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Facebook loses Zenimax’s Oculus lawsuit, but wins on one key charge

Things could get weirder than usual…

Snapchat is apparently taking their photo fun to the next level with “lenses” – or filters – that overlay a scene with augmented reality data bits, including animations. According to news site The Information, testing of the AR lenses is moving right along and they will reportedly be able to overlay the… augmentation… on top of a photo while viewing it on a smartphone.

The AR lenses will reportedly be able to identify objects in photos and interact with them. What exactly they’ll do when they spot your dog in a photo is still a mystery, as is a rollout date. However, the feature seems like a natural fit for Snapchat, which already lets you get wacky with your photos and videos. AR is nothing new, but it’s usually seen as an overlay for live video, not a filter for something you already shot. But hey, it still sounds like fun to us.

A spendy way to start moving VR tech forward

Facebook’s acquisition of VR outfit Oculus just got a half-billion dollars more expensive. A jury in Texas has awarded Zenimax $500 million in a lawsuit focused on a non-disclosure agreement violation. Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, was also being sued for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Zenimax, but they were found not guilty of that charge. In the end, though, numerous defendants in the case are going to have to pay millions of dollars in the settlement.

$500 million is, amazingly enough, essentially pocket lint to Facebook, which just reported over $8 billion in revenue in the last quarter. With this pesky lawsuit now buttoned up, expect Facebook – using Oculus – to push hard on VR projects and hardware in the near future.

Admit it, you want one. Maybe two.

And now that the holiday spending fest is far behind us, what was the hot tech gift of the season? 4K TVs? Hatchimals? Anything Star Wars?

Nope, it was a little bundle of retro fun, the Nintendo NES Classic, a $60 mini-arcade in a box that moved over 1.5 million units – and continues to be popular. The little 8-bit fun machine was selling for as much as $500 online leading up to the holidays and Nintendo probably could have sold a bunch more if they could have just made more of them.

Didn’t get one but still want one? Good luck – they’re still sold out pretty much everywhere. Well played, Nintendo.