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We really don't know when to expect the Consumer Version 1 (CV1) of the Oculus Rift, but according to Facebook, we should expect the Facebook-owned company to release the first retail Oculus Rift headset later this year.
The news is coming from Facebook's annual F8 developers conference, where Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said that the social network is working on VR, and showed off a space shooter game. He said: "You're going to be able to play incredible games in VR later this year". Schroepfer also added that Facebook wants to bring people together with VR, where he said that in around ten years you'll be able to join your friends and family in birthday celebration by "being there" in VR.
The LG G Watch Urbane is one of the slickest wearables unveiled in the last couple of months, but the new LTE-powered version of the watch will soon be made available, with a huge $590 cost.
It might not be as much as what Apple is asking for its Watch, and the $10,000 Watch, but it's quite expensive compared to Pebble Time at $179, Motorola's Moto 360 for $249, and Apple's Watch starting at $349. The G Watch Urbane is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2GHz, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. There'll also be LTE connectivity in the LTE-powered version, which will allow wearers to make and receive phone calls without having to tether to their smartphone.
Leap Motion has teamed up with Razer for its OSVR headsets, where it will supply its motion-tracking technology directly into the Open Source Virtual Reality headset.
Razer's upcoming Hacker Development Kit (HDK) headset for OSVR will be made available later this year, where developers will have the option of buying one with the faceplate that feature's Leap Motion's gesture-tracking hardware and software baked inside. Developers who opt for this will receive a bundle that includes the ability to create apps and experiences that will use Leap Motion's hand-tracking technology.
Leap Motion's CEO, Michael Buckwald, has said that this partnership is just the first it will have with VR headset makers. Buckwald was coy on which other partners it is working with, but teased that Leap Motion's long-term goal is to have their technology in as many of the leading VR headsets as possible. Buckwald said: "The peripheral [the Leap Motion controller as a standalone device] is still our biggest business but VR is our priority now. We can be in at the ground floor and help shape what it means to have input and help shape what the [VR] operating systems look like".
Samsung, Oculus VR and Best Buy have partnered together to get the Galaxy Note 4-powered Gear VR headset on Best Buy shelves on March 27 - or this Friday - for $199.
The Gear VR headsets will be at 100 of Best Buy's stores, with more stores receiving the VR headset later this year. The Gear VR Innovator Edition is powered by Samsung's own Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, which features a 5.7-inch 2560x1440 display that provides an immersive VR experience on-the-go.
The fitness and healthcare sectors will help drive the wearables market into an estimated $2 billion market by 2019, according to Juniper Research, but questions remain.
There is great potential for doctors and medical patients embracing wearable devices able to consistently monitor physical data - but privacy concerns and unstable regulation must be addressed. Medical devices have mandated standards they must follow while collecting and storing data, though wearables don't currently follow the same standards.
In its "Smart Wireless Devices: CE, Enterprise, Fitness, Healthcare, Patients, 2015-2019", Juniper Research also found a use for smart glasses and other wearables in the workplace.
Wearable manufacturers can pitch their products to a wide possible customer base, but attracting athletes could be of major focus in the future.
Many endurance athletes already rely on heart rate monitors and GPS units, but companies hope devices that are able to track additional metrics, such as skin temperature and respiration, are appealing. The hardware is important, but companies must create appealing partnerships so that all collected data can be easily observed by active consumers.
Instead of trying to create a product to compete with trusted GPS units, wearable manufacturers may try to make clothing, shoes, sunglasses, and other athletic gear smarter.
Fitbit CEO James Park doesn't buy into long-term health care concerns over smartwatches and other wearables, despite a recent New York Times story.
The story noted that similar to smartphones, wearables could be linked to cancer, due to radiation being emitted - but Park and others believe this type of research needs to be more carefully examined.
"In general, cell phones are definitely a very different beast than the low powered wearables," Park said in a statement to TIME. "The transmit energies are orders of magnitude higher. So if people are comfortable wearing Bluetooth headsets, I think wearables are even less of a concern because Bluetooth headsets are also close to your head. Wearables are not, unless you happen to sleep right on top of your wrists."
Intel is currently undergoing its largest push into the mobile market, learning from previous mistakes after missing the first major smartphone wave a few years ago. The company has endured dropping sales of PCs and laptops, as more consumers and business workers embrace mobile - so this is an important effort for the Silicon Valley giant.
"They're determined not to miss the next big thing," said Mark Hung, analyst at Gartner. As such, Intel's Q1 revenue estimate lost almost $1 billion because of slowing PC sales, but merged its mobile and PC businesses into one computing business.
"It helps when your other businesses are performing well," said Andy Bryant, Intel board Chairman, in a statement to investors late last year. "When things are going well it gives you the time and the resolve to make the changes you need to make in other parks of your business."
When Google invested a huge $500 million into Magic Leap last year, we didn't know what would come of that - until, well, now. Take a look at the video below, and if you're not impressed, I would be heavily surprised.
The company has stated that this is a real game that the Magic Leap staff play in their offices right now, and I want to, too. It looks so good that it looks like it is something that was created as a technology demo, and isn't real right now, but with the Google-funded company promising that this is indeed real, the potential of this is quite large.
I don't think what we're seeing right here is possible with the technology we have right now, as the wearable side of things for the user would require a serious shrink from the size we have today. But, it is a great tease and a peep into the future, which is exciting nonetheless.
The wearable electronics market is booming, and some consumers and doctors are wondering what type of health impact these products could have on owners.
Considering the Apple Watch - which is expected to quickly propel the wearables market - isn't even out yet, and there has been no research into possible health-related issues, this is more of a general concern than outright risk.
"The radiation really comes from the 3G connection on a cell phone, so devices like the Jawbone Up and Apple Watch should be okay," said Dr. Joseph Mercola, alternative medicine specialist, in a statement to the New York Times. "But if you're buying a watch with a cellular chip built in, then you've got a cell phone attached to your wrist."