Study’s Fantasy Text-Based Game Tests AI Agents’ Abilities

Facebook AI Research, the Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Applications (LORIA), and University College London recently conducted a study to determine if AI can navigate a fantasy text-based game, dubbed “LIGHT.” To examine the AI agents’ comprehension of the virtual world, the study investigated the so-called grounding dialogue, comprised of mutual knowledge, beliefs and assumptions allowing communication between two people. The large-scale, crowdsourced “LIGHT” environment allows AI and humans to interact. Continue reading Study’s Fantasy Text-Based Game Tests AI Agents’ Abilities

ETCentric Begins CES Coverage with Advance Sector Reports

ETC@USC’s coverage of CES 2018 (formerly the International Consumer Electronics Show) is underway as ETCentric begins its series of preview stories. Between now and the start of CES on January 9 in Las Vegas, our team will explore emerging trends and technologies with a focus on how these innovations may impact or influence media and entertainment. Even with more than 3,900 companies filling 2.5 million square feet with new products, services and technologies that span every industry, we’ve identified three broad segments that will help us organize our coverage: Input, Throughput and Output. Continue reading ETCentric Begins CES Coverage with Advance Sector Reports

Unique Compact Still Camera Captures 52-Megapixel Images

Startup camera company Light just debuted the L16, which weighs less than a pound, has a form factor small enough to fit in a back pocket and replaces one large lens with 16 smaller lenses and sensors that produce a 52-megapixel image. That image compares to the typical smartphone’s 12-megapixel image or 30-megapixel image from a DSLR camera. The L16 — intended for photography, not video, and priced at $1,950 — also offers an adjustable optical zoom that allows the user to change the level of background blur and focus. Continue reading Unique Compact Still Camera Captures 52-Megapixel Images

Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, who shot the Oscar-winning “Citizenfour” about Edward Snowden, along with 150 other documentary filmmakers, signed an open letter from the nonprofit Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) asking camera manufacturers Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Fuji, Kodak and Ricoh to add encryption features. The fear is that thieves, law enforcement or agents of authoritarian governments can access footage by simply taking possession of the camera, and the documentarians want protection. Continue reading Documentarians Entreat Camera Manufacturers for Encryption

Fastest Camera Ever Captures 100 Billion Frames per Second

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have created a camera that can capture how light moves as it goes through and around objects. The camera may be used to observe body processes, study quantum phenomena, and eventually develop invisibility cloaks. Compressed Ultrafast Photography (CUP), as the technique is known, achieves an incredible speed by converting photons to electrons and recording the time and space data needed to create an image. Continue reading Fastest Camera Ever Captures 100 Billion Frames per Second

Nvidia Designs New Pixel-Dense LCD Panels for VR Headsets

Researchers at Nvidia have found a trick that solves the problem of users being able to see the pixels in their VR headsets. By using a “cascaded display” involving two LCD panels, the researchers found that they could quadruple the pixel density of the headset, making pixels invisible to the eye even at close range. The cascaded displays also have a faster frame rate, making images appear smoother, and a reduced brightness, which is not a concern for the displays in VR headsets. Continue reading Nvidia Designs New Pixel-Dense LCD Panels for VR Headsets

Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

Sony and Panasonic are reportedly in early discussions to create a joint venture in next-gen panel tech for mobile devices with key Apple supplier Japan Display Inc. While OLED tech for TVs has been a pursuit of numerous companies, LG and Samsung have led the charge for smaller screens in mobile devices. According to people familiar with the matter, Japanese manufacturers hope they can compete with their Korean rivals in smaller panels through the new joint venture. Continue reading Sony, Panasonic May Team Up for Mobile Panel Tech Venture

Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Earlier this week, Technicolor revealed a prototype of its new Ultra HD set-top box that will allow viewers to watch TV in 4K resolution and at high frame rates twice as fast as typical 30 fps set-tops. Targeted for cable and satellite services, it is is the industry’s first high frame rate 4K STB. Technicolor, which is hoping to start rolling out the first Ultra HD boxes in about a year, is showcasing its family of STBs at this week’s National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles. Continue reading Technicolor Ultra HD Set-Top Box Supports High Frame Rate

Plans For Future Google Contact Lenses Include Micro Camera

Google has invented a new camera component to integrate into its future Google Glass-related smart contact lenses. These sophisticated lenses will allow users to control a tiny camera using the owner’s blinking patterns. The embedded camera will be able to capture and process an image to perform local functions in the contact lenses or on a remote device. This new technology may also be able to provide on-the-spot facial recognition or help blind people see. Continue reading Plans For Future Google Contact Lenses Include Micro Camera

SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

The first Saturday morning session of SMPTE’s Technology Summit On Cinema at NAB focused on factors that could impact the UHD TV rollout, including research on what humans are able to see and observe. During a panel titled “Understanding the Human Vision System,” Dr. Jenny Read of Newcastle University Institute of Neuroscience set the stage by discussing four parameters of vision: spatial resolution, temporal resolution, dynamic range, and color perception. Related studies from Dolby, EBU and EPFL were presented. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit: Understanding the Human Vision System

Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

Amazon.com announced yesterday that it has picked up two dramas, two comedies and two kids shows from the batch of 10 television pilots it was testing with viewers. Amazon considered feedback and ratings submitted by users, as it did with an earlier pilot season. However, this time twice as many viewers (more than two million) were involved with the process. While Amazon’s streaming service normally does not include ads, the pilots were sponsored by Geico so they could be available to all users, not just Prime subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Announces Six New Shows After Another Pilot Season

ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Carolyn Giardina of The Hollywood Reporter forwarded us news that Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm, has major expansion plans including a new facility in central London, just outside of Soho, and a move for the Vancouver team to a larger space that will allow the group to double from 100 to 200 employees. Lucasfilm also recently opened an ILM facility in Singapore. The VFX arm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Continue reading ILM Has Plans to Open New Visual Effects Facility in London

Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Avegant’s virtual reality headset Glyph features a visually stunning, immersive, 3D retinal display. The $499 Glyph does not have a screen like many of its competitors, including the Oculus Rift. Instead, it uses a projection method emitting light from a low-power LED that reflects light on both eyes’ retinas with lenses and about two million mirrors, so as not to cause eye fatigue. While many people are impressed, there are concerns regarding the headset’s size and cost. Continue reading Avegant Glyph: Virtual Reality Headset Gets Positive Review

Google Working on Contact Lens to Monitor Glucose Levels

We saw a number of compelling wearable solutions at CES this month. Now Google has a new project in the health realm of wearables, a smart contact lens for diabetics to help monitor their glucose levels. The lens measures those levels with tears, using a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor embedded in the lens. Prototypes can generate readings every second, and Google is even looking into inserting LED lights that could alert contact lens wearers to glucose levels that are either too high or too low. Continue reading Google Working on Contact Lens to Monitor Glucose Levels

Tobii Sets Sights on Gamers and Consumers with EyeX Tech

Their last appearance at CES sported a “gaze-controlled” version of the arcade game “Asteroids.” This time around Tobii is dreaming bigger and announced a new partnership with SteelSeries to prove it. The eye-tracking experts are working with the gaming peripheral manufacturer to deliver a unique controller capable of navigating the virtual world in a more natural way. As these devices won’t be available until the middle of this year, however, Tobii is whetting appetites with its new Windows-ready EyeX controllers. Continue reading Tobii Sets Sights on Gamers and Consumers with EyeX Tech

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