PYB Blog

  1. Are Virtual Reality headsets the future of gaming?

    VR headsets or Virtual reality headsets to give them their full name have been heralded as the latest technology innovation in the gaming sphere for a couple of years. Certainly VR has been right at the top of the agenda and proclaimed as this year’s greatest innovation at the CES show in Las Vegas for the last couple of years. It didn’t really happen in 2015 but with the first orders of the Oculus Rift shifting this month and Sony PlayStation announcing further details around their VR headset, we explore whether VR really is the future

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    Photo by Maurizio Pesce

    What are Virtual Reality Headsets?

    Virtual reality headsets secure a display in front of your eyes (in the case of the Samsung GEAR your phone) and some kind of input which dependent on the headset make could be anything from head tracking sensors, controllers, hand tracking, voice or buttons.

    The aim of VR headsets is to completely immerse the user in a virtual world that seems so real and life like that the user forgets the computer and head gear and behaves exactly how they would as if it were real.

    Generally the way it works is feeds are sent to the display which sits inside the headset. Lenses also sit in-between the screen and your eyes. These are there to interact with the pixels on the display, focusing and reshaping the picture for the eyes making them more lifelike and 3D whilst also giving headsets their goggle like look and feel.

     

     

    The contenders, price and availability

    • The Oculus Rift is a headset that plugs into your computers USB ports and tracks your head movements to provide 3D imagery on its stereo screens. Handsets are also available to enhance your gaming experience by bringing your hands into play. The only issue being you’ll need a pretty powerful PC to run the rift.

    Priced at $599

    • The Playstation VR is scheduled for release in October 2016. Given that over 46 million PS4s are out there worldwide, a strong pre-Christmas push could really launch VR gaming to new levels

    Priced at $399

    • The HTC Vive plugs into your PC in a similar way to the Oculus Rift. Thanks to huge number of sensors (70 in total) 360 degree head tracking is possible and allows you to really immerse you in a virtual world

     Priced at $799

    • The Samsung GEAR headset is available now and offers ludicrous value when compared with the other VR headsets on the market. The release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 has attended to complaints that the S6’s battery wasn’t powerful enough to run the GEAR. The S7 seems to have readdressed the balance and beefed up the headsets capabilities. The phone plugs straight into the headset allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of VR. The only drawback is that you need a Samsung Galaxy S6 or above to use this headset.

    Priced at $99

     

    So can it change the future of gaming?

    We’re clearly not quite at the stage where you’ll be able to jump straight into a First Person Shooters (FPS) with the ability to storm a building or make a break down the left wing in a game of FIFA. However as the Bullet train FPS developed for the Rift proves we aren’t too far away. This is definitely an exciting time to be involved with VR gaming. We predict over the next couple of years major developments. The VR headsets that get released to market will only help to drive on companies to outdo each other and release the next best thing.

    The question remains whether the technology and gaming capabilities will come quick enough to match the current hype surround VR. The danger is that developments take too long, the hype ebbs away and we’ll all have moved on to the next thing.

  2. Geraint’s Wheel of Fortune Competition

    Those who follow Geraint Thomas will know he got the new season off to a flying start with back to back wins! Geraint has been extremely generous and has donated his race number and jersey from one of the races. We’re very excited to announce that we have the race number and jersey and have set up a competition for one lucky winner to win these fabulous prizes!

    Fancy winning a signed race jersey and number worn by Geraint Thomas? Simply watch the vine on our Twitter profile and sent us a screenshot to @PYB_Bike with the #PYBG! We’ll pick a winner at random!

    Good luck!

    Geraint Thomas MBE has been the Protect Your Bubble ambassador since 2015 providing exclusive updates, blogs and authentic kit worn by G himself. Make sure you keep following @PYB_Bike to keep up with all things Geraint Thomas!

    wheel of fortune competition

    Competition Full T&C’s

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The promotion begins at 12.00 on 26th April 2016 and closes at 11.59 on Saturday 30th April 2016 Daylight Saving Time (DST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet and a Twitter account.

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per person is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household.

     

    How to Enter

    6. Watch the video vine posted on the PYB_Bike Twitter feed entitled “Geraint’s Wheel of Fortune”,take a screenshot and reply when you see the name of the last race Geraint Thomas won on the rotating wheel. Your comment must contain the #PYBG hashtag.

    7. No entries from agents, third parties or those automatically generated by computer or any software will be accepted. Incomplete or corrupted entries will not be accepted. Entries are valid only if they comply with all the requirements stated in these rules.

    8. Entrants must continue to follow the @PYB_Bike Twitter account to be eligible.

     9. Entrants must not publish repeated tweets.

    10. Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts or multiple entries across different social media channels. Entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure they comply with Twitter’s rules regarding usage.

    The Prize

    12. There is one winner. The prize is a signed winning race number worn by Geraint Thomas

    13. Cost of shipping is included in the prize. Any redelivery requirements where a user has not been available to receive their delivery that requires an additional costs is the winner’s responsibility. The winners are responsible for all expenses not expressly stated in these terms and conditions as being included as part of the prize.

    14. The prize is not transferable & cannot be exchanged. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

    Winner Selection and Notification

    15. The winner will be randomly selected on 30th April 2016 by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these rules.

    16. The Promoter will contact the winner within one week of 30th April 2016 via private message on, Facebook or Twitter. In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

    17. The winner is required to respond to the private message notification within 7 days in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.

    18. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for failed delivery due to provision of incorrect contact details by entrants. Any prize that is returned undelivered will be assumed unwanted and the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner to receive the prize using the same process referred to above in these terms and conditions.

    19. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.

    20. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    21. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

    General

    22. The Twitter handle full name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Geraint Wheel of Fortune, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 30th April 2016

    23. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

    24. By entering, all entrants grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

    25. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html

    26. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.

    27. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter and Twitter, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.

    28. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.

    29. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Facebook or Twitter. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Facebook, and Twitter from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion

    30. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect Your Bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683

  3. Geraint Thomas discusses tour de Flanders , altitude training and the Cataluyna

    I’m currently training over in Tenerife at Altitude Camp. We are staying at 2000m on top of the volcano; it’s great for training and rest as there’s not much else to do here! 

     

     

    My last race was Tour of Flanders. It’s my favourite one day race of the year. It was the only cobbled classic that I have done this season. It was hard missing the other races like E3, Gent Wevelgem and Paris Roubaix. Going into Flanders I was confident that missing the build up races wouldn’t effect my performance. I was more concerned about getting there fresh and ready to race. I pulled out of Tour of Catalunya 9 days before as I wasn’t feeling 100% and hadn’t recovered properly since Paris Nice and San Remo. 

     

    I felt good during the final hour of racing in Flanders, which was good for my confidence going into the last part of the race. Unfortunately the result I was hoping for didn’t materialise. Like I mentioned I was feeling positive and hoping to attack in the final stages but my team mate Kawasaki (or as everyone else likes to call him Kwiatkowski) was already up the road so my hands were tied and options were limited. Up the penultimate climb, the Oude Kwaremont, the race split up when pre-race favourite Fabien Cancellara attacked. I was able to go with him until we caught a few riders, I lost his wheel and some momentum and just like that he was gone. I was in a group of 10, racing for 4th, but we were only a handful of seconds behind Cancellara and Vanmarke (2nd and 3rd place on the road). In these situations nobody in the group really wants to commit to riding the break back so it ends up being a game of cat and mouse and it is because of this that we didn’t catch them. I tried to get away towards the end when I attacked around 2km to go, as I wasn’t the fastest in that group and needed a good distance to aim for. I didn’t manage to hang on and ended up rolling in at 12th place. My team mate and good friend Luke Rowe finished well and was 2nd in the group, finishing 5th, which was a great result for him.

     

    Ah well, there’s always next year!  

    Geraint Thomas

  4. Could the LG G5 change the mobile industry forever?

    The LG G5

     

    LG have taken a bold step with their latest flagship phone, the LG G5 which is set to launch in the UK on April 8th. Amongst other new features, the phone features a modular system which allows users to plug in accessories to enhance the phone for the users various needs. Take a look below to see all the new features of the LG G5. This new feature represents something completely different and an exciting shift into what phones of the future could do. The question is will it catch on?

    Modular Design

    As mentioned the G5 will allow users to plug in various accessories into the phones magic port which can be bought as add-ons to enhance usability. At release there will be two different accessories. The camera grip will provide enhanced battery power so you don’t run low on juice if you’re being snap happy, a separate shutter button and a jog dial zoom allows you to take better photos. The second accessory is the Bang & Olufsen’s play which promises an enhanced audio experience as well as an extra jack port. These aren’t the most exciting of accessories and wouldn’t be enough for us to switch to the G5. However LG are encouraging 3rd parties to develop their own accessories so it’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

    Swap batteries

    As well as switching modular accessories out of the bottom of the phone you’ll have the ability to switch in new batteries in seconds if your current one runs out giving you enough power to take advantage of all the features the LG G5 brings to the table. This feature also sets it aside from any other big name phone on the market as this is virtually impossible in any flagship phone in 2016.

    Double Camera

    Ever been in an absolutely spectacular location and not been able to quite capture what you see on camera? Well the new double camera on the back of the phone begins to address the problem.  When engaged the extra lens gives users the ability to take photos up to a 135 degree angle which is wider than the human eye although in use the camera quality will drop to 8 MP. However if you’re looking for a higher quality of photo the single camera takes photos at 16 MP.

    Always On Screen

    The LG G5 will feature an always on screen. You may think this will drain battery dramatically however the guys at LG think it will actually save you battery as you won’t have to constantly flick your phone on to check the time. The screen will display notifications from Gmail and Whatsapp which sets it aside from Samsung’s G7 always on screen which is limited in what items it displays.

    Finger Scanner on the Rear

    The LG G5 has a fingerprint scanner on the back which is different in convention from the front. The problem is that if you have your phone on your desk every day you either have to pick your phone up and unlock it or input your code. A small problem in the grand scheme of things but in a fiercely competitive market usability is everything

    Ultimately this is a seriously impressive smartphone featuring some pretty cool new wave thinking which could potentially change the way we see phones forever. However what remains to be seen is if it will take off. For the G5 to be a success it’s going to need 3rd party developers and consumers alike to embrace the concept and we’re just not sure whether that will happen given LG doesn’t have the same cult following a company like Apple has. Regardless we salute LG for breaking smartphone convention and changing it up. After all, Innovation is what got Apple where they are today.

  5. Virtual Easter Egg Hunt Competition

    There will be many Easter egg hunts all over the UK this weekend it’s great fun for all the family. A quick search on the internet and you’ll be bound to find a one in your area. The National Trust joins forces with Cadbury’s every year and run hunt across the country you can find details and a hunt near you HERE

    If you don’t fancy getting out or if the weather isn’t playing game, never fear Protect Your Bubble’s virtual Easter egg hunt is here. Not only could you win some yummy chocolate eggs in a Easter hamper but there is also a cracking £250 up for grabs.

    To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is watch our Gadget Insurance TV advert pinned to our Facebook and Twitter pages and tell us how many Easter eggs we have hidden in the video! All correct entries will be put into a draw with the winner pocketing a cool £250 and an Easter hamper filled with chocolate goodies!

    It’s not as easy as it sounds, those little eggs are nippy so keep your eyes peeled! Good luck and Happy Easter from the Protect Your Bubble team.

    Take part on Twitter HERE

    Take part on Facebook HERE

     

    Easter Egg Hunt Rules

    Eligibility

    1. The promotion is open to residents of Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Isle of Man and Channel Islands only, excluding employees of the Assurant Direct Limited (the “Promoter”) and their immediate families, agencies of the Promoter, and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.

    2. This promotion is only open to individuals aged 18 years or over on date of promotion entry.

    3. The promotion begins at 12.00 on 24th March 2016 and closes at 11.59 on Monday 28th March 2016 Daylight Saving Time (DST). Any entry received after the closing date and time will not be valid. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

    4. Entrants must have access to the internet, an email address, Facebook or a Twitter account.

    5. Entry is free and no purchase is necessary to enter this promotion. A maximum of one entry per person is allowed and a maximum of one prize may be won per household.

    How to Enter: There are two different ways to enter the competition across our social channels listed below. You may only enter once using either of these methods.

     FACEBOOK

    Watch the video post on the Protect Your Bubble Facebook page entitled ”The PYB Virtual Easter EGG Hunt” and comment below the post stating how many eggs you think have been placed in the video. Your comment must contain the #Eggsurance hashtag.

    TWITTER

    Watch the video post on the Protect Your Bubble Twitter feed entitled ” The PYB Virtual Easter EGG Hunt” and tweet a reply in the feed stating  how many eggs you think have been placed in the video. Your comment must contain the #Eggsurance hashtag.

    No entries from agents, third parties or those automatically generated by computer or any software will be accepted. Incomplete or corrupted entries will not be accepted. Entries are valid only if they comply with all the requirements stated in these rules.

    8. Entrants who enter via Twitter must continue to follow the @protectyrbubble Twitter account to be eligible. Entrants who enter via Facebook do not have to like the Protect Your Bubble Facebook page to be eligible

    9. Entrants must not publish repeated tweets or Facebook posts.

    10. Entrants must not attempt to enter the promotion using multiple accounts or multiple entries across different social media channels. Entrants found to be doing so will be ineligible to participate in the promotion. It is the responsibility of entrants to ensure they comply with Facebook and Twitter’s rules regarding usage.

    The Prize

    12. There is one winner. The prize is £250 & an Easter Hamper worth £37.99

    13. Cost of shipping is included in the prize. Any redelivery requirements where a user has not been available to receive their delivery that requires an additional costs is the winner’s responsibility. The winners are responsible for all expenses not expressly stated in these terms and conditions as being included as part of the prize.

    14. The prize is not transferable & cannot be exchanged. The prize is awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

    Winner Selection and Notification

    15. The winner will be randomly selected on 1st April  2016 by the Promoter from all of the valid entries submitted during the promotional period in accordance with these rules.

    16. The Promoter will contact the winner within one week of 1st April 2016 via private message on, Facebook or Twitter. In all matters, the random selection made by the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

    17. The winner is required to respond to the private message notification within 7 days in order to claim the prize. Failure to do so will result in the prize being forfeited and another winner will be selected.

    18. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for failed delivery due to provision of incorrect contact details by entrants. Any prize that is returned undelivered will be assumed unwanted and the Promoter reserves the right to select an alternative winner to receive the prize using the same process referred to above in these terms and conditions.

    19. The Promoter reserves the right to ask for evidence of identity and address of the prize winner.

    20. By entering this promotion, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to be bound by these terms and conditions.

    21. Losing entries will not receive any notification.

    General

    22. The Twitter handle & Facebook, full name and county of residence of the prize winner will be available upon request by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to; Virtual Easter Egg Hunt, Protect Your Bubble, Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN after 1st April 2016

    23. In the event of unforeseen circumstances the Promoter reserves the right to provide alternative prizes of equal or greater value.

    24. By entering, all entrants grant Promoter, and their licensees, successors and assigns, the assignable, perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use their entry for this Promotion, including the names and likenesses of any persons embodied therein, in any manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and on Promoter social media sites, and for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Promoter, all without further consent from or notice or payment to entrant or winner(s). Promoter is under no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.

    25. The Promoter and its agents will only use personal information supplied by entrants to this promotion for the purposes of administering this promotion, unless consent is received to use such information for any other purpose. All personal data shared by the entrants will be collected in accordance with Promoter’s privacy policy available at http://uk.protectyourbubble.com/legal-privacy/privacy-policy.html

    26. Nothing in these terms shall exclude the liability of the Promoter for death, personal injury, fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation as a result of its negligence or any other liability which may not be excluded by law. The Promoter excludes all other liability to the extent permitted by law and in particular without limitation to the foregoing, the Promoter shall not be liable for any indirect, special or consequential loss nor for loss arising out of matters outside of its control nor for entries lost, delayed or undelivered, nor any liability for technical errors or communication failures in networks and/or internet access.

    27. By participating, each entrant agrees to release, indemnify, discharge and hold harmless Promoter, Facebook and Twitter, Inc., and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or any Promotion -related activity, the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or Promoter’s use of the rights granted herein.

    28. The Promoter reserves the right at any time to modify, discontinue (temporary or permanently) this promotion with or without prior notice due to reasons outside its control (including in the case of anticipated, suspected or actual fraud). The decision of the Promoter in all matters under its control is final and binding.

    29. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Twitter. You understand that you are providing your information to Promoter and not to Facebook or Twitter. Entrants to this promotion hereby release Facebook, and Twitter from any claim or liability suffered in connection with this promotion

    30. This promotion and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

    Promoter – Assurant Direct Limited trading as Protect Your Bubble, whose registered office is Assurant House, 6-12 Victoria Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1EN and whose registered number is 5399683

Prices may change. Protect Your Bubble is a trading name of Assurant Direct Limited, a company registered in England and Wales (registration company number 5399683). Assurant Direct Limited is an Appointed Representative of Lifestyle Services Group Limited. Lifestyle Services Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 315245. You can check this on the Financial Services Register at http://www.fca.org.uk/ or by calling 0800 111 6768.

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