Archive for 2019

By July 15, 2019 Read More →

The most popular VR games on mobile

(Image via https://twitter.com/SocialVRChat)

Mobile phone gaming is a part of most people’s everyday lives these days, with the huge technological advancements in this area helping create a device that is not only capable of making the dreaded call to your in-laws, but also having the ability to pass the time by playing one of the millions of amazing mobile phone games on offer.

One such genre of gaming that has come to the fore more recently and appears to have created quite a buzz is virtual reality gaming or, as it’s better known as, VR gaming. With the emergence of VR and the ability to bring it to the masses, we have seen some excellent creations hit our mobile phone screens in what really is a golden age for mobile phone gaming.

Of course the traditional, more simple gems will always hold a special place in our hearts and have a huge following, such as blackjack, where you can even find a casino that accepts blackjack players from South Africa, and the likes of poker, pool and solitaire, but the gaming genre is forever changing and developing, with new propositions being put in front of our eyes all the time. VR gaming is now one of them.

As this genre becomes more prominent, we thought we’d take a look at some of the more memorable VR games that have been released on our mobile phones so far.

Arizona Sunshine

A lengthy VR experience, Arizona Sunshine is a game which involves a fair bit of exploring, but in a zombie-infested Wild West. So yes, it’s fairly jumpy and pretty damn scary at times. It’s a truly epic way to experience VR, though, as you teleport yourself around the environment and cover great distances without motion sickness. Arizona Sunshine feels like a glimpse further into the future and what VR games might eventually become, mainly because of its full-length virtual reality experience.

Minecraft VR

Everyone has heard of Minecraft, right? Since its introduction into the world of mobile phones too, this complete and utter classic has gone down a storm with its extremely loyal and vast fanbase. As soon as the world’s most popular block-em-up finally arrived on VR, gamers were all over it. Whether you’re running away from creepers in the dead of night or burrowing into the landscape like a goggle-wearing, pickaxe-wielding mole, Minecraft is a game well worth trying on VR.

Star Trek: Bridge Crew

(Image via https://twitter.com/avitalkochetov)

One of the more social VR games, Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a game in which you and three other gamers join forces to pilot a Federation starship from the long running Star Trek franchise. A must-play for every diehard ‘trekkie’ out there, this game is an enjoyable experience which can be shared with friends. There is a single player mode feature in the game, but this one is probably best played with your pals. A major plus with this game is that it is available via cross-platform play too, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the same headset as your friends.

Subnautica

Subnautica comes across as your typical diving game until you realise that everything, from the fish to the sun, is unrecognisable. A survival game on a distant ocean world, players are tasked with crafting equipment, piloting submarines, and terraforming the aquatic undersea for humankind. All this, whilst surviving hostile wildlife, volcanoes, and aircraft-sized jellyfish. Any downsides? The game isn’t made specifically for VR, meaning the support is fairly limited, but it’s still a fantastic game which is well worth a play or two, that’s for sure.

Posted in: Editorial, gaming
By May 10, 2019 Read More →

The Best Tech to Aid Relaxation

The average 21st century lifestyle is fairly hectic. We work hard and play hard, and this can prove problematic when it comes to relaxing and unwinding.

Thankfully, there are some great gadgets out there to help you chill out, even when you’re at your most stressed. Here’s a round-up.

The tech you need to relax

  • White noise machines. Sleep is integral to good health. After a bad night’s sleep, it’s much harder to be productive at work, which ramps up stress levels. Then guess what happens? You get another poor-quality night’s sleep. If this sounds familiar, consider a white noise machine (or even a white noise app on your phone). There’s something about the monotonous hum that helps even chronic insomniacs to nod off.
  • Eye massager mask. If you’ve been staring at a screen all day, it’s likely that your eyes might feel sore and tired. Of course, the classic ‘slice of cucumber’ trick does help, but if you’re looking for real relaxation and indulgence, invest in an eye massager mask. These clever devices use air pressure to stimulate circulation and reduce puffiness – and you’ll look better after using it too, which is an added bonus.
  • Scent diffusers. It’s time to ditch the classic ‘reed in a bottle’ diffuser and welcome scent with a technological twist. AromaCare is an excellent example, as it uses scent-pods (plus an app) to blend various ingredients; producing a fragrance that relaxes and calms you. Presumably it can also be used to recreate your favourite aftershaves, like Creed Aventus or One Million!
  • Head massager. Tech doesn’t always have to be expensive. A head massager can be picked up for just a few pounds, and it provides hours of ultra-indulgent scalp-rubbing, which is particularly welcome if you’ve got a pounding headache after work. There are other variants of this massager too, such as devices that cater for knotted back-muscles or tense shoulders.
  • Smart earplugs. If you find distracting noises stressful (either at work or at home), some smart earplugs might be the solution. They fill your ears with relaxing sounds, such as rainfall and forest noises, for several hours at a time.
  • Smart lighting. It’s important, in these eco-aware times, to choose lighting that saves energy. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without ambience. Smart lighting can be adjusted with just a few presses of your phone-screen, creating a warmer, more inviting environment to relax in.
  • HeadSpace app. Thousands of people swear by HeadSpace. This humble app gets you into the habit of doing mindful meditation each day, while teaching you how to become calmer and more relaxed in your daily routine. There’s a subscription fee involved, but given how many people rave about it, it might be worth the cost.
  • Salt lamp. According to the hype, salt lamps not only provide a wonderfully soothing amber glow, but they also cleanse the air around you, and deodorise the environment. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure; there’s something incredibly tranquil about reading with a salt lamp beside you.
Posted in: Editorial
By April 16, 2019 Read More →

How to Regularly Save Money on Technology

Technology has the power to entertain, boost a person’s productivity levels, and can help people to communicate from across different corners of the globe.

However, different devices can also cost a substantial amount of money to run throughout the years. Fortunately, there are many great ways to reduce your expenditure each month.

If you want to reduce your outgoings on various gadgets and technology services, read the below top tips on how to regularly save money on technology.

Select a Sim-Only Deal

Rather than paying a considerable amount of money each month for a smartphone and sim package, you should select an affordable sim-only deal. By doing so, you will only pay a small amount for a mobile phone contract each month, which can reduce your monthly outgoings.

As a result, you can use your existing phone or find a better smartphone deal for your budget elsewhere. To lower your household bills, find out more about cheap sim only deals.

Sell Your Old Gadget

Instead of allowing your old smartphones, cameras, laptops or another gadget to gather dust in a drawer or cupboard, sell the items online. For example, you could earn a hundred pounds or more for an unwanted digital camera or computer, and you could use the money to pay for your next gadget.

Switch to Online Streaming

TV subscription packages can be rather expensive, and it is likely you only use a small number of the channels available. If so, consider making the switch to an online streaming service, such as:

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Now TV
  • Amazon Prime

Each is available for a fraction of a TV subscription package, so the money saved can be added into your savings account or can pay for a household bill.

Save on Storage with Online File Sharing Services

Instead of opting for a smartphone with a large memory or buying a USB hard drive, utilise the many online file sharing services available. For example, Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, while Dropbox offers 2GB. Plus, you can upgrade your account for a small, monthly amount, with different options to suit your needs and budget.

So, whenever your device becomes overloaded with images, files and videos, you can send the documents to the flexible online sharing platform, which you can access on any device with an internet connection.

Gain Access to Free Books on Stanza

If you class yourself as a bookworm, it is likely you spend a considerable sum on classic novels and the latest bestsellers each year. After all, the likes of Amazon and iBook currently charge between 99p to £15 for a book. Rather than spending your hard-earned cash on books, download the Stanza app.

The free application is available on various iOS devices, such as an iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad. You can then gain access to more than 100,000 books, free of charge. It is a great way to make some serious savings on novels throughout the year.

Posted in: Editorial
By February 14, 2019 Read More →

The future of online gaming

From its humble origins with simple games such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, the gaming industry has developed out of all recognition and in 2019 is one of the global economy’s most dynamic and profitable sectors, providing employment, profit and entertainment for millions.

Technology harnessed by creativity has been the driver of development in the gaming industry over the last few decades, and gaming itself has evolved from a pastime enjoyed by a few dedicated players to a socially diverse and even fashionable pastime. Today, millions of gamers worldwide enjoy the latest titles on their phones, tablets, consoles and laptops, and rapidly developing technology has enabled the creation of stunning and immersive games that would astonish previous generations.

This pace of technological change and innovation in the gaming industry is unlikely to slow down over the next few years. Here are some of the gaming developments that we can look forward to.

Hyper-immersion

The immediate goal on the horizon for games developers is hyper-immersive gaming, achieved through the use of photorealistic graphics and virtual reality (VR). VR has been a hot topic in the gaming industry for a while now, but we are still at an early stage in utilising the technology. Once the various issues associated with hardware capabilities have been resolved, gamers can look forward to VR titles that will be able to produce graphics virtually identical to real life.

VR is also likely to have an increasing impact in one area of the thriving online casino industry. While casino gamers have become used to playing free video slots and traditional table games at their convenience, without having to visit a physical casino, the one weakness of online casino games is that they can’t capture the real atmosphere of a land-based casino. VR offers the possibility of putting online casino gamers into a virtual casino in which they can not only play their favourite games but also interact directly with other users.

Gaming goes open-source

For most of its history, the gaming industry has been dominated by big games producers that are able to amass the computing power and expertise required to produce the cutting-edge titles enjoyed by modern gamers. However, technology is changing that. The development of cheaper game production software, available on an open-source basis, has already started to change the games development landscape, and as it becomes easier for independent creators to produce their own titles, the result could be a new revolution in gaming innovation, and the possibility of users producing games to their own tastes.

Gaming takes to the cloud

Cloud technology has become increasingly prevalent and is likely to have a major impact on the way that gamers enjoy their favourite titles in future. As internet connections become ever faster, it will eventually be possible for gamers to play the latest games via the cloud on a wide range of devices without having to download any software. This will not only make gaming cheaper, but will also enable people to game without having to use a desktop PC or a games console.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is not a new technology, but we have so far scratched the surface of what it can do. The huge success achieved by Pokémon GO, which enabled players to hunt for Pokémon creatures superimposed on the real world using AR, gave an indication of how much demand there is for this type of gameplay, and it is likely that games developers will be looking for ways to use AR to enhance gameplay, perhaps through headsets or new games consoles.

Secondary gaming devices

One of the most interesting gaming developments is the use of secondary gaming devices. The most famous games console developers – Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony – are all producing or working on gaming adaptations that capitalise on the popularity of mobile gaming. The Wii U GamePad, the SmartGlass app, and the integration of Sony’s PS Vita with the PlayStation console, are all examples of gaming companies utilising multiple devices to enhance the player’s gaming experience, and this trend is likely to continue as new technologies come on stream.

Gaming into the future

For gamers, this is a golden age, as creativity and technology combine to produce previously unimaginable gaming experiences, and that same innovation promises an even more exciting future as the gaming world embraces and develops ever more sophisticated platforms.

Posted in: Editorial, gaming