PS4 Pro Slim: 6 things we’d like to see

It feels like the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro have only just been released, but in a manner similar to the pregnancy rumors that inevitably seem to stick to celebrity power couples, we’re already hearing that Sony could be planning to release a PS4 Pro Slim. 

WCCFtech has unearthed a recent report in the Taiwanese newspaper Digitimes which has said that Sony is planning to release a slimmer version of its PlayStation 4 console in order to target the holiday sales period. The report doesn’t actually say whether this console will simply be an even slimmer version of the already existing PS4 Slim or whether it will be a smaller version of the PS4 Pro. The latter scenario does, however, seem significantly more likely if the rumors are to be believed.

A slimmed down version of the PS4 Pro for release during the holiday period would make a lot of sense. Come Christmas, the original PS4 Pro will be a year old so a new look with, perhaps, some improved or additional functionalities would be ideal to reignite consumer interest. 

A chance to keep up

Not only that, it’ll be around the time Microsoft is planning to release Project Scorpio. From what we know so far, Project Scorpio is going to be one impressive piece of kit and Sony can’t reasonably expect to go head to head with this machine during the peak buying period with a year-old console and expect to come out on top. 

When the PS4 Slim was released, it was really more of a revamp of the original PS4 in terms of specs. Not much really changed it was just the chance to upgrade to a slightly more attractive and smaller console.

Though a PS4 Pro Slim could be exactly the same scenario – think slimming to Pro down into a smaller chassis – it would also be a good opportunity for Sony to do a little more, to introduce some interesting new functionalities to its Pro console that would make it more competitive against Microsoft’s Project Scorpio.

Now that we’ve sufficiently justified it (at least we think so), here are the five things we’d like to see from the PS4 Pro Slim if it’s announced.

A new look

Okay, a new look would obviously be part of a slimmer version of a console. It’s the entire point. The risk with slimming down the PS4 Pro is that you could easily just end up with the original PS4 or a console that’s almost identical to the PS4 Slim. 

We’d love to see the PS4 Pro Slim take on the more curved and compact look of the PS4 Slim, without looking like a trio of stacked pizza boxes. We’d also like to see a return to the matte and glossy casing combination that the original PS4 had. The glossy side was, admittedly a bit of a nightmare when it came to attracting fingerprints, but it was much more visually exciting than the entirely matte look that the Pro and Slim iterations have.

Aside from an overall shape change, we’d also like to see an improvement made to the console’s buttons. This might be a bit of a personal bugbear, but we think the design of the power and eject disc buttons on the current PS4 Pro are a step backwards from both the original PS4's capacitive touch buttons, and the PS4 Slim's standard physical buttons.

The PS4 Pro uses a single plastic strip across both buttons, that 'give' a little at either end where they are pressed in. Push too close to the center and the pushes won't register, while going too far to the edge and it feels like they could snap.

Of all three button methods, it's the standard buttons the PS4 Slim that seem most reliable, so we'd like to see them return for any eventual PS4 Pro Slim.

Ultra HD Blu-ray player 

You still have a chance here, Sony! The company has received a fair amount of criticism for providing 4K media purely via streaming and it’s easy to understand why; 4K streaming requires a much stronger and faster internet connection than many people currently have access to. 

Microsoft, on the other hand, has included an Ultra HD Blu-ray player in both its Xbox One S and (we expect) in the upcoming Project Scorpio consoles in addition to the ability to stream 4K content. Though 4K Blu-rays aren’t exactly a widespread format at the moment, Microsoft has at least given its customers a choice. 

Many who were torn between purchasing a PlayStation 4 and an Xbox One S said that latter’s Ultra HD Blu-ray player swayed their decision when it came to settling on a console. Of course, we don’t know how accurate this is and how much, if at all, it impacted the PlayStation’s sales.

Regardless, Sony may think that streaming is the future but it’s selling consoles in the present and in the present, consumers apparently want access to an Ultra HD Blu-ray player that doesn’t cost the Earth. Releasing a slim version of the PS4 Pro would be an ideal opportunity for Sony to add this feature.

Dolby Atmos support for games 

This isn’t absolutely essential, but introducing Dolby Atmos support for games would be a nice addition to the PS4 Pro Slim and really add to the 4K HDR visuals it offers. 

At the moment, the Xbox Insiders are able to access Dolby Atmos sound when watching Ultra HD Blu-rays on their consoles. There are rumors circulating that this support will soon extend to games, making the Xbox a full Dolby Atmos experience. 

It’d be sensible, then, for Sony to begin introducing this to PlayStation in order to be able to claim that it offers similarly immersive gaming experiences. 

An extra HDMI port  

Ok, now we’re getting into really nerdy AV territory, but it would be absolutely great if we could get a second HDMI port on our new gaming behemoth.

A second HDMI port has become a handy feature on more high-end Ultra HD Blu-ray players, as it allows you to send your audio and video out to separate machines.

This is very helpful if you’ve got a home cinema amplifier that deal with your television’s audio. Rather than having to worry about whether this amp can handle 4K/HDR content, a second HDMI output allows you to avoid the problem by bypassing it entirely and plugging straight into your TV.

Now yes, we know only a fraction of Sony’s potential audience will want such a feature, but if it wants to win over the high-end TV enthusiasts amongst us then it's a must-have.

Built-in PSVR support

We understand that the PlayStation VR required the additional processing unit for a few reasons including object-based 3D audio processing and un-distorted social screen display but it's still an unwelcome presence on our TV stand. 

Ideally, for neatness' sake, everything would be going through the one system so it'd be great to see built-in support for PSVR in the PS4 Pro Slim. Not only would it keep our living rooms neat and tidy, it'd centralize PSVR as an essential part of the PlayStation experience and send a strong message from Sony that VR is here to stay on PlayStation and has the company's full support and attention.

Bigger hard drive

Though we now have external hard drive support in addition to changeable internal hard drives and we’re extremely happy about it, we’d love to see a bigger internal hard drive in the PS4 Pro Slim from the off. We’re not asking for much – 2TB would be more than enough to keep us and our console’s storage notifications quiet, at least for a while. 

Intel Optane Memory looks to give traditional hard drives a serious speed boost

Hard drives are getting a much deserved kick in the pants with Intel’s new Optane Memory.

The processor maker claims its newest technology will give old-school spinning drives solid-state drive-like (SSD) speeds today and eventually transform computer storage forever. 

Intel Optane Memory might sound like RAM, but it’s actually a specialized storage product that hooks up to the M.2 storage slot (PCIe Gen 3.0×2) on a PC motherboard. You’ll find them on the latest motherboards designed for Intel’s latest 7th generation, or Kaby Lake, processors and the 200 series Intel chipset.

The connected storage drive endows you with 16GB or 32GB of Optane Memory for blazing fast cache.

Cache that can make, say, your 1TB, 7,200 rpm spinning hard drive twice as responsive in performing daily tasks and booting up or launch your browser up to five times faster. Oh, and how about 67% and 65% reductions in game app launch and game level load times, respectively?

These are the initial figures that Intel promises are possible out of a seemingly old hat, spinning hard drive when boosted by its Intel Optane Memory cache module. So, what’s the secret?

  • While we wait, consider shelling out for the MacBook Pro

Better materials, smarter storage

Intel’s answer to that is twofold. First off, Optane Memory is built differently than traditional NAND-based storage cells used in SSDs, instead crafted using 3DXpoint. Pronounced “3D crosspoint,” this is a different kind of proprietary storage media, built using materials (the identity of which Intel is keeping to itself) in a three-dimensional pattern similar to how a processor is built – sort of like a s’more.

However, a computer’s processor can only access data as fast as the storage medium can deliver it, which depends both on how quickly it can recall the data in its stores and how quickly data transfers over connectors, usually SATA (off-motherboard) or PCIe (on-board) these days.

This is why RAM, or random access memory, was developed decades ago to store frequently used data. However, RAM is expensive to build at high capacities, and thus isn’t a realistic way to store all of a PC’s data.

“We want something that brings that data much closer to the processor,” Intel Senior Fellow Al Fazio told a room of journalists when debuting the technology. “We need something that’s closer and faster to provide data to the processor.”

The crosspoint is the smallest and densest silicon structure that you can construct lithographically and can switch 1,000 times faster than NAND flash, according to Fazio, because of the proximity. The physics of the data delivery have been changed.

Not only, as Fazio tells it, does this make it 1,000 times faster than NAND, but it provides 1,000 times better endurance than NAND and 10 times the density of conventional memory.

This technology also operates at sub-microsecond speeds, Fazio said, compared to microsecond speeds of other storage and memory. The idea is to get the capacity of NAND and the speed of RAM or better in a non-volatile solution.

The second piece of how Optane Memory boosts your existing storage drive is in the product’s intelligence. A small processor inside the M.2 memory module runs Intel Rapid Storage Technology, firmware that allows the module to detect which apps and services you use most over time, prioritizing the files associated with those apps into its 16GB or 32GB cache.

This, in turn, serves up those apps and services much faster than if their files would have to be called from the storage drive proper and then placed into RAM. The result is faster boot times, app start times, in-app data loads and generally improved responsiveness in your most-used apps.

Now, while Optane Memory can reach higher capacities than RAM for cheaper, it’s not quite at the point of replacing either your RAM or your hard drive or SSD. This product is architected as a memory, not a storage device. In short, you cannot dual boot an Intel Optane Memory module – sorry, savvy users.

The fine print

Now, mind that, in order to improve the speed of functions like boot time and improved responsiveness in system services, a certain amount of the Optane Memory module’s cache is reserved for these system process files. Exactly how much, Intel won’t say.

Also, again, the Intel Optane Memory module only operates with motherboards that support both 7th generation Intel processors and Intel’s 200 series chipset. So, if you can’t spruce up your old hard drive with that 6th generation or older Intel chip and dated motherboard, who is this for?

For one, those looking to upgrade their PCs with gobs of storage that’s also fast could look to this as a more affordable route to that kind of PC build. After all, a 2TB spinning hard drive calls for a fraction of the cost of an equally capacious SSD.

To that end, Intel has worked with partners to ensure that over 130 of such supported motherboards are available right now.

We’re also told that Intel is already working with key desktop PC producers to include the option for Intel Optane memory modules in models that generally offer large amounts of spinning storage. So, otherwise hapless PC purchasers will effectively enjoy the speed of an SSD for the cost of a PC with an old hat spinning drive inside, thanks to an Optane Memory module.

Since Intel first revealed its Optane storage technology way back in 2015, we’ve dreamt of a world free of distinctions like “storage” and “RAM”. While that reality is still a ways off, Intel’s new Optane Memory module finally begins to blur those lines today.

Optane Memory looks to set the computing world on fire when it launches for desktop PCs on April 24 . In the US, Optane Memory will cost $44 for 16GB while 32GB will call for $77. We're awaiting comment from Intel on pricing and availability in the UK and Australia, and will update this space with whatever information we receive. 

For more of Intel’s data on how an Optane Memory PC compares to systems without it, check out Intel’s website.

Where to pre-order the LG G6 in the US – carrier prices and promotions compared

With the exception of T-Mobile, all the national US carriers have started pre-orders for the LG G6. On the side of retailers, only Best Buy has carrier versions of the smartphone up for pre-order (click here), but the LG G6 will be sold by LG, Amazon, and B&H as well. We’ll have to whip up a separate table with the retailer offers once they are revealed.
Carrier prices vary across the board, with Verizon and US Cellular seemingly presenting the most compelling offers. T-Mobile has set up a lean, no-frills offer devoid of promotions beyond the free …

Where to pre-order the LG G6 in the US – carrier prices and promotions compared

With the exception of T-Mobile, all the national US carriers have started pre-orders for the LG G6. On the side of retailers, only Best Buy has carrier versions of the smartphone up for pre-order (click here), but the LG G6 will be sold by LG, Amazon, and B&H as well. We’ll have to whip up a separate table with the retailer offers once they are revealed.
Carrier prices vary across the board, with Verizon and US Cellular seemingly presenting the most compelling offers. T-Mobile has set up a lean, no-frills offer devoid of promotions beyond the free Google Home speaker that everyone is getting. Meanwhile, AT&T and Sprint have some interesting options as well, despite being on the pricier side. Hopefully, having good credit and being a long-time (or brand new) customer will net you better offers from these two. As always, read the fine print and spend responsibly.
Carrier Price in full Price per month Release date Promotions Link
Verizon $672 $28
(24 months)
March 30
(Thursday)
  • Free Google Home
  • Up to $200 trade-in credit
  • Free 43-inch LG HDTV
Click here
AT&T $719 $24 (30 mo.)
$30 (24 mo.)
April 4 – 6
(Tu – Th)
  • Free Google Home
  • LG Watch Sport for $49
  • Buy 1, Get 1 Free offer
Click here
T-Mobile $650 $26
(24 months)
TBA Click here
Sprint $708 $29.50
(24 months)
April 7
(Friday)
  • Free Google Home
  • Free 49-inch LG HDTV
Click here
US Cellular $597.60 $10 (30 mo.)
*with Promo card*
April 7
(Friday)
  • Free Google Home
  • $297.70 Promotional card
Click here
If you are still undecided about the LG G6, or only recently heard about it, feel free to check out the materials below and make an informed choice. There’s a lot to like about the LG G6, but the competition doesn’t sleep and the Samsung Galaxy S8 is right around the corner.

Pre-order LG G6 from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Best Buy

BBM for Android receives an update to version 3.3.1.24

If you’re an Android user who uses the BBM messaging app, you might notice some new features next time you run it. An update to version 3.3.1.24, found in the Google Play Store, includes new icons for for BBM Voice and Video calling. BBM Groups and group management features are now melded into the Chat screen,  and all chat conversations will now be found in one place.

The complete changelist for the update to BBM for Android includes the following:

  • Infrastructure features to reduce spam invites
  • Updated icons for BBM Voice and Video calling
  • Improved quick reply notification support for Android “N”
  • Performance improvements and bug reports
  • Introduced Me and Discover screen into the main navigation menu
  • Combined BBM Groups and group management features into the Chat screen. All chat conversations are in a single place now.

The new “Me” display section is where you will find BBM Settings, BBM Channel and BBM Profile.

If you are already a BBM for Android subscriber, go to the Google Play Store app and open it. Navigate to the hamburger menu in the top left and click. Tap on My apps & games, scroll to BBM for Android, and click on update. If you’re not a subscriber to BBM for Android, open the Google Play Store and install the app. And that is all that you need to do.

BBM continues to become more secure, and with free voice and video calling, you can see why many have kept using BBM even after leaving BlackBerry for an iOS or Android handset.

Download and install BBM for Android (3.31.24) or iOS by clicking on the appropriate link (Android|iOS)

source: Crackberry

The greatest complimentary privacy computer software 2017

Safeguard your data along with your identification

on line privacy is a hot topic, with also world leaders weighing in on the subject. Most of the big-name web sites and organizations will track your activities to supply targeted advertising, and may develop an astonishingly detail by detail profile as well as your passions, investing habits, age, location and much more.

If you would rather to help keep your own personal details private, a VPN or proxy tool can help. See our guide to installing and keeping a VPN.

Along with preventing 3rd events building up a profile of you, the most effective free privacy pc software can start the net, granting you access to web sites obstructed inside country, to access region-locked content if you are travelling overseas, and to put in a layer of protection when you use a public Wi-Fi network.

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install Tor Browser

1. Tor Browser

Download Tor Browser
A complete web browser specialized in your privacy, Tor Browser could be the cornerstone of any privacy toolkit
Tor Browser is just about the best-known anonymous browsing device available, and it’s also called a ‘censorship circumvention tool’.

Tor Browser possesses vast following inside on line privacy and safety communities. It works by bouncing your communication through numerous encrypted node on the internet, which makes it impossible to figure out where you are or other identifying information.

Tor Browser employs complex technology, it is refreshingly available. It’s in line with the same code as Firefox, and guides you through procedure of getting on line one step at a time.

It utilizes different connection practices according to everything you’re wanting to attain, but there is you should not understand the details since it’s all looked after available. This combination of effective security and simplicity makes Tor Browser the most effective complimentary privacy computer software you can download now.

Download right here: Tor Browser

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Download Privoxy

2. Privoxy

install Privoxy
Privoxy provides you with total control over your privacy, however the options might be overwhelming
Privoxy actually web proxy tool which can be found not merely for Mac, Windows and Linux, but additionally Android os and iOS. It’s a tremendously powerful device, however you will have to spend a little time and effort to have it up and running.

Privoxy can be utilized along with just about any internet browser, which is really a big bonus; just set the browser to perform its traffic through tool.

However, among Privoxy’s key features may be a downside for new users: it gives you extremely granular control of privacy settings, and configuring them is certainly much a manual process. There’s a helpful quick start guide available, nonetheless it has got the possible become off-putting.

Nevertheless, if you are thrilled to persevere, this free privacy computer software allows you to set up advanced filters that’ll not only ensure you remain anonymous on the web, but additionally protect you against undesired adverts.

Download right here: Privoxy

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install Hotspot Shield

3. Hotspot Shield Complimentary

Download Hotspot Shield
Totally free privacy computer software that protects your identity by hiding your IP address from prying eyes
Hotspot Shield VPN will come in two tastes: a free of charge, ad-supported one, and a paid-for version that provide unlimited bandwidth. Hotspot Shield hides your IP address and offers encrypted traffic tunnelling (ideal for use on public Wi-Fi systems) to enhance security and ensure privacy.

May very well not wish to use Hotspot Shield at all time. For example, you may simply be thinking about using it to get into particular internet sites which are obstructed in your country. In this situation you can create shortcuts to individual websites into the Hotspot Shield window that’ll allow protection before starting the sites. Protection can also be toggled on an off having a solitary click.

The paid-for version, Hotspot Elite, only costs a few pounds or dollars per month, but it is well worth using the free version first before opening your wallet. Its extra features, including ad-free browsing and devoted support, ensure it is a tempting proposition.

Download right here: Hotspot Shield Free

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install TunnelBear

4. TunnelBear

install TunnelBear
Free and user-friendly, TunnelBear is VPN made easy – but keep close track of the info limitation
Along with anonymous browsing, free VPN device TunnelBear could also be used to bypass traffic-shaping and throttling put in place by ISPs.

The free version of TunnelBear gives you as much as 500MB of data every month, however, if this is simply not sufficient, unlimited information is available for a registration cost, with costs starting at US$4.16 each month (about £3, AU$6).

Whether you go premium or stay with the free variation, you’ll share a single account between as much as five phones, tablets, Windows PCs or Macs.

Configuration is incredibly easy, and TunnelBear’s free privacy pc software can be used with any browser. It is one of the most available VPN device there is certainly, and it is more or less impossible never to recommend.

Down load here: TunnelBear

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install Cyberghost

The free form of Cyberghost possesses restricted quantity of spaces on its host, but it works well when you’re linked

5. CyberGhost VPN

Download CyberGhost
Outstanding VPN device for protecting your privacy on line, but free users need to wait their turn
Another multi-platform VPN tool, CyberGhost VPN can be obtained as free ad-supported application, in addition to a paid-for version offering better performance and more features.

For day-to-day or occasional usage, the free variation should really be perfectly adequate. Configuration is simple, with the only prospective stumbling block being installing a digital network adaptor.

Having a single simply click, CyberGhost VPN will stimulate, giving the impression that you are searching from a different country. The free privacy pc software also enables you to monitor simply how much traffic you’ve transferred through the solution utilizing a handy graph.

The disadvantage of using the free version is that there’s a restricted amounts of spaces in the servers, so you might need certainly to wait to gain access (although you are unlikely become kept hanging for very long).

Download right here: CyberGhost VPN

The greatest Smart television platforms on the planet 2017

One of the greatest issues when purchasing a brand new TV is its smart platform. Given that pretty much every television we buy has some type of smart TV platform inside you want to make sure it works for you personally – ergo why you’re searching for the greatest.

The most effective smart TV platforms assure they never ever block off the road of you and your content – they’re still TVs in the end, maybe not giant wall-mounted tablets.

In which once it had been how numerous apps you had, the world wide web connected tv is now equally as much by what OS has been used.

All smart TVs give access not just to top-tier services like Netflix and Amazon Instant, but to the different digital television catch up services available, too. Separate apps are something, but increasingly the services formally made available from apps are now being integrated into the user screen (just take LG’s webOS 3.5, as an example).

For better or even worse, there isn’t any one industry standard. Smart television platforms often change each year or two on the list of big TV brands. Here in 2017 we’ve seen a new consider operating systems, because of the likes of LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony all opting for webOS, Tizen, Firefox and Android os, correspondingly.

Allow it to be stated that of those platforms are usable, practical and most of that time period downright enjoyable to use. But while they may look alike on top, in bonnet there are always a variety of differences between them.

So, what is the greatest smart television platform? We have rated the the entire world’s major connected TV platforms in descending order, placing just as much increased exposure of ease of use as app selection, to assist you while you purchase into a whole new generation of on the web tv.

Rumor claims Android O may feature notification revamp and picture-in-picture

We’re only about two months away from Google I/O, where we’re expecting to get the first look at what Google has in store for Android O, although the full OS update likely won’t be released until the fall. But, we’re inside the window where it’s time for Android O rumors to take off and that yearly tradition is starting off with a few interesting features. We’ve already seen a teaser about the potential Oreo name, but to be fair on that Hiroshi Lockheimer is not the most reliable source. 

Unfortunately, we can’t be too sure about the source of these rumors either. The unnamed source for 9to5Google appears to have insider knowledge and the outlet has gotten scoops before, so we’ll have to see. The details of the rumors are also a bit lacking. Supposedly, there are a number of new features planned, including:

  • Changes to notifications
  • App icon badges for notifications
  • Picture-in-picture mode
  • Smart text selection toolbar with Assistant integration
  • Restricted background app activity
  • Adaptive icons
  • MediaRecorder API improvements
  • A “ton” of features focused on enterprise

Some of these are pretty easy to guess what they mean: app icon badges are something we’ve seen on iOS since the beginning, although they are quite divisive (I, like other inbox-zero types, hate them). Picture-in-picture mode sounds like a floating window and is a feature already available on Android TV. Restricted background app activity is also self-explanatory and likely related to battery life optimization. The smart text selection sounds like a more targeted version of the already available Screen Search feature of Assistant. And, adaptive icons could well mean dynamic icons so weather apps or calendar apps can be more relevant at a glance. 

However, the other features are quite vague, so we’re not going to speculate too much. Instead, we’ll leave it to you guys. What would you like to see in terms of an update to the notification system in Android?

Amazon stimulates Alexa software developers with strong subsidies

AI assistants are a real hot topic right now and fairly so, given the exciting development the industry has seen over the last few years. Amazon’s Alexa, for example, which launched in late 2014 with 100 skills in the Echo home assistant, now tops 10,000 downloadable skills on its platform. The skills on Alexa resemble mini apps, but each of them is intended to perform a specific function. With developers around the world playing with the Alexa Skills Kit to create variety of software for the AI, Amazon has decided to nourish this healthy growth with free-of-charge Amazon Web Services for Alexa skill coders.

The company has just announced that developers will be able to build and host Alexa skills to AWS effectively for free, granting them a monthly credit of $100, on top of AWS Free Tier. The free package gives skill creators received only one million of AWS Lambda requests and up to 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud time. The company’s move allows devs with a published Alexa skill to apply for the programme and receive an additional $100 per month in AWS promotional credits, should they incur extra charges for their skill. Thus, coders are effectively offered $200 worth of usage of Amazon services to enrich the Alexa experience through new functionalities.

“Today, we’re excited to announce a new programme that will free up developers to create more robust and unique skills that can take advantage of AWS services. We can’t wait to see what developers create for Alexa” – Steve Rauchin, VP of Amazon Alexa

Alexa seems set to further expand in the market as a preferred integrated AI for manufacturers in different industries of technology. After the software made its phone debut in the Huawei Mate 9, it was announced that the assistant will be integrated in Ford and Volkswagen vehicles, too. We are also already in the know that Alexa will get an iOS version, making it available to Apple fans. In this sense, Amazon’s latest move to stimulate skill development seems like a well-thought venture to build on the variety and flexibility of commands for its AI, rather than a simple ‘promo offer’. Still, fair play.

source: Amazon via TechRepublic

AccuWeather hits the Samsung Gear VR with scary 360-degree tornado close-ups

Does VR fun and accurate forecasting sound like a winning combo? Sounds good to us. Just remember to take off the Gear VR every once in a while and enjoy nature for what it is. Or hook up a IV for intravenous food delivery and enter virtual reality to never leave. Whatever floats your boat!

AccuWeather Launches Samsung Gear Virtual Reality Application, Powered by Oculus

Users will immerse themselves in a revolutionary new virtual experience through exclusive AccuWeather 360-degree weather videos, minute-by-minute forecast updates, and more.

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – March 17, 2017 – AccuWeather, the global leader in weather information and digital media, today announced the launch of the new virtual reality application, AccuWeather – Weather for Life for Samsung Gear VR, allowing users to experience and interact with exclusive 360-degree video content, weather information, and updates in revolutionary new ways. The new app gives users an additional platform to access the most personalized, localized weather information with Superior Accuracy™ from AccuWeather, available worldwide through award-winning AccuWeather apps, free wired and mobile Internet sites via AccuWeather.com, connected TVs, wearables, smart homes, connected cars, and more.

Through the unique and immersive VR app experience, users are not simply watching, but are in the middle of the action. Users can experience this next level of virtual reality by following a few simple steps: First, users will install the Oculus app to their compatible Samsung Galaxy smartphone and create an account, accessing the store through Oculus App. Next, users will download the AccuWeather – Weather for Life app. The latest compatible Galaxy smartphones are Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 edge. Finally, users will snap their smartphone into the portable and wireless Gear VR headset so they can view their screen and begin the virtual experience.

Once in the AccuWeather app, users gain access to exclusive AccuWeather 360-degree videos for severe weather events, including the extreme close up viral video of a tornado in Wray, Colorado that had nearly 1.5 million views on YouTube. A new assortment of videos will be added weekly to refresh the user’s experience. The immersive videos give AccuWeather viewers a new and unique perspective on weather events that can be both exciting and educational.

AccuWeather also provides users with current conditions and daily and hourly forecasts including wind speed, dew point, wind direction, and precipitation, plus severe weather alerts and warnings, RealFeel® Temperatures, and AccuWeather’s proprietary minute-by-minute precipitation forecast AccuWeather MinuteCast® for users’ exact locations. Users can uniquely experience an array of dynamic weather conditions in real-time, immersing themselves in an array of weather animations like stormy rain, snow, thunderstorms, and clouds, all which can be accessed either through a secret weather feature called WeatherScape or experienced in the daily forecasts.

“AccuWeather is excited to partner with Samsung on the launch of the AccuWeather – Weather for Life app for Gear VR, bringing users the most accurate, most innovative weather forecasts and information available worldwide,” said Steven Smith, President of Digital Media at AccuWeather. “The app is interactive and easy for users to access immersive 360-degree video content and weather forecasts, all with the Superior Accuracy from AccuWeather they rely on, experiencing weather in revolutionary new ways.”

AccuWeather and Samsung have collaborated to bring Samsung users the world’s most accurate weather news and information through a wide range of Samsung’s best-selling devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung Gear VR, and more. Users receive accurate and localized forecasts with current conditions and hour-by-hour forecasts for locations worldwide.

The AccuWeather – Weather for Life app is available for download at the Oculus Store.