Must Read Bits & Bytes

HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

HTC Vive hands-on: That Valve VR wow-factor

I’m going to be blunt with you, words can’t do justice to the experience of using HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset. There’s nothing quite like slipping into a virtual 3D world, as I did this week in a preview of Vive ahead of developer units shipping this spring. Cloistered in a room at the back of HTC’s Mobile World Congress stand, and with the reassuring voice of a Vive engineer whispering in my ear, I got to try out a number of demo apps and environments created for the platform by Valve and others, including the first announced title for SteamVR.

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Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6: Look out world, the Brits are back

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6: Look out world, the Brits are back

When Bentley makes a concept, it doesn’t do things by halves, and the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is the best evidence of that we’ve seen in years. Dropping jaws here at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the deep green two-seater isn’t just a design exercise - even though that alone would be enough to have us interested - but, teasingly, the forebear of a new age of styling for the heritage company and potentially even a new line of more performance-focused models to sit alongside the Continental GT grand tourer. And, while you might associate Bentley with old-school luxury, if anything the EXP 10 Speed 6 could be the most technologically forward-looking car at the show.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV hands-on

NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV hands-on

The living room-based center of the NVIDIA SHIELD family has been revealed this week at GDC 2015, and we've had the opportunity to get up close and personal. This device goes by the name NVIDIA SHIELD - see more about that naming convention in our first detail article if you must - and it's made to sit beside your television. Our first experience with the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV device was with a developer iteration, but it's set to be essentially the same beast when it's released later this year.

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NVIDIA SHIELD specs: entertainment device detailed

NVIDIA SHIELD specs: entertainment device detailed

This evening we've been given our first full tour of the NVIDIA SHIELD living room entertainment device. This device joins the SHIELD Portable - a controller/display combo, and the SHIELD Tablet - a high-powered tablets that works with the SHIELD Wireless Controller. The NVIDIA SHIELD is made to empower your TV as it works with your Google account for content. As such, it runs Android TV. It outputs up to 4K 60fps content to your big screen, and it runs with an NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor, as well.

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Sony Project Morpheus release set for 2016 with 120Hz display

Sony Project Morpheus release set for 2016 with 120Hz display

This afternoon Sony suggested that their Project Morpheus VR headset would be launching in the first half of the year 2016. They also said that this new and improved headset - still tethered to the PlayStation 4 - would be "targeting" 120Hz display tech - that's intense. As Shuhei Yoshida said today, Sony is "one step closer to realizing our vision of making virtual reality a reality in games." This week the PlayStation 4-centric Project Morpheus VR headset will be shown off to developers who wish to work with the headset in the near future - for PS4 games, of course.

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Simplicam adds detection zones for fine-tuned home security

Simplicam adds detection zones for fine-tuned home security

When it comes to the ‘Internet of Things’, context is important. Not the context on background of the sensor or item, but context in how it can make the info it’s grabbing make sense. An often overlooked part of your smart, contextual home is the security camera. For DIY home security monitoring, nothing outshines Simplicam. Already a winner due to facial recognition, Simplicam is now offering detection zones, which you can program yourself. Now, you’ll be able to get alerts exactly as you want and need them.

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Pebble Time Steel revealed plus smartstrap sensor add-ons

Pebble Time Steel revealed plus smartstrap sensor add-ons

It's only been a matter of weeks since Pebble showed us its new Time smartwatch, and already there's a second, metal-bodied version, the Pebble Time Steel. Echoing the second-gen original Pebble, which wrapped the guts of the first, plastic wearable in a more premium casing, Pebble Time Steel comes in stainless steel casing and has a larger battery than its cheaper sibling. Meanwhile, the Kickstarter success has also revealed exactly what it has in mind for "smartstraps" for the new Time and Time Steel watches.

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Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

In Barcelona, Samsung did the expected. We’ve got two flagship phones, one of which is curvy in all the right ways. Not only are the two phones really intriguing, they’re downright nice. Finally, Samsung has distanced themselves from plastic and gone with more premium materials. While the two devices are out, there’s still a lot you might not be aware of. Rather than get exhaustive about what’s new, we thought we’d summarize the headline-grabbers for you. Here are — wait for it — six things you should know about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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Panasonic Nubo wants to kill Dropcam with 4G

Panasonic Nubo wants to kill Dropcam with 4G

Streaming security cameras are great, until your WiFi connection dies and your virtual peephole gets cut off. Enter the Panasonic Nubo, throwing 4G LTE into the mixture along with some smart home ambitions. Panasonic isn’t aiming low, either, claiming the Nubo is a “Dropcam killer” from the outset, and aiming to out-perform everything on the Nest-owned streaming camera’s spec sheet. I caught up with the Panasonic Cameramanager team to find out why Nubo shouldn’t just be on your home office wall, but hitching a ride in your suitcase.

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Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Sundar Pichai: Google has carrier plans, but think Nexus-scale

Google will indeed light up its own MVNO network in the coming months, SVP Sundar Pichai has confirmed, but it's more like the Nexus of wireless than a strike at AT&T and Verizon. Rumors of Google-controlled wireless cellular service have circulated for some years, surfacing again in January with speculation of a direct-to-user network which the search giant would use to test out new mobile tech. According to Pichai, while there is indeed some truth in the Google MVNO chatter, it's not quite the same as a play for the market as a whole.

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