Our general disdain for online ads has continued for as long as they’ve existed. From banner ads through to pop-ups, pre-roll video ads, advertorials and all the other ways that both offer a way for sites (hi) to make money and a way for businesses to get their name out there.
But what about an inescap§able ad inside a VR headset? Barely a week since Facebook started testing ads in Oculus apps, and one developer said it was pulling out of the test after "listening to player feedback."
Resolution Games was tasked with folding ads into its multiplayer shooter Blaston but was review-bombed following the trial for including ads on a game that wasn’t even free to play. (So, why the ads?) After announcing it was pulling out, the developer indicated that ads weren't completely off the table, and it was exploring whether its free title Bait! may be a better fit.
Facebook has maintained that ads would offer another way for developers to generate revenue — a paid-for title on a $300 headset might not be the best place for them.
— Mat Smith
Peloton is coming for your company's fitness plan
Corporate Wellness lets companies offer discounted Peloton subscriptions.
Peloton has unveiled Corporate Wellness so companies can offer subsidized Peloton Digital and All Access Memberships, not to mention customized enterprise features and "exclusive benefits" for connected products. You may pay little-to-nothing to use a Peloton subscription at home, at least if you don't need a bike or treadmill. The company already has several major customers for Corporate Wellness, including Accenture Interactive, Samsung, SAP and Sky.
There's no mystery behind Peloton's strategy. This could boost subscriber numbers — and not just in the short term. It could also fuel more exercise machine sales for companies and staffers who want the 'full' Peloton experience, the premium at-home workout the company positions itself as. Continue reading.
Tesla's 'Dojo' supercomputer will train its vision-based autonomous tech
Trying to make it as good as a human.
Tesla Senior Director of AI Andrej Karpathy has explained how, with vision-only tech, computers must respond to new environments with the same speed and acuity as a human. Doing that requires AI training on a massive dataset with a powerful supercomputer to crunch it. Tesla’s Dojo is a next-gen model with 1.8 exaFLOPS of performance and 10 petabytes of NVME storage running at 1.6 terabytes per second.
To train the system, Tesla's supercomputer collects video from eight cameras on Tesla vehicles, each running at 36 frames per second. That generates a huge amount of data that also requires nearly instantaneous processing, which needs to be treated as a supervised learning problem. Continue reading.
Microsoft’s 'Designed for Xbox' program will include HDMI 2.1 gaming monitors and TVs
A badge for displays that support all the features of the Xbox Series X/S.
Getting a monitor (or TV) that delivers on all the features your new PS5 or Xbox is capable of can be a tall order. In addition to 120Hz support, you also need support for variable refresh rates and HDR, among other features. Microsoft plans to simplify it a little, expanding its Designed for Xbox program to include gaming monitors. Starting this summer, you’ll see some displays with a Gaming Features for Xbox badge. At a glance, the branding tells you a monitor includes an HDMI 2.1 connection and support for features like HDR and a 120Hz refresh rate. Branding exercise? Yes. But useful? Also yes. Continue reading.
Tide is making a laundry detergent for space
Astronauts won’t have to wear clothes multiple times, thanks to Tide.
Tide has teamed with NASA to develop the first laundry detergent for space. The fully degradable detergent should take care of stains and odors while working properly in a closed-loop water system like the one aboard the International Space Station. Its first mission will kick off in 2022 aboard the ISS, titled Mission PGTide. Ugh. Continue reading.
'Myst' Oculus remake hits PC and Mac this year
No VR headset necessary.
After making its way to Facebook's Oculus Quest platform in late 2020, last year's "reimagining" of the classic adventure game is heading to PC and Mac. Myst series creator Cyan Worlds said it would release the game in Q3 of 2021. What's more, you won't need a VR headset to play the remake once it arrives on Windows and macOS, with the release including full support for flatscreen monitors. And hey, no ads. Continue reading.