Samsung Developing Virtual Reality Headset for Video Games

Later this year, Samsung is reportedly planning to announce a virtual reality headset that will work with Galaxy phones and tablets. The headset with OLED screen is designed to provide gamers with a more immersive experience for Android-based video games. Facebook and Sony have been developing their own VR headsets with the much-hyped Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, but Samsung hopes to offer its product before the competition and at a lower price. Continue reading Samsung Developing Virtual Reality Headset for Video Games

F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in San Francisco, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s newest projects that emphasize app development for third parties. The company’s motto “move fast and break things” has become less relevant as Facebook grows and third party apps rely increasingly on Facebook databases. The new ad network and app development tools will make it easier for third party app developers to create apps with Facebook functions. Continue reading F8: Facebook Introduces Ad Network, App Tools and New Motto

F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

During Facebook’s F8 developer conference this week, an Oculus VR spokesperson said the company would likely release its Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets commercially next year. While there is no official word yet on a price tag or release date for the consumer version of Oculus Rift, the headset will require an ecosystem of games and entertainment. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is presently on sale for $350, and is scheduled to begin shipping in July. Continue reading F8: Consumers Can Purchase Oculus Rift VR Headset in 2015

LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Rather than copying Chromecast to webOS, LG released an open source Connect SDK late last week that integrates media casting, making it easier for developers to bring their apps to connected devices such as Roku streaming boxes, Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and LG’s own TV sets. By combining existing multiscreen and home sharing protocols such as Google’s Cast SDK, DLNA and DIAL, developers’ mobile apps only need one set of code to work on a variety of big screen devices. Continue reading LG Launches Open Source Connect SDK for App Developers

Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

Sony has plans to introduce virtual reality to its PlayStation 4 console with new hardware called “Project Morpheus.” During the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, the company unveiled a prototype with two headset components — a closed display and what looks like a PlayStation Move sensor. The unit features HDMI and USB connections, a 1080p display and just over a 90-degree field of view. The prototype, three years in the making, will also serve as a developer kit. Continue reading Sony Unveils its Project Morpheus VR Prototype at GDC 2014

Chromecast Adds Plex Features for Casting Music and Photos

Google’s Chromecast continues to add new services. When it launched nearly a year ago, the $35 streaming media dongle was limited to a handful of apps such as HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Netflix and YouTube. In December, it added 10 new apps, including the ability to stream cloud-based content from personal catalogs. The popular Plex Media Server was one of those additions. Last week, Plex added free casting of users’ content to Chromecast, and the ability for iOS users to share music and photos. Continue reading Chromecast Adds Plex Features for Casting Music and Photos

Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader, released with the iPhone 5s, includes a sensor the thickness of a human hair, a sapphire crystal button, capacitive tech and complex data analysis. Alabama-based startup IDair believes it can replicate the quality of the Touch ID with a simpler approach that uses existing smartphone cameras to capture images of users’ fingers. IDair’s tech uses an algorithm the company has patented to convert the image into a means of identification. Continue reading Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

During his SXSW keynote in Austin, Texas yesterday, Google SVP of Android, Apps and Chrome, Sundar Pichai said that the company has sold “millions” of its $35 HDMI Chromecast devices since the product’s launch last summer. Pichai’s comments mark the first time anyone from Google has publicly addressed Chromecast sales. Pichai also told the crowd that Chromecast will be available for “many more countries” in the coming weeks, and Google will release an Android SDK for wearable devices. Continue reading SXSW: Google on Chromecast Sales and SDK for Wearable Tech

Tobii Sets Sights on Gamers and Consumers with EyeX Tech

Their last appearance at CES sported a “gaze-controlled” version of the arcade game “Asteroids.” This time around Tobii is dreaming bigger and announced a new partnership with SteelSeries to prove it. The eye-tracking experts are working with the gaming peripheral manufacturer to deliver a unique controller capable of navigating the virtual world in a more natural way. As these devices won’t be available until the middle of this year, however, Tobii is whetting appetites with its new Windows-ready EyeX controllers. Continue reading Tobii Sets Sights on Gamers and Consumers with EyeX Tech

Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

Tobii announced its partnership with SteelSeries to bring eye tracking to video games with a new sensor bar and the EyeX engine. A prototype at CES demonstrated in-game navigation, menu selection and aiming by using nothing more than players’ eye movements. Developers can preorder the SDK now for delivery in March, and they’ll be able to designate standard mouse and keyboard functions to gaze controls. The device is expected to cost around $100. Continue reading Tobii: Eye-Tracking Controls Finally Coming to Video Games

TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

In the wake of an eventful year for television technology, January’s Consumer Electronics Show is expected to feature a slew of new announcements, most notably, perhaps, involving a new wave of LED LCD sets possibly filling the void left by plasma. In October, Panasonic announced it would stop manufacturing plasma TVs. While LG and Samsung will likely introduce new plasma models in 2014, compelling features of affordable LED LCD models could possibly take center stage. Continue reading TV: Will 4K LED LCD Replace 1080p Plasma at CES in January?

VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, which began as a Kickstarter project seeking $250,000 (and eventually generated $2.4 million), is expected to transition from prototype to available product, thanks to $75 million in Series B venture funding led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Oculus VR also announced that Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the individuals behind Mosaic and Netscape, will join the company’s board of directors. Continue reading VR News: Oculus Rift Secures $75 Million in Venture Funding

Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Google unveiled its Glass Development Kit (GDK) earlier this week at a Glass hackathon in San Francisco, inviting developers to create third party apps for its wearable technology. The company is looking to lure programmers with parts of Glass that were previously unavailable. Developers can now build Glass apps that work offline, in real time, and use the hardware accelerometer and GPS. Until now, developers were only able to work with the Mirror API. Continue reading Google Aims to Attract Programmers with Glass Developer Kit

Google Limits Some Development on Chromecast and Android

Google is beginning to restrict developer access to Chromecast and the Android operating system. The company is disabling workarounds of its Chromecast streaming device and other app options on Android. The move may be bad news for developers as certain functions are no longer available, but it may be good news for consumers if the user experience becomes more refined and features less ads on the new Chromecast and maturing Android. Continue reading Google Limits Some Development on Chromecast and Android