This has been quite the week for gaming news. Microsoft started it off by announcing the newest generation of Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. Sony got in on the action by unveiling the PlayStation 5. But the biggest news came from Facebook. Earlier this summer, Facebook informed us they were discontinuing the Oculus Go, and now they tell us that the Oculus Rift S is also on the chopping block. Is this the end of Facebook’s foray into virtual reality?
The answer to that question as it turns out, is a resounding no. Facebook’s big gaming news was not that they are pulling the Oculus Rift S per se, but rather why they are doing so. They just announced the successor to the Oculus Quest, aptly named the Oculus Quest 2. In the 48 hours or so this information has been made public, the device has gotten some of the best publicity and reviews I have ever seen for a video game console. (Presumably all the online reviewers had been under embargo until the info leaked and then was made official at the Facebook Connect 7 conference). Here are just a few of the article titles: “The New Oculus Quest 2 Is the Best Way to VR–by Far“; “Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 is outstanding“; “Oculus’s new headset is the first real VR rival for Xbox and PlayStation“; “The Oculus Quest 2 Has Finally Realized VR’s Promise and It’s Only $300“; “The $299 VR headset to rule them all“. You get the idea.
As I’ve said in the past, what with a pandemic going on and most people confined to their homes, this should be VR’s time to shine. That’s yet to happen, but perhaps the Oculus Quest 2 will mark at turning point. At just $300, it is remarkably accessible, and as the winter months approach families may grow tired of the same old board games and Netflix shows. At the very least, the Oculus Quest 2 should give people something to do. As Facebook says in its official video announcement, this is “a great time and a great device to get started on” if you are new to VR. We know the former to be true. We’ll have to wait until October 13 to find out about the latter.
I Found An Affordable Polaroid Alternative
It’s 2021 and we are officially done overpaying for products that have affordable alternatives. Do you really need that instant film camera that says “Polaroid” on it? Or can you make do with another instant film camera for half the price that works just as well? Yep, you guessed it. You can most definitely get a cheaper version that produces a very similar outcome. Your pictures will still print out instantly, and despite a difference in size, the quality will be very similar to that of a Polaroid camera. Don’t worry: You will still be hip and trendy even if your instant film camera doesn’t have “Polaroid” printed on it.
I personally have wanted an instant film camera for years, but I knew how expensive Polaroid cameras were, so I just never ended up buying one. That is, until I came across the Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is a battery-powered instant film camera that sells for $68 on Amazon. Compare that to the price of a Polaroid camera, which ranges anywhere from about $90 to $180 on Amazon.
I don’t just love my Fujifilm instant camera because it was half the price of a Polaroid; in fact, I am finding the quality and value to be terrific. It is easy to use, and every photo I’ve taken so far with it has turned out great. It’s available in five different colors and is ideal for selfies or close-up pictures. Obviously, this camera lacks some of the features that Polaroid cameras have, but given the price difference, that’s to be expected.
In my nonprofessional opinion, the Instax Mini 11 is basically a simple version of a Polaroid, meaning it’s perfect for those who just want the instant film photos without all the bells and whistles. Given its ease of use, this camera is also perfect for families and kids. The few cons associated with this camera include the fact that you cannot turn off the flash, so you have to be a little more conscious of the lighting, and that it doesn’t work that well for far-away shots. The film is a tad on the expensive side, but I feel like that’s inevitable with instant film cameras. Other than that, I’d have to say this little camera is a steal.
You Can Now Watch Both HBO Max & Quibi On Roku
Our long national nightmare is over. When HBO Max launched last June, I liked its offerings but was disappointed that there was practically no way to watch it. Although Christopher Nolan called it “the worst streaming service,” it actually has some good content, but since it was not accessibly from any streaming device, viewers were stuck either watching it on their laptops or else purchasing an upgraded Samsung Smart TV. My family ended up doing the latter, and we have no complaints at all with our new 55″ screen. But considering we own a plethora of Amazon Fire and Roku devices, it would have been nice to actually use them to watch the shows we are paying for.
What took so long? With Amazon, the answer is obvious. Amazon competes with HBO via its own streaming service, Amazon Prime, and so it was always going to be a tough negotiation. But Roku? Isn’t one of the pluses of Roku that it is platform-neutral?
Now we know the answer. Roku announced today that it had acquired the library of Quibi, an erstwhile streaming service that went bankrupt not too long ago. Roku will play those Quibi shows on its devices for free. In other words, Roku is getting into the content business.
Considering reports that sales of their devices have outpaced others on the market during the pandemic, this is big news for the entertainment industry, and it may make negotiations between the various players all the more hostile in the future. For the time being, let us rejoice and be glad that we can finally watch HBO Max in peace. We will deal with the fallout later.
The Lululemon Mirror Is The Latest In Dystopian Tech
Right before the New Year, we ran an article taking a look at some of the fitness options for keeping in shape in the midst of a pandemic. One option we did not touch on is the Lululemon Mirror, mostly because I did not believe it was a real thing. Like everyone else, I’ve seen the many ads touting this Bradburyesque contraption over the last couple months. But I figured it was a parody. There’s no way the brand known for their overpriced yoga pants aspires to hang a giant two-way looking glass on people’s wall, right? Wrong. The Mirror exists, and it is a sign of the times.
For those unfamiliar with the Mirror, it literally a $1,500 mirror, which in addition to filming your movements also displays workout videos so you don’t have to go to a gym. Is there a market for this? There must be, considering Lululemon bought the start-up responsible for the device for $500 million.
Such is life during COVID. People are so tired of being trapped in their houses, they are now turning to life-size screens to simulate interpersonal interaction. This also shows how the pandemic has changed our relationship with privacy; now that we are on Zoom every day, performing workouts in front of a camera does not seem like that big of a deal. (For those folks who do still value privacy, Lululemon insists that turning on the camera is merely “an option.”)
The Lululemon Mirror is just the latest example of wellness technology designed to capture any and all information about its users. Pretty much all of your important health data is tracked by your Apple Watch, and that isn’t even counting the enhancements of Apple Fitness+.
If people are willing to bare their souls to a miniature robot, who am I to tell them off? But as more and more data is accumulated through these various channels, it’s hard not to think that they will be used in some way to manipulate human behavior. Maybe this is a good thing, leading to a healthier populace. Let’s hope that’s the case. Because if the data falls into the wrong hands, there is little doubt that it could be used to nefarious ends.
Are KF94 Masks Better Than KN95s?
How Can You Get The Nugget Couch?
I Found An Affordable Polaroid Alternative
This MOSFiATA Chef’s Knife Makes Food Prep Easy And Even Fun
GIVEAWAY: Win The New TaoTronics True Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (Review)
‘K: A History in Ten Pitches’ Review: Make This Your Fathers’ Day Or Graduation Present
Tech3 months ago
How Do You Charge The New iPhone 12?
Tech6 months ago
Moxie The ‘Social Support’ Robot Is Super Creepy
Sports5 months ago
Andy Reid’s Shield Hat Is Actually Awesome
Home2 months ago
Looking For An Alternative To The Always Pan?
Tech3 months ago
Your Kid Wants Squeakee The Balloon Dog For Christmas
Tech6 months ago
Why Is The iPhone 12 So Small?
Home4 months ago
Take A Load Off With The oFlexiSpa Foot Massager
Sports6 months ago
Should I Subscribe To MLB.TV?