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Now There's a VR App To Help With Public Speaking Anxiety

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If the mere thought of speaking in front of a packed conference room makes your heart start pounding, there’s now a virtual reality app designed to help curb your fear. Virtual Speech lets users practice for upcoming speeches by putting them on stage or in the conference room (virtually).

At the moment, the app is available only for Android, but an iOS version is in the works. According to Springwise, users don their Google Cardboard headset and step into a 3D simulation of their choosing—either a 15-person office or a 400-person conference. Each room is full of professional-looking avatars who appear to listen, move around, and even provide realistic distractions during your presentation. Virtual Speech even lets users upload slides and visual materials, enabling them to practice visual presentations within the app.

The idea is to allow users to practice for upcoming presentations, but also to help users build public speaking skills and overcome anxiety in general. According to the company's website, “It is estimated that over 85 percent of people fear public speaking, in a world where clear and assertive communication can be the difference between succeeding or failing in business.” Virtual Speech claims that three to five days of training can improve a user’s “chance of succeeding” tenfold. While that claim may be difficult to substantiate, the app seems useful for anyone whose friends and family are tired of serving as a practice audience for their upcoming presentation.

[h/t Springwise]

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The World’s First 3D-Printed Opera Set Is Coming to Rome
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WASProject via Flickr

In October, the Opera Theater in Rome will become the first theater to play host to a 3D-printed set in one of its operas. The theater’s performance of the 19th-century opera Fra Diavolo by French composer Daniel Auber, opening on October 8, will feature set pieces printed by the Italian 3D-printing company WASP, as TREND HUNTER reports.

Set designers have been using 3D printers to make small-scale set models for years, but WASP says this seems to be the first full 3D-printed set. (The company is also building a 3D-printed town elsewhere in Italy, to give you a sense of its ambitions for its technology.)

Designers stand around a white 3D-printed model of a theater set featuring warped buildings.
WASP

The Fra Diavolo set consists of what looks like two warped historic buildings, which WASP likens to a Dalí painting. These buildings are made of 223 smaller pieces. It took five printers working full-time for three months to complete the job. The pieces were sent to Rome in mid-July in preparation for the opera.

Recently, 3D printing is taking over everything from housing construction to breakfast. If you can make an office building with a printer, why not a theater set? (Though it should be noted that the labor unions that represent scenic artists might disagree.)

[h/t TREND HUNTER]

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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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