While February may be the shortest month of the year, it’s definitely not short on awesome news!
LG Making a VR Headset
Electronics mega-giant LG recently announced that they’ll be making their own version of a virtual reality headset in the same vein as Google’s Cardboard and the Samsung VR Innovator Edition. The device, as of right now, is called VR for G3, and is intended to work with LG’s G3 smartphone.
Unlike other companies, who tend to announce upcoming releases a year or more prior to their launch, LG already has the device ready to go, and plans to release it in select markets as a package with its smartphone over the next few months.
So how does it work? LG openly admits that the device is based on the design of the Cardboard and utilizes the same software. It slips easily onto the phone and features a set of lenses that rest on the face. The display offers 538 pixels per inch, beating out Samsung’s Gear VR’s 518 pixels per inch. The device will work with the Google Cardboard app as well as other Cardboard-compatible programs and games.
As of right now, LG plans to release the headset free when you purchase the G3 smartphone. They may keep it this way, or start selling the device separately, but if the latter occurs, we’re expecting it will be cheaper than Samsung’s $199 price tag based on LG comments.
Microsoft Announces HoloLens!
There’s a very big chance that Microsoft recently made one of the biggest announcements in virtual reality hardware to date – the introduction of its HoloLens, a device that creates a truly realistic augmented reality. Unlike a standard virtual reality headset, which utilizes a screen, the HoloLens (a visor-type product you wear on your face) lets you see the world around you as it is, with the addition of a bunch of things that aren’t really there, yet look like they are.
Yes, a true hologram device that has the potential to bring anything into your space and merge it with reality (hence, the term augmented) rather than just transporting you to another space (virtual reality).
In the world of gaming, this means that you can integrate your favorite games into your daily life, using your living room as the entire game without running the risk of tripping over your coffee table. For your office, this means being able to compute and work without staring directly at a screen – the HoloLens takes your computer programs and allows you to place icons around you and use entire programs without touching your actual computer.
And according to Microsoft, the holograms won’t be relegated to premade software – users will be able to come up with their own images and holograms, opening up worlds of possibilities for daily life. Want to add a to-do list to your fridge or watch a sports game on your bathroom wall without a television? Would you like to turn your classroom into the solar system, provide instant visuals for math, or have characters appear and act out scenes in a book? You’ll be able to do all of this and more!
And these are just the initial possibilities! The implications for design, manufacturing, business etc. are mind bending. The HoloLens offers high-definition images, and the device will work with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10. Watch the demonstration/teaser/awesome intro video here!
Are you excited about this announcement? How do you see holograms, the HoloLens and this advanced version of augmented reality changing gaming and/or everyday life?
SimCity Might Have Some Competition
On March 10th, Paradox Interactive will release Cities: Skylines, a PC game with a very similar premise to SimCity. The game was developed by the same people who put together Cities in Motion, and is currently available for pre-purchase directly from Paradox. The standard version will set you back $30, while the deluxe version, complete with bonus in-game items and a unique soundtrack, will cost $40.
According to Paradox, the game allows you to construct a city from the ground up and act as a mayor of said city (if you can work your way up from an administrator at city hall), handling budgeting, development, utilities, education, healthcare, and very surprisingly involved and responsive citizens. The game features significant modding support, allowing you to build on or alter existing maps and structures to tweak them to your liking before importing them into the game (all of which runs through Steam).
All in all, it sounds very promising! Check out the trailer here!