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The Next Generation of Virtual Reality (VR) and Rise of the Internet of Pets (IoP)

Posted 8 January 2016 11:30 AM by Ivy Chang @MoxieUSA, @ivyjchang

Every year people from across the globe clamor to CES to see the latest and greatest innovations from tech companies. As Moxie’s Ivy Chang wandered its floors yesterday, she got a firsthand look at the next generation of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and also happened upon an unexpected discovery, the Internet of Pets.

Virtual Reality Gets More Movement

Virtual reality (VR) is looking to take off in 2016 — and in a very real-world way. Samsung Gear VR headsets sold out over the holidays, and Oculus finally opened pre-orders for its Rift headsets at the price of $599. And while we have been impressed by the capabilities of all of these headsets over the past year, we cannot help but wonder: What is next for VR?

Every next generation VR headset on display had incorporated spatial mapping and hand tracking. Startup uSens, Inc. built in infrared cameras so that users could see their hands and control elements within the experience. South Korea’s brightest technology star, Samsung, integrated hand-motion controllers to add gesture controls. And Taiwan’s HTC is using external cameras to help with spatial tracking. As remarkable as these innovations are, the biggest player in VR is clearly Sony with its PlayStation VR.

Sony has introduced a technology that it has donned “the Move motion controller,” a hybrid device that simulates hands in the VR world and allows users to interact with virtual objects or fire weapons in games. What’s really helping Sony lead the VR field is its numbers: It has sold nearly 36 million PS4 consoles for $349 globally — and every single one is capable of running PlayStation VR. Sony’s VR headset is predicted to sell 1.9 million units in 2016. Game on, Sony. Game on.

The Rise of the IoP (Internet of Pets)

In a world where everyone and everything is connected, it is only natural to get our furry companions connected as well. There were several pet tech companies that focused on the Internet of Pets — products designed to help pets and their owners stay connected.

PetBot allows owners to observe and interact with their pets via their smartphones. Owners can call their pets, play music for them, automatically record videos, take pictures of them and even dispense treats.

A self-described “connected accessory,” WonderWoof’s BowTie is an activity-tracking device for our canine companions that is as innovative as it is fashion forward. It monitors your dog’s daily activity based on size, breed and age. In the future, WonderWoof will be launching beacons that can be placed around your house to help you determine your dog’s location and if he/she is eating and drinking normally.

For many owners, pets are like kids. As we continue to get progressively more and more connected, smart technology companies are finding ways to help us bring our pets into the family’s digital fold.

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