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Friday, December 1, 2023

9 Great Reads From CNET This Week: ‘Infinite’ VR, 2022 Smartwatches, Elden Ring and more

VR brings a third dimension to computing. Strap on a headset, and you’re not just looking at something, you’re surrounded by it. There’s a real sense of depth and volume and immersion. You are as good as there.

One outstanding example of that is a virtual reality installation called The Infinite, which puts you inside the International Space Station and enables you to gaze down on Earth from orbit. CNET’s Joan Solsman has tried it out, and has some thoughts, too, on how that sort of location-based VR compares with wearing an Oculus headset in your living room. She also talked with two astronauts who can attest to how vivid an experience The Infinite is: “When the lights came up in the film and around me was the space station that I remembered as my home, I wasn’t ready,” said Christina Koch. “I wasn’t ready to have to say goodbye again.”

Those stories are among the many in-depth features and thought-provoking commentaries that appeared on CNET this week. So here you go. These are the stories you don’t want to miss.

‘The Infinite’ VR Is the Closest You’ll Feel to Space Without Floating

Stepping into a massive, virtual International Space Station is like slipping into the ISS’ living memory.

The ISS cupola window offers a glimpse of Earth with swirls of blue and white

Felix & Paul

Apple, Google and Samsung May Have Exciting Smartwatch Plans for 2022

A more durable Apple Watch, Google’s long-rumored Pixel Watch and the first Wear OS Fitbit smartwatch might launch this year.

Apple Watch Series 7Apple Watch Series 7

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Why the Hell Is Elden Ring So Popular?  

Commentary: It makes no sense.

A scene from Elden RingA scene from Elden Ring

FromSoftware / Namco Bandai Games

In-Person VR Is a Crystal Ball to the Metaverse. COVID Tried to Shatter It 

Location-based virtual reality fell derelict in the pandemic. Now, with in-person experiences reviving, it’s where you’ll touch the metaverse’s future. 

Scene from Ready Player OneScene from Ready Player One

Jaap Buitendijk

I Used Loop to Hack My Insulin Pump to Better Control My Blood Sugar Levels 

Loop is a DIY automated insulin delivery system with more customization and features than FDA-approved systems on the market. 

The Loop app dashboard displaying pump and blood sugar dataThe Loop app dashboard displaying pump and blood sugar data

Justin Eastzer/CNET

Waffle Is Just Like Wordle but at Least Five Times Better  

Commentary: I was sick of Wordle spinoffs, but I’ll be devouring a Waffle every day. 

The Wordle-like game WaffleThe Wordle-like game Waffle


Merge Away, Warner Bros. Discovery. Just Don’t Charge Us More for HBO Max  

Commentary: Mergers can come with price hikes, but $15 per month is already expensive enough.

Warner Bros. Discovery logo on a smartphone screenWarner Bros. Discovery logo on a smartphone screen

Ukraine, Fighting Russia With Drones, Is Rewriting the Rules of War

The same quadcopters you can buy at Amazon are on the front lines of the battle for Ukraine.


Why Smart Clothes Are Still Years Away From Entering Your Wardrobe

Yes, we can put sensors in clothes — but there still isn’t a great reason you can’t use a smartwatch instead.

A person running down a sidewalk away from the camera, overlaid with graphics depicting health and fitnessA person running down a sidewalk away from the camera, overlaid with graphics depicting health and fitness

Metamorworks / Getty Images

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