One of VR's most annoying problems could be solved soon

Trying to navigate a room while wearing a VR headset? A company named Occipital has a self-contained solution to that problem.

When wandering around with a VR headset on, I'm afraid of going too far without someone to spot me. The reason is simple: I can't really see where I'm going. Odds of tripping over a chair or a table are extremely high.

One company seems to have tried to solve that problem, and I tried out the result deep in the noisy VR/AR subsection of CES in Las Vegas.

Occipital, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, focuses on 3D scanning hardware and depth-sensing cameras: One of its Structure camera sensor arrays works with both an iPhone mixed-reality headset and an upcoming home robot. Occipital's team put an HTC Vive VR headset on me, outfitted with an in-development feature that let me see the room even with my headset on. The technology is called Occipital Tracking. Its aim is to replace external room-sensing hardware completely, like the Oculus Rift'scumbersome stands or the Vive's light-emitting Lighthouse system, in favor of all in-headset tech.

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Los Angeles, CA – January 16th, 2018 – Seismic Games today announced that it has partnered with Alcon Media Group to develop Blade Runner: Revelations, an immersive new Adventure/Thriller VR gaming experience based on the award-winning Blade Runner series.  The title follows the critically acclaimed release of Blade Runner 2049 from Oscar nominated director Dennis Villeneuve, starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford.   Created in conjunction with Google, Blade Runner: Revelations is included in the soon-to-be launched Lenovo Mirage Solo headset and on Google’s Daydream platform within the first half of this year.  The official game trailer is featured in the Blu-ray edition of Blade Runner 2049 which is available for purchase in stores and online today.

Blade Runner: Revelations is an all-new interactive story and full VR game experience based on the iconic Blade Runner universe, set shortly after the original film and leading up to the narrative of Blade Runner 2049.  Players assume the role of Harper, a seasoned blade runner who unravels a twisted replicant plot that threatens the delicate balance of Los Angeles in 2023. Users will search for evidence with the help of their flying spinner, deadly blaster, and esper image reconstruction to try to solve the mystery in an enthralling VR environment. 

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Hip-hop legend RZA set to lead Music Lab session at San Francisco Apple Store

Developing Your Sound with RZA will focus on the techniques RZA uses to produce new music. Presented together with smart instrument maker Roli, the session will focus on iPad Pro, GarageBand, and Roli's own musical instruments.

Signups for the session are open now at Apple's website.

For those who can't make it to RZA's in-person session at Union Square on January 27, Apple will offer the same course - featuring a video introduction by RZA - in all of its stores as part of the "Today at Apple" initiative.

Today at Apple is a twist on the company's long-running in-store training and events. It's part of a broader philosophical shift at Apple Retail, designed to integrate stores more tightly into the communities they serve.

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Music Ally: 20 Music/Tech Startups We'll Be Watching in 2018 (Haawk)

Here at Music Ally, we covered a lot of new music/tech startups for the first time in 2017. We’ve now chosen 20 of them that we think have the potential to make an impact in 2018 and beyond, from analytics to artificial intelligence, and from blockchain tech to radio monitoring.

Haawk raised $2.5m of seed funding, and straddled the boundaries of copyright protection and content distribution: it’ll handle YouTube Content ID tasks for its clients, as well as rights management on Facebook, Vimeo and SoundCloud. But it also promises to distribute music to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and other streaming services, as well as working in the sync-licensing sphere.

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Never Panic About Leaving the Oven On Again: This Smart Sensor Alerts You To Anything Wrong at Home

Ever leave the house with a nagging panic? Whether your personal nightmare is that you left the coffeepot or iron being left on or the pipes bursting when you're not home on a below-freezing night, there's a new smart home sensor that could be just the kind of anxiety-killing remedy that we need.

Denver-based Notion is a "complete home awareness solution and all-in-one IoT (Internet of Things) home sensor" that can monitor and send you instant alerts on things happening across your entire home — from motion and temperature changes to water leaks and sounding alarms. The second generation of their product, released on November 7th, integrates with your existing Nest thermostat to help you save energy and money — and relieve anxiety.

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