Samsung VR Released

It looks like the Samsung Head Mounted Display (HMD) know as Gear VR is out or almout out for retail sales. The Road to VR has an article comparing the Gear and Oculus. The short story is it appears Oculus is doing software and software tech while Samsung is doing hardware. However that works, it is a device making it to market with the Samsung brand name.

See: Samsung Gear VR Detailed Review: Part One – Design Comparison to Oculus Rift DK2.

See: You can buy Samsung’s virtual reality headset right now for $200.

See: Buy Samsung Gear VR.


3D HMD Medical Use

While I am excited about Oculus Rift and the competing Head Mounted Displays, it seems we may get them about the same time or even after they appear in other fields. Medical uses seem to an interesting use of the new technology.



Atheer Labs (and they do use an ‘S” in their official name) is developing a device somewhat like Google Glass. Their information pages on the device are here: Atheer Labs, where they refer to this as ‘gesture-based 3D augmented interactive reality.’

They have numerous uses that they show for their device. They imagine assembly and repair manuals that superimpose over the object being worked on. Medical imaging (Fox News Video) that displays x-ray, CAT and MRI scans, and anatomy models imposed on the patient’s body.

Some describe the process as Google Glass meeting 3D. Whatever the case, this technology is breaking into mainstream RL uses.

And there is now the Kissing Bug as a hazard in the USA. (Reference) (DDT Safe but Illegal – University of Nebraska at Lincoln)

Second Life: DMCA Abuse – Fight Back

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA is pretty well known and abused in Second Life™. In RL it is also commonly known and abused. The law should be over turned and I expect it would be if it ever made it to the Supreme Court. The law makes people prove their innocence, which is upside down in America and most free market economies. The the reason the law continues to stand is the it favors politicians, big business, and the wealthy. Individuals and small business can’t afford to fight at the Supreme Court level.

Image by: Michael Mandiberg @ Flickr

Image by: Michael Mandiberg @ Flickr

The WordPress organization is fighting the censorship that can be imposed by abuse of DMCA. They wrote about it here: Striking Back Against Censorship. Others are in the fight too. One of those is a company named Automattic. They gained fame when fighting  Janet Jackson’s take down demand. (ReferenceContinue reading

Second Life’s Ebbe Altberg at Engadget

This year Ebbe went to New York to participate in an Engadget sponsored get together. Sean Buckley describes the panel discussing VR this way:

All three of the entrepreneurs have wildly different takes on how to use VR — Bell’s Matterport 3D camera strives to capture the physical world and make it virtual; Altberg’s vision for Linden Lab and Second Life is to create a platform for creating new experiences within virtual spaces. Roel’s goals are even further reaching: with projects like the Gender Swap Experiment, he hopes to use VR to help humans get along better. “If you can better understand the other you can better understand yourself,” he says. “We’re even applying it for conflict resolutions with partners in the United Nations and other key people.”

A video shows the discussion. You can find it in the article here. It is an AOL-On video, that is a pain to embed here.

Jo Yardley has summarized the video. See: Ebbe talks to Engadget.

Novel Idea for a Laptop Upgrade

A significant number of people in the forum ask how to run Second Life™ on a laptop that has ample memory and CPU power but lacks adequate GPU power. The answer is disappointing, your hardware is not gonna cut it.

Now I find there is a way to add a PCI graphics card to a laptop. It isn’t pretty but, apparently it works.

Check this out: EXP GDC Laptop External PCI-E Graphics Card. You could add a GTX980 to a 4 year old laptop.

External GPU Upgrade

External GPU Upgrade

I am not endorsing the product. You are on our own deciding if this is for you. I am just pointing out a possibilitiy.

Second Life Notes

I am suddenly swamped with RL things to do. So, not much time for a post. However, a couple of notes…

WARNING: Flashlight Apps

Word is going around about a flashlight apps on smart phones. Seems the ten most downloaded flashlight apps are all spyware. A company named Snoopwall has published a report on these apps and named names. See: Snoopwall (Android App) and get their free app.

Battle for VR

Gwyneth Llewelyn, a writer I enjoy reading, has posted: The battle for the future virtual world environment is on! It is a good analysis of the current VR competition.

She points out an interesting statistic. Goods sales at the peak of the SL Hype Days (2007-9) was in the range of a few million dollars (US) per year. Now goods sales are around 500 million, half a billion. That is growth.

Gwyn sees the VR and virtual world products as only serving a niche market with a small number of users. That is accurate today. But, a lot of people are trying to figure out how to make their new VR products relevant to the masses. Facebook and Google are pouring hundreds of millions into development of VR products. While the dreamers like Zuckerberg, Rosedale, Lucky, and others might just jump and spend money, multi-billion dollar companies tend to analyze market potential and size their investment to the potential return.

Check out Gwyn’s article. See what you think.

Magic Leap – Google’s World?

Magic Leap

Yahooo is working on a virtual reality product. So, it should come as no surprise that Google (et al) is working on one too, or at least investing in one to the tune of half a billion dollars. To get an idea of what the investors are thinking check out this video. In the video below, you never see the scare, just the reactions.

In the video the people know they are in VR. Imagine putting on augmented reality glasses, a Google thing already, and having the scary monster in the room with you…

Cierra Anatine, at SLUniverse, points readers to an article about that project. The article has quotes from people in tech and entertainment. I think they have been reading the comments about Oculus Rift and are subconsciously quoting… all sounds very familiar.  Continue reading