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VR movies are coming, whether you like it or not, but they might be making a splash much sooner than most thought. The Sundance Film Festival has teased that nine of the 13 'New Frontier' art installations at its upcoming event next year will be using VR technology.
One of which is Perspective; Chapter 1: The Party, which gives you a very personal look at the trauma of a social encounter from both perspectives, while another one dubbed 'Kaiju Fury' throws you right into the heat of a battle between monsters who try to destroy an entire city. There are other projects will want to immerse you even further, pulling your emotional strings, such as Project Syria.
Project Syria recreates the scenes from the country, currently in turmoil, where you can explore them all on your own terms.
The initial Google Glass model was loved by all for its functionality and refreshing new take on mobile computing, but many also complained about the clunky design and poor battery life. The original version was more of a proof-of-concept design than anything, and technological advances are already in the works. The slim new design eliminates most of the sidebar and the box that hangs behind the ear.
Recent Google Glass patent applications reveal some of the new changes. News that Intel is going to power the next revisions of Google Glass came about last week, and this will provide Google the flexibility to address the bulky hardware. There is no word if there will be more storage capacity, but new 3D NAND designs could provide amazing density as well. A new processor and chipset will enable better battery life and much smaller designs. The original hardware was based off of a 2011 mobile processor that wasn't the best fit for slim applications. Other new designs (pictured below) break the mold entirely and utilize very tiny components.
There's just some things you need to use in order to understand, and I think the Oculus Rift is one of them. More so, the STEM system from Sixense is another, and so is the StrikerVR gun. OK, I'm done - just watch the video below.
Yeah, that's some next-gen gaming right there. A physical gun you hold in the real-world which has actual recoil, while the STEM is tracking all of its movements in real-time, while you're receiving everything visual through the VR world of the Oculus Rift. Sign. Me. Up. Also, give me Half-Life 3.
President Obama hopes for Congressional approval on funding for police body cameras and training how to use the devices, offering $75 million over three years while matching state funding. If approved, this would provide upwards of 50,000 body cameras on police officers across the country, with local and state lawmakers also showing increased interest in this wearable technology.
The overall initiative is worth $263 million after training is included, White House officials told reporters. The White House is holding a number of meetings between the government, law enforcement representatives and civil rights leaders - with officer body cameras expected to be discussed.
Despite increased interest in officer body cameras, there are still certain concerns from all sides regarding the technology. Privacy experts are worried that officers won't disclose they are recording, with added certain that officers could simply forget to turn on the devices while on patrol.
Google Glass has revolutionized interaction with wearable computing devices, and many expect it to be the model for the future of wearable computing devices. The Google Glass concept is extraordinary, but the underlying technology has been a bit of a disappointment. The current models are based on the Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor, which is outdated to say the least. The processor first made its debut in the Motorola DROID RAZR back in 2011, and Texas Instruments has since vacated the mobile processor market. The old technology provided Google with a solid base of proven hardware, but falls short in computing power and battery life.
Industry insiders are reporting that Intel processors will power the next revision of Google Glass. Utilizing Intel's mobile processors will provide more computing power and better battery life, along with bringing in x86 functionality. More computing power will speed the interface and allow developers to create powerful apps that are in line with expectations for mobile devices. Current Google Glass models are also a bit bulky, and an updated processor and chipset will enable Google to significantly reduce the size and weight of the device.
The mobile market is not immune to trends and fads, and sometimes they can run counter to established norms. At first users wanted the smallest phone on the market. In the prehistoric pre-smartphone era some phones were so small they were almost impossible to dial. Smartphones changed that trend, and initial small versions have given way to phablets. Once again, bigger has become better. Cicret looks to solve the problem for us all with the largest useable screen packed into the smallest device possible. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, but the design is genius.
The Cicret Smart Bracelet debuted on Indiegogo and just finished its round of funding. The Smart Bracelet looks like a simple bracelet but has an embedded memory card, processor, accelerometer, vibrator, USB port, Bluetooth functionality, and Wi-Fi. The most important components consist of a pico-projector and an array of 8 proximity sensors. The projector beams the screen down onto the users forearm, and the proximity sensors track fingers to allow device interaction. The video below is simply amazing.
TZOA is a new project on Kickstarter, that is hoping to raise $110,000 to fund its wearable enviro-tracker. TZOA "measures your personal air pollution and UV exposure in real-time using advanced sensor technology", according to its Kickstarter page.
It will arrive as a small round tracker that has sensors on it that keep an eye on air quality, UV light, humidity, and temperature. All of this data is fed to a companion smartphone app to quantify the environment around you. From within the app, you can find out the quality of the local air, and upload this data to a crowdsourced pollution map of your town. That last bit, is a very nice trick.
The team is still in the early stages of building TZOA, with a projection production run starting in summer 2015. A $135 pledge on their Kickstarter page will secure you one of the first TZOA sensors off the production run.
Apple has updated the site for its Watch wearable, giving the world a much more detailed look at its first wearable. We get a look at pretty much every angle of Apple's upcoming wearable, form the top, side, the lush corners and most of all; the features.
The company has split the site into seven different sections; Timekeeping, New Ways to Connect, Health & Fitness, Design, Technology, Gallery and Films. All of which are filled with information on Watch, and a different story to be told. Check out the Apple Watch website for a super-detailed look on Apple's first wearable.
We've just received confirmation that Razer's new smartband, the Nabu, is finally confirmed for release - coming next week, first to the North American market, followed by the rest of the world soon after.
We've covered the Nabu's specifications and features before. As quoted by Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, the Razer Nabu is designed to work as "a cross between a smartwatch and a fitness band. It's a wearable device focused on helping you live smarter."
According to email contact between Razer's Australian promoters, Surprise Attack, the Razer Nabu release will begin next week. Coming at a price of $99.99, this new technology offering has been tested by "500 of Razer's most loyal fans" whom were given the ability "to buy the bands earlier in the year for a single dollar".
Sony is reportedly working on a new watch that utilizes e-paper, and could be released as early as 2015, as the Japanese electronics company restructures and shuffles focus on select technologies. The watch face and wrist band will be made of e-paper and the surface area will be able to display time and its appearance can be modified.
Instead of being a next-generation smartwatch, Sony hopes that the watch will include style alongside functionality.
"The innovation program is very important, but it will take time and require some risk taking," said Sado Nagaoaka, Hitotsubashi University professor. "It's not that Sony ran out of new ideas, but rather, it's taking too long to restructure, and gigantic losses have starved new businesses of funds."