciting discussion.
Invisible wearables, which are products indistinguishable from non-smart technology, will begin to see widespread adoption in the near future. The surging market could be worth $80 billion per year by 2020, as fashion items could help drive the market.
Physical appearance of products is becoming streamlined to be more aesthetically pleasing, so it won't be ideal for all products. To help drive this market further, expect hardware companies to recruit executives from the fashion and jewelry industries - hoping to create next-generation products that will spur development at a faster rate.
Wearables are packing more powerful hardware, and consumers are seeing a wider number of product choices available. Companies like Apple, Google, Intel, ARM, Intel, Lenovo, Sony, Withings, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Omate are working with wearable-design teams to make products more visually appealing.
NVIDIA has teased its 'Made to Game' special event on March 3 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015, but according to some fresh rumors, the company could be unveiling its own VR headset. Chris Burns from Slashgear thinks that NVIDIA could unveil its own VR headset, and so do I.
The conclusion can be drawn from various technologies NVIDIA has been releasing over the last year, and still have close to their chest. With NVIDIA's Shield and Shield Tablet devices, its range of Tegra processors, G-SYNC, VR Direct, GRID, and so much more. Then we've heard from game developers like Tim Sweeney teasing that VR will look as good as real life within 10 years.
But where the pieces fit into the puzzle more is that G-SYNC and VR Direct technologies would go hand in hand with each other, which is something I asked the company back when they revealed their Maxwell architecture. At the time, my question was answered to the large number of other various press members, but wasn't elaborated on. I did ask if we would see VR Direct, VR SLI and G-SYNC work with the Oculus Rift, but maybe I should've asked if NVIDIA were working on its own VR headset, instead? With NVIDIA's CEO and founder Jen-Hsun Huang saying things like "More than five years in the making, what I want to share with you will redefine the future of gaming" when referring to the March 3 event, we can't help but get excited.
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.