2018 predictions for Virtual Reality

The world of Virtual Reality is changing at an incredible speed and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

In 2017 we have seen several developments and interesting news when it comes to Virtual Reality and 2018 is expected to be the year of VR 2.0.

In 2018 several tech companies are planning to release VR hardware that will be standalone. The reason why major Tech companies have focused on bringing VR standalone devices in 2018 it’s because they are easy to be used, more comfortable, portable and cheaper.

 

OCULUS GO

Oculus Go

The Facebook-owned company announced that Oculus Go is expected to be released early in 2018. It is expected to cost $200 which is a very reasonable price considering that it will be a standalone device and won’t have the need to connect it to another device. While the price is considered to be cheap, it will come with limited functionalities. Being a 3DOF headset, you will have a 360° view but it won’t offer positional tracking. Thus it will be appropriate for watching movies, gaming and social VR experiences.

 

OCULUS SANTA CRUZ

Santa Cruz

Along with Oculus Go, Facebook is also working on Oculus Santa Cruz, which is also a standalone device that does offer positional tracking. The device will have 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) headset and controllers that will allow a wider range of applications. Users will be able to move around in 3D environments and will offer more freedom and interaction. These features will make Oculus Santa Cruz more expensive but definitely more entertaining as well.

 

LENOVO MIRAGE SOLO

Mirage Solo

Lenovo’s Mirage Solo will also be a stand-alone headset which will use Google's Daydream VR platform and will provide wireless access to Virtual Reality content such as games or videos.  The device incorporates Google’s WorldSense technology, which tracks movement without the need for external sensors.

Available with the headset will also come Lenovo’s Mirage Camera which will capture stereoscopic 3D content. Lenovo hasn’t specified a price yet but it’s expected to cost around 400$.

 

HTC VIVE FOCUS

Vive Focus

HTC is also working on a stand-alone headset which will provide 6DOF but it will offer interactions only through a 3 DOF remote which will come together with the headset. The $600 device which debuted in China in December is not yet available in the U.S.

“It can be put on and removed in just a couple of seconds and immediately turns on/off by sensing the user’s head. Its water-resistant padding and ergonomically balanced design allow for all-day wear. It’s even designed to be glasses-friendly, so there’s no need to remove one’s eyewear before use” HTC stated.

 

Taken together, all these devices will make 2018 the year of VR 2.0. They will lower prices and bring a much better performance. While there are several challenges that VR needs overcome, the standalone hardware is a big step forward.  

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 release date, price, and rumors

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the next big Android smartphone that will be launching in 2018.

The Galaxy Note 9 showed up at the FCC a month earlier than the Galaxy Note 8 did.

According to some rumors, the smartphone might be announced on 9 August in New York City.

That's great news for of big-screened mobiles fans, as the Note 9 is expected to have a sizable 6.4in display, bigger than the Note 8's 6.32in.

Let’s now go into more details about the Galaxy Note 9. 

The price

There's no official information about how much the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will cost when it goes on sale. However, keeping in mind the pricing of its predecessor, the price is expected to start at $950 in the USA.

New features

The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to ship with a new version of Samsung's S Pen stylus that comes with more advanced features. While it’s still unclear about what these features will be, early rumors claim that the S Pen stylus will feature Bluetooth, which would make the pen to be used as a wireless speaker and as a microphone for making and receiving phone calls. The new S Pen is expected to be the most exciting feature.

The handset is expected to adopt Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 platform, like Galaxy S9 and S9+. The software is also expected to have some very significant upgrades. Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh has already confirmed that Bixby, the next version of the company's virtual assistant, will debut on the Note 9.

Other than that, the rumors state that the design will have only some slight changes.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 could end up having a more conservative upgrade from Note 8 that we expect. The latest leaks state that Samsung is saving its in-display fingerprint sensing solution for the Galaxy S10 and even though it was believed to be introduced in the next Note device, this will not be the case.

A large 4,000 mAh battery might be featured.

There are a lot of features that make the Samsung Note series unique, and one of those has been the huge batteries. The Note 7 initially had a 3,500 mAh battery but after those started exploding Samsung decided to play it safe in 2017 by featuring a 3,300 mAh in the Samsung Note 8.

Rumors suggest that Samsung will be upgrading in 2018 to a large 4,000 mAh battery.

Other features

Samsung Note 9 is going to have a RAM of 6GB, storage of 64GB to 256GB and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 3.5mm headphone from previous releases with a loudspeaker, and a USB Type-C port.

The Galaxy Note 9 is also expected to be released in red, blue and black colors.

A 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio is expected to be featured on the Samsung Note 9. A 2960x1440 pixel resolution is very likely to be featured.

 

Despite all of what we have outlined above, there’s no doubt that Note 9 will be one of the most powerful smartphones of 2018 and we’re very excited about new leaks and official announcements.

 

Are Smartphones Making Us Less Smart?

A decade ago, smartphones promised to change the way we think and interact with each other, and they certainly have – but are they making us less smart?

In the busy and hectic reality of the modern daily life, smartphones have become a close companion of both professional and personal aspects. A smartphone can be quite convenient because of several features such as efficiency, functionality, connectivity and much more.

But what about the downsides of smartphones? Are we really aware of these negative aspects?

According to a study from the University of Texas at Austin titled “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity”, the cognitive capacity and the brain power are significantly reduced when the smartphone is within glancing distance, even if it is turned face down or turned off.

During the study, the researchers found that a person’s ability to process data improved significantly if their smartphone was in the other room while they took a test to measure cognitive processes and their attention control.

Those who kept their smartphones in their pocket or inside a bag also performed better than those who kept their phones on the desk while taking the test. What’s interesting in this study is that even if the smartphone was turned off or face down on the desk, the mere sight of their smartphone seemed to induce “brain drain” by consuming cognitive resources.

What researchers have continuously shown during the past years is that smartphones are causing real damage to our minds and relationships; they have reduced the average attention span as well as the brain power, and they have caused an imbalance of work life and fewer hours of family time.

They have also impaired our ability to remember and to think creatively. They can make us more anxious, and they are addictive. Many people have begun raising the alarm about smartphones, warning especially of their effects on children.

Smartphones affect our ability to talk to other people and they’re making us anti-social. Have you ever entered a social gathering and noticed that half of them  are buried in their phones? I certainly have and I’m sure you can relate to it as well.My question is, have we forgotten how to talk and connect with people? Or is our smartphone a security comfort from the discomfort of socializing?

They affect our ability to sleep well. It’s very common for people to keep their phones by their bed during night. It’s also very common for them to go to bed while texting or responding to an email. Going to bed under such conditions will not allow you to relax and get into a deep sleep. Shut the phone off completely at least one hour before you go to bed. Texts can wait, our health not.

People have even died at the hands of their smartphone. Tragically looking down for a second or two to text while driving or crossing the street can lead to a fatality. Fines issued by law enforcement don’t seem to deter users from doing this.

So it’s important for us to be smart and careful about our smartphone use. See your phone for what it is: a tool for communication and for information. Don’t let it define you, nor should it rule your life.

And lastly, don’t let your desire to constantly check your phone prevent you from enjoying daily moments that can only be captured only with your presence.

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Captain Marvel - The Movie (2019)

Captain Marvel might not be as well-known as some superheroes but she might save the Universe in the 2019 movie.

Captain Marvel is the upcoming superhero movie which will be based on the Marvel Comics character Carol Danvers. The movie is expected to be released in the United States on 6 March of 2019.

The movie will be released 2 months before the Avengers 4 in 2019 and if you watched the post-credits scene of Avengers: Infinity War where Nick Fury managed to successfully send a message to Captain Marvel to come to Earth, it indicates us that the movie might set up some plot points.

Marvel's first female-led solo movie will be played by Brie Larson and it will mark the 21st movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The storyline will take you back to the 1990s where Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot gains superpowers due to a cosmic accident. She becomes one of the most powerful heroes of the Universe while Earth is caught up in a galactic war between two alien races.

 

Who is Captain Marvel?

Carol Danvers was created in 1968. She was a high-ranking Air Force pilot and then quit her job to work as a CIA agent and then security director for NASA. Later she then became the first incarnation of Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1.  

Her superpowers came from Mar-vell, a Kree alien, who is the original Captain Marvel, after her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell's during an explosion.

Carol Danvers’ is super strong and her superpowers are: flight, superhuman durability, energy manipulation & the ability to absorb energy, and to shoot energy from her hands.

Now Carol Danvers has to take the Captain Marvel’s role to protect the Earth from a galactic war between two alien races, the Kree and the Skrulls. The shape-shifting Skrulls are the villains of Captain Marvel.

Most of Captain Marvel characters will take place in the 1990s, a time when Kree villains were still alive and Nick Fury was still in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

Why the Captain Marvel movie is expected to be a big deal?

There are many reasons for that:

  • Captain Marvel will be Marvel's first female-led solo movie after 20 movies.
  • Captain Marvel will be played by Brie Larson, the Oscar winning actress who delivered an amazing performance in the movie Room.
  • It is set in the 1990s which makes it Marvel's second movie after Captain America: The First Avenger, which took place during World War II in the 1940s.
  • The Skrulls. The Skrulls are expected to be a key component of the movie, an exciting moment for fans of the comics.

 

The 2019 movie will have a lot of familiar faces.

Larson will be joined by Jude Law as Mar-Vell, Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva and Ben Mendelsohn as an unknown villain character. Other actors whose roles have not yet been revealed are Lashana Lynch, Rune Temte, Algenis Perez Soto and Mckenna Grace.

Captain Marvel isn't the only place where we can expect to see Carol Danvers in the years to come.

She is widely believed to be joining the Avengers in The Avengers 4 and we hope she does.

Marvel's 'Avengers: Infinity War': The Movie That Is Smashing Box Office Records

Avengers Infinity War has absolutely delighted fans worldwide while smashing the box office record in the opening weekend with a grossing of $640.5 million.

The movie has so far exceeded $808 million worldwide, which makes it the second highest-grossing movies of 2018 so far after Marvel’s Black Panther.

Avengers: Infinity War is the most intense and complex Marvel movie so far, delivering an exciting culmination of the MCU.

Based on Marvel Comic books, the superhero iconic hit has been in the making for 10 years.

In the movie we see an impressive list of major superheroes, something that is never attempted in Hollywood before, that team up in attempt to prevent Thanos from destroying half of the universe.

Teaming up to stop him are an impressive list of the big-screen Marvel heroes including Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and also Avengers Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Spider Man (Tom Holland), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch).  

The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy need to stop Thanos from collecting powerful cosmic gems: the Infinity Stones.

Marvel Studios has already confirmed that the second part of the Infinity War is on its way, making it the first Avengers movie that will follow a second part while the previous movies have been standalone storylines allowing the audiences to watch them on their own.

The next Avengers (Avengers 4) is expected to be released next year on May 3, 2019.

And no, Captain Marvel is not the next Avengers: Infinity War. It’s rather a film in its own and will be released next year on March 6, 2019.  

Coming back to the storyline, the battle which leads to shocking consequences, takes place on several planets as Thanos and his accomplices stop at nothing to find the stones.

While evil Thanos wants death and destruction, his motives might not be as cliché as we’re used to. He doesn’t want universal domination. He wants to destroy half of the population because he believes that the Universe suffers from overpopulation and lack of resources, which makes the narrative more complex.  

As Thanos manages to acquire the Power Stone and keeps seeking the other five, the location of the sixth, which will bring Thanos the power he wants, will also lead him to not so pleasant crossroad with his stepdaughter Gamora.

You might already know this but Avengers: Infinity War is dark, daring, a bit bizarre; many of your favorite superheroes will die and will definitely leave you stunned by the ending of part one.

Trying to make sense of the movie in a review and describing 2 hours and 30 minutes is a difficult task which would require addressing all the characters, their motivations, subplots and culmination parts.

What we can say for sure is that, alike fans worldwide, we can’t wait to see what will happen next year.

4 ways how Tesla is changing the world

In 2003 Elon Musk together with a group of engineers tried to prove to the world the benefits of electric vehicles. Five years later they released their first model and since then the company has set a mission to change the world.

Tesla has expanded its focus from building the best electric car out there to opening the way for solar power, autonomous vehicles and much more.

Here are four ways how Tesla is changing the world.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:

You can’t talk about Tesla without mentioning electric cars and when it comes to electric vehicles, Tesla is definitely the leader. The Tesla Roadster, Tesla’s first model, was the first mass-produced, electric car able to travel more than 320 kilometers on one single charge.

Tesla’s Model S was the first fully electric sedan, and it was named the world’s best selling plug-in electric car for 2015 and 2016. Tesla’s Model S P100D broke a world record in early 2017 because of its ability to go from 0 to 97km/h in 2.28 seconds.

In addition to these wins, Tesla is building the best high-tech cars on the road and receiving top safety ratings. Despite all these benefits, being environmentally friendly is a really great bonus.

 

AUTONOMY:

Thousands of deaths are caused every year by vehicle collisions 94% of which are caused by human error. Self-driving cars are on their way and they will create several improvements towards highway safety.

Tesla has made major developments towards removing the human element like no other company. Autopilot hardware has been a standard feature since 2014 and Tesla has the best self-driving capabilities in the market.

Tesla's Autopilot system can’t replace a human driver yet but it can help drivers navigate highways. However, the company says that the vehicles that are being currently produced will have a completed autonomous driving which can be activated when government regulations will take place.

 

RETHINKING RIDESHARING

Tesla plans to enter the billion dollar industry with autonomous cars. While Uber and Lyft are already testing out autonomous cars, they can’t compete with Tesla’s ability to make adjustments to its Autopilot software and their cars already on the road.

During a TED talk in early 2017, Elon Musk elaborated on a future model that would encourage ride sharing by owners and riders. If a large number of autonomous vehicles that will be available to the public exist, people will be able to use them instead of the public transportation.

The cost would also decrease tremendously and hopefully become a way of more convenient public transportation.

 

JOB CREATION

Tesla is also contributing to job creation or as the manufacturing industry calls them, “21st-century jobs”. Tesla’s company in Nevada employs hundreds of workers.

In 2016 Tesla had 14000 employees worldwide but it’s predicted that Nevada Gigafactory alone can end up employing 10000 people. In the future, Tesla may end up creating and training a lot of employees in the clean energy industry.