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

Nintendo’s Profits Jump With Strong Sales of Switch Consoles

Nintendo enjoyed a significant jump in profit with strong sales of its Switch console, unveiled on March 3, and affiliated software. The company, based in Kyoto, reports it sold 7.24 million Switch units in Q4 2017, bringing total sales since its debut to 14.86 million. One reason for the leap was that Nintendo ensured that stores had plenty of Switch consoles to sell over the holiday shopping season, following shortages during the summer. But, says the company, demand still outstrips supply. Continue reading Nintendo’s Profits Jump With Strong Sales of Switch Consoles

Why Marketers Are Pursuing Gen Z YouTube Star Liza Koshy

The Gen Z audience, defined as those born after about 1996, gravitates to the kind of irreverent self-made YouTube stars embodied by Liza Koshy, a comedian with 1.6 billion views, who produces short content for social media platforms. Reaching this audience is a challenge since it values DIY stars as much or more than professionals and moves among platforms and apps with ease. Two years after she first appeared on YouTube, Koshy has been featured in Vogue’s 73 Questions (which she recently parodied) and advertisers are chasing her. Continue reading Why Marketers Are Pursuing Gen Z YouTube Star Liza Koshy

Google Shutters its Project Ara Plans to Build Modular Phones

Google has reportedly suspended its Project Ara initiative to build a modular smartphone with interchangeable components. The goal was to develop a phone that consumers could customize with cameras, speakers, batteries and other parts in an effort to prolong lifespan and reduce electronic waste. “The move marks an about-face for the tech company, which announced a host of partners for Project Ara at its developer conference in May and said it would ship a developer edition of the product this autumn,” according to Reuters. “Axing Project Ara is one of the first steps in a campaign to unify Google’s various hardware efforts, which range from Chromebook laptops to Nexus phones.” Continue reading Google Shutters its Project Ara Plans to Build Modular Phones

What Began as April Fool’s Day Joke is Now $49 VR Headset

Google Cardboard is no longer the only inexpensive VR headset around. From Oakland, CA-based hardware collective Next Thing Co. comes Pockulus, a $49 portable game console that consists of a palm-sized computer and 3D-printed facemask. The tiny computer that runs Pockulus is CHIP, which was the company’s successful seller at $9 per unit. The idea to repurpose CHIP as a VR controller was an April Fool’s Day joke that is now a real product. It requires some DIY, mainly 3D printing the bezel that fits the display on the face. Continue reading What Began as April Fool’s Day Joke is Now $49 VR Headset

Top YouTube Stars Using Online Success to Launch Careers

Forbes has compiled its first-ever list of the world’s highest-paid YouTube stars. To appear in the ranking, Internet celebrities had to make at least $2.5 million in earnings for the year ending June 1, 2015. The top 13 DIY videomakers, most under the age of 30, have earned a combined total of $54.5 million. The group includes gamers, singers, comedy teams, pranksters, a beauty blogger and a dancing violinist. While most make their revenue from online advertising, some are also branching out into traditional media such as film, TV, music and publishing. Continue reading Top YouTube Stars Using Online Success to Launch Careers

Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

The affordable Raspberry Pi microcomputer — launched three years ago with the modest hope of selling a few thousand units — just passed the five million sales mark. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers its no-frills Model A Pi for $25 and the Model B for $35. It recently launched the 6x faster Model B Pi 2 with double the memory for only $35. Originally intended as a cost efficient solution for students, the simple microcomputer is now being used to build everything from DIY computers to robotics projects. Continue reading Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Computer Enjoys Surprising Popularity

CES: Sony Tablet Platform MESH to Simplify Smart Projects

A group of Sony engineers have launched a platform called MESH (Make, Experience and Share) that allows people to create “smart projects” with the simplicity of a tablet and small wireless tags. The MESH group presented its DIY kit at CES this week alongside other startups in Eureka Park. The platform uses four Bluetooth-enabled devices that can be programmed using a simple drag-and-drop system on a tablet to remotely water plants, activate lights and sound, and handle a variety of creative applications. Continue reading CES: Sony Tablet Platform MESH to Simplify Smart Projects

Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

Retailers are gearing up to support a range of connected home devices for the upcoming holiday season. Best Buy’s new Connected Home department is scheduled to deploy in more than 400 stores by Thanksgiving, featuring more than 100 smart home products. Other big box retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples have unveiled new programs and products in their stores designed for the connected home. We can also expect to see specialists and tech support trained in smart home products. Continue reading Internet of Things: Retailers to Promote Smart Home Devices

Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves

RadioShack plans to stock DIY kits in its retail locations that provide consumers with the ability to create an array of connected devices. New York startup LittleBits has been selling sets that allow users to connect, for example, a sound detector to a LED light, for illuminating a small space every time a radio is turned on. LittleBits now offers its $99 Cloud Starter Bundle that connects gadgets to the Internet, while companies such as Bug Labs and Electric Imp are also offering ways to create connected devices. Continue reading Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves

Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Modio, an iPad app by Icelandic entrepreneur Hilmar Gunnarsson, turns kids and adults alike into 3D designers. Users can build poseable models within the app by adding limbs and other features, and adjusting size and color with just a few taps. Then these constructed figures come to life through 3D printing. Limbs snap into place, similar to the way Legos function. The iPad app is impressive in its use of multi-touch technology, which allows users to collaborate on projects. Continue reading Kids Can Design 3D Printable Monsters via Modio iPad App

Google Releases Developer Kit for Project Ara Modular Phone

Google is working towards creating a build-it-yourself modular smartphone, one that will allow users to build the perfect smartphone based on their individual needs. The device is being developed through Project Ara, part of the Advanced Technology and Projects group at Google. The group is developing a smartphone that features an open-source hardware platform. Customers would start with a base hardware piece called Endo, and then add features through plug-and-play modules. Continue reading Google Releases Developer Kit for Project Ara Modular Phone

BitTorrent Targets Music Scene with P2P Publishing Platform

BitTorrent is teaming with DIY service provider Topspin Media, Web video production company The Collective, emerging music magazine The FADER, and digital distribution specialist Cinedigm to launch its publishing platform, BitTorrent Bundles. The company is hoping that its P2P-based direct publishing platform will appeal to musical artists and other creatives and has convinced performers including Madonna to distribute free content through its software. Continue reading BitTorrent Targets Music Scene with P2P Publishing Platform

VHX Enables Video Makers to Sell Their Videos to Consumers

Brooklyn-based VHX is developing a service that enables video makers to sell their videos to consumers. The company launched last year with a video from comedian Aziz Ansari, and since then has picked up 60 videos to sell from a wide variety of people, some famous and some not. While YouTube is a popular platform for uploading videos, VHX hopes to stand out by allowing anyone the opportunity to upload and sell their content. Continue reading VHX Enables Video Makers to Sell Their Videos to Consumers

Wi-Fi Alternative Could Help Build The Internet of Things

Taylor Alexander, a robotics engineer, has developed a work-in-progress project called Flutter as a Wi-Fi alternative. This “second network” can cover 100 times as great an area, with a range of 3,200 feet, with little power used. The project came about after Alexander attempted to connect sensors to one another during an app redesign on a project and found that Flutter could expand the potential of the Internet of Things, where all devices despite their size are connected to the Internet. Continue reading Wi-Fi Alternative Could Help Build The Internet of Things

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