Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey parts with Facebook after rocky tenure

Virtually unlimited options

One of the central figures in the now burgeoning field of virtual reality, Palmer Luckey, has decided to part with his new employer, Facebook, after just one year.

Like any good tech entrepreneur, Luckey pieced together the first Oculus Rift headsets in his parent’s garage, and from there developed, promoted and toured the tech until Facebook snapped up the company in 2014 for $2 billion.

However, he got tripped up by politics in the run-up to the 2016 election when he at first denied and then admitted to funding a pro-Trump troll group called Nimble America. The revelation roiled the Oculus group just as the first headsets were coming to market, and he was also a focus in the Zenimax lawsuit that resulted in a half-billion dollar settle against Facebook, $50 million of which came out of Luckey’s pocket.

Don’t cry too much for the 24-year-old VR icon, though, as estimates put his net worth at close to $750 million. Where he’ll end up next is the real question of the day.

“Edition” = bring money

OK, are you feeling fully informed about the new Samsung Galaxy S8? No? Well hit the link for a full roundup, and then turn your attention to the next big smartphone event, because Apple’s big new iPhone reveal is just 5 months away!

Hot on the heels of Samsung’s big show, fresh rumors are swirling about the 10th anniversary iPhone, which iDrop News claims a Foxconn insider told them will be called the iPhone Edition. That makes sense for a halo phone, because you can just keep on improving it rather and never have to rename it. IDrop News also mocked up some renders according to their new information, and one key change they claim to have seen is a vertically stacked dual camera.

Why vertical? Apparently, that will work better with VR and/or AR features on the phone. Additionally, iDrop says the fingerprint sensor will move to the back of the phone since the front will ALSO feature dual cameras for facial recognition and other functions. The OLED display goes edge to edge horizontally, but small bezels cap the top and bottom. Look familiar? Also, the Foxconn source said the back of the phone will be metal, and not glass.

One thing we do know is that the iPhone Edition specs are likely finalized by now so work on actually making the phones can begin so there’s stock on hand for the expected September release.

Is there a good story in the Shell?

Hey it’s Friday, which is movie night, and today’s big opening is the live –action version of the anime classic Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansen. The movie has been dogged by criticism over Johansen’s casting in a role many thought should have gone to an Asian actor, but the creator of Ghost reportedly signed off on the choice so, hey, let’s move on to whether it’s going to be a good movie.

The plot surrounds Johansens’s character, called Major, who’s a cyber-terrorist hunting cyborg with a human brain looking for a hacker out trying to mess with a powerful AI run by a robotics company. Doesn’t get much more anime than that. The movie’s effects look insane of course, we’ll have to see if the story holds up. Our TV and movie podcast Between the Streams will have more on Ghost in the Shell later today, se be sure to catch that.

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.

Mobile

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with 10GB of RAM, and supercar style

OnePlus has partnered with McLaren F1, creating the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition. With 10GB of RAM and all the usual top-level hardware, this new flagship killer comes with some new design touches.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Podcasts

'Avengers: Endgame' trailer chills, 'Game of Thrones' teaser, $100M 'Friends'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the Avengers 4 trailer (aka Avengers: Endgame), the latest nothing of a Game of Thrones teaser, Netflix's $100 million barter to keep Friends, and much more!
Digital Trends Live

Filmmaker Justin Ching talks about empowering underrepresented voices

Justin Ching, filmmaker and founder of production studio J-school, believes it is important to empower underrepresented communities to tell their own stories. He appeared on Digital Trends Live to talk about his journey and J-school's…
Digital Trends Live

Pro4Ma CEO Liz Dunn explains the retail trends of Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Black Friday is a day of sales, but also of chaos. Pro4MA CEO Liz Dunn appeared on Digital Trends Live to discuss the shifts she has seen in Black Friday weekend, and what they mean for consumers.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Self-driving cars, ocean exploration, and holiday shopping

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discussed the first self-driving car service in Phoenix, an expedition heading to the bottom of the world's oceans, and talked to Liz Dunn from Pro4ma about holiday shopping trends.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Alexa updates, Uber’s self-driving cars, and more

On this episode of Digital Trends Live, Senior Editor Caleb Denison discussed the best streaming devices and we welcomed Danny Pyell and Felia Mano, the Nintendo Power Couple, and Kelly Dachtler from OBVS to the show.
Digital Trends Live

CEO of shoe startup OB/VS talks about exploration-focused footwear

Today we had the founder of OB/VS Kelly Dachtler to talk about why he wanted to start a footwear company, what makes the shoes his firm manufactures unique, and what future products are in store.
Digital Trends Live

HouseSpecial animation team brings DT’s Holiday Gift Guide to life with miniatures

Digital Trends partnered with animation company HouseSpecial to create this year's Holiday Gift Guide. We sat down with art director Gee Staughton to discuss how HouseSpecial brought life to the project.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: The Game Awards recap, smart home hackers, and more

On episode 32 of Digital Trends Live, DT's live morning show, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan broke down the news of the day, including a recap of The Game Awards, a smart home hacking, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Jobbatical’s Lauren Proctor discusses the future of jobs for tech experts

Today on Digital Trends Live we had Jobbatical's Lauren Proctor to talk about the future trends for finding tech jobs abroad, including a Digital Nomad Visa, which allows tech experts to travel from country to country much easier.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Amazon Go expansions, the robocall onslaught, more

On this episode of Digital Trends' live morning show, Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Jeremy Kaplan explored the news of the day, including Amazon Go's potential expansion, the robocall onslaught, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Twitch streamer Fuslie gives a glimpse of her life and future plans

Today, we welcomed Twitch streamer Fuslie to talk about how her career goals shifted from becoming a veterinarian to a full-time streamer. Also, she shared what her future plans are for streaming and created content.