Sean isn't sure about Virtual Reality. He used the Oculus Rift and thought it was really cool. But as an Apple User, he can't use it. Leo says that not only that — he can't use any virtual reality with Apple. It comes down to the high end video cards that are required, and Apple hasn't been serious about putting them in their computers.
In a clear sign that they are going after Snapchat, Facebook announced that they are opening up their API to allow app developers access to the camera in the Facebook app. They will also add support for filters, overlays, and other features that are similar to Snapchat, luring users away.
Leo says that Facebook is going after augmented reality in an effort to stay on top of the virtual genre. Leo says that competition is good. It'll be interesting to see how Snapchat and other companies respond.
Facebook and Oculus had their big confab this week and they're focusing on Augmented Reality, which will bring virtual elements into the real world through a headset that shows you the real world, with virtual elements overlaid on it. Leo says that Facebook is looking to that because they are aware that everyone is getting into VR and they are worried about losing their edge in the genre. So look for Facebook to add AR to Oculus VR. Facebook is also going to add vanishing messages to Instagram in an effort to bury Snapchat since they couldn't buy them.
In the hopes of avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made with rushing a product out to market, Microsoft has announced that development of their mixed reality HoloLens device will be deferred to at least 2019. The hope is that they can avoid any similar mistakes that made the launch of the Kinect camera so problematic. Meanwhile, people can still get the current developer edition for $3500.
While touring Europe this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview that Augmented Reality will be as big as the iPhone. Calling it a "core technology," Cook envisioned augmented reality, and not Virtual reality, to be everywhere.
Facebook/Oculus will have to pay ZeniMax a half billion dollars for copyright and patent infringement in the development of the Oculus Rift device. Leo says that is a clear indicator that virtual reality may be succeeding, since companies are suing each other now.
Kyle wonders what the future holds for game consoles like the PlayStation. Will there be a new version like a PS5 or will it just keep with incremental improvements like the PlayStation Pro? Leo says that the PS4 has a very powerful processor, and console game systems have a life span of about 10 years before they move to the next platform update. So Leo would imagine we'll see updates during that time, and we hear there will be serious revisions this year. We'll probably see the end of optical media in favor of downloads.
Scott attended a meeting that indicated that virtual reality is the next great trend in cinematography. It's in its infancy, but cinematographers should start experimenting with shooting in VR by using cheaper cameras like the Ricoh Theta S. Leo says that may be true, but he prefers to be told a story, and told what to look at. When you're looking around, if you think about it, the story teller has failed in telling that story.
Leo does say that Virtual Reality is great for gaming though.
Rick is wondering which virtual reality headset to buy, or if it would be best to wait until the next generation. Leo says that VR is very convincing and creates an amazing immersive illusion that you're somewhere else. The Oculus Rift has a demo where you're standing on the edge of a skyscraper that's very realistic. There are some shortcomings, however. You can't pick up things and touch things unless you use a game or hand controller. The negative on the Sony Playstation VR is that the move controllers weren't designed with VR, so they can lag a bit.
This week's gadget is a 2017 CES Innovation Awards Honoree, the MSI VR One wearable gaming computer. It's the world’s thinnest and lightest VR backpack PC. The VR backpack PC weighs only 7.5 lbs. Powered by a unique cooling system to prolong gaming sessions, it comes with swappable batteries, eliminates cables and cords, and is now available to deliver a truly wireless VR experience.