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Everyone Should Know More About Virtual Reality Headsets

Everyone Should Know More About Virtual Reality Headsets

Have you ever wanted to feel like you were living within your favorite game? Virtual reality headsets might be for you, because this an more is exactly what they promise.

The big promise: The Oculus Rift

Without doubt, virual reality headsets are incredibly interesting devices. That said, they are still very much in the development phase. Indeed, the Oculus Rift, which is probably the most well-known virtual reality headset, has yet to be released in its final form.

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    As of right now, you can only purchase the “developer’s edition.” This means that software is still being created for it, and that the hardware is being optimized for the official release. Still, you should be able to get your hands on an Oculus Rift by 2016 at the latest.

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    The reality: The Samsung Gear VR

    In the meantime, you can test out a kind of stripped down version of the Oculus Rift, otherwise known as Samsung’s Gear VR, which is basically a headset that you can strap a Galaxy Note 4 to in order to simulate a virtual reality experience.

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      The Samsung Gear VR is a preview of things to come. It uses your Galaxy Note 4 to project two images, one for your left and right eye. The headset also accounts for head movement, and comes preloaded with a few different types of VR software that you can play around with. It is fairly simply to use. All you need to do is strap it on your head, place it over your eyes, and go. Because it completely blocks your vision, it would behoove you to use it in a relatively hazard free area.

      In many ways, the Gear VR is an example of how virtual reality headsets will work for years to come. Like its unreleased brethren, it basically removes you from the outside world, providing a level of immersion far beyond that of current gaming technology.

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      Of course, the Gear VR is merely the tip of the iceberg. It was developed in part by Oculus, and thus is the first consumer release of their virtual reality technology. Therefore you shouldn’t expect an entirely polished experience, as this articles states multiple times over.

      Many big companies are jumping on the VR hype

      Regardless, the future is bright for Oculus VR, in part because they were recently purchased by Facebook for around $2 Billon. With more money, they were able to field a larger development team, and thus should be able to release their device to consumers more rapidly than they had previously planned.

      Many see virtual reality headsets as having an unlimited amount of potential. Indeed, experts suggest that with improvements to the technology, these headsets could both fulfill “science fiction fantasies” and stimulate breakthroughs in the “industrial and medical” industries.

      With such a promising future, there should be no surprise that companies other than Oculus are looking to jump into the virtual reality arena. These include familiar names such as Microsoft and Sony. Microsoft in particular is an interesting case, as they’ve already made some headway into the VR world with Kinect. Experts speculate that Kinect, when combined with a custom-made virtual reality headset, could prove to be a potent combo that rivals Facebook/Oculus’ future offerings.

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      Sony is also attempting to journey into the virtual reality world with its Project Morpheus, a headset meant to be paired with their Playstation 4 console.

      What about the other big fish in the gaming industry, Nintendo? Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of famed games such as Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, believes we should temper our expectations. He states that he feels “a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not [using a virtual reality headset is] the best way for people to play,” in part because he is unsure if the improved immersion is worth removing the social aspect from gaming.

      Nevertheless, virtual reality is bound to make a gigantic impact. It has to, with huge companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony all interested in seeing it succeed as a platform.

      What can you do to get VR right now?

      You don’t really have many options if you want to experience virtual reality in its current state. You can either purchase a Gear VR for $350 (which also requires that you own a Galaxy Note 4), or wait until companies like Oculus and Microsoft release final versions of their products. You can also purchase the aforementioned Oculus Rift Development Kit for $350, as long as you keep in mind that it is not really meant for use by the general public.

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      All things considered, I think that virtual reality might become the next big trend in gaming. With hardware improvements plateauing in recent years, what really matters is the software, and your ability to craft an immersive experience. I can think of no better way to simulate immersion than with a virtual reality device of some kind. Either way, we will find out in a year or two at most.

      What’s your take on virtual reality? Is it something that interests you? Let me know in the comments below!

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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