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Wearable Computing Posts - Page 26

Oculus VR and IndieCade join forces for a three-week gaming event called VR Jam

I've used Oculus Rift HD and I really just don't want to go back to normal reality, but I guess I have to. Oculus VR, the company behind Oculus Rift, and IndieCade are teaming up for a three-week long gaming event called VR Jam.

 

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VR Jam will get developers together in order to create content for Oculus Rift. VR Jam starts on August 2, and ends on August 25 with two categories to compete in. The first of which is 'Selected Developers' and the second, 'Open Call.' Selected developers will compete against hand-picked teams of 10, while Open Call pits any independent developer to register and compete.

 

Oculus VR and IndieCade will don their judging hats, with winners being announced on September 19. Games will be scored by their innovation and virtual reality design. As for prizes, there will be more than $50,000 in total with a $10,000 prize for the winners of either category. Registration, rules and everything else you need to know about VR Jam is available on Oculus VR's website.

RumorTT: Samsung will release a smartwatch in September

A new report this morning is suggesting that Samsung is ready to beat Apple to the punch on releasing a smartwatch. Patently Apple is claiming that Samsung will show off its very own smartwatch in September ahead of the annual IFA trade show which is held in Berlin, Germany.

 

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Dubbed the "Samsung Gear," the smartwatch will be shown off during a press conference in which we will also see the Galaxy Note III unveiled. Although the report cites no sources, we do know that Samsung is developing a smartwatch, and we've even seen leaks of the device's supposed interface. If Samsung does debut the Gear a little over a month from now, it will beat Apple in the smartwatch race by more than a year, which puts it in a very good position for market dominance.

Virtual Reality Insanity are going to blow gamers' minds away by opening up a VR gaming bar in Melbourne, Australia

PAX Australia 2013 - When I go out to a bar, I generally drink, like most people do - but would you want to go to a bar and enjoy some virtual reality gaming? Well, Virtual Reality Insanity are hoping you do, as they are opening up a new VR gaming bar in Melbourne, Australia.

 

 

We're currently in Melbourne, Australia for PAX AU 2013, and our first meeting was with VR Insanity, where we got to use Oculus Rift in Team Fortress 2. It was my first test with Oculus Rift, and I was blown away. Later in the day we had a meeting with Oculus VR themselves, but this was our first toe in VR water. Team Fortress 2 was phenomenal on Oculus Rift, something that I soon hope to play much more when Oculus release Rift to the public.

 

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As for the VR gaming bar, VR Insanity are going to open up a 6v6 VR gaming bar, which will include Oculus Rift, Onmi, Razer Hydra controllers and more. It's going to be quite kick ass, as there'll be tournaments and matches versus your friends, all in virtual reality. We hope to attend the opening night of this, and should have some content if we get to that point.

Continue reading 'Virtual Reality Insanity are going to blow gamers' minds away by opening up a VR gaming bar in Melbourne, Australia' (full post)

We go hands-on with Oculus VR HD, where we can barely contain our excitement

PAX Australia 2013 - I have been waiting since Oculus first reached Kickstarter to try out their Rift VR headset, and today my day came. We first went to another booth and tried out the 720p Developer Kit version, which we'll have a video uploaded shortly on.

 

 

The first story I wanted to write from PAX AU was about Oculus. We had a 2:30PM meeting but turned up 30 minutes early by mistake, but the Oculus guys were happy to accommodate us. We were sitting there, in one of the smallest booths at PAX AU and while it's small, it had heart and soul, and most of all: passion. We were introduced to Joseph Chen, who is head of Product at Oculus, who mentioned that Nate (the Vice President of Product at Oculus VR) would be on-hand soon.

 

We were been greeted with the Full HD 1920x1080 version of the Oculus Rift, which is different to the HD 1280x720 version of Rift which is found in the form of the Kickstarter backed Developer Kits. These devices are much higher resolution, but as we were told, are more like 'alpha' units.

Continue reading 'We go hands-on with Oculus VR HD, where we can barely contain our excitement' (full post)

Oculus Rift could one day be free, but for now we should expect a $300 price point

I'll be attending PAX AU on Friday, where I'll finally get some hands-on (or is that heads- and soul-on) with Oculus' Rift VR headset. I'll be using the Full HD version, which I'm quite excited about.

 

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But, for now, the company have said that they're going to be releasing Rift to consumers at $300. Most people will look at that and think it's expensive, but consider the price of a Full HD 27-inch monitor, which is around the same price, and it doesn't seem so bad. Moving onto multi-monitor setups, which are even more expensive, it makes Oculus' Rift look like a much better alternative.

 

During an interview with Edge Online, Oculus' CEO, Brandon Iribe noted how he hopes it would influence how we play games in a better way than next-gen consoles. He talked about the way that Rift will reach the market, acknowledging that "the lower the price point, the wider the audience." It's true, but getting it cheaper than $300 will be hard.

Continue reading 'Oculus Rift could one day be free, but for now we should expect a $300 price point' (full post)

Sony confirms September 9 launch date for SmartWatch 2

Originally thought to be slated for a July 15 launch, Sony has now confirmed that we will see its SmartWatch 2 released to the public on September 9, 2013. This launch date actually aligns closer with Sony's original plans for a September / October launch. This means that Sony will have beaten all the major manufacturers to the punch in releasing a next-generation SmartWatch.

 

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Sony says that the SmartWatch 2 has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is far more feature-rich than its predecessor. The new watch features a 1.6-inch LCD, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-USB charging port, and near field communication connectivity. This will allow the SmartWatch to quickly pair with other devices through just a single touch. If that weren't enough, the SmartWatch 2 is both dust and water resistant and carries an IP57 certification.

 

With Samsung's upcoming smartwatch rumored to still be months away from release, and recent developments that have put Apple back to seeing their iWatch released in late 2014, Sony could have a winner on their hands. At a pricing point of $150, which is far less than any high-end analog watch you will find on store shelves today, I think that this new offering from Sony will fly off the shelves.

RumorTT: Microsoft testing its own "translucent aluminum" smartwatch

Today is shaping up to be smartwatch rumor day with this morning's report that the Apple iWatch has been delayed by at least a year. Now, a new rumor that Microsoft is testing a "translucent aluminum" smartwatch has cropped up. The report comes from The Verge and states that the company is now prototyping a smartwatch device under the supervision of the Surface team.

 

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Apparently, the company was previously testing variations of a smartwatch design which was built by the Xbox accessories team. The report says that the new device features a Surface Connector and a 1.5-inch display. Tech site AnandTech said that Microsoft is working on a number of removable wristbands based around the Windows 8 color schemes of blue, red, yellow, black, white, and grey.

 

The Verge says that Microsoft is testing prototypes with a modified version of Windows 8 that is focused on integrating the device with other Windows-powered devices. This could lead to your watch sinking up to your Surface tablet, Windows Phone 8 devices, and Windows 8 laptops and PCs. This plan is very similar to what Apple wishes to do with their iWatch and what Samsung has planned for its GALAXY smatwatch.

RumorTT: Apple enters "aggressive" hiring phase for iWatch project, 2014 launch looks likely

It appears that the rumors of an Apple iWatch arriving this year are holding less credence than we originally assumed. Recent reports suggest that Apple is still in the hiring phase for design engineers as well as electrical engineers to take on the project. Apparently the delays and additional hires are because there are some pretty tough engineering problems that need to be solved before the project can move forward.

 

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In a recent report from the Financial Times, we have learned that Apple has been in an "aggressive hiring phase" for the last few weeks and that this is an indication that Apple has stepped up the development on the iWatch platform. Sources close to the matter also state that Apple has been experiencing some "hard engineering problems that they've not been able to solve" leading the bosses to believe that its in-house engineers are just not up to the task of designing wearable technology.

 

All of this leads up to the fact that we most likely will not see a smartwatch from the Cupertino-based company anytime this year. While 2014 is still an option, these recent developments lead me to believe that it will be 2015 or 2016 before Apple creates a design that they deem acceptable to launch to the public. With so many companies readying launches for this year such as Samsung and Sony, and with the Pebble already on the market, I think that Apple may be a little late to the party this time.

Dell could be moving into wearable computing

According to Dell's Global Vice President of Personal Computing, Sam Burd, the company could be looking at wearable computing. Burd says that Dell are "exploring areas in that space."

 

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Burd was talking with The Guardian about how the company could be part of the new market for wearable computing where we already have Google, Sony, Pebble, Samsung and Apple. All of those companies have either teased their devices, shown them off (Google Glass) or are rumored to release a wearable device later this year. He adds:

 

There are challenges in cost, and how to make it a really good experience. But the piece that's interesting is that computers are getting smaller. Having a watch on your wrist - that's pretty interesting, pretty appealing.

Continue reading 'Dell could be moving into wearable computing' (full post)

Oculus Rift takes out 'Best Hardware' of E3 2013 award, beats out the next-gen consoles

I've expressed my thoughts on next-gen games countless times, with my latest piece here. I truly believe Oculus Rift is the future of gaming, and so do the Game Critics Awards, who chose Oculus Rift as the Best Hardware/Peripheral of E3 2013.

 

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This means that the Oculus Rift beat out both the next-gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This speaks volumes about the next-generation of games, with the consoles yet another evolution and not a complete revolution which is what we need. Oculus Rift turns the entire industry upside down, offering the game in virtual reality.

 

I'm glad that Oculus Rift took the award home, they obviously deserved it. Well done, Oculus VR!

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