Toshiba recently showed off Aiko Chihira, the humanoid communication robot that is able to communicate via sign language. Dressed in a pink blouse and white skirt, the robot can lip sync to a recorded message while translating the message into Japanese sign language.
"We wanted to develop a sign-language robot because it's challenging technologically, requiring speed and precision movements," said Hitoshi Tokuda, from the Toshiba New Business Development Division. "It needs a humanlike appearance and expression because a C-3PO appearance wouldn't work."
Toshiba received help from the Shonan Institute of Technology and Shibaura Institute of Technology, as both universities provided robot driving solutions and sensor-based motion-teaching technology. Japan remains a leader in humanoid robotics research, with universities and companies developing life-like technologies able to provide assistance in day-to-day activities.
The lack of backwards compatibility between the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One isn't lost among Microsoft designers, and will be something that could lead to a solution later down the road.
"Back compat is always a hot topic at the turn of a generation, and I get why, especially on [Xbox 360] so many people bought so much digital content and it means that a lot of us, we're holding on to our 360s," said Phil Spencer, head of the Microsoft Xbox division, in a recent interview. "I get the question. I totally respect the question. There's nothing I can say about it right now, but I'll just say 'I hear you.' I definitely hear you and I'll continue to try to work to build something that can help people out."
The problem is probably less significant for Sony with its PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners - as the Japanese console dominates sales charts - and allows gamers to play older titles using PlayStation Now. The Wii U supports backwards compatibility but hasn't been as popular among hardcore gamers.
When it comes to teenagers and sexting, it doesn't matter if the teenagers are engaging in risky behavior, according to a new study from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Studying several years of data collected at local Texas high school students, sexting was seen as a general indicator of sexual activity - and not necessarily associated with risky behavior - as high schools and parents try to find ways to reduce the problem.
Despite sexting not being a new problem, with the adoption of smartphones, there is a higher risk of images and videos being stolen or accidentally shared with other people, researchers noted.
More than one in five teenage girls have sent nude or semi-nude photos, with 17 percent of sexters admitting they share images with other people. It's an issue that is getting students in trouble, while others are left embarrassed, as high school administrators and parents seem to be unable to slow the problem down further.
The Operation Predator app is helping keep some child predators in check, and has led to several arrests, with more versions of the safety app now available. The app helps protect citizens by sending alerts of wanted predators, and people can submit tips via online form or phone tip line.
"They've exploited children using technology for years, and now it's time for us to use technology to exploit them," said Bruce Foucart, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations special agent in Boston recently noted. "I hope this sends a message to them."
Sex offenders cunningly use technology to lure potential victims, and it's good to see technology help keep them in check. Since being introduced, the Operation Predator app has been downloaded more than 93,000 times. In addition to an Apple iOS and Google Android version of the app, designers hope a Spanish language version helps create additional interest.
It feels like we're very close to the Radeon R9 300 series of GPUs, with AMD dropping the price of its Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X GPUs in the last week, but now news is floating around of the Pirate Islands-based architecture, AMD's next-generation GPU.
The news is coming courtesy of AMD's just-released "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver, which is something that will form the base of Closed Source (Catalyst) and Open Source (Gallium3D) drivers for Linux. Within all the deep-dive on the technical side of things, AMD mentions that the AMDGPU kernel driver is being tested on Sea Islands, as well as unreleased hardware.
The current DRM driver for Linux is known as 'Radeon' which won't be supported by the upcoming AMD GPUs, with the driver not supporting current, or older generation cards. This means that AMD must be in the testing phase of its Pirate Islands GPUs, which will arrive to us as the Radeon R9 300 series, with the flagship card being the R9 390X. We could hear AMD announce these new cards before the end of the year, with a roll out in early 2015, we hope.
Straight up: Ubisoft, whatever you are smoking, please share it with me. Maybe it'll help me with the stress of what I'm about to report to the world. Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed Unity, the first game in the series to be built from the ground up for the new consoles, will be running at 900p and 30FPS on both the Xbox One and PS4.
Worse than that, is what Nicolas Guérin, World Level Design Director on Unity, told TechRadar. Guérin said that decision of 30FPS was to give the game world of AC: Unity a more cinematic feel. He said: "At Ubisoft for a long time we wanted to push 60 fps. I don't think it was a good idea because you don't gain that much from 60 fps and it doesn't look like the real thing. It's a bit like The Hobbit movie, it looked really weird". He continued: "And in other games it's the same - like the Rachet and Clank series [where it was dropped]. So I think collectively in the video game industry we're dropping that standard because it's hard to achieve, it's twice as hard as 30fps, and its not really that great in terms of rendering quality of the picture and the image".
Guérin had backup from the 30FPS camp, with Assassin's Creed Unity's Creative Director, Alex Amancio chiming in, saying: "30 was our goal, it feels more cinematic. 60 is really good for a shooter, action adventure not so much. It actually feels better for people when it's at that 30fps. It also lets us push the limits of everything to the maximum. It's like when people start asking about resolution. Is it the number of the quality of the pixels that you want? If the game looks gorgeous, who cares about the number?".
It looks like the cat is out of the bag when it comes to Motorola's forthcoming Droid Turbo, a new smartphone that has popped out of nowhere with its new User Manual.
The Droid Turbo is teasing an impressive specs list, which includes a 5.2-inch "ultra high-definition display", "high-capacity long last battery", 21-megapixel rear-facing camera, Qi wireless charging, NFC, and support for Motorola's Turbo Charger, which should be included in the box for the Droid Turbo. The smartphone should also include most of the best features that were baked into the Moto X, which include Moto Voice, Display, Actions, Assist, and Connect.
One of the standout features is the fact that it looks to be running a very vanilla version of Android, without much UI changes splashed on top. We should hopefully hear more on this Verizon-bound smartphone soon.
As new technologies continue to roll out in new vehicles, distracted driving is still a major hazard, including the use of Siri and other voice-activated technologies. Using voice-activated services on a smartphone and in-car infotainment systems can be fun, but studies indicate participants struggled to safely and effectively complete cognitive tasks.
Despite many U.S. states adopting hands-free laws - or considering future legislation - conversations and a growing number of other tasks are becoming common place. Automakers are following increased demand from drivers to boost in-car technology, despite the threat of distracted driving.
"Infotainment systems are unregulated," said Deborah Hersman, National Safety Council president, when speaking of in-vehicle technology. "It is like the Wild West, where the most critical safety feature in the vehicle - the driver - is being treated like a guinea pig in human trials with new technologies."
HTC has made its Desire Eye smartphone official, confirming that the best selfie-taking smartphone is now here, featuring dual 13-megapixel cameras. That's right, a 13-megapixel camera graces the rear, which isn't too special, but the 13-megapixel up front should have selfie-taking lovers opening their Eyes at this smartphone, geddit?
The new Desire Eye features a 5.2-inch Full HD display, 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM. 16GB of flash storage expandable by microSD, and then of course, the dual 13-megapixel cameras. Both of the 13-megapixel cameras feature wide-angle lenses, and dual-LED flashes. Stereo BoomSound speakers are found on the Desire Eye, three microphones, a 2,400mAh battery, and Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
HTC wasn't scared of the fact that the new Desire Eye is made from plastic, but it's not cheap according to BGR who attended the Double Exposure event. The site reports that "the Desire Eye has a smooth and sleek design that is surprisingly impressive. There are no seams despite the band of color that surrounds the perimeter of the handset, and it feels good in the hand despite its large size". One of the stand out features on the Desire Eye is the new camera software, which comes with six main add-ons which make the selfie-taking experience, well, better.
Today Samsung announced mass production of 3-bit per cell 3D vertical NAND (TLC V-NAND). This shouldn't come as a surprise since Samsung first started talking about the new TLC version just days after releasing the 850 Pro SSD with MLC V-NAND. Even though the surprise is lost, that doesn't mean this isn't a technical achievement that can profoundly impact the consumer and enterprise cold storage SSD markets.
The press release doesn't mention by name the long rumored 850 EVO SSD but does say that something, maybe even a couple of somethings are coming.
"With the addition of a whole new line of high density SSDs that is both performance- and value-driven, we believe the 3-bit V-NAND will accelerate the transition of data storage devices from hard disk drives to SSDs," said Jaesoo Han, Senior Vice President, Memory Sales & Marketing, Samsung Electronics. "The wider variety of SSDs will increase our product competitiveness as we further expand our rapidly growing SSD business."