virtual reality

Oculus Go exits business platform pushing Quest further into the foreground

Oculus Go exits business platform pushing Quest further into the foreground

Oculus can perhaps be credited for having revitalized and popularized what was, until recently, simply thought of as a technological experiment. After the Oculus Rift, the now Facebook-owned company launched other VR devices, including ones that don't need to be tethered to a computer to work, the Oculus Go and the Oculus Quest. It seems, however, that the sun is setting for its first standalone VR gear as the Oculus Go is slowly but surely pushed to the background in favor of the Oculus Quest, even in the one sector where it might have seen massive adoption.

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All Half-Life games are now free on Steam until Alyx launch

All Half-Life games are now free on Steam until Alyx launch

The Half-Life franchise is one of Valve's biggest contributions to the gaming industry next to Steam. It has, however, let that property languish for more than a decade now. Fortunately, that period of dormancy will be ending in two months or so as Valve readies its biggest game release in years. And to make sure that everyone is also ready for Half-Life: Alyx, the company is making all Half-Life titles available for free at least until the prequel-sequel comes out in March.

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Lenovo VR Classroom 2 soldiers on without Google Daydream

Lenovo VR Classroom 2 soldiers on without Google Daydream

Virtual reality, more than its cousin augmented reality, is often seen as an entertainment platform. Save for a few notable exceptions, most of the experiences available on VR platforms today revolve around games and multimedia. There are, of course, applications that take advantage of VR's capability to take people places they've never been to before or see things they normally couldn't. Lenovo is trying to build upon that with the VR Classroom 2 kit which ditches Google's abandonware for its own ThinkReality platform.

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Panasonic VR glasses are a steampunk dream for 5G

Panasonic VR glasses are a steampunk dream for 5G

Panasonic HDR-capable UHD VR glasses shown this week at CES 2020 showed the world that such devices needn't look like a boxy nightmare. Where the first several generations of VR headset from companies like Oculus and HTC brought about a new sort of design language with the hunk-on-face look, the Panasonic design looks like they dropped in from an alternate dimension to bring us some VR glasses that'd be right at home in The Matrix.

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Audi AI:ME autonomous EV concept has VR and a surprise inside

Audi AI:ME autonomous EV concept has VR and a surprise inside

CES wouldn't be CES without a glittering autonomous car concept hitting the Las Vegas strip, and for 2020 it's the turn of the Audi AI:ME to ditch the driver. Billed as the "third living space," the self-piloted e-tron electric hatchback is a prototype of not only what the car of the future might look like, but the sort of things we may be doing inside when we're not focused on actively driving.

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Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin puts VR on a toilet, Smells on a sensor, TP on a robot

Charmin has a set of three conceptual designs for CES 2020, including a toilet paper-retrieving robot, a smell sensor, and a VR experience for the WC. Before we go too much further, it's important to note, here, that Charmin has expressed that these items "won't be for sale in the future." That's unfortunate, especially given the helpful nature of the rolling toilet paper retriever. The VR experience might be best left in the conceptual universe.

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NEON leaked: Samsung’s artificial human revealed in part

NEON leaked: Samsung’s artificial human revealed in part

Samsung Core R3 and the system called NEON Artificial Human from STAR Labs were revealed today in brief thanks to some newly-public USPTO documents. This comes days before the otherwise-official reveal from the folks that've been teasing the system - Samsung's experimental technology group STAR Labs. Now we see what mysteries they've successfully concealed over the last several months at least.

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Teslasuit Gloves try to make you feel VR objects like they were real

Teslasuit Gloves try to make you feel VR objects like they were real

As fancy as virtual reality or even augmented reality may sound like, the illusion of these synthetic worlds breaks down easily. Even when you're not aiming for reality like in VR, the lack of intuitive manual controls much less convincing haptic feedback can really break the immersion that these experiences promise. That's where haptic gloves like the upcoming Teslasuit Gloves come in, employing subtle tricks to make your hands and brain believe that you're really gripping something that isn't really there.

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What is NEON? Samsung STAR labs tease mystery for 2020

What is NEON? Samsung STAR labs tease mystery for 2020

The group called STAR Labs (Samsung Technology & Advanced Research Labs) teased a product called NEON this week. They've suggested that they'll be revealing the details on this mysterious product at CES 2020 - that's just a few short weeks away. We've gleaned just a little bit of information on what NEON could be based on the connections in the company that are already public.

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Facebook is building an Android replacement for future hardware

Facebook is building an Android replacement for future hardware

Facebook is building its own Android alternative, with an in-house team cooking up a replacement to the OS that will leave future VR, smart home, and other products less reliant on Google. Currently, products like Oculus Quest, the standalone virtual reality headset, and Portal, Facebook's video-call display, are based on customized versions of Google's Android.

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Oculus Quest gets hand tracking update this week

Oculus Quest gets hand tracking update this week

Oculus and Facebook made a lot of announcements at Oculus Connect 6 in September, but one of the biggest announcements was that Oculus Quest would be getting a hand tracking feature. With hand tracking, users will be able to ditch the controllers and use their hands to interact with objects in VR. Originally scheduled to go live at some point next year, Oculus has moved up release and will be launching the hand tracking update for Oculus Quest this week.

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Qualcomm’s big Snapdragon 2020: The 5G, the chips, the wildcard

Qualcomm’s big Snapdragon 2020: The 5G, the chips, the wildcard

It's been a big week for mobility, and if you've been wondering what will be powering your Galaxy S11, Pixel 5, or any number of other Android flagships in 2020, Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit 2019 probably held the answer. The week-long event kicked off with new chipsets for smartphones before hitting AR/VR and finally computing, with 5G and AI ever-present themes along the way. Read on for the big news you need to know.

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