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As Facebook plans for the future, VR looms large

Los Angeles Times

When Google wanted people to know it was serious about virtual reality two years ago, it sent software developers attending its I/O conference home with Google Cardboard -- a cheap, build-it-yourself VR headset that developers could use with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. When Facebook wanted people to know it was serious about VR on Tuesday, it sent software developers attending its F8 conference -- all 2,600 of them -- home with Gear VR headsets, which retail at 99.99, and Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphones, which cost 598 apiece. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's announcement of the high-end swag was met with emphatic applause from the audience of developers, who packed an auditorium in San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to hear him detail the company's 10-year plan. The Gear VR may not rival the coveted, high-end virtual reality headset released last month by Oculus VR, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for 2 billion. But it was enough to drive the message home: VR will play a big role in Facebook's future -- and so will developers who embrace the medium.


Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset

#artificialintelligence

Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).


Google unveils its Pixel smartphone and VR headset

#artificialintelligence

Looking to drum up consumer excitement, the tech company hosted an event in San Francisco on Tuesday to unveil a series of products, including two new phones, a virtual reality headset and the Chromecast Ultra. The flagship announcement was the introduction of Pixel, the first Google phone to carry exclusively Google branding. The company called it the "first phone made by Google inside and out." The device is poised to take on the iPhone with a built-in artificially intelligent assistant, 4K video and other bells and whistles. Here's a closer look at everything you need to know: Google (GOOG) announced a new Pixel line of phones -- the 5-inch Pixel ( 649) and 5.5-inch Pixel XL ( 769).


Holocaust Museum, Auschwitz want Pokémon Go hunts out

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Pokemon Go, a Global Positioning System (GPS) based augmented reality mobile game, is proving to be'enormously' popular since software development company Niantic opened access to it on 06 July in the US. SAN FRANCISCO -- Officials at the Holocaust Museum and Poland's Auschwitz Memorial are calling on Pokémon Go maker Niantic to take their sites off the locations where players can hunt cartoon creatures in the popular augmented reality app, saying it dishonors Holocaust victims. Many players reported seeing the digital Pokémon creatures within the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The site is also being used as a "PokeStop" for players to get in-game items. Players in the mobile phone game Pokémon Go must capture digital Pokémon characters, which appear hovering over the player's real-world surroundings.


Oculus cost $3B not $2B, Zuckerberg says in trial

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The company announced it will roll out tools in Germany that help users spot fake news and verify claims. SAN FRANCISCO -- When Palmer Luckey sold his two-year-old virtual reality headset company Oculus Rift to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, the tech world gasped. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg coughed up the price discrepancy Tuesday during a Texas courtroom deposition, according to on-site reports and tweets from The New York Times, Gizmodo and others. The extra billion went to cover retention bonuses ($700 million) and other incentives ($300 million). At the time of purchase, Facebook reported a $2 billion purchase price in an agreement that also provided for "an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones."