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Swiss researchers develop pocket-sized, origami-inspired drone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 5 hours ago

Researchers are working on a new drone that is able to automatically unfold itself and quickly go airborne, with the compact and foldable drone ideally suited for emergency first response. The custom quadcopter drone is able to launch in less than one second, and is easily transportable since it's the size of the palm of your hand.




The current prototype has to be folded up by hand - taking less than 10 seconds with a skilled operator - but an auto-fold feature is in development. The drone weighs just 1.3 ounces, so first responders at a natural disaster site could launch a number of these small aircraft to help survey a site.


"You can take it out of the box, switch on the motor, and it's ready to fly," said Dr. Stefano Mintchev, professor of robotics at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, in a statement to LiveScience.

Energy drink companies turning to gamers to help boost sales

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: 5 days, 5 hours ago

It's no secret that PC and console gamers tend to love energy drinks, guzzling the highly caffeinated drinks to extend gaming sessions. Traditional energy drinks are under increased scrutiny due to deaths and medical issues suffered by binge-drinking the sugary and caffeinated drinks - with some companies releasing what they say are healthier alternatives.




Products such as GungHo and G Fuel, designed as "gamer drinks," promote being sugar-free with increased levels of vitamins - a rare alternative over traditional energy drinks.


"Sales of caffeinated energy drinks have grown dramatically without adequate consideration of the cumulative intake of caffeine by teens and adolescents and, due to the law governing food additives, without any premarket review by FDA," said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the FDA.

Continue reading 'Energy drink companies turning to gamers to help boost sales' (full post)

Logitech rakes in another seven design awards

By: Chris Smith | More News: Peripherals | Posted: 5 days, 6 hours ago

As seen in its latest press release, Logitech boasted another seven awards to add to the trophy shelves alongside another 43 in the last 16 months alone.




This time the International Design Awards added to the pile, seeing the G402 Hyperion Fury mouse and the CoferenceCam Connect taking home gold awards and the G302 Daedalus mouse, the Keys-To-Go and the Ultimate Ears UE MEGABOOM bringing home a silver award each. In addition, the AnyAngle saw a bronze award coupled with the Bluetooth Milti-Device Keyboard K480 seeing a silver and bronze award in two different categories.


Logitech's CEO is obviously quote pleased with this achievement, commenting "our hard work is paying off," adding "Logitech strives to be a leading company in technology, but one with design at its core. Our goal is to bring products to market that consumers love."

Continue reading 'Logitech rakes in another seven design awards' (full post)

Oculus teases 'Step into the Rift' event for June 11 in San Francisco

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 5 days, 7 hours ago

With E3 2015 just a month away now, Oculus VR has just announced a new "Step into the Rift" event for June 11 in San Francisco, where we should be introduced to the first consumer version of the Oculus Rift, CV1.




Last week we found out the recommended requirements to run the Oculus Rift, where you'll need a mid-range or better video card, and a semi-decent but not over-the-top PC to run CV1. Road to VR reports that they've "received confirmation" that the Oculus Rift CV1 runs 2160x1200 at 90Hz split over two displays, pushing a huge 233 million pixels per second.


Some might remember the tag that Palmer Luckey used during the Kickstarter for the Oculus Rift, which was "Step into the Game". This new "Step into the Rift" tease is a nice throwback to the Kickstarter campaign, as we are about to learn about CV1. The unveiling of Rift CV1 is big enough that it needs its own event, so that it won't get lost in the sea of announcements during E3 2015, which runs between June 16-18.

Continue reading 'Oculus teases 'Step into the Rift' event for June 11 in San Francisco' (full post)

Eye-tracking helping make virtual reality a hands-free technology

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 5 days, 7 hours ago

A growing number of companies want to break into virtual reality, and while most of the attention is on the Oculus VR Rift headset, there are opportunities for others in the market. One such company is FOVE, which hopes its hands-free virtual reality experience can yield an even more immersive experience.




"Eye-tracking is game-changing in VR," said Lochlainn Wilson, co-developer and CTO at FOVE, in a statement published by Reuters. "It allows for much more complex and subtle interaction than has been possible previously. By knowing exactly where the user is looking, characters in virtual reality can react to your gaze and return it naturally or avoid it or respond or question."


Wilson also points out that new possibilities are opened when eye-tracking is used in VR, creating "really sensitive emotional experiences" that more closely mimic real life. The headset has two built-in cameras that are able to track eye movement - scanning the eyes and tracking iris movement.

Worries of possible lethal use from emergency robots made for military

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: 5 days, 8 hours ago

There are a growing number of companies in the United States fighting for lucrative government contracts focused on disaster recovery. The Pentagon is hosting a multi-million-dollar competition that will have robots compete in a rigorous series of tests to gauge how developed this technology is at its current level.




"We don't know what the next disaster will be, but we know we have to develop the technology to help us address these kinds of disasters," said Gill Pratt, program manager at DARPA, when speaking with reporters.


Even though DARPA - and governments across the world - are developing robots that could be deployed for disaster recovery, there is some concern that autonomous robots could be used for rather devious purposes.

Continue reading 'Worries of possible lethal use from emergency robots made for military' (full post)

Innodisk pushes DRAM-less SSDs for embedded applications

By: Chris Smith | More News: Storage | Posted: 5 days, 8 hours ago

Innodisk claim its featured DRAM-less SSDs not only provide users with data loss prevention when sudden power failure is at play, but that its new 3ME3 series gives you "real-world performance" as stated in the latest issued press release.




Available in capacities up to 256GB and ready for order in Q3, these disks are designed for use in temperatures ranging from -40 to 85 degrees Celsius. Coupled with Innodisk's iDataGuard technology, it is further claimed that this product will contain a complete absence of "volatile memory buffers" once again relating to power loss situations.


Complete with new firmware and synchronous NAND flash, these drives will reportedly achieve 10/20K Random IOPS.

Oculus VR won't block porn content aimed at Oculus Rift owners

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 5 days, 9 hours ago

Rejoice! Oculus VR won't block pornography on the Rift virtual reality headset, in a change of pace from Facebook's typical stance on adult-themed content shared through the social networking website.




"The [Oculus] Rift is an open platform," said Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR, while speaking during a tech conference in Silicon Valley. "We don't control what software can run on it." It was an open and honest answer from Luckey, as panelists representing other companies with VR hardware carefully tried to dodge similar questions.


Even so, Facebook will still have full control of all apps and software available in the Oculus Store - but won't block third-party apps that provide porn. The decision means adult entertainment producers can create their own channels to release Rift-based porn apps if they choose to do so.

Continue reading 'Oculus VR won't block porn content aimed at Oculus Rift owners' (full post)

Exclusive: Razer changes up RazerStore give aways due to public outcry

By: Chris Smith | More News: Peripherals | Posted: 5 days, 9 hours ago

After the RazerStore grand opening in the Syntrend Mall in Taipei was shut down due to overcrowding and safety concerns, Razer announced a change in their give away policy for upcoming days, stating that members of the public should come dressed in Razer promotional gear or products in order to win further free things.



A person with information on the matter and who was present on the initial release day spoke to us about their account of what happened, claiming that the reason Razer changed up this policy was not only to entice users to proudly display their Razer logo to the rest of the audience, but because many of the over-crowding issues derived from non-gamers and people not interested in the company, but random members of the public of whom wished to score a free treat.


Due to this being no where near part of their target audience, after the shut down Razer re-focused their plan and announced that "the Razer community team on location plans to issue swag on a discretionary basis, honoring fans who come equipped with Razer gear, such as Razer Kraken headphones, shirts, bags and the likes" as seen in the latest issued press release.

Continue reading 'Exclusive: Razer changes up RazerStore give aways due to public outcry' (full post)

New Razer Taiwan store opening shut down due to massive crowds

By: Chris Smith | More News: Peripherals | Posted: 5 days, 10 hours ago

Thanks to Razer's massive fan-base, hundreds of fans flocked to the opening of the RazerStore in the Syntrend Mall in Taipei, Taiwan. Due to so many people turning up, the mall management ordered Razer to suspend its launch activities including give-aways of promotional materials and some peripherals.



In order to appease fans, Razer has offered free Nabu X wearables to the first 250 attendees of each day on the 16th and 17th of May, announcing that the store will be open at normal business hours from 11am until 10pm on these days.


In the future fans can also enter in the running to win special promotional bags if they attend this event wearing Razer merchandising or products on their person while special events are taking place.

Continue reading 'New Razer Taiwan store opening shut down due to massive crowds' (full post)

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