Posts tagged with: virtual reality
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    After a year full of challenges, wrapped up with an unexpectedly underwhelming holiday quarter, everything seems to be going Samsung’s way once again. Smartphone sales are back on an upward trajectory, thanks mainly to the high-end Galaxy S7 duo, and the Note 6 could well maintain the momentum in H2, even with an iPhone 7 thrown in the mix. Speaking of next-generation iPhones, the 7s or 8 should finally adopt OLED display technology, and Samsung is definitely on the short list of prospective parts suppliers, with a collaboration of this nature no doubt mutually benefiting the two’s ...

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    Virtual reality is arguably the future of tech, although it’s hard to believe VR headsets, goggles, cameras and other gadgets of the sort will indeed surpass smartphones in mainstream popularity in four years, as an HTC official recently predicted. For the time being, it’s all about baby steps, and actually getting the few high-profile “immersive” products so far unveiled in the hands and on the heads of early adopters. Everyone from Oculus to HTC to Samsung and even LG appear to be struggling with that, delaying commercial launches and shipments of devices available on pre-order. ...

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    HTC, in partnership with Valve, and Oculus, which is owned by Facebook and can also call Samsung a reliable ally, seem to be in a stalemate as they each try to take the lion’s share of early VR headset sales and profits. Until not long ago, the Rift was at an advantage over the Vive, thanks to a stronger pre-existing fanbase and lower price, but the score has been evened by the former’s deeper manufacturing troubles and longer shipping delays. The HTC Vive appears to be edging out the smartphone-pairing battle too, and according to the DIY experts from iFixit, it’s easier to repair ...

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    The HTC Vive virtual reality headset seemed at a major disadvantage compared to the Oculus Rift when it went up for pre-orders a couple of months back. Not only was it a little late to the party, but its arch-rival started at a more palatable $600 price as well, and it had a huge Kickstarter fanbase. Unfortunately for Oculus and fair competition in a fledgling scene that badly needs it in order to thrive, Rift deliveries are being plagued by key component shortages. Meanwhile, the Vive is itself backordered, but unless something bad and unanticipated happens, it should ship “around ...

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    Early virtual reality headset adopters might be forced to choose how they enter into the immersive new tech environment not by virtue of UI smoothness, device build quality, app utility or even bang for buck factor. Instead, if you’re undecided between the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it could ultimately come down to which one will be available sooner. And that’s most likely the Vive, unless you’ve pre-ordered the Rift consumer version among the first few people in the world, and also got lucky. Currently, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive can be pre-ordered from their respective ...

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    Samsung wasn’t keen to fully clear the air regarding the US price tag and release date of the Gear 360 spherical VR camera when denying it would cost $350, and in the meantime, third-party retailer B&H has backpedaled on its educated guess as well. Elsewhere however, things couldn’t be clearer, at least in terms of retail pricing, and $350 still feels like a solid theory for American availability. On Korean shores, that’s more or less exactly what the Gear 360’s valuation converts to, with regional pre-orders already live, and deliveries slated to begin next week, by April 29. ...

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    Forget “natural-looking” emoji, floating windows, the return of night mode, and app priority importance. Virtual reality might not only be the next big thing for tech in general, but also the Android “ecosystem” in particular. Thus far, Google has looked surprisingly shy and hesitant to properly jump on the VR bandwagon, developing the meek Cardboard platform and not much else. Before long though, a version of Android dedicated entirely to powering virtual-reality applications could debut, hopefully in pre-release beta form first. Android N probably isn’t it, with ...

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    Cheap, entry-level virtual reality devices requiring smartphone pairing for immersion into an artificially built environment can’t target the profit margins and net earnings of their PC and console-compatible counterparts, but in terms of shipment numbers, they’re expected to comfortably rule this year. As such, it should come as no big surprise Huawei is joining the likes of Samsung and LG today, trying to find yet another successful marketing angle for its fast-rising handhelds. The aptly named Huawei VR strongly resembles the Samsung Gear VR in external appearance, but actually apes ...

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    Much like the other fledgling industry segment bidding for the title of “next big thing” in tech, the virtual reality market seems to be split in two very distinct categories. But the price gap between smartphone-enabled VR headsets and their PC and console-based counterparts is way larger than the main differentiator of activity trackers and smartwatches. As such, devices like the Samsung Gear VR will easily get the volume advantage over the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Sony PlayStation VR this year. What kind of an edge we’re talking about here? A massive one, Strategy Analytics ...

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    Update from Samsung PR below. You’d be forgiven for forgetting the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge didn’t fly solo to Barcelona for pre-MWC introductions back in February, as Samsung remains curiously tight-lipped about the retail price of that game-changing Gear 360 spherical VR camera. In fact, there was essentially nothing following the 360-degree video recorder’s announcement and quick MWC demonstrations. No ads, no teasers, no mentions of a prospective commercial release date. Just a vague Q2 ETA. Well, the year’s second quarter is officially underway, and B&H Photo Video seems to ...

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    There’s no denying the novelty aspect, originality and convenience of the world’s first modular smartphone. But if LG truly wants to play in the same league as Samsung, and pull in record-breaking sales numbers, the G5 needs an occasional discount boost. Especially stateside, where the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have already been treated to a bunch of BOGO deals, hefty unlocked rebates, free Gear VR bundle arrangements, and so on and so forth. LG mainly countered with complimentary accessories on multiple carriers, though Verizon no longer sells the G5 accompanied by a gratis 360 CAM. But ...

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    The virtual reality revolution begins now. Well, as long as you’ve been quick to pre-order the consumer variant of the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive headset, and lucky enough to actually receive them among the very first in the world. Hot on the heels of its arch-rival, the HTC and Valve co-developed Vive started “arriving at homes around the world” yesterday, with orders placed at the time of this writing estimated to be fulfilled “around May.” Hailed by reviewers as “truly immersive”, game-changing and mesmerizing, the VR contraption is by no means affordable, costing $800 ...

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    While we can probably all agree Google’s first early 2016 April Fools’ Day prank uncharacteristically bombed, a slew of much better gags and hilarious introduction videos for fake products were always expected to debut today. The hoaxes and “crazy features” ultimately went “official” a good number of hours ago, when it was still March 31, ranging as usual from gut-busting to self-deprecating to outright bizarre and… stuff we’d actually like to see happen. Hands down the best, most elaborate and funniest clip (embedded below) takes the wraps off the Cardboard Plastic. No, ...

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    Do you normally find it unbearable when you need to wait a few days, a week tops for that spanking new iPhone you pre-ordered to ship? How about if you’re not impressed by a Samsung Galaxy S upgrade, but are still willing to give the family a chance and another year to bring back microSD support and water protection? Now try to imagine how it must have felt to be on board the wild Oculus Rift ride off the bat, testing both its development kits and waiting nearly four years for the virtual reality headset to reach wide-scale commercial availability. You wouldn’t want a tiny little ...

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    They say the road to success is a long and intricate one, paved with setbacks and failure, and nobody knows that better than virtual reality pioneer Oculus. The company originated in California way back in June 2012, and while the Rift head-mounted display’s path to consumer availability was never paved with failure per se, it took the VR goggles an excruciatingly long time to get ready for a proper rollout. So long, in fact, that a number of contenders joined the immersive tech space and are now bidding for gold. But the HTC Vive is significantly costlier than the Oculus Rift, and the ...

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    The world’s largest porn website in terms of content hosted has been pushing for years for the title of the most popular adult portal with publicity stunts ranging from controversial to hilarious to refreshingly original and outright weird. Remember when the Pornhub Space Program took to IndieGogo to try to raise $3.4 million for a “Sexploration” film set literally in space? That didn’t work out so well, with a measly $236K pledged by the site’s hordes of fans. But Pornhub generated way more enthusiasm for its philanthropic and environmental endeavors, planting over 15,000 trees ...

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    Sony made a pair of disheartening announcements last week, when the PlayStation VR head-mounted display was slapped with an awfully distant launch date, and pre-orders were only set to open for a bundle containing what some viewed as unnecessary accessories. On the bright side, even the $500 price of the “complete virtual reality experience” looked like a bargain compared to HTC Vive’s lowest rate, and the $400 headset is now headed for US pre-orders by popular demand. If you already own the PlayStation Camera and PS Move motion controllers, and perhaps want to purchase the PS VR ...

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    While we’re most likely still a fairly long way from enjoying the excitement of football stadium attendance in our living rooms with the HoloLens headset, Microsoft’s Windows Holographic mixed reality computing platform is starting to make some similarly cool things happen. Case in point, the Actiongram “experience” that will become available to deep-pocketed developers and beta testers sometime in the summer, following the HoloLens Dev Edition launch on March 30. Thanks to a small team of only 5 people, which worked on the app for roughly 6 months, you’ll soon be able to produce ...

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    The virtual reality and augmented reality scene has come a long way in the past year or so, with immersive devices from Oculus, HTC, Microsoft, Samsung, LG and Google hitting stores, going up for commercial pre-orders or, at the very least, nearing mass production. But if there’s one thing even the most enthusiastic early adopters have to complain about, it’s the Rift and Vive’s PC reliance, and the Gear VR’s total uselessness when not paired to a compatible Galaxy phone. Well, that, and probably, the high retail costs of the resulting VR systems. Now, we greatly doubt we’ll see ...

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    As its smartphone sales slowly start to sink, tablets refuse to catch on, and smartwatches remain aimless to a great extent, Samsung is willing to try pretty much anything to discover and develop the tech industry’s “next big thing.” But a smart belt probably isn’t it, the “rink” mobile VR hand-motion controller needs a lot of work before it can even play in the same league as Microsoft Kinect sensors, while a watch strap that enables hands-free and headset-free phone communication sounds neat yet hardly groundbreaking. How about the second batch of experimental C-Lab projects, ...

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    Alright, alright, alright, early virtual reality enthusiasts, it’s just about time to put your money where your mouths are. No, we’re afraid the Oculus Rift isn’t all of a sudden ready to ship sooner than July, but the arguably superior HTC Vive VR headset will be delivered around April 5 if you manage to get your pre-order in tomorrow, February 29, at 10 am Eastern time. Don’t even think of procrastinating, as surely, commercial interest over the highly publicized HTC/Valve collaboration shall yield Rift-like backorders in no time. Besides, the fully polished, non-experimental ...

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    As is often the case in the weeks leading up to an event as glamorous as the Mobile World Congress, we’ve recently been flooded with rumors, teasers and outright confirmations of devices headed for Barcelona announcements. But today, we want to talk to you about a company that’s looking to skip MWC 2016, and instead unleash its big guns at Computex Taipei between May 31 and June 4. Taiwan-based Asus will apparently take its sweet time before updating the wildly successful ZenFone 2, limiting the number of ZenFone 3 configurations to just two or three main ones. We only know the ...

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    Everyone from Google to Microsoft to Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG and even Facebook is involved to a certain extent in the development and growth of fledgling virtual reality technologies, while companies like Apple and Alcatel OneTouch are carefully preparing their own field-improving efforts. You can now also add Acer to the list of major tech outfits looking to augment and enrich your reality, as CEO Jason Chen recently told Taiwanese press R&D of VR products has been ongoing “for a while”, with the current plan being “to introduce some new technologies to surprise everyone” in ...

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    Technically, the vast majority of today’s smartwatches and especially so-called fitness bands are focused among others on improving the health of their wearers. But aside from counting steps, tracking workouts, estimating calories burned and monitoring sleep habits (oftentimes rather clumsily), very few can actually help make a difference in an owner’s life. Microsoft is looking to change the way you interact with intelligent wearables, according to a patent application filed last October and published recently by the USPTO. This is in fact a continuation of a concept first envisioned ...

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    For a fledgling, immature, and extremely experimental market, the virtual reality universe is about to get a little too crowded for its own good, with options ranging from your rudimentary Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR to the much fancier Oculus Rift and HTC Vive soon. We shouldn’t forget about Microsoft HoloLens either, which is technically an AR (augmented reality) product, while Apple and Google are themselves rumored to be working hard on high-profile virtual reality headsets capable of pairing up with iPhones and Nexus handhelds. That’s right, a Nexus VR could go official ...

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