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2017 is going to be another banner year for virtual reality, with a continued torrent of new content flowing into the mainstream and a steady setting of the table for a “breakout” year for the industry in 2018. That's according to Robert Nashak, COO of LA-based VR game developer Survios, which in recent weeks announced it's raised $50 million in new financing. As a testament to its commercial potential, as well as a hint about what's to come, that new funding included an investment from a major film studio, MGM. Nashak's assessment about the industry is based in part on what his own company plans to do. As companies likes Google and Samsung continue to pour money into building VR-capable hardware, there's an increasing need for content to consume on those devices -- which is where Survios wants to step in. Among other things, Nashak said the company plans to use its new funding to expand an in-house game publishing platform, in addition to adding thirty party titles to its slate of games and expanding distribution internationally. And he expects other companies to increasingly step up in a similar way. “In 2017, you're going to see a lot more content, and a lot better content,” said Nashak, Survios employee number 6. “I think 2018 is probably the breakout year, where we start to see a huge expansion in the installed base.” He's not alone. The Game Developers Conference released its “State of the Game Industry” report in recent days, and according to its poll of more than 4,500 developers who've attended the conference sometime in the last three years, developers are increasingly hot on VR. So much so that, at least according to the poll, more of them are apparently currently developing titles for VR headsets than for the Xbox One. Since many people still don't have access to the advanced hardware they'll need to enjoy a VR experience, arcades could be the way to go -- for now -- for some of those gamers to have that experience. Sort of like the early days of gaming, before home consoles proliferated and became affordable. Nashak in an interview with BGR acknowledged that reality. Then days later Survios announced, well, an international VR arcade experience. The company unveiled an arcade-optimized version of Survios' best-selling sci-fi combat game “Raw Data,” which will be able to be played in VR arcade entertainment venues around the globe. A Survios spokesman said the arcade build is available for interested operators after being in beta at select arcades up to this point. McKay Christensen, co-founder and CEO of arcade network VR Junkies, praised “Raw Data” as a “fantastic title” with the latest news proving that Survios is a “sophisticated publisher with respect to arcade operators' needs.” “Until the price points come down to a more reasonable level, I think most people will be experiencing VR in arcades for now,” Nashak said. “It's like if you look at the ways, like, Atari marketed itself in the early days -- it was like, we're bringing the arcade into your house.” The “Raw Data” game itself was a quick smash hit for the company. It told Fast Company that a month after it went on sale in July last year, it had already hit $1 million in sales. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8phhKZn4DuM The secret? Story and immersion. “What's special about Survios is I think, honestly, we really double down on the culture,” Nashak said. “A singularity of vision and purpose. We're not all over the map. We have a very clear idea of what VR should do and can do.” MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber is joining Survios' board as a result of the recent funding announcement. That's all a preface to what comes next -- making and supporting great games and great game-makers, Nashak says, along with working to build up Survios as a premier VR company. Really, the ambitions are right there in the name. Survios comes from the English prefix “sur” -- implying “above and beyond” -- and the Greek word for life and reality. So, beyond reality. “In the short term, we continue doubling down on ‘Raw Data' and making it greater and greater and expanding our portfolio,” Nashak said. “Long-term growth is around publishing and doing our own stuff. Becoming a dominant player in VR. That's our goal.”
BlackBerry BBC-100-1 news and rumorsBlackBerry is set to launch yet another smartphone in 2017. In fact, the company is reportedly preparing the BBC-100-1 for Mobile World Congress 2017. Here's everything we know about the phone so far.
Use your tablet like a laptop with $14 Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim KeyboardThe Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard is now available for $14 on Amazon, a 46 percent discount off of its regular price. This superthin lightweight keyboard works with Windows, iOS, Android, Galaxy, and Kindle Fire tablets.
LG's next big phone will debut in Barcelona on February 26Rumors are circulating about LG's next flagship smartphone, the G6. Whatever the company has in store for us, the phone will have to be a stunner, as LG failed to spark interest in its modular ecosystem with the G5.
Score $50 off the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch for a limited timeThe Samsung Gear Frontier is one of the best smartwatches an Android owner can buy and definitely feels like it's worth the $350 price tag, but for a limited time you can save $50 and get one for only $300 on Amazon.
New pig-human hybrid embryos could be used to grow transplantable organs and tissuesHeralded as one of the most successful chimeras to date, the creation of an embryo with pig and human cells is a leap forward for the field of regenerative medicine, which is searching for ways to produce human organs using animal models.
TrinityVR makes pitch to train baseball hitters in VR with DiamondFX simulatorBy combining the HTC Vive headset and attachable tracker with Sportvision's PITCHf/x data, TrinityVR's virtual batting simulation, called DiamondFX, can create a virtual environment that replicates pitches from real-life baseball players.
With all of the products and services that exist under the Google umbrella, updates are a dime a dozen, but this week has been especially busy for the tech behemoth. First there was the massive Google Voice overhaul on Monday (the first in five years!), then Google announced that JavaScript would be banned from Gmail and now the company is beginning to roll out an update for both Google Docs and Google Sheets on Android that will give users more options for editing their documents. As Google explains on its G Suite blog , Google Docs users on Android phones and tablets will now be able to insert and edit headers and footers as well as drag and drop text anywhere in a document. Additionally, new photo editing tools will give Android users the ability to resize, move and rotate images in the app. They can also adjust the text wrapping and border style of an image. Google Docs users on iOS are always receiving a slew of new features, such as the option to insert headers and footers, the ability to insert page numbers within a header or footer and the ability to change the size, orientation and color of a page in Docs. Finally, Google Sheets users on iOS will be able to insert and edit a variety of borders. The updates for both the iOS and Android versions of the app have begun rolling out. Head to Google Play or the App Store
Clearing the rat's nest: Why virtual reality must go wirelessWireless virtual reality is an important step to taking the technology mainstream. Not because of the freedom of movement -- though that's great -- but because it makes VR easier to use.
In a decision that underscores the iPhone's stringent security protections, the UK Ministry of Defence recently opted to go with Apple's iPhone 7 as the "device of choice" for sensitive communications that warrant the utmost security against malicious actors. According to a new report from TechRepublic , the telecommunications company BT Group is already hard at work implementing heightened security safeguards on the iPhone 7 for military and defense personnel. Once finalized, users with secured iPhones will be able to adjust the security mode of their device depending on the level of sensitivity a particular communication
While the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 have been hogging all of the headlines lately, expensive flagship devices aren't the only Android phones worth getting excited about. Year after year, Motorola has been improving upon its budget Moto G line , and based on the latest leaks, the
LG's Android Wear 2 Watch Looks Like a BeautyThanks to some leaked images, LG's next major smartwatch, which will be powered by the latest version of Android Wear, is slowly but surely coming into focus. The latest leaks come from TechnoBuffalo and serial leaker Evan Blass, who previously reported that the device will be called the LG Watch Style when it reportedly debuts on Feb. 9 alongside Android Wear 2.0. Based on the pictures, which look like images that typically accompany product announcements, the LG Watch Style would come with a round watchface and a digital crown to the right.
Google confirms two Android Wear smartwatches will launch in early 2017Google confirmed two Android Wear smartwatches will launch in early 2017 and they will be the first to launch with Android Wear 2.0. The update will introduce Google Assistant and Android Pay to the platform.
Alcatel phones 2017: Rumors and news leaksRumor has it that as many as five Android phones bearing the Alcatel brand name will launch at the Mobile World Congress convention in 2017. Rumors and leaks have already begun to emerge in earnest.
Enjoy 36 percent off the unique and highly-rated Nextbit Robin smartphoneThe unique and well-reviewed Nextbit Robin smartphone is now available for $160 on Amazon. This successfully crowd-funded Android phone features a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen and utilizes innovative cloud storage technology.
We already have more virtual assistants than we know what to do with, but Starbucks wants to slide up in between Siri and Alexa and become one of your go-to voice command apps. The coffee shop mega-chain is currently rolling out a new voice assistant called Barista to a very, very small number of beta testers on iOS. Barista lives inside the Starbucks app and acts like a virtual order-taker, allowing you to speak your order in plain language and have the app place it automatically for you to pick up. Barista is basically a voice-enabled alternative
Meet Lovely, the sex toy that's like a FitBit for your dickYou've got data from every other moment of your waking life, why shouldn't you have it for your sexual encounters too? That's exactly what Lovely — a new wearable that is part tracker, part sex toy — is aiming to provide. The device, on sale today for $169, is essentially a stretchy silicone ring worn around the base of the penis — though it could also be put on a finger or a dildo. It uses sensors to measure movement and position and sends that info to an app (available for Android and iOS) via Bluetooth. You can then see your top speed, the number of thrusts you recorded and how many calories you burned during sex. If that wasn't intimate enough for you, the device also vibrates to provide clitoral stimulation, and it promises to enhance erections, too, by constricting blood flow to the penis.
There are dozens of Android TV boxes out there, and if you're a savvy user then truth be told, specs are the only thing that matters. The beauty of Android TV, just like regular Android, is that you can tinker endlessly and transform the system into just about anything you want. But if you're not the top of user who wants to spend hours customizing your smart TV box, then not all systems are created equal. Check out the Rveal Streaming Media Player , which features all of the apps you need to watch anything and everything from your favorite popular streaming services (and Kodi), but it also has one insanely important feature that you won't find in any similar products: 24/7 US-based customer support. Some more highlights from the product page: Entertainment - get an endless library of movies, TV shows, live sports, premium & international channels, news, music, games and more, all in HD. No monthly fees - enjoy more programming with no subscriptions or hidden costs. Free yourself from expensive cable bills and old content on netflix. Press & Play - plug into TV, connect to internet, and start streaming in seconds with an easy-to-use interface. No setup needed for kodi or add-ons. Automatic updates - get the best quality streams and content available. Our team monitors daily and keeps box at high performance via RvealTV app. Buy with confidence - with a US based customer care team, 24/7 tech support, and product warranty, we're ready to help with any issues or questions.
Over 80,000 pants ruined as people opt to play 'Resident Evil 7: Biohazard' in VROfficial numbers show that over 80,000 gamers are opting to play the new horror game Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in virtual reality, making the genre one of the most compelling for the platform.
Huawei's new P8 Lite smartphone boasts sleek design, upgrades under hoodHuawei has taken the wraps off of a new version of the P8 Lite that features a sleek new design and some serious upgrades under the hood, including a new Kirin 655 chip and Android 7.0 Nougat.
BlackBerry Is Really, Truly BackBlackBerry has released new information about its Mercury phone.
Report: Former Android chief Andy Rubin developing a modular smartphoneFormer Android chief Andy Rubin is reportedly prepping a premium smartphone to take on the likes of Apple's iPhone and Google's Pixel. It packs an edge-to-edge display, metal siding, a ceramic body, and support for modular peripherals.
Mayoral suggestion to name Parisian street after Steve Jobs causes quite the stirThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reopened the years-long case between Apple and Samsung in which Samsung has been accused of copying the design of the iPhone for its Galaxy S series.
A new LG smartwatch featuring Android Wear just earned FCC certificationIt looks like LG is preparing a new smartwatch for 2017 -- an LG watch has earned FCC certification, suggesting it could launch soon. Along with the certification, we also got a few screenshots of the device.
Google's Toontastic 3D app teaches kids the basics of animationGoogle's new Toontastic 3D app lets kids create animations with the help of themes, backdrops, narration, and other tools. It's available free for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.