Facebook-Funded Brain-Interface Study Publishes Results

Facebook has invested in university research with the goal of creating a device that can analyze brain signals. Two years ago, the company stated it wanted to develop a headband that would translate a person’s thought into typing, at a speed of 100 words per minute. Funded by Facebook, a University of California, San Francisco paper describes research, led by neuroscientist Edward Chang, into “speech decoders.” The research could demonstrate the feasibility of a wearable brain-analysis device. Continue reading Facebook-Funded Brain-Interface Study Publishes Results

CES: The Era of Screens in Contact Lenses May Be Upon Us

Beneficial Vision smart contact lenses from Care Harmony Corp. use a variety of technologies distributed among wearable devices to deliver monochromatic text and video images through contact lenses. The smart lenses contain an outer ring of rechargeable batteries and lasers that use wave-guide technology to project an image into the central area of the contact lens. In addition to delivering audio, wireless earbuds track head position and send that information to the contacts, so the projected image can appear to be a stable overlay in a fixed position in the real world when you move your head. Continue reading CES: The Era of Screens in Contact Lenses May Be Upon Us

Two Bit Circus Brings Micro-Amusement Park to Los Angeles

Two Bit Circus is on track to open a “micro-amusement park” in a 40,000-square-foot space in downtown Los Angeles in September. Company chief executive Brent Bushnell and cofounder Eric Gradman said they plan to open more digital/physical arcades, potentially in shopping malls, in the future. The interactive playground has zones, “like an amusement park,” with a variety of different games in each one. The company, which was founded in 2012 and raised $15 million in 2017, will invite corporations to sponsor events there. Continue reading Two Bit Circus Brings Micro-Amusement Park to Los Angeles

Eonite Perception Debuts VR Headset with Inside-Out Tracking

Palo Alto-based startup Eonite Perception has developed its Vantage Head Tracker, next-generation VR headset software that uses “inside-out-tracking” technology to track the user’s position and movements without external sensors or cameras. Founded in 2015 by Youssri Helmy, currently the company’s chief executive, and Stanford University computer vision experts Anna Petrovskaya and Peter Varvak, Eonite’s technology is quite different from current VR headsets. Helmy notes that the startup’s tech mimics how human perception works. Continue reading Eonite Perception Debuts VR Headset with Inside-Out Tracking

Facebook Aims to Connect the World and Attract More Users

Facebook has debuted a simple, less expensive way to bring wireless networks to rural areas, especially in developing nations. OpenCellular is a platter-sized device that can be attached to a telephone pole, tree or street lamp, to drive a variety of wireless networks, from 2G to LTE and Wi-Fi. Rather than get into the hardware business, however, Facebook will open-source the design for OpenCellular, with the hope that others will develop it to connect the 10 percent of the world that lacks cellular networks. Continue reading Facebook Aims to Connect the World and Attract More Users

Oculus and Valve Have Yet to Open Tracking to Third Parties

A year after going on record that they would open up their tracking systems to third party developers, neither Oculus nor Valve have done so. So called ‘6DOF’ (degrees of freedom) tracking allows for head and body tracking, as well as mapping of physical objects like handheld objects and furniture, into the virtual world. Oculus’ Constellation tracking system uses a collection of IR-LEDs tracked by an external camera. Meanwhile, Valve/HTC’s Lighthouse tracking system uses photodiodes that track lasers from base stations. Continue reading Oculus and Valve Have Yet to Open Tracking to Third Parties

Quanergy to Deliver Low Cost Sensors for Self-Driving Vehicles

Today, the costs associated with implementing a light detection and ranging sensor — or LIDAR — for a self-driving car are rather expensive, ranging anywhere between $8,000 to $80,000. Silicon Valley startup Quanergy Systems however, claims it will soon be able to offer those same sensors at a significantly lower cost. By next year, the company plans to release a LIDAR no bigger than a credit card with a price tag of about $250. Quanergy hopes to release a postage stamp-sized version by 2018 for $100 or less. Continue reading Quanergy to Deliver Low Cost Sensors for Self-Driving Vehicles

Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

We recently reported that HTC partnered with Seattle-based gaming company Valve to develop Vive, a new VR headset with plans to compete with the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus. Valve is the developer behind Steam, the social platform for distributing and managing games. The Vive headset was unveiled at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and is already generating positive reviews for its tech advances, including low latency and a fast refresh rate that reduces the incidence of “Sim Sickness.” Continue reading Vive VR Headset Unveiled at Game Developers Conference

Valve May Have Solved Motion Sickness Problems Related to VR

The wide consumer release of virtual reality headsets from companies such as Oculus VR has been stalled by ongoing development and additional upgrades. Some VR makers have attributed the delay to motion sickness experienced by some users. While Oculus and other companies have promised to have their products ready by the end of this year or early 2016, game developer Valve says it has already developed a solution to the discomfort caused by VR headsets. Continue reading Valve May Have Solved Motion Sickness Problems Related to VR

DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program is converting retired RQ-7 Army drones into wireless hotspots to provide Wi-Fi to soldiers in remote areas. The drones will be able to transfer data at one gigabyte per second — about the same connectivity of a 4G smartphone — to give troops the same communication capabilities, including access to tactical operation centers and mission data, that others in more central conflict zones have. DARPA is retrofitting the drones with small Wi-Fi antennas. Continue reading DARPA Converts Army Surveillance Drones into Mobile Hotspots

MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark

Researchers have discovered the ability to create ultrasharp images from barely illuminated objects. This is done by mathematically stitching together information from particles of light. The development will likely be used to support studies of fragile biological materials such as the human eye, that could be damaged or destroyed by illumination. The development could also be used for military surveillance applications in locations with low light.  Continue reading MIT Researchers Use Algorithm to Take Pictures in the Dark