Nintendo Intros DIY Labo VR Kit With Mini-Games For Kids

Almost a year ago, Nintendo debuted Labo, a DIY cardboard virtual reality kit for Switch. Now, the company is introducing its fourth kit, this one an intro to VR for children. Labo’s VR kit includes “simple and shareable” mini-games for multiple players, but requires users to hold the handset up to their faces. With the version for children, mini-games are designed for kids to pass around the screen and take turns, which Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser said encourages “both virtual and real-world interactions.” Continue reading Nintendo Intros DIY Labo VR Kit With Mini-Games For Kids

Odeon Cinema and Telia Test 5G-Connected Movie Theater

Odeon Cinema Center in Oslo and Norwegian mobile firm Telia teamed to operate the first 5G-connected movie theater, presenting films streamed over the next-gen network. The plan was announced in December, with the introduction of a 5G “test network.” The two companies are still in test mode with the launch of the 5G-enabled Odeon, to demonstrate how 5G will replace 4G and at least some wired broadband services. The Odeon is in fact using 5G to transfer the films to its own server, and said the system “works excellently.” Continue reading Odeon Cinema and Telia Test 5G-Connected Movie Theater

Nintendo Plans New Version of Switch Hybrid Game Console

To increase sales of its Switch game console, Nintendo plans to launch a new version by the second half of 2019. When Switch debuted in March 2017, sales soared. Although they are still robust, they’re losing steam enough to prompt Nintendo to prep a second version that will, it hopes, keep the console competitive. According to sources, Nintendo is still contemplating what hardware and software to include in the next version. One possibility is an improved display, which is currently a lower-end LCD. Continue reading Nintendo Plans New Version of Switch Hybrid Game Console

Review Praises Camera Functionality of Samsung Galaxy S9+

With a few weeks to go until the release of Samsung’s latest high-end smartphone, the Galaxy S9+, its camera just earned the top spot on DxOMark (a site that tracks and rates camera sensors, lenses and smartphone cameras). The S9+ received a score of 99 — the highest for any handset to date — with a review indicating the camera has no “obvious weaknesses.” The score is one better than the Pixel 2’s camera and two better than the iPhone X camera. The biggest addition to the S9+ camera is a dual-aperture for low light shots and a zoom lens.

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Yuneec Announces Updated Typhoon H and Two New Models

Yuneec International announced three new drones at CES — an update to its popular Typhoon H, which initially debuted two years ago, and two new entries: the $700 Firebird FPV (the company’s first fixed-wing drone) and the $180 HD Racer (Yuneec’s first racing drone). The $1,800 Typhoon H Plus is designed for professional photographers and videographers; Yuneec claims the drone’s six-rotor hex airframe produces 40 percent less noise than earlier hex models and can maintain stability in winds up to 30 mph. It also uses Intel RealSense tech to avoid collisions. And with a high-aperture lens and one-inch sensor, the camera can capture 20-megapixel stills and 4K video at 60fps. Continue reading Yuneec Announces Updated Typhoon H and Two New Models

Startup Debuts Watch-Sized $99 Intelligent Toy Drone at CES

Chinese startup Ryze Tech is debuting its smartwatch-sized, 80g toy drone in Las Vegas this week. Featuring vision-processing tech from Intel and flight stabilization from DJI, the $99 Tello will launch in China later this month and be available in the U.S. after March. The drone is aimed at younger users, with an emphasis on safety and ease-of-use, and features an HD camera for capturing 5-megapixel photos, 360-degree video, and live-streaming to a mobile device or third-party VR headset. The Tello is capable of flying for 13 minutes at a time and is controlled from a mobile app connected via Wi-Fi. Continue reading Startup Debuts Watch-Sized $99 Intelligent Toy Drone at CES

Panasonic Intros Compact, Lightweight Super 35mm Camera

Panasonic debuted its 5.7K cinema camera, the AU-EVA1, at Cine Gear Expo in Hollywood last week. The camera, which is meant to fill a gap between the Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera and the VariCam LT 4K cinema camera, is aimed at handheld shooting, making it ideal for commercials, documentaries and music videos. The compact camera, which can easily fit in a backpack, weighs 2.65 pounds (body only), sports a newly designed sensor and will be priced under $8,000 when it ships in the fall. Continue reading Panasonic Intros Compact, Lightweight Super 35mm Camera

Twitch to Start Streaming 1080p at 60fps in Upcoming Weeks

Amazon broadcasting site Twitch announced that its support for 1080p video resolution at 60 frames per second will significantly improve video quality when live-streaming via the platform. To accommodate the higher frame rate, Twitch is lifting its 3.5-megabit ingest bitrate restriction. Twitch product manager Noreen McInnis says the company recommends “3-to-6 megabits for most streams, skewing toward the higher end for 1080p broadcasts or faster, more demanding games.” Continue reading Twitch to Start Streaming 1080p at 60fps in Upcoming Weeks

Netflix Video Codec Study Finds x265 More Efficient Than VP9

After comparing 5,000 streaming clips from 500 titles using x264, x265, and libvpx codecs, Netflix found x265’s implementation of HEVC to be the most efficient while offering the highest quality. However, “whether that matters in light of compatibility and licensing issues isn’t so obvious,” notes Streaming Media. The study, which focused on VOD rather than live, compared codecs and not specifications (instead of comparing encoding specs, Netflix compared implementation of the specs). “Netflix’s tests clearly show that x265 is 20 percent more efficient than libvpx when encoding premium content using the most stringent settings, and measuring quality with VMAF.” Continue reading Netflix Video Codec Study Finds x265 More Efficient Than VP9

GoPro Hero5 Features Cloud-Connectivity and Voice Control

GoPro has revealed some of the details of its upcoming Hero5 camera, including a short instructional video that shows the camera in greater detail. Design-wise, Hero5 looks similar to the Hero4 and GoPro’s previous cameras, with its rectangular shape and the lens and front-facing screen in the same corners. New for Hero5 is the fact that this is GoPro’s first camera to be connected to the cloud; a fully charged camera will automatically upload all the footage to the user’s GoPro account. Also new is voice control.

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Augmented Reality Glasses: Vendors Talk Now, Release Later

The main message from many of the AR glasses vendors on the CES show floor was that their current technology meets market needs, but they already plan to release major improvements on the current product line within the next year. Some of them demonstrated working prototypes of those next-generation glasses. Others had non-working mock-ups with descriptions of technical specifications that they said were close enough to the planned deliverable to be discussed publicly. We saw solutions from companies such as Osterhout Design Group, NuEyes, QD Laser, Lumus and Vuzix. Continue reading Augmented Reality Glasses: Vendors Talk Now, Release Later

CES: Amped Demonstrates its Long Range Apollo Wi-Fi Cam

Amped Wireless is showing its extended range, Wi-Fi-enabled HD cameras at CES. The 720p, 110-degree FOV (field of view) Apollo cameras feature amplifiers and a high gain antenna to extend its useful range on any Wi-Fi network up to 200 feet for the $150 base model and 300 feet for the $180 Pro model. (Distances of 50-100 feet are normal for comparable cameras.) The Apollo Pro also features 2-way audio, advanced night vision and a motion-detection trigger. The free mobile app that comes with the Apollo can manage multiple cameras simultaneously. Continue reading CES: Amped Demonstrates its Long Range Apollo Wi-Fi Cam

New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

The FLYBi automates many of the operational tasks that often frustrate drone users. In addition to standard features (remote control, companion app, 12MP camera, 1080p video, on-board Wi-Fi), the FLYBi has the ability to take off, hover, land — even return and change batteries — with little or no interaction by the pilot. VR goggles aid in operation, thanks to a camera unit installed on a gimbal and connected to the head-tracking unit. The FLYBi also features a 1.8-inch display with anti-glare glass and a wrist-worn remote, one of the first wearable drone controllers. Continue reading New Drone Adds Wearable Remote, Head-Tracking VR Goggles

Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Nvidia has unveiled GeForce NOW, a subscription service that streams PC games from the cloud to SHIELD devices. GeForce NOW was re-architected based on information gained from running the GRID beta, which is ending; SHIELD devices will update to replace the GRID app with GeForce NOW. The service offers two key differentiators: better image quality and instant access. The new cloud-based offering will stream games at up to 1080p resolution at 60 fps, and even massive titles can reportedly begin streaming in less than 30 seconds. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces GeForce NOW On-Demand Gaming Service

Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

As part of a beta release of GeForce Experience, Nvidia is introducing GameStream co-op, which allows two gamers to play with a single copy by one streaming the game to another PC. The co-op feature, which resembles Sony’s Share Play feature on PlayStation 4, allows for three different modes of play. It is based on the same technology found in Nvidia’s GameStream service, which lets users stream a game from their PC, over a local network, to another device, such as a Shield tablet. Continue reading Nvidia Debuts GeForce Experience Feature for Game Sharing

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