Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oculus, recently discussed just how much you can expect to spend on a “complete package” of a computer powerful enough to use the VR headset, and the headset itself. He estimated the price of everything at around $1500, which is definitely not something just anyone will be able to afford.
The company hasn’t announced pricing for the headset just yet, but since Oculus has already announced what they consider minimum specs to power the headset, we can try to ballpark what price point they’re trying to hit.
The recommended hardware for the Rift demands an NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD R290 GPU or greater, an Intel Core i5-4590 CPU or better, and 8+ GB of RAM.
Quickly searching around on Amazon, you can find those GPUs in the $300 – $350 range, while the CPU runs around $180 and 8 GB of RAM will cost about $60. You can estimate those parts to cost between $550 and $600, and that’s not including a computer case, motherboard, hard drive, or power supply.
Going with cheaper components, you could finish that computer build for roughly another $300 (assuming you were willing to piece things together by yourself and not buy a computer from a company) and end up hitting upwards of $800 – $900. A pre-built machine will likely add several hundred extra dollars to that price tag. A machine that hits the recommended hardware from iBuyPower lists at around $1100.
With those price ranges, we can assume the Rift will be priced anywhere from $300 to $700. Granted, that’s a pretty wide range to try to figure out, but I’d bet that Iribe is counting on most people buying their computers, not building them, so hopefully that price is a little closer to the low end.
Come comment on this article: Buying a computer and an Oculus Rift should cost “around $1500″
The Oculus Rift is prepared to melt your perceived reality in early 2016 — if you have the proper PC. If not, a new, Rift-ready PC plus the headset itself should cost around $1,500, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said today at the Re/code conference. “We are looking at an all-in price, if you have to go out and actually need to buy a new computer and you’re going to buy the Rift… at most you should be in that $1,500 range,” he said (via Re/code). He didn’t provide a standalone price for the Rift, but Oculus has already divulged its recommended PC specs and they’re fairly hefty.
Oculus Chief Architect Atman Binstock said earlier in May that these specs will apply to the lifespan of the Rift and that the price of such a powerful rig should drop over time. Iribe echoed that idea today, noting that he’d like to see the total price dip below $1,000. Previous Rift development kits — that’s just the headset, no PC — have been priced around $350.
Now we have two ballpark figures for the Oculus Rift: A vague “Q1 2016″ release window and an even more nebulous “$1,500 or cheaper” price point. One day we’ll get a straight answer out of you, Oculus. One day.
Even though Facebook’s mobile Messenger specifically tells you that it tracks your location data the first time you install the app (and every time you start a new conversation), most folks don’t realize how often and how accurately it actually does so. In fact, the app pings your location each time you send a text. And with this new Chrome extension, you’ll be able to see exactly where your contacts have been messaging you from — without their knowledge or consent.
Dubbed the “Marauder’s Map” (yes, like from Harry Potter), the extension leverages GPS data that’s embedded into each Messenger message to surreptitiously locate and track whoever sent it. This isn’t a real-time tracking method by any means, mind you; the extension simply compiles that embedded data into a cohesive map. However, it does allow anyone you’ve mailed with FB Messenger to see where you’ve been. If this sounds a bit too stalkerish for your tastes, you could always just uninstall Messenger and use any of the myriad of alternate texting apps currently on the market. Supposing that’s not an option, you can alternately just turn off your GPS location service before launching the program.
Source: Chrome Web Store
Facebook has been cautious about rolling out Messenger payments in the US so far, but it just opened them up in a big way. The feature now works for anyone in New York City and the surrounding areas, so you can cover your share of that SoHo pizza when a chat buddy brings it up. The software itself is a little more helpful, too — it’ll automatically link dollar amounts to help you pay them faster, and you can pay individual friends within group discussions. It’ll be a while before you can sling cash to any Facebook user you like, but that day is at least getting closer.
Source: Facebook Messenger
Over the last few years Facebook has made a number of tweaks to make it easier to protect your account from hackers, but that doesn’t mean individual users are keeping up. Since there’s no point to security features if people don’t use them, and hacked accounts are annoying for everyone (why are they always selling sunglasses? Who wants cheap Oakleys that much?) it’s testing a new Security Checkup feature. The idea is that it’s a simple and straightforward walkthrough for some of the things everyone should keep an eye on in regards to their account — update the password, double check connected apps and devices, activate login alerts — and if the response is good, more people will see the prompt soon. If you (or your friend/relative with the account that’s constantly pushing spam) aren’t seeing it yet, a visit to the Privacy Basics page is another way to make sure things are locked down.
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Source: Facebook Security
I’m willing to bet that one of the best things about having Facebook in your back pocket is that your pocketbook is likely bottomless. How’s that? Well, Oculus has acquired yet another company on its path to a retail model. This time it’s Surreal Vision, a firm focused on “3D scene reconstruction” according to a recent post on the VR outfit’s blog. “Great scene reconstruction will enable a new level of presence and telepresence, allowing you to move around the real world and interact with real-world objects from within VR,” the post reads. So! This acquisition should help out quite a bit when it comes to building out the social spaces and experiences Oculus has been crowing about since Zuckerberg and Co. made their $2 billion purchase.
“We’re developing breakthrough techniques to capture, interpret, manage, analyse, and finally reproject in real-time a model of reality back to the user in a way that feels real, creating a new, mixed reality that brings together the virtual and real worlds,” it continues. We’d typically be skeptical of such lofty claims, but considering one of the Surreal gents also reconstructed scenes in real time with a paltry Xbox 360 Kinect those promises seem a little less like moonshots.
Source: Oculus blog
Facebook is testing out a new program that will add critic reviews to restaurant pages that appear while users search for somewhere to eat, putting the reviews next to comments left by friends on the social media site. It’s a small change, but it might help Facebook stay competitive in the local search market, especially against the likes of Google and Yelp.
Currently, the service is only going to roll out for five partner sites, including Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Eater, New York Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle. This should encompass thousands of restaurants, but depending on where you live or travel, you may not see this have much of an impact just yet. If it goes well, though, you’ll likely see the list of partners and included restaurants grow.
Do any of you use Facebook to track down somewhere to eat? Google and Foursquare are usually my go-to services, but it’s nice to see Facebook try to heat up the competition.
source: The Verge
Come comment on this article: Facebook to begin showing critics’ reviews on restaurant pages
Ever had a Facebook friend rave about a restaurant, only to find out that it leaves your own tastebuds underwhelmed? Facebook might just come to your rescue. It’s experimenting with a feature that adds critic reviews to certain restaurant pages in New York and San Francisco, so you’ll know whether or not that burger joint is really as good as your aunt says. This is ultimately a response to Google’s Zagat ratings, but you probably won’t mind if it saves you from taking some bad dinner advice — here’s hoping that the feature expands quickly.
VR turned me into a movie character — a tiny, bright yellow firefly. But here’s the best part: I got to experience it with someone next to me, both literally and virtually, in a dark room with headsets strapped to our heads. For Oculus Story Studio, arguably the Pixar of virtual reality, this is the first step in making the medium more social. And it’s using its short film Lost, introduced earlier this year at Sundance, as a test bed. Still, whether we’re talking about a cute movie or a fun game, most VR activities so far have one thing in common: They’re solitary experiences. Oculus wants to change that.
Recently, I was invited to watch Lost Director’s Cut, a slightly modified version of the film that debuted in January. What’s different here is a new social component, which the Story Studio team calls a “shared experience.” Essentially, this allows two viewers (or more), each wearing an Oculus headset, to be a part of the same world and explore it simultaneously. In the case of Lost Director’s Cut, the person giving the demo and I were both fireflies in the movie; we could look at each other or fly closer toward one another, all while a scene was taking place next to us. It’s breathtaking and weird at the same time, and that’s a good thing.
An opening credit for Lost,’ Oculus Story Studio’s first short film.
“VR is very isolationist: You put it on and you forget your surroundings; you forget the people around you,” says Max Planck, Story Studio’s supervising technical director. “We wanna tell stories that people can come out of it together and have water-cooler moments.” He adds, “Like you’re around the campfire and someone’s telling you a story, or you go to a movie or a theater performance and you see it with other people, and you come out of it and you want to talk with people.” Planck and his team say the goal is to show filmmakers how far they can go with VR, so that they’re not just thinking about creating single-person experiences. As it stands, there’s only a handful of projects that have a social angle — things like The Machine to be Another, an art experiment that transports people into bodies of the opposite sex.
Edward Saatchi, a Story Studio producer, believes that virtual reality doesn’t have to be isolated, but instead can feel like something you can do with your friends, where you talk to each other and discover VR worlds together. “We’ve heard so much: ‘Well, how is this gonna interact with cinema? Cinema is so social. There’s people in a cinema; you are together.’ So we wanted to give a hint of where we think the future of VR in cinema is,” he says. “We think the future of VR in cinema is social, that you’re with your friends. You’re not in the same room, maybe; maybe you’re all going in together at the same time, and that’s where the lines between cinema and an MMO [massive multiplayer online] start to blur.
“So we wanted to give a hint of where we think the future of VR in cinema is.”
Lost Director’s Cut is also enhanced by Oculus’ newly developed sound engine, dubbed Spatial Audio, which lets you hear elements of the film based on the direction they’re coming from. At one point, for instance, a bird flies over your head and you’re able to hear the sound of it coming toward you, just as it goes into the background. “All those elements — the firefly, the beeping, the hand — as they move around are being attenuated so that if you close your eyes, listen for a sound and be like, ‘It should be right in front of me,’ there it is,” says Planck about the film’s adapted directional audio. “VR needs that; VR is a big feedback system. Where I look, visuals and audio need to respond too.”
Saschka Unseld, who directed Lost, doesn’t see anything wrong with VR being an unsocial platform, though. “I think it actually has a strength. Like, there is an intimacy from just you being there,” he explains. “But [I] was still curious how could you have multiple people watch this thing at the same time.”
So, will we see social features in any of the upcoming Story Studio shorts? That remains unclear, but it could happen. “It depends,” Planck says. “The shared experience was something fun, something we wanted to try on Lost because we had a great idea. The idea has to be great; it has to be telling something we’re excited about.” He goes on to say: “Now that we’ve done a shared experience, it will color when we’re thinking of new ideas: ‘Oh, remember that cool moment from Lost, maybe we can replicate that and maybe it’ll help this story.’”
“Story Studio isn’t gonna be making a $200 million blockbuster.”
Ultimately, though, Saatchi emphasizes that Oculus Story Studio’s intention is to help virtual reality grow as a platform, not to be the main player in its filmmaking space. “Most importantly, Story Studio is going to be sharing everything it learns [with filmmakers],” he says. “Story Studio isn’t gonna be making a $200 million blockbuster. Story Studio is a catalyst to excite the filmmakers who will be the future.”
Instagram’s photographic social feed isn’t as novel as it once was, and you may be tempted to stop using it if you’re overwhelmed by that never-ending stream of square pictures. How is the company supposed to keep you coming back for more? Though regular email blasts, apparently. TechCrunch has confirmed that Instagram is now sending “Highlights,” email digests that showcase some of the better photos from those you follow. While this see-what-you’re-missing strategy isn’t new (Facebook and Twitter have done this for a while), it acknowledges that only some of Instagram’s 300 million users are active shutterbugs — this could help you remember the service and catch photos that would otherwise slip under the radar. Yes, the highlights are ultimately meant to get you viewing more ads, but they may be useful if you’d rather not spend every day wading through an image stream.