If there was any lingering doubt over whether 2016 would be the year Virtual Reality took the world by storm, this week’s events wiped it out. Intel bought an Israeli startup to get itself a leg up in VR, Occulus announced a VR social app to make sequestering yourself behind a set of goggles a little less isolating, and Fox Sports, as we speak, is broadcasting the Big East March Madness games in VR.
Now we learn that news outlet, USA Today, is announcing it will launch a new news program called VRtually There, which will highlight headlines from sports, music, politics, money, tech, and life sections. At the start, the show will run weekly, but it’s likely to go to a daily format before too long. The show is designed not only to deliver news stories in a way that takes advantage of VR, but also deliver ads made in VR. There we go. Knew there was a catch. And rumor is, Amazon is about to become a major player in this space as well.
Oh, please, do loop us in, Apple
Apple’s “Let Us Loop You In” event is March 21, and as we reported yesterday, we expect a smaller, less expensive iPad pro, new Apple Watch accessories if not an Apple Watch 2, and the 4-inch iPhone we’re calling the SE for now. The latest rumor? Apple could keep the iPhone 5s around and drop the price. That would mean one could purchase an iPhone for as little as $350, contract free.
The rumor comes from notorious Piper Jaffray analyst, Gene Munster via Apple Insider. And even though we’ve enjoyed poking a little fun at Mr. Munster over the past 6 years for his repeatedly way-off-base predictions about a TV made by Apple, we think he makes a good point. Apple’s got a bunch of iPhone 5s units in stock, and they have to go somewhere, right? Apple may try breaking into new markets with these phones, but the US should benefit as well.
Now, about this event’s title, “Let us loop you in.” Clearly, Apple is teasing something here. But what, exactly? DT’s mobile experts think the loop may refer to new Apple Watch bands. But what if it is something else? Perhaps a new Apple Watch 2 with a completely new band design? Or could there be some sort of Apple ring? Perhaps the loop refers to a new Apple design element conjured up by the great Jony Ive?
As usual, Apple is using the mystery to drum up publicity and interest in its next event. And, as usual, it’s working.
Quick! Go see 10 Cloverfield Lane
Finally for this Friday: If you’re in the mood to catch a movie, may we recommend you go check out 10 Cloverfield Lane, the latest flick from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production house. Digital Trends’ own Rick Marshall checked out the sequel to Cloverfield, and walked out a little terrified, but fully satisfied.
No spoilers here. Bad Robot did a great job keeping this film under wraps. And, in fact, if you go see the movie soon, you too can experience the true surprises the flick has in store before your annoying Facebook friends blow it for you.