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Where do I begin to even categorize this? Within 'Augmented Reality', I guess? Well, Microsoft have begun testing their home automation software, dubbed HomeOS, over the past few months. HomeOS can view quite a lot of gadgets, more than you probably think.
HomeOS sees smartphones, printers and air conditioners as network peripherals, all controlled by a dedicated gateway computer. HomeOS even sports some apps, which perform functions such as energy monitoring, remote surveillance and face-recognition. This is all thanks to Microsoft testing the suite out in 12 homes over the past few months.
This list will only grow, and the apps are made available through a portal called "HomeStore". These apps will surely turn into something magical over the years if HomeOS takes off.
We've talked about this a few times, but the latest news to float onto the surface that is the sea of the Internet is that Valve were hiring hardware engineers, that myself, and other tech sites presumed was for their unannounced Steam Box home console. I was wrong. It seems as though Valve are hiring for something quite different: wearable computing.
Google are doing it, Apple will wait a few years and do it and call it revolutionary, but it seems Valve are also getting into the mix. Games Industry reports from a recent blog post by Valve developer Michael Abrash where he revealed the fact that Valve are hiring for wearable computing. The project is inspired by Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash, where Abrash has taken it upon himself to try and shrink computers down to the point where you can have one on you at all times.
The on-going multiple wars that the United States are knee-deep in probably won't stop anytime soon, and will most likely only get worse from here on out if everyone we're being fed on the news is right: Iran, North Korea and those pesky "terrorists" that the U.S. government fund left, right and centre. But, the latest step that the United State Department of Defense is working on is something very interesting indeed.
The U.S. DoD have signed a contract with Innovega, a Washington-based firm for development and testing of its dual-focus contact lenses. The technology would make it possible to project a HUD (heads-up display) onto the center of each lens, while keeping it in-focus regardless where the wearer is looking.
This would really just give the soldier a game-like HUD, where he could view his
health stats, armor, and XP - on a serious note, the soldier could see details like notes from superiors, real-time maps, satellite view, and more. We're already seeing the consumer level of this technology from Google in the form of their Project Glass.
Interesting to see where the future of technology is, we're really looking at combining a cyber lifestyle, with our body and person. It simultaneously scares me, and makes me want it oh so much.
Google Glasses was unveiled a little while ago, but questions started popping up from people who use prescription glasses, whether this new awesome looking technology would work with them. Well, hopefully there's no need to worry if a post from Google employee +Isabelle Olsson is anything to go by.
Olsson provided a mockup of what they'd look like, as well as Google's thoughts on the subject. Olsson has said that Google really want Project Glass to work for everyone, and they are actually experimenting with designs that are meant to be extendable to different types of frames.
Olsson continues saying that most of the Google team members wear glasses, so it's something they're definitely keen to get working. The above image is an early mock-up to show us what the device would look like sitting on prescription glasses. Personally, I just want the glasses here already. Like, yesterday.
A little situation of 'why him and not me', Google co-founder Sergey Brin was testing out their Project Glass augmented reality HUD out in public. He was spotted sporting the glasses at a Dining in the Dark charity event for the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Robert Scoble and Thomas Hawk were lucky enough to be at the same dinner, where they spotted Sergey wearing the glasses. Sergey explained that the glasses were a prototype, where they could see a "bluish light" flashing off his right eyeball. Scoble guesses the light meant that his Google+ profile was pulled up on Sergey's glasses, thanks to its augmented reality and always-on Internet connection.
He continued saying that most people around them had no idea that the glasses are actually different to normal specs. All I can say is, I want them and I want them now. So jealous.
Google has finally confirmed that it is working on augmented reality glasses. They believe it could greatly enhance the world around you. The project is called "Project Glass" and was originally reported by the WSJ back in February. This, however, is the first time that Google has confirmed and explained the project.
The video below shows a user looking out a window and seeing a weather forecast, following walking directions, replying to instant messages and engaging in a video conversation. Google is looking to start a conversation regarding what people would like to see implemented in the fledgling project. There is no mention of a release date.
A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We're sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.
Ok, I've seen this thing popping up on various websites, my Facebook feed and everything in-between, but now I'm spreading its wings and posting it on TweakTown myself. This is one of the most amazing videos I've seen, and truly makes you wish you were capable of this stuff as they guys in this video make it seem oh-so-easy.
Swedish magicians, Charlie Caper and Erik Rosales, on behalf of the city of Stockholk, have provided the world with what I would call, the best iPad presentation, ever. The video is just filled to the brim with sleight of hand tricks, cool presentation, and iPads.
The duo used seven new iPads, and do some truly amazing things in the 3 minute and 23 second video. I definitely recommend you watch this, and spread it around - you'll be smiling by the final few seconds. One thing it makes me want to do: live in Stockholm. I never really realised how great it sounded until they were listing off all of the great things the country has done. Well done, guys!
Griffin begins shipping Heli TC Assault helicopter, smartphone-guided and ready for you to begin heli-trolling
Griffin have today started shipping their latest-generation Android- and iOS-guided remote control helicopter, the Helo TC Assault craft. The device is guided by you, and your device, through an app running on your tablet, smartphone or heck, even an iPod touch.
The new version is different to the previous-generation release, where it can actually, wait for it: fire toy missiles from two spring-loaded launchers. YES! While using the app, the user is able to create a virtual joystick on their screen to pilot the helicopter in any direction.
They can also issue the same commands by tilting their device in certain directions. The app also sports the ability to save up to three flight plans for recreating the helicopter's route at a future time - think of it as the future Flight Control, but way better.
The Helo TC is available now, for $60.
I talked about this a few weeks ago, where I was quite excited by the potential of Android-powered Google HUD glasses. It's become more of a reality, where the New York Times reporting that Google are not only working on them, but Google are planning to launch the glasses by the end of this year.
The New York Times cite "several Google employees familiar with the project", where NYT's Nick Bilton reports that the glasses will be powered by Google's Android OS, sport 3G or 4G connectivity, as well as GPS and a few sensors, cost-wise, we'd be looking at "around the price of current smartphones", so between say $250 and $600.
The HUD glasses are also said to sport a low-resolution camera which can monitor your surroundings in real time and then overlay the relevant information, but Google are said to be paying attention to potential privacy concerts, and "wants to ensure that people know if they are being recorded by someone wearing a pair of glasses with a built-in camera".
Every time a new tech product comes out that I want, I make an excuse to how I can justify its purchase. Two Christmas' ago, I got myself some GTX 570s in SLI, just after my birthday last year, a Galaxy S II, and my birthday coming in March (March 12th to be precise, so all of your presents get to me on time) and now there's something I want.
9to5Google reported on this back in December, with some early information:
They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that "normal people" wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses. Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below: In addition, we have heard that this device is not an "Android peripheral" as the NYT stated. According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the "Google Goggles" could use a phone's Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.