VR Platform Helps Patients Escape Pain And Anxiety

vr health pain

VR Platform Helps Patients Escape Pain And Anxiety

Intuitive, high-tech headset lets users control immersive experiences and games with their eyes

Northpass Immersive today launched BELLA VR, an intuitive Virtual Reality platform that helps patients reduce pain and anxiety by escaping with virtual experiences. With breakthrough, high-tech innovations—it is the first and only VR platform in the healthcare space to use gaze-based navigation—BELLA offers unparalleled comfort, visual presentation and ease of use for both patients and healthcare professionals.

Compact and lightweight (the unit weighs in at less than one pound), BELLA is the antidote to the current crop of bulky and uncomfortable VR headsets/ goggles on the market. With no wires and no controller, BELLA, (which consists of three parts, including a Samsung phone), is simple to strap on and easy to use. Patients choose from multiple experiences, including a canoe trip, a breathtaking hot-air balloon ride over New Mexico, a scenic trip up the gondola at Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies and a live quartet concert. Coming soon is Find Fiona: an interactive game where patients search for a bouncing baby elephant who shows up in a variety of fun and playful scenes.

BELLA can be used in English, Spanish and multiple other languages. Subtitles in 15 different languages are currently available.

BELLA VR offers several firsts for VR in a medical setting:

Gaze-based navigation. While many VR devices operate via controller, BELLA is controlled entirely by the user’s gaze; the patient simply looks at the experience they want. “We were determined to eliminate the controller, because if you hit a wrong button and you can’t see the remote it causes lots of problems and frustrations,” says Northpass Immersive co-founder and president Reid Bangert.

Auto-horizon adjust. Many Virtual Reality users complain that they can’t use the device while lying down. BELLA solves this problem by calibrating and adjusting the unit’s horizon to match the patient’s current angle. “This is a huge breakthrough,” says Bangert. “If you are sitting at a 45-degree angle without the auto-horizon adjust, you have to look down to be level in the experience. If you are flat on your back, you’d have to look completely down your body to get the full experience. We wanted patients to be able to relax completely.”

BELLA makes life easier for hospital staff. “It leaves almost zero footprint and can be used in a matter of seconds, without frustration, an important factor in the busy healthcare environment,” says Bangert.

Another plus for healthcare providers: with a specialized, non-porous coating, BELLA is easy to clean. “We talked extensively with medical professionals who told us that the padding on the interior of other [VR] platforms is so soft that it is difficult to sanitize. BELLA can be cleaned using only a Sani-Wipe and is quickly ready to use again,” says Bangert.

“The integration of interactivity, visibility and seamlessness; that’s what we set out to develop—and we did it,” says Bangert, adding that the development team sought feedback from local hospital administrators and medical professionals.

Multiple Studies confirm that Virtual Reality can help patients cope with pain and anxiety in a wide range of clinical settings. This includes a University of Washington study that found immersive VR is an effective non-pharmacologic, pain reduction technique in the pediatric burn population and a University of Hartford study that concluded that VR distraction may be a “useful tool for clinicians who work with a variety of pain problems.”

Bella VR is a platform that benefits patients from 9 to 90. “We are seeing a lot of interest in Pre-Op, in the ER, and in the oncology unit,” adds co-founder and CEO Kurt Bangert. “For us it was all about going beyond the hospital walls. If we could transport a patient to Banff National Park or a beautiful beach in the Caribbean, we could make the entire healthcare experience a more positive and engaging one.”


The post VR Platform Helps Patients Escape Pain And Anxiety appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

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More Live Music Performances, Expressions of Care, and How to Get Yourself Out of a Funk


Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

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Photo: Parker Byrd

Photo: Parker Byrd

Just Keep Writing »

Photographer, writer, and podcaster — and occasional T&T contributor! — Marius Masalar wrote an ode to blogging in an age where the art sadly seems to be declining:

Blogging is on my mind recently because I love it and want to be able to keep doing more of it. I’m countering the prevailing melancholy with optimism because I think it’s important.

It’s important because blogging is less about the information and more about its means of transmission. It’s not about the news, it’s about how your friend tells you about the news. Each blog is a re-framing of the world through the eyes of someone whose personality you’ve come to know, whose opinion you’ve come to trust, and whose views either challenge or support your own in constructive ways.

Let’s bring indie blogs back, y’all.

This photo is listed under "drowning" on Unsplash but I see it as someone rising up from the depths, soon to surface for air.Credit: Kristopher Roller

This photo is listed under “drowning” on Unsplash but I see it as someone rising up from the depths, soon to surface for air.

Credit: Kristopher Roller

How to Get Yourself Out of a Funk »

Jason Kottke recently asked on Twitter:

I woke up this morning with absolutely no wind in my sails to do anything. What do you do to get yourself moving when this happens to you?

He got a lot of great responses, and compiled the tips and advice into one helpful post:

The best thing about many of the things on this list is that they provide benefits beyond just snapping you out of a temporary rut, especially if you can develop a practice around them. […] String enough of these together and perhaps waking up unmotivated and inspired can be a thing of the past. Definitely something to aim for anyway. Good luck!

Bookmarking this for whenever I have no wind in my own sails (which is often).

“An Expression of Care” »

Fred Rogers testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in 1969 is one of those things you’ve either seen a hundred times or never heard of. If you’re in the latter camp, I recommend giving it a watch. Puts a little dust in my eye every time.

(Can you tell I’m excited about the upcoming Mister Rogers documentary?)

Photo: Roberta's Pizza, NYC

Photo: Roberta’s Pizza, NYC

The Best Way to Reheat Pizza »

Thanks to Merlin Mann, I discovered this great tip for reheating pizza at home, created by Anthony Falco of Roberta’s Pizza in NYC. (Hint: It doesn’t involve a microwave, but rather a non-stick skillet.)

A Selection of Live Music Performances

A couple years ago, I published a Quality Linkage column dedicated to some of my favorite live music performances on YouTube. As I wrote at the time, I’ve long been a “collector” of sorts for these things. I don’t know why I obsess over them. I’ve always dreamed of being a famous singer, so that probably has something to do with it.

In any case, there are certain performances which have that “lightning in a bottle” factor I would want to create if I were the one performing. Here are a few more of my favorites to wrap up this week’s Linkage (sorry if you’d prefer links of another sort, this is just where my head is at right now):

Alice Russel — “Lights Went Out” (2009) »

Kimbra — “Come Into My Head” (2012) »

The Lone Bellow — “You Never Need Nobody” (2012) »

Susanne Sundfør — “White Foxes” (2012) »

The Dear Hunter — “Shame” (2013) »

The Waterboys — “Fisherman’s Blues” (1988…?) »

Nicole Atkins — “War Torn” (2015) »

BØRNS — “Holy Ghost” (2016) »

Slightly NSFW lyrics

Pinegrove — “Cadmium” (2016) »

Diane Coffee — NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (2015) »

Just for fun: Focus — “Hocus Pocus” (1973) »

…and another one from 1974 »


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

* * *

Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Executive style: the Best Luxury Bags for the Office

If you’re looking to step up your executive game and bring a little something extra to the office, luxury bags are an essential accessory. Done right, you’ll notice the elevation in quality materials, careful craftsmanship and suave styling. Of course, functional designs are equally important, since there’s no point splurging on a luxury piece that can’t keep up with your work carry needs.

With that in mind, we’ve combed through luxury offerings to highlight briefcases and backpacks that deliver on performance, quality build and appealing aesthetics. So if you’re keen to promote your carry and make an impression, these luxury bags for the office are a solid investment…


Mismo M/S Briefcase (US$ 458.86)

Casually refined and functional, the M/S Briefcase works equally well in formal and informal offices alike. Available in a range of colorways, the briefcase features a 15″ laptop compartment along with a choice of interior and exterior pockets for organizing work and EDC items. Additionally the bag can be carried by hand for a more professional look or with the removable shoulder strap when you’re on the go.

Mismo M/S Briefcase

Mismo M/S Briefcase


Mismo M/S Briefcase

Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Slim Briefcase (US$ 525) 

A handsome piece from Troubadour Goods, this briefcase is crafted with an eye-catching combination of weatherproof Italian fabric and vegetable-tanned leather. The bag can be carried by hand or with a removable shoulder strap, and offers a wide-opening main compartment for easy access. Inside you’ll find a padded pocket for a 15″ laptop, while the exterior zipped pocket provides convenient storage for smaller, frequently used items.



Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Slim Briefcase

Porter Music Case (~US$ 637)

The elegant Porter Music Case exudes sophistication with its simple and convenient bar closure and clean profile. The case is expertly crafted in Japan with sleek, durable leather and features a choice of interior pockets to keep documents, tech and smaller items tidy.

Porter Music Case

Porter Music Case

Porter Music Case

Tailfeather Kookaburra (US$ 1093.96)

The ruggedly beautiful Tailfeather Kookaburra combines timeless styling with a versatile design that can be carried as a briefcase or over the shoulder using the detachable shoulder strap. Meticulously made with Horween® leather and brass feet, the bag features a self-standing design for easy packing and access to your gear. Complementing the Kookaburra’s eye-catching looks are useful organization options including interior pockets and a 15″ laptop divider.

Tailfeather Kookaburra

Tailfeather Kookaburra

Tailfeather Kookaburra

Troubadour Goods Briefcase (US$ 1393)

Handcrafted in Italy with vegetable-tanned leather, this striking piece will earn nods of appreciation while delivering adaptable carry for your day-to-day work needs. The briefcase includes top handles and a detachable shoulder strap for versatile portability. An exterior pocket stores quick-access items at the ready, while the main compartment offers a range of pockets and padded storage for up to a 15″ laptop. This is refined performance and elegant design all in one.

Troubadour Goods Briefcase

Troubadour Goods Briefcase

Troubadour Goods Briefcase

Böle County Governor Briefcase (~US$ 4900)

Yes, this Böle briefcase is pure luxury in the price department. But it’s also pure luxury in craftsmanship, materials and functionality for carrying the essentials. The County Governor Briefcase is made with a single hide of spruce bark tanned Swedish cattle leather and lined with Nordic reindeer skin. Backed by a 15-year guarantee, the briefcase also includes a free annual service. Two exterior pockets provide storage for smaller items, while the main compartment is ideal for slim items such as a laptop and documents. If price isn’t an issue (and or you’re royalty) this is a very special piece you can show off on-route in your private jet.

Bōle County Governor Briefcase

Bōle County Governor Briefcase

Bōle County Governor Briefcase


Mismo M/S Express (US$ 394.72)

Simple, stylish and functional, the M/S Express is a fine example of Mismo’s understated Danish design philosophy. The backpack features a padded interior compartment for up to a 13″ tech device, an interior pocket for small items, and an exterior zipped pocket for quick-access essentials. All in a pared-back and adaptable design that steps easily beyond the office too.

Mismo M/S Express

Mismo M/S Express

Mismo M/S Express

Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Ziptop Rucksack (US$ 525)

A well-executed combination of minimalist aesthetics and everyday functionality makes this an appealing choice for the office and the weekend alike. The angled opening and two-way zipper allow convenient access to the main compartment, where you’ll find a padded 15″ laptop pocket to keep tech safe on the go. In addition, the backpack also includes an exterior front organizational pocket and top pocket for valuables. The bag is crafted with water-resistant Italian fabric and vegetable-tanned leather, and is backed by a five-year guarantee. So very nice!

Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Ziptop Rucksack

Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Ziptop Rucksack

Troubadour Goods Fabric + Leather Ziptop Rucksack

KILLSPENCER Utility Daypack (US$ 675)

A fine mix of minimalist fashion and functionality, the Utility Daypack works hard by your side while keeping things effortlessly stylish. And hey, if you want a little ‘tude in your carry, then this is for you. The pack is made in the USA with full-grain leather and suede and features water-resistant Riri zippers. Two compartments provide handy organization for up to a 15″ laptop, work supplies and EDC items, with a top pocket for easy access to smaller items.

KILLSPENCER Utility Daypack

KILLSPENCER Utility Daypack

KILLSPENCER Utility Daypack

Isaac Reina N°672 Ultra Soft Backpack (~US$ 1035)

This chic, versatile piece combines expert French craftsmanship with a lightweight and adaptable design that moves smoothly from work to play. The backpack is made with beautiful and supple glove lambskin and can be folded into its own interior pocket, handy for carrying in luggage as a daypack or for compact storage when not in use.

Isaac Reina N°672 Ultra Soft Backpack

Isaac Reina N°672 Ultra Soft Backpack

Isaac Reina N°672 Ultra Soft Backpack

Troubadour Goods DryLine Leather Rucksack (US$ 1575)

If you’re after luxury and protection from the elements, look to the Troubadour Goods DryLine Leather Rucksack (really, just look at it!). This waterproof backpack is crafted by hand in Italy using Troubadour’s waterproof DryFibre leather and DryLine bonded construction. In addition to keeping your work supplies safe from downpours, the bag also comes with a detachable padded sleeve that accommodates up to a 15″ laptop. One of the most impressive luxe packs of the year, hands down.

Troubadour Goods DryLine Leather Rucksack

Troubadour Goods DryLine Leather Rucksack

Troubadour Goods DryLine Leather Rucksack

Valas Rockefeller Backpack (US$ 2795)

Looking for the top-tier in style points? Stop here. Tired of rummaging for small tools and EDC items throughout the day? The Valas Rockefeller Backpack takes care of that problem with four cascading exterior pockets that ensure your frequently used essentials are always within easy reach. The bag features a luxurious leather exterior and suede lining, with stylish aesthetics that look equally good in the office or accompanying you on day trips.

Valas Rockefeller Backpack

Valas Rockefeller Backpack

Valas Rockefeller Backpack

The post Executive style: the Best Luxury Bags for the Office appeared first on Carryology – Exploring better ways to carry.

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Books to Make You a Smarter Person


Everyone likes to feel smart — not just because it means they know things, but because it makes them a more interesting person.

One of the hallmarks of intelligence is having an insatiable curiosity about any number of subjects. In today’s entry in our Books to Make You a Better Human guide series, we’ll be sharing a handful of books to spark your curiosity, teach you a few new things, and generally expand your mind — perhaps in ways you don’t expect.

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What If? by Randall Munroe.

What If? by Randall Munroe.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions »

Randall Munroe, creator of the mega-popular xkcd webcomic, gets asked a lot of weird questions:

  • What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?
  • What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?
  • What would it be like if you traveled back in time, starting in Times Square, New York, 1,000 years? 10,000 years? 100,000 years? 1,000,000 years? 1,000,000,000 years? What about forward in time 1,000,000 years?
  • What is the farthest one human being has ever been from every other living person? Were they lonely?

The questions themselves are amusing, but the real fun comes when he attempts to answer them seriously using hard scientific data and analysis. In What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, he collects together a bunch of these eminently readable pieces — many of which have never been published on the webcomic.

As one Amazon reviewer put it:

If you have even a passing interest in science and ever enjoy daydreaming about the fantastic or the ridiculous, this book is for you. If you don’t think that you enjoy those things, this book will prove to you that you do.

The things you pick up from this book will not only open your mind to information you didn’t even know you needed to learn, it’ll also make you more entertaining at parties.

Get the book in these formats:

The Origin of (almost) Everything by Graham Lawton and Jennifer Daniel of New Scientist.

The Origin of (almost) Everything by Graham Lawton and Jennifer Daniel of New Scientist.

The Origin of (almost) Everything »

Whereas What If? teaches you a variety of things through humor, New Scientist’s The Origin of (almost) Everything presents a similarly fascinating set of facts and difficult concepts in more of an “almanac-y” (but no less engaging) format:

Did you know, for instance, that if you were to get too close to a black hole it would suck you up like a noodle (it’s called spaghettification), why your keyboard is laid out in QWERTY (it’s not to make it easier to type) or why animals never evolved wheels? New Scientist does.

And now they and award-winning illustrator Jennifer Daniel want to take you on a colorful, whistle-stop journey from the start of our universe (through the history of stars, galaxies, meteorites, the Moon and dark energy) to our planet (through oceans and weather and oil) and life (through dinosaurs to emotions and sex) to civilization (from cities to alcohol and cooking), knowledge (from alphabets to alchemy) ending up with technology (computers to rocket science).

Helpful diagrams and infographics abound throughout this book. Its foreword was also written by Stephen Hawking, so if you have even a passing interest in science, you know you’re in for a treat.

Get the book in these formats:

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

Thinking, Fast and Slow »

If you want to improve your intuition and reasoning abilities, it helps to understand how the mind itself works so you can bypass cognitive bias and stop jumping to irrational conclusions in your life. Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow breaks it all down at a technical level and teaches the importance of “slow thinking” for better decision-making:

[Kahneman] takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation―each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Get the book in these formats:

The Information Diet by Clay A. Johnson.

The Information Diet by Clay A. Johnson.

The Information Diet »

Being smart isn’t just about knowing a lot of things; it’s also about filtering out the crud. The aim of Clay Johnson’s The Information Diet is to help people consume content better by being more selective about what information they allow into their lives. In preventing yourself from falling victim to “information glut”, you’ll increase your attention span, improve your literacy, and boost your critical thinking skills immeasurably.

Get the book in these formats:

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.

Why We Sleep »

One of the largest impacts on mental ability is the amount of sleep you get. Neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker has noticed some disturbing sleep deprivation trends over the past two decades, and wrote Why We Sleep to help people better understand why sleep is so important — not just for mental health and critical thinking, but in every aspect of our lives:

Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses.

Get the book in these formats:

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Anchor 3.0


Anchor 3.0 was launched today for iPhone and iPad. With this new update, Anchor is aiming to simplify the entire podcast experience. From recording, editing, and publishing, Achor 3.0  is aiming to make it easier for everyone with something to say.

With 3.0, they have overhauled their “call in” feature to allow for direct conversations with up to ten people. After the call, you can easily edit or rearrange the content. Our friends at Relay.FM also have a new show called Subnet that is hosted on Anchor.

Along with their app update, Anchor has released a new web dashboard to help you publish your podcast to Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, etc. If you want to learn more about the new update, check out the Anchor announcement.

You can download Anchor 3.0 on The App Store.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net

Luxury Architecture Firm IR Architects Launches Architecture VR/AR Studio AVR

Luxury Architecture Firm IR Architects Launches Architecture VR/AR Studio AVR

“AVR Generates Property Inspections of Luxury Housing in Virtual Reality”

LA-based architecture firm IR Architects launches AVR (Architectural Virtual Reality) Studio, a VR studio specializing in architecture. Led by CEO Ignacio Rodriguez and a team of professional VR developers, architects and interior designers, AVR will produce interactive VR walkthroughs of real-estate properties, ranging from concepts to in-progress previews. The virtual renderings will also incorporate detailed interior designs, allowing clients to experience a property prior to breaking construction ground. This facilitates approvals and revisions, ultimately saving out-of-pocket costs and time.

AVR Studio

AVR Studio stems from IR Architects’ client needs, who required a better way to visualize a property beyond traditional renderings. With a VR headset, clients are immersed in a 3D, interactive environment that provides a virtual representation of the building, including rooms and hallways, down to the pieces of furniture within. High-level VR models allow viewers to maneuver the property, opening doors and experiencing future outdoor views. AVR’s models will illustrate every detail of a property, from the countertops and floors to lighting and property planning, while also providing accurate scale, depth, and spatial awareness.

“AVR Studio is going to change how client’s design, review, and approve projects,” notes Founder of IR Architects and AVR Studio, Ignacio Rodriguez. “The challenges that people feel when trying to understand 2D architectural plans will no longer be an obstacle. With VR, we are speaking the universal language of volume and space.”

AVR Studio collaborates with leading real estate agencies in LA to produce VR models of current and future property listings.

Rodriguez is a self-made, visually-driven architect with a slate of multi-million dollar properties and estates throughout the competitive world of luxury residential architecture. He is pushing to disrupt architecture and real estate business models with innovative technology.

About AVR Studio

Fusing cutting-edge technology with luxury architecture and interior design, AVR Studio is a VR studio generating comprehensive virtual property inspections. AVR leverages the power of immersive technology to benefit clients and ease the complex construction process. The futuristic company offers cost-saving efficiency combined with clarity on proposed designs to clients, developers and financial institutions.

AVR Studio’s VR techniques helm the architectural industry, making them poised to disrupt the status quo and make virtual inspections the new standard for development projects.

Media Contact: 
Evelyn Covarrubias 

The post Luxury Architecture Firm IR Architects Launches Architecture VR/AR Studio AVR appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

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Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Design To Fuel Next-Generation VR Experiences

vr design

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Design To Fuel Next-Generation VR Experiences

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, ahead of Mobile World Congress, today unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) reference platform based on the powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform.

“We continue to deliver new advancements in technologies for our customers to utilize as they aim to capitalize on the growing standalone and smartphone VR industry,” said Hugo Swart, Head of Virtual and Augmented Reality Business Group, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, we’re supporting the next wave of smartphone and standalone VR headsets for our customers and developers to create the immersive applications and experiences of the future.”

Debuting at the Snapdragon Tech Summit in December, the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform features a variety of new architectures and subsystems engineered to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences that blur the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. It will build on the success of the Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile VR Platform that powered award-winning VR devices at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The continued relationship with GoerTek® also allows for global manufacturers to quickly build commercial designs based on the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.

“Daydream works well on the Snapdragon 845. Using Qualcomm® Hexagon™ DSP, we’re able to achieve significant power improvements and optimizations we aren’t able to reach on other platforms,” said Amit Singh, Vice President, Business and Operations, Google VR and AR. “With Snapdragon 845, we believe we can achieve a high-quality VR experience with low latency, high frame rates and smooth head tracking performance for our users.”

The Snapdragon™ 845 Mobile Platform uses the latest Qualcomm® Adreno™ 630 visual processing subsystem which offers outstanding integrated graphics, video and display processing technologies. This translates to 30 percent faster graphics performance, 30 percent better power efficiency, and more than twice as much display throughput compared to the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform. Another new XR technology innovation is Adreno Foveation, which combines graphics rendering with eye tracking to understand where the user is looking. It is engineered to direct the highest graphics resources to where the user is physically looking, providing the sharpest visuals possible.

“HTC has consistently delivered VR experiences with the highest quality possible catering to the industry’s most discerning users,” said Alvin Wang Graylin, President HTC Vive, China. “By collaborating with Qualcomm and leveraging our internal hardware and software innovations, HTC has been able to deliver an uncompromising VR experience with the Vive Focus premium standalone VR headset.”

Together, 6DoF and SLAM deliver Roomscale — the ability to track the body and location within a room so you can freely walk around your XR environment without cables or separate room sensors – the first on a mobile standalone device. Much of this is processed on the new dedicated Qualcomm ® Hexagon™ Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and Adreno Graphics Processing Unit within the Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm Technologies’ reference designs have supported some of the first wave of standalone VR devices from VR ecosystem leaders like Google Daydream, Oculus and Vive.

“The Snapdragon Mobile VR Platform lends itself to highest possible level of performance to meet the high computing demands of the standalone VR product category,” said Ash Jhaveri, Vice President of Business Development for Oculus and Facebook. “Qualcomm’s technology, coupled with Oculus’ expertise opens up lots of possibilities to bring people the best standalone VR.”

‘Xtended Reality’ (XR) is the umbrella term that encompasses VR and AR, and in this emerging industry, Qualcomm Technologies has supported customers in the launch more than 20 XR devices across standalone head-mounted displays and XR-capable smartphones.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects and communicates. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our inventions are the foundation for life-changing products, experiences, and industries. As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, the QCT semiconductor business. 

The post Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Design To Fuel Next-Generation VR Experiences appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

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Maguss App Brings Magic into AR

Maguss App Brings Magic into AR

Central European software company Mawa s.r.o. recently announced the open-beta launch of Maguss, a free-to-play location-based mobile MMORPG that offers gamers a full wizarding experience. The game transforms the real world into a fantastical land where players can cast spells, collect ingredients, brew potions, battle magical creatures, and duel other players for glory and treasure. Maguss is available for download at Google Play and the App store.

Maguss has been receiving buzz long before its beta release. In December 2016, the game won the Slovak Startup Awards in the Art and Design category. In March 2017, it also received the Slovak Forbes 30 under 30 Award. As a testament to its popularity, Maguss has been downloaded over 500,000 times in Google Play alone, with a conversion rate of 33.5% for organic downloads.

The game boasts of a variety of features: 
Location-based Adventuring – much like Pokémon Go, players travel through a virtual map populated with locations to explore, monsters to duel, ingredients to gather, and treasures to discover.

Interactive Approach to Casting Spells – by drawing glyphs on their screen, players can cast over 40 spells with a variety of powerful effects, ranging from offensive abilities to protective charms and debilitating curses.

Strategic Character Building – gamers may choose from four character classes (Paladin, Rogue, Warden, and Druid), each with their own advantages and access to unique spells. They may also customize characters by investing points into attributes (Empower, Defense, Concentration, Evasion, Critical Empower, and Critical Chance).

Brew A Variety of Potions – players may craft numerous potions to heal damage, cure afflictions, buff players, and more using ingredients gathered from the game world.

Duel Other Wizards – Battle against players with the game’s dueling system, either through proximity mode or through the seasonal Ranked League using a global matchmaking system.

Collect Equipment — Players may collect and combine a variety of wands, headgear, tops, and more. Collecting full sets provide certain extra bonuses to attributes and support character builds. Apart from regular equipment, players can also gain armour illusions to create a rich, visual flair.

Planned features include the ability to craft items, seasonal Territory Wars between competing factions, enemy bosses, and player-to-player item trading. An art book featuring the magnificently illustrated lore of the Maguss world is set for release some time in March.

“We feel very proud to have come this far,” says CEO Ondrej Tokar. “We can’t even begin to thank the passionate fans who supported us at Indiegogo and stood by us for more than two years. I feel incredibly proud of the solid, active online community they’ve built. Their creativity and participation in the forums continue to inspire us.”

The post Maguss App Brings Magic into AR appeared first on Virtual Reality Reporter by VR Reporter

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The Best Work Backpacks for Professional Women

When it comes to work bags, backpacks are great options for maximum carry comfort. But not just any pack will do. In a work environment it needs to look the part – neutral colorways and smart, low-key designs all contribute towards creating an air of dependable professionalism. And of course a work backpack also needs to offer everyday practicality, with sufficient organization and space to carry your work supplies and any other EDC items you may need.

So with these factors in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best work backpacks for professional women. Stylish and functional, these bags are well suited to the generally smaller frames that women have, and they all offer the adaptability to step outside the office when the work day is done…

RAINS Field Backpack (US$ 110)

RAINS Field Backpack

A sleek minimalist option from Danish brand RAINS, the Field Backpack features an interior 13″ laptop pocket and an exterior zipped pocket for quick-access items. Pared back yet practical, the pack is crafted with weatherproof fabric and zippers and is a stylishly compact choice for carrying the essentials.

RAINS Backpack (US$ 115)

RAINS Backpack

If you appreciate RAINS’ clean aesthetics but want slightly more organization, consider this backpack which includes an interior 13″ laptop pocket, interior zipped pocket and a concealed exterior phone pocket. The weatherproof pack is secured with a carabiner and magnetic closings and offers an understated style that suits a range of settings.

Matt & Nat Brave Backpack (US$ 145)

Matt & Nat Brave Backpack

An elegant piece from Matt & Nat (a Montreal-born brand who create lovely vegan products), the Brave Backpack features a wide-opening top closure for easy access, with space for up to a 13″ laptop. An interior zipped pocket and phone pocket provide convenient storage for smaller items, while exterior side and front pockets keep frequently used items at the ready.

Matt & Nat Kowloon Backpack (US$ 150)

Matt & Nat Kowloon Backpack

The Kowloon Backpack is a chic, compact bag that looks equally good in work and play environments, and comes in a bunch of great colors. The main compartment opens wide for easy packing and access, with a zipped pocket and phone pocket for storing small items. The bag fits up to 13″ devices and is a smart option for more minimalist carry setups.

Bellroy Slim Backpack (US$ 169)

Bellroy Slim Backpack

With its slim, discreet profile and useful organization, Bellroy’s Slim Backpack adapts to a variety of formal and informal settings alike, and nods to heritage-style. A range of interior pockets keep your day-to-day essentials tidy, including a padded pocket for up to a 15″ laptop. And with its magnetic closure you can easily and quickly access gear on the go. Add a quick-access exterior pocket to the mix and you’re ready for the commute and after-work drinks with just one bag.

KNOMO Beauchamp 14″ Backpack (US$ 179)

KNOMO Beauchamp 14" Backpack

Looking for plenty of pockets while maintaining a stylish and compact silhouette? The KNOMO Beauchamp 14″ Backpack is a fine choice, with multiple interior pockets on hand to keep your tech, documents and other work supplies tidy and accessible. Plus with quick-access storage on the front there’s no need to rummage for your phone or wallet on the go.

Côte&Ciel Moselle Memory Tech Backpack (US$ 185)

Côte&Ciel Moselle Memory Tech Backpack

Want to demonstrate your fashion-forward sensibilities? This Côte&Ciel Moselle is a definite head-turner, while also offering handy features that give substance to its distinct style. The pack provides back panel access to the main compartment, with padded storage for a laptop and smaller pockets to keep work tools and EDC items accessible.

Côte&Ciel Isar Small Backpack (US$ 255)

Côte&Ciel Isar Small Backpack

The elegant draping form of the Isar Small Backpack instantly draws the eye, but like the Moselle above, this pack offers more than just eye-catching aesthetics. The Isar Small has two separate compartments for convenient organization. The back compartment stores up to 13″ tech devices and other flat items such as documents, while the front compartment is useful for bulkier items such as lunch and an outer layer.

Loxley England Mini Gloucester Rucksack (US$ 284)

Loxley England Mini Gloucester Rucksack

Clean and classy, the Loxley England Mini Gloucester is handcrafted with full-grain leather and looks equally at home in the office or exploring the city on the weekend. The main compartment features a double-ended zipper for easy access and opens wide to conveniently pack and retrieve items. Inside you’ll find a zippered pocket that’s ideal for stashing small valuables out of sight.

Ally Capellino Frances Backpack (US$ 321)

Ally Capellino Frances Backpack

The Frances Backpack combines casual-chic styling with quality materials and versatile, everyday functionality. Crafted with water-resistant British waxed cotton and leather detailing, the pack provides a wide-opening main compartment for convenient access to work and EDC supplies. Inside is a zippered pocket for smaller items, with an exterior front pocket for additional organization.

KILLSPENCER Mini Daypack (US$ 475)


The Mini Daypack from KILLSPENCER offers a refined balance of understated style, quality craftsmanship and adaptability. Equally smart in work environments or slung over your shoulders during your downtime, the pack is made in the USA with full-grain leather and a Riri zipper. A choice of interior pockets provide tidy organization for your daily tools and supplies, including space for up to a 13″ tech device.

Ally Capellino Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack (~US$ 675)

Ally Capellino Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack

There’s no denying the luxurious price tag, but the timeless design and quality craftsmanship of this bag will serve you well for years to come. The Sandy Calvert Leather Rucksack is made with Italian vegetable-tanned leather that will take on a unique patina with use. A front zipped pocket ensures frequently used items are within easy reach when you need them, while the interior features a zipped pocket for small items and a padded sleeve for up to a 13″ laptop.

The post The Best Work Backpacks for Professional Women appeared first on Carryology – Exploring better ways to carry.

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‘Alto’s Odyssey’ for iOS is Out Now


Alto’s Odyssey strikes an ideal balance of maintaining the formula of its predecessor while evolving and daring to leap towards unexpected, beautiful heights.

Federico Viticci, MacStories

As we recently reported would happen, Alto’s Adventure — the sequel to the critically acclaimed mobile title, Alto’s Adventure — is now available. Rather than being an endless snowboarding adventure like the first game, Alto’s Odyssey is an endless sandboarding journey.

All the design hallmarks of Adventure are still there: fluid physics, dynamic lighting, weather effects, procedurally generated terrain, etc. However, the backdrops will have you exploring new types of places, such as canyons, deserts, beaches, temple cities, and even hot air balloons. There are also new elements to master like sandstorms, wind vortexes, and rushing water. The game’s serene new soundtrack is a joy to listen to and adds a lot of ambiance as you play.

Watch the launch trailer to get a sense of what it’s like:

Alto’s Odyssey is just $5 on the iOS App Store.

Buy Now

Source: http://toolsandtoys.net