Oculus leaks images of consumer Oculus Rift prior to press conference
Jun10

Oculus leaks images of consumer Oculus Rift prior to press conference

Oculus VR accidentally released images of the Oculus Rift consumer headset on Tuesday. Considering the company is announcing the details of the device at a much-anticipated press conference on Thursday, however, the leak seems more like a well-timed PR stunt as opposed to an honest mistake. And if the appearance of the renderings was indeed a mistake, the interested drummed up across the internet sure was a great byproduct. The images appeared when the company unveiled its new website earlier this week. Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey took to Reddit to explain the snafoo. “This is an old placeholder concept image that we accidentally leaked,” he wrote. “Everything in it is ancient, certainly nowhere close to final (as evidenced by the GPU specs and the game named ‘war’). Enjoy checking it out, at this point, but don’t expect everything to carry through to the stream on the 11th.” On the pre-order page, an image suggests that the Rift headset, the Rift tracker, the Simple Input Device (SID), a game pad, and cables will arrive to consumers in a sleek, minimal black box. The SID could be a solution for navigating menus and selecting content, or it could be a motion control device akin to a Nintendo’s Wii remote or HTC Vive’s want controller. Overall, the design of the headset is far more sleek and compact than previously seen, so those waiting to order whatever is revealed on on June 11th will surely not be disappointed. Pricing is as of yet undetermined but is anticipated to come in around $1,500 for the total package. As previously reported, the Oculus Rift consumer version is to be shipped in the first quarter of 2016. Keep tabs on Oculus’ website for the conference countdown, and we’ll be sure to keep you...

Read More
6 wearables to gift gadget-loving graduates
May28

6 wearables to gift gadget-loving graduates

As graduation season draws to a close, a great wave of change takes sweeps over young adults’ lives. Once they step out of their caps and gowns, college graduates (hopefully) bid farewell to a lifestyle of Ramen noodles and all-nighters and are quickly thrown into the great, big, real world. Now tasked with successfully maneuvering adulthood, post-college kids must add early mornings, healthy eating, and making a mark on the business world to the growing list of skills to master. To help the newly minted “adults” stay afloat, here are our favorite wearables to gift graduates. Lumo Lift It would appear the countless times you reminded your graduate to sit up straight didn’t quite stick. The Lumo Lift is an effective way to correct poor posture, which, realistically, is only guaranteed to get worse once sitting behind a desk eight hours a day. The device detects body position and vibrates when the wearer begins to slouch. Well suited for corporate jobs, graduate school classes, or even that temp position, the Lumo Lift gives that little nudge people often don’t know they need. Vigo To be released in July 2015, Vigo is one way to avoid that midday slump at work. The wearable, which fits over the ear and looks a lot like a Bluetooth headset, monitors eye blinks and general body movements to determine when the user is drowsy. It then alerts the user of his or her unfocused, sleepy state with a small vibration, LED light, or sound byte — all of which are customizable. Put this puppy on, and kiss falling asleep on the job goodbye. Myo Armband For overachievers, may we recommend Myo —  a muscle-sensing armband that detects your hand gestures what to do based on your hand gestures and arm motion. With the tap of a finger or the squeeze of a fist, a user can navigate hands-free through an entire presentation… or, you know, through an entire of Call of Duty level. Jawbone UP Any of the UP family members would be helpful in establishing new, healthy routines. What makes this fitness tracker stand out is what happens when you don’t reach your goals of the day. Suppose you’ve been sitting at your chair for the majority of the daylight hours, the UP activity trackers will send gentle push notifications to remind the user to get up and get moving.The tracker also encourages setting a new health goal every day, which allows for fitness, diet, and even sleep monitoring to be seamlessly combined. And if your graduate has money to burn, go for the UP4 — the only band with NFC payments enabled. Muse While this device might not be used in the workplace, the brain-sensing headband can be used after-hours to create a more calm yet productive mind. Calling itself the “mental equivalent of a treadmill,” three-minute “mental fitness” sessions allow users to train their...

Read More
When it comes to camping tech, what’s practical and what’s too connected?
May27

When it comes to camping tech, what’s practical and what’s too connected?

Editor’s Note: In the month of May, we’re focusing on how wearable technology can help users better experience the Great Outdoors. Rapid innovation within the industry has yielded devices catered towards everyone from avid campers and rock climbers to kayakers and motorcycle riders. Whichever way you prefer to experience Mother Nature, whether by using your own two hands or by riding atop two wheels, there is some piece of technology to help you improve your performance or enhance the experience.  Wearables handy for camping are not a novel invention. Not only have companies like Garmin updated smartwatches to include GPS and compass features, many have also added technology to monitor altimeter, barometer, and wireless connections to heart devices and smartphones (take the Quatix, for example). But the unyielding growth of the wearables industry has paved way for even more devices charged with making your camping trip a little more comfortable — and, at times, a lot more connected. Even for those of us intent on experiencing nature at its most natural, it’s hard to deny the ease provided by well-designed wearable tech targeting the great outdoors.  Basic items like headlamps have been around for years and years; only now, technology is being layered onto these traditional devices to make them even more effective. The NAO headlamp uses reactive lighting technology, meaning it self-adjusts brightness in response to its environment. Less fidgeting with your light source means more flexibility, which ultimately means less worry and more fun. If environmentally friendly options are more your style, you can order your solar powered 2C One lamp cap. Providing 12 hours of light for a six hour sun charge, 2C technology can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation. If you are fine with your flashlight but instead are concerned with water access, the $195 GeigerRig 1210 is a high-tech backpack housing a water filter and pressure-creating pump. When in the backcountry, you can purify up to 100 ounces of water at a time — and even take a pressurized shower, if you so choose. Nobody wants to bring their toolbox with them when they pack up their car to go on a camping trip — minimalism, after all, is the name of the game. Small wearables that come equipped with multiple tools can be incredibly useful in hairy situations. The KODIAK is a wristband harboring four outdoor survival tools: a fishing hook, braided fishing line, a flint, and a tinder. Though without any digital features, the creators tested the Paracord bracelet in actual outdoor scenarios to guarantee starvation would not be an option — and we’ll call that pretty functional. Even more utilitarian is the Leatherman Tread, a stainless steel bracelet made up of 11 links, each of which function...

Read More
The Muse headband for mind-management
May15

The Muse headband for mind-management

Editor’s Note:  Third Wave Fashion helps fashion brands, technology companies, and publishers do amazing things in the quickly merging worlds of fashion and tech, and publish a print magazine about fashion tech, the future of commerce, and wearables. The following is a post shared from the fashion tech think tank. Check back soon for more TWF interviews. Now here’s something truly new: A piece of wearable tech that keeps both your body and your mind fit. There are a lot of fitness wearables out there that help consumers track their vitals, but we found a company that created a fitness tool that uses your brain waves to achieve the same goals, but with more benefits. We got the scoop on the Muse headband straight from InteraXon’s CEO and Co-founder, Ariel Garten. Describe Muse. Muse, the brain-sensing headband by InteraXon, is a brain fitness tool that helps you do more with your mind, and more with your life. Muse detects your brain signals during a focused-attention exercise the same way a heart rate monitor detects your heart rate during physical exercise.  This measurement gives you valuable in the moment feedback that you can use to train your brain today, and over time, to reduce stress, increase focus and productivity and improve cognitive function through guided exercises with the Calm app (available on iTunes + Google Play). What was your inspiration behind creating Muse? To begin with, I had an entire team and my co-founders building Muse with me. For us as a whole, our inspiration was about helping people understand and know their own mind. For me, in particular, my inspiration was helping women know that they don’t need to be held back by the voices in their head, the thoughts they have, and the negative dialogue that we use to beat ourselves up. Women are always trying to be perfect, to look our best, to be our best while in reality we are our best. There is nothing that we as women need to do to try to get there; but we have these voices that push and tell us that we are not doing well enough. This causes us insecurity, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Women end up afraid of really acting and doing what we need to do in this world. So my motivation was to help people, women in particular, to stop beating themselves up, to shut down those voices, and be free to accomplish and achieve, with glorious peaceful confidence, what they want to in their own lives. What sets Muse apart from other wearables? Other wearables tend to be tech focused devices that track your body movement, or wearables that are...

Read More
Where, how, and why VR headsets will change the world
Apr22

Where, how, and why VR headsets will change the world

One second I’m sitting at my desk, and the next, I’m staring down at a Ouija board that’s urging me to “R-U-N.” The lights go out, and all I hear is the haunting song of a neglected child. A flashlight turns on above my head and illuminates the dated, dusty wallpaper in front of me. I sprint through the halls in search of an exit. I turn a corner to find the pale songstress looming over a crib. I should run, but curiosity gets the best of me. I enter the room and crane my neck to get a look at the child’s face. No need. Before I can scream, she appears at the tip of my nose, blood dripping from her empty eye sockets as she ruptures my eardrums with a terrifying shriek. This is not the retelling of a vivid nightmare (yet). Rather, this was my first time playing Affected: The Manor, a popular horror simulator for the Oculus Rift. For the record, I love haunted houses. As a matter of fact, each October I brave the lines of Austin’s internationally-acclaimed House of Torment. And although the Wall Street Journal calls HoT “20,000-square-feet of terror,” it doesn’t feel nearly as real or traumatizing as the 103-square-inch display of an Oculus Rift. While my armpits dried and my resting heart rate lowered, it struck me to investigate what other industries are using this type immersive experience. And good news! Haunted mansions aren’t the only places you can explore with a VR headset. Virtual vacation planning Whether you’re planning a vacation or seeking a temporary change of scenery, VR headsets allow you to explore the world from the comfort of your own home. Remember your old-school, childhood View-Master? Well, a “reimagined” View-Master is slated to hit shelves sometime this fall. In collaboration with the Google Cardboard platform, Mattel is turning its 75-year-old stereoscope and 2D film reels into 3D, 360-degree “photospheres.” View-Master’s demo video shows an animated man exploring an animated San Francisco Bay by placing his Android phone inside the updated viewer and focusing on the corresponding disc. Now, imagine for a moment how useful this tool would be in a classroom setting. Teachers could schedule impromptu field trips without the hassle of permission slips or carting around juice boxes all day. Or what about fiancees in search of the perfect honeymoon destination? Rather than relying on a Google image search to get a sense of their prospective romantic getaway, they could virtually vet locations with a relatively inexpensive headset like the View-Master or the Samsung Gear VR. This same decision-making process is already being used by aspiring college students....

Read More