Undercover Jeremy Lin wears a fat suit to troll people at a gym

Next Shark: 

Members at an Adidas gym were in for a surprise when a trolling Jeremy Lin in a fat suit and beard came in to give them the worst possible workout advice ever. Lin, along with Taiwanese celebrity Vanessa Wu, prove they can be the worst (and most entertaining) personal trainers you’ve ever seen.

INVINCIBLE reopens in Taipei

Jeremy Lin and Gareth Bale star in the Adidas Climachill “Uncontrol Yourself” campaign

As warmer weather inches towards us, adidas is set to cover all athletes with protective, breathable layers for warm weather. Incorporating direct insights from premier players like Gareth Bale and Jeremy Lin as well as its own Future Sport Science lab, adidas debuts the re-designed Climachill apparel line.

For shirts, the Climachill shirts are equipped with industry-leading 3D aluminum cooling spheres that provide a chilling sensation on contact to the warmest areas of the body. The line is also designed with SubZero flat yarn, which is woven with titanium to molds to the body’s form and transfer an increased amount of heat away from the body.

The campaign for Climachill launches with the above video, which finds everyday athletes channeling their inner superstars in heated situations. Check out the video above and head to adidas’ site to peruse the collection.

Taiwanese single malt whisky awarded “World’s Best” title at the World Whiskies Awards

The World Whiskies Awards just took place, and the best whisky in the world isn’t from Scotland, but from Taiwan. Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique was named the best single malt in the world, boasting 57.5% ABV and produced by the King Car distillery in Taiwan.

The winning whisky is made through maturing the malt whisky in American oak barrels that previously held white and red wines. Other winners included Taketsuru Pure Malt 17 Year Old from Japan for the world’s best blended malt, and Ireland’s Redbreast Pot Still 15 Year Old for best pot-still whisky.

Check out the full list of winners at Bar Magazine’s website here, and let us know whether you’ll be trying some Kavalan.

DESIGN: A refurbished Apartment in Taipei by CHI-TORCH Designs

 

 

INVINCIBLE (Taiwan) collaborates with LOSERS (Japan) with “Camoyama” Sneaker

Taiwan’s iconic streetwear retail space INVINCIBLE has teamed up with Japanese label LOSERS on a pair of sneakers, dubbed the “Camoyama.” The name is derived from combining the word camouflage with ”yama,” which means mountain in Japanese. Based off of LOSERS’ renowned SCHOOLER Classic High signature silhouette, the Camo Mountain sneaker is covered in a camouflage print, with a graphic overlay of Taiwan’s altitude map in reflective 3M, contrasting against an orange heel tab and tongue. The rubber soles and toecap sees an army green stripe run through, for a graphic pop complementing the design.

The aeronautic-inspired design will be available at INVINCIBLE East, beginning today.

Incredible “Bubble Art” by Su Chung Tai, Taiwan’s “Bubble Performance Master”

Laughing Squid:

Taipei production team Kuma Films takes a break from its usual fare to capture the amazing work of Su Chung Tai, a Taiwanese performance artist who creates some truly impressive pieces of bubble art. The “Bubble Performance Master” manipulates bubbles in some really astounding ways, including complex chains of up to 30 bubbles.

A close look at the Gear VR for the Galaxy S6

The old and the new

The Verge (by Sean O’Kane):

Earlier this week, we saw some big news in the world of virtual reality when HTC announced the Vive, a new VR headset made in partnership with legacy video game company Valve. But the most important news for the adoption of virtual reality came from Samsung, Oculus, and Facebook: there’s a new version of the Gear VR that can be powered by both the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge.

Virtual reality is quite obviously still in a nascent state. Even the best headsets still face myriad problems like poor resolution, bulky headsets, and social stigma. “What we want to do is we want to get down to sunglasses,” says Max Cohen, head of Oculus Mobile.

But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Cohen couldn’t comment on a time frame, but admits how far Oculus has to go before VR glasses are a reality. “Every aspect of this technology, both on Gear VR and the Rift, still needs to improve to get it where we want it,” he says. “We’re not going to declare victory any time soon.” Until then, headsets that use phone drop-ins might be the best consumer solution available.

The original Gear VR, which works with the Galaxy Note 4, took a step towards solving some of VR’s problems, but left much to be desired. The resolution was good enough, but not great. It was wireless and light, but got uncomfortable after extended use. And it did little to change the fact that people inevitably view you differently once you have a VR headset on your face, and you’re unavoidably cut off from the world. Perhaps most important, not many people owned the Galaxy Note 4, whereas the new version will work on a mainstream phone.

The first two issues are alleviated in the newest version of the Gear VR. At first blush, the new version is not much different than the Gear VR that uses the Galaxy Note 4. But once you put it on the differences are profound. To start with, the whole unit is much lighter, thanks in part to the fact that the Galaxy S6 weighs less than the Note 4. The straps are more comfortable but still fit tightly, and there’s a vent on the left side of the headset that helps reduce lens fogging. Overall, Oculus has really gotten the headset to feel, well, less like a headset.

The other big focus for Oculus is increasing the screen resolution, which is another place Cohen is ready to admit that the company — and virtual reality as a medium — still has a long way to go.

The reality is we need to go a lot further. We need 4K screens, potentially even 8K screens. So there’s still some time before we feel like we’ve hit the point where that “screen door effect,” as we call the impression of a pixelated display, goes away entirely. But the 1440p looks pretty darn good.”

He’s right. The Galaxy S6’s 5.1-inch screen is smaller than the 5.7-inch one found on the Note 4, but that means the pixel density is noticeably higher — 577 ppi compared to 515. That might not sound like a lot, but it made a big difference when I got to try it here at MWC. Everything I queued up — games, a new Cirque du Soleil demo, a 360-degree 3D photos app made by Otoy — was more impressive than anything found on the Note 4 version of the Gear VR.

But the difference from the old version to the new was most stark in the videos featured in the Oculus Cinema section. On the Note 4 version of the Gear VR, this was by far my least favorite content — it’s where the weaknesses of the resolution and lower pixel density were most apparent. My eyes would strain after just 10 or 15 seconds of watching a video, and the experience was worse with 3D content. But on the Galaxy S6 version, all the videos I previewed were not only watchable, they were enjoyable. That screen door effect was majorly mitigated here, and in its place was a much smoother and visually comfortable experience.

It’s hard to understate how important this could be for the success of the Gear VR, and Oculus’ efforts in the mobile space in general. The biggest barrier to the Gear VR so far hasn’t been the social awkwardness of wearing a head-mounted display, it’s that it only worked with a niche device. The idea of a $199 consumer VR device was attractive to many, but shelling out nearly $1,000 more to get a Note 4 off-contract kept the reality of it out of reach.

The new headset will likely be priced the same, though Samsung will ultimately set the price when it releases it to market — it’s not yet clear when that will happen. Cohen told us before that he thinks the ideal price is free. Alongside the new headset the company also announced that paid content is making its way to the Gear VR (it should be available in the Oculus store now, and to Note 4 users as well).

The Gear VR is about to face its sink-or-swim moment. Instead of being a cool idea burdened by the requirement of owning a niche device, it’s now going to be an affordable accessory to a phone that millions of people will own. If you still don’t think that’s a big deal, you probably haven’t tried it. And imagine the hype if it were compatible with an iPhone.

By leveraging the new revenue source with paid content and spreading the user base by building a headset around a flagship phone, the idea of dropping the price of the Gear VR to zero doesn’t seem so crazy anymore.

Until then, people are going to have to understand a few simple facts: virtual reality still needs headsets, and headsets are inherently awkward. But that doesn’t mean that the experience isn’t outrageously cool.

 

HTC (Taiwan) teams up with Under Armour for a fitness wearable

HTC has announced it will be releasing its first wearable with the help of Under Armour, who will be supplying the tracking software for the fitness band. The waterproof Grip wrist band is the first in a series of co-branded products, and will feature a pedometer, GPS and an integrated “Record” tracking portal which aggregates sleep, steps, active time, distance, workouts, calories burned and weight. It can also be connected with a phone to receive and respond to notifications via the 1.8-inch curved monochrome touchscreen.

Though an official release date has yet to be announced, expect the HTC Grip to be available at select retailers in North America beginning in Spring 2015.