Microsoft Shares Vision For Present and Future Productivity

Microsoft recently invited journalists into its Envisioning Center for a peek into its vision of the future — in particular, its vision of the future of productivity. Inside the center, Microsoft houses some of its prototype work. Journalists witnessed teams working together on giant collaborative screens, meeting in rooms equipped with devices to automatically recognize participants, and doing work at touch-powered desks. The bulk of all provided demonstrations revolved around the use of touch, voice, and augmented reality. This marks a new way forward for Microsoft.

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NAB 2017: Oculus Details Journey to VR Film ‘Dear Angelica’

Oculus Story Studio founder/technical director Max Planck was invited to the ETC conference on AR/VR at NAB to discuss his company’s creation of “Dear Angelica,” a 13-minute dreamlike VR tale of how we remember our loved ones. The film, which played to great acclaim at the last Sundance Film Festival, is notable for the fact that it was entirely hand-painted inside VR space, by illustrator/art director Wesley Allsbrook, and written and directed by Saschka Unseld. Planck described how the inspiration for the film came out of graphic novels. Continue reading NAB 2017: Oculus Details Journey to VR Film ‘Dear Angelica’

Facebook Drops Price of its Rift VR Headset to Spur Adoption

In an effort to jumpstart sales, Facebook-owned Oculus VR is slashing $100 off the price of its Rift virtual reality headset and its Touch motion controllers. The Rift headset will be lowered to $499, while the Touch drops to $99. Consumers will still need a computer with enough power to support the Rift. When the headset launched last spring, consumers were surprised by the $599 price tag. According to Jason Rubin, Oculus VR head of content, recent surveys indicate that cost has been the primary obstacle to sales. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes VR will take at least 10 years to become our next computing platform. Continue reading Facebook Drops Price of its Rift VR Headset to Spur Adoption

Reviews: With Touch Controller, Oculus Rift Is Now Complete

After months of anticipation, Oculus finally rolled out its Touch controller — years after PlayStation unveiled its Move controllers in 2010, and even after Vive began shipping two motion controllers. But reviewers who’ve gotten their hands on the Touch are giving it a thumbs-up, saying that its addition now “completes” the promise of the Rift VR headset for a sophisticated and satisfying VR experience. Among Touch’s features is that it tracks the positions of the user’s hand in 3D space. Continue reading Reviews: With Touch Controller, Oculus Rift Is Now Complete

Oculus Connect Unveils Wireless Headset, Social VR, Web VR

At the third Oculus Connect, the company revealed Santa Cruz, a new prototype headset that doesn’t require external cameras or towers to move through digital space. The cameras detect real motion, which matches the virtual environment. Also shown was a new social VR experience that allows the user to hang out with friends, who appear as icons, in a real-world 360-degree scene. Oculus debuted the ReactVR JavaScript framework for building WebVR experiences that will be able to run on Carmel, Oculus’ upcoming VR Web browser. Continue reading Oculus Connect Unveils Wireless Headset, Social VR, Web VR

CES 2016: Setting the Stage for VR Gaming’s Breakout Year

As the first major tech show for “The Year of VR,” the upcoming CES is likely going to be instrumental in setting the tone for the next wave of virtual reality devices. Largely seen as a platform for gamers, it is this segment of consumers that could ultimately drive large-scale adoption of the medium. In anticipation, the show organizers have dedicated a conference track and expanded the floor space devoted to gaming and VR by 77 percent. The devices and interfaces that debut at CES will become the foundation for E3 later in the year. We expect multiple HMDs to be announced, but, for gamers, much of the attention will be on the interfaces. Continue reading CES 2016: Setting the Stage for VR Gaming’s Breakout Year

HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

We recently reported that Hewlett-Packard has plans to split into two businesses — one that will target PCs and printing, and another that will focus on enterprise IT. CEO Meg Whitman promised “new computing experiences” from the former, the first of which we may see next week when “Sprout” is unveiled at a New York event on October 29. According to sources, Sprout combines a large flat screen display with a touch-enabled work surface and an overhead assembly featuring a 3D scanner and projector. Continue reading HP Expected to Debut “Sprout” Computing Product Next Week

Innovative Demos Engage Attendees at June’s VRLA Meetup

The most recent Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA) meetup showcased several compelling techniques that researchers and game developers are using to create new content for consumer VR headsets, such as the Oculus Rift. One demo, for example, utilized the “change blindness” technique to make users feel as if they were walking through multiple rooms even though there was limited physical space. Some of the featured tech may soon be used for movies, military training and tourism. Continue reading Innovative Demos Engage Attendees at June’s VRLA Meetup

Google 3D Smartphones Will Run on Mantis Vision Technology

Google’s Project Tango is developing 3D smartphones and tablets that can not only render locations and objects, but can also be used to record 3D images and videos. Mantis Vision’s technology, which will be used in the Google Project Tango devices, creates a depth map of a scene so that users can view an image from different perspectives and add different backgrounds and other 3D visual effects. Other electronics companies are investing in the Mantis technology as well. Continue reading Google 3D Smartphones Will Run on Mantis Vision Technology

Apple Requests Order to Block Sale of Some Samsung Phones

In the wake of a recent jury verdict that Samsung had infringed upon three of its patents, Apple is now seeking a sales ban in the U.S. on some older models of Samsung’s smartphones. The move also follows an agreement between Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit to dismiss patent litigation against each other. However, according to papers filed in a California court, Apple is not looking for such a resolution with Samsung, but has requested a retrial to increase the amount awarded earlier this month and impose a sales ban. Continue reading Apple Requests Order to Block Sale of Some Samsung Phones

Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

While touchscreen devices have keyboards integrated directly onto their screens, many people miss the tactile feel of a traditional keyboard. Tactus Technologies, a company we first reported on during CES 2013, has developed shape-shifting touchscreen buttons to meet the needs of these consumers. The tech is coming to market later this year with an iPad accessory that will feature transparent morphing buttons that use small fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make the buttons rise during use. Continue reading Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

TV loyalty program provider Viggle, formed in 2010, announced it has acquired San Francisco-based Dijit Media, a b2b platform developer and maker of TV and movie guide apps for mobile devices. Dijit’s primary consumer app is NextGuide, which combines listings from live TV and streaming services such as Amazon, Hulu, iTunes and Netflix for an automated and curated directory of movies and television shows. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed. Continue reading Viggle Purchases Dijit Media and Popular TV App NextGuide

Google Play Movies & TV App for iOS Has Chromecast Support

Google released a new app this week in Apple’s App Store that allows users to watch their Google media content directly from an iPhone or iPad. The app, called Google Play Movies & TV, is a significant step in the company’s content strategy, since iOS users can now watch movies and television shows purchased or rented on Google Play. However, similar to the Kindle app, users will not be able to buy or rent content directly from the app itself, but will need to access the browser. Continue reading Google Play Movies & TV App for iOS Has Chromecast Support

Apple Announces its App Store Sales Top $10 Billion in 2013

Yesterday we reported that Gartner projects the Android operating system will reach 1.1 billion users in 2014. Meanwhile, Actix reports that in terms of data usage, the three most used phones in Europe and North America in 2013 were the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4. In additional milestone news, Apple reports that its App Store customers spent more than $10 billion in 2013. During December alone, the App Store earned more than $1 billion in sales and experienced nearly 3 billion total app downloads. Continue reading Apple Announces its App Store Sales Top $10 Billion in 2013

Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

A new version of the DryCASE for smartphones and larger sizes for tablets was introduced at CES by Dry Corp. If you grew up by the sand and water you’ll appreciate how this crystal clear vacuum bag can both protect your phone from the elements and save it from a watery grave. Learning the hard way that anything in a pocket seems destined to end up 100 feet below the surface, this case and it’s armband supply both protection and flotation. So even if it’s not stowed on your arm it will bob to the surface. Continue reading Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

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