The long wait is almost over. Back in 2013, the original Kickstarter campaign raised $2.5 million and ever since we've been waiting for the consumer version. Well, now the Oculus Rift Is Available For Preorder ($599). It was initially expected to start shipping in March, but due to the high demand, it looks like June is a better bet at the moment. Initially, the headset will ship to 20 countries, and there will also be a small set of retailers who will have demo units starting in April.Before preordering you'll want to make sure you PC is "Oculus Ready". You'll need at least an NVIDIA GTX 970 or equivalent video card, an Intel i5-4590 or better processor, 8gm of RAM, an HDMI 1.3 video output, 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 PORT, and OS Windows 7 SP1 64 bit or newer. If you don't have the right gear, they're offering PC's for sale from other companies and in February, they'll be offering a Rift/PC bundle starting at $1499.Not everything is so rosie. The touch controller that enables users to interact with objects in VR won't be shipping with the headset. They don't expect it to be ready until the second half of this year. Instead, the rift will ship with a Xbox controller and two games.
Bang & Olufsen, is known for great sounding, high end, contemporary speaker systems. They've now released the Belolab 14 ($4400) at a lower price floor than their usual offerings. The Belolab 14 is an all-in-one, wireless speaker system that includes a 280 watt eight-inch subwoofer. In the same sub enclosure you also have 5 x 140 watt class D amplifiers for the five individually powered satellite speakers. Each of the speakers has a milled aluminum frame and can be either wall or stand mounted. The specs say the sats use a 2.5" driver. I haven't seen a frequency response for these speakers and I'd be real interested to see how much of the spectrum they cover. If you have a Bang & Olufsen TV you can also get their 4.1 system for $4000 and use the TVs speaker as the center. The Beolab 14 will be available at local retailers in June.
Superman is coming to a theater near you, and Dodge Ram is coming along for the ride. The two powerhouses teamed up and created the Dodge Ram Superman Man of Steel Truck ($TBA). The truck will be available for viewing in New York City during the movie's premier. The truck actually looks cool enough for Superman to drive. It features a dark ceramic gray, wrapped in a special vinyl to mimic Superman's suit. The grill has anodized red accents and the Superman logo is attached to the front grille, the rear hatch and interior seating. Pretty much everywhere you would have seen the Ram logo. If you really want to get your hands on this guy the truck will be auctioned off to charity after its road trip to support the movie.
If you love the great outdoors, the Volkswagen California Camper ($TBA) is the car for you with seating for up to seven people, and room for five people to sleep. It’s packed full of clever features such as a pop top roof complete with LED lighting, a sink and a dual-burner gas range. Backed by the reliable Volkswagen technology, the California Camper is sure to be a huge hit for anyone with a sense of adventure.
Colonel Chris Hadfield spent decades training to be an astronaut and has now logged almost 4000 hours in space. There have been some strange times through his journey, such as when using only his Swiss army knife he broke into a space station, disposed of a live snake while at the controls of a plane and was temporarily blinded whilst he was clinging to the outside of an orbiting space craft. The secret of Colonel Hadfield's success, and his survival, is the unconventional philosophy which he learned from NASA : "prepare for the worst and enjoy every moment of it". In An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth ($28) Col. Hadfield takes us on the kind of journey most of us only dream about; training to be an astronaut, exploring space and learning how the impossible can be made possible. One of the best books you will ever read, period.
The New Balance 574's are one of my favorite silhouettes by the brand. Common out of UK now has a cool new colorway available in the iconic shoe. The New Balance 574 - ML574RSU Yellow ($116) utilizes three shades of yellow gradually getting to a burnt orange as you go towards the rear of the shoe. The uppers are made form suede and nylon underlays, while the logo is in leather. Everything sits on a white midsole and tan outersole. These Yellow 574's are available for purchase today.