Anyone seen my Xbox? At GDC 2015, virtual reality transported many attendees to another world. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — Whether they’re in town to pitch products, apply for jobs or ponder the next big thing, the Game Developers Conference is an annual rite of passage for gaming geeks of all sizes, shapes and economic persuasions.
More than 24,000 game developers, publishers and journalists cram into Moscone Center for a weeklong dive into the latest gaming trends. In between panels like “Adventures of a Video Game Drag Queen,” “How Players Engage with Morality” and “Designing for Mobile VR in Dead Secret,” they mix and mingle — at least the ones who don’t have VR goggles strapped to their heads.
Virtual reality was one of the first iPhone accessories Apple considered. Photo: USPTO/Apple
The recent New Yorker profile of Jony Ive revealed how he was the driving force behind the Apple Watch, and how he felt the “the obvious and right place” for wearable tech was the wrist — and not the face, as Google tried with its Google Glass project.
In the same story, Tim Cook offered his dim appraisal of Glass, saying that, “We always thought that glasses were not a smart move, from a point of view that people would not really want to wear them. They were intrusive, instead of pushing technology to the background, as we’ve always believed.”
While the two disses may read like potshots at an Apple rival, a patent published today reveals that — yes — Apple has indeed tried virtual reality goggles, roughly three years before settling on the Apple Watch form factor. Here’s what it came up with.
With every waking moment before Apple’s big Sept. 9 reveal, competing tech companies are trying to to steal the spotlight. Samsung, one of Apple’s biggest rivals, revealed its latest creations Wednesday in Berlin. Will two new smartphones, a smartwatch and a virtual reality system be enough to overshadow Apple’s upcoming news?
In today’s video we take a look at Samsung’s latest products and see exactly what the company is cooking up to challenge the iPhone 6 and the iWatch. Check out Samsung’s new Android phone with a curved display (the Galaxy Note Edge), a redesigned phablet (the Galaxy Note 4), a wild virtual-reality phone accessory called the Gear VR and more in this quick roundup.
The awe you feel will be cut fairly short. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin/CC
When my kids and I walked into a coffee shop one sunny day last month, we were greeted by a row of tables holding laptops with gaming demos.
My son gravitated toward the biggest display, a huge TV screen with a giant, face-obscuring set of goggles set in front of it. This was the Oculus Rift, the latest fad gaming device that places two stereoscopic images in front of your eyes to simulate virtual reality.
He slid the massive black eyewear onto his face, picked up the connected Xbox controller, and started moving his head around. The rest of us could see the game on the TV — an abstract shooting gallery in three dimensions, with my boy at the center, first-person style.
After about five minutes of waving his head around and pressing buttons on the controller, my son pushed the goggles up and off his head and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to be sick.”
When Facebook acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion, Mark Zuckerberg said virtual reality was the natural follow-up to mobile as a platform. And while Apple might have missed the boat on Oculus, has Cupertino really missed out on virtual reality?
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Apple has been investigating this area for the better part of a decade — well before the Oculus Rift gaming headset appeared on Kickstarter.
You’ve seen Stephen Spielberg’s film, Minority Report, right? Tom Cruise’s character stands in front of virtual screens, puts on a pair of gloves, and manipulates the data and the memories without touching a thing. Well, the super brains at MIT’s media lab have taken the first step toward that reality, using Apple’s magical device as a display screen and a special glove/attachment combo to interact with it.
The video the group has released shows some pretty fancy stuff, drawing objects in 3D real time, and then manipulating them in collaboration with others. There’s even some slick Minority Report-style interface there, with researches moving red and blue rectangles around in the virtual space they’ve created on the iPad.
If you’re lucky enough to posses an iPhone 4 and haven’t already downloaded freebie Ball Pit, do it now and play around with it a little. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Pretty cool, right? For those of you at work or still saving for an iPhone 4, the game is basically a first-person shooter set in the middle of a what looks like a holodeck from the later Star Trek shows, with the objective of shooting down the spheres that happen to be floating around in the big room with you.