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Microsoft HoloLens VR headset starts shipping today

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Microsoft kicked off its HoloLens virtual-reality project into high gear with the announcement that HoloLens dev kits will start shipping to developers today with a price tag of $US3,000 (Php138,000).

They’re releasing it, along with all the tools needed to help developers incorporate everything HoloLens has to offer, including hand-and-eye gestures — two features other consumer VR headsets are currently lacking.

One of the first apps HoloLens has on offer, unsurprisingly, comes from Microsoft and is called Galaxy Explorer.

With it, you can experience the vastness and emptiness of space within your own living room. The app itself is unspectacular (VR already has a version of it called Titans of Space, sans the interaction), but the great thing about it is that Microsoft has made the Galaxy Explorer code available online via GitHub, a collaboration website.

Microsoft HoloLens 2016

HoloLens headset

As a developer myself, having access to a project’s source code is priceless, especially when it comes to emerging trends like VR.

Thinking about the possibilities of interactive virtual reality is enough to make most tech enthusiasts giddy. It’s the stuff of sci-fi movies, after all.

[irp posts=”8643″ name=”Microsoft is bringing the feature we’ve always wanted to Windows”]

In the case of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, HoloLens will be a huge help to medical students under the university’s holographic anatomy program. At the very least, dissecting cadavers to gain insights into the human anatomy should be the last of their worries.

NASA has also developed a HoloLens app that will allow the public (yes, the public) to take a virtual walk on Mars’ surface alongside former U.S. astronaut and space hero Buzz Aldrin. The program will be made available sometime in the summer of 2016 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.

Judging from some of Microsoft’s keynote videos shown at the Build 2016 developer conference, it seems Microsoft’s immediate focus is to create enterprise opportunities for HoloLens by showing car makers and home-improvement chains and the like the possible applications of the technology in the business world.

In a few years, virtual reality and holograms will become a huge part of human work — from designing and building cars (and parts) to prepping for surgeries. And Microsoft’s HoloLens may be a huge leap forward towards that future.

To me, the end goal for VR should be similar to Tony Stark’s use in Iron Man 2

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Samsung, BTS will launch a custom Galaxy S20

Coming next month

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Celebrity endorsements are part and parcel of the smartphone lifecycle. Most companies have constantly leveraged local talent to promote their products. However, a lucky few have found more internationally known celebrities to brandish new devices. Amidst this ubiquitous strategy, Samsung and LG have a distinct advantage: a gallery of Korean idol groups right at their doorstep. For example, Samsung has already created BLACKPINK-themed Galaxy smartphones last year.

Recently, Samsung recruited BTS for this year’s Galaxy S20 series. At the time, the partnership was just for brand ambassadorship, creating promos with the “Captured #withGalaxy S20 Series.” Now, Samsung and BTS are taking it a step further.

In the last few days, Samsung’s Twitter account teased BTS-themed promos with a single date: July 9. The promos are very likely hinting at a BTS-themed device coming next month.

Thanks to Max Weinbach, we finally have a clearer idea of what the upcoming device is. Sent by one of his sources, the upcoming device is a Galaxy S20 variant in vibrant Mirror Purple, marking the BTS theme. Additionally, Samsung is also launching BTS-themed Galaxy Buds+ in the same Mirror Purple color. Both devices will come in custom BTS packaging.

At least for the phone, there isn’t any change internally. It’s still the same Galaxy S20 series. At the very least, the custom variant will arrive in the base Galaxy S20 model.

As the leak confirms, the upcoming device will launch on July 9 in South Korea. Pre-orders will start soon. However, there is no word yet whether the device will come to other countries.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 might now be in mass production

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CES 2021 will still push through with an in-person event

Will implement a lot of safety measures

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Image source: CES

So far, CES 2020 is the only massive tech trade show to escape the ongoing coronavirus pandemic unscathed. Soon after the first show of the year, other similar events — like MWC 2020 — started dropping out for fear of spreading the virus further. Some migrated to online avenues. Some are still pushing through but with severely limited attendance.

With more than half a year to go before the next event, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has announced that CES 2021 will continue its years-long tradition of holding an in-person event for the trade showcase. Besides the in-person event, CES 2021 will also branch out into more digital spaces, allowing more livestreaming to broadcast the latest technologies for a wider reach. Though the announcement is only making the rounds now (via The Verge), the CTA has already made and publicized the decision on May 7 through the convention’s website.

This is, of course, a huge deal for the public events industry all over the world. All eyes are on CES 2021 as a safety barometer for the future of public spaces. Though some events are still continuing as normal this year, CES 2021 will likely usher in a new era with new health tools, the “new normal,” and, hopefully, a cure. Who knows what will happen at that point in time?

CES 2021 will still implement public health measure to limit the spread of disease during the show. The CTA is already pondering on various methods like social distancing, temperature scans, mask wearing, contactless payments, and sanitization stations.

Amidst all the potential safety measures in place, we’re seeing the “new normal” in action. For sure, CES 2021 will showcase huge breakthroughs in the tech industry, as it did this year. The annual event will take place from January 6 to 9 next year.

SEE ALSO: IFA 2020 to adopt an ‘innovative’ form of conferencing

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PLDT Home extends Speedboost and Double Data offers

Until June 30

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When people were forced to stay at and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLDT stepped in to make sure Internet access was sufficient (debatable, we know). The speedboost they promised for the duration of the lockdown has now been extended.

The nationwide speedboost supposedly gave everyone a minimum of 25 Mbps. If you felt this boost, congratulations! You get to experience it for a little while longer.

If you’d rather go prepaid that options is on offer as well. You can get the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid at just PhP 995 which comes with free 10GB worth of data valid for seven days and enjoy twice more data for all sites and apps.

If that doesn’t quite cut it for you there are other PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid options:

  • FamLoad package: FamLoad 199 now has 24GB of data for seven days
  • FamLoad 599 comes with 80GB of data for 15 days
  • FamLoad 999 has 130GB of data for 30 days
  • FamLoad 1499 gives you a whopping 200GB of data for 30 days.

To find out more, you can always visit the PLDT Website. Just cross your fingers that it never gets hacked like their Twitter account.

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