Arrange to meet your friends and chat online in real-time.
Looking backwards and forwards
If you were a child of the 50s, when the Cold War was in full flight, the idea of vaporising meant only a reference to the nuclear threat. Fortunately, things moved on to a more peaceful period in which the vaporiser was best known as an aid for people, especially children, with asthma or other respiratory complaints.
But vaporising or vaping, as Oxford's 2014 word of the year has it, is now the realm of reformed smokers. Thus far the scientific jury is still out over the merits of 'vaping', so it looks as if the 'vaporising' threat-level has been reduced, if not entirely eliminated.
And something for the year to come - the film Interstellar spun off a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift technology. Now Oculus Rift may sound like a character out of Harry Potter (well, it does to me) but it is in fact the head-mounted display which allows a completely immersive experience for gamers.
The real world is totally excluded, so this 'completely immersive' experience requires you to be sitting safely the whole time. Come to think of it, the idea of people wandering around with one of these modules on their head is much, much more dangerous.
But that's by the way. The technology may be a different type of magic than any at Hogwarts, but the results are amazing. For myself, I'm adequately terrified by the prospect of an opponent taking my pawn (and that's on a real-life chessboard, not even a computer), I've regularly gibbered through, possibly from under the cinema seat, such treats as Psycho, Carrie and the various Aliens and Predators, and I've tolerated endless weekends of listening to digital carnage on X-Box et al. So the prospect of having one of these headsets on and playing fully immersive hide-and-seek with iconic menacing sci-fi creatures is not my cup of tea. Obviously that's not the limit of the technology which makes me wonder just what will emerge...