Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera is way cheaper than the original

Image result for Samsung's new Gear 360 camera is way cheaper than the originalGet your wallet out because you’ll finally be able to buy Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera starting tomorrow, May 25.

The smaller, more powerful second-generation 360-degree camera will cost $230, which makes it far more affordable than the original’s $350 launch price. You’ll be able to pick up the camera from Samsung, Best Buy, Amazon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular.

Even better is the promotion Samsung’s running: buy a Galaxy S8/S8+ between May 25 and June 19 and you can nab the new camera for only $50.

Though the new Gear 360 is designed to work best with the Galaxy S8/S8+, Samsung smartly added iOS support this time around, opening the camera up to many more users.

Livestreaming to various platforms (Facebook, YouTube, and Samsung VR), real 4K resolution recording, longer battery life, and the camera’s new handle/body all contribute to a better 360 shooting experience.

Despite some shortcomings, we praised the original Gear 360 for its sleek looks and effortless connectivity and recording capabilities.

A year ago Samsung was one of the first with a consumer 360 camera and the only one to really nail down the basics, but there’s tons of competition now. Every company from Kodak to Garmin have one. And if they don’t yet (like GoPro), they will.

The $230 price, however, gives the new Gear 360 an edge; most comparable consumer 360 cameras cost $300 or more.

If you’re new to 360 cameras, here are a few examples of the kind of 360 photos and videos you can shoot with the Gear 360:

Discovered I could fly yesterday while testing the Samsung Gear 360. (This is a 360 degree photo. Please look around.)

TOPICS: 360 CAMERAS, CAMERAS, GEAR 360, SAMSUNG, TECH

Mi Notebook Air May Remind You of Another Computer — But Cheaper

Mi Notebook Air, the New Xiaomi Laptop, May Remind You of Another Computer -- But Cheaper

The founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, doesn’t like to be compared to Steve Jobs, but the latest product from the company, the Mi Notebook Air will do very little to convince people otherwise. You don’t have to have a degree from Stanford in computer science to see the similarities with Apple’s Macbook Air, right down to a portion of the name. That said, the Mi Notebooks are a worthy challenger for the computers coming out of Cupertino.

Who is Xiaomi?

Just in case you haven’t heard of Xiaomi, the Chinese company was founded in 2010 by Jun, and its rise to the smartphone leader board has been remarkable.  In just five short years, the company has become the fifth largest smartphone maker, selling close to 71 million units in 2015.

In addition to the phones, the company has a range of other products, including tablets, personal transports, drones, healthcare monitors, cloud services and more.

First Xiaomi Laptop: The Mi Notebook Air

The first ever laptop line by Xiaomi was a big surprise when it was announced at a recent press event in Beijing. And the company didn’t disappoint when it introduced two notebooks, a 13.3″ and a 12.5″ version. So here is a basic comparison between the Xiaomi and Apple Air notebooks.

The 13.3″ Mi Notebook Air

The 13.3″ Mi notebook is 14.8mm (0.58 inches) thick and weighs in at 1.28kg or 2.82 pounds, which makes it slightly thinner and lighter than the Apple version. The real differentiator is the discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX graphics card and 256GB SSD storage that come standard on the Xiaomi. Not having to share the memory to process games and graphic intensive applications means the Mi notebook is going to work well for gamers and designers.

Xiaomi Laptop - Mi Notebook Air-970-80

The processor is an Intel 2.3GHz Core i5-6200U (Turbo up to 2.7GHz), with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 9.5 hour battery life, according to the company. These are all great features for a flagship PC, but what is more impressive is the price, which comes in at less than the 11″ Macbook Air at $750.

The 13″ inch MacBook Air has many different configurations, but the one that currently has the $999.00 price tag on the company’s site has the following specs. It comes in a little bigger than the Mi Note at 17mm (0.66 inches) thick and weighing in at 1.35kg (2.9 pounds). The processor is a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo up to 2.7GHz), with 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of flash storage.

The 12.5″ Mi Notebook Air

The 12.5″ Mi notebook is slimmer and weighs less, coming in at 12.9mm (0.5 inches) and 1.07kg (2.3 pounds). The specs also come down considerably, which is not surprising since it is more than $200 cheaper.

The processor is an Intel Core M3 CPU and it includes 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, one USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. The battery life is much better on this version, which lets you enjoy two additional hours compared to the 13″ model. You get all this for $520, not bad when you compare it to the 11″ Macbook air.

Xiaomi Laptop - Mi Notebook Air with a diagonal of 12.5 inches

The 11″ Macbook air is thicker at 17mm or 0.66 inches and weighs almost the same at 1.08kg. However, the Mac has a better processor with the Intel Core i5 and more options as to how you can configure your device. The standard version includes 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and 9 hours of battery life. The latest available price for these specs from Apple is $899, which is $379 more expensive than the Xiaomi.

The Price Difference for Small Businesses

Small businesses are always on the lookout for affordable technology, and Xiaomi makes a great case to merit a second or even a third look at what it is offering. Price differences of $249 and $379 are considerable and may be enough to sway many owners to make the change. But it is important to remember Apple has carved out a niche market for creative types who will almost always go for the Macbook, and there is nothing Xiaomi or anyone else can do about that.

Both the Mi Notebook and Macbook have great specs, but Apple gives you more configuration options. Since this is the first offering from Xiaomi, it is limited, but if the company takes the same route for its notebooks as it did its smartphones, it won’t be long before it makes more options available for its customers.

Though there’s no knowing when Xiami will offer this notebook for sale outside China, those determined enough can doubtless find a way to get it. The question is, would this device be an asset to your business?

Image: Xiaomi

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Facebook Announces Social VR Concepts, Cheaper Standalone VR Headset, and a Lot More at Oculus Connect

Facebook Announces Social VR Concepts, Cheaper Standalone VR Headset, and a Lot More at Oculus Connect

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oculus Touch hand controllers will start shipping in December
  • Zuckerberg said the next step for VR is social software
  • Carmel browser allows people to surf the web in VR

Facebook is working on a new virtual reality product that is more advanced than its Samsung Gear VR, but doesn’t require connection to a personal computer, like the Oculus Rift does.

“We believe that there is a sweet spot” between those products for a new device, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday at the Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, California. He cautioned developers not to get too excited – the product isn’t ready for launch.

Zuckerberg showed a video of a man wearing a prototype of the device, walking freely without being attached to a cord. He didn’t elaborate on how the product works.

 

While the new device is in development, the company said it has made progress with Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia to pair the Oculus Rift with cheaper computers. For example, one Cyberpower computer with an AMD graphic chip for use with the Rift starts at $499 (roughly Rs. 33,300). And the company announced that Oculus Touch hand controllers will start shipping in December, and can be pre-ordered starting October 10 for $199 (roughly Rs. 13,300).

Facebook also demonstrated avatars that can be customized to represent a person’s own look in real life, so users can have an identity in VR. The avatars are able to read hand movements and expressions, aiming to provide a sense of social presence as they interact with other avatars in a virtual world.

Virtual socializing
Zuckerberg said the next step for VR is social software. Facebook’s Oculus now lets people have “rooms” to hang out with their avatar friends, where they can watch movies, play games or talk.

“Virtual reality is the perfect platform to put people first, because of presence,” Zuckerberg said. “You feel like you’re really there, in another place, with people.”

Oculus has so far spent $250 million (roughly Rs. 1,670 crores) on developers of VR experiences, and plans to pledge $250 million more, Zuckerberg said. About $10 million will go to education experiences specifically.

The company also announced a browser, Carmel, to allow people to surf the web in VR, as well as new earphones sold separately for $49 that will provide better VR sound.

In addition to Zuckerberg, the event featured many Oculus executives – but not Palmer Luckey, the founder. Luckey skipped the event after a report that he was financing a group creating anti-Hillary Clinton memes for the Internet. Luckey apologized in a September 23 Facebook post for how his actions may have negatively affected those connected to Oculus.

“Palmer didn’t want to be a distraction, so he chose not to attend,” Oculus said in a statement.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Facebook, Oculus, Oculus Rift, AMD, Oculus Touch, Carmel, Virtual Reality, VR, Wearables, Oculus Rooms,Santa Cruz, Oculus Parties, Oculus Connect 3, Samsung Gear VR, Asynchronous Spacewarp, Room Scale, Oculus Avatars

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Facebook Announces Social VR Concepts, Cheaper Standalone VR Headset, and a Lot More at Oculus Connect

Facebook Announces Social VR Concepts, Cheaper Standalone VR Headset, and a Lot More at Oculus Connect

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oculus Touch hand controllers will start shipping in December
  • Zuckerberg said the next step for VR is social software
  • Carmel browser allows people to surf the web in VR

Facebook is working on a new virtual reality product that is more advanced than its Samsung Gear VR, but doesn’t require connection to a personal computer, like the Oculus Rift does.

“We believe that there is a sweet spot” between those products for a new device, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday at the Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, California. He cautioned developers not to get too excited – the product isn’t ready for launch.

Zuckerberg showed a video of a man wearing a prototype of the device, walking freely without being attached to a cord. He didn’t elaborate on how the product works.

 

While the new device is in development, the company said it has made progress with Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia to pair the Oculus Rift with cheaper computers. For example, one Cyberpower computer with an AMD graphic chip for use with the Rift starts at $499 (roughly Rs. 33,300). And the company announced that Oculus Touch hand controllers will start shipping in December, and can be pre-ordered starting October 10 for $199 (roughly Rs. 13,300).

Facebook also demonstrated avatars that can be customized to represent a person’s own look in real life, so users can have an identity in VR. The avatars are able to read hand movements and expressions, aiming to provide a sense of social presence as they interact with other avatars in a virtual world.

Virtual socializing
Zuckerberg said the next step for VR is social software. Facebook’s Oculus now lets people have “rooms” to hang out with their avatar friends, where they can watch movies, play games or talk.

“Virtual reality is the perfect platform to put people first, because of presence,” Zuckerberg said. “You feel like you’re really there, in another place, with people.”

Oculus has so far spent $250 million (roughly Rs. 1,670 crores) on developers of VR experiences, and plans to pledge $250 million more, Zuckerberg said. About $10 million will go to education experiences specifically.

The company also announced a browser, Carmel, to allow people to surf the web in VR, as well as new earphones sold separately for $49 that will provide better VR sound.

In addition to Zuckerberg, the event featured many Oculus executives – but not Palmer Luckey, the founder. Luckey skipped the event after a report that he was financing a group creating anti-Hillary Clinton memes for the Internet. Luckey apologized in a September 23 Facebook post for how his actions may have negatively affected those connected to Oculus.

“Palmer didn’t want to be a distraction, so he chose not to attend,” Oculus said in a statement.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Facebook, Oculus, Oculus Rift, AMD, Oculus Touch, Carmel, Virtual Reality, VR, Wearables, Oculus Rooms,Santa Cruz, Oculus Parties, Oculus Connect 3, Samsung Gear VR, Asynchronous Spacewarp, Room Scale, Oculus Avatars

[“Source-Gadgets”]