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In the social distancing age, this VR startup wants you to connect with others

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XRSpace, a new company from HTC co-founder Peter Chou, wants to make VR more social. 


XRSpace

Back in September, in a period I like to call “the before,” I tried out a prototype virtual reality headset from a Taiwanese company called XRSpace. I strapped bulky orange goggles over my eyes and stepped into another world without actually leaving the hectic Berlin conference hall that housed the IFA consumer electronics trade show. At the time, I wasn’t allowed to describe what I saw in that virtual realm or what the headset was like. All I could say was XRSpace wanted to make VR, which normally is a solitary experience, more social. 

Back then, I couldn’t wait to get away from the packed hordes of attendees and exhibitors. A little more than half a year later, and the world is grappling with a coronavirus pandemic that has infected about 5.5 million people and killed about 350,000. I, like hundreds of millions of people around the globe, have been confined to my neighborhood for 10 weeks and counting. I’m alone. Very alone. 

It’s in that environment that XRSpace will make its debut

The startup, the brainchild of HTC co-founder and former CEO Peter Chou, has spent the last three years developing a VR headset and a virtual world that aims to be like Ready Player One — a place for people to digitally interact and communicate with each other. On Tuesday, the company finally came out of stealth mode by debuting its Manova virtual world and its Mova goggles, which start at $599 for the Wi-Fi version.


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XRSpace is launching at an auspicious time in virtual reality. Long derided for failing to meet the immense hype over the technology, VR is having a moment as consumers, stuck at home and hungering for alternative forms of entertainment and distraction, are scooping up the suddenly hot Oculus Quest headset and taking a second, more serious look at virtual reality. 

XRSpace is attempting something many companies have tried and failed: making VR truly social and accessible to the masses, not just techie gamers. VR typically works by blocking out reality and transporting you to a digital world, but Mova brings your friends and colleagues along with you. 

The idea of being able to interact in the virtual world is an attractive prospect to many who have been isolated as nations combat the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Mova headset goes on sale in the third quarter of the year, first on Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom network and followed by Deutsche Telekom’s service in Germany. The goggles also will be available to buy online in other regions, but what you can do in the Manova virtual realm will be more limited. Chou said more carrier support will come later.

“We have the most amazing product I’ve ever created,” Chou, who developed the world’s first Android smartphone over a decade ago, said in a video interview with CNET ahead of the launch. “This is truly the next generation of VR for the mass market consumer.”

There’s no social distancing or Zoom video conferencing here. Instead, full body avatars of you and your friends can move from your living room couch to a live basketball game or a board room. It all takes place in the virtual world called Manova. You use your hands as the controllers, and there’s even a 5G version of the headset. 

“There’s a certain amount of Zoom fatigue, and therefore, people are kind of saying what else could we do to have a more immersive, inclusive, collaborative platform,” said Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight. “The timing couldn’t be better.”

Seeing is believing?

With VR, you really need to experience it to understand it. But instead of a flashy, hands-on launch in February at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, XRSpace executives held video calls with reporters the week before the company’s Tuesday digital event.

As a result of the pandemic, I remain one of the few reporters who has actually tried this system, since I got an early preview at IFA.

Despite Chou’s grand promises, the prototype headset was similar to other units I’ve tried. While XRSpace aimed to make the goggles smaller and sleeker than rival products, the orange plastic headset still was bulky. My eyes watered like crazy after using it for about 10 minutes, and I couldn’t imagine wearing it for hours — let alone all day. XRSpace says it has improved the headset since I used it last fall, including adding better padding and creating a white version. Still, no one could describe the look as “cool.”

For the final version, there are three models: The $599 Wi-Fi-only Mova and two cellular-connected variants — one with 4G LTE and the other with 5G. XRSpace said pricing for the cellular models will depend on the carriers offering them. The Mova uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB of RAM, and it has no wires.

That starting price, which includes the Manova software, is pretty high compared with some other VR headsets. Facebook’s Oculus Quest, the Mova’s biggest competitor, retails for $399. It’s been tough to find the headset in stock during the pandemic. 

Stand out above the crowd

XRSpace packed in features to the Mova to make it stand out from the pack. For one, the Mova is the first VR headset to come with a 5G option. The new wireless technology rolling out across the globe promises much higher speeds and, even more important for something like VR, low latency, or extreme responsiveness.

Offering a 5G version also gives XRSpace something other VR companies may not have: an inroad with carriers. Network providers have invested billions in rolling out 5G, and they’ve got to get customers to use it. More than anything, they need devices that show consumers why they need 5G. XRSpace’s Mova could be one of them. 

The avatars in XRSpace’s world are modeled after you. The system uses your photo to design a lifelike avatar for moving around Manova.


XRSpace

Right now, a Taiwanese carrier and a German wireless provider are on board. It’s likely other carriers will follow — Chou says XRSpace is talking to many — and also will subsidize the cost of the Mova hardware to get consumers to sign on. 

Another big difference from other VR goggles is the integration of spatial scanning technology in the headset itself. You can walk around a room while wearing the headset to make a 3D map of the dimensions. That lets you interact with the virtual world without worrying that you’ll run into a very real wall, and you’ll be able to recreate real physical locations inside VR.

This is a very, very difficult technology,” Chou said. 

You can put your room in your virtual home and change the furniture, the wall color and add outdoor scenery. And XRSpace is working with a Taiwanese real estate company to use the technology to scan homes for VR tours. 

Would-be buyers “don’t need to go to check 30 physical places just to look at” them, said Sting Tao, XRSpace’s president of platform. 

But perhaps the most noticeable difference from other VR systems I’ve tried is the controllers. There are none. Instead, my hands are the controllers. When I was in the XRSpace VR world, I could navigate by straightening and bending my pointer finger. In there with me, giving me a tour around the virtual world, was an XRSpace executive, Kurt Liu, head of content and third party ecosystem.

“With the hand, you can teleport,” he said. “It’s a big world in there.”

Because our hands are the controllers, we can do things like shake hands, give each other high-fives, wave, clap or even clink glasses. The avatars are lifelike and full body, with high-quality skin textures and natural facial expressions. They’re designed to look like you, though for the purposes of the demo, I was a man. 

It’s Manova, the virtual world, that’s the most ambitious part of XRSpace’s plans. 

A crowded field

Everyone from big, established companies like Apple and Microsoft to startups like Magic Leap have explored ways to make immersive AR and VR products. Chou too pushed into virtual reality early at HTC with the Vive headset. But so far, VR hasn’t lived up to its promise, and augmented reality is largely used for things like Pokemon Go or business training. 

But that all could change because of the pandemic. 

In December, CCS Insight predicted that sales of VR and AR devices for all of 2019 would rise 21% to slightly over 10 million units. Market demand should grow sixfold to 60 million units in 2023, the research firm said at the time. Because of demand during the pandemic, the outlook is even rosier than before, CCS’ Wood said, though the firm hasn’t yet updated its official forecast. 

xrspace-hand-gesture-03-orange

XRSpace’s new VR system doesn’t have controllers. Instead, you use your hands as the controllers. Bending and straightening your index finger helps you navigate around the Manova virtual world.


XRSpace

“It’s going to take a very long time for VR to get anywhere close to the eye watering volumes we see in smartphones,” CCS’ Wood said. “But there’s no question that the trajectory for VR is looking a lot more positive than it was a year ago.”

Other companies, too, are trying to make VR more social. 

Facebook in 2017 created the Facebook Spaces app to let you hang out with your friends in VR using the Oculus and Vive headsets. You could watch 360-degree videos, draw and hold objects and show off pictures in a VR slide show. But Facebook shut down Spaces in October to focus on its Facebook Horizon service, which will let you create your own world in VR. You’ll be able to play games, explore and hang out with friends in the social VR world. 

“Because everyone is going to be able to create their own spaces and experiences within it, Horizon is going to have this property where it just grows and expands and gets better and better over time,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at his company’s VR conference in September. 

The Oculus Quest also will have hand tracking in some apps and games, like Elixir, starting this week. As CNET’s Scott Stein noted, the Quest’s hand-tracking technology, which uses the onboard headset cameras, “works surprisingly well but isn’t a full replacement for physical controllers.”

For XRSpace’s Mova, there will be an optional controller available, but most navigation will be done using hand tracking. 

A whole new world

That’s not to say Mova and Manova are the same as everything else out there. They most definitely are not. 

Manova is a combination of private and public spaces, and during my demo, I see both. When I put on the headset, I’m in the private sphere, a minimalist home. I can sit on the couch in my living room and watch a movie by myself or invite friends to join me. The next moment, I follow my XRSpace guide to zap myself to a T-Mobile-branded sports arena to watch a basketball game from the center court line. The game is real, with real players, and I have the best seat. 

“Manova is the first thing you will see right after you put on your headset,” XRSpace’s Tao said. “In this Manova world, you will experience social without limits of distance.”

The private spaces include not only your home but also classrooms and meeting rooms for those water cooler conversations or hour-long meetings that used to take place in person in real offices. The public Manova realm has a central city center hub to play games or watch big entertainment events. 

Manova is XRSpace’s virtual, social world. It has both private spaces — like your virtual home — and public, like a sports arena. 


XRSpace

XRSpace isn’t making its virtual social environment on its own but instead is working with third-party developers to get them to build experiences for users. Carriers also can create virtual places for users to go, like that T-Mobile arena. It expects to have experiences tailored toward different regions, and some of those could be determined by the carriers selling the devices (No, not even VR is safe from carrier bloatware). But Manova is not just meant to be a VR app store.

For the initial launch, XRSpace has signed on six education companies that do things like teach English; game developers like Futuretown and Rovio’s Angry Birds; live-streaming companies like Insta360’s travel video; GQ and Vogue with fashion content; YC House for virtual Taiwanese real-estate tours; Bank SinoPac for corporate training; and the Taiwanese record label Wind Music. 

And it has a whole wellness area called “MagicLOHAS.” It features meditation, a “singing bowl,” yoga, “magic tai-chi,” cycling, a “refreshing walk,” office and full-body stretches, aerobic dancing, body training and brain training. You can meditate on the top of a peaceful mountain or just hang out with friends in a relaxing environment. 

XRSpace talking with a Taiwanese baseball team to broadcast live games, Tao said, with users taking virtual seats in the stadium.

The company’s Manova wants to replicate real life, unlike phones where people jump between solitary apps. “Meet new friends, join in activities, host your own parties, organize group events, build your own social following, your presence is consistent throughout the platform, just like in the real world,” XRSpace said.

XRSpace has big ambitions. One day, it will add augmented and mixed reality to the Mova VR headset to make it feel even more immersive. The goggles will get smaller, sleeker and faster. Chou even expects something like XRSpace’s headset to eventually replace smartphones.

With today’s smartphones, “humans’ interactions and the way to express emotion are limited to the usage of … voice and text and emojis and pictures and video,” Chou said. “However … the way we express ourselves is a lot more complicated than smartphones allow. So our goal is to create this … very immersive, very interactive [product] to take human interaction to the next level using 5G XR.”

To be successful, XRSpace needs developers on board — and it needs us to believe the virtual world is worth exploring. It’s unclear how that Manova digital realm will fare in “the after,” when some normalcy returns. But right now, XRSpace’s technology can’t come fast enough. 

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Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket – For Which One You Should Go For

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Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket - For Which One You Should Go For

Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket

Want to know the difference between these two shipping modes? With which shipping method you should go?

Out of Aliexpress Standard Shipping and ePacket, which is cheaper? Then no worries. We are here with a closer look at –Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket. We will help you out to figure these two available shipping ways.

Aliexpress Standard Shipping

Aliexpress Standard Shipping and the company is the top e-commerce site and property of Alibaba Group. Aliexpress Standard Shipping is not the cheapest delivery option but it is a reliable choice.

AliExpress offers shipping options for every taste and budget:

  • For those who are in a hurry.
  • For those who are not.
  • With extra fees.

With Aliexpress Standard Shipping, the parcels usually arrive within 15-45 days.

You will see the tracking number of the parcel on the product’s details page when the shipment is sent. You can track the location of your package also.

Aliexpress Standard Shipping follows different chain:

Seller-> Aliexpress Warehouse->Courier->Customer.

ePacket

As the name implies, the shipping service was designed for e-commerce. It helps the customers to receive parcels quickly from online stores and marketplaces that shipped out from China and Hong Kong.

Before ePacket, products were shipped to the US from China via sea. This was a long journey, and shipping took a long time.

However, ePacket has its own requirements. The maximum length of a package is 24 inches (60 cm) and the total length, height, and thickness of the package cannot be more than 36 inches (90 cm).

Additionally, the package cannot weigh more than 4.4 lbs (2kg). Through ePacket, the product can be delivered to 35 countries.

Shipping time may vary and depends on the destination of the package, customs, holidays, and other delays. On average a package takes 10-20 days to arrive from the United States.

Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket

The two shipping methods that we are going to explore are AliExpress Standard Shipping and ePacket. Compared to the other free shipping method, AliExpress Standard Shipping and ePacket can cut down shipping time for a few days.

To know which is the best shipping option, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each shipping method.

Aliexpress Standard Shipping- Advantages

  • It provides free shipping to some destination countries like the USA.
  • Products are packed in good quality packaging.
  • Packages usually arrived within 15 to 45 days.
  • Provides many shipping options according to your choice.

Disadvantages

  • Packages usually arrived within 15 to 45 days.
  • It is ideal for small packages.
  • Sometimes you need to pick up your parcels.

ePacket Shipping: Advantages

  • The estimated shipping time is 7 – 30 days.
  • It is cheaper than other shipping services.
  • ePacket is faster than other standard shipping methods being used in China.

Disadvantages

  • ePacket is not available worldwide. ePacket delivers the products only in 35 countries.
  • There is a limitation on the size and weight of parcels.

Which Shipping Method Should I Go With- Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket?

According to my choice, you should choose ePacket as it is faster and more reliable.

From our experience, AliExpress Standard Shipping generally has a slower delivery timeframe than ePacket. But if it isn’t, then AliExpress Standard Shipping should be your next best choice for affordable shipping and package delivery.

Summing it Up On :

Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket

This is all about Aliexpress Standard Shipping vs ePacket. Hope you are able to figure out which shipping method is best for you.

Give your feedback in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

Is AliExpress Banned In India? Can It Be Banned Soon?

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Fauci says U.S. needs to ‘hunker down’ for fall and winter

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As the U.S. makes its way to the flu season, the citizens can’t go easy in their fight against this ongoing pandemic, mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday. Even though the total number of latest daily cases for the COVID-19 disease in the United States has been slowly yet steadily declining in the past two weeks straight, the numbers are still fairly close to 200,000 deaths pertaining to COVID-19 along with 6 million+ cases of confirmed infections.

Fauci also mentioned that we have to be cautious & work through the winter and fall season. This is because things are in no way going to be survivable with a plethora of other diseases lurking in the background.

Fauci is the director for the National Institute of Allergies & Infectious Diseases who spoke regarding the vaccine trials for COVID-19 as well as the chances of surges deemed to happen after Labor Day. He went on to note that when the United States manages to control the disease in a certain region, another one emerges as a hot spot.

This spike in the number inevitably appears whenever the states happen to lift their restrictions related to social distancing. As per Fauci, this transition from a controlled area to a hot spot is actually a depressing sight, given the fact that we already know what is responsible for the same.

One among the leading researchers for AIDS since the year 1980s, Fauci, also happened to warn about how dangerous it could be when people start undermining this virus. He also went on to compare this new pandemic to that of the initial days of the HIV virus that started with some gay men & decades later; there were 70 million+ infected individuals with millions dead of the disease.

He mentioned that the people have been through a pandemic of this intensity before, and underestimating its potential would only bring disastrous consequences. Fauci’s comments related to the requirement for scientists and doctors to approach this disease with complete seriousness came just after the President was heard saying that the pandemic seriousness has been minimized as per Sports Grind Entertainment.

President Donald Trump has been highly criticized for the response made by him with regard to this virus. According to the President, he was playing down the scenario, given the fact that there was no need to create panic.

Although Fauci didn’t actually mention these statements provided by the President, he surely reflected on the lessons learned from this mistake. He also added that we had no idea about the virus from the very first day. However, as we learn more about it, we need to be flexible and change the recommendations, policies, guidelines, as well as other mandates as per the information obtained.

Fauci also mentioned that these vaccine trials have been progressing particularly well. He repeated his caution and added it with optimism stating that a vaccine might be ready as we approach the end of 2020. However, he made no comment related to the vaccine trials being conducted at the University of Oxford that was paused for the week after one participant in the United Kingdom happened to develop an issue in the spinal cord area. When enquired about the possibility of a 2nd wave for the cases in the United States, Fauci mentioned that he isn’t debating about the 2nd surge given the fact that we haven’t yet overcome the first one. While the country is ridden with fear of the speculations of an influenza season that might start in the month of October, it might overwhelm the country’s health care protocol, which is overrun with COVID-19 patients.

Although there is some good news coming in from Australia, things are looking good for the United States. Australia experienced the lightest influenza cases due to the social distancing protocol in place for COVID-19 infection.

However, it isn’t clear whether the United States would experience a similar fate in this regard. To this, Fauci commented that he has no idea of the situation and its future, so he wouldn’t want to predict anything positive or negative related to the pandemic.

 

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IT ministry banned 118 more apps including PUBG: Here’s the full list

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The Indian government once again banned 118 Chinese applications. The name of PUBG is also included in these apps. 118 other mobile applications of China have been banned by the IT Ministry.

The Ministry of Information Technology had received several complaints from various sources, stating that users’ data is being stolen incorrectly through some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms. 

Here is the full list of apps banned by the government on September 2:

Other Apps which are banned by the Government are :

21.Tencent Weiyun

22.Pitu

23.WeChat Work

24.Cyber Hunter

25.Cyber Hunter Lite

26. Knives Out-No rules, just fight!

27.Super Mecha Champions

28.LifeAfter

29.Dawn of Isles

30.Ludo World-Ludo Superstar

31.Chess Rush

32.PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik

33.PUBG MOBILE LITE

34.Rise of Kingdoms: Lost Crusade

35.Art of Conquest: Dark Horizon

36.Dank Tanks

37.Warpath

38.Game of Sultans

39.Gallery Vault – Hide Pictures And Videos

40.Smart AppLock (App Protect)

& 10 Bands Equalizer

 

61.Web Browser – Fast, Privacy & Light Web Explorer

62.Web Browser – Secure Explorer

63.Music Player – Audio Player

64.Video Player – All Format HD Video Player

65.Lamour Love All Over The World

66.Amour- video chat & call all over the world.

67.MV Master – Make Your Status Video & Community

68.MV Master – Best Video Maker & Photo Video Editor

69.APUS Message Center-Intelligent management

70.LivU Meet new people & Video chat with strangers

91.Murderous Pursuits

92.Tencent Watchlist (Tencent Technology

93.Learn Chinese AI-Super Chinese

94.HUYA LIVE – Game Live Stream

95.Little Q Album

96.Fighting Landlords – Free and happy Fighting Landlords

97.Hi Meitu

98.Mobile Legends: Pocket

99.VPN for TikTok

100.VPN for TikTok

101.Penguin E-sports Live assistant

102. Buy Cars-offer everything you need, special offers and low prices

103.iPick

104.Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera & Face Selfie

105.Parallel Space Lite – Dual App

106.”Chief Almighty: First Thunder BC

107.MARVEL Super War NetEase Games

108.AFK Arena

109.Creative Destruction NetEase Games

110.Crusaders of Light NetEase Games

111.Mafia City Yotta Games

112.Onmyoji NetEase Games

113.Ride Out Heroes NetEase Games

114. Yimeng Jianghu-Chu Liuxiang has been fully upgraded

115.Legend: Rising Empire NetEase Games

116.Arena of Valor: 5v5 Arena Games

117.Soul Hunters

118.Rules of Survival

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