Virtual Travel Experience

Marriott Can ‘Teleport’ You to Hawaii or London via Oculus Rift

Marriott Hotels is giving a glimpse into the future of travel to those who really don’t like to travel. The hotel chain is using the Oculus Rift headset and a phone booth-like structure equipped with the odors and sensations of an exotic locale to create a “4D” experience. In practice, that means strapping on an Oculus Rift that feeds you visions of Hawaiian beaches or downtown London from the dizzying heights of Tower 42 (the latter is shown in the video above), while the booth conjures up mist, odors and heat related to what you’re seeing. For instance, if you’re seeing visions of a shoreline in Hawaii, you might feel a cool, moist breeze. ….[READ]

AirVR brings the magic of Virtual Reality


You can now attach your iPad directly to your face to experience virtual reality

It was only a matter of time. The iPad has been adapted for all sorts of intriguing and surprising purposes over the years (including, recently, a sex toy). Meanwhile, a number of enterprising organizations and individuals have sought to create makeshift virtual reality goggles out of people’s readily available mobile devices (e.g. Google Cardboard). Now the two trends have converged: AirVR is a Kickstarter project from Toronto design firm Metatecture that seeks $20,000 in funding from backers to create an inexpensive headset for converting your iPad Mini (Retina) or soon-to-be-delivered iPhone 6 Plus into a portable virtual reality viewer. ….[READ]

Gaming subculture heroes

How the gaming community destroys its heroes

Microsoft it announced it was buying Mojang, the developer of indie-game turned phenomenon Minecraft, for $2.5 billion Monday. The same day, Markus “Notch” Persson announced that he was leaving the company, ending a heartfelt note with two very telling sentences. “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.” Gaming, like many subcultures, is prone to cults of personality. But the online intensity of the gaming community can magnify the personal relationship individuals feel with the creators of the content they care about — sometimes to the detriment of the personal and professional lives of those creators, and in turn the industry at large. ….[READ]


Is gaming central to our lives?


Microsoft Sees More Than Fun in a Game Like Minecraft

Parents like Minecraft because it can be a creative outlet for their children. Teachers like the game because it can bring lessons to life. And Microsoft likes the game so much that the tech giant wants to buy Minecraft’s parent company for more than $2 billion. It is not flashy graphics or an intricate story line luring these groups to the game, however. Minecraft has become a global phenomenon by breaking with those usual conventions. The point of the game is building things — and tens of millions of people spend hours constructing elaborate structures with digital pickaxes and other tools — and helping others make their own creations. An exhibit for the Minecraft game in New York last year. The goal of the game is to craft, or build, structures inside its 16-bit worlds. ….[READ]

Are virtual assistants ready to serve you?



A Cambrian Explosion In AI Is Coming

You can call it a Virtual Personal Assistant, an Intelligent Agent, an Intelligent Interface or whatever you wish. We call it inevitable. The Missing Piece. The era of the assistant that began with Siri will eventually dominate the way people interact with mobile devices, computers, cars, wearables, appliances and every other piece of technology that requires complex human-machine interaction. Nearly all of the large Internet players have now launched or are working on some effort to win this next-generation paradigm and it’s the earliest of days. Despite the massive uptake of assistants spurred by Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana, the market and technologies for this paradigm remain in their adolescence. Siri was the first chapter in a much longer, larger story that reminds me of the original iPhone launch in 2007. ….[READ]

How to get everybody a taste of VR


Casual VR: inside Oculus and Samsung’s mobile virtual world

Oculus will not tell me when the long-awaited consumer version of its Rift headset, beloved by PC gamers and dedicated virtual reality enthusiasts, might be released. “I know it’s coming,” says company CEO and co-founder Brendan Iribe when I finally ask the question. “No comment. We’re really excited about Gear VR right now.” He’s talking about Oculus’ new attempt to attract casual virtual reality users that the Rift might put off: a partnership with Samsung that turns a Galaxy Note 4 into the screen for a headset fitted with a trackpad, a few volume buttons, and the first-generation Rift’s tracking sensor. The Gear VR was made possible in no small part by legendary game developer John Carmack, who left his company id last year to work on the project. ….[READ]

The best of experiencing virtual reality


11 thrilling non-game VR experiences

Until very recently, if you ever found yourself talking about virtual reality, it was probably because you were cornered by a wild-eyed science fiction enthusiast breathlessly describing the holodeck on the USS Enterprise, the light cycles in the Tron mainframe, or dodging bullets in the Matrix. You almost certainly weren’t talking about business, and, let’s admit it, you were probably trying hard as possible to politely escape the conversation. But times have changed. If you think virtual reality is still just for sci-fi nerds and gamers– think again.Imagine sending your clients on an incredible journey they won’t ever forget. Virtual reality for business means that instead of telling clients how your product or service meets their needs, it’s now possible to show them. From healthcare to entertainment, take a look at our top 11 favorite virtual reality experiences. Be inspired by how different industries and big name brands are using virtual reality. …[READ]