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News: Google Cardboard gets an update

The Google I/O has been taking place today and one thing that got announced was an update to Google Cardboard. Now, as a fan of VR, this is something that I find quite fun and intriguing, and after taking the first Google Cardboard out for a spin I was surprised by how well it works.

So what’s new with the latest build? Well, for starters it supports devices with screen sizes up to 6″ which will come in handy considering how mobile phones seem to be continually getting larger. Google have now shrunk the steps to build the device from twelve to only three, meaning once you unpack your new D.I.Y VR kit it will only take a couple of minutes to get up and running.

Perhaps the biggest update is that Google Cardboard will now support iOS, meaning that all of you iPhone users out there will get to have fun with some makeshift VR.

For anyone out there who wants to experience virtual reality without handing over a huge sum of money then this is probably worth taking a look at. Google can now boast to having over 1 million Cardboard users and over 500 apps available for the VR market. Not bad eh?

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Offer: Surface Pro 3 Discounted and Free Keyboard

Well this is tempting! If you’re in the market for a tablet/laptop hybrid device then now might be the time to pick one up. The device is currently on offer with a nice bit of discount, but it also comes with the Type Cover free of charge.

All in all, that’s not a bad package and price for such a good bit of kit. The Surface Pro 3 supports the best of both worlds, offering a full desktop experience in a gorgeous package. The device is capable of running as a tablet or laptop, the 12 inch touch screen giving enough space to work comfortably, which when combined with the Type Cover offers a desktop experience.

So as I mentioned above, if you’re in the market for a device like this, or like me you’ve been tempted by the Surface, then now is the time to buy!

If you’re after something smaller then Microsoft did recently launch the Surface 3, a smaller version of the Surface Pro. It’s not quite as powerful as its bigger brother, but still it offers a full desktop/tablet experience to the user and can be paired up with a Type Cover.

If you’re interested in the promotion, which runs until 11th of June, then you can find the link here: Surface Pro 3

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Oculus fires out special press invites for June 11

Well it looks like Oculus are preparing to share some more information on their consumer device after invites were sent out to the press for a special June 11 event, tagline “Step into the Rift”.

Oculus VR recently announced that their consumer product would be launching in the first half of 2016 with pre-orders going live later this year. Hopefully at this event we will get to see finalised specs and pricing for the consumer device along with some more concrete dates for pre-orders and launch windows.

The press event ties in nicely with getting demonstrations ready for this years E3 event. Fingers crossed there will be hands on time and some first impression reports shooting out all over the web.

VR is coming! I’m definitely going to need a replacement heart at this rate as mine still hasn’t recovered from the horror gaming I’ve been trying in VR so far.

While we wait for the event, feel free to check out my early impressions of horror gaming on the Oculus Rift DK2.

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Navigate 3D Pictures of Real Places!

Well, this is impressive. A company named OTOY has posted a video showcasing work they have undertaken to bring real life locations to life in 3D. The video is impressive and if what is being showcased can find its way into the mainstream then I’m sure we will see some fantastic uses for this!

Jut imagine the possibilities, estate agents for example. Right now when checking out a property online we get some boring static images, or if we are lucky we get a video. Now imagine being able to view a property in full 3D and walk around it using something like the Oculus Rift. Want to check out a potential venue for an event? No problem, just slip on your headset.

This is looking like another fantastic leap forward for VR technology. Check out the video below.

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Apple announces October 16th event

Well it looks like the time for the latest announcements from Apple are fast approaching! So what can we expect?

Well it’s that time of year when the iPad’s seem to get their refresh. I feel it is a safe assumption that we will see a new iPad Mini and iPad Air wielding touch ID and slimmer designs. Fingers crossed we will see a 13 inch iPad Pro/Plus (with mouse input support)

A refresh to Apples Mac line is most likely incoming, seeing their 27 inch display Mac gain Retina Display and perhaps we will see an updated Macbook Pro’s? Of course to go hand in hand with this I’m sure we will see a final build of Yosemite and find out exactly when it will see a public launch.

Should you be excited? Well I know I am, but only if that 13 inch iPad makes an appearance!

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iPhone 6 Rumors

We all know it’s coming, in fact in just less than a week we will know all the juicy details, but in the meantime there are plenty of rumours to keep us going. So what are some of the big ones on everyones mind?

Bigger Screen

This one seems pretty likely with all the leaked pictures we have seen and also with the competition increasing the size of their displays so dramatically. Will we see a larger iPhone display? I’d like to think so. I like the current size of the iPhone, but it is pretty tiny, especially after using other devices for a large amount of time. a 4.7″ display seems like a good size to settle one and if there is also a larger 5.5″ device to go along side the 4.7″ that would really make things interesting.

NFC

Will we finally see Apple embrace NFC in their next device? Although some would see this as Apples attempt to play catch up I honestly think if Apple implement NFC in their device then we will see the market finally change. NFC has been around for a long time but no one has really taken it seriously. Apple have the power, influence and ability to really kick NFC into life, gaining a good range of partners to bring it into the retail sector. Could they have what it takes to really spark mobile payments?

Lightning Headphones

Now here’s one I really hope isn’t going to come true. Some believe that Apple will kill the 3.5mm jack and allow the use of headphones through the lightning dock only. Although I could see Apple stepping in this direction, allowing them more control over what headphones their customers use, I really hope this doesn’t come true.

Saphire Display

A super strong display that only diamond can scratch? Sign me up! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled my gadget from my pocket only to find a brand new scratch on the screen. If Apple can bring this rumour to life then I’d be more than happy.

Conclusion

Well there isn’t a conclusion, it’s all just rumour. We have to wait until September 9th when Apple will unveil their next iPhone. Apple have a lot to prove, so I’m excited by what we may see on the day. In the meantime all we can do is wait!

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NFC Ring Initial Impression

Well my NFC Ring has shown up and I’m rather excited. So far it’s pretty good fun to play with, I like the contrast between the bare NFC tag and then the black strip on the other side of the ring. It looks and feels great so no complaints here.

Practicality wise, its a breeze to set up. Tap it against an NFC enabled phone for the first time and it will prompt you to download the correct app for reading and writing your NFC Ring. For those who use Android, you can download an NFC Lock app, which will allow you to unlock your phone using your NFC Ring.

So far I’m using mine as an electronic business card. It’s something a little different and novel, and I’m pretty sure it will earn a few questions when people ask for my contact details.

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NFC Ring

Ah the geek in me will soon be satisfied when my new toy arrives. I ordered an NFC Ring a little while back, and although it really isn’t necessary, I’m really excited by this!

For more information, check out the home page! http://store.nfcring.com/

Basically it’s a ring with NFC built in. Store your contact details, passwords and whatever else you feel like. Kind of goofy, but novel, with a few real world uses. Can’t wait for mine to arrive!

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Neptune Pine

So a little while ago, back in December last year, I decided to back my first Kickstarter campaign. A new upstart company with an idea for a smartwatch that does it all. The device was a beast, more like something the Predator would wear rather than a normal person, but I loved the idea of it.

The device was due to ship in January this year, optimistic in most peoples eyes, but nonetheless the backers were excited. So what do I think about my new gadget? Well, it’s still not here, and the company behind the Pine are jumping from one story to the next.

There have been all sorts of reasons for delays, but the worst part about the Neptune Pine, is the inconsistent updates coming from the company, and thats when they even bother to update backers. Most people understand that backing something on Kickstarter is different to just buying a product, but when the company you are backing outright lies or withholds information, the backers start to get a little annoyed.

At this point I find myself skeptical about whether or not the Pine will ever actually ship. The updates that have come from Neptune haven’t been positive, with models getting cancelled, straps that don’t work, and features that can’t be included yet for one reason or another.

So what’s the point in this post? Nothing really, I just fancied a bit of a rant. Something so interesting and exciting, ruined by a lack of clear and open communication. If Neptune had have just been open throughout this process then the backers would be in a much happier, patient, state of mind.

Looks like I will just have to wait for a new piece of wearable tech to come along and take my fancy!

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WWDC Confirmed by Apple

Apple has confirmed that this years WWDC will take place from the 2nd to the 6h of June. I’m sure we will see all the latest from iOS and OS X. It will be interesting to see how closely Apple joins the two operating systems, which have gotten progressively similar year after year.

What are you most excited to see from Apple?



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Amazon TV Fire

The new Amazon TV Fire is an intriguing bit of kit. It’s a set top box, but a pretty powerful one, one that represents Amazons first step into gaming.

Alongside the TV Fire, Amazon also announced a controller to go along side their device, and also a new in house games development studio. They’ve had some top talent from within the gaming industry joining their team and this could spell the start of something very interesting.

For me it’s not the media capabilities that interest me, but the fact that a large brand such as Amazon has put their money behind a product that will act as a mini Android gaming console. The media stuff has been done before, and in fairness so has the gaming, but with the resources Amazon have available this could be the beginning of something very interesting.

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Facebook buys Oculus VR

Oculus Rift

So Facebook has just purchased Oculus VR. I know I should remain impartial, I should not cast judgement… but… NOOOOOOOOO!!!! What cruel fate is this!?! NOOOOOOO! This is the one bit of tech I was really looking forward to and now it shall be polluted and perverted with silly free to play social game. Facebook… I am not amused!


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4K VS AR

Oculus Rift

So with 4K becoming more readily available and some of the major players announcing their augmented reality projects, which one is going to be the next big thing in gaming? It reminds me of the choice I had to make when I built my gaming rig a couple of years ago, do I go with an ultra high resolution monitor or to I go with a 3D ready monitor? In the end I went with high resolution, brushing 3D aside, feeling it was a bit of a gimmick.

So is augmented reality just another gimmick? I guess it depends how well it is pulled off. From reports and reviews of devices currently being tested things are looking fantastic. What we really need however is for developers to support it in a big way. I don’t want to strap a device to my face only to have it used as an extension of what’s going on in the game, I want to feel as though that’s really what I’m seeing, that I’m really immersed in this world.

The easy option is 4K, boosting graphics and giving us some fantastic looking games. It’s easy just to sit in front of a 4K device and start gaming, no need to strap anything to your face or indulge in new control systems. It makes sense, it’s easy, but it’s boring.

Augmented reality is the first bit of technology in quite some time that has me genuinely excited. I can’t wait to see the results, and with major players entering the market competition is going to hot up in a big way and hopefully with that additional accessories will flood the market, making controls more realistic and immersive.

So what’s everyones thoughts? Which will end up taking off and which will flop? Or maybe both will flop, maybe both will succeed? Who will win in this 4K VS AR war?



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Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus

Sony have just unveiled their take on virtual reality with their new Project Morpheus. It should be interesting to see how his turns out and will also offer virtual reality for consoles, something that the Oculus Rift wasn’t going to deliver.

The device will run at full 1080p resolution and offer and work with existing Playstation accessories. When paired up with the Playstation Camera things get a little more in depth, offering another level of head tracking.

So the future of virtual reality is looking healthier, with a first party hardware and software manufacture joining in on the action. It will be interesting to see how the Oculus Rift team respond to this, but I’m sure they’re not worried, battling in the PC arena rather than console.

 

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Android Wear

Well with the revelation of Android Wear things in the wearable department just got a whole lot meatier! It’s great to see that wearables will soon sport properly developed OS’s to work with our small devices rather than what we have at the moment.

What really caught my eye was Motorola’s new watch, the Moto 360. It looks smart, sleek, and above all like a watch. I can’t wait to see the flood of new wearables that will soon be hitting the market. There have been a fair few manufactures jumping onboard this announcement, proclaiming their intent to bring wearable tech to the market.

For a long time now we’ve been forced to wear clunky devices, that feel more like test products than anything else, if we have wanted to dive into the world of wearable tech. With Google’s latest announcement, a sort of Nexus platform for wearables, things look like they will soon be changing.