Playstation® VR is the Most Comfortable (and Frightening) Way to Leave Your World Behind

October 29, 2016

A couple of weeks ago I tried out Playstation's latest Virtual Reality headset for PS4. The headset itself was lightweight and extremely comfortable! Bravo guys - finally something I don't mind wearing.

That being said, it is very clear that the headset was not designed for someone with a lot of hair. As you can see in this photo below, any hairstyle is doomed to be pressed and flattened down, and it's also quite painful when a few flyaway strands get stuck in the headset's plastic casing.


The set itself came with Playstations® signature wands, that look pretty silly and are not the best tools for manipulating virtual objects. This will take some getting-used to.


I moved through all of the demo games, some of them requiring these little balloon wands and others needing the dualshock® control. It was really a new and incredible way to game. A full 360 degree playing experience quickly became addictive as I was completely immersed in a virtual world.


Some of the games were really cute and playful, a few of the demos spun like movie reels where you could sit back and watch, and others allowed you to move through the game and manipulate objects or interact with characters. 

It was all fun and games however, until I came to something called "The Kitchen". This was a secret demo to advertise the latest Resident Evil VR experience, but also one of the more virtually terrifying experiences of my life. 


As you sit to watch the demo, your characteris tied to a chair, completely weaponless, helpless and able to only shake tied hands up and down. These are pictures from the way an outside person might watch you play, but inside the VR game it is a completely realistic and terrifying experience. A bit borderline in terms of acceptable in my opinion. 

About 7 minutes in, I had to drop the controller and tear my headset off, extremely nervous that any further gameplay would actually harm my life (or at least give me unrecoverable nightmares). 



The Bellabeat Leaf - Full Review (Plus a Little Fall Fashion to Match)

October 18, 2016

The one thing that bothers me the most about wearable devices is the way they look, the second is the way they feel. It's fun to track my fitness, sleep activity, and more - but when I planned a trip up to Northern California for olive tasting and sightseeing, my main thought was:

Problem: No activity tracker will ever match this outfit, but I need to monitor my personal daily data patterns! 

Bella's Leaf amongst the leaves turned out to be quite a camo choice for functional jewlery


You can see it in detail here, this was actually before I learned the proper way to tie it around the wrist. The device came with a long heavy silver chain (very heavy and uncomfortable) and this neutral leather strap. The strap was overly complex to tie and ensure the tracker stayed firm to the wrist. I hacked together what you see here in order to keep it on.


For a hot day in northern California I also had to make sure it was completely sweat-proof. The leather band wasn't ideal, but not too uncomfortable. Here are the pros and cons of the tracker:

Pros:

  • Great marketing! 
Yes this is a pro, without it I wouldn't have known there was a Fitbit® alternative out here. I was practically ads-bombed on Facebook but TBH didn't really mind it.
  • It doesn't look that bad ... 
So the current wearables market is littered with devices that are so hideous and huge, bloated with useless features, that its exciting when something new comes out.
  • Key differentiator stands out
For Bellabeat, the key differentiator was that it tracked activity, sleep, STRESS, and ..  women's periods. In other words, they did not attempt a 'This will fit everyone' model,  and my hopes began to soar. Stress tracking seemed especially useful. That being said, this brings me to the cons.

Cons:

  •  False advertising
The Bella offers a lot of 'differentiators' but at the end of the day, its the same Bluetooth Low-Energy device that connects to your phone. I'll admit that I was totally tricked with 'bella - beat', convinced that it was linked to your heartrate. (How else to measure stress?) 

After further use, I found heartbreak after finding out there was no real key differentiator. The stress is just assumed after it sees how much sleep you got and fitness was snuck into your day. (Also if you tapped the button to tell it you'd started your period. A very unfortunate way to track... completely manual.)

  • Bulky! 

First - it is nowhere as delicate as an actual leaf. Heavy, bulky, it kept getting caught on things - and as much as I wanted to wear it to bed to test- I couldn't comfortably sleep with it on..


Out With the Old, in with the New - A Headphone Recommendation Retraction

October 5, 2016

So back in January, I thought that I'd met and fell in love with the world's perfect pair of headphones. Parrot Zik by Philippe Starck promised to have the best sound quality, technology, and a phenomenal accompanying app. (Previous post here) However, after wearing everyday for just half a year, my beautiful headphones began a speedy decay, until eventually, there was nothing left but a slight ringing when I turned on any audio.

Visual of what happened to my gorgeous headphones after only a short period of time:


     Look fine from the outside...


Parrot Zik 2.0 after only months of use.



So now it is time to find my next pair of headphones. My only requirements are the following (in this order):

  1. Bluetooth connectivity is a must - this is especially important for listening to audio books as I clean the house. My only entertainment during this inevitable task, I can't have a cord getting in the way of my dusting or a phone falling out of my pocket while vacuuming under the couch.
  2. Good sound quality - it doesn't have to be club-level ready, but I appreciate  good sound when my favorite songs come on and I definitely don't want to have to subject my hearing to damage from needing to turn the volume up on high.
  3. Comfort with Aesthetic appeal - ok so they have to be a little cute (I am a product designer) and comfortable enough to wear over glasses, while running, and during an 8-hour workday.
So to start, I contacted my favorite gadget rental place, Lumoid.com, to see what the most recent must-haves in audio were available to try out. The three I chose were the following (from top left): 
  • Sennheiser Momentum Over Ears
  • Master & Dynamic MH40 in Black Metal/Black Leather
  • Harman Kardon Soho Wireless in White (I'd ordered black but they only had white available)

The runners-up.

After only two weeks, I was surprised to find the winner was Harman Kardon Soho Wireless! All I can say about the others, is bulky..heavy..and just far too big. While the sound quality of all was fairly decent, the Harman Kardon's came through with flying colors whether connected via bluetooth (great noise-cancellation for the size, very surprising) or connected via the cord for long airplane rides.

Finally, these were the only pair of headphones that made it to Milan with me. Pictured below, you can see how the size fits my face perfectly, and the white adds a nice feminine touch.


Now, before you go out and buy these, I'm going to continue to test for a few months to see if any quality issues arise.

Latest on Instagram

© Technically Sweet. Design by FCD.