Oculus reveals new Crescent Bay prototype

Lazada Philippines

Oculus has just revealed a newer prototype of their VR headgear. Dubbed the Crescent Bay, the new gear has been re-designed to allow 360-degree head tracking and faster frame rates for better and more realistic viewing experience.


The new prototype also comes with a built-in headphone for an immersive experience and and attached rear camera allows the user to complete rotate around the VR world at a complete 360-degree turn.


The Crecsent Bay model isn’t really for developers and might be a pre-cursor to a 3rd developer kit (DK3) to be made available to developers on a later time.

Oculus was bought by Facebook last March for a reported $2 billion. We were able to try the Oculus Rift last year but it was an old developer kit.

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Facebook to buy Oculus VR, Inc. for $2 billion

Facebook really has deep pockets, that’s for sure, as it has announced its plans to acquire Oculus VR, Inc. for a total of approximately $2 billion.

For the unacquainted, Oculus VR is the leader in immersive virtual reality technology that made the game-changing Oculus Rift headset which is capable of providing its users a 360-degree view of the virtual world. You can read about our first hand experience of the device here.


The $2 billion acquisition will include “$400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook common stock (valued at $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of the 20 trading days preceding March 21, 2014 of $69.35 per share). The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.”

So what’s Facebook going to do with Oculus? According to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook will accelerate Oculus’ growth in gaming, communications and new social experiences. They will also focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships while operating independently within Facebook.

Zuckerberg also emphasized that gaming is just the start. Facebook is also planning to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. “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.”

“This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.” – Mark Zuckerberg.

Oculus is Facebook’s third billion dollar acquisition. Its first was Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, followed by WhatsApp for $19 billion just this year.

Facebook now boasts 1 billion monthly active users on mobile devices while Instagram has already reached 200 million users.

{sources: 1, 2}

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Be Inside The Game: the future is virtual reality

I’m not a hardcore gamer myself, but I find the gaming industry very interesting. Microsoft already had their Xbox One event following Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U, and in a couple more years, the gaming console battlefield is already set.

Portable gaming will continue to struggle against smartphones and tablets, and E3 is just around the corner. Most likely, there will be a lot of game reveals – but let’s take that away for a moment. I’d like to talk about the consoles, not the games.



True, the PlayStation 4 hasn’t been seen yet, but we already have an idea of what it can do – and it’s almost exactly the same with the Xbox One in terms of the configuration. Both run on 1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar chipsets and 8GB RAM; the only thing where I can find a significant gap is with the 1080p Kinect camera vs the Eye that only supports 720p.

To give you all the insights in a nutshell, we’ll have to say the playing field is no longer about the power – it’s about the experience. The Wii U basically provides an evolution over its predecessor, the Xbox One aims at being the center of your living room and the PlayStation 4 wants to push forward cloud-gaming.


All of them go different directions, but something tells me they all have one destination. Engineers outside these three companies are also developing tools to further the gaming experience, specifically the ones from Kickstarter. If you have kept track of it, you’ll know that the Oculus Rift has already gone a long way.

The Oculus Rift is a consumer-priced head-mounted display equipped with gyroscopes and is still being continued. This just might be the next big step to finally enter Virtual Reality.

Recently, they’ve also worked with Virtuix to incorporate an omnidirectional treadmill into the system. What that means is, you can now walk in the games using this treadmill in all directions without having to move away from your spot at all.

If you can’t keep up, Chris Pirillo from LockerGnome has an excellent demo of how this system works.

So where are we going with all of this? Hypothetically looking at the future, let’s take something like the Kinect into the Omni & the Rift, since the Xbox One Kinect can now track pressure points & heart rates. Add into that Sony’s idea of the future where connecting with anyone to play games at anytime is within reach through the cloud.


You might be doing this in your living room someday.

That could be the future of how consoles will be, so let’s add back the games. Imagine yourself playing in your own living room, literally inside the game. A decade or two from now, you just might be walking around the streets of GTA 7 with your friends; who knows? We’re just hoping we don’t actually feel those virtual kicks to the nuts.

I guess some movies may be right about the future after all.

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Are we ready for Wearable Technology?

We’ve been so engrossed with smartphones, tablets and several other consumer technologies. In fact, some of current tech seems to be overkill already – such as 1080p displays on a 5-inchsmartphone and multi-core CPUs in which platforms aren’t even fully optimized for yet. As time goes, manufacturers look to other elements to perfect and now they’re looking a good look at wearable tech; are we ready?

are we ready

Personally, I do want manufacturers to perfect the smartphone before they look elsewhere. I might have even said that next year could be the year of smartphone cameras as I really like the idea of HTC’s UltraPixel, Nokia’s PureView and Sony’s Exmor RS — they focus on quality/technology over just plain megapixel count (Google’s next Nexus phone is rumored to have a great camera as well).

Moreover, we feel like these companies are looking at something more as each one are confirming that they’re working on something else other than a smartphone or a tablet – specifically a smartwatch.


Samsung has already confirmed that they are working on a smartwatch, while companies such as LG, Apple and Google were reported to be working on one too. This isn’t the first time someone’s making an intelligent wristwatch, as gadgets like the Motorola MotoACTV and the Sony Smartwatch are already available for purchase now. Why the excitement then?

A recent report from analysts say that the time is ripe for smartwatches. If we make that a given, we still can’t deny the fact that companies aren’t only working on smartwatches – but also on other gadgets that you wear. Google already has Glasses for next year, and just recently, they just showcased a talking shoe. Over at the gaming zone, Oculus VR already has the Rift – a head-mounted virtual reality gaming device which is currently being funded and developed.

But let’s get back to the consumer. Do we really need a watch just to check on our notifications when we can just pull out the phone out of our pockets? Or a pair of glasses to take photos when you have a more capable camera lurking in your bag? Above everything else, would it appeal to 3rd-world countries such as the Philippines? Leave your comment and opinion below.

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