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Google Glass isn't even here yet and we're already seeing lawmakers make their movies. West Virginia lawmakers are trying to push in a new bill that would make it illegal to drive while "using a wearable computer with head mounted display."
The news comes from CNET, from a piece by Chris Matyszczyk, where he received an e-mail from Gary G. Howell, a Republican in the West Virginia Legislature. The e-mail read "your article on Google Glass prompted this bill." Matyszczyk asked Howell how this had all of the sudden transpired, but Howell isn't totally against Glass, telling Matyszczyk:
I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law. It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension.
We know that Apple are working on a smart watch, but now their biggest competitor in the mobile OS department is reportedly joining the wearable computing rumors.
The Financial Times have a source who has said that Google is looking at entering the smart watch market, but the device isn't being worked on by their X Labs department, but rather their Android department. There's no concrete information to go on here, but it would be an Android-powered smart watch according to The Financial Times' sources.
I'm sure we'll see Google put all of their power into Glass first, as that is going to be their true moment in the spotlight.
I wish this were me doing the video, but I'll continue to dream for now. The team at Oculus have received their first Rift off the production line, and have done a nice unboxing video for the world.
They've also taken the time to announce through the Oculus blog that developer kits will begin shipping to the earliest Kickstarter backers by March 29. Once the dev kit ships to the backer, they'll receive an e-mail confirmation so that they can track their Rift as it is shipping to their door. Oculus expect to deliver between 1000-1500 units per week until they've fulfilled all of their orders.
The Oculus Rift developer kit comes with a plethora of goodies, including:
- 1x Rift Development Kit + Control Box (6ft cable)
- 1x Hard-Shell Case
- 1x 3ft Mini USB Cable
- 1x 3ft DVI Cable
- 1x 3ft HDMI Cable
- 1x 6ft HDMI Cable
- 1x HDMI / DVI Adapter
- 3x Pairs of Lens Cups (Focal Adjustment)
- 1x Power Cord with Adapter
- 3x International Plug Adapters
It's great to see Oculus taking care of international users, including 3 international plug adapters. It's these little things that show they're listening to users, and helping out in anyway they can to make developing on the Rift as easy as possible.
Samsung has made it no secret that it intends to go head to head with Apple in everything it does. This time we are getting reports that the Korean make-everything giant is planning on entering the Smart Watch game... again.
Samsung's executive VP said in an interview with Bloomberg today that "We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them." He went on to say that between Apple and Samsung the "issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully."
This is not the first time Samsung has taken on the role of Smart Watch builder, just back then we did not call them smart watches. The S9110 "Watchphone" debuted in 2009 and a decade earlier, it released the SPH-WP10 "Watch Phone". Who do you think will win the Smart Watch war? My bet is on Samsung, but in reality all we can do is sit back and watch.
Valve have quite the announcement today, telling the world that Team Fortress 2 will get a new mode this week - "VR Mode" for Oculus Rift, the superstar VR headset. This means that people who own the development kit of Oculus' VR headset can play Team Fortress in virtual reality.
Engadget have an interview with Joe Ludwig, one of the engineers in Valve working with Team Fortress 2's VR Mode. The interview can be seen here. The good news doesn't stop there! What good is a new mode if we don't have a new exclusive had in the game? The Oculus Rift development kit is now a wearable item within the game! Valve has been even more generous, donating Rift hats to the Oculus developer community - so if you backed the Kickstarter campaign at any level at all, or pre-ordered one of the Rift developer kits from Oculus' website before April 1, 2013, you'll receive a code to redeem your own TF2 Oculus dev kit hat.
Now the big question - how long until we see Rift support added to other games? In Engadget's interview with Joe Ludwig, he says that TF2's VR Mode is a big test, to see how the community accepts it. Obviously Oculus' Rift headset won't be available to the consumer market until later in the year, so hopefully we see some Steam Box support, and maybe some Half-Life 3 launch at E3 with Rift support? Or am I asking too much ther
A group from Duke University have unveiled a new app destined for Google Glass called "InSight". InSight is capable of recognizing people without using the normal facial recognition technology, instead it will detect people by learning and identifying the patterns and colors of their clothes.
This means that someone wearing Glass and running InSight could detect friends or co-workers in a crowd of people, without the app having to go crazy with facial recognition, instead just detecting the person through their fashion. The group have pushed out a paper describing how Glass users could use a nametag for each person in a room, or, when names are not suitable, users could tweet for someone else "looking to share a cab."
You can read more on InSight right here.
If there's one bit of technology kit I'm the most excited for, it would be a huge tie between Google Glass, and Oculus' Rift VR headset. News is leaking out now that head of DICE's Frostbite creative team, Frank Vitz, is eager to get his hands on Oculus Rift, and test it out on the powerful graphics engine.
All of this started when an MTBS3D (Meant to be Seen) forum member found an intern job posting by EA's DICE, which was looking for someone to work on next-generation VR technology. The job posting specifically talked about investigating and building support into the Frostbite engine for the Oculus Rift headset. MTBS3D president, Neil Schneider, e-mailed Vitz as he thought he might have something to do with the job posting.
The only thing that is being hyped as much as the PlayStation 4 this week is Google's Project Glass. Earlier this week we heard about a new contest being held to let select individuals get in on the pre-order program, and now we are hearing reports that Apple iPhone users will indeed get compatibility with the wearable technology.
This morning The Verge released an extensive hands on with Google's futuristic eye-ware, but what is more interesting is the fact that Verge writer Joshua Topolsky was able to get a definitive answer on whether or not the exciting new project would be compatible with the iPhone, or if Google planned on keeping it exclusive to Android devices.
The device gets data through Wi-Fi on its own, or it can tether via Bluetooth to an Android device or iPhone and use its 3G or 4G data while out and about. There's no cellular radio in Glass, but it does have a GPS chip.
The article also mentions that Project Glass head Steven Lee has said that we should see project glass hitting the shelves before the end of 2013.
Last summer at Google's annual tech conference, Google I/O, the company opened up the "explorer" edition of its Project Glass headset for pre-order to IO developer and early adopter attendees. At the time you had to fork over $1500 for the early access to the headset.
Google is re-opening the pre-order program for its headsets, with one caveat. You must be a "Creative Individual" and enter the #ifihadglass competition, being held by Google now. If your entry is chosen, Google will allow you to pre-order a pair of Google Glasses.
The competition is open to US residents only who are of the age of 18 or older. Applicants must impress Google in 50 words or less which explain what you would do if you had Glass. Entries must start the essay with the hashtag #ifihadglass, can include up to five photos, and a 15 second video. The pre-order will still cost you $1500 if you are chosen. You can find the competition at the source link below.
Short and sweet to get your early morning, or late night going - with Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, being one of the first people in Australia to test out Google's Project Glass.
There's not much else to go on apart from this coming from her Twitter page, but it's good to see Google venturing the world letting people use this - everyone except me it seems, or at least feels like. Google, while you're in Australia, how about popping into my house and letting me go for a spin on Glass?