It’s almost difficult to really nail down which story has dominated the mobile news headlines for this week, but I’d certainly elevate the HTC One M8 launch and the impending purchase of Oculus Rift by Facebook as two stories that defined this particular moment in history.
Let’s start with the Oculus Rift buy out, which took most commentators completely off guard. By late Monday night we’d discovered that Zuckerberg and co had agreed to a 2 Billion US Dollar purchase of the Virtual Reality headset developer. Here’s a taste of what Mark had to say:
“This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but Entire experiences and adventures.
…One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.”
Let’s just say the reaction from the developer side was far from enthusiastic, with many developers out-right refusing to continue with the project under Facebook’s stewardship…
In terms of purely mobile hardware, the new and updated HTC One Smartphone launch, despite being one of the leakiest launches in recent history, still got plenty of attention, and deservedly so as the HTC One (M8) will surely prove to be a real contender in the battle for 5” Smartphone supremacy throughout the year.
The HTC One (M8) is larger than its 4.7” predecessor at 5”, has an updated Snapdragon 801 SoC, a larger battery 2,600mAh battery and most interestingly a dual rear camera array that pairs a 4MP camera with a depth sensor that allows users to adjust focus and add 3D effects to photos – from what we’ve seen so far, it looks fantastic. Of course, as soon as the HTC One arrived, it was the subject of a teardown, so if you want to see its guts, you now can. Check out our HTC One unboxing and comparison videos.
HTC almost tried to outdo itself this week in terms of leaks, with new shots and details of the forthcoming HTC Desire 616 Smartphone, a mid-range 5” device that runs on Mediatek Octa-core MT6592 chip. The new HTC Desire 616 is expected sometime in May of this year.
This week also learned that Sony is managing expectations in terms of supply and demand for its forthcoming Xperia Z2 Smartphone, i.e. the demand is high, so the supply may be a bit slow. We also learned about NVIDIA’s new Jetson TK1 development kit which it describes as the world’s first mobile supercomputer. Based on the same tech that power the extreme Titan graphics cards (just a lot slower), the dev-kits are aimed at embedded systems including robotics, auto vehicular and human simulation projects – imagine a Rasberry Pi on steroids.