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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 October 16, 2019

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

      1. ScheduleOnce

        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

        Available on Web

        2. Calendly

          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

          3. Assistant.to

            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

            Available on Web

            4. Acuityscheduling

              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

              Available on Web | iOS | Android

              5. Pick

                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                Available on Web

                6. X.ai

                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                  Available on Web

                  7. YouCanBook.me

                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                    Available on Web

                    8. Doodle

                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                      9. WhenAvailable

                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                        Available on Web

                        10. Rally

                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                          Available on Web

                          11. NeedtoMeet

                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                            Available on Web

                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                            The Bottom Line

                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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