Questions concerning the near future of VR (virtual reality)

As Oculus Rift preorders start, disagreement remains about how mainstream VR will be, whether it is around more than games, and what it will do to people


Is 2016 the year that virtual reality (VR) eventually makes its breakthrough as a mainstream technology? That is a question because of its evangelists and sceptics to argue about, and you’ll find lots in both camps.

With Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset now open to preorder, Sony’s PlayStation VR and HTC’s Vive on their way, and millions of inexpensive Google Cardboard headsets out in the crazy already, this year will visit a barrage of experimenting around VR.

Stepping back from your hoopla, there are three major questions – truly actual questions, you could say – about VR’s potential, so when the responses emerge in 2016, we’ll have a far greater idea of whether this time round, the technology is going to be a success or a flop.

How mainstream is this technology actually likely to be?
Facebook manager Mark Zuckerberg did not spend $2bn purchasing Oculus VR to release a market headset for high end PC owners, even though that is pretty much what its first commercial variant – selling for $599 plus the cost of a strong PC (if desired) – will be.

“One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people,” wrote Zuckerberg in March 2014, when he declared the acquisition. Facebook views VR as another large computing platform, but that may depend on it becoming a mainstream apparatus.

Oculus VR creator Palmer Luckey has recognized the challenge. “Most folks do not have computers with high end graphics cards. As time goes on, that is likely to transform: give it five or six years, and most computers will soon be effective at running great virtual encounters,” he said in the Web Summit summit in December 2015.

“Right now it’s going to be this niche just because of the equipment … but you can still sell many millions of units.”

Will VR actually be about more than games?
When Oculus Rift first appeared as a $2.4m Kickstarter crowdfunding effort in 2013, it was all about the games. “The first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.”

When it ships this spring, it will come with two games: Lucky’s Story and EVE: Valkyrie, with the assurance of “more than 100 titles available by the end of 2016”. A few of the world’s top games console, PC and mobile programmers work on VR games for the Rift and PlayStation VR.

And yet … VR is going to be about more than games. Zuckerberg was definitely believing beyond gaming when he declared Facebook’s Oculus acquisition.

“This is only the beginning. After games, we are likely to make Oculus a platform for a number of other encounters,” he wrote. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face to face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

Already, several non-gaming uses are emerging to the fore: instruction and training; VR movies; music and sports. Plus, necessarily, porn.

In the Web Summit, Luckey looked especially keen on instruction. “There’s a lot of potential for virtual reality in the education industry,” he said. “Classrooms are busted. Children do not learn the best by reading novels.”

Maybe not viewpoints that’ll endear him to some teachers, but Luckey went to indicate that VR could be a means to provide kids virtual field-trips to areas they wouldn’t be able to see in the real world.

There is lots to discuss about virtual reality as a technology, but its future is going to be identified just as much by its societal gains and prices.

Can the iPhone be used as a business tool?

iPhone4We know that the Apple iPhone has been a huge success.  You only have to look around to see large numbers of young people playing all manner of games, listening to music, texting and calling, all from their iPhone.

But what is less clear is how useful the iPhone can be to a business user.  Can the iPhone really help a business man or woman in their job, can it add value and functionality to your work?

How the iPhone has become a powerful business tool

The answer is an emphatic yes, the iPhone can add a tremendous amount of value and functionality to your work… all it takes is an understanding of what the Apple iPhone can really do for you.  Especially the applications, but other factors such as the ability to use email via the Microsoft Exchange servers are also important.

First of all understand that the latest version of the iPhone, the GS, is a powerful minicomputer.  It used to be that the original versions of the iPhone lacked the raw processing power that many people required of their phones, allowing the Blackberry to gain a reputation as being more important for business users… that has now changed.

Because of this upgrade in processing power the iPhone is able to run numerous applications at once with a massively reduced lag time, making powerful business applications a much more viable option that previously.

This has brought the attention back onto the applications as they become more and more viable and useful.  Each application is a piece of software that can be added to the iPhone to increase functionality, and adding the right applications to suit your needs is important.

  • CRM’s.  Customer Resource Managers are databases many businesses use to keep all the information on their customers and clients up to date.  This sort of information can be vital in a variety of manners, including for such business people as a travelling sales person who will need information on the client they are going to meet.  The iPhone has a number of CRM developers on board, such big players as Oracle, and so can offer a wide range of databases that can help business people keep up to date with their clients whilst on the move.
  • Reports.  Using a combination of email support and easy download/upload of documents it is easy to upload reports onto the iPhone for reading whilst travelling.  This can help save time and stop a commute being a wasted journey – by doing your research and reading straight from your mobile phone.
  • Research.  The iPhone offers full web capabilities, rather than simply WAP technology.  This means you get access to all the web for your research – not just the small samples or basic sites that most phones give you – and since it is all mobile technology it allows you to be more mobile with your research than you would with a laptop.

An iPhone isn’t going to take the place of a computer any time soon, but it does add a lot of power and functionality to a business person’s armour.

What Are Smаrtphones Anyway?

SmаrtphonesWhаt’s thе crаzе аll аbout?

If you hаvеn’t hеаrd of smartphones, wе’d likе to lеаrn whеrе you’vе bееn hiding аll this timе. Smаrtphones hаvе bееn аll ovеr thе nеws аnd chаncеs аrе, you do know whаt thеy аrе – only you know thеm undеr а diffеrеnt nаmе. Smаrtphones аrе mobile phones with computer likе cаpаbilitiеs.

Whаt’s thаt? Ahа! Yеs, you’vе not only hеаrd of thеm, you’vе probаbly sееn thеm аs wеll.  Pаckеd with Internеt аccess, еmаil cаpаbilitiеs, аddress books, аnd а wholе lot morе, cеll phones hаvе comе а long wаy sincе thеir first dеbut. But bе cаrеful not to confusе thеsе nеwеst toys with sаndbox dеvicеs.

Sаndbox dеvicеs аrе tools thаt comе prе-loаdеd with things likе cаlеndаrs, cаlculаtors, аnd а notеpаd. Whаt diffеrеntiаtеs thеm from smartphones is thаt usеrs cаn аdd (downloаd аnd instаll) аdditionаl programs to smartphones аnd thеy sееmingly bеcomе mini portаblе computers for thе pеoplе who usе thеm. Thаt – аnd thе аbility to еdit thе contеnt thаt sits on thеm – is whаt mаkеs thеsе phones “smart.”

Somе of thе morе populаr brаnd nаmеs includе thе Blаckbеrry, PаlmSource, Nokiа, аnd Windows CE. Yеt thе crаzе is еxtеnding to еvеn somе off-brаnd compаny nаmеs. Todаy, it’s hаrd to find а cеll phone thаt doеsn’t offеr somе sort of “smart” tеchnology bеcаusе it’s in such а high dеmаnd. Thе convеniеncе of hаving information аt our immеdiаtе аccess is phеnomеnаl – so much so thаt thousаnds of progrаmmеrs hаvе jumpеd on thе opportunity to build uniquе аpplicаtions spеcific to thеsе smаll mаchinеs.

As а rеsult, you cаn find tons of gаmеs, dаtаbаsеs, GPA systеms, wеаthеr rеporting programs, аnd еvеn smаll еncyclopеdiаs on thеsе things – еаch аccessiblе not аt thе click of а mousе – but аt а fеw pressеs of а frее thumb. Of coursе а mini kеyboаrd is аvаilаblе for thе tеxt-messаging fаn or for thе poor fеllow who cаn’t sееm to gеt аwаy from thе officе. In thе lаtter cаsе, don’t bе surprisеd if you find thе еntirе Microsoft Officе suitе displаyеd within а scrееn no biggеr thаn а matchbook.

Is this а phаsе? Thаt’s highly doubtful. Thе mаrkеt for thеsе dеvicеs еxtеnds from thе highly tеchnicаl аnd professionаl аll thе wаy to thе prе-tееn sociаlitе. Thе product crossеs аll dеmogrаphics аnd thаnks to dеcrеаsing costs – it sееs no еconomic boundаriеs аs wеll. Thе Wikipеdiа еncyclopеdiа clаims thаt “Out of 1 billion cаmеrа phones to bе shippеd in 2008, Smаrtphones, thе highеr еnd of thе mаrkеt with full еmаil support, will rеprеsеnt аbout 10% of thе mаrkеt or аbout 100 million units.”

But whаt is it thаt mаkеs smartphones so аppеаling? As mеntionеd, smartphones givе us thе аbility to not only cаrry our dаtа аround with us whеrе еvеr wе go, it аlso givеs us thе аbility to еdit thаt dаtа аny plаcе – аny timе. In todаy’s “rеаlity” bаsеd gеnеrаtion, wе’rе аlwаys looking for thе opportunity to cаpturе аnd rеlivе а momеnt. And wе wаnt to shаrе thаt momеnt with othеrs. At bеst, smart phones givе us thе opportunity to еxpress oursеlvеs impromptu with еntertаining rеsults.

Attеmpting to do thе sаmе with а bulky dеsktop computer or lаptop is to cumbеrsomе. Evеn somе of thе smаllеst pеriphеrаls (digicаms, digitаl cаmеrаs, еtc.) don’t givе us thе sаmе opportunitiеs thаt smart phones do. Bеing аblе to cаrry аround а dеvicе for communicаtion, crеаtion, rеcording, аnd еditing simply complimеnts thе nееd for todаy’s gеnеrаtion to do morе аnd thеn do it, fаster!

Cheap mobile deals – Customer is the greatest beneficiary

samsung_beam_i8520If there has been one gadget since the computer that has occupied the minds of most consumers and has compelled makers to come out with fresh models on a regular basis, it is the mobile phone. The mobile phone revolution has been a phenomenon that has taken most countries by storm and thanks to friendly policies adopted by all governments in enabling the telecom industry to grow, the penetration of the mobile device has increased tremendously in all these markets. The device has indeed grown from one that was initially perceived to be only for the elite to one for the masses.

It is not surprising therefore that mobile manufacturers have been coming out with many cheap mobile deals, both in terms of the type of handsets as well as tariff plans so that all types of consumers can benefit out of these deals. The mobile handsets have been made such that there is some model or the other across all price segments. This has been a wonderful move in enabling penetration of the mobile service as people with the cheapest handset can still enjoy the basic services.

The other positive aspect has been the design of various tariff plans with facility of both prepaid and postpaid becoming available to people. This has again opened up the market with many parents presenting a mobile to their kids along with a prepaid tariff plan so that there is control over the mobile spends and they can monitor the usage. People who do not mind spending also have access to the latest models offering the best of features as well as functions and that is how mobile manufacturers have been able to balance the demand and make good profits. Many of them have been offering bundled plans that combine the mobile cost as well as the tariff plan into one along with other features for the benefit of the customer.

Consumers have also been benefitted by the excellent distribution system set up by mobile service providers and they are able to recharge their prepaid account whenever they like. Some of them have also been offering attractive gifts to customers who buy the more expensive models and this again is a win-win situation for both the parties.

Samsung has been one company that has been offering the latest technology to its customers and its android offering in the form of the Samsung Beam models has been well received by consumers. The company has been offering Samsung Beam deals in Singapore to start with and will soon be offering them in the UK. This Smartphone device has a Pico projector that is inbuilt and since it is strategically placed at the top of the handset, it is easy to just point it and use it for people wishing to project their image in a larger manner. This innovation has thus made sharing of pictures, content very easy and is sure to be received well in all markets.

Why the iPhone has become so successful

What is the first phone that you think of when it comes to the most up-to-date technology and style?  What is the first mobile phone that you think of when you are wondering what to get next?  Odds are it is the Apple iPhone.  Even if you have decided that you don’t want one it will have entered your head to dismiss – and the reason for that is because the iPhone is hugely successful.

But why?  What makes the Apple iPhone stand out from the crowd of ‘next gen’ mobiles that we see on the market place today?  What fuels it’s success?

Why the iPhone has Become so Successful

There are a wide range of factors that are helping to push the iPhone beyond the success of any of it’s competitors, and such a vast number if reasons can’t be covered here, so instead let us look at the most important factors in the growth and growth of the iPhone revolution.

  • The Apple Brand.  The Apple brand is huge.  From Macs to iPods and much more besides, Apple is a massive player in the consumer electronics industry.  More importantly it has a massive, almost fanatical, following that love to ‘buy Apple’.  These evangelists of the brand not only help drive up sales by buying anything and everything to do with Apple but also sing it’s praises from every point they can. Blogs, forums, word of mouth – all will see Apple fans talking about how great the products, such as the iPhone, are.

The Apple brand is also a trusted name by those that are less fanatical, and as such having the brand behind the     iPhone means that it can trade on that trust in a way that a lot of other technology companies can’t

  • Technology.  Apple is at the cutting edge of a lot of media technologies and as such the iPhone has benefited from this with a lot of technology integration for software and hardware that were first developed for the best selling iPod and Apple Macs.
  • Applications.  One of the major factors in the growth of the iPhone has been the apps functions.  Basically an application is a piece of software that gets added to the iPhone and then adds some sort of functionality.  It could be something as simple as a currency conversion software to using GPS systems to allow you to see your position on various mapping software’s.
  • Integration.  The iPhone can integrate with your current technology seamlessly.  It is easily added to your various Apple accounts such as iTunes, but can also directly link to your email via such things as the Microsoft exchange server.  Certain apps can also be used in such a manner, for example using various CRM databases to synchronise, allowing you to take the information on the road.
  • Marketing.  Let us be simple, Apple have made a great job of marketing the phone as a next generation, lifestyle handset that has led to many people wanting it simply from the adverts they have seen on TV, in magazines etc.

Apple removes adult applications for iPhone

no-porn-ipodApple’s decision to remove adult software applications from its App Store angered developers while their revenues are going down with these stricter policies. Apple said that will continue to ban these software apps to distribute a cleaner content to its customers and developers will be requested to apply changes to their applications and remove the inappropriate material, in order to be distributed by the company.
Since Friday, thousands of adult-related content has been eliminate from the App Store due to some customers’ complaints. Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice-president of product marketing said for NY Times that the main reason for this removal campaign is the constant number of objections coming from parents that are aware of what their children could watch on personal iPhones or from women that find the content too offensive.
Developers are also mad because these removals somehow bypassed some well-known adult apps, like Playboy’s ones. Apple replied that some “well-known” companies’ apps will be still available in App Stores as well as if they had “previously published material”.
Jon Atherton, a developer from Australia related for BBC that since this eradication campaign brought down his revenues from £320 a day to a roughly £5 a day. He added that on Friday Apple sent an e-mail which, in essence sound like this: “thanks very much but we don’t need you anymore”. As a piece of advice, Jon said that Apple would better create an adult section instead of banning these popular apps.
App Store holds about 140,000 applications for its customers and has played a major role in iPhone’s achievements.

Samsung C6625 Smartphone

SamsungC6625SmartphoneFasten your seat belts to enjoy the next big collection from the Smartphone category of Samsung mobile phones. The all new Samsung C6625 Smartphone is set to sail in the market. The phone comes with QWERTY keys with a sleek candy-bar profile. It is expected to have tied up with Vodofone network for communication. This Samsung mobile phone will be your right partner to enhance your texting, documentation and many more process. The mobile phone is sported with 2.6” 262k colours TFT screen with an astounding resolution of 320×240 pixels. It is powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 edition.

The handset is well suited for rich text features and allows you to send and receive SMS, MMS and emails. This handheld supports 3G internet access too. So, you can enjoy high speed internet access. The manufacturers promise a download speed of 3.6Mbps. You can use this mobile as your portable PC. The Microsoft Office tool lets you to edit, write and view your word document. You can even work on Microsoft Excel and Power Point too. The mobile also offers rich applications like scheduler, clock, alarm, calculator, currency converter, to-do-list, remainder etc. All these functionalities will definitely guide you for your official works.

You can use this mobile as your personal entertainer with its personal FM radio and music player. It delivers outstanding audio quality as well. The mobile is integrated with a 2 Megapixel camera. You can shoot your favorite portraits with this cool gadget. You can transfer files and other data to and from the PC via USB connection. The device has built-in Bluetooth connectivity too. This enables fast data exchange between other Bluetooth enabled devices in the vicinity. The smart Bluetooth headphone enables wireless music experience. You can make use of the Active Sync feature for faster synchronization of files. The phone has a built in flash memory of 100 MB. You can extend the memory capacity with the help of microSD cards. The phone offers durable battery life. You can enjoy 4-5 hours of talking time while using it in 3G mode and almost 8.7 hours with 2G technologies. It offers 500 hours of stand-by time for 2G and 350hours for 3G technologies. The device also has integrated A-GPS that can assist you during the journey. The current price range of the Samsung C6625 Smartphone is expected to be around £230.