Google VR may ditch the smartphone with motion-tracking standalone headsets

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Google's virtual reality plans may include more than just headsets with smartphones inside. Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is working on a standalone VR headset that doesn't connect with a PC or rely on a smartphone. The idea would be to occupy a middle ground between devices like Samsung's Gear VR, which uses a smartphone for the display and processing power, and Facebook's Oculus Rift, which must be tethered to a high-end PC. Google is reportedly partnering with machine vision company Movidius on the project, an interesting tidbit given that the two companies worked together on Google's Project Tango phones and tablets. These devices use outward-facing cameras to detect and digitize their surroundings--something that has obvious applications for virtual and augmented reality.


Samsung Predicts Tech Will Next Transform the Home

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"We think this could be the third wave where you have programmable objects blanketing your home," said David Eun, president of Samsung NEXT, Samsung's investment group, during an interview at The Wall Street Journal's WSJ D. Live technology conference.


Facebook owes ZeniMax $500M in Oculus suit

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The Facebook CEO will not be moving forward with the "quiet title" suits he filed last month. Palmer Luckey, 24, creator of VR google Oculus Rift, which he sold to Facebook in 2014 for around $3 billion. SAN FRANCISCO -- A Dallas jury found Wednesday that Facebook is required to pay $500 million to tech company ZeniMax in a lawsuit that questioned the technological origins of the revolutionary virtual reality goggle Oculus Rift. The news, which was first reported on gaming website Polygon, comes as Facebook shares (FB) vaulted 2% in after hours trading after the social networking company smashed Wall Street expectations for its fourth quarter earnings. Maryland-based ZeniMax had sought as much as $4 billion in compensation and damages.


Facebook earnings: all signs point to a blowout

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you care about money, the economy and corporate America, earnings season matters. SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook has a habit of topping Wall Street expectations, having done so every quarter but one since its 2012 initial public offering. And analysts see no reason this quarter should be any different. They are expecting another blowout, with the social media giant posting big gains in profit and revenue. Last week's strong showing from Alphabet, driven by mobile and video ad sales, has only strengthened that belief.


Lenovo unveils augmented reality smartphone using Google's Project Tango

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

NEW YORK--Lenovo is ready to tango -- with Google's Project Tango technology, which brings augmented reality to a Lenovo smartphone. At the Lenovo Tech World event taking place today in San Francisco, the Chinese tech giant will let attendees see the first Tango-based handset that consumers will be able to buy: the comparatively mammoth-sized Lenovo PHAB2 Pro smartphone that is coming out in September. Lenovo has been working with Google for about a year on Tango, which has elements of augmented reality and virtual reality. Google has been selling a 512 Tango development kit tablet to phone manufacturers, and Lenovo claims a six-month head start over rivals. Tango is what makes this 499 phablet device particularly newsworthy, but the PHAB2 Pro, along with two less expensive, and non-Tango capable PHAB2 models, are also the first smartphones in the U.S. to carry the Lenovo brand.