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OPINION

Amid Disaster, COVID-19 Presents Opportunities

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, presents the biggest threat to the global economy since the Great Recession of 2008 -- not to mention the threat to human life. The outbreak already is decimating the travel and leisure industry, and forcing trade shows to scale down or cancel. It threatens many sectors...

New Oculus Rift S Pushes VR Experience Up a Notch

Facebook unveiled its Oculus Rift S virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. It will be available this spring for $399. With the Rift 2, Oculus "is following some of the trends set by Vive -- inside-out tracking, incremental improvement, and focus on comfort," obse...

ANALYSIS

Virtual Reality: Slow Growth but Expanding Use Cases

When the Oculus Rift launched in 2014, industry stakeholders speculated that the new, high-end in-home virtual reality headset would disrupt the entertainment industry. Just four years later, the technology has reached a crossroads, still lacking adoption by mainstream consumers. In a recent survey,...

OPINION

Let’s Create a TV Show to Fix Silicon Valley

Startups have been creating employee hell in Silicon Valley. That was on my mind as I read the book Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us. I think this book should be required reading for anybody who thinks working for a startup in Silicon Valley would be fun. Unless yo...

GADGET DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES

Echo for Kids, Retro Voice Assistants, and a Second Snap

Amazon is trying to rope in younger members of the family to use its Alexa voice assistant with the release of a smart speaker for kids. The Echo Dot Kids Edition has a rubber case protecting a standard Echo Dot and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy. It includes a one-year membership...

ANALYSIS

The VR Experience: Challenges for a Growing Market

Virtual reality devices, including headsets and peripherals, offer consumers and businesses new ways to experience and share immersive content for entertainment, educational, social and other purposes. VR's unique capability to promote user interaction through highly immersive content provides untap...

OPINION

Ready Player One and the Troubled Future of VR

One of the issues with virtual reality is that expectations have been overset massively with TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, which promised an artificial reality indistinguishable from reality. VR failed. It didn't have to -- there is a pattern to bringing out successful technology tha...

New AWS Platform Promises Fast AR, VR, 3D Development

AWS has announced Amazon Sumerian, a new Web-based platform to help developers quickly design and deploy VR, AR and 3D applications without the requirement for complicated tools and training. The platform lets developers build realistic VR, AR or 3D environments, populate them with animated characte...

Zuckerberg Pays Virtual Visit to Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday used virtual reality tech to "teleport" to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and soon was dubbed a "heartless billionaire" by critics who felt he had exploited the dire situation in the U.S. territory. That likely isn't what Zuckerberg intended when he provided the...

OPINION

Anticipating the Smart World of 2027: A Billion Cameras and AI, Oh My…

Nvidia went to China last week and made a series of interesting announcements having to do with smart cities and autonomous cars. IBM made an announcement on advancements in tying the Weather Channel to its Watson artificial intelligence engine, and improvements in targeted marketing. We also found ...

Facebook Adds Hardware, Software Vetting and 4K to 360 Live

Facebook on Tuesday announced several updates to its live-streaming platform, including a new hardware and software vetting program used to create 360-degree video. Through its new Live 360 Ready Program, Facebook will review hardware and software and approve products that work well with its Live 36...

Microsoft Partners Heed Mixed-Reality Call

Microsoft showcased a new series of mixed reality headsets from partner firms Acer, HP, Asus, Dell and Lenovo at Computex 2017. The preview marked the company's commitment to establish Windows 10 as a leading driver of mixed reality capabilities, as well as to open up the market to a wider variety o...

OPINION

Our Sci-Fi Future: Silly vs. Terrifying

The future is now, or at least it is coming soon. Today's technological developments are looking very much like what once was the domain of science fiction. Maybe we don't have domed cities and flying cars, but we do have buildings that reach to the heavens, and drones that soon could deliver our pa...

Facebook Builds a VR Space, but Will Anyone Come?

Facebook has announced the beta launch of Facebook Spaces, a new app that allows users to connect with friends and colleagues in an interactive virtual reality environment. The app provides a way for social media users to hang out as they might otherwise in person -- even bridging great distances --...

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