Breakthrough in AI Technology Mimics Synapses in the Brain

Researchers from Nanyang Technical University in Singapore have developed a microfiber technology that enables them to build brain-like computers. “Photonic synapses” are collections of microfibers that pass electronic signals. The optical fibers can send signals at the speed of light, much faster than the neurons in real brains. This breakthrough could provide a boost to both robotics and AI technology. Improved vehicle control, speech, and search are just some of the possible applications. Continue reading Breakthrough in AI Technology Mimics Synapses in the Brain

Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader, released with the iPhone 5s, includes a sensor the thickness of a human hair, a sapphire crystal button, capacitive tech and complex data analysis. Alabama-based startup IDair believes it can replicate the quality of the Touch ID with a simpler approach that uses existing smartphone cameras to capture images of users’ fingers. IDair’s tech uses an algorithm the company has patented to convert the image into a means of identification. Continue reading Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

South Korean researchers at public university KAIST have developed an alternative to Google Glass called the K-Glass. Although similar to Google’s electronic eyewear, KAIST’s wearable alternative is equipped with a special AR chip that enables the device to recognize objects without relying on barcodes or other markers. While currently bulkier than Glass, KAIST explains that its processor “duplicates the ability of the human brain to process visual data.” Continue reading K-Glass: South Korea Developing Alternative to Google Glass

Artist Offers New Views of Iconic Movie Sets with 3D Models

Four iconic movie sets recently received a 3D makeover by Dutch artist Siebe de Boer. The artist created fully three-dimensional computer models of the Greenwich Village courtyard from “Rear Window,” the modernist living room of “Gattaca,” the Shangri-La towers of “Brazil,” and the War Room from “Dr. Strangelove.” While the original sets used optical illusions to appear three-dimensional, de Boer’s versions use detailed artistry to allow viewers to look at the sets from any angle. Continue reading Artist Offers New Views of Iconic Movie Sets with 3D Models

Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

The focal point of the virtual reality renaissance, the Oculus Rift, is edging closer to its consumer release. The company was at the 2014 CES showing off the latest update to its ever-improving 3D head-mounted display with a prototype codenamed Crystal Cove. The new device improves the frame rate and image persistence of its two screens to reduce motion blur. ETC was on-hand to test out the latest VR experience and talk to the company’s young founder, Palmer Luckey. Continue reading Changing the Way We Game: Virtual Reality with Oculus Rift

Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Canon unveiled new models of its Vixia camcorders and PowerShot cameras at CES, including the $300-$450 Vixia HF R52, HF R50 and HF R500 camcorders with 57x zoom; the $400 Vixia mini X compact personal camcorder with 12.8 megapixel sensor; the $250 PowerShot SX600 HS with 18x optical zoom and 16-megapixel CMOS sensor; the $200 ELPH 340 HS with 12x optical zoom; and the $350 PowerShot N100 digital camera, which includes a new “dual capture mode.” Continue reading Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Augmented Reality Needs Powerful Storytelling and Interaction

Google Glass moved Augmented Reality from the science fiction depicted in “Minority Report” to the real world. But the technology — which allows the superimposition of data, 3D CGI or video over a real environment, in real time — still has a long way to go. More importantly, the work has barely begun to make AR a revenue-generating business. “We’re not just putting content on top of the world but using context to decide what to display and how to display it, to expand the story and the experience,” said DAQRI CEO Brian Mullins. Continue reading Augmented Reality Needs Powerful Storytelling and Interaction

YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

Billed as, “professional grade motion capture without cameras, cords, or specialized studios,” YEI Technology is promoting its PrioVR suit as the next step in full-body immersion. The 17-sensor, inertial sensing suit can be put on with minimal effort and promises to offer 360 degrees of low-latency, wireless motion capture. The system offers a great deal in terms of virtual reality gaming, but could also make waves for independent cinematographers looking for low cost motion capture. Continue reading YEI Demos PrioVR Suit: Combines Motion Capture and Gaming

Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

There are only 300 of Valve’s Steam Machine gaming PCs, and they’re being shipped to beta testers. But Valve’s production of the device will end there — this is just a prototype. Third party-manufactured machines will be revealed in January at the next Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, during which consumers will get more information about Steam’s specs. What we know now is that the device will have high- and low-end models. Continue reading Valve Releases Steam Game Machine Prototypes for Testing

Google Nexus 5 Smartphone Now Available for Android Fans

Google’s Android-powered Nexus 5 is now available with many of the features that were leaked prior to its release. The new smartphone includes an upgraded 4.95-inch 1080p display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 2.3Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM. It shows off the latest Android 4.4 technology, also known as KitKat, and it can be purchased on the Google Play Store today in 16GB ($349) or 32GB ($399) models. Continue reading Google Nexus 5 Smartphone Now Available for Android Fans

IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

According to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the announcement of a next-generation Blu-ray Disc compatible with Ultra HD is imminent, putting to rest concerns of a potential 4K format war. During the IFA conference in Berlin, Marty Gordon, VP for Alliances & Communications at Philips and spokesman for the BDA, said that an announcement regarding an enhanced Blu-ray format involving a traditional-looking disc is expected in the near future. Continue reading IFA 2013: No 4K Format War Expected with Next-Gen Blu-ray

DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Digital Optical Tape System (DOTS) could be the answer to the film industry’s digital archiving problem. Group 47, a startup of several Hollywood technology veterans, is getting ready to build an engineering model, and hopes to have the technology available in the next 18 months. The company proposes DOTS as a robust, secure, inexpensive digital archiving format that could last more than 100 years. The plan is to further develop the technology and license it to manufacturers.  Continue reading DOTS Technology Could Solve Hollywood Archiving Challenges

Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Sales for compact, point-and-shoot, digital cameras have declined 42 percent in the first five months of 2013, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. Most major manufacturers have been affected, such as Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Olympus and others. The declines are primarily due to smartphones that are replacing the need for stand-alone compact digital cameras, driving manufacturers to focus on premium digital camera lines. Continue reading Point-and-Shoot Cameras Face Decline in the Smartphone Era

Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images

Bell Labs is developing a new class of imaging device that does not require a lens, but instead uses a light sensitive sensor to create a high resolution image. A new technique known as compressive sensing minimizes redundancy to acquire data with carefully chosen measurements. The camera, which merely features an aperture assembly and a sensor, records images that are never out of focus. Additionally, when using two pixels instead of one, it can create two different images of the scene. Continue reading Bell Labs: Lensless Camera Records Multiple View Images

Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning

The Android version of the Google Drive mobile app has been updated to include a number of new features, including the ability to scan receipts, business cards and other documents with your camera phone and save them in the cloud via Drive. In addition to the ability to scan documents, the update uses an optical technology in order to search the stored images. And according to Google, a new grid view makes it easier to find files. Continue reading Google Drive Update: Mobile Android App Features Scanning