How wearables are changing health care

When our wearables talk with our doctors John Francis’s family has a history of high blood pressure, so when the 53-year-old Minnesotan saw that Apple’s online store offered a blood pressure monitor by iHealth that could upload data to a smartphone or tablet app, he bought it and began tracking his blood pressure. Surprisingly, the readings showed not only that his blood pressure was low but also that it was getting lower and lower. A month later, when the monitor, which also checked his pulse, measured it at a frightening 30-35 beats per minute (a normal rate is 60-100), he … Continue reading How wearables are changing health care

Virtual college education

The Future of College? On a Friday morning in April, I strapped on a headset, leaned into a microphone, and experienced what had been described to me as a type of time travel to the future of higher education. I was on the ninth floor of a building in downtown San Francisco, in a neighborhood whose streets are heavily populated with winos and vagrants, and whose buildings host hip new businesses, many of them tech start-ups. In a small room, I was flanked by a publicist and a tech manager from an educational venture called the Minerva Project, whose founder … Continue reading Virtual college education

Fun reactions to immersive reality

  Adorable Elderly People React To Virtual Reality Device Oculus Rift After asking a group of game elders to test out Google Glass, the Fine Brothers upped the ante on futuristic technology of today and showed them Oculus Rift, a virtual reality device (and not a rock group like one lady assumed). The elders had no idea what they were dealing with. “I’m not going to electrocute myself, am I?” one asked. Many thought it was a protective mask of some sort—for space or snorkeling or war or for preventing spread of the Ebola virus—while some thought it might be … Continue reading Fun reactions to immersive reality

The psychology of sport gaming

Madden 15 Review: Victory Formation EA Sports’ Madden series celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. This year’s Madden NFL 15 observes another important milestone: the 10th edition under the exclusive license of the National Football League. That deal fundamentally altered the relationship between sports gamers and developers. The exclusive license made the annual, iterative nature of sports video gaming a primary topic of criticism. With no alternatives on the shelf, skipping a year of a series was now a grave choice for a fan, between picking up something that didn’t earn the money or going without that sport for a … Continue reading The psychology of sport gaming

The state of virtual reality

The rise and fall and rise of virtual reality The promise of virtual reality has always been enormous. Put on these goggles, go nowhere, and be transported anywhere. It’s the same escapism peddled by drugs, alcohol, sex, and art — throw off the shackles of the mundane through a metaphysical transportation to an altered state. Born of technology, virtual reality at its core is an organic experience. Yes, it’s man meets machine, but what happens is strictly within the mind. It had its crude beginnings. A definition of virtual reality has always been difficult to formulate — the concept of … Continue reading The state of virtual reality

Is virtual reality “cave” the future of VR?

Motion controllers make great virtual reality lightsabers One of the things that gaming — and by extension, virtual reality — has given us is the opportunity to live inside our favorite fictional worlds. In the Oculus Rift, you can ride Marty McFly’s hoverboard. You can make the Death Star trench run from Star Wars. Continuing in that vein, gaming peripheral company Sixense has created a demo showing us what fighting with lightsabers might feel like. It’s one of the most obviously fun, relatable things to do with motion controllers, even for people who are otherwise skeptical of VR. Sixense previously … Continue reading Is virtual reality “cave” the future of VR?

Virtual scenarios for gaming

Microsoft Research’s ‘DeLorean’ cloud gaming system can predict your next move Cloud gaming may sound like little more than a marketing buzzword, but the idea of running games off of powerful servers and streaming them to small boxes under your TV is incredibly promising. You wouldn’t need to buy costly new consoles every five years, and you could play any game in seconds without running to the store or downloading a massive file. And everyone would be able to enjoy some of the best graphics around. There’s only one problem: it takes time for game feeds to make it from … Continue reading Virtual scenarios for gaming