Oculus Reveals its Upcoming PC-Connected Rift S Headset

Oculus unveiled a new version of its Rift VR headset at GDC 2019 yesterday. The $399 Rift S, available this spring, will feature a new design, higher resolution display (up to 1280×1440 per eye), two updated Oculus Touch controllers, and embedded sensors for tracking (rather than cameras). The current $349 Rift relies on an array of external webcams to sense the environment. The new Rift S will require a PC in order to power its high-res graphics, while the wireless Oculus Quest, also available this spring for $399 will not need additional power. Continue reading Oculus Reveals its Upcoming PC-Connected Rift S Headset

Analyst Predicts Apple’s AR Headset to Launch in Mid-2020

According to a recent note to investors written by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for frequently having inside information on Apple’s product plans, Apple could begin mass production of its augmented reality headset by the end of 2019 and unveil it as early as mid-2020 — although he admitted the timeline is optimistic. In May 2018, however, Loup Ventures founder Gene Munster predicted we wouldn’t see the Apple AR headset until late 2021. Kuo stated his belief that Apple’s first AR device will only be a display, with the iPhone performing all the rendering, data connection and GPS. Continue reading Analyst Predicts Apple’s AR Headset to Launch in Mid-2020

Alienware’s Powerful Gaming Laptop Allows Swappable Parts

At CES 2019, Alienware debuted its Area-51m 17-inch gaming laptop, touting its power and swappable hardware. Co-founder Frank Azor said the Area-51m counters the current trend of less powerful, more portable gaming laptops with built-in obsolescence. Instead, the Area-51m is basically a desktop PC with built-in battery, screen and keyboard and swappable hard drive, RAM, battery, CPU and GPU. Alienware aids the user in taking it apart with labeled guides in the laptop framework and easily removable screws. Continue reading Alienware’s Powerful Gaming Laptop Allows Swappable Parts

Asus Introduces ROG Phone Optimized for Hardcore Gamers

At Computex 2018, Asus announced its ROG (Republic of Gamers) Phone, with gamer-oriented design and a 90Hz display, which means the screen refreshes 90 times per second for smoother animation. The ROG Phone will compete with the Razer Phone, another mobile device prized by gamers. Asus ups the ante by adding a “specially selected 2.96GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip” to each ROG Phone, ensuring it will be the speediest one around. The phone also offers vapor cooling and a special attachable fan accessory. Continue reading Asus Introduces ROG Phone Optimized for Hardcore Gamers

Apple Planning AR Headset by 2020 and New ARKit by 2018

As early as 2020, Apple plans to ship an augmented reality headset that will have its own display and rely on a new chip and operating system, say knowledgeable sources. Apple chief executive Tim Cook considers AR to have the potential to be as revolutionary as the smartphone. By working on an AR solution, Apple joins Google, which is working on a business-oriented version of its previously launched Google Glass. Startup Meta is another company that has developed an AR headset, for use in education and medicine. Continue reading Apple Planning AR Headset by 2020 and New ARKit by 2018

Supreme Court Rules in Apple-Samsung Design Patent Case

In the carefully watched design patent battle between Apple and Samsung, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday that Samsung may not be liable for its entire $399 million in profits after copying the iPhone’s distinctive look, including its rectangular front face, rounded corners and grid of icons. In 2012, a jury decided that Samsung had infringed on Apple’s patents. “Design patents, which address what products look like, are far less common than utility patents, which cover how products work,” explains The New York Times. “The Supreme Court’s opinion, while not decisively resolving the case, found that liability in design patent cases is not necessarily an all-or-nothing proposition.” The two companies will return to court to determine an appropriate amount for damages. Continue reading Supreme Court Rules in Apple-Samsung Design Patent Case

Samsung Bets on Automotive with $8 Billion Harman Purchase

As Apple reportedly scales back its automotive plans, South Korean smartphone competitor Samsung is pushing into the emerging market with its $8 billion acquisition of luxury audio and connected car leader Harman. Auto connectivity has been a “strategic priority” for Samsung, and the transaction will provide the company with infotainment, telematics, security and safety solutions by Harman that are currently found in 30 million vehicles. Samsung also recently expressed interest in paying more than $3 billion for Fiat Chrysler’s Magneti Marelli autoparts business. Continue reading Samsung Bets on Automotive with $8 Billion Harman Purchase

Samsung May Intro New Phones with Bendable OLED Screens

Samsung is considering the 2017 launch of two new smartphones with bendable screens, giving the company a leg up on competitors such as Apple, say people familiar with the plans. One phone would reportedly fold in half similar to a cosmetic compact, while the other would feature a 5-inch screen with the ability to unfurl into an 8-inch display. “Codenamed ‘Project Valley,’ Samsung could unveil one or both of the devices as soon as February, when Mobile World Congress takes place in Barcelona,” reports Bloomberg. “That timing would give Samsung a head-start on Apple’s iPhone using OLED screens that may be released later in 2017.” Continue reading Samsung May Intro New Phones with Bendable OLED Screens

Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

Philips launched a new 43-inch, 16:9 computer monitor in the U.S. this week that features a 4K Ultra HD LCD display touting 3840 x 2160 resolution, 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, and a 5ms response time. Model BDM4350UC touts 10-bit color support (with color reproduction rated at 1.07 billion colors) and a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1. The IPS monitor — which also features MultiView functionality, built-in 7-watt speakers, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub — is currently available on Amazon for $800. Continue reading Philips Releases 43-Inch, 4K Ultra HD LCD Computer Monitor

GDC 2016: Your Brain on VR, The Psychology of Doing VR Right

Cognitive scientist, programmer, game developer, and senior technical designer for Riot Games and Radial Games Dr. Kimberly Voll took a packed house at the Game Developers Conference into the brain on VR, hailing the tremendous opportunities and flashing potential hazards this new medium presents. As someone who “engineers awesome experiences through understanding humans better, frequently in VR,” Voll’s latest project is “Fantastic Contraption,” a VR update to the popular 2008 building game, that will be shipping with the HTC Vive in April. Continue reading GDC 2016: Your Brain on VR, The Psychology of Doing VR Right

CES: Zeiss Comes Up with Optics for Superior Smart Glasses

Carl Zeiss — notable manufacturer of lenses for motion picture and consumer cameras — now has the technology for smart glasses that makes use of more than a decade of work on head-mounted displays and two centuries of work on lenses. Best of all, the resulting smart glasses look and feel exactly like ordinary prescription lenses — and, in fact, can combine optical prescriptions and “smart” technology. Zeiss did it by integrating a Fresnel structure into a standard lens, and placing a very small display at the end of the lens. Continue reading CES: Zeiss Comes Up with Optics for Superior Smart Glasses

Samsung’s New 4K TV Features Built-In Smart Home Controls

The remote for Samsung’s new flagship television set, currently on display at CES, does much more than change the channels. This TV doubles as a central smart home hub to control the house’s smart devices. With the KS9500 model of the SUHD TV set, users can adjust the lighting, watch the baby monitor, and even create “mood schemes” with a group of smart devices. Samsung also partnered with PlayStation Now and GameFly to get video games on the TV without the need for a separate console. Continue reading Samsung’s New 4K TV Features Built-In Smart Home Controls

Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

Royole is demonstrating a new foldable headset at CES in las Vegas this week that is designed to make movie-watching and gaming an immersive experience. The AMOLED display in the visor is only .01mm thick, so it is flexible enough to make this headset less clunky. The $699 Royole-X headset does not feature a field of view as wide as most VR headsets, but the 3,300 PPI display reportedly makes the image crisp enough to feel like a movie theater. It also comes with noise-canceling headphones. Continue reading Royole-X Personal Theater Headset Touts Superthin Display

PC Accessory Turns Your Laptop into a Touchscreen Device

Sweden-based Neonode recently unveiled AirBar, a $49 laptop accessory that attaches its magnetic sensor bar to a Chromebook or Windows laptop PC and connects via an available USB port. It then beams a light over the display to create a sort of touchscreen. AirBar’s use of light rather than a traditional, physical touchscreen allows users to interact with their displays in a variety of new ways, such as while wearing gloves or using small objects like a stylus or even chopsticks. Neonode is expected to debut its new accessory at CES in Las Vegas this week. Continue reading PC Accessory Turns Your Laptop into a Touchscreen Device

ETC Coverage of CES Resumes in January From Las Vegas

ETC coverage of CES 2016 shifts to Las Vegas on January 4 and will feature the latest news and guidance for attendees. The ETC team will report from the Consumer Technology Association’s Top Trends and Global Market Report sessions on Monday afternoon. From there, we will go to CES Unveiled, the major press preview of many of the most noteworthy products to be displayed when the exhibit halls open two days later on January 6. Expect twice daily news briefs and as-its-published updates on the ETCentric app. Continue reading ETC Coverage of CES Resumes in January From Las Vegas

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