Voice-Commanded Mobile App Transforms First Person Games

“Mayday! Deep Space” is a new iOS game app that lets users control the character through voice commands. Instead of playing first-person as the character, the player will build a relationship with their character. As part of the game, the user not only gives directions to their character; they also make moral decisions for the character. However, the AI does not have to do everything the user says, and can reject commands. Future AIs may eventually be able to identify emotions as well. Continue reading Voice-Commanded Mobile App Transforms First Person Games

New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

While universal remotes are primarily used to control cable boxes and TVs, Cupertino-based startup NEEO is taking the idea a step further. The company claims its universal remote can control a home theater system and almost every smart device that a homeowner could imagine. The NEEO touchscreen remote works with over 30,000 Internet-connected gadgets such as the Nest, Philips Hue and others. It also uses hand recognition software to create profiles for each user. Continue reading New Universal Remote Controls All Your Smart Home Devices

Facebook Changes Default Settings, Pushes Privacy Checkups

Under pressure that its users may start sharing less, or make a move to more anonymous services, Facebook announced yesterday that it would provide a privacy checkup to every one of its global users. In an effort to help its 1.28 billion users better manage “private” information, the company is also recommending a privacy checkup be conducted on a regular basis, perhaps annually like a physical exam. And for new users, Facebook is initially setting content to be seen only by friends. Continue reading Facebook Changes Default Settings, Pushes Privacy Checkups

Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

DVD server manufacturer Kaleidescape has ended its lengthy legal battle with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA), the not-for-profit organization that governs copyright protection of DVDs. The organization sued Kaleidescape in 2004 for creating DVD servers that encourage users to illegally rip copyrighted movies. Shortly after a joint notice of settlement was filed, the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara, noted a “voluntary dismissal” of the case, and determined on Monday, “Case complete.” Continue reading Kaleidescape Settles 10-Year Legal Battle with the DVD CCA

CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

During its upfront presentation in New York last week, CNN introduced a live news service called Watch CNNx that allows viewers to choose content in real time. The service will be available on iPads and on TVs through set-top boxes later this year. Alongside the live CNN feed, CNNx offers a rundown of stories that appear on the right side of the screen, while a menu of digital features, including photo galleries, appear at the bottom. Additionally, CNN plans to use Flipboard’s display ad format on its applications. Continue reading CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Stanford engineers have created the next step in interactive gaming — a video game controller that can sense a player’s emotions. The handheld game controller can monitor a player’s brain activity to decipher when a user is extremely engaged or bored, which could trigger zombies or another element of the game to be thrown at them to catch their attention. Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, created a prototype controller in his lab in collaboration with Texas Instruments. Continue reading Engineers Developing Emotion-Based Video Game Controller

Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

In one corner of the Zeiss NAB booth filled with video cameras and lenses, the latest model of the Zeiss Cinemizer head mounted display is plugged into a video camera. The Cinemizer features dual 870×500 pixel OLED displays. An optional soft-rubber Eye Shield blocks out all external light. Once plugged into the camera via a standard HDMI connector, the camera operator sees exactly what the camera sees. The camera controls can be overlain on the image, just as they can appear in the eye piece or screen on the camera itself.

Continue reading Cinemizer HMD Ideal for On-Set Shooting and VR Experiences

Game Companies Announce the Immersive Technology Alliance

At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, a collection of tech companies and organizations announced the formation of the non-profit Immersive Technology Alliance (formerly S3DGA), which plans to develop games involving augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D and gesture controls. Members include Avegant, Big Blue Bubble, Electronic Arts, Epson, GameFace Labs, Technical Illusions and others. Earlier reports that Oculus VR is involved in the consortium turned out to be inaccurate. Continue reading Game Companies Announce the Immersive Technology Alliance

Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

A $99 device called InAIR from startup SeeSpace hopes to combine the best of your laptop, smartphone and TV all in one place by layering social media and Web content inline with the programs you are watching. Billed as “the world’s first augmented television,” the project exceeded its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter by nearly $78,000 a few days ago. InAIR plugs directly into the TV through its smart HDMI cable, connects to the set-top box, and pulls data from the movie or TV show currently airing. Continue reading Augmented Television: InAIR Layers Web Content with Your TV

Imagining Ways That Google Glass Could Interact with Your TV

Dutch telecommunications provider KPN has teamed with Accenture for a proof-of-concept demo that uses Google Glass for numerous interactive TV applications. Although Glass is not yet available commercially, the companies are looking at ways that consumers could control their televisions with voice-activated commands via the wearable tech. The companies are showing three TV applications this week at Mobile World Congress: remote control, second screen, and TV Everywhere. Continue reading Imagining Ways That Google Glass Could Interact with Your TV

QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

InVisioneer, the company created by TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, is reportedly planning to release its anticipated QPlay video streamer very soon. While official plans have yet to be announced, an early adopter beta test is expected, based on a recently posted demo video and related documents online, including the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. The streaming box, about the size of an external hard drive, connects to a TV and is controlled via an iPad app. Continue reading QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

HPA Tech Retreat: Panel Ponders New Era of Post Production

In what was perhaps the most forward-looking panel yet to appear onstage at the HPA Tech Retreat, a group of six professionals from across the post-production industry made the case Thursday afternoon that the future of post would be more distributed, more accessible, and very much dependent on cloud technologies. The “Virtual/Distributed Post” panel, moderated by Creative COW‘s Debra Kaufman, featured individuals working to develop and deploy technologies that break the mold of traditional post-production facilities. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Panel Ponders New Era of Post Production

Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Wednesday that Apple has agreed to better enforce parental approval of purchases from the company’s App Store. Apple will also refund at least $32.5 million to parents whose children made purchases without their consent. Apple settled a related class-action lawsuit last year, but the FTC said that the problem continued after the settlement, so Apple has agreed to further modify its practices. Continue reading Apple will Modify App Purchases with More Parental Control

Rovi Team Experiments with Brainwaves Project to Control TV

Through its cloud-based platform, Rovi powers digital entertainment solutions in discovery and personalization for leading brands. A small band of dreamers at Rovi demonstrated an experimental project at the guide makers exhibit at Caesar’s Palace during CES. Using a headset that monitors both brainwaves and nearby nerve activity, after a short training period it was possible to go from watching TV to the guide with a literal blink of the eyes, and then select a new program with a bit of concentration on the guide. Continue reading Rovi Team Experiments with Brainwaves Project to Control TV

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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