We've already played
with Oculus Rift, the unexpectedly brilliant revival of consumer virtual reality. The New Yorker
profiles an experience that has gone from flickering headache to something oddly akin to scuba diving
The Oculus Rift uses optical tricks to create the realistic sensation, like slightly warping the edges of the view in the computer, which is corrected by plastic lenses in the goggles. The pixels are more tightly packed directly in front of the eye, giving the perspective a roundness that feels more like human vision. It works. The Oculus Rift rivals—and will possibly exceed, when it hits the shelves sometime in late 2013 or mid-2014—the best virtual-reality hardware available, military-grade or otherwise.
My first memory of virtual reality was a segment on the BBC show Tomorrow's World in about 1990, featuring helmets the size, shape and weight of a granite curling stone. The second was playing the similarly-headsetted Virtuality arcade game Grid Busters, so terrible I felt scammed to have paid 50p for the pleasure. But like many millenials cheated by those beautiful lies, I think I'll be lining up when the Rift hits stores later this year.
You know what would go great with your Voyager Golden Record? A replica of the “galactic greeting card” plaque that rode along with the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes, designed by Frank Drake and Carl Sagan with artwork prepared by Linda Salzman Sagan.
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is a powerful reactionary figure in the country’s toxic political scene, which has welded a tale of thwarted imperial destiny to a thin-skinned fundamentalist theology that can’t bear the slightest sign of mockery; he’s blamed ISIS on secularism and Pride parades and says that marriage equality literally heralds […]
At $11, the Proctor Silex K2070YA 1-Liter Electric Kettle was the cheapest model I could find on Amazon that didn’t look like it would result in electrocution or an explosion of boiling water. I’ve spent three months with it. It’s OK. In fact, it’s showing no sign at all of problems. It boils water fast. […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]
While many newer smartphones boast decent water resistance, most of us are still stuck with the kind of handsets that need to spend the night in a bowl of rice when they get wet. If you want to enjoy your favorite podcasts in the shower but are holding out for your next phone upgrade, this […]