giz asks
Is the VR Universe in Ready Player One Possible?

In 2018, nearly everything is in place for a descent into a Ready Player One-style dystopia. The way things are going, we should be destitute and beaten down by climate change long before the 2040s. All we’re missing, for now, is the technology. People are already more than happy to spend huge percentages of their lives hooked up to alternate realities (social media, MMO games, binged television) but these are all rudimentary compared to Ready Player One’s immersive, hyper-lifelike OASIS VR universe. Those looking to escape the grim, cash-squeezed drudgery of day-to-day life through fully-immersive VR will have to wait, for now, until someone invents a way to get 75% of the country’s population on the same platform. Read More >>

gaming
Vive Pro Review: Way More Beautiful, Way Better—Way Too Expensive

When the Vive and the Oculus Rift came out in the spring of 2016, they did something incredible: they made VR actually worth caring about. Previously, the closest thing people had come to virtual reality were weird sci-fi movies or half-baked products like the Virtual Boy. Yet even now, nearly two years later to the day since the original Vive arrived, VR headsets still aren’t a household commodity. While that might be a bit depressing for some of us, it’s not really that surprising, because the release of those original head-mounted displays was only just the beginning of a much bigger three-step cycle. Read More >>

VR
Brighton Destroys London in First Ever Inter-Pub VR Tournament

I have a confession to make, dear readers. Last Thursday, I let down not just me and my friends, but all of London by proxy. Read More >>

movies
Steven Spielberg Got Old

You might have missed it, basking in the glow of entertaining masterpieces like Jurassic Park, Jaws, and E.T., but Steven Spielberg, the architect of your childhood, is old. The director turned 71 in December and that does not, by itself, indicate he is old. Jane Fonda, for example, is 80-something and talks about social justice like a Tumblr teen. No—Spielberg’s descent into old-man-yells-at-cloud territory became apparent in the last two weeks as he’s entered the public eye to plug something beyond turgid historical dramas. Read More >>

VR
HTC Can Have My £799 When It Finally Makes the Vive Pro Wireless

After months of teasing (including some great demos at CES), HTC’s Vive successor, the HTC Vive Pro, is finally on sale. It’ll cost £799 for the headset alone and ship beginning 5th April. While the upgraded dual-OLED displays and integrated headphones capable of 3D spatial audio are cool, the high-end Vive Pro won’t actually include the best part—the Vive Wireless Adapter. In January, HTC said the adapter would ship in Q3, or around the end of summer. Read More >>

virtual reality
Microsoft Wants You to Touch the VR World With a Giant CLAW

What Microsoft Research lacks in cinematography skills, it’s making up for with super-fun solutions to virtual reality’s biggest problem: the lack of real-world feedback. In a blog post published late last week, Microsoft detailed four different experimental methods for delivering haptic feedback, including a cane that would allow the visually impaired to “see” in VR, and a claw (simply named CLAW) that lets users actually interact with, and feel objects in the virtual world. Read More >>

virtual reality
MWC 2018: I Got to Shoot Bad Guys With HTC’s Standalone Vive Focus Headset

Last year, HTC announced that it was developing its own standalone VR headset, known as the Vive Focus. It was, and still is, a Chinese exclusive, but HTC did bring a couple of models over to Barcelona for MWC and I got to have a go for myself. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Pulls Oculus Rift Shooter Bullet Train From Conference Amid Gun Violence Controversy

Facebook has pulled a demo of Oculus Rift’s VR shooter “Bullet Train” from the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland amid concerns over gun violence, Variety reported Saturday morning. Read More >>

watch this
Joanna Lumley and EE Hosting 360-Degree Triv-VR Quiz

The BAFTAs are set to take place this Sunday, hosted by Joanna Lumley with EE as the headline sponsor. Which is great! Good for them. What's more interesting at this point, however, is that EE will be commemorating the occasion with a brand new 360-degree movie trivia quiz show - also hosted by Lumely. Read More >>

virtual reality
VR Games Are the One Way to Make Exercise Even Less Appealing 

VirZOOM, a VR/fitness firm, wants to get you off that couch and into a calorie-burning virtual reality. The Massachusetts-based startup is selling a new series of stationary bikes that sync with VR headsets to immerse players in elaborate fantasy scenarios as they cycle. On the one hand, fitness is important. On the other, look at this shit. Read More >>

sports
Eurosport Will be Broadcasting 50 Hours of Winter Olympics Footage in VR

People only really care about the Winter Olympics when Cool Runnings is on, or if the host being accused of corruption and human rights abuses. Maybe because snow-based sports aren't that exciting and non-Canadian people don't have as much interest in them. Read More >>

virtual reality
US Olympians Are Using VR Headsets to Train for Pyeongchang

In her book The Imagineers of War, author Sharon Weinberger recounts one of the first deployments of simulation training: to improve America’s performance in a NATO mock tank battle that the US consistently performed poorly in, nicknamed the Canadian Army Trophy. After implementing DARPA’s rudimentary gaming-as-training regimen, the US won. Three decades later, the US Ski and Snowboard Association is using VR training in what could serve as a repeat of that result. Read More >>

pornhub
Pornhub Is Making Smart Sex Toys That Sync With Porn and, Strangely, Look Like Power Tools

As the biggest porn site on the internet, Pornhub already dominates the landscape when it comes to what people get off to. Now the company is also making a push to control how people get off, with a new line of interactive sex toys that sync with Pornhub videos. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Invented a New Unit of Time

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Facebook, as a company, is meant to be an innovator in fields beyond surveillance. But the announcement that it has created an entirely new unit of time is a nice reminder that the enormous company, which owns both WhatsApp and Oculus VR, is more than just one of the largest spy apparatuses in history. Read More >>

gaming
Gamers Rally to Comfort User as he Suffers a Seizure in VR Chat

Every now and then, human beings can be pretty swell. Earlier in the week a gamer suffered a seizure in VR Chat, and was immediately comforted by a group of concerned bystanders on the virtual reality social platform. Read More >>