Fiji left an impression, Meta Quest 3's mixed reality, and GoPro's next camera
Plus a lesson that fell on deaf ears
I got back from Fiji late last week and immediately traveled to Texas to attend a friend’s wedding. I say friend, but truth be told, I had never met him in person until after he said his vows and was legally married. The power of the internet; it’s easy to make friends.
But, let’s talk Fiji. It was amazing. I’ve been telling everyone the only word that comes to mind is: Surreal.
My job has afforded me some tremendous opportunities, some of which is the ability to travel across the world, oftentimes fully paid for, and experience stuff I never would have dreamed of.
Two months ago, going to Fiji with GoPro wasn’t even a remote possibility, and yet, that’s where I found myself for the last week of October, sitting on a beach, riding a jetski, snorkeling in the middle of the ocean, or lounging on a private island while skydivers landed on said private island. Yea, GoPro goes hard.
But, forget all of the extreme activities; I’m sure I eventually will, to be honest. But what I won’t ever forget was my visit to Natawatawadi Village. There, my small group was greeted by the elder men, women and children. As soon as we arrived at the village (after riding a speedboat on the nearby river), we went through a traditional Kava ceremony, which ended with us drinking some alongside the locals before eating a massive meal the women prepared, followed by singing and dancing.
The tradition, culture and pure passion the villagers had not only for who they are but also for sharing all of that with total strangers was incredibly powerful and moving.
I will never forget it.
More so, I couldn’t get over how simple of lives they lived. Truth be told, I’m incredibly envious of it. One day, perhaps with an entirely different job, I’ll simplify my life. That’s the dream, at least.
A lesson on deaf ears: The kids of the village I visited have to swim across a river to get to school every day. They float their school clothes and supplies across the river alongside them in a bucket, and once they’re out of the water, they change and walk the rest of the way to the school. They repeat the process in reverse on the way back. My kids, of course, didn’t find this facet of their lives as interesting as I did.
As for the GoPro event itself — well, that’s some of what I’ve been working on this week. Links below!
Where to find me on the socials
As much as I‘d love to walk away from all social networks, over the last few weeks I’ve realized they’re a necessary evil. The general rule of thumb is I’m usually @MrCippy on all the things, but to make your life easier, here are direct links to where you can follow me:
The Meta Quest 3’s mixed reality has blown my mind
Meta sent me a review sample of its latest VR headset, the Quest 3. I’ve never really gotten too far into virtual reality because it makes me sick, but I was eager to try out the Quest 3 because of its new mixed-reality feature that leverages the headset’s cameras and position-tracking technology to overlay virtual environments on top of your room.
I set up the Quest 3 and fired up First Encounters, a demo app for the headset’s mixed reality features. It started by asking me to map my office by looking around the room. Once I confirmed the map and location of the walls, I immediately heard something happening above me. When I looked up, I saw part of the ceiling in my office falling down as a small spaceship landed on my office floor.
Remember — this is mixed reality, so I can still see my office, including the random boxes on the floor, furniture and chairs, in full color, so it looks as if the spaceship really was sitting on my floor. Over the next few minutes, I marveled as furry animals broke through my walls and tried to attack the spaceship while I shot at them, capturing them in the same spaceship.
I’ve only spent 15 minutes using the Quest 3 so far, but if mixed reality is the future, then I’m beyond intrigued.
Stories published this week
After taking nearly two weeks off, I got right back into it and started writing. Most of what I worked on this week was about the GoPro event, and a few reviews that will be published in the weeks to come.
Do you need a GoPro camera if you have a smartphone? We asked GoPro: I interviewed GoPro’s head of product, Pablo Lema, and asked him the same question everyone asks me when I talk about the action camera. His answer was thoughtful and makes a lot of sense (naturally, a resounding yes, but it’s more nuanced than that). But what got my attention was the rest of the conversation about the future of GoPro hardware and software. It sure sounds like GoPro is working on a dedicated vlogging camera.
I just spent a week in Fiji to level up my GoPro skills — here’s what I learned: I learned a lot about GoPro’s Hero12 Black and how to get the most out of them while at the Creator Summit. I didn’t want to keep all of my newfound knowledge to myself, of course. Side note: Did you know you can hack your GoPro using QR codes to do all sorts of crazy things, like act as a motion-activated camera? It’s covered in the story.
Apple Watch Ultra 2: 5 reasons it's the perfect smartwatch for traveling: I took an Apple Watch Ultra 2 with me on the trip to test out while traveling and doing GoPro-type activities. It did not disappoint. But I did almost lose it while jumping off a pier into the ocean. Click the link above to see the pure panic in my face as I tried to save it.
Other tidbits and looking ahead
Jeff Perry’s latest newsletter What I learned from my sabbatical resonated with me on multiple fronts. Being a creator and feeling the constant pressure of having to make or write something takes a toll. It’s really easy to get caught up in it all and either go too hard, or give up altogether. I appreciate Jeff’s honesty and transparency about his own struggles.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner. I won’t be around to cover them this year. Although, now that I think about it, retailers keep moving the start day to a day that definitely isn’t a Friday, let alone the Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll include some early deals next week.
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