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Oculus Quest update adds fitness tracker app, and Quest 2 gets 90Hz games

oculusmovescreenshot1.png

Oculus Move is a fitness-tracking app to look at how much you’ve been working out in VR.


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Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR platform has continued adding updates over the past year and a half, but its latest one could turn it into a full-fledged workout ecosystem for the winter. The Oculus Quest 2 is also getting visual upgrades to support 90Hz refresh rates in games and for PC use. It’s all part of a software update announced today.

Oculus Move, a new fitness dashboard that tracks movement and estimated calorie burn across multiple VR exercise apps, will be rolling out next week as part of a Quest and Quest 2 software update. Move was announced earlier this fall at Facebook’s virtual Connect conference during the launch of the Quest 2.

Oculus Quest 2

Scott Stein/CNET

The newest software update will also unlock smoother 90Hz VR support in the Quest 2 for games that choose to take advantage. The first games with updates, according to Facebook, will be Superhot, Echo VR, Beat Saber, Vacation Simulator, Job Simulator, Racket: Nx and Space Pirate Trainer. 

90Hz VR is the standard for PC VR, and the Quest and Quest 2 can already work as PC VR headsets with a USB-C cable. That PC-connected feature, called Oculus Link, is also getting 90Hz support on the Quest 2.


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Oculus Quest update adds 90Hz support for games, built-in fitness tracker

The platform-wide 90Hz refresh rate support the Oculus team promised for the Quest 2 has arrived. Oculus has rolled out a major software upgrade for the Quest, and it’ll enable Home, Guardian and Passthrough to run at 90Hz by default. It also means 90Hz gaming on the VR headset— in fact, the Facebook-owned subsidiary is now allowing developers to start shipping Quest titles with native 90Hz support. Existing VR games like SUPERHOT, Echo VR, Beat Saber, Vacation Simulator, Job Simulator, Racket: Nx and Space Pirate Trainer will also be updated with 90Hz capability in the near future.

Oculus shipped the Quest 2 headset with 72Hz refresh rates. Before this update, you could only opt into the 90Hz mode for the Home Environment, Explore, Store, Browser and Oculus TV through the platform’s Experimental Features pane. Now that 90Hz is officially here, you can expect smoother VR experiences throughout, which could also mean lesser chances and fewer instances of motion sickness.

The team is also bringing 90Hz support to the Oculus Link, allowing you to toggle between 72Hz, 80Hz and 90Hz from the Oculus PC App. Oculus launched Link in 2019 to give you a way to connect a Quest headset to gaming PCs with a cable. By connecting to a PC, you’ll be able to access Rift experiences on the standalone VR headset. The feature has now moved out of beta and will be available more broadly.

In addition to enabling 90Hz gaming, the software update also brings Oculus Move to the Quest and Quest 2. Oculus Move, which Facebook first revealed in September, is a built-in fitness tracker for the platform that can help you track how may calories you’ve burned and how long you’ve been active while playing VR games like Beat Saber. It’ll roll out gradually, though, so you may need to wait a bit before it hits your device.

Oculus
Oculus

Finally, Oculus will release App Gifting later this month, letting you purchase games or experiences from the Oculus Store and then send them to a friend. To take advantage of the new feature, just look for the “Buy for a Friend” button on the website or find it in the more menu on the mobile app.

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Garmin launches smart new kids’ fitness tracker packed with fun games

Garmin has launched a new version of its kids’ fitness tracker, the VIvofit Jr 3, with a fresh look and a new set of games to make getting active more fun.

The Vivofit Jr 3 has a very different design to its predecessor, with a much larger face that measures 14.11 x 14.11mm (compared to 11 x 11mm for the Vivofit Jr 2). It can store two weeks of activity data (its predecessor could only keep four days’ worth), including not only steps, but also distance travelled. 

The Vivofit Jr 3 gives kids access to all the same games as the Vivofit Jr 2, letting them play on their phones and unlock new levels by completing physical challenges.

The new watch can also store emergency contact details, so they can be accessed quickly when necessary. It’s worth noting that the Vivofit Jr 3 isn’t capable of making calls though – instead, the In Case of Emergency (ICE) widget will show the name and phone number of a parent or guardian on the watch’s screen.

Price and availability

The new watch comes in seven different designs, including Marvel heroes and Disney princesses. Like the Vivofit Jr 2, it has a replaceable rather than a rechargeable battery, which should last up to a year before it needs to be changed.

The Vivofit Jr 3 is available to pre-order now direct from Garmin for $79.99 / £79.99/ AU$149, and  It’s available for dispatch immediately in the US, and should arrive in time for Christmas in the UK and Australia (Garmin says it will be available in the fourth quarter of 2020).

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HEALTH AND FITNESS: Hunger games | Features

One of the most powerful motivators we have is hunger. Seeking food when we are hungry is what allowed our ancestors to survive. For most of human history, finding the next meal could be arduous or even dangerous, so a strong physiological drive was necessary to make it happen. Now, though, the problem isn’t usually finding food, it’s having access to too much food. Unfortunately, the regulation of hunger in our brains hasn’t changed.

Hunger is an internal physiological drive to seek and eat food and is usually experienced as a negative sensation. When you are hungry you may be distracted when your stomach growls. Since most of us have a supply of food that is readily accessible, severe hunger is uncommon. But when people diet to lose weight, especially a restrictive diet, hunger can be a powerful signal to eat.

Often when we think we are hungry, it isn’t hunger at all – it’s our appetite. Appetite is a psychological, as opposed to physiological, sensation that drives us to eat. Hunger and appetite can work together, but not always. The sight or smell of food can trigger can increase our appetite even if we aren’t hungry. Appetite tends to be more specific, too. While hunger will drive you to eat pretty much any food, appetite usually pushes you to eat a certain food.

One of the reasons we overeat is because we confuse appetite with hunger. We may think we need to eat when we see a food advertisement on television or smell someone cooking, but we really don’t have a physiological need for nourishment. Think about eating dessert after dinner. You just ate a full meal, so you can’t possibly be hungry. But when you see the dessert tray you develop an appetite for something sweet, even though you don’t need it.

Satiation and satiety are two other factors that influence what you eat. Satiation is the feeling of satisfaction or fullness that signals the end of a meal. Satiety is the effect of one meal, including the amount and type of food you eat, on how much you eat later. You can use these biological factors to your advantage to help you eat less.

For example, if you eat quickly you will eat more food (and calories) before satiation occurs. If you eat more slowly, you may actually eat less before that same feeling of fullness occurs. Additionally, what you eat for breakfast will impact when you feel ready for lunch and how much you eat when you do. It turns out that protein has a greater effect on satiety that either carbohydrates or fat. If your breakfast is juice and a donut you are likely to feel hungry sooner compared to having something with protein, like yogurt or eggs.

Genetics also play an important role in what we eat. Research suggests that how much we eat and even our food preferences are controlled, at least to some extent, by genes. Of course, some of this has

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