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The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR

“After nearly four years of work, Oculus is about to share its long-gestating dream with the world.”

There are so many fantastic implications to Oculus and making VR that is user friendly and not too unwieldy.  Medicine, education, elder-care – you name it.  There aren’t too many verticals that won’t be touched.

Still this is a big bulky though….will people buy them for use at home or is this something we will go out to try?   This is a game changer.

Source: The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR | WIRED

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Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking | Co.Design | business + design

By studying underserved communities, the tech giant hopes to improve the user experience for everyone.

There is nothing more important than the user experience if we want adoption of any new technology or process.  It will be interesting to see if Microsoft can take a lead with this initiative.

Source: Microsoft’s Radical Bet On A New Type Of Design Thinking | Co.Design | business + design

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Google’s Self-driving Car

Google_Self-Driving_Prototype__1_

Six years in the making, Google’s self-driving vehicle is an impressive feat but still needs some improvement before it is ready for the public. Recently, the company held a test drive event for press to witness exactly what this vehicle can do.

The prototype’s appearance may be lackluster, but this helps put the focus on the product’s talents. Compared to the sleek and aerodynamic structure of luxury vehicles today, this little, two-seater resembles more of a Roomba (it sounds like one too). It makes it difficult to see how this a visionary example of the future, but let’s go over the details to see what exactly this guy can do.  

With the use of camera, radars and laser sensors, the vehicle can effortlessly avoid colliding with other vehicles and people. During the trial event, passengers entered into the car and found no steering wheel or pedals. Instead, they pressed the “Go” button, and from there the car did the rest of the work. Though the car maxed out at 15 mph, it went through a series of tests avoiding obstacles.

First, a Google worker stepped in front of the vehicle, and it slowed down and allowed him to pass before continuing on. Next, another vehicle rode up alongside the Google car, and it proceeded to slow down to make sure they did not collide. A bicycler did something similar and again, the car slowed. Though all the reactions were the same, the car can analyze exactly what is around it.

The project’s chief engineer commented, “We look at the world around us, and we detect objects in the scene, we categorize them as different types.”

Perhaps, many were looking for something more eye-catching or something to make them gasp, but this technology is still impressive and ahead of all the competition. Other automakers’ focus has not been on the car as a whole but only on safety features such as automatic braking.

Four years from now, Google hopes to have perfected the self-driving vehicle and to be selling it to the masses.

Though there have been no definite plans, most believe Google will sell their software instead of manufacturing their own cars. Unfortunately, we have some time to wait but when it’s ready, it will be just another ground-breaking innovation from Google.

Info courtesy of Wired.

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Tech Product Reviews From Delusional Users

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Feed-twFeed-fb

When the time comes to purchase a new gadget, it’s best to consult a tech journalist, product reviewer or some type of expert for advice. Anyone works. Well, except for the person who actually uses the product

In this comic, Manu Cornet of Bonkers World points out that tech companies have managed to turn their users into great sales people — delusional, but great

BonkersWorld_productreivews_comicComic illustration courtesy of Bonkers World. Published with permission; all rights reserved. Read more…More about Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Comic, and Comics

via Mashable http://mashable.com/2013/09/06/tech-product-reviews-comic/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=rss

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No, seriously: Oyster comes pretty close to being a Netflix for ebooks

Gigaom

A lot of startups want to be the Netflix (s NFLX) (or Spotify, Pandora, whatever) for ebooks. That is, they want to provide unlimited access to ebooks for a flat monthly fee.

But this is really hard to pull off, because services like this need enough books to make the prospect of paying a flat fee for them palatable. Publishers are reluctant to sign up their titles, in part because of the difficulty of paying authors when their books are viewed this way. So you have services like Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which contains over 400,000 titles — the vast majority of them self-published stuff that you have never heard of.

When I first heard about the New York-based startup Oyster last year, I was extremely skeptical. Backed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and founded by former Hunch, Google (s GOOG) and Microsoft (s MSFT) employees, the…

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Google+ Is The Fourth Most-Used Smartphone App

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Google+ Is The Fourth Most-Used Smartphone App (GlobalWebIndex)
It’s no surprise that Google Maps is the most popular mobile app, used by 54% of the global smartphone population last month, according to a recent survey by GlobalWebIndex. However, the mobile apps for YouTube and Google+ were used by 35% and 30% of smartphone users respectively, which means that Google owns three of the four most widely used apps on smartphones. 

Advertisers want visibility across platforms and across verticals. No company does that better than Google — which has the top location and video apps, and the second most popular social media app. Read >

Topsy Makes Every Tweet Ever Archived Searchable (Marketing Land)
Social search and analytics company Topsy has indexed every Tweet (approximately 540 billion) since Twitter launched, and have now made its archive searchable. Read >

Acxiom Opens Floodgates To Users Editing, Deleting Their Data (New York Times)
Acxiom, a data broker that works with Internet companies such as Facebook to collect data on users, is offering to give anyone the power to access, edit, and delete their personal data. The plan was seemingly conceived to get better data and provide greater transparency. Read >

Twitter CEO Does Not Like Bulk Follow Tools (Business Insider) 
Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo took to Twitter to remind people that his company does not permit following or unfollowing users in bulk. Such tools are often used by social media management companies and spammers. Read > 

Twitter Hires Former Google Ad Director (All Things D)
Christian Oestlien has been hired by Twitter as its new senior director of growth and international. Formerly, Oestlien was a product management director at Google. Read >

Yahoo Hires Former AOL Executive As New Americas Ad Boss (All Things D)
Ned Brody has been hired by Yahoo to head all ad sales in North and South America. Formerly, Brody was AOL’s ad boss, but resigned in April. Read >

Twitter’s New Conversation View Is Already Touch-And-Go (TechCrunch)
Only a week ago, Twitter launched a new view to follow a thread of replied tweets. The “Conversation View” stood out with a thin blue line that dissected the tweets in the thread. However, some users are now reporting that the updated view has disappeared on their accounts. Read >

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via Tech http://www.businessinsider.com/google-smartphone-app-popularity-2013-9