Uber Snags NASA Engineer in Look at Flying Taxis; LG G6 Gets US Drop Date; Rumor-Apple VR Headset This Year

Uber has hired a former NASA engineer named Mark Moore for its Uber Elevate flying taxi project. According to thenextweb.com, Moore worked on feasibility of short haul helicopter type vehicles for urban flight while at NASA. It seems like a crazy wild idea, but hey….could happen, and would that ever revolutionize transportation!

It’s already been known that LG would show its G6 smartphone at Mobile World Congress February 26th. Now, venturebeat.com says it will launch in the US on April 7th, after rolling out in Korea March 9th. The April 7th drop date will give LG a head start on Samsung, which plans to launch the Galaxy S8 April 21st. Word is, the G6 will be the first non-Google phone to launch with Google Assistant.

Augmented and virtual reality evangelist Robert Scoble is saying Apple’s partnership with Carl Zeiss on smart glasses may put an Apple VR headset in the hands of consumers as soon as the middle of this year, or at the latest, next year! Appleinsider.com reports that he claims multiple sources at ‘the highest levels’. Scoble says he expects a very lightweight pair of glasses, with the electronics living elsewhere on the body, like in an iPhone or some other wearable. Zeiss already sells the VR One Plus, which is a headset that holds a user’s smartphone and converts it to a VR or AR system. Scoble is pretty optimistic on the timing…others Apple watchers, like KGI Securities, have said it will be another year and a half before Apple rolls out such a product.

Standalone Android VR Headset Coming; iPhone 7 Plus Will Have 2 Rear Cams; iTunes NOT Stopping Selling Downloads

Google will reportedly announce a standalone Android VR headset at I/O next week. Techcrunch.com says the untethered headset will be less powerful than the Vive or Rift, and it’s expected to come in at well under the $300 price point. Needless to say, it will cost more than the 15 bucks for a cardboard headset, but you need an Android phone to use that anyway.

Early rumors had a premium version of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus getting the dual rear camera setup, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities, all the Plus phones will come with the high end camera. According to theverge.com, the bigger handset will also have 3 gigs of ram in order to handle the image processing for the new cam. There’s still conflicting information as to if the Plus, or all iPhone 7’s or none will have the Smart Connector like the iPad Pro.

Apple put out a rare statement late yesterday dispelling a rumor that they planned to stop selling downloads over iTunes. Appleinsider.com says one rumor had Apple dropping downloads in 2 years, and another in 3-4. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said ‘not true.’

iPhones to Finally Get OLED Screens in 2017; Huawei VR Headset Coming

OLED screens are known to have more vivid blacks and better viewing in bright sunlight, and have been used by many smartphone makers for years. Now, according to 9to5mac.com, Apple has cut a deal worth some 2-1/2 billion with Samsung to buy 100 million 5.5 inch panels by 2017. This probably means the iPhone 7S in 2017 will be a major upgrade. Because OLED screens are thinner and require less power, it could be a thinner iPhone.

Huawei has announced it’s putting out its own VR headset. Like rival Samsung, you’ll need a late model Huawei smartphone to use it. According to thenextweb.com, it has a touch panel and control buttons on the back so you can adjust the lenses to suit your eyes. The Huawei VR has a 95 degree field of view, and anti-blue light filter to cut down on eyestrain. They haven’t given the release date or price yet, but did tout 4000 movies and 40 games that will be available free at launch.

The Next Updates to Android Wear

With all the frenzy about the Apple Watch, Google hasn’t been standing still. The verge.com says Android Wear for those OTHER wearables will be getting Wi-Fi support and gesture control in the next update. Most Android Wear smart watches already have Wi-Fi baked in, the update will just activate it.

First it was their signature learning thermostat, then Nest had the shake start with the Nest Protect smoke alarm. Now techcrunch.com reports they are advertising for a head of Nest Audio, in a move to integrate control of your audio and video system.

That takes care of sight and sound, what about smell? According to geek.com, FeelReel has a new virtual reality accessory that simulates 7 different ‘smellscapes!’ Fire, ocean, jungle, grass, and flowers are among them, and there are heat and water mist ports too. It’s $249 PLUS a VR headset!