Fully Charged: Oculus snags hand-tracking tech, and Netflix teases price increases

Start your day with our quick-hit morning roundup of top tech news

Oculus Rift

Oculus eyes hand tracking

The Oculus Rift is due out in Q1 2016, and it'll ship first with an Xbox One gamepad - and later, the company's promising Touch motion controllers will follow. But for truly immersive virtual reality experiences, we'll want to put down the controllers and simply soak in these digital worlds. And hand tracking technology seems like the way we'll get there.

Oculus yesterday announced that it has acquired Pebbles Interfaces, an Israeli company that specialises in the tech - and as Engadget points out, it's the third such company that Oculus has purchased in this space. We may not see anything on this front soon, but it's clear that Oculus is thinking beyond its first big release, even months before that hits consumers.

[Source: Oculus via Engadget]

Netflix price increases plotted


Consistent viewers get a lot of value from their Netflix accounts, and the company is raking in massive profits. Everyone's happy, right? Still, as content costs rise, so too will membership fees. While Netflix has a price freeze in place for existing customers through May 2006, CEO Reed Hastings said that subscription rates will rise gradually before long.

"We want to take it very slow,” he said, luckily. “Over the next decade, I think we’ll be able to add more content and have more value, and then price that appropriately.” He also said the company is hoping to push more subscribers towards its pricier plans, which allow more simultaneous devices to stream and access HD and 4K content. And it intends to enter China and Japan in the coming months, which should only boost those stunning revenue figures.

[Source: The Guardian]

HTC's Grip being rejiggered

HTC Grip

HTC planned to enter the fitness gadget space this spring with the Grip wristband, but those plans have been scuttled. The company still intends to get into that market, but at least not with the version of the Grip shown before, HTC confirmed to Engadget.

A spokesperson says they "decided to align Grip with the entire product portfolio for health and fitness launching later this year" after testing, and it seems likely that the resulting product will be more feature-rich. After all, an HTC band was just Bluetooth certified, so potential customers may get the second-gen version without ever trying the first.

[Source: Engadget]

HBO Now expands to Android

Game of Thrones

This may be of little use to our UK readers, but HBO Now - the standalone streaming service that doesn't require a cable or satellite subscription - has expanded to Android and Amazon devices. It's priced at US$15 (about £10) a month in the States, and has a free 30-day trial for new customers.

Still no word on when it will expand internationally, but now that HBO has checked more platforms off its list, hopefully the wait won't be much longer. And Chromecast and Fire TV support are planned for later this year.

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