CES 2019 Now playing: Watch this: After this, it sounds like The Void’s modular physical spaces could be engineered to feel more like escape rooms. Expect some overlap. I didn’t try their more magical, more haunted house-like Nicodemus experience yet. And The Void’s upcoming Marvel VR experience could introduce even more tricks. But Hickman is quick to explain that the best immersive experiences come from a leap of trust, using key early moments to encourage people to reach out and touch real walls and buttons with your fingers.I got so used to seeing Bridget next to me as a cartoon that I didn’t think to look down and realize my avatar had no feet. The Void doesn’t use trackers on legs or feet yet, but it never bothered me. Bridget’s avatar seemed to have legs. So I assumed I did, too. The illusion was complete.The Void’s roughly 15-minute “rides” work with up to four people and cost roughly $30 a person, which is a splurge. But, it’s cheaper than a vacation to Disney.The Void’s not the only company pursuing Disney-fied VR. Audi’s Marvel-themed VR Holoride debuted at this year’s CES, the company tuning its immersive thrills to work while riding in an actual car. Maybe it’s not a surprise that both are Disney-themed. Disney rides know how to feel welcoming to all people. Disney rides aren’t too scary. Disney rides are universal.When I took off the headset afterward, I thought I was finishing a ride at Disneyland. And that’s the type of feeling more VR still needs. Scott Stein/CNET Somewhere in a labyrinth of simulated Venetian canals in a Las Vegas mall, there’s a slick-looking glowing storefront that’s easy to miss. THE VOID, it says in large letters. Star Wars stormtroopers beckon from the windows.We’ve come to climb inside Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet movie at CES 2019, courtesy of The Void’s location-based VR experience, “Ralph Breaks VR,” just down the hall from the halls of the show.Ralph Breaks VR launched last fall, and isn’t “new” for CES. It’s the first of five Disney experiences the company’s creating in partnership with ILMxLab, including one based on a 2019 Marvel movie (they won’t say which one yet). But it still wowed me, a seasoned vet of location-based VR, at a show already filled with other tech vying for my attention. It impressed both CNET editor Bridget Carey and myself, and worked a perfect blend of thrill ride and comforting onboarding. Even after all these years of VR, and especially with so much VR fatigue, good immersive design matters a lot. Even with heavy backpacks, I had a blast at The Void.The Void’s immersive experiences have been running at 11 locations around the world, with a Washington, DC center coming soon. I last tried holodeck-like multiroom experiences in 2016, putting on a VR backpack and zapping ghosts in Ghostbusters Dimension. Now, Bridget and I are choosing Disney character identities from little cards on a table. We watch a short movie on a screen, where Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz tell us what we’re about to do.Then we put on our VR backpacks and vibrating haptic vests to dive in to Wreck-It Ralph. There’s a good chance you still haven’t tried any location-based VR. Think of a room where you can wander around in VR, but the objects in the room are perfectly mapped so you can reach out and feel the wall, press a button, open a door. The Void’s founder and chief creative officer, Curtis Hickman, is a magician who explores working ideas of illusion, theater and magic theory to trick our brains better in VR.Despite advanced VR backpacks and hand-tracking sensors that can show my fingers virtually, The Void’s experiences also use good-old fashioned theatrical tech like fans and heaters. A room can feel toasty. A balcony in the Disney-fied version of the internet feels breezy. The floor rumbles when a massive glass-walled shuttle flies by. 10 Photos Tags CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: Magic and VR collide at CES 2019 with The Void Ralph Breaks VR, and we’re right there with him at CES… Share your voice 0 The top 10 products of CES 2019 3:14 13:27 Wearable Tech CES Products Virtual Reality Disney
Sprint Best Buy Apple Pay vs. Samsung Pay vs. Google Pay 7:31 Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (64GB, Lilac Purple) Tags See it $699 See It Read next: Everything we know about Samsung’s foldable phone for Feb. 20Read also: New phone designs aim to shake up MWC 2019 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. See It 11 Photos See It I was 30 miles from home when it hit me that my purse was at home, and I’d have to spend the day without my credit cards, ID or any cash. The only thing I had — apart from my backpack and puffy purple jacket — was my Samsung-loaned Galaxy S9 Plus review unit as my only source of money and ID. Good thing that months before I had loaded my credit card number into Samsung Pay, Samsung’s mobile wallet for contactless payments. That would have to do.Samsung Pay and I are old friends. More powerful and more forgiving than Google Pay and Apple Pay, it works on almost every terminal that reads a payment card’s magnetic stripe, which means I’d be able to pay for more things in more places than with either mobile payment rival alone. Only one thing worried me. I’ve used Samsung Pay all over the US, Asia and Europe, but I’ve never been forced to use it solo. I’ve always had the benefit of my credit and ATM cards as backup, and my driver’s license for ID. Being forcibly removed from them, without any sort of safety net, would be a real-life test of mobile payment’s power and influence. The best thing about ride-hailing services like Lyft is that you don’t need to carry a card or cash. Lyft We always talk about leaving the wallet at home, but does the infrastructure exist to make that work? Could I really get through a day using Samsung Pay and nothing else? It’s not Samsung’s fault that the answer was no, not quite.The ride, checkMorning travel wasn’t a problem, and that’s probably why I didn’t discover my mistake until I was 30 miles from home. Ordinarily, I’d have realized my purse wasn’t with the rest of my stuff a few minutes after leaving, slapped my forehead and sheepishly gone back to fetch it. Not this time. Share your voice Phones Online You can only do these cool things with Samsung Pay in Korea — for now (pictures) Preview • Why the Galaxy S9 Plus is the ‘better’ Samsung phone this year Amazon $349 Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus Review • Galaxy S9 Plus is still worth buying, but wait a month — here’s why Mobile payments Samsung Comments 24 $699 $354 Now playing: Watch this: This time I’d called a Lyft to take me where I needed to go. That requires just my phone, not a travel card like the Bay Area’s Clipper system for the trains, ferries and buses. Already, that’s a sign of the phone standing in for the contents of my purse.Breakfast, checkI obviously needed something to clear the cobwebs clouding my sanity: coffee. I could have tried Samsung Pay with the classic-style swipe reader at the Marriott-owned Starbucks franchise across the street, but the Starbucks app on my phone did the trick simply and quickly. Whew. No purse needed there, either.Portable payment terminals make tableside mobile payments easy. Google Lunch, not so muchFast-casual eateries around the Bay Area have gotten good at outfitting their point-of-sale terminals with mobile payment readers. There’s often an attachment on top of the customer-facing payment terminal, or a white plastic puck from Square that you can hover your phone over. But there was no mobile payment option at my lunch spot, a sit-down affair I had planned with a friend.Restaurants here that value traditional service seem to keep their swipe terminals out of sight from customers. When I asked if this business could accommodate mobile payments, our server shook his head. No, no it could not. I didn’t want to press the matter, offering to go back to the cash register so I could activate Samsung Pay. But I did wish the US followed Europe’s model, where servers bring a handheld payment terminal to your table, a method that nearly always works with Samsung Pay (often to the server’s surprise).Fortunately my friend was there to foot the bill. Well, I suppose this is what peer-to-peer payment services such as Zelle and Venmo are for. The Zelle mobile app lets you send money from one bank account to another. Zelle Cash withdrawal: Genius strikes, then fizzlesLeaving lunch on the way to pick up supplies at the Walgreens pharmacy and convenience store, I spied an outpost of my bank. That’s when I remembered that I could use the banking app on the Galaxy S9 to initiate an ATM withdrawal. If I could take out some cash, I wouldn’t feel so unilaterally reliant on my phone, especially if it lost battery power. Feeding the bank card from Samsung Pay to my banking app wasn’t a problem. There was a clear method for that in the Wallet subsection of the app itself, and a bank attendant was there to get me started on the right path. There was just one problem — I had set up Samsung Pay with a credit card, but not my ATM account, so a cash withdrawal through the credit card would come with a hefty penalty if I went that route. Not worth it. That’s when my lunch companion shoved a $20 bill into my hand, just in case. Put it on my tab.Shopping at Walgreens is all winWalgreens terminals accept payments when you hover the phone near the top. Not all US stores have this feature turned on, even if the terminal is capable. Scott Stein/CNET I’ve used mobile payments at the Walgreens store multiple times, but as I stood in line with my arms full of tissue paper, cards and gift bags, a part of me wondered what would happen if the terminal was offline today. This has actually happened to me before, but I’ve always had the contents of my purse to back me up when a card reader was down or the point-of-sale terminal was simply too old to work with the phone. That’s something I was worried about even though I’ve witnessed Samsung Pay working with readers when Google Pay and Apple Pay wouldn’t. Mobile payments did work this time, smooth as butter. Now all I had to worry about was how to get home.The commute back, big failThe time was coming to reunite with my purse, but the train still stood in my way. This wasn’t the first time I wished my Clipper transit card worked on my phone, as transit cards do in so many places. And it wasn’t the first time I wondered why you can’t tap the transit card reader to charge the payment card stored on your phone, as you can on the London Underground.Still, I wanted to see if I’d overlooked a way to buy my ticket through NFC, the near field communications system that makes contactless mobile payments work. When I got to the BART station, I checked the contactless pad that lets you tap your Clipper card to add more value, but tapping a phone against it does nothing. Because it’s clear that trying to do that is as futile as trying to buy a bagel with a key card: You’ve got to fully insert your credit card into the hungry mouth of the ticket machine to pay for your fare. What hurts most is that this system is so close to contactless. Grateful for the $20 stuffed into my jeans pocket, I inserted the cash, praying the machine wouldn’t immediately spit it out. These are old rigs, prone to monetary indigestion. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until the machine coughed up dollars worth of change in quarters. If I hadn’t been able to buy my ticket with the machine, I’d have had to find another way home, probably at great expense.Noooooope. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET Saved? Mobile payments over NFC aren’t a slam dunk yetMy purse and I are reunited now, and after a severe self-scolding, I can think about the state of mobile payments around me: Apps on my phone can shuttle me around by car and keep me fed. Once I add my ATM card to Samsung Pay, I’ll also be able to get to my cash. So long as the phone’s battery is charged and I’m connected to a data or Wi-Fi network, I know I’ll never be truly stuck. (You can use mobile payments offline as long as you have active “tokens,” which contain your encrypted identity verification, but you need a connection to update these periodically. I once got stuck in South Korea for running out of tokens on a phone in airplane mode.) And even in the event of a large purchase, mobile payments already verify your identity, so you don’t need to fish out your ID.But there were problems during my few purse-less hours that could have led to a sadder ending. If my phone had run out of battery or hit a dead data or Wi-Fi zone, I’d have found myself in a tight spot. And with no way to verify my identity on my phone, I wouldn’t be able to get into a bar or buy a bottle of wine for dinner if I chose to leave my wallet at home.The fact that I couldn’t buy a train ticket or a sit-down meal without cash or card, the fact that I worried whether the NFC terminal was on the fritz, all speak to a larger insecurity. My day wasn’t unlike many of the city’s commuters’, but the infrastructure isn’t robust enough for us to rely on mobile payments alone. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wind my purse around the front door knob so I can’t forget it. Because I’m not ready to venture forth without my wallet again. And neither is San Francisco.Originally published Feb. 12 at 5 a.m. PT.Update, 8:11 a.m. PT: Added more detail on payment tokens.Update, Feb. 15 at 3:00am PT.
Kolkata: Vietnam is looking at Bengal as a major gateway in its stride for developing trade relations with the Eastern states of the country, Ambassador, Embassy of Vietnam in India, Ton Sinh Thanh said on Wednesday.”Vietnam has received investment of 320 billion US dollars from across the world for 25,000 projects. But investment from India has been only 1 billion US dollars for 130 projects. This is a small amount and we want things to move. We want to attract more tourists to Vietnam from India as well as Bengal,” Thanh said at an interactive session on “Bila-teral Trade between India and Vietnam: Prospects and Way Ahead” at MCCI. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSadhan Pande , state minister for Consumer Affairs, Self Help Group and Self Employment, who was the special guest at the event, urged the Ambassador to consider making Bengal a hub for the country. “Bengal is at the crossroad of South East Asia and you can move to any Eastern state from here. So, you may consider making Bengal a hub as part of your efforts to develop relationship between the two countries,” Pande said.He added that Vietnam needs to play a more positive role in attracting tourists from the country. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”People from the country as well as Bengal travel a lot to Bangkok and Bali. Vietnam should also come in the picture of wooing tourists from here,” he added.According to the Ambassador, only 1,10,000 Indians visited Vietnam, while a little over 1 million Indians went to Thailand. Pointing out connectivity as a constraint, he said, “We are working on improving connectivity between the two countries. A direct flight from Delhi to Vietnam is going to commence in September 2018. Bengal is also very much on our radar. The Indian government is promoting a Look East policy and developing closer business ties with South East Asia and Bengal is the gateway to the Eastern states,” Thanh said.