Got VR? No? Google’s new ‘VR180’ format likely to be smartphone photog friendly

Just wide enough to work

If you’re a VR fan, you’re not alone…. except you kind of are, since adoption of full-on VR systems is still not happening in a really big way. The headsets are bulky, the computers need to run them are expensive, and you kind of need some dedicated space to enjoy the experience. It’s not exactly something you pop into Best Buy to pick up on a lark. But now, Google is trying to cut down on VR’s complexity – by half. It’s called “VR180.”

It’s more of an initiative than a specific technology, although at its core, the “180” stands for the field of view: 180 degrees, or about what you see with your eyes right now. Shooting video in 180 instead of 360 simplifies things as well, and 180-degree camera systems could easily be integrated into smartphones, making pretty much anyone a VR180 creator. Then, just slip the phone into a headset for playback.

Google is teaming with companies such as Lenovo, LG, Yi and others to get cameras to consumers, and they say the VR180 videos will be playable on Daydream VR kits, as well as the Cardboard headsets and Sony’s Playstation VR. A VR push from Google and the simplification of the tech may be the boost VR needs to go mainstream, and I’m sure we’ll have a better idea of how the idea is working out this holiday season.

What music goes with Autopilot?

If you’ve got the coin to pony up for a Tesla electric car, well, we’re jealous, and now, owners of the expensive EVs may get another perk: A Tesla-only music streaming service. Recode reports Tesla is in talks with major music labels to launch just such a thing, which Recode describes as a Pandora-like service with several paid tiers. So, what, Spotify and Apple Music aren’t good enough? Apparently not, according to a Tesla spokesperson.

The Tesla rep basically said the company is looking to create a music service as exceptional as the cars, and to create, quote, “maximum happiness for our customers.” Well I guess if you’re dropping over 160 large for a Model X like we just tested, we’re pretty sure “maximum happiness” is a box we’d also tick on the options list. So far, there’s no name being kicked around for the service, so be sure to suggest one you think would work in the comments section.

What exactly was that guy thinking?

The say sometimes life imitates art, but a recent incident caught on an L-A freeway suggests life also sometimes imitates video games. Check out this amazing clip: a guy on a motorcycle kicks a car next to him in the carpool lane. The driver then swerves into the motorcycle rider, who somehow defies the laws of physics and keeps the bike upright as the driver of the Nissan loses control, hits the center barrier, and then barrels across two lanes and smacks into an Escalade.

That impact sends the Escalade into a tumble and the guy on the bike just hits the gas and roars away. The whole scene looks like something out of Grand Theft Auto. In the end, despite all the destruction, no one was seriously hurt, and that motorcycle rider has got to be one of the luckiest people on earth – and police would like to talk with him, obviously. Pretty amazing – and we’re glad no one was seriously hurt.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Movies & TV

The best movies you’ll find on Hulu right now (February 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Digital Trends Live

Original ‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin Harrington on what he loves about CES

Broadcasting from CES, the hosts of Digital Trends Live had a chance to talk to entrepreneur and original Shark Tank star Kevin Harrington about his love of trade shows and how he invests.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Highlights from day 2 of CES 2019 outline future of tech

In our second day of coverage for the annual tech conference in Las Vegas, Greg Nibler and Maude Garrett welcomed guests from industry leaders like Verizon, Intel, and Microsoft and we went out on the floor to discover new tech.
Digital Trends Live


Digital Trends Live

On the last day of CES, Digital Trends Live hands out awards and more

On the third and final day of CES, the annual tech trade show in Las Vegas, the Digital Trends Live team interviewed guests, dissected all the trends on display at the show, and gave awards to the very best tech.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: New Motorola flip phone, ads in space, smart umbrella

On this episode of Digital Trends Live we discussed trending headlines like foldable smartphones and advertising in space. We also sat down with Caleb Denison and Ronan Glon to talk about the world of tech post CES 2019.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Netflix price hike, Starsona’s celeb connections, and more

On episode 48 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler, Adrien Warner, and Drew Prindle explored the tech news of the day, including Netflix’s controversial price hike, and an interview with Digital Domain’s Darren Hendler.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The dark age of streaming, booze delivery, and more

On the latest episode of Digital Trends Live, DT's daily morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Nicole Raney explored the biggest news from the tech world. On this week's episode: A massive data breach, the dark age of streaming, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Oscar nominations, the future of blockchain, and more

From Oscar nominations, to the latest Spotify and Uber features, there was a lot to discuss on this episode of Digital Trends Live. Journalist Rachel Wolfson also joined the show to talk about the future of cryptocurrency.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Double-folding phones, the best gaming laptops, and more

AirPod rumors and the latest news about foldable phones highlight Wednesday's episode of Digital Trends Live. We also sat down with Calvin Iverson to talk about how to travel on a budget and how millennials are changing the travel industry.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Scout, Soraya Darabi, and Joey Ricard

On episode 53 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle discussed the latest in tech news, including Amazon's new delivery drone, CRISPR babies, and more.