All posts in “Virtual Reality”

Save big on this best-selling VR headset today on Amazon

If you haven’t yet joined the VR gaming revolution, then this best-selling headset for your smartphone could be your proper introduction and it’s 71% off today.

The 3D VR Headset from VRidium is padded, lightweight, and comes with adjustable straps. It’s compatible with most smartphones and supports iOS and Android. The adjustable focus technology also allows you to adjust the clarity of your VR vision and the distance control allows you to adjust your focal distance as well.

This VR headset costs $69.99, but you can save $50 and grab your own set for $19.99.

Here’s everything Adobe announced at its MAX conference this week

Adobe is hosting its MAX conference this week in Las Vegas, and even though the company has long moved to a subscription model with regular updates, it still uses the event to launch its most important updates and new products. Here is our rundown of the biggest announcements, which range from new tools for designers, a completely new version of Lightroom and a few crazy experiments.

Upload exec tasked with turning things around at the troubled VR startup has already quit


The executive tasked with building back community trust in Upload, the VR startup shaken by a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former employee earlier this summer, has quit less than six weeks after officially announcing she had joined the team as COO, multiple sources tell TechCrunch.

(left to right) Upload president Will Mason, former-COO Anne Ward and CEO Taylor Freeman

Anne Ahola Ward joined as COO of Upload, which runs co-working spaces in its LA and SF offices as well as an AR/VR focused education program, after having previously worked with the startup as a client of her SEO agency CircleClick where she continues to serve as CEO.

With this sudden exit, the future grows even murkier for the startup that was once the toast of the VR industry.

Last month, TechCrunch reported that the company had settled the sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit with its former social media manager for an undisclosed sum. A week later, the NYT reported similar details in a front-page story that prompted a public apology from Upload and an open letter signed by the startup’s co-founders promising that the company was making internal leadership changes led by Ward.

Ward was criticized inside the VR community for supporting the company and its co-founders who have faced internal and external calls to step down.

In a blog post first announcing her role, dated August 31, the female executive reassured the community that she would be promoting inclusion at the startup which had been accused of being a “boys’ club.”

“Above all else I want to make it clear that Upload is a place where everyone is welcome. Everyone. We will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, disability or sexual orientation,” Ward wrote. “I look forward to making lasting progress for our industry, and beyond.”

Ward declined a request for comment from TechCrunch.

Update: Upload has issued a statement.

Why I’m forcing all my friends to buy the Oculus Go

Image: bob al-greene/mashable

Oculus, Samsung, Google, Sony, Valve, and everyone else who makes virtual reality devices have a problem: VR isn’t selling

From a gamer’s perspective, it’s pretty obvious why. Devices like Oculus Rift and Playstation VR are innovative, shiny, new, and probably the way of the future or whatever, but as a gamer, I really only care about one thing: playing good games.

And even though it feels kind of nifty to wear VR headset at first, the novelty wears off fast, and you’re ultimately stuck with a messy system of wires and chargers and other accessories that just aren’t worth the effort of setting up. Plus, there seems to be, among most VR games, an emphasis on novelty of platform over quality of gameplay. 

Take, for example, the trailer for Oculus Studios’ Lone Echo. The company describes the game as a “zero-gravity multiplayer experience,” but gives us little to no sense of the gameplay in the trailer. One of my friends commented that, “It seems like all I actually do is move around,” which is essentially true of most VR games. There’s very little story development or, more commonly, no real sense of why you should be invested in the characters. VR games don’t draw you in quite like a console games. Developers just aren’t producing the same type of epic sagas like Middle-Earth: Shadow of War or The Witcher 3 that are available on traditional gaming consoles.

And even among the gamers who do care about VR, who is going to be buying the Oculus Go? While it’s a new addition to the Oculus lineup, it promises to do the exact same thing Gear VR and Google Daydream View already do, but for $100 more. Plus, without being tethered to a PC, it probably won’t be anywhere near as powerful as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

But if there’s one thing this week’s Oculus Connect conference showed us, it’s that the company has something that its competitors never can: the world’s largest social network as its parent company. Facebook Spaces will take us on vivid virtual adventures our friends across the country. Oculus Venues will take us to live concerts from the comfort of our living rooms. And the made-for-VR artwork that Mark Zuckerberg showed us onstage is truly mind-blowing to experience. The majority of consumers aren’t gamers looking for top-of-the-line graphics and thousands of hours of captivating gameplay. Most of us are looking for a cool experience. 

The Oculus conference showed us that we’re really, really close to living in a world where proximity is no longer a barrier to intimate interaction, and where everything we experience, from movies and television to sports and games, is experienced to an elevated and infinitely customizable degree. 

There’s a major shift coming to virtual reality, and it’s not a shift in gaming as you might expect. Instead, it’s a wave of social media, art, and entertainment. And it’s going to get really interesting when our friends start joining the fray. The Oculus Go probably won’t be the best gaming console in the world, but I’m definitely going to buy it and make all my friends get one, too. The promise of social interaction is virtual reality is just way too exciting to pass up.

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