Facebook-owned Oculus kicks off third developer conference

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey acknowledged giving 10,000 to Nimble America but denied he was the founder of the pro-Donald Trump group which created anti-Hillary Clinton Internet memes. A visitor plays with Oculus VR glasses at Gamescom. SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook-owned Oculus is gathering its virtual reality game developers for the company's third-annual Connect conference, Wednesday through Friday at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The focal point is expected to be Oculus Touch, two hand-held controllers -- price and release date to come -- that promise to greatly enhance the interactive elements of the company's Oculus Rift goggles ( 600, but closer to 2,000 with the necessary high-powered computer to which it is tethered). At present, Oculus' main competition is the 800 HTC Vive, but next week marks the release of another challenger, Sony's 399 Playstation VR, which works in conjunction with its eponymous gaming console.


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.


Artist creates satirical 'monument' to Donald Trump in VR

Mashable

While you're sitting on the sidelines wondering if VR is worth the cost of entry, visual artists are embracing the medium -- and making political statements in the process. One of those artists is Dante Orpilla, a Los Angeles-based traditional painter and illustrator who just picked up the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive a few months ago. Orpilla, who also happens to work full-time at Reddit as a designer, uses the full range of VR tools to lay out his vision, including Oculus apps Quill and Medium. His latest work is called "The Trump Memorial," a Medium sculpture he shared on Instagram. Accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek text description, the work serves as a commentary on the U.S. president's immigration policy and addiction to Twitter.


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.


Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) Partners With Cuba On Google Cardboard, Chromebook In Museum

International Business Times

Alphabet Inc. is working on several developments with Cuba to expand internet connectivity in the country, the company announced in a blog post Monday. These partnerships are the first of what the company hopes will be more developments in Cuba. Google has partnered with the Organic Romerillo Museum in Havana and will offer Google Cardboard, the low-cost virtual reality headsets, and Google Chromebook to visitors. These products will be connected to the internet via the government-owned network operator ETECSA. "We hope this installation will enable people for whom internet access is scarce to browse the web and find information.