virtual reality

MSI launches Windows 10 PCs geared towards Virtual Reality

MSI launches Windows 10 PCs geared towards Virtual Reality

Computex 2016 is almost over, but there is no break to the flood of new computing devices and components being announced, ready to storm the market in a month or two. Although the product selection is as diverse as the computing industry, many of them have a common theme: virtual reality. Joining what could be the next gravy train, MSI has also revealed its own army of VR-ready PCs, most of them laptops. The lone exception, however, is the odd yet totally understandable "Backpack PC" that tries to make VR a little more portable.

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OnePlus 3 goes invite-free starting June 14 launch date

OnePlus 3 goes invite-free starting June 14 launch date

OnePlus may have just gotten a two thumbs up from its fans and has increased its potential new customers. Putting rumors and fears to rest, co-founder Carl Pei finally went public to reveal a long kept secret. The OnePlus 3 will be made available directly and without any need for invitations right from the start, which is June 14, 3:00 p.m. Eastern. But more than that, OnePlus is also doing away with the invitation system forever, at least for all new products moving forward.

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The ultimate VR workout combines Vive with a rowing machine

The ultimate VR workout combines Vive with a rowing machine

Much has already been said about how playing certain games in virtual reality can be comparable to exercising. With all the moving and arm flailing, it's common for users to find themselves building up a sweat. But what if you combined a VR headset with using an actual exercise machine? That's exactly what one startup has done, pairing a HTC Vive with a rowing machine.

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Microsoft Research “FlashBack” can bring VR even to low-end devices

Microsoft Research “FlashBack” can bring VR even to low-end devices

Virtual reality is truly an incredible technology that deserves to be in everyone's hands, or eyes rather. But currently, the devices that allow people to experience VR stand at opposite ends of a spectrum, neither of which make VR really accessible. On the one hand, you have dedicated machines like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. On the other extreme, you have empty shells that require a smartphone, like the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Interestingly enough, the middle ground between these two might have just been discovered thanks to the efforts of Microsoft Research. Called FlashBack, it is a combination of technologies that could let even less powerful smartphones and laptops handle the load required for a smooth, jitter-free, nausea-free VR experience.

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New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

PCs are the favorite example of analysts, observers, and journalists of a dying breed. Ironcally, developments in the tech sector, even some in mobile, in the past year or so might be bringing the favorable spotlight back on PCs. More sophisticated virtual reality content and multimedia creation necessarily require more processing power than even the most powerful Android or iOS device can provide. Answering that call, Intel is revealing at Computex 2016 its most extreme Extreme Edition to date. The Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition boasts of 10 cores toiling away together to deliver the computing power needed for those immersive experiences.

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ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

Despite a noted slowdown in shipment and sales, smartphones remain the fastest growing device market today and outnumber PCs even. However, smartphones have ceased to be mere communication devices and have even started venturing into uncharted and indirectly related territory, like virtual reality. In order to address the nascent but growing "synthetic" reality market, ARM Holdings has announced new chips, specifically the new 10 nm FinFET Cortex-A73 CPU and the Mali-G71 GPU. While they naturally benefit mobile devices in general, they are being poised to be well-suited to address the processing needs of virtual and augmented reality applications.

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Rise of the VR-ready Backpack PC: Aorus, HP, MSI, ZOTAC

Rise of the VR-ready Backpack PC: Aorus, HP, MSI, ZOTAC

This week both HP and MSI have revealed Backback PCs - computers that act like desktops but fit on your back, preparing you for a full-range, untethered VR experience. It would seem at first as though they would be leading the way - most average citizens have never seen a Backpack PC before, right? But that's just not true - at least three different groups have made the Backpack PC a real, working model before now - but only now are we truly starting to reach a first stride.

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HTC to show off their first VR game for the Vive

HTC to show off their first VR game for the Vive

We've heard a lot about Oculus's approach to their first-party games lately. However, we haven't really heard anything from HTC about developing their own games. Since they've partnered with Valve, I'd assumed that they were leaving the first-party game development to them. However, it turns out that HTC is indeed working on their own game for the Vive.

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HTC Vive’s front-facing camera just got more useful

HTC Vive’s front-facing camera just got more useful

One thing that I love about using my HTC Vive is the front-facing camera. It might seem like a strange feature to get excited about, but when your eyes are completely covered, having a camera in front of them really helps. You can actually turn on a special mode that allows you to see a rough outline of everything around you, at certain times. This is great for grabbing a drink or a snack, without having to take off the headset.

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VR goes portable with MSI’s new backpack computer

VR goes portable with MSI’s new backpack computer

Good news, everyone! Now there's a way to finally enjoy virtual reality while one the go! No, I'm not talking about Samsung's phone-based Gear VR, or even using a headset in a really wide, open space — like a warehouse. I mean using a high-end headset, like the Rift or Vive, while it's still tethered to a powerful PC. How is this possible? MSI has a simple solution: just strap the rig to your back!

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Samsung has a 5.5-inch 4K display for VR in the works

Samsung has a 5.5-inch 4K display for VR in the works

We're still just coming to grips with the long awaited commercialization of virtual reality technology and Samsung, unsurprisingly, is already trying to push the boundaries of technology and wallets. Although it will insist it's still in the prototyping stage, Samsung showed off at the Display Week conference in San Francisco a display designed for virtual reality and boasting of a 3840x2160 4K resolution. The screen's size is 5.5 inches, which is pretty much smartphone size. Almost ironically, Samsung might have found a use for the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium's 4K screen as well.

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Samsung might have a gamepad for the Gear VR coming soon

Samsung might have a gamepad for the Gear VR coming soon

As fancy and entertaining virtual reality might sound, it has a few shortcomings, primary among which is input. VR delivers an illusion of a different kind of reality, but that illusion breaks down when you start having to manipulate things. Systems like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive use an approximation of our hands via control sticks. The Samsung Gear VR, however, isn't as lucky. Unless you want to always feel like Cyclops touching your visor repeatedly, you will eventually end up reaching out for a gamepad. Luckily, it seems that Samsung might have made especially for the Gear VR.

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