Virtual reality headset recreates England rugby squad training experience

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headset. earphonesO2 and the England rugby team announce Wear the Rose, a “360-degree virtual reality sports experience” placing the wearer within the England Elite Player Squad

Using the Oculus Rift headset, fans will be immersed in a “multi-sensory take-over and feel as though they are part of the Senior England Rugby Team”.

The experience is designed to place the viewer within a training session on the pitch, participating in genuine drills directed by England Attacking Skills Coach Mike Catt, and featuring team talks from Captain Chris Robshaw.

Headset wearers will also feel what it’s like to be tackled by hooker Tom Youngs, or receive a pass from fullback Mike Brown.

Wear the Rose was created by using nine GoPro Hero 3 cameras in a custom built gimble, specifically designed to exploit the capabilities of the Oculus Rift 3D headset.

After developing the technology to capture the video, it took a further 160 hours of filming and 320 hours of development to create an experience that allows users to turn their head in any direction, with the content responding and moving in unison, displaying a full 360-degree visual spectrum.

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‘iPotty’ is Pure Crap, Says Child Consumer Group

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The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has officially selected the ‘iPotty’ (from CTA Digital) as the worst toy of 2013.

In case you’re wondering, the iPotty consists of a basic potty setup, but with the added innovation of a stand for holding an iPad (apparently an aid to toilet training). I’m also assuming that there is an app. There’s always an app.

Once the infant is placed on the potty, the iPad can be rotated 360 degrees around the seat on its stand, meaning that the device can be switched between vertical and horizontal views. The iPotty even has a protective touchscreen for use in case of…Well, you get the idea.

However, that’s not all. You’d think it would be, but it isn’t. The iPotty also has a clip-on cover that converts it into a regular seat, so your child can enjoy a quiet, insular, sedentary activity in the exact same place they just took a dump.

The CCFC’s TOADY (Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young children) award, a dubious honour that the group bestows upon the worst toy released over a 12-month period, is a rather damning indictment of the iPotty’s usefulness.

Despite being described by its manufacturers as a “comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty”, the CCFC’s Michelle Salcedo said that, “Children should be aware of the cues in their bodies as they learn. This toy takes this social/emotional focus out of the process and substitutes the hypnotism of a screen,” CCFC voter Alex Reynard added that the iPotty, “not only reinforces unhealthy overuse of digital media, it’s aimed at toddlers. We should NOT be giving them the message that you shouldn’t even take your eyes off a screen long enough to pee.”

He’s got a point.

According to the CCFC, potty training ought to be a time of positive interaction between child and parents. Sigmund Freud also famously suggested that potty training is a vitally important time for the development of a child’s psychology.

The iPotty is available online for about £30, but the iPad itself will need to be sourced separately (they start at about £400, so I’d suggest instructing your child to read a book instead, like the rest of us do).

Evidently, a parent did not design this device, as any parent knows that it is hard enough to get your child to focus on the task at hand in the first place, without throwing a few levels of ‘Angry Birds’ into the mix as well.

Amazingly, were CTA Digital to have marketed this product to a certain variety of adult, I personally believe that it would have been very popular indeed.

Anyway, that’s all from me this year!

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