Unity 5.1 adds Native Oculus Rift Support

Unity is one of the largest game engines around. The platform already supports a wide range of target technology, Windows and Linux PC’s, Macs, Android phones and tablets and iOS devices.

Virtual reality will never get off the ground without the availability of tools to make things with. Unity realised this too and one of their offerings from the newly released Unity 5.1 is native Oculus Rift support with optimized pipeline for virtual reality and augmented reality.

To further embrace the future of VR they will also be adding native support for other platforms in the near future, these include Microsoft Hololens and Gear VR. If you are interested in developing anything for these headsets there are third-party SDKs out there to help you get started.

Many games have already been developed for the Oculus Rift with Unity, this native support should see a lot more being developed in the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries?list=PLX2vGYjWbI0S7YMIXT44gD4txxfA6F_ng&w=560&h=315

The improvements don’t just stop there though. Version 5.1 also adds the Unity Multiplayer Service. This makes building new multiplayer games a lot more simple. This new service adds Matchmaking and Relay servers which makes connection and firewall issues less common as the relay server sends traffic between the client and servers. These changes are only currently in the preview stage, but the full launch shouldn’t be too far off.

Personally I am expecting great things from Unity in the near future. They are only just getting their toes wet in the whole VR world at the moment, I expect they will be diving in much deeper over the next few updates.

Android 5.1 Officially Announced

Google first announced that Android 5.1 is coming on Android One, giving a lot of reference to the software and stating that it is targeting developing countries. Now, the company has officially announced Android 5.1 via the Android blog .

At first glance, the latest Android seems to bring minor updates. However, Google states that it will be serving to “improves stability and performance” over 5.0. Aside from the latter, Android 5.1 also comes with support for multiple SIM slots and HD voice, along with a new security feature named Device Protection.

Google’s Device Protection feature seems to be working similar to Apple’s security measure, having it in place in case the phone is lost and stolen. Users are required to sign into their Google accounts to unlock the device and the protection survives even if the handset suffers a factory reset.

While we know that Google will be rolling out Android 5.1, we still do not know exactly when. However, AOSP and Nexus devices should be the first handsets to receive the latest update.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Synology Releases DiskStation Manager 5.1 OS

Synology has just released their DiskStation Manager (DSM) version 5.1, the latest version of Synology’s NAS operating system. After about 6 weeks of public beta testing and user feedback, Synology was ready to roll out the update without the beta tag.

I’ve tested the DSM 5.1beta myself and it is awesome. Synology have added a lot of new features and improvements, enough that many other companies would have gone up a whole number on the version to 6.0 instead of just a fraction and going from 5.0 to 5.1.

Synology have added a lot of improved security features such as the Security Advisor that analyzes your settings and will let you know if you got any weak points. Another added feature is the AppArmor that checks for malicious programs and blocks them from accessing unauthorized resources as well as the introduction of digital signatures on packages, to check against tampering.

Having a private cloud-service is great, but sometimes you’ll want to sync with public offerings as well. Synology now supports OneDrive, Box, hubiC, Azure, SFT and hicloud. Additionally, the new explore feature in Glacier Backup allows you to browse and retrieve single files from Amazing Glacier.

While speaking of online functions, DSM 5.1 also has a built-in Proxy Server to increase security and speed up your local internet browsing by  caching and filtering as well as authentication options. The File Station also allows for remote FTP and WebDAV connections and the new CardDav server allows you to synchronize all your contacts across compatible devices.

Another noteworthy new feature is the Note Station and DS Note. A web-based note system stored on your own NAS that allows you to have a synchronized location for all your notes and access them from all devices either via the web or one Synology’s apps. Video Station, Photo Station and Audio Station also got upgrades and updates on the functionality and their mobile apps.

Enterprises can look forward to the NFS Full File Clone and NFS Reserve Space to dramatically boost virtual machine storage performance. SSD reading cache is supported all the way down to one disk that increases the cost efficiency of your storage device.

Synology DiskStation Manager 5.1 is available for download now and of course it’s a free upgrade for anyone. The new DSM version is compatible with DiskStation and RackStation x11 or newer. If you’d like to test it before you apply it to your own NAS, you can head over to the official page and try out the live demo, or just download it right away.

Thanks to Synology for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Synology

Roccat Kave XTD True 5.1 PC Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


The Roccat Kave XTD has been one of my most anticipated headset ever. Not only was the original Kave 5.1 headset was nothing short of incredible, but the new one promises to improve on many aspects of the previous model. I first got hands on with this headset at CES 2014 last January, and I’ve been wanting to really put it through its paces ever since. With Roccat having a rock solid reputation for making some of the best performing, feature packed and stylish gaming products the PC market has ever seen, I have very high expectations of the Kave XTD.

The Kave XTD 5.1 headset really stands out from the crowd, mostly because it is a true surround headset in a sea of headsets that offer virtual surround technology. There are barely a few great headsets out there that can do an above average job of virtual surround. To my ears, virtual surround is a tacked on software gimmick to what is still just a stereo headset. The difference between a true surround headset and a virtual one can be profound and it will be great to hear if Roccat has gotten it right with their 5.1 configuration. This is achieved by having three drivers in each ear cup, that’s two 40mm drivers and a 30mm vibrational driver. That last part is the most exciting, and well get to why very soon.

“Nobody does it like ROCCAT. With two 40mm driver units and one 30mm vibration unit per ear cup, a fully immersive, genuine surround sound experience with pitch-perfect crisp and clear audio is ensured. The Kave XTD 5.1 Digital’s three high-end driver units are aligned precisely at a 12° angle, matching the natural form of your ear. This alignment provides a real – not virtual – 5.1 surround environment in which you can pinpoint enemy locations easily, giving you the edge over your opponents.” read the Roccat website.

Roccat is well-known for their extensive feature sets and the Kave XTD is no exception. Aside from real 5.1 audio, the XTD also features a high quality multi-channel sound card, USB connection, Bluetooth smartphone pairing, a desktop remote and a noise cancelling microphone. Aside from the extra features, the core hardware is pretty robust too, with powerful drivers, a very good quality microphone and a lightweight 335gr design.

The packaging is really nicely designed, there is a side window that gives you a sneaky peak at the headsets design and there are a few details of the features scattered around the box.

Around the back we have a more detailed run down of the extra features, as well as another side window on the box, giving you a view of the desktop remote / sound card unit.

Optical Output On Xbox One Limited To Stereo Only

The Xbox One has literally just become available, however there is news going around that anyone with a surround sound headset will not be able to use them to their full potential at this moment in time. This is going to be severely bad news for a large number of people who own a high-end headset from the likes of Turtle Beach and Tritton to name only a couple as the new consoles optical output will only support two channel audio until an unknown date.

Albert Panello, the Director of Product Planning at Microsoft has made a statement that indicates that there will be an update coming in the future that will unload the full Dolby capability of the optical output, thus allowing surround headsets to run at their full potential. In the statement, he did specify however that if you were to own a Dolby only HDMI receiver then you should be able to get uncompressed 5.1 or 7.1 sound to your speakers as this has been made available.

“Dolby Digital is coming post launch. This was a SW scheduling issue pure and simple, and I know people are disappointed, but we will have it. Anyone with a HDMI receiver should be fine, as we pass the uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 through HDMI as well as DTS. Even if you have a Dolby only HDMI receiver, you will still get 5.1 or 7.1 sound since those receivers should accept uncompressed surround. For the Dolby only headsets, my understanding is that these will work but you will only get stereo audio since we only pass Stereo and DTS through the optical port. I have not tested this myself, but I’m told it works. Regardless, I understand this is an inconvenience, but again we’re going to have Dolby coming.”

There is not any mention as to why full surround capability has been left out from the Xbox’s optical jack and there could be a number of reasons why, but there is the reassurance giving that it will be coming – we just don’t know when this will be at this moment in time.

With the battle against the PS4 just kicking off, there is the possibility that there will be some disgruntled customers who can’t use their existing hardware to its full capabilities, however this will become clear over the next week or so.

Source: Tweaktown

SpeedLink Medusa NX 5.1 Headset Review

Today is the turn of a headset, but from a company you have probably not heard of much or even at all, in fact excluding this one recent news story then they have not been mentioned on this site. This is mainly due to them being very focused on their own German market.

That is not to say they are a small company, in fact Speedlink have one of the largest collections of products I have ever seen. To put this into perspective under ‘Headsets’ they have 31 different products – although several are the same model in different colours, this is still a lot of products.

Speedlink have  included a nice, circular, carry bag, and as the headset is fold-able it should fit in easily.

This headset is a full 5.1 headset and so we expect it to have a good collection of cables, as such the Medusa NX has front, rear, centre/subwoofer and microphone jacks.

There is also a USB connector to provide  power for the headset, although SpeedLink do make a fully-USB version of this headset.

As we would expect with this type of headset, there is also an in-line remote with plenty of options. This side has 1 on/off switch and two volume controls for the Centre speakers and the Bass Vibration.

 

The other side of the remote has 2 more volume controls for the Front and Rear channels, each control goes from 0 to 10.

Moving to the headset itself, we find a flexible microphone that includes noise cancelling technology for crystal-clear voice transmission.

Each ear cup rotates 90 degrees outwards and folds inwards making them very easy to store away which is especially useful for gamers who take their own peripherals to LAN parties for instance.

The ear cups are made of a soft fabric style padding which make them extremely comfortable to wear especially for long periods of time.

The headband is also well padded, and is fairly springy to help it fold up into a smaller space, perfect for fitting it into the carry case. They have also made it fairly obvious that its made by speedlink due to the rather large lettering on top.

The first thing we did when we got this headset, after plugging it in, was to sit down and watch a good film. This was to test the surround sound and sound quality aspects of the headset, as well as the general comfort and usability of the headset. We then tested this headset during several skype conversations to check the quality of the headsets’ microphone and the noise cancellation system.

The surround sound of this headset is very impressive, and while not the best we have tried it is certainly in the same league. Due to the use of 4 speakers in each ear cup the headset is able to produce a fairly encompassing sound which during films and games allows you to know exactly where the sound is coming from. It did however feel that everything was very close, as if you had 5.1 surround sound set-up in a very small room, or you were fighting in a broom cupboard, the range and depth of sound was just not there when compared with other headsets. The sound quality was also fairly good with a nice tone and decent balance of bass, although when needed the bass can really pack a punch which is very impressive for this size headset.

We also found that the noise cancellation and microphone worked well together and that during skype conversations we were heard very clearly, although we found it very easy to knock the microphone out of place as it rotates a bit too easily. The flexibility of the microphone is certainly useful as you can literally get it into any position you want.

In terms of comfort we found the Medusa Headset really excels, compared to other full 5.1  headsets it is extremely light and so after a few minutes you do forget you are wearing a headset. The ear pads are just the right size that they support some of the weight without crushing your ear and still block some of the external noises.

The price of this headset makes this one of the best value headsets we have ever seen and tested here at eTeknix. For just £48.60 you can have the full surround sound experience which does have pinpoint precision and impressive sound quality as well as punchy bass and full control over each channel. A perfect peripheral for everyones computer demands, whether a serious gamer or just wanting to enjoy films without annoying the neighbours, and at this price, we really couldn’t knock it.