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TweakTown News Posts - Page 9

VR pioneer Mark Polas hired by Microsoft

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 5 days, 19 hours ago

A name you might not know is Mark Bolas, but Microsoft has scooped him up and dropped him into the position of Partner Director of Program Management within Microsoft Research.




Bolas used to run the Mixed Reality Lab inside of USC's Institute for Creative Technologies, where he hired Oculus founder Palmer Luckey years before he took to Kickstarter with the Oculus Rift. Todd Richmond, Director Mixed Reality Lab/Studio and Advanced Prototypes at ICT said in an email to Upload VR: "While I don't speak for all of USC, I can say without hesitation that Mark is a brilliant researcher and was a valued colleague and dear friend. I'd welcome him back to ICT in a heartbeat".


Microsoft hasn't said what Bolas will be doing exactly, but Upload VR does provide some mouthwatering data points on Bolas:


  • Bolas is one of the world's foremost experts in mixed reality headset design.
  • Microsoft plans to support VR headsets with its upcoming 2017 Xbox Scorpio system.
  • Microsoft already demonstrated a solid inside-out tracking system with its $3,000 HoloLens, but getting that kind of robust tracking system to work with other kinds of headsets, including wide field of view VR, is the place Bolas might be able to offer assistance.

VR suitcase has HTC Vive, decked out PC - costs $10,000

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 5 days, 21 hours ago

VR gaming PCs are going to come in all shapes and sizes eventually, but a Munich-based company is already stepping up, showing off a VR suitcase which packs an HTC Vive headset, and a gaming PC to run it.




The suitcase has everything you'll need for an unpack-and-deploy VR gaming experience, including a gaming laptop and batteries, getting the VR set up in less than five minutes. The Innoactive VR suircase packs a VR-ready notebook powered by NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 1060, a carbon fiber docking station with an integrated pre-wired Vive link box, rechargeable battery and power adapters, the HTC Vive headset, controllers, and carbon fiber monopods for the base stations with integrated rechargeable battery packs for up to 8 hours of wireless operation.




As you can see, Innoactive has thought of everything. The VR-ready gaming PC is MSI's GT72R, powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, and the GeForce GTX 1060. It's not cheap, with each VR suitcase costing around $9400, plus applicable taxes and shipping.

Time Warner boss says DC movies 'could be better

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: 5 days, 23 hours ago

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was mashed together in a response to the money-making Marvel Cinematic Universe and the mega success of The Avengers, but too many chefs were in the kitchen and the movie was mostly a mess. The 3-hour 'Ultimate Edition' was a much better put-together movie, but it still failed to be a massive box office success.




Well, now we have Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes coming out and saying Batman v Superman underperforming, and Suicide Squad doing solid business, both were critically ripped apart. He recognises something is wrong, and when he sat down with Variety, he said: "We do think there's a little room for improvement. We can do a little bit better on the creative".


He continued: "The DC Comics characters have a little more lightness in them than maybe what you saw in those movies, so we're thinking about that. The strategy worked. The execution did deliver what we wanted to do. We're right on course or better. The main thing was to launch DC and reinvigorate it with the fan base. The reboot of Batman with Ben Affleck was a big success".

Continue reading 'Time Warner boss says DC movies 'could be better' (full post)

Get the ultimate DIY tech training at any price you want

By: TweakTown Deals | More News: Deals | Posted: 6 days, 1 hour ago



Have you ever dreamt of building you own robot? Now, you finally can with the Pay What You Want: DIY Hardware & Internet of Things eBook Bundle. Just name your price, and you can dive right into DIY guides for Raspberry Pi machines, Arduino wearables, and much more.


Here's how the bundle works: simply name your price, and you'll get access to the last two of the bundle's nine e-books. However, if you want all nine, you need to beat the average price paid.


From an i3 Berlin 3D Printer to your own robotics software, you'll get access to tutorials on building your own technological creations. You'll dive into wearable computing and learn how to design and build your own wearables that are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible. With even more tutorials on Raspberry Pi machines and Android devices, you'll have plenty of projects to bolster your robotics knowledge.


Simply name your price, and you can start making your own creations with the Pay What You Want: DIY Hardware & Internet of Things eBook Bundle.

Dark Souls III's Ashes of Ariandel new trailer released

By: Emma Tucker | More News: Gaming | Posted: 6 days, 3 hours ago

Dark Souls III's Ashes of Ariandel expansion has a new game trailer trending right now. Released only hours ago, publisher Bandai Namco titled the video: "Divert Thine Eyes" and is available to watch below:



The trailer showcases character abilities such as the use of fire to vanquish enemies as well as trademark combat fighting styles, famous to Dark Souls gamers. It also gives viewers a chance to see the type of scenery and map surroundings in which they will be playing on.


In addition, the Ashes of Ariandel expansion pack includes updated weapons, exclusive armor and new-age magical elements, all of which have not been seen in previous games.

Continue reading 'Dark Souls III's Ashes of Ariandel new trailer released' (full post)

Dragon Ball Fusions lands on Nintendo 3DS on December 13

By: Emma Tucker | More News: Gaming | Posted: 6 days, 5 hours ago

Publisher Bandai Namco announced recently that Dragon Ball Fusions will arrive on Nintendo 3DS in the US on December 13 and Europe on February 17, 2017.




At a press release delivered by the company, the following statement was given: "Use the Nintendo 3DS' camera to take pictures with friends and fuse them with Dragon Ball characters or trade special moves with nearby players."


Dragon Ball Fusions will contain more changes from previous editions with the most obvious being released as an RPG. Players will also be given the ability to create their own custom avatar, in addition to building their own team of warriors. The game will obtain a multiplayer feature and as stated in the quote, will fuse fighters together in order create an all-new character.

Continue reading 'Dragon Ball Fusions lands on Nintendo 3DS on December 13' (full post)

Harmonix release new themed DLC pack for Rock Band 4

By: Emma Tucker | More News: Gaming | Posted: 6 days, 7 hours ago

The classic Rock Band game has recently been under pressure, with complaints from players regarding the quality of artists and songs chosen for the game's set list. Developer Harmonix, in attempts to fix the issues, have announced a new Rock Band 4 DLC, titled: Ozzfest meets Knotfest 2016 Pack.




The Ozzy Osbourne, Slipknot and Megadeth themed expansion pack, provides players with more difficult but classic, rock songs from all three bands. It can purchased for $5.49 as a pack, or $1.99 if purchased individually via the Harmonix website.


The expansion contains songs "Dystopia" by Megadeth, "Road to Nowhere" by Ozzy Osbourne, and "The Devil In I" by Slipknot. It will be avaliable for PS4 and Xbox One and are now available on the Xbox One and PS4.

Continue reading 'Harmonix release new themed DLC pack for Rock Band 4' (full post)

Toyota's new electric car runs on your poop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: 6 days, 8 hours ago

This is something I didn't think I'd be typing, but Toyota has been working on a car that runs on your poop. The company has turned human waste into renewable hydrogen fuel to power its new electric car.




Chief Engineer of Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, Yoshikazu Tanaka, said that human waste is expected to solve Toyota's big 'chicken or the egg' problem. Toyota has said that nobody wants to buy their hydrogen cars when there are no hydrogen fuel stations, adding that no one wants to build a hydrogen fuel station when there are not a mass amount of hydrogen cars on the road.


Toyota is now producing the human waste-based fuel in a wastewater treatment plant in Fukuoka, Japan. How does it work? The sewage is separated into solids and liquid, with the solid waste called sewage sludge. In order to break down the solid waste, microorganisms are added, creating a biogas - which is around 60% methane, and 40% carbon dioxide.




After that, the CO₂ is filtered out and water vapor is added, creating hydrogen and more CO₂, reports RT. The remaining CO₂ is removed, resulting in pure hydrogen - from poop. It's not a quick process, with the Fukuoka plant pumping away 300kg of hydrogen per day, which is enough to power 65 of the new Mirai electric vehicles. The plant has the production facilities to fuel 600 cars per day, if all of the biogas they produced was converted to hydrogen.

Continue reading 'Toyota's new electric car runs on your poop' (full post)

Oculus Touch costs over $200, more expensive than Vive

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 6 days, 9 hours ago

Just as I've predicted, Oculus have seemingly priced their Touch controller at over $200 - with leaks coming from UK game retailer GAME. The store has the unreleased Touch controllers for the Rift priced at £189.99, requiring a £50 deposit.




£189.99 converts to $246, so we should expect around $249 for the Oculus Touch controllers in the US, and around $4199 in Australia. GAME have teased a "winter release" for Touch, something they were told by an in-store Oculus representative. With that out of the way, let's discuss why this pricing is utterly ridiculous, and dangerous for Oculus.




HTC has priced its much better, room scale VR capable Vive headset at $799 - which includes the Vive headset itself, and the two sensors and controllers. It's a complete package, instead of shipping the Oculus Rift in an Early Access-style way, throwing the Touch controllers out into the market nearly a year after the Rift CV1 was released, and now with a purported price of $250? Come on, Oculus.


Gamers are better off buying the HTC Vive, as it's an entire package from day one, versus a gimped together package spread out over 12 months, and now costing even more than the Vive. The Oculus Rift is still $599, and with a $250 price on the Touch controllers, we're looking at a total of $850 - $50 more than the Vive. It's not looking good at all for Oculus right now.

HTC Vive 2 could use improved, and cheaper tracking chip

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: 6 days, 9 hours ago

We're beginning to hear more and more on the successor to the HTC Vive, with Valve now recommending a new chip for future SteamVR-based headsets and accessories. The new chip will deliver improved performance and huge power consumption reductions compared to the first-gen solution, and it should also be cheaper, too.




The chip in question is the TS3633 integrated circuit from Triad Semiconductor, a US-based company that specializes in custom analog and mixed signal integrated circuits. Valve worked with Triad on the architecture of the chip itself, with Road to VR reporting that the chip "sits next to the photodiode as an interpreter of the raw signals from the Lighthouse basestations".


The original HTC Vive uses a discrete circuit sensor that has 41 individual components, while the new TS3633 has only 9 components, resulting in a simplified manufacturing process. Triad's VP of Marketing & Sales, Reid Wender, explained that the new chip is cost-optimized for high volume manufacturing. For the full system consisting of the VR headset and controllers, there are around 80 sensors, with the chip reducing component placements by 2560 over the 41 component per-sensor design of the current Vive.

Continue reading 'HTC Vive 2 could use improved, and cheaper tracking chip' (full post)