Scott went to NAB this year, and there was a massive shift in the industry. No drones. VR was practically invisible. Chinese manufacturers weren't there either. Also, Panasonic's broadcast stuff was shoved in a corner, in favor of 8K cameras. Artificial intelligence was also huge.
Ted has an article about virtual reality, where Cedar Sinai hospital is using VR to treat chronic pain. Is that legit? The software costs about $2,000, so he's not sure he wants to buy into it. Leo says that there is an article from the National Institutes of Health about the work being done studying how to use VR to treat pain. . Here's another from journals.plos.org.
Magic Leap has jumped into the VR headset game with a strange looking goggle like headset that makes you look like an alien when wearing them. It's called Magic Leap One, and it's a developer edition, so most people won't get it in this form. As the field continues to mature and more companies offer headsets, though, the price will go down.
Dale says that DirecTV has an insurance protection program that will protect your TV in case it dies. They will either fix or replace it. It costs $7.99 a month. Leo says that insurance is a very good business.
Magic Leap has been a company that's been all hype and no action for years, despite all of the great demos they have on their website. Now the company says it's making a prototype that looks like welder's glasses for augmented reality. This means it would put virtual things on top of the real world, so you're not completely isolated like you would be with virtual reality. Magic Leap says it will release its system to developers sometime this year. It features glasses, a small Discman sized computer that can attach to your belt, and a controller.
Scott says that the Olympics is being broadcast in 4K and HDR. There are three different options to view it:
1) On Demand from Comcast with the XFinity X1 Box
3) Dish Network.
Scott says that there's a dreaded disease in home theater, and technology in general, called upgrade-itus. Sure, TV manufacturers come out with new models that address customer comments and wants, as well as new features, but for the basics, there's really nothing anything new this year over last. Just more whistles and bells.
Sean isn't sure about Virtual Reality. He used the Oculus Rift and thought it was really cool. But as an Apple User, he can't use it. Leo says that not only that — he can't use any virtual reality with Apple. It comes down to the high end video cards that are required, and Apple hasn't been serious about putting them in their computers.
Kyle wonders what the future holds for game consoles like the PlayStation. Will there be a new version like a PS5 or will it just keep with incremental improvements like the PlayStation Pro? Leo says that the PS4 has a very powerful processor, and console game systems have a life span of about 10 years before they move to the next platform update. So Leo would imagine we'll see updates during that time, and we hear there will be serious revisions this year. We'll probably see the end of optical media in favor of downloads.
This week's gadget from Dickie D is the Panono Camera. It's a ball with 36 3MP cameras embedded in it and you toss it up in the air and it takes a picture when it reaches the apogee of the arc. It costs $1999.00. It turns out that the units are very difficult to produce and it sounded like they were almost hand making them. When you throw it in the air, be sure you catch it, because they break if they hit the ground hard! That could be why they now sell a special selfie stick, so you can just hold it over your head. That adds another $50 the cost.