Oculus unveils standalone virtual reality headset

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (AP file photo)
Updated 11 October 2017
0

Oculus unveils standalone virtual reality headset

SAN JOSE, US: Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday unveiled a new Oculus virtual reality headset untethered from computers as part of a vision to bring the new technology to the masses.
Oculus Go headsets will be priced at $199 when they begin shipping early next year, Zuckerberg said during a keynote presentation at an annual developers conference in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose.
Zuckerberg touted Oculus Go as the first product in a “sweet spot” between smartphones and powerful desktop computers.
“It’s an all-new, standalone headset that doesn’t require you to snap in a phone or plug in a cable,” Zuckerberg said.
Oculus Go uses internal cameras, sensors and software to track movements that are translated into corresponding motion in virtual worlds rendered in headsets.
Facebook stressed its commitment to virtual reality, despite less than stellar adoption of headsets such as Oculus Rift which need to be plugged into computers.
“We want to get a billion people in virtual reality,” Zuckerberg said.
“The road ahead won’t be easy, but virtual reality will change the way we see the world and will make all of our lives a whole lot better.”
Sony, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus are the top players in virtual reality head gear, each striving to stake out territory in the budding market.
While Sony’s VR headsets work with PS 4 consoles, competing gear requires computers that can handle the demand of processing rich, immersive graphics in real time.


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
0

Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.