DT Daily: Google in talks with Virgin Galactic, virtual breeze for gamers, augmented reality helps remodelers

Google made headlines yesterday when it reached an agreement to buy satellite company Skybox imaging. Today, reports are surfacing that Google is also in talks with Virgin Galactic to acquire a stake in the space tourism company. According to Sky News, months of negotiations are leading to a joint venture with Google investing hundreds of millions of dollars, and Virgin providing its technology. Google would also spend around 30 million dollars for a small stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company. With Google making now 2 plays at earth orbiting technology, we’re left to wonder what it’s grand scheme is. Could Branson’s space-planes be modified into to launch Skybox’s small satellites?

It’s tough to get a visual idea of how, let’s say a new sink, or a fresh coat of paint will look in a remodeled room. But thanks to Lowe’s new Holoroom, do it yourselfers can fill their space with virtual furniture, or even test a different paint color without ever lifting a brush. Despite its futuristic name, the Holoroom is basically just an empty space that functions as a blank 3D canvas for you to build your virtual home. After filling it with a computer-generated representation of your room, you can apply different colors, textures, fixtures. Then, with the help of an iPad running a special virtual reality application, you can walk around the room to see how everything looks. Lowes plans on rolling the Holoroom out in a few stores later this year.

With virtual reality starting to make inroads in the gaming world, we’re seeing a number of companion gadgets emerge. The latest is called Petal. It’s a smart-fan designed to sync with a game and simulate airflow. Imagine feeling air rushing by while playing a snowboarding game, or sensing a slight breeze on the battlefield. 2 axis rudders are used to steer the air to match game action, and it’s designed to work in conjunction with the Oculus Rift. Designers also plan on making it open source so developers can find new ways to use it. Keep in mind that this just hit Kickstarter, so it may never make it to market. But if you’re interested, a pledge of 65 bucks will put you in line for a developer’s kit.

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