Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Hack Shack Needs the Holo Cube from Merge VR

By: Owen Moore

As I was doing my daily routine of procrastination, eating, more procrastination, and finally doing my homework, I was scrolling through my news feed and came across CES 2017. Naturally, I got sucked in. I read the entire article, and then decided to start researching CES and all the venues and companies that were attending.
For those who don't know, CES is a yearly trade convention organized by the Consumer Technology Association, and is the abbreviated form for the Consumer Electronic Show. Although this title may seem boring, CES is the melting pot for the newest trends in technology for the coming year. It occurs every January at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and hosts presentations of new technologies in the consumer electronics industry. And this year was its 50th anniversary!
Image result for cesRelated image
As I was losing myself to the countless vendors and subcategories of what was at CES, I came across this company called Merge VR. When I saw this name, I found myself mindlessly clicking on the link. "No more, I need to my homework," I said to myself putting my arms in front of me as if I was creating a wall between myself and the computer. (of course, I proceeded to click on the link).
What I found was that Merge VR is similar to many other attempts to make virtual reality cheaper, and more accessible. One site called it " one of the most colorful Google Cardboard clones you'll see on shelves in stores," (Holly, "Holocube by Merge VR Was the Coolest Surprise from CES"). Although this is interesting and all, the item that fascinated me the most was the Holo Cube, which they created as well. This cube uses AR (augmented reality) to perform a variety of tasks. According to its website, it is the "world's first interactive, holographic toy that you can hold in the palm of your hand" (Merge Labs Inc.). With this, you can play games, and so much more. When watching its promotional video (link at the bottom)  it showed clips of the block being transformed into the brain, the heart, and the skull. This makes me believe that you could even use it to study for classes such as Anatomy and Physiology.
The cool thing about the Holo Cube is that you don't need the Merge VR headset. With the Holo Cube you can use any type of headset that uses a smart device. For example, you can use Google Cardboard (which, the Hack Shack possesses) with the Holo Cube. All you need is the Merge app and ta-da! You can use the Holo Cube!

Link to Merge VR's Website where you can find the promotional video: https://mergevr.com/holocube

Works Cited
"About Us." CES. Consumer Technology Association, Jan. 2016. Web.
Holly, Russell. "Holocube by Merge VR Was the Coolest Surprise from CES." Android Central. N.p., 09 Jan. 2017. Web.
Merge Labs Inc. "HOLO CUBE | Merge VR | Virtual Reality, Powered by Your Smartphone." Merge VR. N.p., n.d. Web.
Picture of CES. Digital image. Panasonic Newsroom Global. Panasonic, Jan. 2012. Web.
Stein, Scott. "We Held the Mysterious Holo Cube and Survived." CNET. N.p., 05 Jan. 2017. Web.

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