At this year’s Electronic Arts Expo (E3), which took place in Los Angeles, California from June 12 to 16, virtual reality (VR) dominated the headlines. It can often be said that a technology is only as good as its applications. This year’s E3 was marked by the entry of major video game companies into the VR arena. Those waiting to see where the killer apps for VR would come from might have finally gotten their answers.
At the Computex 2016 trade show, recently held in Taipei, Taiwan, Microsoft unveiled ambitious new goals for its Windows Holographic operating system (OS). Windows Holographic will no longer be confined to the Microsoft Hololens. Instead, it will usher in “mixed reality,” which is defined as the combination of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Microsoft will accomplish this by opening Windows Holographic to the emerging VR market, allowing the OS to run on devices like the HTC Vive. This move will also allow a multitude of third-party developers to create apps for Windows Holographic. This announcement translates into a massive expansion for the developing Microsoft platform.
For those who want to experience virtual reality (VR), there are two options currently available. The first involves using a phone and a headset (the Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard). This option is freeing but limited, as the user is bound by the computing and processing power of their mobile phone. The second involves attaching a wired headset to a PC (the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). The computing “power” of this option is limited only by the user’s computer. That said, consumers opting for this option will need to forfeit their freedom by tethering their bodies to anchored PCs (breaking the VR immersion by having to constantly be aware of wires). HP plans to offer a third option, one with the power of the PC and the freedom of mobile. This option is called the Omen X VR Pack.
Photo capture devices (still cameras and mobile devices) are becoming ubiquitous in developed and developing countries. Now if someone wants to take a photo of someone or something, the question is not if they can, but rather with what device. InfoTrends’ research shows that mobile devices, particularly smartphones, are the devices that consumers use most often and turn to for taking everyday photos.
Google I/O 2016 – Google wasted no time starting its software-developer conference with a bang. Unveiled were several new updates, including a new version of Android, currently dubbed Android N. More impressive than even a comprehensive Android update, however, was the unveiling of Google Daydream, the company’s newest mobile virtual reality (VR) platform, which includes a new headset, controller, and app store interface.
2013: The Oculus Rift developer kit (DK) 1 is unveiled and released at an incredible $300 USD price tag. One year later, the industry was introduced to the Vive and the first two “true” virtual reality (VR) headsets were set. From that point on in 2014, the VR hardware market was solid, instead of being a matter of speculation. Developers could get their hands on the exact technology to build their applications. Two years later and augmented reality (AR) has reached that moment – with the Microsoft Hololens and the Meta 2.
The first quarter sales numbers are in, and Samsung has posted a 12% gain from where the company was one year ago. This comes at the same time that Apple reported its first ever decline in the sales of the iPhone. Samsung has given credit to its increased sales to the early launch of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. With the strong first quarter, the obvious question becomes: “Can Samsung continue this pace?” Read more »
The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East was held on April 22-24 in Boston, and has been growing since its inception in 2010. Initially solely focused on video gaming, the conference has expanded to include other new technologies. Virtual reality (VR) has been at PAX for at least the past three years, but always with a disclaimer: “VR is coming.” This year, the message had changed: VR is here. Read more »
I’ve been a Nikon shooter for the past 25 years and shoot a lot of motorsport events, so my “go-to” lenses are the 80-200mm f/2.8 and the 300mm f/4, both from Nikon. Neither of these lenses have vibration reduction technology, but they have metallic bodies and are built like tanks. My 300mm f/4 lens is the model from two generations ago that I bought on eBay many years ago. It’s a testament to Nikon’s build quality that it still works great and has survived a couple of drops at the race track. I never thought the last generation version of the lens was worth upgrading too, but I may be ready to spend a couple grand on Nikon’s latest 300mm f/4 lens, which is significantly improved over its predecessors.