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Virtual Reality

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BUSINESS
September 17, 1991 | Daily News Wire Services
Gray skies, the daily grind, family problems, international crises - the real world has always had its drawbacks. But an easy escape might soon be at hand. Put on a headset and a data-glove and you could jump into a completely different world - a "virtual reality" where the sun always shines and you can live out your fantasies. Known as VR, virtual reality has been on the drawing board for years. Now, thanks to increased computer power and a surge of interest, VR applications are finally making their debut.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 1999 | By Steven Rea, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A creepy-crawly excursion into the realms of virtual reality, David Cronenberg's Existenz is sort of The Matrix of the art house - sans the kinetic kung fu, dazzling digital effects, and 22d-century whizbangs. But there is still plenty of icky bug imagery to go around, along with computer cables that hook up to human bodies like umbilical cords. The metaphor of machines as an extension of man (and woman) isn't hard to miss. Set in a bleak, rural world of boxy churches, barns, mutant-trout farms, and hidden laboratories (it would be no surprise to see Dr. Frankenstein's cadaverous creation come lumbering down the road)
NEWS
December 9, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Ventures, the venture arm of Comcast Corp., has taken an investment stake in its third virtual reality company, Baobab Studios, and intends to put money into others. A Comcast Ventures executive compared virtual reality to the "early days of mobile" and said that it could make viewing sports or movies a more immersive experience, which could benefit Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company and owner of NBCUniversal. Wired magazine recently reported that film studios have been experimenting with virtual reality, while Facebook, Google, Samsung and Sony are developing virtual reality headsets.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1996 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Set in a futuristic Tokyo with a burning chrome skyline, Ghost in the Shell is an eye-popping, mind-bending Japanimation adventure in cyberspace. The plot revolves around a female uber-cyborg, whose circuitry is augmented with voluptuous human flesh. Her mission is to locate a cyber-terrorist known as the Puppet Master, who, like her, eludes detection by the use of therm-optic camouflage. Our heroine refers to her cyber-spirit as her "ghost" and her human casing as her "shell," hence the film's title.
NEWS
October 13, 1995 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
"Strange Days" represents a new generation of Hollywood movies designed not to entertain but to pulverize. Like this summer's "Batman Returns" and last year's "Natural Born Killers," "Strange Days" combines thumping, synthesized music with a torrent of images, leaving viewers not with a message or a moral, but a migraine. To this list of sins, "Strange Days" adds another - the already hackneyed subject of virtual reality. It's used here as a mechanism to draw the viewer into simulated murder, rape and assault.
NEWS
August 13, 1992 | By Sharon O'Neal, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Sister Jean Anthony, a professor of music therapy at Immaculata College, believes the field's future is intimately connected not to musical instruments but to computers. Make that computer-generated musical instruments. Sister Jean Anthony and Rebecca T. Mercuri, director of the computer consulting firm Notable Software, have been working for the last year on ways to use cyberspace, the phenomenon of a simulated environment also known as virtual reality, with traditional music therapy techniques.
NEWS
August 18, 2002 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Army Col. Bill Mathers had heard the promises before: vendors swearing that their product was going to revolutionize the way the military operated. Mathers was deputy commander of the Fort Dix battle lab, where he was in charge of finding ways to train through simulation, producing well-prepared soldiers while keeping costs down. So when Peter Rogina marched into his office in 1996 and delivered the goods - a souped-up, dead-on, photo-realistic version of virtual reality and the best imaging he'd ever seen - Mathers was incredulous.
NEWS
June 4, 1991 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
A marriage of television and compact discs has produced a potent new offspring at this year's Summer Consumer Electronics Show. Resembling a plain- Jane CD player but hiding computer-strength smarts and a strong sense of adventure, this new breed of "multimedia" CD player (about $1,000) will run rich new hybrids of "electronic literature" that combine text, graphics, animated cartoons, partial screen video and digital stereo sound. Yes, it sings! It dances! It tells you stories and takes you places you've never been before!
NEWS
October 7, 1998 | by Erin Einhorn, Daily News Staff Writer
It'll be big (at least according to early plans). And it'll be bright. But will it be Disney? Just about everyone, it seems, has started calling the lot at the corner of 8th and Market streets "the Disney site," in hopes that the Mouse himself will grace Philadelphia with his one of his new, virtual reality, Mousified game arcades called DisneyQuest. And yesterday, the city zoning board gave the nod to a Blue Bell developer with plans for the former Gimbel's site that include: along with a 20-screen multiplex, a 30-story hotel, a parking garage, and a gaggle of street-level shops - a five-story "arcade" space that just happens to meet the rodent's very needs.
NEWS
June 10, 1993 | by Jonathan Takiff, Daily News Staff Writer
The usual onslaught of spiffy new audio and video products was severly tempered at the Summer Consumer Electronics Show. Many of the big guns of the electronics business - including Sony, Sharp, JVC, Toshiba, Pioneer and Hitachi - skipped the trade show for reasons of timing or cost-saving. As a result, there were only a handful of those "golly gee, never saw that before" gizmos: Most prominent in computer/game land were Sega's wrap-around VR (virtual reality) video glasses that pull you into a 360-degree color game environment (priced under $200)
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BUSINESS
August 14, 2016 | Jonathan Takiff, STAFF WRITER
Kinks with the virtual reality version of the Rio Olympics have been driving tech lovers crazy. Thursday night, this early adopter lit into Comcast techies with his frustrations, as they showed off VR clips loaded onto Samsung Gear VR goggles to visitors at a Comcast Center Olympics celebration. Twice we heard the response, "It's not our fault; it's an NBC Sports problem. " Kind of ironic, since NBC is a Comcast division. Comcast senior technical fellow Mark Francisco and colleagues agreed to take on the complaints quickly with the NBC powers that be. And by the next morning, one serious wrong was righted with a fresh update of the NBC Sports VR app on my Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Staff Writer
While pregame visitors flocked to the Sprint Fun Zone at the Copa America Centanario tournament to kick soccer balls into nets and watch their form on super sharp TVs, the guests were also witnessing a novel sight in the Lincoln Financial Field parking lot. Those ultra-high-definition images of their big kicks were being sent wirelessly to the TVs over a next generation, high bandwidth 5G mobile communications system. 5G - 5th Generation - is coming to a Sprint store near you in the "2018-19 time frame," said the company's chief technology officer, John Saw. But Sprint is hardly the only one kicking this big ball around.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Staff Writer
Google unwrapped lots of goodies at its developers conference in Mountain View, Calif., on Wednesday: a spiffed-up virtual reality platform called Daydream VR, Android Wear smart watches that communicate directly with the internet, and a retort to Amazon's red-hot Echo wireless speaker/virtual assistant called Google Home. Come fall, Google Home smart speakers will improve on the competition, it's claimed, by offering multiroom audio streaming plus "far-field" hearing capabilities from across the room and smarter responses to your voiced "difficult questions," said product management vice president Mario Queiroz.
NEWS
May 5, 2016
ISSUE | COMCAST Virtual reality? Does Comcast really think the shareholders will buy their smokescreen excuse that a "virtual" meeting on May 19 will save the company money on meeting costs at the Kimmel Center ("Comcast shareholders will meet online," April 27)? Comcast made $8.2 billion in profits last year, its top six executives were paid $176 million, it has agreed to acquire DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion - and the cable giant is cutting corners? |Vicky Benedict Farber, Narberth
BUSINESS
April 4, 2016 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Technology Writer
Haven't explored the new world of virtual-reality goggles and software? Golly, what are you waiting for? Once the stuff of fantasy, replacing what you see and hear from all sides with a 360-degree virtual world, VR is finally making inroads. Totally immersive and seductive when done right, VR is gaining backing from major media and tech firms, and now seems poised to change our perception of everything from news to entertainment, shopping to travel, education to medical care.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2016 | By Bill Chenevert, For The Inquirer
Jennifer Haley's The Nether is unsettling theater, not aimed at sending audiences into the night with light hearts. There's not much to feel good about in Haley's play. InterAct Theatre is a Philadelphia treasure, an adventurous and bold company that has delighted and informed in the past. But I'm afraid The Nether , even with artistic director Seth Rozin directing, disappoints. The Internet is the precursor to the Nether, we learn. Characters refer to the "highway" much as we used to talk about dialing into the World Wide Web. But in this dystopian near-future, the Nether is a collection of virtual-reality realms, and some humans are hooked as if it were heroin.
NEWS
December 9, 2015 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Ventures, the venture arm of Comcast Corp., has taken an investment stake in its third virtual reality company, Baobab Studios, and intends to put money into others. A Comcast Ventures executive compared virtual reality to the "early days of mobile" and said that it could make viewing sports or movies a more immersive experience, which could benefit Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company and owner of NBCUniversal. Wired magazine recently reported that film studios have been experimenting with virtual reality, while Facebook, Google, Samsung and Sony are developing virtual reality headsets.
BUSINESS
November 18, 2015 | By Bob Fernadez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Comcast Corp. invested into virtual reality startup firm NextVR Inc., based in Laguna Beach, Calif. The company develops live-action virtual reality technology to enhance TV viewing. Comcast is one of several investors - among them, Time Warner, Hollywood executive Peter Gruber and the Madison Square Garden Co. - in this round of financing that raised $30.5 million. Terms of Comcast's investment were not disclosed. Comcast Ventures, a Comcast-owned venture fund with offices in Silicon Valley, Philadelphia and New York, made the investment.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Columnist
  The creatures came to take souls. They were hovering very close, in a virtual reality demo - formally called "Into the Further 4D Virtual Reality Experience" - that opened for scary business over the weekend on Second Street near South. Piggybacking on the South Street Spring Festival, this traveling virtual fun house presentation was sponsored by a major movie studio (Focus Features) and provided a sophisticated/sneaky way to get you interested in its freaky June 5 release, Insidious Chapter 3 . The movie theme is pretty typical - teenage girl is threatened with ghostly creatures craving to feed on her pure, innocent essence.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 24, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
IF YOU'VE ever wondered what it might be like inside the mind of the X-Men's Professor X, make like Quicksilver to San Diego for this week's Comic-Con. Twentieth Century Fox has created an "X-Men"-themed interactive digital experience utilizing the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, which is not yet available to consumers, to simulate the fictional Cerebro technology used to track down mutants by the character portrayed by Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy in the "X-Men" films.
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