Breaking, Business, Entertainment, Hardware, Software Programs, startups, VR World

Teach Coding to 3-Year-Old Kids Using Cubetto

Cubetto

Want your kids to be successful millionaires when they grow up? There’s a cool Kickstarter project called Cubetto that promises to teach coding to boys and girls ages three and up. They create their first program by simply using a colorful set of blocks, meaning kids won’t need the ability to read or speak a specific language. It’s a hands-on experience that, according to the project, combines Montessori learning principles with computer programming concepts. The Cubetto Playset includes Cubetto, a board, sixteen blocks (four green ‘Forward’, four red ‘Right’, four yellow ‘Left’, and four blue ‘Function’), a 1x1m world map, and a story book. Cubetto

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Business, Companies, Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, VR World

WD, SanDisk Move Forward in Acquisition Deal

SanDisk Shanghai office

Looks like Western Digital’s acquisition of SanDisk is moving forward, as the hard drive maker’s shareholders have given a green light to offer common stock as part of the SanDisk deal. In turn, SanDisk’s shareholders have also approved of the Western Digital acquisition, making the transaction a done deal thus far. Western Digital’s shareholders held a special meeting on Tuesday. Around 90% of the shareholder group voted in favor of the stock issuance in the SanDisk deal. However, that number is merely a preliminary account, as the company will release the actual numbers in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed with the

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Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs, VR World

New Unity Beta Released with Enhanced VR

Unity Engine

Unity Technology’s Alex Lian announced during GDC 2016 that the latest public beta of the Unity engine is now available to download. Listed as version 5.4, the updated platform is now available to all developers, even those who are using Unity Personal Edition. The beta promises updated graphics, better performance, a tighter Unity IAP integration, and a “major” upgrade to VR rendering. “We listened to what you had to say about the quality of final releases, so in order to get more feedback on real life use before we push anything to final, we’ve decided to release Unity 5.4 as a beta,” Lian said in

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Entertainment, Software Programs, VR World

Twitch Launches Dedicated Food TV Channel

Twitch Food

Twitch is probably best known for its game streaming service, allowing gamers to broadcast their gameplay on a number of platforms to millions of viewers. Now the company, which is owned by mammoth online retailer Amazon, has launched a streaming service (TV channel) dedicated to serving up… food! To kick things off, Twitch Creative has launched a Julia Child marathon, broadcasting all 201 episodes of The French Chef that were originally aired on PBS. “Since the launch of Twitch Creative just five months ago, we have seen some amazing things created live on streams,” writes Noreen McInnis. “From makeup to music, game development to graphic

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Hardware, VR World

WD Offers Dedicated Drive for Raspberry Pi

Western Digital

Western Digital surprised Raspberry Pi owners on Monday with the launch of a hard drive developed specifically for the DIY board. Called the WD PiDrive 314GB, the drive is based on the company’s WD Blue slim drive model but features changes that were made specifically for Raspberry Pi. It’s priced at a mere $45.81 although the company is currently dishing out a discount for a limited time only, reducing the price to a cheaper $31.42. According to the company, the new WD PiDrive 314GB features changes to its magnetic recording and electrical system operating set-points so that it aligns with the Raspberry Pi’s USB data

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Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs, VR World

AMD, Crytek Team Up for VR Dev Labs

AMD Radeon Pro Duo in MAINGEAR System

AMD announced on Monday that it has teamed up with game developer studio Crytek to provide colleges and universities with hardware and software for dedicated virtual reality (VR) labs. AMD said it will fork over new Radeon Pro Duo graphics cards to these labs as well as the LiquidVR SDK, which will be provided for free thanks to the GPUOpen initiative. AMD’s hardware and software offering is part of Crytek’s “VR First” initiative, which was established to provide educational institutions a “ready-made” VR solution for researchers, developers, and students. The studio, famous for its CRYENGINE solution and games such as Crysis 3 and Far Cry,

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Breaking, Game Developer Conference (GDC), Graphics, Hardware, Nvidia, Software Programs

NVIDIA Updates GameWorks SDK for GDC 2016

NVIDIA Corporation Logo

For the first day of Game Developers Conference, NVIDIA launched the latest Software Development Kit (SDK) – GameWorks suite, version 3.1. This updated SDK includes three new rendering techniques for lighting and shadow along with a pair of new extensions for the NVIDIA PhysX library. The company also released the source code for Volumetric Lighting and its FaceWorks demo on GitHub. Volumetric Lighting is actually one of the three new rendering technologies provided in the updated SDK. This feature was first introduced in Fallout 4, and is a technique that simulates the behavior of light as it’s “scattered” through the air and atmosphere. NVIDIA is also introducing Hybrid Frustum

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Amazon, Breaking, Business, Entertainment, Hardware, Mobile, News, Tablets, VR World

Is Amazon Saving the Tablet Market?

Amazon Fire Tablet

ABI Research reports that Amazon has set the tablet market “ablaze” thanks to the launch of its $50 Fire Tablet. The device was released in late September 2015, sporting a 7″ display, a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, and 8 GB of internal storage. Even more, it features a microSD card slot allowing the owner to beef up the internal storage to a massive 136 GB (total). Amazon evidently expects customers to download media left and right from the company’s various online services. According to ABI Research, Amazon took a big chance by launching the tablet with such a low price point. The move was a

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Entertainment, Gaming, Hardware, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Manus VR Glove Dev Kit Pre-Orders to Open for $250

Manus VR gloves

On Thursday, Manus VR said that pre-orders for the first Manus glove developer kit (DK1) will open its doors in Q2 2016. For $250, the kit will contain one pair of VR gloves, two wrist-mounted holders for the HTC Vive controller, various cables, plug-ins for the Unity and Unreal engines, an open-source SDK for five operating systems, and a demo game for each of those platforms. The kit will ship out to customers in Q3 2016. Currently compatible with only the HTC Vive VR headset, the Magus gloves will work on Android, Windows 7 and newer, Linux, Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X platforms. According

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Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, VR World

HTC Working on VR Headset For Smartphones, Tablets

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive VR headset is slated to go retail on April 5. Based on Valve Software’s SteamVR platform, the Virtual Reality device packs OLED screens with a resolution of 1080×1200 per eye, and more than seventy sensors. Unlike the upcoming Oculus Rift, the Vive can work in a space of 15 feet by 15 feet, allowing users to move around the virtual world. However, the headset will cost a meaty $799 and require a somewhat beefy PC to support it. So what if you don’t have an extra $799 to spend on VR? There’s always the Samsung Gear VR for $99, but that requires a

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Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, VR World

Zotac Uses GeForce GPU for VR-Ready Mini-PC

Zotac Zbox CI320 Nano 01

Looking for a PC ready for virtual reality? If you’re not looking to build a Virtual Reality Computer, Zotac may have what you’re looking for with the upcoming launch of its MAGNUS EN980. It’s actually a ZBOX mini-PC that not only packs a VR punch, but presumably saves space on your desktop or living room tabletop. It also sports a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU (mobile version?) and a sixth-generation Intel Skylake processor, making this unit a possible candidate for the upcoming Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset. The company says the MAGNUS EN980 is its most powerful ZBOX unit to date that “goes beyond

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Breaking, Cloud Computing, Graphics, Hardware, Nvidia, Software Programs, VR World

NVIDIA’s GTC 2016 To Focus on AI and VR

NVDA GTC Computer Vision

NVIDIA announced on Wednesday that IBM Watson Chief Technology Officer Rob High will deliver a keynote at the GTC 2016 – GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California, next month. High will be joining other keynote speakers attending the conference including Toyota Research CEO Gill Pratt and Nvidia’s own CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang. Back in November 2015, IBM revealed that its Watson cognitive computing platform had begun using Nvidia’s Tesla K80 GPU accelerators. Working with NVIDIA, the company incorporated GPU-accelerated computing as-a-service capabilities into SuperVessel, a global cloud-based OpenPOWER ecosystem resource. Users now can instantly launch Caffe, Torch and Theano deep-learning frameworks from the SuperVessel cloud

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Breaking, Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs, VR World

OTOY Ported CUDA to Non-NVIDIA Hardware

OTOY Render CUDA code running on AMD FirePro

VentureBeat reports that Los Angeles-based OTOY managed to reverse engineer Nvidia’s CUDA language to run on chips other than Nvidia’s own GPUs. That means programs written in the CUDA language can now run on GPUs provided by Intel, AMD, and ARM. Thus, software built for NVIDIA GPUs will work on a multitude of devices ranging from an AMD-based console (PlayStaton 4, Xbox One) to an Apple iPad or iPhone. The cloud rendering company launched in January 2009, and has developed a technology that uses “clusters of GPUs” in the cloud to render cinema-quality graphics that’s streamed to a client within a web browser. The company also provides

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Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, VR World

Apple iPhone VR Headsets Arriving This Fall?

14359-9851-iphone6s-3dtouch-l

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg said that since the launch of Samsung’s Gear VR back in November 2015, more than a million hours of video have been consumed using the device. He said the response to Gear VR has been “incredibly strong,” and creates the best mainstream VR experience by combining Facebook’s Oculus-based technology and Samsung hardware. The drawback to Gear VR is that it’s compatible with only a few select Samsung phones. Google Cardboard VR, on the other hand, is a cheaper alternative that has the same basic principle: slide the phone in and load up a special app. The good thing with Cardboard is that

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Breaking, Entertainment, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

2016 Coachella Goes VR with Google Cardboard VR

Coachella VR

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival has teamed up with Vantage.tv to provide fans with a virtual reality experience right out of the Welcome Box. This package, while containing the customer’s tickets, entry wristbands, a welcome guide, and other goodies, will also provide a VR headset based on Google Cardboard that can be used with special Coachella VR apps listed on Google Play and Apple’s iTunes. The Welcome Box will be distributed to ticket holders in early March. “Before, during, and after the festival in April, fans from all over the world can be immersed in performances from top artists, experience 360-degree panoramic

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Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Developers Says PlayStation VR is The Best

Sony PlayStation VR

WCCFTech recently spoke with developer Alfonso del Cerro, the founder of Pentadimensional Games, in a short interview about creating the upcoming first-person superhero game, Megaton Rainfall. This will be one of the first titles on Sony’s highly-anticipated PlayStation VR headset and is also slated to arrive on the PC. He said Sony first showed interest in the game when the company played it last year at GDC 2015. “They were looking for projects for PSVR and I was showcasing MR at the Indie Megabooth,” he told the site. “Since then, they have been very friendly, they helped us with the visibility, showing the game in videos,

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Breaking, Entertainment, Gaming, Graphics, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Valve Releases Session 1, 2 of SteamVR Dev Roundtable

steamvr_dev_round

Last week, Valve Software published the first session of its SteamVR Developer Roundtable, featuring VR developers Justin Liebregts (Cloudlands Minigolf), Andy Moore (Fantastic Contraption), Dylan Fitterer (Audioshield), Richard Stitselaar (Arizona Sunshine), Dave Walsh (Elite Dangerous), and Joachim Holmér (Budget Cuts). These “pioneers” spent just over 26 minutes talking about their experience developing virtual reality games for the SteamVR platform and the upcoming HTC Vive. The video opens up with Andy Moore talking about Fantastic Contraption, a building game for VR. He says most people don’t know how mind-blowing VR can be because they mostly see screenshots. He makes a valid point: after jumping into a

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Entertainment, Gaming, Virtual Reality (VR), VR World

Virtuix Ships Its First Omni Platform

Virtuix Omni pre-production unit at E3

Virtuix Inc. said on Wednesday that it has delivered its first Omni platform to an individual who backed the Kickstarter campaign on its first day. That means production is finally in full swing after the project first launched back in June 2013. The Virtuix Omni is built for virtual reality gaming. It consists of a concave platform and a support ring that attaches to the base to keep you in position. The base features grooves that special Omni shoes slide into. The platform doesn’t move, thus you’re essentially walking in place and stepping forward at the same time. I took the Virtuix Omni for a

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Entertainment, Microsoft, News, Software Programs, Windows, Windows Phone

Netflix Joins Microsoft’s Universal Windows App Bandwagon

netflix-900x600

Microsoft reports that Netflix has jumped on the Universal App bandwagon with the launch of a new app for Windows 10. That means the app can be opened on a number of Windows 10 solutions spanning desktops, laptops and tablets. Netflix joins Pandora, The Wall Street Journal and a few others that recently launched apps based on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform. Prior to today, Netflix launched several apps for Windows and Windows Phone that were built from a few code bases that are based on C#, XAML and Silverlight. In order to bring new features to these Netflix platforms, the company had to alter each

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Hardware, Memory & Storage Space, VR World

Samsung Claims ‘World’s First’ With M.2 NVMe SSD

SM951-NVMe_SSD_Main

Samsung is mass producing NVMe PCIe solid state drives with a M.2 form factor.

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