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Virtual reality company Oculus VR revealed new details about its product lineup and partnerships on Thursday morning, as the Facebook-owned company inched closer to the Q1 2016 release of its flagship device, the Oculus Rift VR headset.
A gigantic time capsule from 1965 is going to be opened this afternoon in Bay City, Michigan. And locals have been speculating about what could be inside. Will it be filled with old movie cameras and classic records? Priceless gems and bars of gold? Probably not.
While Oculus is planning to release the amazing new Rift headset in Q1 2016, one of its biggest partners, Samsung, revealed it will release the consumer version of Gear VR in November for just $ 99. This will work with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.
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Oculus SDK 1.0 is coming in November
Both Rift and Gear VR will need a lot of VR content, and Oculus is planning to update its software-development kit to help studios do exactly that. One of the big things this SDK will come with is direct drivers — this will enable the headset to work without having to fiddle with setting up the Rift as an external monitor.
This is a 1980s-style arcade simulator that enables you to feel like you’re playing Pac-Man at a stand-up machine.
Trailer for Rift games
Twitch, Hulu, Netflix, and more to support Oculus Video
Developers are working on plenty of games for virtual reality, but Oculus is expecting all kinds of content to make the leap to its Rift and Gear VR systems. That includes video services like Netflix and Hulu — the latter of which revealed it is planning to build VR-native videos.
“Oculus Ready” PCs
You’re gonna need a beefy PC to use an Oculus Rift, but you won’t need to guess if certain systems will work. Oculus announced it will work with hardware manufacturers like Dell, Alienware, and Asus on a line of “Oculus Ready” rigs that cost less than $ 1,000.
Microsoft is planning to make the Windows 10 Edition of its block-building game Minecraft compatible with Xbox One.
Oculus is working on its equivalent of Xbox Live and the App Store
Facebook, the owner of Oculus VR, has said that it won’t try to make a lot of money on the Rift hardware. That means it’s going to make the real cash on the app and software side. And we saw a little bit of that today when the company revealed how its platform will handle social features, analytics, and distribution.
Oculus Touch trailer and release date
The incredible Oculus Touch controllers, which brings your hands into VR, aren’t coming out until Q2 of 2016. But here’s a trailer to show what they can do.
Oculus chief executive officer Brendan Iribe said that every new platform needs a paint app, and Medium is what his company is calling its take on 3D drawing.
The SleepSense is a contactless sensor that’s placed under your pillow to analyze your sleep patterns, and the ultimate goal is to improve your sleep. To do so, it connects up with your TV, air conditioning, music system, and other smart home contraptions — all managed through a mobile app.
It can turn off your TV when it senses you’re asleep, or turn your coffee machine on when it reckons you’re awake in the morning.
The AddWash is touted as “the world’s first washing machine that allows consumers to add laundry at any point of the wash cycle.”
Say wha’? It really is quite genius — you can add items of clothing to the main cycle mid-wash. Press a button to stop the drum, and throw in those garments you forgot without having to drain the main compartment.
This is also a connected washing machine that can pair with your Android and iOS devices, letting you monitor and manage a washing load remotely, while receiving update alerts.
Related to the Internet of Things, Samsung revealed it was working to integrate SmartThings with BMW cars, with notifications from the SmartThings Hub displayed on the car dashboard. The SmartThings app will also let BMW drivers lock / unlock their car, and view the technical status of their vehicle.
Similarly, an integration between a new Car Mode for Galaxy app and Volkswagen will let drivers take calls, control music, and more using touch or their voice. This partnership will also see the Volkswagen Car-Net e-Remote app integrate with the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, letting drivers locate their parked car, or even turn the air-con on from their wrist.
The company said it will issue a firmware update shortly, letting viewers display a broader High Dynamic Range (HDR) from external devices. It basically means a higher level of contrast between the lights and darks to create a clearer picture.