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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.
Our man on the ground at IFA 2014 is Johannes Knapp, who has just had some hands, or wrist-on time with the new ASUS ZenWatch. His video is below, and below that we'll have a quick recap on what the ZenWatch is made of.
Knapp notes in the video that it looks and feels like a good quality watch, where it's quite thin, too. We have a 1.63-inch 320x320 AMOLED display, a 369mAh battery, a Snapdragon 400 processor and a price tag of $260.
Samsung only unveiled the Galaxy Note 4 and Gear VR at IFA 2014 a few moments ago, with the Gear VR "Powered by Oculus". Oculus VR has just announced the new Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, which is a new mobile VR headset powered by the Galaxy Note 4 smartphone.
The Gear VR was "created by Samsung and powered by Oculus" and over the "last 12 months, we've been collaborating with Samsung on the future of mobile virtual reality," according to Oculus. The Facebook-owned VR startup continues: "The project actually began as an experiment to see if great VR was possible on next-generation mobile hardware. Oculus CTO John Carmack and the mobile team at Oculus were able to blow everyone away in an extremely short amount of time, quickly proving that we were on to something special."
The Galaxy Note 4's internal GPU and CPU to power Gear VR, using the 2560x1440 low-persistence 5.7-inch AMOLED panel as its display. John Carmack's role as the CTO of Oculus VR is becoming more clear, as he has worked with the mobile team at Oculus on Gear VR. The year was spent between developing a new Oculus Mobile SDK, as well as optimizing Android and the GPU drivers for VR.
Something that wasn't too much of a surprise, but is an interesting new step for Samsung, is the just-announced Gear VR. Samsung has been rumored to have been working on a VR headset for a while now, but it is now official.
The South Korean electronics giant has teased that Gear VR works with the just-announced Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, which features a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 display, so it'll be interesting to see what Gear VR looks like against the Oculus Rift DK2 which features a 1920x1080 display.
The one big note here is that the Gear VR doesn't work with any other smartphone other than the Galaxy Note 4. The Note 4 will snap into the Gear VR, in front of dual-lenses that provide the 3D effect in the VR headset. There's a trackpad and back button on the right side of the Gear VR, with most of the movements and menu navigation to be performed through head movements and taps on the side-mounted trackpad. The Verge has already enjoyed some hands-on time with Gear VR, with some shots of the Gear VR teasing "Powered by Oculus".
ASUS has finally taken the wraps off of its ZenWatch, the company's first wearable, at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The new ZenWatch is powered by Google's wearable OS, Android Wear, and features a 1.63-inch, 320x320 AMOLED touchscreen.
The body of the ZenWatch sports a curved stainless steel case which is surrounded by a rose-gold-colored inset, with the top of the smartwatch featuring a piece of 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 3. It includes a genuine stitched-leather strap with a quick release clasp in the box, but this can be swapped out with your own 22mm band.
Inside of ASUS' first wearable is the same processor that powers some of the smartwatches from Samsung and LG: a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC. We also have 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal flash storage, a 1.4Wh battery, Bluetooth 4.0, a microphone and a biosensor that can monitor your heart rate and activity. ASUS has splashed an IP55 rating on the ZenWatch, so you don't have to take it off if you're going to jump in the shower. The Taiwanese manufacturer has also ported some of its ZenUI elements onto the ZenWatch, with some pre-loaded functions making the cut.
Jerry Shen, the CEO of ASUS has teased that its first wearable, the ZenWatch, will be priced at under $199 when it's fully revealed in October. ASUS should unveil the ZenWatch at IFA 2014 which kicks off in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday.
The new ASUS ZenWatch should be running Android Wear, will support English-based voice recognition, something that Shen revealed at a media briefing in Taiwan. Before the end of the year, we will see Chinese language for voice support from ASUS, too. We will hear more on the ZenWatch and ASUS products at IFA during the week.