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Plex jumps into VR on Google Daydream headsets

Last year Plex’s reach extended to cover live TV and automobiles, so in 2018 the company is jumping into yet another platform: virtual reality. As it has done before, the company brought in the developer of a community project, Plevr, to work on the new client and Plex VR looks like a nice addition. The content browsing experience I saw in a short demo looked excellent. It really made us of the virtual space with touches like selecting a title popping it out into a virtual DVD case that users could hold, rotate or put down on a table in front of them while they flipped through other options.

That interactivity goes along with comfort as two of three pillars marketing VP Scott Hancock discussed, and comfort comes into play as users can adjust the screen’s size or position at any time. Want to lay down and watch it on the ceiling of a swanky apartment instead of a wall, in a blank void or in a drive-in? It’s all possible. In the apartment environment, for example, when video pauses, the lights come on and shades come up mimicking real-world smart homes.

Plex VR social viewing

Plex

The third pillar may be the most important for adoption, and that’s social. Plex VR allows for up to four users at once, who can easily watch video streaming from a Plex Media Server while seeing each other’s avatars, voice chatting or using the Daydream controller to toss things around and point out things on-screen.

So far, many big media VR apps haven’t included a social element, but for Plex owners who already have well-stocked media libraries, it could be an easy way to share viewing across any distance. The social setup includes a friends list with online statuses similar to PlayStation or Xbox Live, although of course, you can appear offline if you’d rather sit down for a solo session.

Plex VR is available for free, although for now, it’s only out on Daydream VR headsets. To dive into the social features will require at least one of the four users to have Plex Pass, however, users can try it out for free for a week even without that.

Source: Plex Blog

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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